There and back again - Abel Tasman (day 3) + Greymouth

Day three we woke up not feeling 100%. We had been eaten alive by sandflies, were not too comfy in our tent set up (Marius' legs were sticking out of the end), and we just weren't feelin' it. But it was the last day, the last 10 kms, the last hours in Abel Tasman. We packed up, the sun was shining and it was yet another gorgeous day.

[Packing up on day 3]
This section of the track wove in and out from woods to beach. While walking along one of the beaches early in the day, a group of hikers called us over. We took our packs off and went to see what was up. They had found a colony of fur seals playing in the cove about 100 yards from where we sat. We watched them for about 15 minutes. The pups were playing in the water and one of the adults swam by us to check us out and make sure we weren't dangerous. Such a beautiful way to start the day.



[Difficult to see, but there are fur seals by the rocks]
[Momma coming to check us out]
The last six kms of the track weren't that exciting, just about as nice as the first six. Mainly walking in the woods, pretty normal vegetation and nothing super tropical or typical New Zealand. We came to the top of the "saddle" and could see the Tasman Sea on one side and the Wainui Inlet, our finishing point, on the other. The last bit was all down hill, and we walked across the "finish line" at 12:30PM...exactly 48 hours from when we were dropped off at the other end of the track.

We had done it. And I wanted to do it again.
[Walking down to Wainui Bay]

[The finish! Wish they had a sign with the distance and name of the track like they did at Milford]
We were picked up from our shuttle company by 1PM and taken to Nelson Airport to get our rental car and Divya caught her plane back up to Auckland.

The next day (Thursday March 2), we went on a full-day kayaking trip in Abel Tasman. It was a wedding gift from Marius' sister, Katrine, and we were happy to have one more day in Abel Tasman.

We had a great, knowledgeable guide from Canada who exceeded our expectations. On the first break he made us coffee house-style coffees (mocha, cappuccino, etc) on a camp stove, and at the lunch break our included lunches were delicious sandwiches with plenty of snacks!

[Our Canadian guide, Marty, making cappuccinos]
We paddled past fur seals. I tried to get some video footage, but they aren't very easy to see on the GoPro since we maintained a distance from them to not be intrusive. While on our coffee stop, a little New Zealand south island robin (kakariwai) was curious enough for me to get an ok picture of it. There were some caves that we went into, but they were just little ones, not big enough to turn the kayak around inside them so we had to reverse out.



And to top it all off, we rafted up the four kayaks and sailed to the beach. It was really cool in the beginning, but it took well over half an hour before we got to the beach and there wasn't much of a view when the sail was right in front of me. Still a fun experience though. Thank you, Katrine!! (Video on its way)

That night, Marius and I drove to Greymouth. We got in around 10PM and set up my tent for the first time. Another person staying at the holiday park offered some light from his phone, and we gladly accepted the offer. He said he had lived in New Zealand for 20 years and was a tour guide for Chinese tourists...in all that time he said he had never seen someone put up a tent before and was curious to see how it went. The next morning we woke up to a few Chinese women taking pictures of our tent and us packing it down again...awkward.

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