Urban Exploring – Camp Cameron Villas

“On a Mish” #244 Camp Cameron Villas. Allenton, Ashburton. 14.1.2021. The route ahead was unclear as it disappeared behind the south east ridge. Pushing on I arrived at a cool, shaded corridor. On one side was a towering forest of vertical timber, obscuring any chance of a view to the south. On the other side of the corridor was a wall of stone which had an overhanging section before grey slopes leading to the exposed summit ridge. I navigated my way through the challenging terrain, and arrived at a meadow surrounded by bush and flowers. With the weather on my side I set up my tent in the hot afternoon sun. The night was filled with sounds of the area’s creatures as they went through their nightly routines. Early-ish the next day I woke to the sound of the morning chorus and thick low cloud soaking everything below it. The wet tent was bundled into my bag, and now it was time to leave the remote camping location…

So as I said I arrived at Nanny’s house in the Cameron Villas, and camped a night in her backyard. Having always enjoyed hearing my tales of adventure in the wilderness of New Zealand and other places throughout the world Bev asked if I could add a night in her backyard to the list of outdoor missions. The camping expedition coincided with Bev’s 84th birthday, and during the evening we were joined by a small collective of Bev’s huge family circle, including all of her children (my mother and my uncles). The night was a get-together much like most, filled with laughter and inappropriate conversations. With a belly full of Thai food we chatted well into the night, and after everyone eventually left I retreated to my campsite in the backyard. Urban camping’s night noises are a big change from what I’m used to. The sounds of night birds and running rivers were replaced by the sounds of the next door neighbor running and then enjoying a bath (a very weird experience).

The morning in Ashburton was a damp, drizzly encounter and the mist soaked the outer layer of my tent. I hung my tent to dry and headed inside to get ready for the big morning tea party. The Cameron Villas are a group of flats occupied by the more seasoned members of Ashburton’s society, and Bev had invited the whole village for a spot of tea. The chatter amongst the gang was intriguing to listen too, as stories from the past were shared. With age comes experience, and some of the team were reminiscing about life before now normal items such as TV and definitely the internet! As much as I wanted to stay I couldn’t as it was already time to begin a new adventure…

Camp Cameron Villas

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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