After landing on the north tip of the south, we launched ourselves feverously into the queen charlottes (to the right) and Abel Tasman (to the left) at the staunch advice from our ever loved Mer. Wow.
winedy and narrow, yet sealed passageways took us to beautiful little bays and forests cut by the reputed queen charlotte track and latter trodden by our own soles. The route it led or rather we chose to run among was up then down then some up with some down. My lungs rose to the challenge and my eyes easily rewarded by the cacophony of colours smashing into each other competing for brightness. Deep blue to azure running straight up to islands with thick coats of green furry shelter. The occasional multi million dollar mansion hidden among it. As Chad the celebrity bounty hunter recollects, Shania twain pays property taxes this way for her own sprawling mansion.
A beautiful dive into refreshing ocean water later (much to the delight of my aching posterior cruciate ligament – posterior drawer test most likely positive, Left sided) and we were ready for stew beer and a hike. Not before Chad’s typical austere moment, staring wayward out to sea, a subtle frown sweeping across his otherwise smooth brow wondering why he’s so afraid of cold water.
The geothermaly cooked pork roast made its final appearance that night (a run who’s length would horrify my mother) in a medley of sweet juices, green beans and root veggies, what a bang for our buck. Well rested the next day we hit a hiking track to a lookout point, clad in our new hiking gear and very well trusted rain gear.
Another up then down took us to a beautiful clearing boasting panoramic 360 degree view of the area and although the view was no doubt there the only one to bless mine was smiling Chad and his beautiful sultry hazel eyes as we were within the clouds that rained upon us earlier. Some graffiti and a quick ass grab or two later we were back in lucky, who was much more adept at finding traction for her bald tires on pebbled terrain then wet grass (thanks for the push crazy dutch people especially you with the front gum piercing – seriously)
Next thing ya know we’re in Nelson talking to Ayla who then after talking with Felicity had us booked and bound for Abel Tasman – but were we able? cause we were definitely willing.
We were cutting it close but if we could burn out of town and get a going, we could make anchorage bay that night and most importantly make dinner. Tear outta town we did. Supplied and stoked in general we packed as light as we dared and dressed in our best – running gear. 12k trail run with packs and move over trail runner nation. Up and over and along a well maintained track, palmies and pine shielding us along, bridges joining track and best of all smiles from ear to ear as our lungs fought to exchange oxygen for CO2 so our legs could keep us going. Dinner or bust.
It was a hit the sandy anchorage bay beach, a wave out to sea and a we-did-it knuckles + kiss and Felicty was welcoming us aboard the dingy then the aquabackers stay…and before we could say lets jump into the ocean there we were…on a boat (T-Pain style). It was so rad, celebrating the day and the trail and our blessed bodies for taking us to where we now sat, in the splendour of the dark skies broadcasting their stary expanse at the greatest brightness they could, a glass of red in our hands.
Up and at em the next day, some veggie-might for chad and some muesli for me we saddled up and strode 17km again through blissfully outrageous sea side trails shaded by the lush jungle. A spring in our step and the moment of the journey richly seeping through us we came to rest at Onetahuti bay, readily exchanging with the sea, our salt for hers. Some food and a nap later we watched the aquataxi struggle to come within reach of the shore.
With no other option we walked waist deep to meet its stern and find a spot (fuck! is this normal? No). A packed boat later we fought against huge waves that lifted us straight clear of ourselves and slammed us back to the tense sea surface. Had this been part of an adrenaline tour I’m sure the passengers would have a) paid more money and b) been more merry but, this current joy ride was nothing like the friendly scene of calm water taxi passengers smiling at playful dolphins along route as lamented their brochure.
Sure Chad and I along with the young couple beside us should have given our more sheltered seats to the grandmother in the back who took in most of the water but no one was really sure what was going on. There was a clear demarcation between the front of the boat who shouted yoops and yeehaws to the more drenched passengers who’se glares could be felt like knives in our backs without even looking at their sulllen faces, dripping with sea water. It wasn’t till we tried to reverse into the huge crashing waves to get a better position on the tractor that was picking us up (literally) did we really get soaked.
I rememeber looking back in time to see a huge wave twice the height of the boat breaking over top of the most stern seated passengers. I instinctively jumped to my feet to try and move closer into the bow but was held back by the bar of the forward passenger bench. I remember hearing Chad’s demonic tenor laugh start and looked over and saw his eyes shut and his shoulders starting to shake from laughter as the wave overtook us and dreadfully soaked all the passengers. The best part was the (dry) skipper looking ashen and saying “this is terrible” as he looked among the wounded, handing a small hand towel to an elderly lady in consolation that was really in no way a consolation. In the end able we were and forever willing we are.