Point Reyes

Today is rainy day in San Francisco, so why not relax at home and get another blog post up?

Last weekend we had some amazing weather so we decided to take a short drive north to go hiking at Point Reyes. We had picked out a (12 mile trail 😶), packed our backpack with multiple bottles of water (we made the mistake in Abel Tasman of running out of water), a few snacks, my camera and 300mm lens.

Once we arrived to the parking lot, we ran into a couple of locals and their horses who recommend another trail to us. It’s pretty easy to change our minds when all the trails around here are so amazing.

First we hiked down to an amazing beach. It was still early, desolate, and incredibly peaceful. We threw down our towel and just r-e-l-a-x-e-d.

The trail we picked was called Muddy Hollow trail. After all of the rain the area has been getting, the name of the trail defiantly fit. I can’t count the amount of times that I got water and mud in my shoes. Needless to say, we need to invest in some hiking boots.

The locals told us that the trail lead to an area where Elk were typically seen. Ironically, on our drive up Chad was talking about how neat Elk’s are. So of course he wanted to go that way. We head in the direction where the Elk were suppose to be, slowly winding up the steep hill. We got to the top, took in the views, and starting making our way down the other side of the hill. We were reallyyyyy hoping to see some Elk, but no luck. At this point it was getting late (and we were running out of snacks.) We turned around and head back. We will try for the 12 mile hike next time when we got some proper shoes.

7.5miles later, one sock change, a few blisters, and a few splinters later… we were back at the car. I never said I was a great hiker, I just said it was beautiful 😉.

 

Nelson: Abel Tasman

 

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Last week we had the privilege of being able to explore the lovely little town on Nelson, NZ. This was our first time to the south island of NZ and we were very excited. The rumors are true: the south island really is majestic.

Our flight landed a little after noon on Saturday. We rented a car, checked into our hotel, and did a little bit of cruising around before dinner. We stopped by Tahuna Beach Reserve and took a little walk on the beach. So romantic 😉

Abel Tasman

Sunday we booked a kayak tour to explore the Abel Tasman National Park. There was a ton (at least ten) companies that offered kayak tours, I’m sure they were all very similar, but we loved Sea Kayak (just in case you were looking for a recommendation).  The Abel Tasman is know for its beautiful secluded golden beaches, world famous coastal hiking trail, and granite cliffs. The hiking trails range from a couple of hours to a couple of days (I like hiking, but no way would I even be interested in a couple day hike.) To check out the trails offered click  H E R E.

Our tour started with a three hour sea kayaking adventure through small little caves, and around Adele island (aka Seal Island in Olga’s mind). Our go pro was acting up and we couldn’t get close enough to the seals to get a good picture of them. We saw a few little seal’s bathing in the sun, and a little family with four little baby seals. It was so sweet. Can you tell I like seals?

After the kayaking portion of the tour, we docked our kayak at the Watering Cove to have lunch (included in the tour we purchased). After lunch we went for a swim and lounged on the lovely little beach. After we were done bathing in the wicked New Zealand sun, we started on our 3.5 hour hike back to Marahau. The weather this day couldn’t have been anymore perfect, a little on the hot and humid side. The hike through the brush offered some shade from the sun and a nice little breeze to cool us off. Of course we ran out of water half way through our hike and felt like a cartoon character stranded in the dessert. We had plans to meet with some friends for dinner, but right at the end of the trek was a perfectly positioned wood fire pizza place (talk about a perfect marketing strategy). Needless to say, we apologized to our friends for bailing on them while we stuffed our faces with the most delicious pizza known to man.

Blenheim/ Marlborough

Day three we spent exploring the Marlborough wine region. I’m sure those of you following our blog are starting to think that we have an obsession with wine. Yeah, we kinda do. New Zealand is a very new wine growing region, but their wines are to die for! Marlborough is the top wine producing region in NZ, soooooooo we had to do a few tastings.

The vineyards we visited:

  • Allan Scott Family Winemakers: The property is very homey and Spanish inspired.
  • Fromm Winery: The whites were all very tasty, reds were not too impressive.
  • Seresin Estate: Every single wine was unreal. Favorite: Chardonay
  • Te Whare Ra: A married couple of winemakers own and operate this vineyard. Loved every single wine. They are very talented & you can taste that in their unique wines.
  • Nautilus Estate : First time trying the “Albarino” grape. Super tasty.
  • No 1 Family Estate: All champagnes/sparkling wine. They were very good, I’m just not a fan of sparkling wine.

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After our wine tastings we head to a bar to watch part of the Super bowl. Both teams were so awesome it was hard to pick a side. Congrats to the Denver Bronco’s.

From here we head to Picton and caught the ferry to Wellington. More to come on those adventures 😉

 

 

 

Hiking on a Volcano

This past Sunday we were craving a really good hike. We woke up with a ton on energy, opened the blinds, and it was pouring rain! Boo!

We kept ourselves busy while it was raining by going to the maritime museum. Once we were done with the exhibits at the museum, the weather had completely cleared up. Therefore, we grabbed an early lunch and the next ferry to Rangitoto Island!

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Rangitoto is a 5.5km wide Island visible off the coast of Auckland. It is the most recent volcano on the Hauraki Gulf, as well as the largest. The island was formed by a serious of eruptions, with the most recent eruptions being approximately 550 years ago. The hike up to the summit was 1 hour and 45 minutes. AGH! We are fairly new to hiking, so it was a little bit of a challenge.

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What I learned about New Zealand: the steeper the hill, the more it’s going to be worth it! The views are incredible.

(Another fact I learned about New Zealand: all the hills around the island are actually extinct volcanos.)

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After about an hour and a half, we made it up to the summit!

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We had a couple of protein bars at the top and took the opportunity to rehydrate. As we hiked back down the volcano, we digressed off the path and took the longer trail to explore the lava caves. I don’t know what more to say about that besides that the name is self explanatory. These are caves that were formed by the cooling lava.

I climbed down into one of the caves. It was a little claustrophobic the further in you went. Eventually the tight tunnel opened up into an area where you could stand up. A flashlight was defiantly required!

We then head back to port to catch the last ferry back to Auckland. After 4 hours & 9.5 miles of hiking, we were spent!

*Sorry it has taken us so long to post about this past weeks adventure. We came home from our hike on Sunday and our internet wasn’t working. It took a couple of days to get it back up.

Here is a few extra bonus photos from our hike:

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