There and back again - Abel Tasman (day 2)
|[The detailed schedule]|
We walked about an hour before our first break to make sure we did not get to the inlet too early before low tide. The sun was already pretty strong and the water was very inviting. It wasn't super warm, but it wasn't too cold either. For lunch we brought pitas and salami, but the pitas we got had already gotten moldy, apparently they were the kind with butter inside them and meant to be baked. When we bought them we were not thinking clearly and did not pay attention to the details, but we just cut off the bad parts and ate a little bit. Luckily we had more than enough snack food, so we didn't starve at all on this hike.
About 1 hour before we were expecting to get to the inlet we walked up on a little cafe that made pizzas and sold beer with a nice picnic area. Marius bought a pizza and we all had a pop because we still had 4 hours til low tide. We were walking too fast, or got out the door way too early for the tidal crossing.
The tidal crossings have windows of opportunity to cross that are up to two hours before and after low tide. At 4PM we got to the inlet and it looked low enough to try to cross, even though low tide wasn't for another 90 minutes. When we got to the middle of the inlet, the water came up to my mid-thigh (I assume up to Divya's butt because she was worried about her pack getting wet). People on the other side were watching us. Marius thought they were laughing at us for crossing where we did, but turned out they were trying to plan how they would cross based on where we went. It took about a half an hour to cross the inlet, and for me that was one of the highlights of the whole hike!
We were pretty worn out on day two, and I think it is mainly because we took so many breaks. Every time we had to start up again it was harder and harder to find the motivation to get the pack on and walk a couple of more hours. The first day we were so pressured to make the first tidal crossing that we kept a good pace that probably helped our posture with the packs. Divya started cramping up and was getting pretty worn out, so Marius had offered to take her pack for a little while. He was tough! He carried one pack on his back and the other on his stomach, approximately 25 kilos in total, for probably 10 kilometers!
A few hours later we strolled into our campsite at Anapai Bay. It was pretty primitive compared to the areas that also had huts, but I loved it. The water tap had a sign that read "Water should be treated or boiled for at least 3 minutes". We did not have enough fuel to boil enough water for all three of us, but having had taken a chance with the water the day before at Torrent Bay, I decided to risk it. It was fine and I didn't get a stomach bug or anything, but I learned that we definitely need to have a water filter in our stash of hiking gear.
Divya had borrowed a three-man tent from a friend, which turned out to not really be that great of a tent. It was more of a shell and there were plenty of openings for the sandflies to get in and eat us alive in our sleep. In addition to the feast the sandflies were having on our legs, the wekas (native, flightless birds) were battling it out with each other right outside the tent and screeching loudly in the middle of the night right by our heads. The stargazing, however, was just amazing. The total darkness and clear sky made it easy to see way more stars than I think I have ever seen in my life.
|[Breakfast at Bark Bay Hut]|
|[Weka - an endemic bird of New Zealand; very curious and common in Abel Tasman]|
|[No filters here - just great colors of Abel Tasman]|
|[We took a break on this beach for lunch and a swim]|
|[The nicer part of the inlet before it got deep]|
|[Set up the hammock at Anapai campsite - perfect for stargazing]|
|[Our camp setup at Anapai]|
|[Anapai campsite panorama]|