Just off my latest, glorious tramp.
Last week I reunited with Glacier friend and bomber hiking companion, Nate, and we hit the Abel Tasman coastal track for a gorgeous five-day hike.
We camped by the beach, right next to the waves, every night. We probably walked down a dozen sandy shores. The sand and shells exfoliated our nasty feet until they were smooth and clean, then kept grinding them down until they were nasty once again… Red-billed gulls begged for food. Soot-black variable oystercatchers regarded us with their bright red eyes. Fur seals paid us no mind as they sausaged and blorped about on sharp rocks, oblivious to any edges felt under such generous layers of blubber.
The tide tricked us… calling us out on our nonchalance and poor-planning. Turns out tidal charts do matter! We found this out one afternoon when we waited, tucked behind a grass tussock, hunched out of the wind and rain, waiting on a thin sandy island spit for a few long hours, waiting for the tide to lower enough to cross the water. I believe the last thing I said out loud as we walked ahead of a large camp of people waiting was “let’s teach these softies something about tough!” Ha. The ocean. So humbling. Anyway, that waiting delayed us substantially, and we didn’t make camp that night until after dark. In the rain. But we did cook dinner in the tent. First time I was glad to have no bears around.
But oh! In the last hour of daylight, we stumbled out of the darkening maunka and fern woods, and on to another beach. Cue the most incredible double-rainbow over the ocean, all glowing pink in sunset light. I held my breath, expecting to see baby dolphins breaching under the arc, splashing up candy-scented, heart-shaped bursts of golden sea spray. It was like that. Like a trapper-keeper folder from the early 90s, all done up in pink and purple bubbles and glitter, koalas and unicorns. It was amazing.
|Feels just like livin’ in paradise…|
Those pesky tides also urged us to get up at 5am, in the dark, to battle an army of hideous mosquitoes, to hike the four hours fast, to make the low tide crossing. And for this we received an perfect seaside sunrise.
Naturally, all of this is highly, highly recommended behavior.