Who would of thought this was the middle of winter
The talk in the office was incessant – lets run the Abel Tasman, lets break up the run with a night in a hut on the track, lets get the wine taken in by water taxi…
Working and exercising together is just what Michelle and I do. We try hard not to talk about work when we are out running and cycling (Instagram posts don’t count) but talking about exercise at work is perfect! It is all part of our company health and wellbeing programme.
Running the Abel Tasman was proving to be a bit of a nemesis for Michelle. A bunch of us girls spent a weekend there in 2013 and ran a portion of the track in a day, unfortunately for Michelle she took ill and had to spend the day in bed when we all ran. We tried to relieve her FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but you can only talk down endless golden sand beaches and a perfectly undulating trail for running so much.
This time was going to be different. Five of the #midweekmission girls hit the road after school drop off on the Friday morning. Twenty minutes down the road and the first coffee stop was called for, takeout flat white and a scone and back on the road like a gaggle of five geese (we prefer to say chatty friends).
These tractors last 40 years even though they are regularly in the salt water!
As with any good weekend away in rural New Zealand the first night needs to be spent in the local pub. Being the very heart of winter there was not much choice in Kaiteriteri, but then again we didn’t need selection as the Beached Whale provided everything we needed: roaring fire, nice pinot and a tasty wood-fired pizza.
The water taxi from Marahau is a treat and as kiwis you can’t help but get the same happy grin as the tourists as you pile into the boat and get towed out with the tractor into the deeper water. It just feels so New Zealand.
Day One of our run had us running from Totaranui to Bark Bay, a total of 19kms. It was glorious running as we ran along golden-sand beaches, popped over headlands and weaved in and out of the coastal beech forest. This was when Michelle first gave us the impression that it might be a walking trip for her (due to feeling crook - yes again!) rather than a running trip.
Plenty of giggles
Bark Bay hut was our home for the night and after 45 minutes of very gentle coaxing Donna had the fire going. Without the pages from the Spaniards Suduku book I am sure there would have been no fire. We had it roaring by the time more people spilled into the hut, 22 in total from a milliard of countries. Sitting around a roaring fire, a glass of pinot in your hand and listening to travellers’ stories of adventures had and adventures to come is invigorating. It is easy to forget you are twice their age.
Day 2 and Michelle was beaten! She had put in a sterling effort the previous day and although her chest infection meant she could only walk the track, there was no way she was going to attempt the longer walk (of 28ks) out of the park. She parked up with our bags and she waited for the water taxi and embraced the serenity of the crystal clear waters. Although the level of embracement was dependent on the levels of nurofen and panadol cruising through her veins!
As for us runners we made a point of heading off the main trail at every opportunity to check out little beaches and see the fresh water Cleopatra Pools. We clocked up about 28kms at a very enjoyable pace. There are sections of the track that you feel like you could be in Australia, but without the snakes and spiders. We are incredibly spoilt in New Zealand with an enviable variety of running trails throughout the country.
A trip we would highly recommend doing - Michelle is going to try for attempt number 3!