|Author Catherine Mede, right before her fall|
I love getting out and exploring, and in 2014, my girlfriend Deborah and I decided to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The track wove through cool native forests, beside quiet gurgling streams and along golden beaches. Three days of listening to birds calling and encouraging us on as we trekked from Totaranui down to Marahau with overnights at Awaroa Hut, Bark Bay and Anchorage. Deborah, knowing I’m a writer, commented as we looked down over Awaroa how beautiful it was, and would inspire a story. As we tramped, I worked it out in my head and by the time we got to the Bark Bay hut, I had a fully formed story in my head – Running Away.
On our last day, because of a shortcut (and a fast incoming tide), we made it to Anchorage fairly quickly, so we explored along the peninsula. It was a beautiful spot, and signs told us about Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) occupation of the area. We decided to do what most people had done, and explore a little further, beyond the fence out to Pitt Head. We clambered down a goat track, along a small narrow strip of land and scrambled up a clay bank, through some dense undergrowth, and came out on top of this hill to a beautiful view of the bay.
The sun sparkled off the sea. The weather was uncharacteristically warm for the time of year we were tramping (May, Fall in New Zealand). We sat and admired the view, enjoying the peace and tranquility the spot provided. We took some photographs and then headed back.
As we got to the clay bank, I lost my footing and slid. It’s a rather steep bank and there were no toeholds to stop. I flung my arms out sideways and managed to grab hold of a branch with my right hand and halt my fall. My girlfriend clambered down behind me and we inspected me for damage. A nasty cut on my left arm looked a little suspicious, so we covered it with a piece of tissue and clambered back out to the initial track. We sat on the bench and looked again at my cut. It was about an inch long, and the skin had been pushed up underneath the cut. It was horrific to look at, so when we got back to our cabin, my girlfriend dressed it and I took painkillers.
Both my girlfriend and the DOC ranger wanted me to take the boat out, but I had a point to prove. I took painkillers for the remaining 12 hours we were there, and as we were tramping out, we got my Mum to ring the Doctor and make an appointment.
It required four stitches, and I was told off for not coming out immediately, but I knew I wasn’t going to die from a small cut.
As it turned out, there was a piece of tree still in the wound, which worked it way up to the surface 3 months later. But that is another gory story.
If I had stuck to the track, I wouldn’t have this scar on my arm, but I didn’t. And now I have a permanent reminder of an adventure of a lifetime.
Sometimes the world has a way of making you stop.
Larissa Green has had a rough run. She ditched her boyfriend, quit her job, and lost her flat all in 24-hour period. She does what she does best. Larissa turns on her heels to escape her life by doing something totally out of character – going for a tramp.
Harley Orion is an English action movie star, in a toxic relationship. When his girlfriend accuses him of a serious offence, Harley freaks out and runs away to New Zealand until the storm blows over. Anonymity is assured when you stay at an isolated Lodge in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.
A fateful morning pushes the two together, and they can’t deny the chemistry between them, but both are cautious. Harley has been stung by women, Larissa used by men. However they can’t stop what happens between them.
Until the true nature of Harley’s visit to New Zealand is revealed, destroying Larissa’s hope of ending up with her dream man.
But life has a way of making things happen, that you least expect.