Abel Tasman: Filming Dutchies in their Sleep

In light of the recent US elections which are all about truth and clarity, I’d like to address a rumour about me that has been spread by my travel companion Janneke (Holland). According to her, I filmed her while she was sleeping in a tent when we were camping in Abel Tasman. The accusations made by this “nasty woman” are so utterly false, Janet Jackson has thought of editing her song to incorporate Janneke’s name into it. First of all, I didn’t sleep with that chick. A picture? There’s picture that show us in a tent. Well, it’s the economy, stupid! We were saving money by sharing the tent, but that doesn’t prove I filmed her. Wait, what? There’s a video on YouTube that shows me filming her while she was sleeping. Ha ha… well… There’s a reasonable explanation for that. Everyone knows that filming your friends at all times is fair game when you are camping, I did it for the greater good… I’m creepy, you say… May I interest you in the story of our excursion to Abel Tasman instead? 


So it all started when we went to the information centre in if-only-I-could-remember. There we found the most inexpressive information guide ever to walk on Earth. She seemed so bored, she could make the Russian Roulette sound as dull as playing golf. And her face was so devoid of emotions that if there had been an earthquake right then and there, she would have probably jumped the hole on the ground slowly and reluctantly, like a very annoying task she had been appointed to perform. After booking the kayak tour and the campsites for us, she gave us information and the time when there is low tide on our last day so we could cross to the last section of Abel Tasman.

You need to get your facts together before you start hiking across Abel Tasman National Park because there is no phone reception there. I know what you are thinking. I felt like a caveman for three days. I’m just not able to function like a human being without Internet access, but something else was more troubling for me at the time:

“WHAT? No Wi-Fi? No phone signal? But how am I going to harass my ex-boyfriend? If I leave him alone for three days, he’ll probably report me missing to the police!” Janneke and Julian didn’t show any sympathy for me. Instead, they found the predicament I was in quite amusing.

The next day we headed to the place where we would start our kayaking tour.

I desperately tried to pay attention this time as the tour guide explained the route and gave us safety instructions. But nothing prepared me for a humongous bee that kept circling our group.

It’s not that I’m allergic to bees, but once when I was riding in the back of a motorcycle, a bee managed to get inside of my helmet and stung me. My nose became so swollen, I looked so much like a clown that I would probably get shot nowadays.

The tour guide continued…

BEEEEEEE

In case of…

BEEEEEE

Remember to always…

BEEEEE

And don’t forget…

BEEEE

For your safety…

BEEE

But most importantly…

BEE

Never mind, I’ll just wing it… like that time when I broke my tooth in Mosman…

So here comes the tip of the day. Despite one of the guys telling us it was a waste of money, we rented a water taxi to cary our backpacks each day while we were hiking. The guy who booked it for us even put his hand on top of the phone and gave us a last chance to man up, but we still decided to be our lazy selves and booked it regardless. It was a waste of money. The water taxi dropped our bags far away from our camp sites, therefore it was a hassle to pick them up and drop them off later on. In spite of booking the water taxis, we ended up carrying our backpacks most of the time. When a Kiwi is being nice to you and warning you to spend your money on something else, you better listen to thim; Kiwis are like angels that couldn’t find their way back to Heaven and ended up on Earth instead – except for the Border Force officers at the airport, they are the Devil. So when a Kiwi willingly offers you free advice, please just take it. 

We started our tour. While Julian was on his own in a single kayak, I was with Janneke in a double one. We had just started and our German friend was already leading the way and pressing us to speed up. Janneke, who was in the front, complained that we were slower because we were carrying his stuff. Meanwhile, I was in the back filming the scenery and not paddling at all, but since Janneke couldn’t see, I agreed with her statement. Oh don’t you shake your head at me, you would have done the same thing. I did it for the greater good yet again. I was filming a video for Indie Road. It’s all fair play when Indie Road is involved #sorrynotsorry


We cruised along the coastline of Abel Tasman National Park, paddling through vivid turquoise waters and crystal-clear bays, past golden sandy beaches, rocky headlands and really loud seals, with the majestic view of lush native bush.

We stopped to have a break at a beautiful beach in a small island opposite the coastline. Mystery surrounded a rocky dark immense cave until some tourist went in there and used it as a toilet. Then the magic was gone.

Unlucky for me, Janneke and I swapped places. Now that I was sitting in the front of the kayak, unable to slack off any longer. Well, I still did in the pretense of filming with my GoPro but just not as much. I also contributed by encouraging Janneke to paddle faster. 

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Once the fascination with the beauty of it all and the excitement of seeing seals and kayaking had worn off, Janneke and I started asking Julian, who had already done the this activity before, how long it would take us to reach our destination. He said after that beach was just around the corner. We passed that corner and he said, the next corner. Then we left another one behind, and another one, and another one. Never trust a German when they say “that beach is just around the corner.”


We finally reached the beach and I wish I could do the scenery justice but this blog post is already too long. We were really happy to reach the shore. We had our pics taken and admired our surroundings. There was a really cool campsite with a prime view of the beach. I got really excited to spend the night there. That was until Julian told me that wasn’t our campsite. We were staying at Torrent Bay instead which was about two hours away. “But everyone is staying here,” I said. “That lady at the information desk didn’t like us.”

This assumption became more obvious when we reached Torrent Bay. This campsite could have easily been the setting of the Blair Witch Project. I thought to myself if somebody asks “What’s with that slime on your backpack?” that’s it, I’m out.


The campsite was not only obscure, but there was a creepy fence bordering it and separating it from the beach. And don’t even get me started on the toilet, which seemed to be the product of Stephen King’s imagination.

We had dinner which consisted on canned food and other goods that do not required to be cooked. Some German campers brought their own gas cooker but we were travelling with the wrong German (sorry Julian). We thought of exchanging him for another German backpacker, but we had already grown fond of him at the time.

Night fell and the campsite became darker than my future. This would have been a good opportunity for star gazing, if it wasn’t for the trees that blocked the sky out of view.  Sleeping on a yoga mat may be a spine killer, but the biggest tragedy of it all is that none of us had showered yet.

I went to sleep expecting Jason to rip through the tent with a machete and this set off an argument between my multiple personalities: “I’m afraid to close my eyes. I’m afraid to open them. Oh snap, that’s one of the quotes from The Blair Witch Project. Perhaps I should leave my camera on in case something happens. What? Are you insane? Is this your plan to re-enact that film?”

I heard some steps right before dawn. I was expecting to hear the sharp loud sound of the chainsaw breaking the silence of the campsote and seeing Leatherface coming after us. The morning came, the sun brightened up the land and guess what? Nothing happened. I was really happy to have made it through the night and I wanted to document our survival. That’s when I filmed the tent from the inside. So perhaps the footage shows the tent, Janneke and Julian sleeping and then me laughing. I was laughing with joy because we survived those witches, Jason and Leatherface. It was lockerroom filmmaking. No, wait, that’s even worse. Oh well, who am I kidding? It was an evil laugh. It looks like the video a psychopath makes of his/her victims before killing them. It seemed like I was going to murder my friends. It was me all along. I’ve been lying this whole time. I filmed my friends while they were sleeping. I’m creepy. I’m despicable. I don’t deserve my friends. On the brightside, I’m finally ready to run for president.

Over limestone cliffs, along sandy golden beaches and through lush bush, we continued our journey along Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

To be continued…

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