Steve and Mad's mini adventure travel blog

Kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park

Paul, the salty old sea dog!

Waiting for the Water Taxis

Up at 6.30 as we had to be at the kayak centre for 8.20 and it's about an hours drive. There were 4 other people on our particular trip, 3 from Wales and one Swede. We got a lseeon in how to paddle and how to get out if it capsizes and then we were off. The sea is so clean and blue and the weather was perfect so it was really nice just to be out bobbing along (it actually made Mad feel a little seasick when not actively paddling but nothing major). There were loads of other kayakers out there and lots of little water taxi's zooming around which created a fair amount of water disturbance so we did bob quite a lot. Each kayak is 2 people so you sould get away without paddling for a little while... We had about 2 hours paddling in total (with a tea break on a beach - we wouldn't even consider doing a tour these days without one!!) and ended up on a gorgeous beach where our guide whipped up a barbecue lunch and then left us to make our own way on foot across to the next bay where we would get a water taxi back. We had loads of time and so whiled away the hours on the beach with a bit of swimming and mostly lounging. The Swedish woman was excellent entertainment, she was telling us about a car crash she'd had last week where she's come round a 90 degree bend and found a car on the wrong side of the road. Sadly, it turned out to be her as she'd forgotten you drive on the left in NZ. Oops! One low-speed head-on and a new car later and she gets the ferry to the South Island. Unfortunately it was the day of the big freaky storm and she had a terrible crossing but luckily her car wasn't one of the ones that broke free and got smashed up, although it would be far more comedy if it was. We got the water taxi OK but it was the last of the day and they store them on land so we stayed on the boat while a tractor backed a ramp into the water, the boat hooked on to the ramp and we went down the road, in the boat, to the kayak centre! Back at the centre we discovered that the crudbucket had a flat battery and would not start. Very puzzling until it transpired that the lights had been left on all day. The stupid car bleeps at you when you are in reverse (in case the fact that the car is going backwards isn't apparent enough), it bleeps when you leave the key in the ignition and open the door (in case the fact that you don't have a key in your hand to lock the door with isn't apparent enough), in fact it bleeps for anything and everything. EXCEPT to tell you that you have left the lights on! Where's the logic?! Anyway, the nice man on his tractor gave us a jumpstart and all was fine.

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