If you asked me what my experience was walking the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I’d probably answer something like:
“Holy fuck, wow. Like, words will never do it justice.”
When I try to explain it, I am pretty sure my eyes just light up into amazement and my face turns almost orgasmic- I’ll try not to orgasm while writing this.
So last week I camped two nights and walked for three days along the beautiful coastal track (I’ll review the deets of the walk in another post I promise).
The second night we spent at Bark Bay campsite. The beach comprised white sand and clear blue-green ocean. The best part? Our campsite was literally on the beach- we pitched our tent on that glorious sand. The hut was a couple hundred metres back from the beach, which meant those who opted for ‘luxury’ missed out on the epic night I had.
After sunning myself for a couple of hours, I went over to the campsite kitchen where my friend Emily was chatting to some other travellers. We said our introductions and for the millionth time I explained that no, my accent wasn’t British or kiwi, that I’m actually an Aussie (I’m from Adelaide- the ‘posh’ sounding part of Australia. But after living in NZ for over a year I’ve definitely acquired a kiwi twang- yis!)
Our group consisted of two Aussie chicks, Italian and Israeli guys, an American girl and a cute blonde german girl at the fresh age of 19. Despite our ages ranging from 19 to late twenties, coming from all parts of the world and each having our own unique appearance, we bonded instantly. This is the true magic of travelling.
We shared our individual stories- who we were, what our plans were and what made us tick. The question I love the most is, ‘why?’. I love delving into people’s souls and hearing the reason they chose to travel.
The sun had almost set, so we went back to our individual tents to put our hoodies, tights and socks on.
The Italian came over to our tent.
“Shall we share a joint on the beach?” He asked.
Like music to my ears, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the night. So we formed a circle on the beach, watching the tide slowly rise higher and higher below the night sky.
Chatting and passing the joint around, we wondered when the moon would appear. A couple of us left to go to up to the campsite. I turned back to the beach and saw a bright orange crescent in the sky just above the mountains in the distance.
“Oh my god. What is that!?” I screamed.
“Is that a volcano?! Oh my god is it erupting?” Emily yelled.
We sat staring, utterly perplexed. It definitely wasn’t lava, but what was it?
“It’s the moon! The moon is rising!” the Italian yelled back.
Everyone scrambled back to the beach and sure enough, the crescent started to get bigger and bigger as we watched the glowing orange moon rise over the mountains on the horizon. It was stunning. As it moved higher, the orange glow reflected on the ocean, and before long all the stars decided to come out, too.
In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, this was certainly a ray of hope that this world wasn’t all bad and things could get better.
With the beach to ourselves, we held hands in silence as our moon rose. The orange glow faded and we were left with a huge white moon lighting up the beach for us.
“Oh wow, guys, that was just so special”, the American girl cried.
We agreed this night was a rare occurrence, to all be here and witness something so magical together. So we continued our spiritual journey by pooling our chocolate together as I led my new friends through a mindful eating journey with our sweet delicacy. We finished our night with a mindfulness hug, truly embracing one another.
In the morning, we all woke at 7am to watch the sunrise, then had a shared breakfast with cups of steaming hot peppermint tea.
Saying goodbye was not easy, but I know I will see my fellow travellers again when they venture back to my city- Wellington.
And even if I never see them again, I know all six of us will cherish this memory for decades to come. And that, for me, is the whole purpose for travel.