Location: Abel Tasman, Blenheim Wineries and the drive back to Christchurch
Highlight: Kayaking around Abel Tasman
We arrived in Abel Tasman at the same time as hundreds of whales did, though our fortunes were drastically different, since we thrive on the beach:
But sadly the same can’t be said for the wales:
It was tragic to hear about, although many were rescued with lots of volunteers helping (we were told there were too many by the radio so we didn’t lend a hand). But we didn’t let it put us off our time there, we had some exploring to do!
We strapped ourselves into our kayak and set off on an aggressive route for the time frame we were given. We powered on to an island inhabited by more blubbery mammals lying around not doing much:
Wrong pic, I mean this one:
After all of that dawdling, we only had 30 minutes until the strict deadline, and miscalculated the distance… So we found ourselves in a rush.
We saw other yellow kayaks on the horizon gently paddling to the meet point as we were blasting our way through the current in the heat of the sun. We fought onwards around a jetty thinking it was our last one, but alas, we were still a way off where we needed to be by this point.
Our oars seemed heavier, the waves seemed higher, the destination seemed no closer than it was before.
Then we passed a familiar kayak. Two German girls from our tour group who were looking thoroughly bored of kayaking, their partners were nowhere to be seen. We left them in our wake. We had to make that bus.
We passed one, then another, then another kayak, we just had to keep this rate up and we would miraculously make it back in time.
We paddled harder, and came across the partners of the German girls! Scumbags, leaving their other halves adrift like that. We thought it was time to teach them a lesson, so we took them on the inside and they capsized on the sand banks. That showed them.
We made it back before both of the German boats and exactly on time, much to the surprise of the staff who were watching.
Time to chill out after all of that. You know the rule; when the sun’s out, show off your muscles:
That evening we stayed out at a nearby (free) campsite which was 30 minutes drive up to a lovely scenic view, especially so when the sun rises dramatically:
Red sky in the morning, vineyard’s warning. Simon and I were on our way, and we heard there were free samples to be had.
Armed with a notebook, pen and my finest discerning look, we chatted to the lovely people at 3 vineyards and they told us the stories of the winery’s history and gave us samples of the off menu bottles too!
We walked, but remarkably there were people cycling from one tasting to the next, alongside a 100km/h road with HGVs and vans rushing by… A little foolhardy.
The next morning was our final one in our little van, but New Zealand put on a show for us with the sunrise and mist creating quite an atmosphere.
Getting back to nature has been fun. But there was certainly an allure about getting back to a bed once the getting back to nature was finished… Next stop – Auckland
Late 20’s Crisis