We’ve become addicted to ‘the next stop’ - to the mystery of what lies ahead and to the adventures on the road that lead us there. Flick and I have been on a roll the last three years, rallying a crew, packing up the boat and hitting the road to explore unchartered waters from New Zealand to the Eastern Sierra. We are after the landscape. Alpine lakes, rugged mountains, barren coastline - the opportunities seem to be endless. Wakeskating for us has become more and more about the adventure, seeking out untouched waters, foreign landscapes, and the long roads that lead us there.
This was our second trip through New Zealand, our first trip left us in awe and the South Island was calling us back. We packed up the camper van and hit the road. We would spend the next ten days weaving over mountain passes and cruising the coastline in search of glassy waters and stunning landscapes. Our first stop made us feel right at home, this was the New Zealand gold we remembered so well. A perfect mirror of water under the golden grassy hills with no one else in sight, we were off on the right foot. It was hard to leave and move on to the next destination, this was - in theory - as good as it gets.
We continued on the road, transitioning from lakes embraced by mountains, up and over the pass, weaving our way into the flat and rugged coastline. The salt water and the tides would be both challenging and rewarding in comparison to the alpine lakes we were accustomed to. But even in the mid afternoon, the open ocean of Abel Tasmen could resemble the calm early morning waters of Lake Tahoe. When the ocean swell picked up we ventured into the inlet, following the tide, only to find the most incredible crystal clear water, glowing in hues of aqua, teal and blue.
Our final days would be spent in Marlborough Sounds, a collection of ancient sunken river valleys offering miles and miles of endless coastline and bays. We hit a streak of weather upon our arrival that had us hunkered down in the RV for a day and hiking around the bay in the rain.
We continued to battle the overcast weather and the undesirable wind with wetsuits and puffy jackets. On our last day, the sun came out in full and lit up the sounds, the trees and rolling hills came alive with the sunshine. The entire bay glassed off for an amazing final set with not a soul in sight.
We hit the long road home on a high note, with the finest memories at heart. As one trip inspires the next, who knows where our cravings for the open road and desolate lakes will lead us next.
By Jen GilanFarr
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