Friday, February 28, 2014

Abel Tasman, 4

Day four of our 2014 Abel Tasman tramp...
Vicki begins the crossing of Awaroa Bay, a bit of a thrill on
an otherwise gentle trek; note clouds; humidity; 7 in the AM

Others crossing; you're never in a crowd on the AT, but never
quite alone, either

More clouds

Looking toward the sea...more clouds

Of course, the big challenge at Awaroa is crossing the bay
without crunching any shells

But finally, after half an hour, you make it to
the other side

It's a jungle out there

Beach and white-out

In the bush, every big old tree has numerous

A mile or so out of Totaranui, we encountered a group of
11-year-olds from Nelson Intermediate School, on the AT
for a week-long field trip; nice kids and teachers

Another detour! Uphill, too!

At least it's always a great trail

At Totaranui, I call it quits: too much humidity, bugs, detours,
weight, noisy campground neighbors, etc; we call the water taxi
and head back to Marahau; most people stop at Totaranui
anyway, and we'd already done the big leg to Wharwharangi
in 2009

And our rustic little cabin at the Marahau Beach Camp

Abel Tasman, 3

Day three of our Abel Tasman tramp, Bark Bay to Awaroa campground, with a brief stop at Awaroa Lodge.
Stupid kayaker tricks at Bark Bay

Tidal flats

Ditto, Bark Bay campground in the trees

Aggressive tree fern

Difference #4 from starts getting really, really

Playing Blue Lagoon on an isolated beach

Dead blue penguin...

Boardwalk across wetlands

Difference #5..we'd planned on a nice major meal at Awaroa
Lodge, but they don't serve from 3-6PM, and we had to settle
for a tuna wrap and a salad...bummer

The ups and downs of the Abel Tasman

And so we arrived at Awaroa Bay and campground with this
grim reminder of what happens if you don't get the tides right

Abel Tasman, 2

Day two of our 2014 Abel Tasman tramp, Anchorage to Bark Bay. The pix don't convey it, but day two was the beginning of some hardships...more sand flies, a short tidal crossing blown off but a long uphill hike substituted, and a loud, unpleasant night at the boatie-filled campground at Bark Bay. Should we do this again, we'll stay at the hut at Bark Bay.

Abel Tasman, 1

The Abel Tasman tramp is one of New Zealand's half dozen "Great Walks," short treks that bring hundreds of thousands of people here every year. The AT is perhaps the easiest of them, at least in terms of length and elevation gain/loss. All told, it is 4 nights and 5 days one way, typically with a water-taxi return. The manicured track alternates between temperate bush, beautiful clear streams, waterfalls and pools, and then miles of golden beach, islands, and turquoise sea. All this we did in 2009, and still remember it as one of our Great Walks, right up there with Everest and Mont Blanc. So, naturally, in 2014, we wanted to do it again.
Oh; did I mention that the AT is the one with a couple/three
tidal crossings, and that one has to plan one's trip, reservations,
and so on, in accordance with the tides?

Me, at the outset, in Marahau; I am laden with 30 lbs, Vicki
with 20; we decided this time to do the campgrounds and
not the DOC huts, and so carried a bit more than we did in
2009; first big difference from 2009

The scenery, now bush, now beach, always beautiful

Waterfall and pool

The hut at Anchorage Bay; the nice campground was a
hundred meters to the left

View from our campsite; that's a floating backapacka hostel
in the center; you hike during the day, sleep on it during the
night; there's no conveyance nor abode New Zealanders
haven't contrived

Vicki reading her Kindle (what? you don't trek with your Kindle?);
second big difference from 2009: the sand flies were waiting for us

Strange New Zealand blueberries: don't eat, don't touch,
don't even ask...