A jaunt of two extremes...
Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
53Trip End Mar 23, 2013
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Everyone, but everyone, you speak to who has "done" New Zealand tells you that you have to go to Abel Tasman as it's stunning. I got comments like "fantastic campervan site on the beach" to persuade me to visit. So what did we do? We booked in to do a two day hike from Marahau to Awaroa with an overnight camp at Bark Bay. A mere 20 kilometres on day one and only 8 on day two. At least we also booked a water taxi back from Awaroa to Marahau.
So we struck our lovely campsite at Old MacDonald's, parked the car at the water taxi office and picked up our bags and started. We had to carry everything we were going to need for our track so Neil had the tent, sleeping bags etc and I had the food and a case of red wine. Surprisingly, both bags were about the same weight, I would say close to 15kg. Oh, and did I forget to say, overnight it had started to rain
But we were making good progress. Possibly because we saw no point in stopping to admire the views. So we decided that we would aim for lunch at Anchorage Bay. This would be over halfway and we could maybe stop awhile and let the rain ease prior to the shorter afternoon session. The final approach to Anchorage was not actually on the route to Bark Bay but was a "side track" and it was a very, very steep descent down to the bay. And when we got there, we found a dozen or so walkers huddled in a hut eating their sparce provisions sheltering from the westerley gale that was blowing off the sea. Though it was nice to get the 15kg off my back - and to have the prospect of it being a little lighter after eating some of it's content - it was not the most pleasant lunch break we've ever had!
The lunch break was short as there really was little point sitting there in our wet clothes so we cracked on. The climb out of Anchorage Bay was as steep as the decsent in had been - and remember that we didn't actually need to go to Anchorage, we could have bypassed it completely and stayed, presumably, on more level ground
The following morning after a good night's sleep, we pitched camp in glorious sunshine and headed off towards Awaroa. But we had to take care with our timing as Neil had discovered the previous evening that we had a crossing of a creek to undertake that could only be done within two hours each side of low tide. And we had a taxi to catch. And low tide was a little late for us to do so
Now if you ever feel the need to catch a water taxi, can I suggest that you do so in Abel Tasman. It's the sort of experience you'd pay good money for.... This small boat (space for 12 passengers?) turned up and picked us up. The safety briefing comprised "Hold on to your hats guys. They have a habit of flying off". And he opened the throttle on his 225 HP Honda engine and he didn't close it until we reached the other end. All told, we had an hour or so of a very fast boat ride picking up and dropping off at some stunning beaches all along the coastline before he took us back to Marahau and literally drove straight onto a trailer in the water on the back of a tractor and took us up by road - still sitting in the boat with our lifejackets on - to the taxi office. A stylish end to our treck.
In conclusion, the two day adventure was great fun - though I wasn't thinking so after day one. The 28 kilometre route was, we think, nearer 34 kilometres. And no, I didn't really take a case of red. It was hard enough carrying the two dozen bottles of lager!!!