NZ DAY 138
Yesterday signified the end of our walking in New Zealand, we still have a month left before we fly out to Japan but our walking has finished. I wasn't going to do a list of my most favourite or best things but I really want to acknowledge the things I thought were the best
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Best Food: Wood fired Pizza at Paekariki Beach Road Deli, honourable mention to The Indian Cafe in Nelson
Best Caravan Park: Takaka Camping and Cabins, great bathrooms and Camp kitchen
Best Bar: The Free House at Picton followed closely by The Roosts Bar at Takaka
Best Backpackers: Tombstones at Picton
Best TA Walkers Camp: Toss up between Nikau Eco Camp (www.tutukakacamping.co.nz) & Remember When(facebook.com/judy.neill.75)
Best Experience: Has to be the flight over Milford, honourable mention bungy jumping at Queenstown
Best Track: Hollyford Track I loved it
Best Camp Spot: Top of the Raetea Forrest, even totally exhausted I could see the magic and beauty. David's choice was Bark Bay on the Able Tasman Track
Best Comment: "Mum says if ya want burgers, get in NOW". (see 12.11.17 for explanation)
We chose NZ because we thought it was an easy option to learn the craft of long distance walking ......it has given us so much more. We have been pushed to our limits physically and emotionally. We have been delighted and overwhelmed with peoples generosity. We have been in awe of how beautiful the country is.
NZ you have set the bar high and we will not forget you.
Thank you one and all.
NZ DAY 133
HEAPHY TRAIL : Aorere to Saxon Hut 18KM (total KM's walked 1405)
Today the universe made sure we knew that she was in control. It was wet, windy and old. Unfortunately the climb up to the saddle was in vain we could see nothing. Arrived in camp to find that the camp spot had raised platforms for sites no flat ground, so we had a bit of a challenge rigging up the tent. The Spunky Rooster worked out what to do...it wasn't pretty but it worked.
HIGHLIGHT: Sadly no highlight today
LOWLIGHT: The bloody wind, it was cold, cold, cold
Grateful for solitude, I believe we all need to embrace aloneness as it is good for the soul. Today I am grateful for toilet paper in toilet. We have come close to running out and the alternative is not a nice thought. I am grateful for my gorgeous pillow it makes sleeping a dream.
NZ DAY 132
HEAPHY TRACK : Takaka to Aorere Shleter 15KM (Total KM's walked 1387)
Wow with the quick turnaround from Abel Tasman to the Heaphy track my legs are definitely walk ready but today my heart just isn't in it. The track is very well maintain pathway so it is an easy walk even though we climbed 900m it was slow incline over 15km. We finished the day at a shelter perch on the side of the hill with lovely views down into the valley.
HIGHLIGHT: None today a pretty average day
LOWLIGHT: the rain , it didn't start until we were in camp but hasn't stopped since we made camp.
Grateful for the ability to cook reasonably nice meals even on trail. Second chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience. Today I am really grateful for being a woman, I like the way The Spunky Rooster makes me feel precious.
NZ DAY 131
ABEL TASMAN TRACK : Whariwharangi to Wainui Bay 7KM (Total KM's walked 1372)
Today we finished the Able Tasman trek the walk was simple and nothing really to see . We were both starving so after putting the tent up we headed into town to resupply and eat. Well we hit the jackpot in a little bar call Roots. David got a great pork burger and I got the nicest salad I have had in NZ. So after a few bevies I headed over to buy the resupply. This resupply was only a little one as we had done a full resupply in Nelson.
HIGHLIGHT: Exploring Takaka
LOWLIGHT: Nil today a great day
Grateful, today I am questioning thing so I am grateful for my inquisitive mind. One of the things Im was questioning was what is gratitude really so I looked it up
Gratitude. A feeling of appreciation or thanks.
So simple, yet so mighty. By writing gratitudes everyday I have learnt 1 very important lesson there is always something to be grateful for. No matter what is going on in my life ( problems, sickness, someone has been awful or rude to me, whatever) there is ALWAYS something that I could find to be grateful for.
NZ DAY 130
ABEL TASMAN TRACK: Totaranui to Whariwharangi 11KM (Total KM's walked 1365)
This is what greeted me this morning when I stepped out of the tent .... beautiful isn’t it? So lucky to have this as my back yard today. Today was a leisurely start as we only had 9 km to walk. So before leaving we had a wander along the beach. The. Bays along this walk are really pretty and they are really what makes the walk. The walk is through forrest along coastal hills with views over the water. Each campsite is situated in a small bay . Today’s walk was a great calf workout, 2 hours uphill at a reasonable incline then an hour downhill. We were in camp by 1.30 for lunch, we ate lunch in camp then went down to the beach and watch a variety of birds preening themselves. It was rather romantic as we were the only ones on the beach, keeping out of the wind by sitting behind the rocks.
HIGHLIGHT: Quiet time with David, although we spend a lot of time together we actually don’t spend much quiet time just cuddling and chatting. It was really nice to take a breath and be still together.
LOWLIGHT: My foot is hurting again I just hope that my shin splints don’t flare up again.
Grateful today for the amazing sunrise and showing me again again how amazing this world we live in is. Grateful my mind is starting to slow down, the white noise is starting to dissipate. I am so grateful for the air that I breath and how much is slows down my frantic body.
NZ DAY 129
ABEL TASMAN TRACK: Bark Bay to Totaranui 21KM( Total KM's walked 1354)
Another early morning saw us on the track at 8am , can’t complain though as got some great picture of the sun through the clouds. Today was all about getting to the estuary crossing on low tide, which we nailed. The tide was low enough that we could comfortable walk across without getting very wet. This walk is a great walk so the track is very well maintained basically a footpath all the way. However don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy, it is up and down all the way. It is suggested to take 4-5 days and we have pushed it into 3 because of constrictions with shuttles. If I was to recommend this walk I would say take the 5 days and enjoy some of the lovely little bays along the way. Today David and I were discussing Japan and that we needed to do some planning as it was only 6 weeks away. We have been in NZ nearly 5 months the time has gone so quickly and I have to say I have had a great time. No regrets about not finishing the Te Araroa we have seen a lot more of NZ and had more fun on trail. We have met so many more people from TA walkers to mums getting away from the kids for a night
HIGHLIGHT: Having lunch by the estuary and watching the Weka try and steal our lunch
LOWLIGHT: The Hill’s the bloody hills😛
Grateful, today was a day of pondering what we have done over the last 5 months, so I am grateful having space to reflect. I am grateful for my internal strength, over the last 5 months I have had to come to terms with not being as strong and resilient as I thought I was. So I am also grateful for the changes I have made over the last 5 months in my thoughts . I now am confident that whatever comes our way I will find a way to tackle it with grace and guts.
NZ DAY 128
ABEL TASMAN TRACK: Marahau to Bark Bay 24KM (Total KM's walked 1333)
Another early start to catch a shuttle to start the very famous Able Tasman walk on the West Coast .
I knew we were in for a great day when we got up the skies were blue as, then .....where the shuttle dropped us of was a cafe. So we started the day with proper coffee and a omelette. YES !!! thank you universe. This walk is a great walk, the track meanders through beech Forrest on one side with views of beautiful secluded bays on the other. Lunch was along side the Torrent River, on a little private beach it was so charming. The day was quiet long with us getting into camp around 4pm. The campsite is perfect, situated right on the beach. We put up the tent and went for a swim ( a paddle really as the water was very cold) we then went for a walk along the beach to a little secluded spot and sat and had a glass of wine. Yes wine David has found wine in a plastic bottle, so he is carrying 2 bottles. Today was perfect.
HIGHLIGHT: Dinner tonight was delicious smoked chicken with noodles and satay sauce topped with fried onions and chocolate mousse for dessert generously supplied by our neighbour in the camp site.
LOWLIGHT:My feet our really sore because the path was like cement.
Today I am grateful for great planning and changing plans for optimal enjoyment. When planning our South Island component of our trip we have allowed the weather to dictate our plans and it has worked a treat. I am grateful for neighbours that supplied chocolate mouse for dessert. Grateful that the Spunky Rooster can still be romantic.