New Zealand Diary 5 July 2002

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:

  1. 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 mustn't match.
  2. Shorts. These you wear over the thermals to give the authentic look.
  3. The rest of your gear is much less important than the above. Big walking boots (leather) are good, as are woolly socks.
  4. Body warmers should be worn in preference to jumpers over your thermal top.
  5. 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.

To tomorrow

Created by Dan Leigh 05/07/02