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Already two weeks are gone since I arrived here on the South Island. Time fly’s by here. I realized so far I did a lot and took a lot of pictures. And its hard to keep up so I will publish already the first part of it. Better than nothing Smiley. Soon another or the other parts will follow.This is about the Trip with the Inter Islander, my three day Abel Tasman Track and Golden Bay/Harwood Hole.

Enjoy reading and some of the beautiful pictures.

 

Transfer Me - 2.4.2012

There it was the day to bring my Schrotty and me over the Tasman Sea to Picton. I wrote the last Blog Entry and finished Vacuum Cleaning and mopping Martins huge House in the Morning. Then I left delighted very early to the Harbor Way to early for my 6:30pm booked trip. I was so early that the last ship still took Passengers and Cars. They have been fully booked and it looked like I really had to wait more than three hours for my ship. Fortunately they had a space for me in the end in the Railway section in the Ship. I had to drive 5 min backwards into the Bottom of the Ferry with some Trains and Trucks. It was a stupid idea to book the Evening Trip. I didn’t had to do anything in Wellington anymore and I thought it would have been nice to see the sunset on the trip. I also was really happy that I found a 10% Off Voucher in the Internet that enabled me to pay instead of 170$ just 155$. Because I changed my mind in the last minute I had to pay 18$ which ate up all my discount. Ridiculous. IMG_0817

But anyway, the trip was nice. After we passed the Wellington Harbor Area and the spots where I have been fishing with Martin the last two days far out on the Sea we ended up in the Fjorlands of Marlborough Sounds. There the Ship is forced to drive through a lot of close passages of Greeeeeeeeeen Tree covered Mountains and shallow Bays. In the end you arrive with this huge oversized ship in a tiny Harbor in Picton. It still looks like a typical Port in the 18th century. Not from the Buildings or anything. More from the position and surroundings. I can imagine how it must have felt arriving there in the beginning of last century or even earlier with a Sailing Ship.

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I went to a nice Hostel in Picton. The Tombstone Hostel. The Hostel is right next to the local graveyard and the entry door is shaped like a coffin. So funny idea. Unfortunately only the key tag shaped as a skull or a tombstone are the only other remarks of that idea. So not very consistent. Anyway nice Hostel with free Breakfast and a Hotspa for *Flashpackers like me Smiley. One of the sad things. Man spricht Deutsch. That day ive met there round about 15 new germans and only one frenchman. Nice people but still disappointing. I went after my short inspection to the town. Nothing special but the harbor area is nice and I left the next day anyway. I ended the evening with a bottle of wine and a sit in in the Hot Spa.

Sunny Nelson - 3.4.2012 – 4.4.2012

In the morning I drove with Ditta (28, soon Elementary School Teacher in Germany) to Nelson. Finally I can share some petrol cost. It wasn’t a far trip but even a better one. We didn’t drove the main road. Instead I took the winding coastal route but worth every curve. The weather was good and the views impressive. Actually that day I wanted to end up at Jimis Dad Jim (form Rachel and Jimi Palmerston North) to spent one night or two in Havelock and maybe go fishing with him.

IMG_0830IMG_0840But it didn’t happened I called him after we arrived at his house but he was gone for work in Blenheim. But he invited me for next time when I pass by. so maybe in three month. The Marlborough Sounds Region is a nice one with a lot of Fjords small Islands perfect for discovering it by boat. I havent seen much of it because my plan didn’t work out their. So I may have a second chance on my way back. So we continued driving directly to Nelson. On the way the weather cleared up and it became like it is almost the whole year in this Region. Sunny and warm. By the way Nelson is famous for that. They have the most sun hours in whole NZ. I dropped of Ditta at the Bugs Hostel and I drove to visit Sebastian and stay in his Hostel. For two nights. I didn’t wanna get stuck there. It was nice to see him again and talk about what we did so far. We went to a good Pizzeria (rare in NZ) and enjoy the sun. The Next day  blurred out a bit. It was just about drinking and playing Pool. The only proper thing I’ve did was going with Soenke (Friend from Verandahs) to the I-Site and book the Tour to do a 3 Day Abel Tasman hike. And we bought some Sandwiches and cans for not starving there.

Three Days in Abel Tasman - 5.4.2012 - 7.4.2012

We had to get up early that morning. Still a bit wasted from the last evening with a small headache it was even harder to get up that early. 7:30 am damned. But we had a lot of sandwiches to spread with Butter stuffed with shaved ham and chees topped up with lettuce and seasoned with garlic sauce. Btw. Garlic became one of the main ingredients here. Would be the hell for you Pa. So we prepared two huge bags of food and left the base as fast as possible into the Abel Tasman Regional Park. We had our Water Tai to catch at 9:00. We arrived 5 minutes before departure and became the full grumpiness of the bad ass Water Taxi Captain. Later we found out that’s the way he was to everybody. He was kind of rude, like shut up when I am talking  No you are not allowed to go to your backpack and take your camera … But still funny. IMG_0846

IMG_0850The boat trip was getting worse. The Ocean was choppy and we flew over the waves. Usually I don’t get seasick at all. E.g the whole Trip with Marty was way more wavy. But if you have a hang over its not a good idea to do a boat trip like that. I felt so sick and was thankful for every of the dozen stops for watching nice rock formations dropping off some passengers early or watching the colonies of baby seals. The weather was terrific and this area indescribable beautiful. New Zealand has such a huge diversity of climates, landscape and vibes. This Part is mostly abandoned (except tourists) has golden sanded Beaches and crystal clear blue water IMG_0916bays calm and silent inviting for a swim.IMG_0896

 

 

We’ve got dropped of at the topmost drop off point to start our hike from there. We didn’t got a bed in the Huts on the way so we had to carry next to our food for three days and water also a tent, sleeping bag and iso mattresses. Pretty heavy for 34 km hiking. But we had to get used to it. At least we saved some weight by not taking cooking gear with us. Baked beans and cans of Thune are cold good enough. So we started to walk. Cathryn a Canadian Girl on a World trip came with us as well cause she was doing it alone. We passed beautiful scenery's, beaches, bays and the first passage which is only passable at low tide to cross one of the Bays. Its also possible to walk around it but then it would have been a couple of km’s and hours more. The first day was already long enough and the longest anyway. Of course you could do this track in 2 Days but we took our time and went the first day round about 15 km and the next days 10 each.

IMG_0918After some exhausting unexpected steep parts we arrived in the evening with hurting feet's in our first camp. A beautiful spot on an sandbank in-between the Ocean. I camped first time in my life so I was happy Soenke had experience. We also never tried before my tent I bought with my car together. After we realized it have been complete with all the necessary parts and big enough for four people we have been very happy. Then we joined the other people at the camping ground for a campfire. And watching them eating disgusting huge mussels roasted in the shell in the fire. I roasted my last sandwiches also and went to bed. Cathryn came by (she booked the campground 2km away) but decided to move to ours. I helped her move the complete tent in the dark to carry it over the cliffy track to our place.

IMG_0874IMG_0887Unfortunately I didn’t slept the nights at all. As warm it was over the day as cold it gets in the night. It may have been 8 degree which is still warm. But when you sleep on the ground with a mattress of may 0.5 cm thickness in a sleeping bag which may is rated to use up to 8 degree even fully clothed with all on I had it was fucking cold. I was shaking the whole nights until the sun came out in the morning to finally fall asleep for a couple of hours. Even though it was worth any difficulty's. But there I already decided to by a decent sleeping back. Another unhappy coincidence have been the full moon you have at eastern. As nice the moon is it destroys the starry sky with its high light pollution preventing us for seeing the beautiful milky way. But enough of complains. Typical German. IMG_0936

IMG_1059Day Two

Kathryn already left us early this morning. We didn’t see her again. She wanted to do the track in two days because she hadn’t the luxury of doing it in slow pace. She had only a couple of days left for the whole NZ trip. We started laid back like every morning. Most of the others also left early. They weren’t hiking. They where paddling around in Kayaks which is way more convenient. They had all the nice stuff with them, wine and nice food. And it is way faster of doing it. But I don’t regret it hiking there the whole time.

We’ve got awesome views from the highest points on the Track and a lot more diversity of the whole area. Its not just about beautiful beaches. IMG_0948

IMG_1007Also the tropical vegetation areas away from the beaches where nice. The good thing how we did it was we’ve been driven into the park. So the task is getting out so you always have the target ahead of you and now exactly how many km’s you have to go to make it to the next camp. So we walked and walked along all those beautiful spots like low tidal crossings, hilly areas with fantastic views and bush like passages with all the creeks.

IMG_1005As much those Bays attracting you to go for a swim as long we resisted the temptation. Until evening two at our even more beautiful camping ground. This time without drinkable water, fireplaces or flushing toilets or showers. This time we had nothing than a bench next to our Tent and the Sun still heating up the surroundings. So a good moment to cool down and enjoy the try the crystal clear see-through able cold water to take a swim. Afterwards we made some new Friends from Belgium (Two Brothers) and a American Couple. We Played card with them while they where cooking heaps of their stuff and taking pretty pictures of the dusk, rising moon and torchlight games. There I also had my one can of baked beans I was happily awaiting since the beginning. Cold of course. I wasn’t a *Flashpacker there this time. I wasn’t satisfied enough so I also ate one more of my muesli bars. Lowering my ration for the day after. No good idea. Again no sleep that night. Even with one more Layer of Cloth. Without a doubt I’m going to buy a ne sleeping bag. Fortunately everything is on special right now anyway at Kathmandu and Macpac. So I will make a good deal.

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Day Three

So my breakfast consisted the last day just out of 2 Muesli Bars instead of three. I forgot to take the Apples I had in the Car with me that trip. So I had to live with it. It even more pushed our plans for Nelson that evening. After taking a necessary shower we wanted to meet in the town to start a *Fast Food Marathon… But first we had to walk the last bit of the Track. Just 5 hours but far enough to complain about it. We cooled down our feet's at another low tide crossing and some nice creeks. BTW my Waterproof Walking boots are really waterproof. Juppi.

IMG_1077IMG_1081They also keep the Water inside the shoe when you step too deep into water Smiley. We didn’t take any detours anymore and missed out on some beautiful beaches, Cleopatra's Bath and Bays with the promising name Sandfly Bay (don’t regret to missed out on this one). In the evening we arrived finally and happy at my car. Had the forgotten apples and drove back to Nelson. I dropped of Soenke at Sebastians Hostel the Custom House. I decided to stay and rest the next two nights at a good Hostel in Nelson. And it was better than just good, It was close to perfect. Good beds, clean, cozy, a Bar downstairs, free good bread in the morning and nice people with maybe some few exceptions SmileyIMG_1055

IMG_1034But the plan was to take a looooooong hot shower to prepare for the *Fast Food Marathon. I met Soenke at MC Donalds to start small with each 12 Chicken MC Nuggets. They are currently on special and you get them for half price. Hilarious 4.60 $ (2.50€) compared to Germany. Yummy. Next stop have been Subway. A footlong Meatball Sub for only 7$ (3.80€) plus Meal Topup 3$ to get two of the delicious cookies plus a drink. Already stuffed we at least have to do a triple or lets say triathlon. So we went to Burgerking where I had a Meal combo for 5$. A Burger, Fries and an Ice cream with Chocolate Sauce. All the pounds and calories lost in three days in the wild gained back in just an eye blink. But it felt sooo good.

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Laid back once more - 8.4.2012

I slept long that morning to catch up some sleep I didn’t had the nights before. Its eastern so everything was closed anyway and not much to do in town. I met the evening before already Iwonna from Poland. But she lives in Ireland and works in a Pharmacy Company there. We went to the Beach for a long long walk and a good talk. We stopped at a flashy Boathouse Restaurant at the shoreline for just a snack. IMG_1111

IMG_1112What a sunny day it was again. Its unbelievable it is so close to Welly and always that nice there. In the evening I spent some time with two English guys who started this *Flashpacker thing I played cards with. I had a really good vegetarian burger (cant believe I say that) and two beers. Unfortunately we had to deal also with a completely fucked Irish Girl who annoyed everybody. But the guys knew how to deal with her Smiley. She even “helped” them cooking this typical English food mashed potatoes' (but with the correct Irish pronunciation) with these disgusting Sausages from here and loads of gravy.

Unfortunately she wasn’t able to measure the amount of water for it so it was more a soup. But anyway I enjoyed watching this dramatic performance of the English Irish drunk behaviors and conversations.. 

Golden Bay and Harwood Holes - 9.4.2012

From Nelson to Farewell Spit is a long way. Even though I didn’t end up at Farewell Spit because of miscalculations of my Fuel Topup it was worth a visit. It is a only one Street which is connecting this beautiful Spot with Motueka and Nelson in the end. So you have to drive round about 300 km at all to get to and get back. But it was worth every km. I didn’t realize before its only one way in and out. IMG_1124

IMG_1202I only did it because I wanted to visit the Harwood Holes from Lord of the Rings. Between Motueka and Takaka in Goldenbay you have to pass some huge mountains. There you can find a long gravel road drive away from the Road a DOC Camp in the middle of nowhere. And the drive there is already so amazingly beautiful its hard to describe. So so good views over Nelson. And it also looks so similar to the LOTRO Areas. Soft hills with scattered small sharp rocks and huge green trees. On the way you also pass I guess a Set of LOTRO. Out of the sudden you pass weird sculptures made out of Wood, Animal skin and Rocks. It looks pretty cool when you are there. From there on you follow further down the gravel road up to the DOC Camp. From there its just a short walk to the 340 m deep and approx. 50 m diameter Harwood holes. The track is just 45 minutes through some nice forests and rocky cliffy terrain until you end up in the middle of huge massive rocks climbing around until you reach the main hole. IMG_1151

IMG_1163Pretty impressive there. From a safe standpoint it is not even possible to spot the bottom..But with the Camera leaning over all the edges I could found I think I got the Bottom. I enjoyed the view up and deep down for a while until I left this magnificent place to leave to Takaka.

I drove over the only one pass they have leading to Takaka and Farewell Spit in Golden Bay. The View up there was stunning. Goosebumps included. That day I had absolutely no clouds and the longest view distance you possibly could get. Silly me I didn’t took pictures that day because I hurried up to buy some Grocery's and cook my evening meal. So the pictures are from the day after. Not as nice but still impressive enough. Anyway, a went shopping drove a while further until I found a nice spot almost at Farewell Spit and started cooking. I had rice mixed with fried minced beef  and baked beans. Wasn’t too bad. First I shared this spot with just one other camper. When I finished cooking there where round about 15 Campervans. Not very lonely but at least nobody would caught me in between all those other allowed Campers.

That night I was amazed again by my Camera. I took a couple of nice pictures with long shutter times. Look at that.

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*Flashpacker is a expression for Backpacker with a big budget. Was taught that by two englishmans I played cards with. They where asked why they stole the sticky cardgame out of an hostel in Greymouth instead of buying a new one. Their answer. Because they aren’t Flashpackers. They are Backpackers. I think this term fits me at the moment pretty well Smiley.

*Fast Food Marathon: Visit all of the closer Fast Food Restaurants in the closer area to eat as many calories as possible in the shortest amount of time and money until you are not able to walk to the next Fast Food Restaurant.