Girly road trip to Abel Tasman
13.02.2013 - 17.03.2013 25 °C
We get up early to start our road trip. First stop, breakfast. Second stop, Kmart, where we have to buy each other compulsory Girls on Tour costumes. Catherine got Hollie a big red sparkly bow, Hollie got Catherine a turtle rubber ring and a pink sparkly top hat, Laura got me some geeky glasses and a ginger rat’s tail (there’s A LOT of rats tails going on in New Zealand!) and I got Laura a kids snorkelling set that look like a frog! All ready with the essentials, we crammed into Catherine’s car, aptly names Poo Brown and head off.
We stop off at Kaikoura for a quick lunch (okay, cider!) and see some sea lions. Laura got attacked by a swarm of flies whilst exploring some rocks (hehe). We see miles and miles of gorgeous New Zealand scenery and play car games for hours and hours. We finally reach Nelson just as it was getting dark, and have a bit of a panic as we hadn’t sorted out any accommodation. Laura was hungry as well, and a hungry Laura = a scary Laura! We find a holiday park and in the dark set up our tent. None of had a clue what to do apart from our local Kiwi guide Catherine. I stood there and handed out pegs. That’s how useful I was in the process!! After setting up, Catherine and Laura went to go get food and me and Hollie set up home for the night. We had to get up extra early in the morning so it was a (sort of) early night with fits and giggles. My first proper night of camping was in full flow and I loved every single minute of it.
Bright and early the next day, we packed up and headed to the Sea Kayak Company base where we were to get trained in kayaking! By this point I was getting a bit nervous. I’ve only kayaked a couple of time for an hour at a time. But this was sea kayaking; we didn’t have a guide so we had to navigate ourselves! First lesson of the day, how to get out of your kayak if it capsizes! GREAT! It was all straightforward enough, so then we pack our kayaked full of tent gear, clothes, food and ALCHOHOL! Ready to go, we get taken to the sea and after a few tests on manoeuvring our kayaks we are set free into the wild!
It was unbelievable. The sea was calm. The sky was clear. It took us about 3 hours to get to our campsite and that included a lunch stop on a deserted beach. The campsite was awesome, a sheltered kitchen area, proper toilets, a BBQ! All around the corner from the beach. LUSH! We set up camp, a lot more successfully than the night before, because we were all camping professionals by then. The only slight problem was that the bees and wasps seemed to take a liking to me and Hollie. We worked out after a while they must have been attracted to my bathing suit (bright flowers? Probably!) And it was then I instantly regretted having it! I got over it quite quickly! The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring. We walked to the Cleopatra Pools where the rocks have formed into a slide, but the water was absolutely freezing so I only managed to quickly dip in and out of the water. We got back to camp a couple of hours later, chaffed, sweaty and hungry (get Laura some food NOW!) so we had a couple of drinks whilst starting our dinner. Packet of carbonara pasta anyone? It took a lot longer than expected, and came out a lot more watery than we were expecting… one of the most funniest things ever trying to eat that food! Overall it was a fantastic evening, booze flowing and lots of laughter.
The next morning we woke a little sore headed and started to pack up our stuff. The bees and wasps returned to haunt me, so I spent part of the morning running away from them! We packed up our kayaks (we are professionals at this now!) and start our trip up the remaining of the reserve. We were expecting quite an easy time, as we believed we would have some tailwind helping us along. This could not be further from the truth! The wind was not on our side, and the sea was slightly rough. I was in charge of navigating (bad idea!) and we ended up doing 2 solid hours of kayaking right to the place where we were being picked up! We were very early of course but we didn’t mind as we chilled on a beach, made noodles for lunch (a lot more successful than the carbonara) and had a bit of a sunbathe.
We have a water taxi ride back to the base. The skipper was taking the mick out of us because of the amount of stuff we had! We didn’t think it was that much! A lot of the laughs were about the empty wine/vodka/gin bottles! Girls gotta have fun eh? There was 8 people on the water taxi, plenty of space to enjoy the ride back… until they started putting the kayaks on! It took 4 very strong guys about 20mins to put 8 kayaks onto the back of the water taxi (we got some great close ups of one of the guys bums… hehe). The ride itself took about 20mins and covered all the distance we made over the past few days, and I must say was very impressed with how far we kayaked. Abel Tasman is so beautiful… it reminds me of a Thai beach.
After being dropped off, we headed back to Nelson and found ourselves some beds so we could sleep off the floor for a change! After we cleaned ourselves up we headed out for a celebratory meal… celebrating the fact we survived! We had such a fun night… a proper girly night
The next day we made our way to Picton, where the girls would drop me off and head back home. We drove the Queen Charlotte drive, which was a windy road that had gorgeous views of Marlborough Sounds. We found my hostel, checked me in and then had fish and chips in Poo Brown overlooking a harbour. And then it was the time where the girls had to go and I carry on with the rest of my travels. I got a little emotional when saying goodbye, I had such an amazing time with such amazing people. I enjoyed every second of the Girls on Tour road trip, and have made memories that I will never forget!