Nelson to Westport via Abel Tazman National Park

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Its never easy saying goodbye to friends you have made along the way, but we were going to have to get used to it as it would happen a lot during our travels. Everyone apart from our usual 5, and now Nick stayed behind in Nelson. I wish I could say they waved us off, but we did leave at 6:15, so you can forgive them for staying asleep. I did get a grunt off Alex, but I think that could have been more for waking him up! We had to leave though, we had less time in the country than them, and we had to make sure that me and Dan got to a wedding we had been invited to. No doubts our paths will cross again. That seems to happen a lot whilst travelling.

It was weird boarding the bus to a bunch of new faces, all new to this bus and new to each other. Because of this the bus was so quiet. We tried rectifying the situation by getting everyone to sing to the music being played, but all this led to was evil 'shut up its 7 in the morning' stares. Maybe we're give it another go in a few hours!

As well as the new people on board, we had a new driver, Monique. She would eventually end up being our driver for another week, until we reached the extreme town of Queenstown. She was a native Maori, loved a good drink and we would later find out that her brother played for the All Blacks! Always one with a story, you could tell she loved her country and her job.

We were on our way to a town called Westport, 252kms away. Before we arrived at the sleepy destination, we stopped off at Kaiteriteri, a small summer town on the border of the Abel Tazman National Park.

It was here we were given a long list of choices on how to see the National Park, ranging from the adventurous 3-day kayak/camping tour, to the not so strenuous 3-hour speedboat tour. As you would imagine we voted unanimously for the latter option!

At first we thought we had picked the better option, until we got going and we realised how BLOODY cold it got on the water when the boat picked up speed! Yes the scenery was amazing, but we were to busy trying to keep ourselves warm than look. It was a huge relief when the driver pulled into each beach, as it gave us a chance to warm up!

Although we were cold, it was good to see a huge section of the National Park from the water. Although we later realised that the speedboat was actually just in fact a water taxi, the driver was good enough to take us to a lot of isolated beaches as well as the famous Split Apple Rock. For a taxi driver he did have a great knowledge of the area and to finish the trip he took us out to a colony of seals sunbathing on a group of rocks.

The Abel Tazman National Park is another one of those "if I come back I'll do it again" places. But as usual, time was running out we had to keep moving! Off to the sleepy town of Westport!

Joke of the Day

An Aussie bloke is having a quiet drink in a bar and leans over to the big guy next to him and says, 'Do you wanna hear a Kiwi joke?

The big guy replies, 'Well mate, before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 1.90 m tall, 125 kg and I played as a forward for the All Blacks."

"The guy next to me is 1.85 m, weighs 115 kg and he's an ex-All Black lock."

"Next to him is a bloke who's 2 m tall, weighs 120 kg and he's a current All Black second rower. Now do you still want to tell that Kiwi joke?"

The first bloke says, "Nah, not if I'm going to have to explain it three times."
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