Abel Tasman Coast Track – Great Walk

Deutsche Version:

Er ist zurueck! Das Festival ist zuende und es war geil! Naeheres dazu folgt in den naechsten zwei Wochen, aber als kleinen Vorgeschmack gibts schon mal nen Beitrag zum Abel Tasman Great Walk. Ich befinde mich derzeit noch fuer 2 Naechte in Nelson im Norden der Suedinsel und reise dann endlich ueber Wanaka nach Dunedin um dort zu versuchen ne Arbeit zu finden. Ist diesmal ein sehr langer Beitrag geworden, der intern aus drei Abschnitten besteht, aber ich denke es liest sich sehr schnell durch. Viel spass und bis demnaechst!

English Version:

Long story short. Mike and myself decided to take an offer by Daniela whom we traveled together before, to walk the Abel Tasman Coastal Great Walk prior to the Luminate Festival with her!
Hence we quit our Job (we had 4 free days in the payweek anyway), and hitch hiked separately 800 k’s up to Motueka. Me going via Wanaka and the West coast, and Mike getting his car to Christchurch and taking the route via the East coast.  For me the journey was in the beginning quite hard, only small steps forward and several long waiting’s for a car to pick me up. My aim that day was Greymouth but I didn’t even reach the West coast so that I had to stay in Makaroa on a campsite which was pretty cool. From there you could also do some hikes in the Mount Aspire National Park.
On the next day I stood up early to make some progress this day. I feared to get there to late, so that I won’t participate in the walk and had to wait till the two of them got back, but in the end, I got a ride to Haast, the first ‚town‘ at the West coast. After spending another 90 minutes putting out my thump, luck stroke back! Liane came by to pick me up and the best was, that she drove right up to Nelson! We made some stops in between and I treated her for a tea at Franz-Josef and afterwards we enjoyed the beautiful landscapes of the West coast on this rare sunny day! After about a 10 hours ride she made a little detour to drop me off at a highway so that I would have better chances to get to Motueka and eventually to the Kanuka-Ridge Hostel where my companions in crime awaited me. She dropped me off right before it got totally dark, and I had luck to get another ride right after 5 minutes to Motueka. From there on, it was just another 20 k’s (nothing compared to the 760 k’s I traveled the last two days, and most of it that day). I could walk it and still make it somewhere in the midst of the night, but fortune came back again, and a Kiwi picked me up to drop me of 6 k’s before the Hostel. From there I had to walk a bit uphill, for about 30 minutes. When I heard a car coming I pointed my head torch on my thump and got a batman-like zoom of it :D. It worked out, the Kiwi from Marahau transported me to the Hostel, where I arrived at about 11 pm and met the two of them finally again!

The next day we stood up early to get the shuttle Bus to Marahau, where we booked a Water taxi which would get us to the end of the track, so that we could walk back to Marahau again. 2 Hours later we were dropped off in Totaranui and began the great walk with the northern loop. Past beautiful remote beaches and bays, along the way for about three hours to the Wariwaranghi Hut, our first destination.
Cause of the rush up there, I haven’t had any time to buy some food or get rid of some weight of my backpack. I had literally everything on me, what I possessed and barely enough water for a weather like this. Burning sun and exposed heat. However, the second day began with a walk uphill to Gibbs Hill, which was really hard cause of the weather. Sweat ran my body down like rivers and my water got empty. On our way to Totaranui I decided to quit, cause I wasn’t prepared at all and it would be better for everyone if I drop out. It was painful to me, but in the end it was the right decision. I ordered the Water Taxi to pick me up in Awaroa for the next morning, where we would walk too for the rest of the day. As we got there we had to cross the huge river system in accordance with the low tide, and on the other side of the shore the campsite awaited us. Originally our final destination for the day was a few k’s ahead of us, but we didn’t bother to go there, cause Daniela would sleep in the Hut, and I would be picked up just 30 minutes from there the next day. Basically we spend the night there „illegal“, and as we avoided to get caught by the patrolling ranger, we heard that we have to pay a 120$ fee if we do get caught! So stupid… But in the end we were lucky sleeping and got up early for the sake of a good breakfast at the Awaroa Lodge, just 30 mins away of our Hut. Getting there was really stunning, it’s just a great locations and the buffet was awesome! After weeks of camping and living of Toast, I ate as much as I could^^. An hour later I had to head to the beach where the water taxi awaited me.

Meanwhile Daniela and Mike would walk the rest of the Track, while I wouldn’t just relax back at the Hostel. I would go shopping for us for the upcoming Luminate-Festival. And more, when both of them would come back a feast awaited them! I prepared „Szegediner Gulasch“ with red cabbage. An European dish which is pretty common. It was the best red cabbage I ever prepared and could nearly be compared with the one my grandma does :D. I am kinda proud of myself^^.

Btw. after several weeks of camping I booked a single room for the night I got back to the Hostel. It was amazing, The first time I could really enjoy myself and get relaxed. I lay the whole afternoon in a hammock, swung around, read a book and did – right – nothing! Awesome! Don’t forget to check out the photographs at the link of the German Version!

The next entries will cover the Luminate Festival, but it could take another week till it’s realized, cause I want to get to Dunedin first, via Wanaka where I meet Noemi again (I am currently staying in Nelson for 3 nights). you around!

Vagabond =)


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