What does 1+2+2+1+1 equal?? Well, if it’s a one hour car ride at 7:30 am, a 2 hour kayak trip, a 2 hour hike, a 1 hour boat ride, and a one hour ride home, it equals a great day of fun and sun, all resulting in happy exhaustion!!
We started out early and arrived at Abel Tasman National Park to meet our guide Jack for our paddle up the coast.
Yes, they were proper sea kayaks and we had to wear skirts. AND, it was a tandem, aka Divorce Kayak.
We headed up the coast and past Split Apple Rock. Along the way we saw and smelled cormorants! We kayaked backwards into a cave and came out forwards.
Two hours of paddling and chatting, along the rocky coast, and before we knew it, our kayak portion of the day was over.
After a quick lunch, we boarded the Wilson Abel Tasman boat for a ride up to Tonga Quarry with a map for the trail to find our way back by 4:45 for the last boat back. We expected a walk but NOooooo. . .it was a HIKE!! With 5-30* grades we huffed and we puffed and we climbed, climbed up, up.
As nature would have it, what goes up must come down and after hearing, “Chees-us!!!” from behind me(Don) whenever we came to yet another hill, and just having to laugh about it all, we eventually came to a few lookouts that made it all worthwhile.
The hike, or TRAMP as its called in NZ, took us through a lovely forest of black tree palms, silver tree palms, many trees which had unusual bark, tiny lichens, giant moss, and overhead we heard the tikamoka or mokamoka birds. The trail itself was meticulously cared for, and we were once again amazed by how well NZ honors its land.
The return boat ride, after the 5K hike, was welcome since the weather had turned very windy and cold. The Wilson boat had to leave us off at a spot where we were instructed to take off our shoes and socks because we had to walk through water onto the beach.
So by now it was past 6 p.m. We were tired and hungry, so decided to stay and grab a bite at the local beach restaurant. We really felt like we were on vaca, hearing reggae music, sitting on the beach, ordering seafood. Yes, it was a very good day here in the South Island of New Zealand!