Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday Morning

We’re heading south toward Christchurch on the last day of our trip.

Saturday morning we left Abbey Court in search of some limestone caves in the hills above town. They turned out to be only accessible by guided tour, so we decided to find our own caves. We found a hiking track down the road a ways and were about to set out when we realized we’d forgotten the camera battery at the hotel. Ljuba and I decided to go back for it, leaving Buda and Nada to hike in the interim.

The trip to Motueka and back took an hour and a half, after which we picked up Buda and Nada and continued our drive north. Lunch was at the Whole Meal Cafe in Takaka.

The road into Abel Tasman park was unpaved and narrow, winding up the sides of the hills though thick tree ferns. With no guard rails and a precipitous drop a short foot from our left tires, it was a white-knuckle ride. We made it to Totaranui, however, and pulled into the parking lot of a surprisingly developed campground abutting a beach of golden sand. Ljuba and I walked down the shore a ways and up a river estuary, where we saw a small shark less than a foot in length. Eventually the flies grew too irritating, so we climbed in the car and left.

A few hours later we stopped for dinner at a motown-themed pizza place, then drove to Murchison and the Kiwi Motel.

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