Recently I was in dire need of a holiday. This parlous state tends to creep up on me, workaholic that I am, and usually by the time I realise I need a break, I just can't wait the three months for the specials on the tropical holidays, or even the three weeks for the cheap Grabaseat deals for NZ and Oz.
I need to walk out now or I will explode. Or is it implode?
Anyway I did get professional advice to "disengage completely" and I do believe in listening to the experts on such things. I don't seem to be able to do it without outside permission, though...
So having seen sense, where do you go for a holiday if you already live at the beach - the place where everybody else comes for their holiday?
Why you take a road trip to the mountains... And nice it was.
First we went up the Waitaki Valley, following a heavily modified river.
What a glorious country New Zealand is, even when we have done our best to destroy it. When we dam up the rivers, and tame their wildness, their freshness, we still manage to create a strange lovable beauty out of the destruction and domination.
And then you get to the mountains, and gingerly tread along the great alpine fault that is notoriously stretched as tight as a rubber band and at any moment will snap causing a massive shifting and heaving and seismic uplift: "The Big One".
Would the Big One happen while we were in its own back yard?
It didn't, but I wasn't worried anyway. At least we wouldn't have another tsunami scare while we were that far inland.
Anyway, we found quiet vast spaces with fresh mountain air, roaring fires, and hot tubs.
Sometimes you have to go a long way to learn to sit still again, and remember how to relax.