Having reached the end of the first part of my journey, I headed back to Christchurch for a week of rest and recuperation, and to plan the final fieldwork month (after doing the North Island...which was uneventful...I found spiders, and the North Island was its usual boring self, although I did meet a really really awesome arachnologist and talking to him made my month). Even though I'd mostly been sitting on my bum driving around, I was knackered - backpacking and camping aren't particularly restful, I guess. I was looking forward so much to my own bed and my own room and my own friends and being indoors. It didn't disappoint. My bed was marvellous. The fire was on, and nobody was home. I skyped my brother (who I haven't spoken to in 8 months - he's kind of busy) and saw my friends and, naturally, got into yet another sci-fi series (Babylon 5) and another comedy (Derek). I'd been successful on my spider hunt, was up to date with writing (apart from my thesis...really need to get onto that), and the final stretch of fieldwork was going to be fun because I should find lots of new species.
I think things were too perfect, and somehow the balance of the universe got upset. When my landlord (who also lives with me) got home after being away, it turned out his wife had left him and now he was lonely and I was convenient generic female. Just my luck that I can't attract any guys OR girls my own age, but creepy old men are a dime a dozen coming my way. So I had to parasitise off my friends, and move out of the flat (friends helping me again). I had things to do and people to have serious talks to, and I was actually kind of glad to get back on the road and start fieldwork again.
Unfortunately, the spiders had other ideas. It's been a week and I've found a few populations of spiders (though not so many as before, because I'm now looking in areas where populations haven't been noted before). I haven't caught many though - they just refuse to come out. Plus the beetle moves very slowly because he is cold, and I have to warm him up again by tucking him into my gloves (awwww). So tomorrow I am heading back to Christchurch again (where I am moving in with a friend - yay!). I have plenty to get on with for now (not least designing microsatellite primers, which sounds kind of scary to me and I'd rather have a few months rather than a few weeks to work on). I'll resume fieldwork in spring, when it will still be cold enough for me to work but not so cold that the spiders don't work.