Blog Day 226 Saturday 17th December 2011
This morning we make the most of our lie in before packing our stuff away and checking out of the hostel. We sit around in the hostel for a while until our new bus pulls up. Before getting on the bus we did make a sneaky trip into the bakery for a cheeky egg and bacon pie!
The bus is about an hour late due to a pretty rocky ferry crossing.
Once on the bus we make our way through the Marlborough vineyard area. Here is where the bus stops and we get the chance to do some alcohol tasting. We have wine, liquor and beer tasting all at our fingertips. The liquor tasting cost $5 and comes with a free shot glass, as we are collecting shot glasses we feel that this is the one to go for. 2 layered shots are poured out for us, one is a butterscotch cream and the other can only be described as a melted down after eight mint. Both went down really well. We have a mooch around the shop that is selling all the different liquors and Trish has to literally drag Dan away from the free samples of homemade sauces that are on offer!
Back on the bus we make our way through to the town of Nelson. Apparently this area had been experiencing major flooding over the past couple of days with all the rainfall. We could see evidence of that purely because of how high the rivers in the area were. After a short stop in Nelson we make our way onto Motueka. Here is where we do a supermarket stop to stock up on supplies for the next few days. Our driver (chooks/chicken) has put the option of a BBQ out to everyone on the bus. At $10 a head and the promise of more food than you can handle everyone jumps at the chance.
We have a few more stops before we get to where we are staying tonight. The first is out to Motueka airstrip were a guy chats to us about hand gliding and micro lighting. No matter how many time he tells us that it's the closest thing to being a bird we will ever experience, or how many awards they've won, neither of us are interested in getting into a sleeping bag which is tied to an extra large kite and being towed up to 2500ft. Only to then be let go to see if we make it back down to earth on one piece. NO THANK YOU!
Our next stop is at the aqua taxi office. Marahau (the town we are staying) is right in the Abel Tasman National Park. Here there are lots of activities on offer, kayaking, horse riding and most commonly walking. We decide on taking one of the aqua taxis (basically a chartered boat) to Anchorage Bay and then do the 12km walk back to Marahau. So that's tomorrow sorted now for the BBQ!
Out accommodation for the next couple of nights is at Old McDonalds Farm Backpackers. We are sharing a three-bed dorm with a guy called Diem (pronounced Dim), a Vietnamese guy from San Francisco. Diem is a lovely guy but we have warned him that if he snores he will be violently woken up!
We get our stuff sorted and head on up to the other camp where all hands are chopping and preparing food for the BBQ. Chooks asks Dan if he fancies jumping behind the grill and within 10 minutes Dan is BBQ-ing (not burning) chicken drumsticks to perfection. Now when Chooks asked if we all fancied a BBQ we all kind of thought that we were going to be cooked for tonight. However all Chooks seemed to be doing was wandering around telling everyone what to do, and making a start on a crate of beers that we are all pretty sure came out of the $10 per person kitty! Cheeky w***!
We had chicken drumsticks, burgers, cheesy (rubber) sausages and mussels wrapped in bacon. There was honestly enough food to feed a group 3 times the size of ours.
We sat round the table and listened to our group comparing Ring of Fire stories (a silly drinking game that seems to hold a place with travellers and drunks the world over). All the while we were kind of thinking that this crowd weren't really our cup of tea.
Dan jumped up and had a go a getting the fire going. The wood was far to damp but it was better then listening to blatant made up stories for drunken goings on. With a small flame going Dan was stripping away some semi dry wood to act as kindling when the most annoying German Muppet sporting the gayest Trilby hat started dumping a load of the already discarded damp timbers back onto the fire. This resulted in the fire going out and Dan having to get up and walk away, all the way back to our 3 bed shed. POXY GERMANS!
Blog Day 227 Sunday 18th December 2011
So today is walking day! We don't have to get up that early today, as we aren't on the boat until around 10.30. So we have time to get up and cook some sausage and egg sarnies (one egg even had a double yolk! (A sign of a good day!).
Our free transfer bus turns up and we almost fall over when we find out that the girl driving it is from Gravesend!! Literally bumping into somebody from our little town, on the other side of the world.
Before we know it we are being towed along in the Aqua Taxi by a big tractor (no we are not in the water yet). The tide is way out so we have a short ride over the beach down to the water. The boat is backed into the water and we're off smooth as silk!
Before heading over to Anchorage Bay we take a ride over to Split Apple Rock, probably the most photographed piece of rock in New Zealand. Even though we have never seen a picture of it before………..ever. After a few minutes at Split Apple Rock we do the done thing (take a picture), then we are off to Anchorage Bay.
Our taxi driver doesn't mind opening the taps on the boat and we are at the Bay in no time, with sore bums!
The beach and surrounding view is absolutely stunning, so we spend about 45 minutes larking around with the camera before setting off on our trek back to the hostel. The first 15 minutes of the walk is uphill, very very uphill. The next 15 minutes is spent recovering. Then we are into the rainforest. Apart from the occasional lookout for a stunning view of, sea and mountains way across the bay, all we see for the next 3 and a-half hours is trees, ferns and more trees! Kind of a seen one seen them all situation.
With sore and stinky feet we make our way back to Old McDonalds for a much-needed sit down, and a shower. Dinner tonight consists of a couple of coronas and a pasta mix. We spend the rest of the evening trading movies on the computer with Diem.