No, hiking Abel Tasman was not the original plan for today, but it’s what I ended up doing. I was supposed to be sailing on a catamaran with Mauritz (Mo) from Germany, Vim from England and Vanessa from Italy. Unfortunately, the weather continued to be bad and the catamaran company canceled on us.
Because we were already up early for the sailing, Vanessa suggested we go for a walk on the bush track. What the hell, I thought. It’s just a short walk. How far could we possibly go with the busted up heels she got from trying the Tongariro Crossing? Mo and I agreed to come along and Vim decided he’d rather sleep. What a wise decision he made.
Mo, Vanessa and I started out on the beach. It was low tide and the sand seemed to stretch forever. We played a bit and took some silly pictures. It was tough staying dry as there were often large patches of soft sand or lake-sized pools of water. I wore my waterproof hiking boots so I had a good time of it as long as the water wasn’t too deep. Mo wore regular street shoes and Vanessa had on slippers (flip flops), so I’m pretty sure when their feet got wet they probably froze their toes off. Despite being around 9 am, the air and water was still chilly to the point of being frigid.
After exploring the beach, we found our way back to the trail and continued on. We wandered along taking photos and looking at all the trees and wilderness around us. Unlike in Australia, I didn’t find gigantic spiders or their webs at nearly every turn (Yay!).
At regular intervals, there were paths that led back down to the beach to different bays and coves. We visited them all and had our lunch down on the seaside in the company of the ever-present seagulls. How they found us I do not know as we were so isolated at this point. We rarely saw people on the track, but the seagulls saw us.
We made it as far as Stillwell Bay before turning around and coming back to Old Mac’s Farm because it was getting dark. I figure we walked at least 14 km today, which is the most I’ve done so far. My legs are killing me and I feel exhausted, but I’m happy that we did it. Vanessa, Mo and I got to chat a lot about everything and nothing at all. We talked about ourselves and our families, our homes and our plans for our New Zealand adventures. This is exactly why I wanted to travel. Today was a good day, even though tomorrow my body might be telling another story.