Once I found myself on my own with a week to kill before starting a job in Wellington, I decided to head back to Nelson. I had only passed through before, but it seemed like a good place to get my footing and do some relaxing. And it is also the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, which was a big thing that we didn’t get to do on our way through the first time.
I found myself back at Prince Albert Backpackers and booked myself a full day cruise and hiking tour of Abel Tasman. I got picked up around 7am for an hour drive to Kaiteriteri, where I would get on an open air boat for a 2 hour cruise before getting dropped off to hike. Not going to lie, despite my many layers, I was freezing and wanted nothing more than for the boat cruise part to be over. Until I realized that the majority of people were getting dropped off other places or not at all. So whatever tour I had signed up for, I looked to be doing it on my own. The boat driver pulled up to Medlands Beach and basically said a boat would pick us up from Anchorage Beach 4 hours from now. Luckily, there was a Chinese girl also walking this route. We hiked together for a bit, but quickly realized we had different paces, and I really wanted to do the detour to Cleopatra’s Pool. So I broke off and went ahead without her.
It was a little unsettling at first to be walking completely alone through this huge park that resembled pre-historic times. I only passed two other couples in the entire 4 hours. But I quickly grew used to the sole company of beautiful scenery, my own thoughts (which mainly consisted of a Katy Perry song stuck in my head thanks to our limited music selection on the road trip), the sound of my breathing and footsteps, and the occasional rush of a waterfall or cry of a bird.