Saint Patty’s Day 2011 will be one worth remembering!
Today, I awoke early, dawned my green bathing suit (really, it’s the only one I packed, but who’s counting!?!?) and headed for the bus stop where I awaited my carriage (AKA bus) to carry me to the Abel Tasman National Park, where I would spend the day kayaking and hiking among some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. (Not that I really know this for a fact because I have yet to hike and kayak all over the world, but the day is young!) Not to mention meeting some of my best friends from around the world!
The group of kayak enthusiasts paired up, me with my newest buddy, Caroline, from Scotland.
We first kayaked through the Abel Tasman Bay, where we saw native (…and unnative), birds, bushes, “interesting” rock formations, seals, and maybe sea lions?!?! (hee hee!)
Pictured below: “Thumb Rock”
As we paddled along, we became privvy to local tales and ledgends, some true and some, eh well, I’m sure they are all “true”! We learned the tale of how Abel Tasman became recognized as a National Park, who first discovered the area, how certain islands got their names, which “fierce” pirates were too scared-or just didn’t see-the area around Able Tasman…and the list goes on…
Our fearless guide! He navigated our way through the Abel Tasman, and even provided cookies, coffee and tea!
As the morning passed we had a snack on Adelle’s Island, which is now a bird sanctuary. The sounds from these singing birds were absolutely lovely! I have never heard such “singing” from birds. Much better than the squawking seagulls I’ve become so accustomed to! (Although, there are seagulls here, too!)
After our mid-morning snack, we pushed our kayaks off the shore and paddled around the corner to get close to some playing seals! AWE! So cute!
Then back across the bay for some well earned lunch! Delish!
View from our picnic lunch.
And then there was our 4 hour hike back to base! (with lots of photo stops!)
(Don’t forget your water on this trip! It’ll cost ya a whopping .50 cents to have your bottle filled up at the closest resturaunt, which happens to be AFTER your 4 hour hike is over!)
Oh, and there were pretty flowers on the trail, too!
Did I mention it was St. Patty’s Day?