Tramping Hurts

Tired. Aching. Blistered. Throbbing.

That’s the only way to describe our feet after our tramping escapade in Abel Tasman the last two days. “We want to go to Bark Bay”, we told the DoC officer with nary a thought to the distance we would have to hike or the fact that we had been cycling so much over the past three weeks that we barely remembered how to walk anymore. But, we sealed our fate when we purchased our pass for the Bark Bay Hut on Saturday night and cycled up to Marahau the night before our journey. The ride from Motueka to Marahau was beautiful, winding along the coast, crossing bluffs, and catching glimpses of the Tasman Bay. We stopped for a picnic lunch at Kaiteriteri, “the most beautiful beach in NZ.”

We camped just outside the park at a place called Old MacDonald’s farm. We had heard rumors about this area of New Zealand and they were true. This place was “dress optional.”

We woke up early on Saturday morning, excited to start our tramping, and the scenery was beautiful. So beautiful that we didn’t notice until the end that we had walked 21km and that our feet were in rough shape.

Here are some of the highlights. Our camera doesn’t do justice to the color of the water.

We went to bed in the bunks in the hut and woke up the next morning, not looking forward to our hike back. Our feet were blistered and tender and our legs were sore in places we must never use when cycling. After the first hour, we knew we had a long day of walking ahead of us. About four hours in, Sarah reached the blame state of grief. “Why did you think we could walk this far in two days?! Did you check the map beforehand?” I laughed at the time, but a short while later I was the one in the pit of despair.

Here I am, soul destroyed by the trail. I told Sarah to leave me at this point. Spending a night in the bush sounded more appealing than walking out.

After six hours, we made it out alive. Walking back to our camp, we wondered if we would walk this slowly at age 90. After a couple of ibuprofen, a lot of water, and some spaghetti, we collapsed in the tent. Today we are resting in Motueka, enjoying their “bowl lattes” and resting for next week’s cycle down the west coast.

Fun Fact:

The giant Haast eagle used to roam New Zealand’s skies. It was the world’s largest eagle with a wing span of 3 meters. Sadly, it is now extinct.

9 Responses to “Tramping Hurts”

  1. John Erck Says:

    Wow…I just spent the last half hour doing wikipedia research on different varieties of eagles. All this was spurred forth from the “fun fact” about the Haast eagle! Wow, I love fun facts…and your website!

  2. Dad Says:

    Wow! You guys are incredible! I think you should start keeping a log of total miles (Kilometers) traveled, whether by plane, boat, train, bicycling or hiking. If it’s not too much trouble it would be nice to label all the pictures with the site or view we are enjoying. For example, “Kaiteriteri, “the most beautiful beach in NZ.” I assume is the first picture in the “tramping hurts” post, the one with Jamie in the foreground and the beautiful beach and ocean in the background? When you camped outside “Old MacDonald’s farm” please say you guys sand the song! I KNOW you did! Admit it! No comment on Jamie’s picture in the bull paddock. The look on his face and pose pretty much says it all. How far up in the air were you on the little cable bridge? The look on Jamie’s face indicates doubts as to whether or not the camera person following is actually going to cross. Jamie I love the look on your face in the picture of you in the pit of despair. You actually look very happy. Have you been there before or what? You both look VERY happy enjoying your “bowl lattes”. Question: Are you guys actually planning on bicycling around the entire Southern Island? At the very southern tip there appears to be another tiny island. Are you planning on taking a boat out there? On my map it doesn’t look like there are any roads. Thanks for the fun facts, we like them a whole bunch! Your website is terrific!

  3. sam Says:

    good beard and good hat. sarah – grow a beard.

  4. erin Says:

    Aside from the hours of tramping and pain and your souls being destroyed and sinking into the pit of despair that it took to get there and back again, it would seem that is one very amazing place.

  5. alex Says:

    I just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying the blog. The photos reminded me of my own tramping (not quite as impressive) through the Abel Tasman. It’s a great part of the world.

  6. Sean Says:

    yes, rest assured that the rest of our souls are being destroyed in a much, much sadder and less cool way. :)

    Great pictures as always!

  7. Matt T Says:

    Great photos and stories! Who replaced the peacock with the sasquatch though? Bring me back some bro bars!

  8. Paul Says:

    Sarah, your bamboo plant is alive and well.

    …all of America is reading this and that’s all I can think of to say.

  9. Kenneth Says:

    That brings back memories, crossing that beach in the park and that bridge too. Did you guys stop by the lodge?

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