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Out of order: Abel Tasman to Punakaiki and a little past. Photos.

Somewhere along beginning of drive, peaks of mountains far off: Man I love those green hills with cloud shadows: See what I mean? Tauranga Beach, sometimes good surf. Not today: But there were ridiculous amounts of mussels there: As the sun was setting on the way to Punkaiki: The wild, wild west coast: At the pancake rocks, on the drive south the next day: The chimney pot. Below and to the right when waves crash in, they send steam and sometimes water up through this hole: The blowhole. Same sort of deal but much bigger. This is one of the …

Franz Josef to Fox Glacier to random beach south of Haast, to Lake Hawea to Wanaka

Technical errors made me lose the beginnings of this post two times in a row. Now I feel so far behind. I’ve seen so much in the past few days of driving. It’s been, well, string together a long list of superlatives that mean something like “double-plus-good” and you might start to capture it in words. The pictures will tell the story better than I can at this moment. It is Tuesday, March 31st and I am sitting at a coffee shop in Queenstown. Drove here this morning from Wanaka. Tomorrow I start the Milford Track. The weather has been …

You know what’s cool? Glaciers. Franz Josef – March 29th which is apparently a Sunday, I see now..

I apologize for the pun. Many apologies. It’s hard not to be impressed with such a massive force of nature. The Franz Josef glacier can retreat or advance at up to one meter a day. There is some serious movement going on in what looks like a very sedentary ice formation. I took most of the day dawdling, driving a bit. Stopping a bit. I just have no desire to be in the car for more than a few hours at a time. I will get there. It might just take some last minute giving into the driving machine. One …

Punakaiki – Saturday Night

Another not-so-satisfying night in the tent at the Barn. I got up around midnight because my feet were itching intensely. Some sandflies must’ve crawled into the sleeping bag with me and were feasting on my feet. Wide awake again, I went to get some socks from the clothesline. I had washed everything and hung it to dry the evening before in a frenzy of activity after returning from the track. The socks were still damp and cold. I bathed my feet in bug juice and put on the socks, expecting discomfort. But the coolness was soothing. That morning, I checked …

Friday March 27th – Marahau

I am sitting at my campsite, a place called the Barn. I’ve just returned from three days on Abel Tasman track. A gorgeous, though gruelling (for me) walk. I think my pack was a “wee bit” too heavy. My poor legs are bumpy and bloody from sandflies, and a large burst blister on my left foot made the last day limpy. This campsite is right on the edge of a wide and very long flat expanse ending in a long, distant blue mountain range which I believe is the Marlborough Sounds. In front of me is a field with grazing …