I spent the spring semester of 2010 studying in New Zealand through the ISEP program. I used this blog to keep an account of my school experience and as a record of the adventures I found. Hopefully it can serve two purposes: to have kept my friends and family informed of my travels and experiences; as well as to serve as a reminder of how important the study abroad experience is, whether it's in New Zealand or not.

29 April 2010

Easter Break - Tuesday 6/4/10 - Able Tasman

We're up fairly early the next day and get ready for a full day of walking. We only plan to have one day so we need to make the most of it. we park at the trail-head and, after a short encounter with a magnificent blue bird (which I fail to capture on camera), we start off. We walk along the coast track, trying to keep a good pace because we know we need to reach Torrent's Bay by 10:23AM. Low tide was at 8:23AM and you have 2 hours either side of it to do the low tide crossing or else it's under water. The high tide crossing is an extra hour- hour and a half. We hit the crossing at 11:45AM and since it looks good, we decide to try it. We're not the only ones, there's a group of three boys heading out just in front of us. We take our shoes off and wade through some water then meander our way toward the signs for where the trial starts in the woods again. It's not too long before we realize that if we don't get across fast we'll be surrounded by water on an island that will itself be under water eventually. So we quickly scurry our way toward the trail. Once "back on land" we realize there are houses out here. A whole little village in fact. The building materials and everything else had to be brought in by boat and there's no electricity. Most of th houses have solar power and hot water. We stop for lunch on the beach and quickly have to cover all exposed skin in defense against the sand fleas. It's not the most epic of battles, but I think they win in the long run. After lunch we continue along the track for a while, but soon have to turn around in order to make it back before the stores closes and darkness falls. This time we have to take the high tide track, but it's so beautiful anyway, the extra hour isn't a problem. We just manage to make it back before the store closes so we can get food for one more dinner. All in all, we walked about 32km (roughly 20 miles). We spend quite some time after dinner talking with a Dutch boy traveling with, presumably his girlfriend, from Austria. They're on vacation, like so many other Europeans with endless time and their money worth so much more here. The four of us have the 8 bed dorm to ourselves for the night. we go to sleep after a terrible episode of an awful American TV show "I Shouldn't Be Alive." It was about two ship crew wreck survivors, but was so bad it's not worth further mention. I feel bad for all world peoples that have to put up with awful American cultural influences.

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