Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Paying my dues.

When I reached Picton I was in the mood for driving even though it was already around 6pm. I was pondering whether I should continue to a city called Nelson which is close to Abel Tasman national park. Heavy rain made my decision and I spent the night in Picton. The next morning I woke up early to take the scenic route to Nelson. Sun was shining and the road was just amazing. Winding, narrow, hilly and spectacular in so many ways. I made so many stops that at some point I told myself just to keep on going or I would never reach Nelson and Abel Tasman. I had planned a day trip at that national park a.k.a. I was possibly gonna end up going all the way to Abel Tasman and hike there if it was possible for a reasonably late arriving person. I don’t have many pictures taken from this part of my drive since someone forgot to recharge his camera’s battery but camera never captures the true beauty anyways, so…

Arrived to Nelson, had a delicious Subway lunch (a voucher would do it, thank you) and decided to head to Abel Tasman….which reminds me of this one story: since I had been hitching in NZ and I now had a car I had decided to help fellow backpackers and pick any hitchers I could find. The first and only hitcher I saw during my first day of driving was hitching along the highway where I was driving 100km/h with multiple cars on my tailpipe. I just couldn’t hit the brakes without endangering myself and the ones behind me. Damn you hitcher! She was hitching in a totally wrong place. I even thought of turning around…
On the second day, on my way to Abel Tasman, I saw the second hitcher and pulled over. I was so happy, I could finally help someone and give a lift at least for some kilometres. 
“Where you heading bro?” - I asked
“I’m going south. Trying to get to Queenstown but I’m not sure if I make it today”
The map of south island flashed in my memory and I realised that something was wrong. Wrooooooong. I had missed my intersection to Abel Tasman and was heading to wrong direction :D OMG. 
“I’m so sorry bro, I can’t give you a lift since I’m not supposed to be on this road. I’m so sorry”
I was so, not embarrassed, but disappointed that I still couldn’t help any of my fellow backpackers. 
There was of course a blessing in disguise since without this hitcher I don’t know how long I would have just driven before I would have realised my mistake. Now I only checked my rear mirror and saw the intersection where I should have turned. Unbelievable I say. 

At the national park (from here on NP) headquarters I found out that I had two options. Either walk back and forth the track since it wasn’t a loop or take the boat which was leaving in 15 minutes and then walk about 12km back to the hq. I didn’t like the sound of doing seeing the same scenery twice so I rushed to my car, switched into my sporty hiking gear and took the boat. Absolutely stunning even without seeing the best parts which are supposed to be further away and requires overnight hiking. 
Its a tractor! No, It's a boat! No, it's a Boator...?!?!?
errr...too much caffeine I think.
Photobomber and two testies... 
Man picture time! 
Paradise, ay?

Then next day I finally managed to pay my dues, partially. Two guys from my hostel with wanted to go to Abel Tasman also and they decided to hitch there. I didn’t take them all the way to the national park but since I needed to return my car to the airport and the direction was correct, I took the guys as far as I could within the time limit I had with my car. I hope they made it all the way!
This of course made me almost miss my deadline with the car but in the end I had sumptuous 7 minutes to spare. Even with all the problems with filling the tank and finding a petrol station. The staff even came to ask if I needed assistance...oh boy. Hey! You came here and try the Kiwi gasoline pumps ;)

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