We successfully made it to the south island and arrived at Abel Tasman
National Park. Our arrival to the island was quite and adventure as well. We hopped onto a ferry and rode for three hours through amazingly beautiful inlets. The boat was more like a cruise ship. There were two movie theaters, a full kid play area, a pub (complete with football/soccer on the TV), a cafeteria and two different sitting areas. It was crazy how many people they squeezed onto this boat. The cars were packed like sardines. We arrived safe and sound in Picton and then drove through wine country and some of the curviest roads we have ever been on.
When we arrived in Marahau, the town where we are staying, the sky was grey and the wind was blowing. But, we had promised Josiah for the last hour that he could dig a hold in the sand, so off we went. We were from Washington for goodness sakes, we knew we wouldn't melt. Josiah was not into getting his hands dirty, but it was fun running along the beach in an absolute down-pour.
It rained hard all night long and we were praying that the sun would shine in the morning because we had planned to see this amazing coastline while we were here. When we awoke in the morning it was still raining. We tried hard not to loose hope, but it was hard. Josiah, on the other hand had a great time playing in the rain and the 70 degree weather (in only his diaper). Our little chalet where we are staying overlooks farmland and it feels as though we are a part of the farm. Josiah loves waving at the horses, ducks, and chickens in the fields below us.
Finally, the rain let up and we decided to go for it. Are we ever glad we did! As we we're boarding the boat to take us up the coast, the sun began to shine through. It was an amazing answer to prayer! We loaded the boat on dry land and then were pulled out into the ocean about 100 yards by a tractor. Josiah was way into it. About 10 minutes into the 30 minute ride, Josiah was fast asleep. He woke up only after we pulled into the beach to get off the boat. The most amazing part was the seas were very choppy and the boat ride was super bumpy.
We got off the boat at Anchorage Bay and then hiked 8 miles back to Manahau. It was a great hike. Josiah loved chasing the birds on each of the two beaches we stopped at, and the rest of the ride he entertained us by singing and chatting from the backpack.
Josiah chasing the birds. There was a sign that said "Clothes optional." we didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't true.
We had a fantastic couple days in Abel Tasman. We continue southward tomorrow down the coast. Here's hoping for more sunshine!
The best burgers and fried-sugared pineapple rings we have ever had! Josiah enjoyed the Rig shark and chips.
Our boat just dropped us off on our own beach.
We made it! Josiah wanted to finish the hike on his own two feet.
The Olsen's <><