Day 11: ‘Are you booked in?’

Today alarm clock rang at 6am. We had a 23km walk in Abel Tasman Park before us and had to take water taxi to our destination. This walk was one of the most exciting points on our NZ map. The track went along the coast and could take from 3 to 5 days to complete. We only could do one day and had to pick a part of it. We chose the longest route of 1 day option from Marahau to Bark Bay. Actually we started at the end of the route, because there were no taxis in the afternoon. We hopped on early morning boat and walked back from Bark Bay to Marahau.

The weather couldn’t be better and the views were absolutely stunning. It was a fairly easy but very exciting walk. The track led us through thick forest to serene beaches. Some of them seemed pictures taken from a holiday brochure. Unspoiled by humans, with crystal clear waters and golden beaches. In general I’m not a great fan of beaches, but I must admit that I fell in love with one. If I ever were Robinson Crusoe, I’d want to be stranded on Apple Tree Beach. There was beach on the front, water sanctuary behind dunes and tall shady pine trees in between. We have seen some amazing beaches in Australia, but this one beats them all. We got there by the end of the day and felt so secure and peaceful, we fell asleep listening to waves crushing against the rocks. Never mind we had another 8km to do.

We took so many photos along the way that our camera’s battery went flat. It was a catastrophe. A day without a camera was a day lost. Instantly our priority of the evening became finding a power point. In the morning we parked our car in front of information centre, but by the time we got back it was closed. However there was a campground nearby managed by the information centre. As their customers we were allowed to use toilets and hot showers in the campground – $1 for 6 minutes of hot shower was definitely worth it. So we went to the campground, used their toilets and showers and then thought “why don’t we charge battery in the kitchen next door?”. It seemed to be a great idea, all the more that nobody really controlled who was coming in and out of the campground. So we brought battery and computer for charging. In the meantime I cooked dinner and brought it to the kitchen. As we were finishing our salad Ale said “Why don’t we wash our dishes too?”. We had a mountain of dirty plates and washing them in a proper sink would be a great relief. He went back to the car and brought a case full of pots and plates. When he got back he just managed to sit down to finish his salad when we heard a squeaky voice behind us. “Are you booked in?” The voice belonged to a middle aged lady in long green jumper and fluffy pantofels. Judging from her tone of voice she was a tough mudder. I almost choked on cucumber when I heard her. Fortunately Ale kept his cold blood and told her a few lies. She wasn’t buying any of them. Ale’s big sweet eyes didn’t work on her. Yet by the time she threw us out the battery was charged. We gave ourselves high fives and left. Well, we were left with two cases of dirty dishes under bed in the van, but we would worry about it later.

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