When the sun rises, we’ll see the first tomorrow in the world.
“We on East Cape time now!” says Tane, our driver, as we leave the teal and turquoise Pacific for a track dotted with the scarlet splashes of pohutakawa trees.
“No seatbelts!” mutters Hettie, turning the map upside down. “And where’s the lighthouse?”
“It caved in,” says Tane, “So we stop at Ronnie’s place tonight.”
The two Danish hairdressers glance at their phones as we rattle along, but we lost the signal somewhere between the sulphurous smoke of Rotorua and the glistening slate of Lake Taupo.
“Sorry,” says a bass voice behind me, “You said Regis Palace, ja?”
“Nah, mate,” says Tane to Heinrich. “Ronnie got a farm near Tokomaru. He says we can stay one night, maybe two.”
They did say this was an “informal tour” of the North Island. So far, we’ve delivered the post and had tea with Tane’s mum.