Tramping: It’s not my favorite, but it is my least favorite

(Disclaimer: Tramping is the New Zealand word for hiking. Don’t worry Mom, this post is safe for you to read.)

So! The first official part of our Spring Break trip was a 3 and a half day hike around Abel Tasman national park. We decided on the Coast Track because it was right along the water and we could finish it in less than 4 days which is exactly what we were looking for. The coast track is over 50 k total, and since I had never been on a real hike before, I was a little bit nervous. The hiking actually turned out to be my favorite part of the trip. For the most part it was pretty easy and the scenery was gorgeous. Seriously just as pretty as the postcards.
Here’s a picture of the trail that we hiked. We started off in Marahau and ended up in Totaranui, staying overnight in Anchorage, Bark Bay, and Awaroa. All of our campsites ended up being right on the beach, which was incredible for obvious reasons.
On our first day, we hiked from Marahau to Anchorage, which was 12.4 k total. It took us a little over 5 hours because we kept stopping to take pictures along the way. We also stopped at some little beach we found to eat lunch and put our feet in the water.
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I had to get my backpack in the shot because I figured no one would believe I actually went on a multiple day hiking/camping trip without some kind of concrete proof.

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By the time we got to our campsite, it was around 5 pm so we ate dinner and sat on the beach for a while before going to bed really early because we are grandmas and were exhausted from the hike. Before we went to sleep, we stargazed for a while. The amount of stars you can see is unreal. It was incredible.ImageImageImageImageImage
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The next day we hiked from Anchorage from Bark Bay, which was a total of 8 k (which felt like nothing compared to the 14 k we did the day before). Chatting with Eve and Shennel made the time fly by and I don’t think we shut up once, which was probably really fun for all of the other hikers near us.

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A swinging bridge we crossed on our hike

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The hiking trail felt like a rainforest, but without the rain. There was an insane amount of foliage (that’s such a weird word) and it was all SO green. The only animals we saw were birds, I guess New Zealand only has like 3 native mammals? They have wild ferrets and possums, so I was not too upset that we missed them.

Since our hike was so much shorter, we had lots of extra time to do really important and exciting things, like nap on the beach. This was my favorite beach because the campsite was sandwiched between two bodies of water. It was literally like a little peninsula of sand. I also found a pirate ship, so clearly it was an exciting day. This campsite was really cool because we were able to see the tide go out and come back in. I didn’t realize just how far it went out, but when I woke up from my nap the whole beach was gone. It was so crazy; it seriously went from having water 3 feet away from me to being all sand as far as you could see. I didn’t take any before/after pictures of this, so you’ll just have to use your imagination on this one.

We made friends with a German boy and a Dutch boy who shared their fire with us. Meeting people from all over the world is one of my favorite parts of traveling. It’s so cool to learn about other cultures from someone who experiences it first hand.

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The next morning we had to wake up early so that we could cross the bay while the tide was low. We were told that this hike was only 11 k, which was less than what we did the first day so we weren’t worried. But when we got to the start of the trail, we found out that it was actually 15 k. So that was a fun surprise. We also discovered another tide crossing that no one told us about and so we had to walk in a huge loop in order to get around it, so that added another hour and a half to our trip. Somehow we managed to power through and made it to our campsite around 5pm.

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This is a glimpse of what the actual hiking trails looked like.
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The rubble on the right side of this picture is the bridge we were supposed to cross….instead we had to cross a “temporary” bridge. Really reassuring.
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Marking my territory
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Some lucky people have private vacation homes along the coast. This was hanging in one of the front yards.
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Not pictured: The sandflies that bit the shit out of me and made my ankles swell up like golf balls.

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Our fourth day was by far the hardest. We only had to walk 5.5 k and hike through one tide crossing, so we figured that compared to the other days, it would be a piece of cake. What we didn’t know was that almost all 5k would be directly uphill, and that it would be pouring rain the entire time. We knew we were off to a rough start when we woke up to rain, and knew that we would have to cross through high water because of this. The water came up above our knees, our feet hurt from stepping on all the shells, and we were already soaked from the rain. Once we finally made it across, we figured the hardest part was over. This was clearly before we knew we would basically walking vertically for the next 2 hours. When we finally arrived in Totaranui, we were soaking, freezing cold, hungry and cranky. From there we boarded a 4 hour bus back to Nelson. Our bus driver was determined to give us pnemonia and refused to turn the air condition off the whole way back. Needless to say, a (hour long) hot shower has never felt so good.

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How we felt about beating Abel Tasman
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How we felt about our last day hiking

Hiking Abel Tasman was one of my favorite parts of the trip, and definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. But just in case their was any question, I’m not turning into an avid hiker/camper anytime soon. I think I handled the outdoors pretty well though…I didn’t complain half as much as I wanted to, so I’m going to go ahead and call that a success.

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