Thursday, January 17, 2008

Abel Tasman, part 1

We were sitting on a deserted beach. Waves splashing just a few yards in front of us, we looked out at the eastern horizon as dusk set in and the clouds turned pink. Our tent, pitched only a few feet off the beach behind us, had a million dollar view out the mosquito netting. We had taken a few walks, hand-in-hand, looking for cool shells before sharing our beloved teriyaki veggies and rice dish.

And then one of us farted.

And then the other farted.

It didn’t matter if we were upwind, downwind, in the tent, outside the tent, a meter away or out-of-sight, up the trail and around the bend. The extreme nausea caused from these excretions was almost unbearable.

We feared giardia of course. And Emma, knowing I have 90% blockage of my nasal cavities, often tried to pull a sneaker in the tent without informing me, but as soon as I started to feel woozy from lack of oxygen, I would immediately know what had happened. As for me, I tried holding ‘em in, but within 10 minutes a true Marshall-Islands-worthy detonation would occur within my sleeping bag.

After the Heaphy we stayed in Takaka. The hippy vibe was enormous (like 70% of people had dreads) and there was a great fish and chips place with bomb potato wedges. Our bodies, clothes, and other equipment smelled, so much so that when we came back to our room, the Germans staying in the other two bunks said they had to open the windows because the room had been “quite stinky.” The half dozen Germans staying in the hostel were all farmers in their early 20s and came to New Zealand to work the farms for a month and then travel for two months.

While in Takaka, we happily threw a few bucks towards a pair of flipflops and knockoff clogs; we hiked in those while on the Able Tasman to let our feet heal a bit.

The Abel Tasman proved amazing. The trail wound alongside the ocean and through the white beech trees you’d get great views of the golden beaches and green waters. After a few days of hiking in this paradise, we took a water taxi to the southern end to hire kayaks and explore it by water. In this case, a water taxi is a boat that goes to beaches along the coast, picks up tourists, and delivers them to other beaches. If their destination is the main starting point, Marahau, the boat drives onto a boat trailer waiting on the water ramp, and from there a tractor pulls the boat trailer (with all the passengers still on the boat!) a kilometer or so into town, at which point the people finally get off. It was pretty hilarious riding a boat down the street being pulled by a guy in a tractor.

Our first landing spot with the kayaks was a perfect crescent beach called Te Pukatea Bay. It was great. In the morning, enamored with the setting, I tried getting a good panorama done, but just then about 20 people showed up on a water taxi. Quite deflating. But they ended up going on a day hike, and the cooler sailboat people stayed and swam around with us. I took a better panorama an hour later or so.

We have to go catch a plane to Bali, but there’s more to tell about our kayaking adventure, so we’ll try and post that later!

1 comment:

chelsea said...

maybe you guys need to do a hygiene re-evaluation...you're sounding a little gross! glad the last hike was so awesome, we can't wait to see pics of the beach camping and kayaking!