“Bridget Jones” does the Tongariro Crossing – Part 1

 

Tongariro - view

Disclaimer: whilst this story is based on real events, certain aspects are added for humour and creativity.

Thursday 1 May 2014Turangi, New Zealand.

5.00am – in my tent ice house

Woken up by icicles biting my face off.

Am buried in sleeping bag wearing three jumpers, three t-shirts, a pair of thermal leggings and a pair of trousers. Am still freezing.

Now cursing lady in hiking store for convincing me that a minus degree sleeping bag wasn’t necessary. As an outdoors expert hailing from Europe she evidently took one look at my bingo wings and decided that I couldn’t carry the extra weight:

Discrimination against the unhealthy is an ongoing problem that I face in the hiking world.

Either that or the lady had no clue about New Zealand winter time.

I haven’t decided which.

Thinking wistfully of days gone by when I slept in dorm rooms surrounded by snoring sweaty backpackers.

Have a big hike today so must get some rest before I have to get up at the arse crack of dawn (5.30am).

5.10am

The cold has made my nose run. Have got snot all over sleeping bag in my sleep.

This is why I am still single.

5.20am

Desperately need to pee but cannot face concept of moving. Think my toes have possibly fallen off inside the three pairs of hiking socks I am wearing.

5.25am

I really should go and pee. Whilst snot on the sleeping bag is excusable, piss in its depths just simply is not.

5.35am

The urge to pee did not make it to the campsite toilets. Made it as far as the nearest tree before my bladder almost burst.

Thank fuck for winter’s lack of early morning sunshine. I am sure the tree will now flourish nicely.

Have somehow made my way to the campsite’s kitchen and am preparing nutritious breakfast of peanut butter on two cereal bars.

I take my hiking preparation very seriously:

I choose peanut butter for its high protein content. Not because I found it on the “free” shelf at the last hostel…obviously.

Must will myself to get out of layers and into hiking gear. Cannot shower as don’t have the time and am worried that certain parts of my body will freeze if exposed to such extreme temperatures.

Whilst un-used, I like my vagina the way it is.

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Review: Abel Tasman, Great Walk

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With its white sands and blue waters, the Abel Tasman National Park is a slice of beach paradise in the middle of the mountainous country that is New Zealand. It’s an opportunity to enjoy a Fiji-island-inspired moment of aquatic bliss as your eyes take in deep greens and multiple shades of blue. It goes without saying that the Abel Tasman National Park is worth a visit.

But is the Great Walk worth the time and money?

1) Difficulty:

The track is more of a walk than a trek. There are a few hills in places, but mostly it is a relatively flat, easy walk. It is certainly a much less challenging trek than the other Great Walks.

The only moment of remote difficulty comes at Awaroa Bay when you must cross the sea bed at low tide. However, the water only comes up to below your knees and it is not particularly difficult to do alone. Just make sure you find out the tide times and factor it into your itinerary.

Tip: use the exposed sandbanks to cross. The water tends to be shallower and it’s quicker than wading through!

If you are looking for a real challenge and enjoy hiking up mountains, then the Abel Tasman may fall short of expectations, but it is perfect if you want a casual amble or don’t want anything too strenuous.

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