Recently, a friend and I made the decision to walk the beautiful Abel Tasman track from Totaranui to Marahau, and we have been going for walks at least once a week to get ourselves into some semblance of fitness.
As a “shakedown” trip, we decided to take the kids hiking during the school holidays up to Lake Head Hut at Lake Rotoiti and back. It is a three hour walk, while most of the trips on Abel Tasman is four hours, but we figured, if we could do three hours, we could do four. And to see how we would manage with fully loaded packs.
I had another reason for wanting to go up Lake Rotoiti. I have based my story Curse of the Taniwha at Lake Rotoroa, a neighbouring lake to Lake Rotoiti, and I wanted to be able to describe the area, the native forest, sounds, sights, textures etc.
I have to say that we were successful on both fronts. The walk was a success (with one exception, but that isn’t worth discussing here), and we learnt some valuable lessons about packing our packs, and storage, what was necessary and what wasn’t. I also learnt that the sleeping bag we have, while rated for 0 degrees, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will keep you warm at 0 degrees! My boots killed my feet, so I have decided to swap them for my sneakers, which I know are comfortable and I can wear without too much worry and pain.
As far as writing goes – well, I got a feast of information. While it wasn’t Lake Rotoroa, the areas are very similar – surrounded by native bush, mirror finish lake… In the morning when we got up, a mist was rolling up the valley from the Lake, and mist was rising from the Lake, and as my story is set in Winter, it gave me an awesome perspective of what it would have looked like. The smells of the native bush, the smell of the lake, the pebbly beaches, glimpses of the lake through the native bush, the coldness, etc. I love it. I do have to do a fact finding mission to Lake Rotoroa and the Sabine Hut, but for now, I am happy with the information that I got.
So on Friday, my friend and I are heading off to Abel Tasman to start our adventure. Fingers crossed we make it out at Marahau on Tuesday with no major injuries… You never know, could be the setting for the next curse story…!