While I was in Nelson, a shuttle picked me up at 7-ish in the morning (early!) and I was a little cranky because I didn’t sleep too well (thanks to the German guy in my hostel dorm room who snored really loud!).
The plan for the day was to visit Abel Tasman National Park and partake in a short walk. Abel Tasman is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. You can walk it for a few hours or a few days.
I had a choice to walk to Anchorage Beach from the starting point and then take a water taxi back, or take the water taxi to Anchorage beach and walk back. The receptionist at the hostel in Nelson advised me to walk first. That way I could take my time and spend some time at the beach before the water taxi picked me up at 4:30 p.m.
The woman at the hostel told me it was a 3 hour walk from Marahau (the starting point) to Anchorage. When I arrived, I learned that it was actually a 3 hour and 50 minute walk.
I was a little nervous to do the hike alone. I’m always afraid that I’ll get lost in the bush and will have to figure out a way to survive in the wilderness. I’m also a slow hiker so when I’m with groups, I feel pressured to walk a little faster and keep up. However, I was told that it was a easy walk.
As I prepared to find the entrance of the Abel Tasman National Park, I ran into a girl who was doing the same. We begun chatting and found the entrance together. The girl was only walking for about an hour and half before her stopping point but kept me company for part of my walk. Along the way, we ran into other people who were walking in the opposite direction. Almost everyone smiled and said hello. Some were carrying giant backpacks and I assumed they were doing one of the longer walks. We even ran into a couple of ladies who were going for a jog. My assumption was that they’d set up camp somewhere or were staying in a hut.
After my new friend’s stop came, we said our goodbyes, exchanged contact information and I continued on my way. At this point, I was grateful that I brought my music. It was a pretty cool feeling to do the rest of the walk alone as Mariah Carey sung, “You’re gonna make it happen!” into my eardrums. It also helped that the walk was pretty straightforward and there were no steep hills or anything.
The walk was nice and I went at my own pace, however, four hours is a long time to walk and I kept wondering when I’d see Anchorage Beach. When I got close to Anchorage and saw the beach, a sense of relief came over me. I did it! I made it to Anchorage beach.
I prepared a sad cheese sandwich for my lunch, as I was warned that there would be no food in Abel Tasman. I also had granola bars, bananas and nuts for snacks as well as a secret stash of chocolate (because snacks are awesome).
At this point I was pretty exhausted with getting little sleep the night before and then going on a four hour walk. I walked over to the beach and sat on the sand admiring the view. It was quiet with not too many people around. The weather wasn’t too hot or cold. And I somehow begun to relax with the sounds of the ocean waves and ended up taking a nap. (Mind you, I never take naps on beaches. I blame the German snoring guy.)
“Priya, have you ever been on one of our boats before?” The driver of the water taxi asked me.
“No,” I responded.
Everyone on the boat laughed and the driver handed me a towel because I was sitting all the way in the back. And let’s just say that the towel wasn’t enough to keep me dry.
The whole day was pretty great, though I’m not sure I can handle a walk greater than a few hours or a day. Four hours was plenty for me. Yeah. Four seems like a good number.