It was the third morning I spent in the White Horse Hill campsite at Mt Cook. I was leaving that afternoon from the hotel in the village, so my plan for the morning was simply to get up and pack up my things, including my tent.
I woke up to the sound of rain and my heart sank. Putting a tent down in the rain is a massive pain. However, I soon realised the sound was not, in fact, rain. It was so much worse.
There were so many sandflies in my tent, bouncing off the flysheet, that it sounded like rain.
For those of you who don’t know, sandflies are small black flies that live in lots of places in the world. There are quite a few on the South Island of New Zealand. They like to bite you and it itches so frickin’ much.
So, I put off leaving my tent as much as possible, packing the things inside it and preparing myself to leave. I realised it was cloudy this morning, so the flies were still there as it wasn’t too hot for them.
Eventually I left the tent and went to brush my teeth. Upon returning to the tent, I saw there were sandflies literally everywhereeee!
I was wearing long trousers and a hoodie with the hood up, so only my face and hands were visible. I still had to swipe at the flies constantly as i took the pegs out of the tent and removed the flysheet. I felt like a Sim when you kill them with flies.
Even though I had removed the flysheet and realised the flies in there, they still mostly hung around my tent and wouldn’t leave. I was swearing and swiping at them and trying to decide what to do. Eventually I decided to go back into the tent for some momentary relief. So I opened the door and plunged in as fast as possible.
I was followed by a hoard of flies. So I jumped back out of the tent and trapped hundreds of sandflies inside.
Then a miracle happened.
The sun, which I had been willing to burn through the cloud, finally succeeded. It was like that bit in the Hobbit, where the trolls are turned to stone before the can eat them.
The flies disappeared and the ones in the tent were slowly cooked to death, before I put it down on top of their corpses.
Zoe 1 Sandflies 0