Sunday morning we get a message from my friend Erica in Auckland, inviting us the next week to her friend’s private beach in the north. We are thrilled, and decide to hustle through the south island so we can get back north in time to meet up with Erica.
Even so, we don’t want to leave Abel Tasman, so we drive up to Takaka, another gateway to the park, this time accessing a different part of the trail. This section is part of Golden Bay, and you know why when you see the color of the sand.
We drive down to Totaranui with another plan to catch a water taxi down and run back up. The last water taxi pulls into the bay and we wave at him, but for some reason he turns around and doesn’t pick us up. We are bummed, cause this means we’ll only be able to cover about half the trail since it will be an out and back run. We head out, and the trail again is another beautiful track.
However, there is a giant section of wet sand to cross which pretty much sucks. I head back early and see my first penguin on the beach (sadly, it’s a dead one washed up), but now I’m on penguin alert. We meet back at the car and head back to Takaka and grab what turns out to be a gross fish and chips dinner at the last place open. Back at the hotel I was doing laundry, and so after dinner when I go to put the clothes in the dryer and realize Mark used all the coins on dinner, I have a mini-melt down. So we go to bed hoping for a better day.