The next day Dave and Robyn were in work so I decided to hire a car. I got the car from a place near Robyn’s work. It was 60 dollars for a day (about 30 quid) which was quite reasonable. Most cars in New Zealand are automatics but they had actually had a manual. Hurrah! Got a Suburu Galaxy. It was quite easy to drive being a manual and as they drive on the left side of the road here. The only thing is they have the two sticks the opposite way round so every time I went to indicate I turned the wipers on instead.
As it was raining I went into Nelson and had a potter round the shops. I then tried to walk down to the port but that was quite hard to get to by foot. Walked back up and had a hot chocolate.
It was still drizzling slightly but decided to head on anyway. Drove to the Abel Tasman national park. Stopped off at Warehouse in Motueka to get supplies. Warehouse is a supermarket style store although mainly focuses on stuff for the house and garden. They did have some food but nothing fresh (had been hoping to get sandwiches).
Turned off the main road and up a hilly and windy road before descending into Marahau. Here you are able to get a boat round the coast and then walk back. Arrived at 1pm and next boat at 1:30pm.
On the boat out there were 7 Germans and me. It was pretty rough – had to remind myself that I don’t get seasick. Fortunately no else did either despite the big thuds as the boat hit the bottom of the waves. Firstly went around to look at split apple rock – a rock that looks like an apple split in half.
Then headed over to Adele island. The NZ government have been looking to boost bird life and have eradicated rats, possums and stoats on this island. They tried to reintroduce rare Kiwi on this island. They initially did well but were then losing weight so they took them off again except for one Kiwi which lost its tag and may still be there.
We then headed over to a bay called Anchorage but just before we got there saw a pod of bottlenose dolphins. All the Germans crowded to the back of the boat with their SLRs and when I finally got to take a shot I got low battery on my camera 😦 I don’t think the one shot I got off actually had any dolphins in at all. After we left the boat I suddenly remembered the camera on my phone. Grr.
The boat put us ashore on a beautiful sandy bay. They had a little hut where people could stay for a night if they were walking the whole path through the park. I decided to steal a march on the Germans who were busy looking for sunloungers, I mean taking photos. My reasoning was that if I had any bother then the Germans wouldn’t be too far behind.
So I set off. It was a 12km walk back to Marahau which was supposed to take 4 hours. I thought I can do this fine and in less than 4 hours. As we started at the seashore, the first section was a steep climb up. I passed several other groups of (German) hikers as the trail; was quite popular.
At the top of the hill, I decided it was time to crack open my secret weapon. Yes, the other walkers may have had proper footwear and walking poles and those plastic tubes out of their rucksacks for sucking up water but I had something they didn’t. Hobnobs! And 1.5 litres of orange Fanta.
After the big hill, the walk was more or less flat as it followed the line of the hill around the coast. There were bridges over little waterfalls, verdant vegetation and the occasional glimpse of the sea far below. I passed an elderly German couple and a young German couple with a baby. Then a couple of young Kiwi guys. After a while the latter 2 re-overtook as I stopped to take a photo. I thought that this might be a bit of a challenge.
I carried on at a brisk pace and later re-overtook the same 2 guys as they stopped for water (a poor man’s Fanta if ever there was one). I then made sure I stayed ahead, making only the briefest of photo stops and made it first back to Marahau. 2hrs and 45 mins. Not bad for a 4hr walk.
I must admit I was feeling a little stiff by this point and had about a 45 minute drive back to Dave and Robyn’s. Robyn then came with me to take the car back. We had roast chicken for dinner.
I must admit I didn’t sleep the best due to a spot of toothache and then got woken up at 7:30am by little man running past. We had to call the AA again due to another spot of car trouble but got going and went to visit a historic house in Nelson. We then had a pub lunch in Richmond.
Off to the airport shortly for my flight to Auckland.