Return to Canaan Downs?

Browsing around my photo galleries a month or two ago, I couldn’t help but have some very fond memories of my trip down to The Gathering with the delightful Kylie for 1999/2000 New Year. It was awesome fun, we had a bit of a road trip around the place, camped in a wonderful national park (the name of which slips my memory) and headed over to Christchurch where we shacked up in a motel room for a lot of awesome shagging.

Kylie gives the gift of rocks.  And hotness.

It was the year that it rained at The Gathering, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. (Though the toilets dampened everything, including my soul. Argh.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about that whole thing, I was pretty sure they weren’t still running it each year, but I went to the site in search of the truth, and there it was. Well, nothing. The Gathering hasn’t run at Canaan Downs since I was last there (though they held it at another place a couple of times before wrapping the whole thing up), but a new dance festival has sprung up in it’s place – the Canaan Downs Festival, with 125 acts, and running from December 29th until January 2nd. (If it’s the same as The Gathering was, the first day will be nothing but keen campers getting the best spots, and most people will actually arrive on the 30th.)

And so, I’ve been wondering if perhaps I should combine the South Island road trip I’ve been planning for later in the summer with a mad dash down the North Island to go and dance in the sun and eat pakora. (One of my fondest memories of my last Gathering was the Krishna food stall. Damn their pakora were good. They sustained me for the duration.)

The water was *so* cold.  (But lovely.)

I’m still not sure, the only available ferry sailings are looking pretty painful, but it does seem like an awfully good idea all the same.

I was planning, as part of my later in the summer road trip, to do the Milford Track… But I don’t think there’s any way I’d be able to fit it in, and I believe that for this time of the year I’d need to book well in advance. (Never mind that I’ll need to train a little bit.) So perhaps I’ll just fly down in March or so to do that – I don’t think I could face that drive twice in such quick succession, you see. Not after last time – Kylie twisted her ankle in Picton, followed by much driving to find an open clinic/hospital, then a 5-in-the-fucking-morning start, arriving in Wellywood at about 9am, then driving to Auckland myself (up to that point we’d been sharing driving duties).


Anyway, I’m thinking out loud. If anyone is up for it, let me know, but if I do go I suspect that deciding to do it this late in the piece means I’ll be doing it solo.