Friday, November 16, 2007
Abel Tasman Narional Park
After the Queen Charlotte we headed for the North Western side of the South Island. The moutains were similar, though a bit smaller, and the sea and bush were also similar. But while the QC area was all about big mountains right by the sea, the Abel Tasman is about big golden sand beaches.
The pictures of this place online and in tour books are amazing and we were really excited about this portion of the trip. Our first day however was totally overcast and the whole park left us disappointed. We had taken a cruise towards the northern end of the park (most of the park being accessible only on foot or by water) and then hiked down to a long stretch (nearly a mile long) of beach. Besides a little fun crossing a stream (see Jules below) the day was a bit of a dud. The water didn't sparkle and the beach was a bit cold given the weather.
Jules didn't appreciate my picture taking and catcalls as she crossed this stream - but come on, what's a guy supposed to do?
We almost gave up on the park to explore elsewhere (Julie had wine tasting on her mind, I know you are all surprised). We were a bit lazy though and decided to stick to the trip we had booked earlier - a day of kayaking along the coast. Wow are we glad we did.
The weather was gorgeous - not a cloud in the sky and the water sparkled more beautifully than any pic could capture. Our guide was great as we had an easy paddle past many birds, sea caves, and just generally pretty scenery. Besides the sexy outfits we wore, it was all good.
The kayak trip immediately became one of the highlights of the trip. Its really hard to beat gently paddling by some rare birds, with golden sand beaches on one side and gorgeous mountain scenery in the distance on the other. What a day!