This was truly heaven…. How do you adequately describe a location such as this in words when only the being there can make it as special as it was. We were in Abel Tasman National Park, located at the north end of the South Island, New Zealand. Aqua Taxi (http://aquataxi.co.nz/) is a water taxi company that dropped us off at Awaroa Bay beach (think warm sand, crystal blue water). A short walk took us through a shady woods to Awaroa Lodge where we were directed to our large chalet. I felt like we were in Shangri-la and never ever wanted to head back to the real world. Our chalet was a very comfortable place with plenty of room for we five. The food at the lodge was outstanding with the muffins and incredible hot chocolate being the highlights.
What I want to write about is the run I did when we left. I don’t have photos as I didn’t take a camera or cellphone as the run was 11.8 miles of heaven. Didn’t want much weighing me down. The run took me from Awaroa Lodge to Torrent Bay (check out the map). Sights were incredible: views of the water, beautiful beaches, small bays. I started running before the sun was up. Trail was hard packed, sand colored, good and wide most of the way, mostly clear of rocks and roots. There was a light mist in the low areas which gave the morning a ethereal feel, so peaceful and quiet. I had beautiful colors in the sky as the sun hit the horizon and lit up the areas of the trail that weren’t sheltered by the trees. I didn’t see people for a long time as it was early. As it got later (but still early) I would occasionally see people “tramping” (hiking) along on the “track” (trail) I was following. I ran up into the hills from Awaroa Lodge, then down to Tonga Bay, back up again, and down to Torrent Bay. I saw waterfalls, beautiful tiny creeks, crossed very well built bridges and boardwalks, and even ran/walked (it was swaying a lot!) across a very high suspension bridge. At Torrent Bay, I waited a bit sitting on the sand of this beautiful beach, for the Aqua Taxi which took me back to civilization. I want to go back….
Plan on falling in love with this place.