...oh no, not Nate
11.11.2010 - 14.11.2010 25 °C
We spent 10 days at Reg's and it is time to shove on. We pack our things and eat breakfast consisting of an omelet with the leftover cockles from last night`s dinner and some spring onions. Reg is sad to see us go and requests updates from us in the future. We leave the beautiful landscape and fabulous accommodations and head to Abel Tasman for a 3 day coastal hike.
On the way to Abel Tasman National Park (named after Dutch explorer to discover the south island in 1642) we make a stop in Takaka for food supplies. Julie`s upset stomach is the main topic of discussion. She sleeps most of the drive with the odd groan and finally we arrive at the start of the hike. Complaining of being very exhausted and not feeling well, Julie continues to nap in the car. After about an hour of napping, we debate on whether we should cancel the trip but she pulls it together and we start out on the 3 day/47 km trip.
Our first night's stay is at the Anchorage campsite. Despite it only being a short 12.4 km to the site, it proved to be a struggle to reach. We make regular stops, Julie for her queasy stomach, and to relieve my numb legs. My right foot hadn't been right since after the Boulder Lake trek. Now the numbness was spreading up both legs! After what seemed like an eternity, we spot the cove and our campsite. Our packs hit the ground as we let out simultaneous groans. I quickly set up the tent for Julie, who curls up for a sleep to recoup. Deciding to continue, I trek on without a pack to explore another secluded bay. As dinner rolls around Julie still isn't feeling well, so I brew up a cup of ginger tea to settle the stomach pains. Almost immediately after finishing the tea Julie starts spewing. One benefit of barfing is the feeling of relief that comes over you afterwards, and Julie was able to sleep soundly for the rest of the night in comfort.
We had discussed staying our 3 nights at Anchorage and heading out the same way we came but the next morning Julie wakes up with new energy and is willing to continue onto Onetahuti Bay. We head out of Anchorage Bay with the tide in our favour allowing us to take a short cut through the mudflats of Torrent Bay estuary. This shorter route cuts an hour and a half off our hike time for the day. Today`s 17.5 km of hiking takes us past rocky coastal views, valleys of manuka trees, over a few saddles, a 47 m suspension bridge, and finishes at Onetahuti Bay. We take the afternoon to soak up the sun and snooze the day away, what else is there to do? Julie practices some yoga on the beach with Tonga Island and its surrounding marine reserve sitting offshore. The sleeping bags call to us early and our tent provides us with a sanctuary away from the pesky sand-flies which are mangling our ankles.
We awake in the middle of the night to creatures scurrying around our tent. Julie shines her head light out to find a possum. A common introduced species in NZ that is devastating the foliage of their native trees. We decide to move our packs inside the tent to protect them from being chewed by possums. But it is too late, somehow the possum opened the front zip of my bag and got into Julie's kilo of trail mix. We've learned our lesson. There are no bears or raccoons or squirrels to worry about here, but there are other creatures that we need to be aware of.
We start out the next day crossing the Onetahuti tidal crossing which has to be trekked 3 hours on either side of low tide. The tidal charts we are carrying show low tide at 8:00 am which is perfect as it gets us up and rolling early. After crossing the inlet, we ascend the Tonga saddle providing suburb panoramic views at 100 m elevation. We then drop back down to sea level to cross the Awaroa inlet, a beautiful tidal crossing 2 km long. We take off our hiking boots and ford the stream. Our packs are feeling heavy, so we take it slow in the hot sun.
After passing much of the same landscape as the previous days we reach quiet Anapai Bay, a tiny campsite just off the beach for only 12 campers. Julie is feeling stinky since she didn't brave the frigid ocean waters the day before like I did. Without thinking twice she plunges in to freshen up. She lets out a few yelps while me and some onlookers have a good laugh. Once again the sand-flies are insane, and so we take cover in the tent at dusk. But tonight we sleep with the fly off for a nice view of the twinkling stars and nearly full moon.
During the night Julie starts the groaning again. This time her belly is bubbling up something vile. I could tell by the lack of fresh air within the tent. It was enough to seriously consider sleeping outside with the sand-flies. After a sleepless night for both, Julie was still groaning in the morning and makes a b-line to the long drop to relieve herself. Lets just say she didn't have to push too hard. Over the course of a few hours, she makes frequent trips to the bathroom before we decide it is safe for her to strap on her pack without exploding. We make it safely through the hour's hike to meet the water taxi at 11 am.
We pile onto the boat which shuttles us south along the coast, back to our starting point in Marahau. Along the way we receive the reverse angle of all the bays, estuaries, rock formations, islands, and beaches. We stop in a shallow bay to view 2 sting rays in the crystal clear water. The highlight of the shuttle came when a pod of at least 20 wild bottlenose dolphins put on a show for us. They are feeding but having a great time of it, as they leap and flip in the air, and play in the wake from our boat.
There wasn't a cloud in sky for our entire trek and we saw dolphins! Besides that, we were in pain most of the way. I played with my pack to see if it was the cause of my numb legs but had little luck. I don't know how Julie was able to trek without passing out from the loss of all her bodily fluids. But we made it and it was another amazing NZ experience.