Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abel Tasman National Park

Covering March 7th to March 9th

Using the underwater-casing for the camera for the first time.
you don't know moonlight until you've seen it bathe the beaches of the Abel Tasman in silver.
This national park, along with the Milford sound and the Fox Glacier, is some of the most spectacular scenery I've seen in New Zealand.  The two days of kayaking I had here (followed by one hiking) were spectacular, and our guide Kim, though young, were very competent.
She taught me to roll a kayak upright after capsizing it, and I got it right in the third try. She was impressed, and I was very proud.

The good life!
Kim. Our guide.

After rolling the kayak for a couple of times my skull was filled with salty water. I had to hang like this to get it out. On the bright side, my sinuses were cleaned thoroughly.

The first night she took us to some cramped glow-worm caves not far from the camp-site. After we'd had our fill, she told us to turn on our torches and look up. The ceiling was crawling with Wetas, no more than half a metre above our heads.

You know how you open your mouth automatically when looking up? I shut mine promptly.
A Weta is a family of insects indiginous to New Zealand. They grow to different sizes, but the cave weta is one of the biggest, reaching 20cms in overall length. They are disgusting, and easily look like something out of a monster flick.

The next day we paddled out to a sea-lion nursery. The babys got quite qurious and came out swimming around the kayaks. One allowed me quite close.

At four o' clock, the others went back home on a water taxi, taking the kayaks with them. I started walking south to the Bark Bay hut, an easy walk of about one and a half hours. Just before the hut there was a tidal crossing. The tide was out, but plenty of crabs were roaming about, eating what they could find and scurrying back into their holes at my approach.

The tidal crossing

At the hut, a pair of paradise ducks had taken up residence.

Another gorgeous sunset.

Monday, I walked further south to Anchorage where a water-taxi would pick me up at three. On the way I met two czheck girls. After giggling secretively for a time, they told me that I reminded them of the guy from the movie Into the Wild. I didn't know wether to take it as a compliment as I haven't seen it, so I asked them how come. 'He does crazy things like you'. This was just after I'd attempted a shortcut resulting in me falling and sliding down a muddy slope on my bum. Not my proudest moment. 'Is he good looking?' I ventured. 'Very', came the reply.
Some lazy kayakers brought out sails.
The inlet in the background is the tidal crossing at Anchorage. The tide was still in.

There was another tidal crossing before anchorage, and we arrived before the tide had gone out. I wanted to attempt it anyway, so I repacked my pack to be waterproof. As I took out my diary, one of the girls (the other was changing) got very excited. "Oh, you keep a diary? Very good! Just like him! That way people will know what you've done even if you die of berries!"
As I set off, however, I found that the water went to my knees at the deepest place. Not the kind of "adventurous watercrossing" I'd imagined.

One of the girls 'ventured' the crossing with me.


Christie-Jane Wiis said...

Ok Indiana! - PAS PÅ der er hul! Det var ligeee præcis sådan en bro!!
Det ser så skønt ud, mål, opsparing, planer - er alle ord der begynder at give mening i mit liv! Tak min skat - inspirator!

Introducing Fylix said...

Hey! Thanks for the comment, I've been following your blogging even though I havent been blogging myself. It looks like your having an amazing time!

I've decided to wait a year before I go travelling, then I can spend longer away instead of just a month. I might even try to get to Australia, all your pictures and vids have made me want to see it myself!

Have a great time and I'll keep following your progress!

Kirst x

Jophiel said...

sounds good! A month is a short time for any trip. If you can get your schedule to comply, I'd say three months is a good length (at least :) )