My bare foot pressed harder on the accelerator.
The needle rose to 12km/h as small beads of sweat trickled down already receding temples.
With no sign of an over taking lane ahead, the three cars awarded the days misfortune of being stuck behind us had no option but to wait.
Two young co-pilots sitting adjacent, thought this would be a good time to use our 1994 Mitsubishi Canter’s ‘hyper-thrust’ and keenly pointed to a fictional button used for brief moments of adventure in the past. It was good thinking, but always saved for moments with no other traffic around !
My wife calmly suggested we use the hazard lights to tell the drivers behind us…. that we were a hazard.
It seemed a reasonable idea. After all, with the camper red-lining, I felt like I was red- lining too. Why not introduce a bit of flashing orange just to add a change.
Under calm conditions, hazard light activation comes naturally. But with the motor screaming in my ears, the first button I pressed, only succeeded in activating the water jets for the windscreen wipers. The next kicked in the exhaust brakes, momentarily slowing down our ascent further.
It seemed pointless. Stuck in first gear, and being the leader of a now long line of slow-coaches, we all just had to wait.
Names like ‘road lice’ and ‘camping maggot’ reverberated around my head until eventually, a message sent from a higher being appeared around the second to last corner.
It read. – “Lookout 300m”.
It was the sort of silence that speaks volumes. Not one vehicle acknowledged the risk taken in perching an eight metre motorhome and trailer on the side of a narrow picnic area, whilst they sped past.
Not, that it mattered for long. Soon, our attention turned to the stunning views out over the East Cape’s Anaura bay.
Down at the campsite, columns of sunlight penetrated through an old pohutukawa tree where a lone tyre hung from one of its many branches. This was supposedly the playground, though looking beyond the fringe of flowering rata trees lining the coast, it was apparent the swing would have to wait. Like a magnet the golden sand and calm sea drew us all closer as we parked up for the first night of a week long stop.
I needed to get my courage up for the drive out.