Published: August 5th 2008August 5th 2008
And once again there are a flurry of blogs for you to browse over this fine morning. Elliott and I have driven on now, and are currently in Greymouth South Island. But we are only just about to update our blogs with the happenings on the sunday after we arrived in the south island and the monday where we did Whale watching and then drove to a place called Hammer Springs. Elliott is in charge of the former whereas I have the delightful job of doing the latter.
Hope all is well with you all and as always we appreciate any messages and comments left by you. (thank you Deena for your message it meant a lot) I have also broken a habit and gone back on a rant from a previous blog and sent some postcards. And i can't emphasise the SOME enough, i have only sent them to my immediate family members and Deena. And even they are lucky because anyone who knows me knows i HATE cards and HATE sending them even more.
Anyway thats not important, what IS important is the Monday the 4th of August. We awoke in Kaikoura early on in the morning
about 7ish. I have slept ok, but it was a fricking cold night so had woken a few times with frozen feet, so i was a wee bit tired still. Elliott as usual gets up first and turns on the heater, he then says he is gonna get in the shower early before it gets busy in there. I am only half listening as per usual. As he heads out the door i think to myself 'i will get up in a se.....' don't even finish the thought and next thing i know i am woken again as Elliott returns from the shower. Woops. He doesn't say anything but i think he is slightly miffed that i was still in bed so i quickly get up and dress. He then starts barking on about 'when you shower make sure you get the end one, the pipe that drains from the showers next to you runs through yours. So when you turn off your shower their warm water keeps you warm while you dry' Brilliant i think to myself.
I eat breakfast then head over to the shower and follow Elliotts instruction the letter. His plan is sound but falls
apart at the critical point, No one else is showering when i am so its FRICKIN freezing. With that taken care of i return to the Merc and help Elliott tidy up and perform the last minute cabin checks before unhooking the power and then driving to the recyc spot and emptying the dirty water down the drain. We then leave the motorhome camp, drive down the road and turn into the 'Whale Watch' customer car park. Fortunately they have parking big enough to accomodate the huge ass this van has on it. We leave it there still with 45 minutes til the boat leaves and head back into town, its only a 5 minute walk from there.
I am looking for a pharmacy so that i can get hold of some travel sickness tablets, as i don't want a repeat of the now infamous 'Poor Knights Incident'. (i chose the cool name) We find one and inside i tell the lady what i am looking for and she presents me with some pills called 'Kaikoura Crackers' Something seemed almost shifty about it though, as the pills weren't on display and she got them from under the counter. I
paid for them regardless and then left. We quickly popped into the internet cafe and checked the roads to make sure none of the ones we were travelling on later were closed, it all seemed fine.
Now back to the merc to take the pills then on to the Whale Watch centre. After arriving we are told that they are still waiting to hear from the skipper about the conditions, we sit and watch a video then are told that the sea is fine although there is a sickness warning. Brilliant. While waiting for the bus i browse the shop. There i see some items i wouldn't mind purchasing they are postcards, an A3 poster of a whale diving that i would like foe my room and a Kaikoura Whale Watch Naval Jacket that i liked the look of. I decide to leave it til i return as the bus arrives and we hurry out and sit down. The 8 minute drive to the marina flies by and soon we are aboard the 'Aoraki'.
There is a brief safety video that i am not paying attention to as i am looking out the window dreading seasickness. I find
that i am feeling fine, in fact well enough that i get up and wander round the boat. They stop occasionally while a crew member uses the 'Hydraphone' to track any Sperm Whales that are nearby, he hears one and we race off to find it. Its incredible it is huge, and we can see it blowing air out of its airhole before it dips down lifting its huge tail out of the water before disappearing under for food. They think they hear another one and again we race off to intercept it. We catch up in time to see it again prepare for its big dive, before it too lifts its tail and disappears.
They can't hear anymore so they say that they are going to try a different position, but on the way a crew member spots something that turns out to be 2 'Hector Dolphins' they are quick bastards and i manage to get a few snaps before they disappear too. We are now told that our time is finished, so they aim for the marina, stopping briefly to look at the seals that live along the coastline. After catching the bus back and returning to
the shop i purchase my items and then walk back to the merc. Elliott provides lunch and a routh for our next destination.
We head off and join the road heading south. We spot our first turn off and take it before quickly turning back as there are massive 'ROAD CLOSED' signs flashing in our faces. Bollocks, that means the long way round. We are amazed and shocked by the damage caused by recent storms, there are landslides everywhere, some bad enough to disrupt traffic. (and when you only see 4 cars in an hour on these roads you know that is an impressive feat)
We have no real trouble on the road bar the odd intrusion of road works clearing the debris and we decide to hole up in a place called Hammer Springs as it has started snowing and i can't really see the road properly. Its a nice place and we park up and connect electricity, gonna be a cold night. To make things a little more compfortable for us we leave the heater on over night and also dig out the duvets they supplied us back in Auckland. We wrap them round our sleeping
bags to make massive cacoons, it is waaaaaaarm. Think i will sleep soundly tonight :-)
Going to have to end it there as these pc's are rubbish and keep deleting what i am typing randomly, and as they are time based systems i gotta be quick. will try to load some pics but Elliott's pc was behaving worse than mine and i don't even know if he managed to publish his blog. Which is crap because these things have just cost us like $10 each for the time and they haven't delivered what they are supposed to. Nevermind, we can add photos at a later date. Love you all and hope everything back in old Blighty is fine and dandy. We both look forward to getting back home, but in the meantime your messages and comments will keep us happy.
(P.S. just tried to load the pics but these pc's are shit and they are lucky that i don't kick the fucking things in :-D)
There are more photos below