Swimming a few hundred metres from the shore of Perivolous beach, I pause to look back to shore. The early evening sun is still warm and bright and soaking everything in a luxurious, golden hue. The water is calm and exquisitely refreshing after a day spent lounging on the sand.
Abel Tasman National Park has golden beaches and water so clear that kayaks in shallow water simply appear to be floating in space. I bask in the sun and climb some of the 57 km of trails that wind and twist through dense trees. I wander beaches and explore tiny side trails.
I awake to long blasts of the ship’s horn. Figuring the ferry is pulling into one of the first stops, I grab my camera and head above deck. Expecting to see Ios or Naxos, I instead recognize the rock walls and caldera of Santorini, the last stop. Passengers are pulling luggage through the halls and toward their cars on the vehicle deck. A family is applying suncreen at the stairs to the exit. It’s not yet 8 am but I’m not the only one salivating for gyros on shore.