We walked for approximately seven hours today. Abel Tasmin, New
Zealand's most popular national park has over 50 km of coastal track
to tramp (walk) along. The views and
the walks are beautiful. You amble up and down from forested hills
to holiday brochure beaches and bays all the way u the coast. Hauling
a dozen kilos of clothes, food, water and sleeping stuff in a backpack
was the only hard part of the trip. It was worth it though to get
to see the Tinline, Appletree, Stilwel and all the other bays up
to the Bark Bay hut where we spent the night. Anchorage bay, where
we stopped for lunch, is worth a mention. We decided to risk the
'low tide' route across the mud flats, despite the fact that we
were only two hours off high tide. I was taken back to the day that
I got stuck in the mud flats of the river Medway back at home as
I waded through knee deep water with the tide bringing ever more
water into the bay. We did cut off an hour from our walking time
though, meaning that we got to our destination with enough time
to relax, chill out and cook dome dinner before it got dark, unlike
another Kiwi couple that got caught out and ended up not getting
to the hut 'till an hour after dark and then only because the park
ranger went out to rescue them!
Kiwi's have a strange fashion that is specific to trampers. What you need to be wearing in order to fit in is as follows:
- Thermals. Tops and bottoms. These must be stripy. I cannot
stress this enough. The more colorful the item the better. Try
to get as many colours as you can, two colour is good, three colour
much better. It goes without saying that the tops and bottoms
- Shorts. These you wear over the thermals to give the authentic look.
- The rest of your gear is much less important than the above. Big walking boots
(leather) are good, as are woolly socks.
- Body warmers should be worn in preference to jumpers over your thermal top.
- One thing that is important is your food. You really should be eating 'de-hi',
those dehydrated food packs that generally look and taste like
cardboard. It is refreshing to note that good results from these
can be as difficult for the Kiwi's to attain as for the rest of
us. While I watched one father squeeze out a full two course meal
of beef stew, mashed potato and vegetable meal followed by dessert
out of a couple of plastic bags, another guy in the hut was eating
what looked very much like stewed pieces of green and red parcel
packaging material floating in watered down vomit.