Abel Tasman National Park

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, April 7, 2008

I wake up and drive to the entrance to Abel Tasman National Park where the kayak tour leaves from.  Our group includes Simon (Austrian), 2 girls Pia and Frauke (German), and our tour guide Jenna (local girl with some killer dread locks).  A water taxi takes us to a secluded bay and I get put into a kayak with Frauke, who seems a bit shy but quite nice.

We kayak back towards base via the seal colony of Tonga Island, Bark Bay and land at Anchorage where I decide to spend the night in the park... the only problem is that I don't have any of my stuff and the water taxi won't bring me back into the park by the time we get back to base.  There was only one rational solution and that was to rush back to base camp and then do the 4 hour hike back into the park!

Once back at my car, I get supplies and hike/run back to Anchorage just as the sun starts to set.  I set out on a "4-hour" trail and have just a short hour before it will be dark.  The views are amazing but I barely have enough time to snap a few pictures as I know the pending darkness will spell trouble as the path is narrow and treacherous at best.  My water bottle lid snaps and the nalgene bottle falls down a steep cliff.  I contemplate the lost time needed to retrieve the water bottle and then I realize that without that water I could find myself in a spot of bother quickly.  A 15 minute detour and I am back on my horse, double time, but a bit tired from scaling back up the steep wall.  In the end it winds up taking me about 1:23 to do the "4-hour" trail, including my detour, and the final stretch was done by moonlight.

After a much needed shower, we sit around and share the bottle of wine I brought with me and I enjoy a complete dinner of snickers, cashews and chocolate chip cookies, which was amazing!  We meet another german girl, Johanna, and the four of us set up shop on the beach and talk as we search for shooting stars that highlight some of the best star gazing I've ever done.  The night is ended in a sleeping bag in the camp-style bunk for 12.
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