A Change of Plan
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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So what a perfect opportunity for an entry in the ever faithful travelogue. I'm sitting on a bench here in the scorching sun at 'Old MacDonalds Farm' - a camping ground in the Abel Tasman National Park. My clothes are in the washer and I've got a couple of hours to kill. It's completely peaceful here with the occasional bird banter in the trees, and apart from a couple of randoms, I'm pretty much on my own. Everyone else has gone to get stuck in to one of the many activities Abel Tasman is famous for: hiking, sea kayaking, seal swimming, sailing and combinations of the above aided by the local water taxis. The coast here is stunning and very popular for the locals as well as visitors. The water is crystal clear and it is not uncommon to find a seal jumping up on to the front of your kayak for a quick rest and a ride. Not that I'll be experiencing any of it or seeing any of its beauty, due to my current condition. For now. I have enough time here to ride this injury out and I will be returning to these parts so it's not a huge loss. I will be back.
We left Nelson late this afternoon and headed west, right along the North Coast of the South Island through Motueka and on to Abel Tasman. We were accompanied by little Chicken, which was a pleasant surprise. She'd spent the last couple of nights at the Paradiso following a bit of trouble at her previous abode with theft and a couple of weirdo's in her dorm, so she came and stayed with us for a couple of nights. Yesterday, she excitedly announced she had booked a bus and was coming to Abel Tasman with us - bonus. I think for her, it was time to move on from Nelson to pastures new and I think maybe she's found a bit of a soft place to fall with us three clowns. Especially after the hassle she's recently gone through. Good for her. I've said before, I think she's a star anyway considering she's only just turned twenty one and she's already thinking beyond the box. She decided to leave England a few months ago and venture over to the other side of the world on her own to open her mind and see what's out there, despite the general pressure from her peers, the majority of which are already with child just outside of their teens. A super-chicken!
So, I thought I'd sit here in the peacefulness and solitude of the farm, adding another entry to the ever growing online journal, while Igno, Chris and Chicken venture into the National Park on foot for their six hour spectacular trek. They're gonna be absolutely baking cos' I'm sitting here motionless and it's starting to burn right through me.
I've been thinking for some time now about my own travelling plans and what I've done, been doing, and want to do. After pondering lots of scenarios, I have recently come to a new decision about the rest of my time in New Zealand. Up until now I have been using the bus networks to get around. So far, whenever I've arrived anywhere that I instantly connect with or feel a burning desire to spend more time, I have stayed on, rejoining the bus at a later date. I had originally set out to travel this way across the whole of the country over the course of a year and that is what I have been doing up until now. I have since decided against it. Instead, I am going to do the opposite. Thinking about it, I'd be right cheesed off if I got to the eleventh month of my travels and thought 'Shit, I wish I'd have spent more time in the Bay of Islands', or 'what the hell was I thinking wasting all that time there for?' One of the main reasons I'm here is because I don't want to have regrets later on in life. That would be terrible. So that's why I've been speeding things up a little lately. I'm gonna try and get round the whole of the South Island by Christmas. It'll be tight but it is achievable. Hopefully by then I would have seen a good glimpse of everything, and will have around nine months left to play with. In the New Year I'm going to buy a campervan. A big beautiful bouncing bus. Then I'll work my way around at my own pace, visiting or staying in the best places that I have previously noted on the now named 'sample trip'. This will also give me the opportunity to go to all the amazing places that the bus networks don't cover (for whatever competitive or political reasons they have). The whole concept of the new plan feels right and I'm starting to warm to it and get excited about it. A nice comfy bed in the back so I can pull over anywhere that looks particularly breathtaking and park up for the evening. Cook some tasty food on the stove and chill out with a couple of beers. Wake up in the morning to a spectacular view and cook breakfast, then move on. No restraints. No restrictions. I'm more than happy to travel alone or with others so I'll leave it completely down to fate and its mysterious ways. Also at some point I'll visit and catch up with the people I have already made good friends with along the way. Complete, uncomplicated freedom. See you in 2005!
In the meantime, I'll just enjoy some great times with my current travel buddies as we adventure and laugh our way round the South Island. I'm planning to arrive in Christchurch a few days before Christmas.
So, while I wait for the others to come back, I'll just sit here in the sun with the Llamas and start my book. This foot injury has actually kicked my arse in to doing one of the things I was planning to do a lot of while I'm away on my travels. Something I've never really done before and something I've always wanted to do - reading. So I may as well start with a book that Igno kindly gave me after finishing it a couple of days ago in Nelson - a book by someone called Linda Davies entitled 'Something Wild'. I've no idea what it's about but Igno got very enthusiastic over it. He told me 'It's about a woman. I liked it.' So I guess I'll give it a go, I might like it too.