Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bizarre experience in Abel Tasman

Will try to convey the strange circumstances of my and Kadri's half-day Abel Tasman kayaking trip here.

We arrived to find one other woman, April (from Duluth, Minnesota, who went to UW-LaCrosse - my hometown university - for a PT degree), there to take the water taxi to Watering Hole, where we'd start our kayaking trip. They took us on the water taxi on a trailer, being pulled by a large tractor to get in to the water. Very strange and fun.

By the way, how's this for inspiring? April came to New Zealand to see her father, who is 83, and is taking a round-the-world trip, after his wife died of alzheimer's disease last fall. He was on the internet at a cafe nearby writing in his blog about his travels. He's going to Hawaii next, and then to Arizona, where he'll teach somewhere for a month before returning home.

Back to kayaking... upon reaching our starting point, we found out that 5 others would be joining us. They'd trekked all morning and planned to kayak back to where they began (the start of the Abel Tasman Track). These were fairly young kids, and not full of energy.

Thankfully, Kadri and I got in a kayak together, but April had to team with one of the younger kids... must have been difficult for her, especially since she really thought she'd have her own kayak.
Anyway, the tour guide was a bit crazy, and it seemed he wanted to be as young as the kids, or at least be their friend.

It's really hard to convey how bizarre the whole situation was...

One cool thing about the trip was when we got all of the kayaks side-by-side, and the guide took out a sail. He attached it to two oars, and the other ends were held by people on the sides in the front. Then, the wind caught the sail, and off we went at a nice clip. The challenge was holding the kayaks together. Worth it... whee!

Oh - we saw lots of "shags" on the trip, too - they're birds, and there are many kinds (speckled, black and white - which played a part in the evolution of penguins). Really cool to see.

Tonight, Tim from Vancouver made homemade pizza with fresh basil, garlic, and caramelized onions... YUMMM. Eric (from Sweden) told me how to say "yummy" in Swedish, but forgive, me, I can't even begin to try to type it out.
For dessert? Fresh local plums (Dad, you would LOVE these, small and very sweet and tart at the same time) and yellow kiwi (you can eat the skin!), or leftover brownie cake (vegan) made for Paulo's birthday yesterday. Paulo is from Portugal, now lives in England, and is an Architect.

Also, Dad, I often think of you when Kadri eats her cottage cheese. I think she loves it as much as you do.

Practice this morning was inspiring, and the sun kept us company. John had to leave right at the end, so Kristine led us in the finishing prayer.

No comments: