Back in Selcuk, a working-class town devoid of much decoration or fanfare, I await my next bus while taking photos of kids playing in the streets. After a quick meal at a neighborhood eatery, my next stop is Pamukkale.
It began this morning in Taupo with a 5 am wakeup call for the bus ride to Tongariro National Park. The bars were still bumping and thumping with New Year’s festivities, but I suited up with cold weather gear, attempting to be prepared for the Tongariro Crossing, billed as New Zealand’s most spectacular one-day walk.
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.