After another emotional farewell to Sarah’s parents (with all the bird flu news, they’re even more nervous about us heading to Asia next weekend), we drove north towards the Bay of Islands, the area where the first European settlers arrived in New Zealand. But we’re not really here for the history, but because we’d been recommended ‘The Farm’ five months ago, when we were in Fiji. It sounded like an ideal place to spend a few days before Asia, and for the girls to get a chance to milk a cow etc.
As we arrived the sun was shining, and the girls were over the moon that there was a full-sized trampoline in the garden, and the owners have 4 children for them to get to know and play with. So we sat on the decking with the other backpackers, enjoying a cup of tea in the early evening sunshine, and relaxing from the drive.
The peace was broken by the sound of Emily howling. Somehow she’d landed awkwardly on the trampoline, and had sprained her ankle. It soon started to swell up, with a horrible lop-sided look to it. So much for worrying about the dangers of Asia – we hadn’t even got there yet!
It was straight on with the bag of frozen peas, and a quick dose of Calpol (its amazing the things we’ve been carrying in our rucksacks!). Fortunately the hostel owner is a vet as well as a farmer, so he soon bandaged Emily up to limit the swelling, and begin the healing process (the only slightly curious moment was when Michael, the vet, said “She’ll be okay – she can just walk on her other 3 legs for a while. Oh”). And for the rest of the evening Emily had to be carried around everywhere. She loved it! But later in the evening it was so uncomfortable for her (mainly because she couldn’t scratch an itchy bite that was underneath the bandage..) that she couldn’t sleep. At half past twelve we ended up doing the old parents-favourite, of taking her for a drive to get her to sleep. It took 20 minutes to get her to sleep, because around every corner was a possum in the middle of the road! In the end she went to sleep counting the possums, and we all got a restful night!