ICYMI: We are helping Karina Halle count down the days until the release of her upcoming contemporary romance novel (via Atria), Where Sea Meets Sky!
Each day until March 31st (release day), we will be hosting exclusive content from Karina Halle herself! These will include photos/images that inspired scenes from the book, teaser photos, excerpts, and GIVEAWAYS! Each day there will be a different giveaway that are ALL OPEN INTERNATIONAL! You can win signed books, swag, and HUNDREDS of dollars in gift cards!
Check out Karina’s post below, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom! And, don’t forget to tell all your fellow book buddies!
New Zealand Travels: Art Imitates Life Part Two
If you’ve missed the first part of the virtual journey through Where Sea Meets Sky, click here. Today we are exploring the next places on their list. Abel Tasman National Park and the Franz Josef Glacier. Now, in Where Sea Meets Sky you don’t really see Josh and Gemma visit Abel Tasman (even though they do, he just recaps it while on the phone with Vera. You know, his sister? She lives in Spain…) but I went there so that’s just as good.
I’ve been to the park twice but the photographs below were all taken in 1999, when I first visited NZ. Cuz that’s just how I roll. So excuse the crappy quality. If you want to see some stunning photos, just Google Abel Tasman!
The Abel Tasman National Park is located on the Northern end of the South Island. Flanking Golden Bay, Abel Tasman is popular with trampers (hikers) who walk from hut to hut. A lot of the park is waterfront, meaning gorgeous white and gold beaches, clear aquamarine water, little islands and a range of aquatic life. When I went, I did a day-long kayaking tour and saw dolphins AND penguins swimming with us. If you’re ever in New Zealand, please go to Abel Tasman, you won’t regret it.
The second place of significance that Josh and Gemma travel to on Mr. Orange, the orange VW bus that’s pretty much like a character in the book, is the Franz Josef Glacier.
Here’s an excerpt of the scene from the book:
The tour was pretty straightforward. Walk for what seemed like forever across the alluvial plain, criss-crossed with streams of melting glacial water (hey, geography was my best subject in high school after art), the imposing face of Franz Josef glacier slowly getting closer and closer. On either side, waterfalls spilled down in thin ribbons from forested cliffs and the clouds clung to the edges, obscuring the peaks in mist.
Finally we were up close to the giant wall of blue and grey ice towering above us, and the only way through was up. You have to climb up steps your guide carves out of the snow, everyone in single file, with only metal-spiked hiking poles for stability.
I brought up the rear of the group, with Gemma in front of me, and I had this incredible view of everyone walking along the ice like a row of ants. We walked across planks over aqua-tinged crevices that seemed to cut straight into the earth, made our way through caves and holes cut right through the ice, and moved up and down passageways that were so high on either side that the glacier was the only thing we could see. It was pretty unbelievable, and at one point I had to stop and take it all in with my eyes. I knew my photos wouldn’t even do it justice.
“What are you doing?” Gemma asked. I guess I did look strange, standing there, pole in hand, staring wildly at everything around me. In the distance the group was getting farther and farther away, heading back down the glacier now.
“I’m trying to remember this,” I told her. “I’m afraid my photos will lie and I’ll forget.”
I could feel her eyes searching mine for a moment and I turned to take her in. She looked so fresh, so beautiful, her eyes and hair so dark against all the white, the tan of her skin glowing. There was something else, too, something in her expression that made me want to stare at her longer. What was it? Longing? Yearning?
I did the exact same hike that Josh and Gemma did and, well, Josh described it better than I could. But here are some photos so you can visualize just how cool it is (again, photos are scanned from my roll of film from 1999, not the best quality but I think it conveys a lot).
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