Showers. Everyone takes them (I hope). They don’t seem like important things but believe me, when you have been driving in an RV for eight days without feeling the blissful rush of water over your body, the lack of a proper shower makes for pretty bad smells. New Zealand is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world, if not the most beautiful. New Zealand’s sky scraping mountains and beautiful rivers are picturesque at worst, but, even on the best New Zealand day, the fiery smell climbing its way up your nostrils from the several unwashed bodies around you can be a bit off-putting to the fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery.
Our campervan had a shower, but using it would be too predictable for our bunch. We often went days without a proper shower using wipes as our main source of refreshment. But, whenever we got to a campsite with showers we thought the hot steam pouring out from the bathrooms into the bitter cold New Zealand night was heaven. These campsite showers were always coin operated, costing anywhere from 4 to 10 NZD. A small price to pay for cleanliness. The 10 NZD showers where fabulous as hot steaming water rinsed off the past week’s dirt and grime. I could stand there for HOURS.
But then there were the dreaded 4 NZD showers. For 4 NZD you get exactly four minutes of pleasure and then “The Deep Freeze”. At one of these campsites I “took” my money and ran for the shower. I filled up the 2-liter bottles we carried for times like this with hot tap water and braced myself. My plan for this short shower was to lather up my hair and strip down in the shower, to rinse my hair and then insert my coins and just soak in the shower with no distractions from having to wash. I soaped up, and stripped down. Then I realized. I LEFT MY MONEY IN THE RV! I threw on my jeans and jacket and ran back. I opened the door and shouted, “Where is my shower money?” Everyone turned to look at me and immediately laughed. I wasn’t laughing! I grabbed my coins and ran. After that I vowed never again to even think about soap unless I had some money in my hand.
“Free showers” in Wellington were an adventure to say the least. The family had just finished exploring the amazing Te Papa museum and decided to get showers before food. We saw a sign for free showers. We thought the shower gods had showered blessings upon us. But when we arrived at the dock, we soon realized the free showers were nothing more than cold showers for beach goers who needed to rinse off sand. We were severely disappointed. However, mom noticed a fitness center next door. We had a lightbulb moment. Mom always says, “Fake it until you make it” so we walked in the joint like we owned the place. Then we split up fast … Girls on the right, boys on the left. I showered off among the swimmers and weightlifters then quickly changed and ran for it.
As I drifted off to sleep that night, I thought of all the showers I have taken in my 13 years and found that there were very few I could remember. I thank New Zealand for hosting four of my 10 greatest showers.