Find a penny, pick it up…

It is with the awesome power of positive thinking, potentially some superstition and definitely some ‘poor looking’ on my part, that I bring to you photos of my trip to Abel Tasman… Yes, I have been reunited with my camera; all that zen paid off. As I went to bed last night, I found a UK penny on the bathroom floor, which struck me as very odd, and I quickly pocketed it, remembering the old adage. I am not really a superstitious person, but I just felt I ought to explore all avenues of luck yesterday, and it really worked. When I was packing this morning, my camera peeked out at me cheekily from below another hosteller’s backpack, so it had been in the room all the time, the little bugger. (Feel free to visualise my slightly sheepish smile right now…)

So, please enjoy these photos of my wonderful trip to Abel Tasman park below…

Me and my boat on day 1, before commencing (with a slightly nervous smile).

Me in action – I look rather serious, don’t I? (PS This hat has a lot to answer for – if one more person asks me where my horse is tied up, I think I might actually eat it. The name ‘Becky May’ – said in a Texan accent, obviously – doesn’t help either.)

Being ogled backwards by a 6-8 week old New Zealand fur seal pup with its big, fat mamma.

Little blue penguins are very rare and also quite solitary, so to see a group of at least six like this is apparently very special indeed. 🙂

Me enjoying tropical bliss and my new-found confidence in sea kayaking.

Inadvertently swimming with stingrays – amazing.

The Aquapackers hostel, where I stayed on the second night – not a bad place to wake up… You wave at them from the beach and they come and pick you up in the dinghy – brilliant.

Another ridiculously beautiful crescent cove.

Yoga cam#3: early morning on the estuary mouth near the hut where I stayed on the first night. Sandfly-tastic (and accompanied by coarse but good-natured heckling from blokes on the campsite on the other side!).

Yogacam#4: sunrise from the top deck of the Aquapackers hostel – beautiful but wobbly!

Wow, that was a lot of photos – I think I am very relieved to have my camera back.

To update you on where I am now, I am typing this from a cafe overlooking the Pacific ocean in the lovely seaside town of Kaikoura. I am drooling with anticipation for a) an imminent warm boysenberry muffin and b) my swimming with dolphins encounter tomorrow. I have just had the weirdly Benny-Hill-esque experience of witnessing a rather ‘sturdy’ lady break a (solid wooden) chair and fall to the ground, clutching her tiny lap-dog to her plummeting folds as she went. I shouldn’t laugh, but it’s a good job my netbook screen is up…

I am feeling tired today due to a snore-filled dorm last night, mainly courtesy of a German lady who had asked us all to shut up earlier, so she could get to sleep. Oh, the irony. It is one of the world’s perverse cruelties that you can be kept awake by the very sound of someone else sleeping soundly. Her alarm then went off at 5am and she turned the main light on and proceeded to pack her bag noisily, which seemed to contain an inordinate number of loud zips. Hmmm, my ongoing quest for zen and compassion to all was somewhat challenged at that point.

On the bright side, the journey here from Nelson was fantastic. The road clung to the coast, overlooking the calm Pacific,with  craggy headlands above and endless boulder-strewn beaches below, the latter decorated by hundreds of lounging seals. It made me laugh that I’d been so excited about seeing a few seals in Abel Tasman, and here were dense numbers of them, viewed from the Intercity Bus. Shoals of desperately thrashing fish occasionally disturbed the flat sea, with greedy gulls wheeling in excitement above, but apart from that, all seemed very tranquil as the east coast slowly woke up to another day of glorious sunshine.

Anyway, my muffin has arrived and smells ambrosial, so I shall sign off and hopefully bring you tales of dolphins tomorrow…

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