After many months of pounding along the same walking routes it was great to be finally donning the boots to explore some new territory; The Abel Tasman Track.
The flight to Nelson was short enough to be pleasant and we spent the remainder of the day looking around Nelson on foot. That of course did include the now traditional ritual of buying Cliff another set of sunglasses. His last pair were at least not lost or broken but this time they were chill-in back in the car at Auckland Airport.
During the walk we stumbled upon a memorial to the ships and passengers of the original European settlers to Nelson back in 1842. I knew that one line of ancestors were on board and located the family. My great great grandfather was an eight year old in the family. I was impressed that they had been on a ship with such and esteemed name; The Clifford”.
Day one of our walk / cycle adventure in the Nelson / Tasman area involved a bus trip from Nelson to Marahau where we picked up a water taxis to Totarunui, our start point for our three day walk. We had decided to add a further night and explore the Awaroa area at our leisure so it would be four days on The Track.
The day dawned clear and calm. Ruth commented on our luck but sensing an opportunity to get a few brownie points in the bank before we start cycling, I suggested that maybe it had something to do with my growing experience in travel planning. I don’t think she was fooled.
We had done the boat trip up the coast once before but were looking forward to getting onto the track this time. Along the way we had a close encounter with a seal that was snacking on octopus. He (the bulls only had arrived in order to get the territory sorted before the girls followed) would dive, come back with one in his mouth and then beat the living daylight out of it by thrashing it on to the water several times before eating it. Tenderised sushi seal style.
After our own snack which we had to dive deep into our packs to capture, then wrestle with the wrapping before eating, we headed off for a shortish 11km dawdle through lovely bush and along some amazing beaches. We had a schedule to keep as we had to get across the Awaroa inlet when the tide was low. I forgot to pack beach shoes so it was wet footwear for me, it was a bit shelly to risk bare feet.
It was one of the more impressive walks we have been on and most of it is still ahead of us. The weather forecast for tomorrow is for a period of rain so my planning skills have again shone. I have pointed this out to Ruth suggesting it has to be more than luck. Rather than water dripping down her back she can snuggle up and read a book, all while staring out at the wilderness.