A British backpacker has spoken of her anger at discovering the name of New Zealand’s latest cyclone.
Cyclone Hola hit the New Zealand coast just in time for Caroline Gough’s 37th birthday, ensuring that her plans for swimming with dolphins and relaxing on one of New Zealand’s best beaches were well and truly thwarted.
In an exclusive interview, Caroline told us “Hola is a ridiculous name for a cyclone because it means hello in Spanish. Why would anyone want to say hello to a cyclone? If we have to name our cyclones after a greeting, it would be much more appropriate to call it Cyclone Adios, Cyclone Sayonara or Cyclone Piss Off Now Please. Naming it after a welcoming word suggests we are actively encourging it to stay.”
This is not Caroline’s first experience of a New Zealand cyclone. “I had another cyclone mess up my plans a couple of weeks ago,” she explained. “But at least that one was called Cyclone Gita and didn’t have any welcoming connotations. The only Gitas who have ever cropped up in my life are the Gita who ran a market stall in Eastenders back in the nineties, and the Gitas you encounter in secondary school maths text books, you know the ones: Gita has seven apples, four oranges and a banana, do a fraction to show how many oranges she has. These days, I don’t ever encounter fractions or cyclones during my day-to-day life and I’m very happy with that arrangement.”
Beach loving Caroline who says her main aim in life is to try and swim in the sea every day was so fed up with Cyclone Gita chasing her around the south island that she changed her plans and caught a plane to the northlands which are renowned for having the best weather. Caroline splashed out on an airbnb apartment in the popular seaside town of Paihia to ensure she could have a beach based birthday.
“But it wasn’t to be,” said Caroline. “I went on a misty birthday boat trip around the Bay of Islands. The scenery is supposed to be stunning, but nobody could see it, partly due to the greyness and partly because the majority of passengers were busy being sick. The crew said it was such a bad trip that they gave everyone on board a lifetime voucher to have a free boat trip with their company the next time we go to Paihia.”
Caroline, who is not sure that she will ever want to go to Paihia again, spent the rest of her birthday watching episodes of Midsomer Murder whilst eating Boysenberry jelly and watching the relentless rain pour down outside the window.
“Meanwhile, the friends I had left behind in Wellington the previous day woke up to glorious sunshine with not a hint of a cyclone. They sent me various photos on What’sApp throughout the day to show me what a wonderful and sunny time they were having.”