Oct. 22, 2012 Arrived in the small town of Motueka. It is one of the hop off point for the Abel Tasman track. We are staying at the Laughing Kiwi hostel
and this time we have a room with an en suite. I am so excited. It has a little tiny sink which looks like someone cut the front half off. You can actually walk around the bed and the bedside stand has shelves on it. 7th heaven for backpackers! Most of the town is closed since they are still celebrating Labour Day.
Oct. 23, 2012 We went on our first hike on the Abel Tasman track.
It was astounding! First we had to catch a small bus outside of the Laughing Kiwi for a 20 minute trip to Kaiteriteri. From there we had to take off our shoes and roll up our pants and wade through the low tide to our 10 person boat which would take us to our drop off point up the coast.
That is it would take us to Barker Bay and Medlands where we would have 5 ½ hours to hike to Anchorage (doesn’t take long to get to Alaska here!). The trick is you have to show up by 3pm or your return boat will leave without you. So we got there at 10:30, waded in to the shore, cleaned our feet, put on our hiking boots, and off to the trail we went. I could not just go at my leisure; I had to keep on course, but I did take pictures. Also, we had to be aware of low tide crossings. Actually, since both of us are landlubbers, we just had to rely on the advice of our trip organizer. We were told that we needed to take the high walk which added an hour onto our hiking time so we could not waste our time.
The coast is pure gold—fine sands of golden color. Tasman Bay is composed of dozens of these little jewels. The ocean persistently laps at the coastline and wears coats of many colors—blues, greens, browns and yellows. The sky is mercurial—sometimes, shining; sometimes, cloudy. The views, ahh, the views, were breathtaking. It’s as if we are in a tropical forest except there’s a nip in the air, but right in front of you are palms and ferns and these skinny cedar looking trees. There’s music in the air—the hollow sounds of the oboe, a piccolo tweeting, the soft snares of a drum. The air, what to say about the air, is fresher than ice water on a cold day. It’s pure unadulterated O2! The track went up through forested lands with breaks in the tree allowing for views of the coastline. What amazing puzzle pieces—blue coves, golden beaches! We even crossed a swinging bridge!
P.S. We made it to our boat on time, which was good since the cold weather and rain came in unannounced. We were able to have coffee before our bus arrived for the trip back to Mot (what those of us who cannot pronounce Motueka call it).