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.
Set on an emerald blue lake, surrounded by the gentle mountains that mark the beginning of the Julian Alps, Bled has been a tourist favourite for decades. About a hundred decades, in fact, as the resort town of 5000 people is celebrating its thousandth year.
Having acquired some kind of cold in Marrakech, I’ve started to cough. I hoped that good food and the warm air would snuff it out before it (and I) became a nuisance. No such luck. I awake today to begin a two-day mountain trek with a full-blown hacking cough.