Tramping the Tasman – Abel Tasman, New Zealand

We hopped into the car after picking some tangy grapes which were just hanging on the tree in the hostel parking lot. We took a stroll though the supermarket and when I looked up, I was surprised. The fruit and veg section had these wonderful vibrant art sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Had a chuckle then stocked up on food for our trek in Abel Tasman. I am surprised at how much I am craving health food but I feel a lot better for it. The produce guy was really friendly. After denying knowing him to my friends, I began to question it myself with how familiar he seemed.

We drove to Marahau and played some piano before cooking dinner. Must stock up on energy for the hike. I walked down to the waters edge where Oh No! The tide was coming in fast. I snatched up my bag which I had left on the sand, just in time. The sunset was magnificent over the sea with the tide creeping over and submerging the tiny sand dunes.

We slept early and started out the next morning with a hearty breakfast before jumping in our water taxi. We sped along to Torrent Bay where we jumped out then began our trek through NZs smallest, sunniest, warmest coastal National Park.

We saw statuesque granite rock formations and light sand beaches with shades of water ranging from turquoise blue to aqua green. The lush greenery boasted many types of ferns, trees, vines and other rainforest type plants. The bird songs created just the right atmosphere. As I swung around a bend in the path holding onto the tree, I felt like I was in the Jungle Book.

We practiced greeting passing trampers in all our different languages as we made the walk up and down the hills. This is much harder to do when you are carrying food and equipment. We stopped for lunch at Bark Bay and went for a cool swim which was refreshing after trudging in the hot hot sun. I found the perfect walking stick which was very lightweight but quite sturdy and we walked on until we reached Awaroa.

We arrived just before sundown and treated ourselves with a nice cool beer at the lodge nearby before making our way to the hut. The hut is two rooms, one being a kitchen/eating area and the other for sleeping. The “bed” room is very basic with a really long bunk bed fitting 16 people and no lights or power. After eating and taking pictures of the friendly neighbourhood possum, I settled into my sleeping bag on the porch to watch the stars.

The moon was so bright and full it was hard to believe we were in complete darkness. It was as if all the stars were brighter, just reflecting the light of the moon. Carl and I tried to get the perfect pic of the moon but settled on just wishing on the falling stars.

It was a chilly night but I woke feeling quite rested and ready for day 2. We lost one of our team because he had to go to the Doc. Apparently, Olly broke his arm on St. Paddys Day but didn`t realize it was broken until we were halfway done the hike. It had swollen up blue and green, so he took the water taxi back to civilization. Thankfully, he also took our packs with him so this day was much easier going than yesterday.

We walked down from Anchorage back to Marahau with ease, enjoying yet another splendid summer day. When we arrived home (yay! we did it!) we had to wait for the mechanic to come fix the car before heading into Takaka. We thought it was fixed but just on the edge of this steep and sharp hairpin turn, the brakes went.

Luckily, we were able to stop the car before crashing to our deaths. We sent Dave and Mirium ahead for help. We waited as dusk descended upon us watching the fluffy white sheep wander curiously over to the fence.

The very kind and helpful locals fixed us up even opening up the BP gas station (little daughter in tow) for us to get gas at such a late hour. We felt so relieved and grateful thanking the locals profusely. They said it was no problem and that they wished us well and good luck. “Oh and by the way, the war started today.” I was a little confused as how to feel. It seemed like a million miles away from where I am. I sat in the car on our way to our backpackers reflecting on how it is possible to feel so removed from what some people call “everyday life”.

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