After having met few people on the road who advised us to spend more time on the South Island than on the Northern one, and after having had enough of the hilly farmlands (we both master sheep and cow language now: pretty scary !), we decided to take the bus from New Plymouth to Wellington. The small capital city is very pleasant and we enjoyed the goody-goodies of the Western world: coffees, loads of chocolates, fresh muffins and yes, a good hotel mattress. Since Asia we hadn’t had a real bed: how fantastic it was not to lay our tired head onto an outdoor pillow !
Once upon a time, a very very famous Dutch explorer took two big boats all the way to the now named Abel Tasman Sea. It turned out that this sailor was the first one to observe New Zealand from a very big boat, so he got famous. We decided to do things differently and rented two yellow kayaks just south of the Abel Tasman National Park and pedaled, this time with our arms, along this wilderness. We camped two nights in this splendid beauty of a reserve having the breaking waves as a lullaby. Kayaking remains for us an adventure. Few hundred meters out of the coast the swells grew and grew ! They got so big that from time to time the (far away) horizon was just disappearing. We were dropped in these oceanic valleys before being lifted again on the top of the next wave. We felt very fragile as ‘our’ boats were much smaller than the ones of Abel. Luckily we survived and saw some cute fur seals with brand new siblings, stunning beaches, native bush, and of course loads of sandflies.
Back on our Baraka and Nyn, we pedaled westwards crossing the island in few days. The landscape was not particularly remarkable although very enjoyable. It seemed that luck was on our side, as the weather forecast was terrible but we got only one insignificant shower before we finally touched the West Coast of the South Island !!! Yeah ! Pure rock and grey sand and powerful ocean and head wind and timid sun… Another dream destination that we are going to explore a bit more the coming days with hopefully the same luck for the weather.
Enjoy the last winter or summer month. Auf Wiedersehen (so many Germans here carrying backpacks. They almost outnumber the sandflies), S&M