Since I came over from the North Island at the beginning of November, I have only been at one farm. I was planning on moving to another one after a couple of weeks but then I got stuck here. I am at a really beautiful farm that is at the entrance of Abel Tasman National Park. My hosts are very knowledgeable about organic gardening/farming but also about healthy living. I mainly work on the veggie garden, getting it ready for summer time. Since it is spring we have been enjoying strawberries and nettle soup. Not together of course. When I arrived a cow had just had twin calves and the mother rejected one of them. Seems to happen a lot. She is being bottle fed and is quite tame, so she will come and let you pet her and suck on your fingers, it's a funny feeling. Their son leads horse tracks down at the beach so he took me on a horse ride one day. My host Rhonie is a really good cook - my new nutrition bible(s) are two books - one called Nourishing Traditions and the other one called Eat Fat, Lose Fat. The theory basically is, we aren't getting enough of the right kinds of fats so we try to fill up on sugar and processed foods. Therefore if you eat fat you lose fat. It is more complicated than that but I recommend checking out those books, if you are interested.
My hosts are flexible and gave me time off to do the Abel Tasman Coast Track which is another one of the Great Walks in New Zealand. I am not sure how many km's the track was because it was different depending on high tide and low tide tracks, and some of the trail had been washed out this past winter but I think I probably did around 45 -50 kilometers in 4 days. I had a nice time - there is something about having everything you need on your back that I really like. But the experience was a little different from backpacking I am used to. Because it is a coast track and everything is accessible by boat, heaps of tourists just get boated in and do day hikes around portions of the track that they want to do. There are also kayakers that stay at the campsites as well. So I was never really alone. On my last night after I had set up my tent and sleeping equipment a school group of 30 middle school kids got dropped off on a boat and started setting up camp right next to my tent. I was a little irritated but it ended up being quite funny to watch all the middle school kid dynamics.
The park is a very beautiful place - people are drawn there by the stunning beaches, clear blue water, and untouched estuaries. I don't have much else to say except I am having a lovely time. Here are some pictures I have taken from area around the farm and from the park.
|The view from the farm|
|The shower - don't worry there is hot water|
|A view of the estuary|
|A bird at the estuary|
|I got to ride a horse!!|
|A beach on the coast track|
|A view from the coast track|
|some interesting trees|
|Night time on the estuary|
|Sunny day on the coast track|
|One of the estuaries|
|From one of the high points on the trail|