At 7AM, Mel bounded out of bed, ready to get an early start on the day. While typing away on the computer, with Eli’s hacking coughs in the background, she decided that the plan had changed. Instead of setting out early to Abel Tasman to go on an afternoon kayaking tour, we would sleep in, and make our way there slowly. So, she went back to bed until 9:30 when the alarm went off again (we needed to check out by 10).
We started an ambling course toward Abel Tasman National Park shortly after 10, and were making pretty good time. After an hour, Eli pulled out the guidebook to find a place for lunch. Within seconds of finding a place, I drove right past it (hadn’t even looked to see where we were yet, and there it was!).
It was a cute place called the Jester House Cafe, which was right off the main road on a piece of property prettily tucked away in the forest. There was a stream running across the front with a little footbridge, and a sign that said “Tame Eels”. We were curious what this meant, and it meant exactly that. The shop sold eel food (some sort of pink paste) that you could feed to the eels on popsicle sticks while standing on the riverbank. There was a group of young kids and mothers there, feeding the eels and having a good time.
We walked the grounds a bit, then went inside for lunch. We had a delicious bread/cheese/meat platter, where everything was home-made on site, and the most delicious cup of tea I’ve had in a long while. We contemplated carrot cake for dessert, but due to the volume of lunch, decided we were already full.
While on our way out, we picked up a pamphlet full of addresses of local artisan. So we decided to detour (backwards) and visit a few of them. We went to a wood-turning studio with some lovely bowls, and the pottery studio of Anna Bartlett, who does very unique glazework with a lot of 3D texture.
We continued on our way, and took a short, 10km winding road out to the coast (over a mountain, of course), to get the the national park. The camp is right on the beach, although our cabin doesn’t have an ocean view (we got another cabin so Eli can continue to recouperate!). While Eli napped this afternoon, I went for a swim in the ocean, which wasn’t nearly as cold as I was expecting based on what I’d heard. It’s the temperature of Cape Cod Bay in the summertime.
After a short swim and an ice cream, I came back to find Eli awake, and unable to further snooze. So we decided to have a movie night. First we watched the Dreamworks animated movie Monsters vs. Aliens. It was quite entertaining. Then we got together a bit of supper from leftovers in the camper (more cheese/bread/meat, fruit, quesadillas, and fresh lime soda!), and ate it while watching Disney/Pixar’s movie Up. This one was really good, and really made us appreciate how lucky we are in life, with so many great friends and family to share it with. We miss you all, and will see you again in less than 2 more weeks!