The ‘coda’ is one of the classic tricks in the accomplished songwriter’s tool box. A coda can be defined as a musical idea that ends a song without directly repeating the melodic motif(s) of the preceding verses and choruses.
The Beatles included a coda on “Hey Jude” – it’s the “na-na-na” sing-along bit at the end. Listen carefully to “Karma Police” by Radiohead and you’ll hear another, more subtle coda in “for a minute there, I lost myself”. Arcade Fire employed this device for the anthem “Wake Up” on their debut album. And perhaps the most famous coda in all of popular music is the twist ending to Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla”, when the ripping blues guitar song morphs into a never-ending mid-tempo piano ballad.
While I was planning my New Zealand adventure, I knew that I didn’t want it to end with a full crashing stop at the conclusion of the south island tour. That’s why I built in three extra days – to facilitate a few more solo experiences. I’m thinking of these bonus days as the coda to my trip.
I spent yesterday doing a sailing and walking tour of Abel Tasman National Park. After being dropped off at Kaiteriteri beach at 9 am, I climbed aboard a 10-metre catamaran with a few other adventurous souls and our skipper.
Over the course of two hours, we explored the shoreline from Split Apple Rock north to Anchorage. We even tacked across the wind into the bay for awhile to take advantage of some pleasant sea breezes.
After lunch on the beach, we were free to walk the Abel Tasman track back to the trail head at Marahau. It’s only a 12 km one-way walk, and I had over four hours to finish it, so I tacked on a 5 km side-trip to Cleopatra’s Pool for good measure.
The walk back to Marahau was a relatively easy physical challenge, but the scenery was stunning. From time to time, the forest surrounding the trail would open up to views of the brilliant azure sea and golden beaches.
Despite the beauty in every direction, it still felt a little bit wrong to enjoy such vistas without my new hiking buddies at my side. I kept hoping that maybe I would run into them around the next corner, but it wasn’t meant to be. Wherever they find themselves this evening, I hope they are able to enjoy Abel Tasman Park vicariously through my pictures.