Day 65: Totaranui to Onetahuti

Wow, summer is definitely over! I lay in my tent in the early hours this morning shivering and debating whether or not I really needed to get up to go to the bathroom. In the end I did, and I can’t say I was surprised to find that my tent zip was frozen and crunchy as I tried to get out. It’s definitely the coldest night yet, and I’m apprehensive now about the next few nights camping.

I slept in this morning, only really able to get to sleep properly after the sun came up and warmed things up a bit. I worried a little about having to rush the day’s walk, but I stumbled upon the Onetahuti campsite around lunchtime today, a little baffled. The trail notes said six hours, and it took me three!

I imagine the Abel Tasman trail notes are generous with time estimates, as all sorts of people walk it, but I definitely wasn’t rushing today, either.

My left foot seems to have given up on this adventure entirely, hurting with every step. I don’t know what’s wrong with it (maybe I hurt it during one of my spectacular falls), but it definitely doesn’t like carrying any weight. For this reason, I thought I would probably need the whole six hours to get to Onetahuti today.

The path took me around numerous beautiful bays and coves today, with golden sand and turquoise water. It was different to anywhere else I’ve been in New Zealand. Despite the cold, there were still lots of people on the track and I was a little overwhelmed at just how busy it seemed. Along with the trampers, the track was also bustling with day walkers who had been dropped at one of the many wharves by water taxi. There were also tiny settlements in many of the bays, accessible by road or four wheel drive track. This stood the Abel Tasman in pretty stark contrast to the tracks I have been used to over the past nine weeks, and it unsettled me slightly.

When I arrived at the campsite I pitched my tent in the sand and had a nap, tired from a row of poor night’s sleeps. I imagine tomorrow will be another short walk. I’ve booked each night’s accommodation though, meaning I can’t carry on to the next campsite if I feel like it. I’ll just have to take my time and enjoy myself!

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