On throwing rocks, rain, and air conditioning


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura
March 5th 2018
Published: March 6th 2018
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Pelorus BridgePelorus BridgePelorus Bridge

Many stones were cast here in the name of science (ie seeing how big the corresponding splash was)
Why isn’t air conditioning a thing here? Not one place I’ve been to has had it. I thought this was a tropical country? All you get (if you’re lucky) is a rinky dink little fan to try and circulate air around. Bah. The cold nights are the one thing I missed about home. Anyway, sorry for the idle chit chat. Not as much to report on today. Ahead of us was a long slog along the eastern coast, recently devastated by an earthquake, on our way to the former whaling town of Kaikoura. We made a brief stop at Pelorus Bridge where we partook in the universally enjoyed tradition of attempting to skip stones in the river, giving up when we couldn’t skip anything, then resorting to throwing the biggest rocks we could find. Okay I admit, the last step was mostly just me. But hey, I had a reputation of making big splashes from the infamous “hot-tub incident” back at the ski lodge. Might as well embrace it.

The next rest stop was at a supermarket in Blenhiem to grab a take away lunch. As I exited the store I was excited to see black smoke in the distance.
The PeninsulaThe PeninsulaThe Peninsula

A stop on the peninsula walk with Ben and Bec.
I knew it was a steam engine. I’ll let you on a little secret. I’m a huge train nerd. I tried to play it cool running across the parking lot to get a video of it steaming by; not sure how successful I was in achieving either. Pretty sure I looked like a dork but not too many people took notice. My reputation was safe. For now.

The rest of the day was mostly spent on the bus. On the way we stopped at a sea-side shack to try a sample of crayfish, essentially freshwater lobster. The sampling was included with our tour but there was only enough for one or two forkfuls each as it is hideously expensive. It was pretty good but I think lobster in Halifax is cheaper and has a more pleasant texture. Upon arrival in Kaikoura we drove past our accommodations to partake in a quick hike along the peninsula. The area sort of reminded me of Nova Scotia with its rocky coastlines. Della, being a geologist, discussed some the formations with me and wished she could talk to a local geologist to get more information. Sure as shit on our way back a
Good times at the poolGood times at the poolGood times at the pool

Why yes, I DO look like a red neck with that hat
bunch of geology students with mapping gear came walking up the other way and soon a flurry of conversation arose, with words like “thrust fault” being thrown around. I couldn’t help but think that if my geologist siblings Matty and Denny were here they would react the same way. Typical rock lickers (as us engineers say).

Tonight we’d be staying in a holiday park; basically a campground but with full amenities. We all hopped right in the pool after long day on the bus and Ben brought us a case of beers. Once someone fired up their Bluetooth speaker I knew we were going to get kicked out. It was only a manner of time. A man came in and did about two laps of the pool before hopping out, commenting to a passerby that sometimes children needed adult supervision. But what did he know. He was about 30 years too old to be wearing the speedo he had on. In all honesty we were relatively well behaved and the “party” lasted longer than I expected. An employee eventually rode up on his bike and tactfully reminded us that no glass was permitted in the pool area and to
Top Decker Games NightTop Decker Games NightTop Decker Games Night

Games night at the holiday park
keep the music down. We obliged but had to shut it all down 5 minutes later upon being reminded “no glass” didn’t mean “move the bottles 5 more metres away from the pool edge.” We finished the night after dinner in the games room for some ping-pong and foosball.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. The next morning the weather was crap. Light drizzle eventually turned to rain. As a loyal Albertan I made sure to mention to those thinking of coming to Canada that this was basically Vancouver all the time and they should just come to Calgary instead. Much of the group, including myself, had signed up for a seal swim this morning which unfortunately was cancelled due to poor visibility. Some had booked either a dolphin swim or the whale watching tour though and both of those went ahead. They were smashing successes I was told. Dave and I on the other hand had come down with the little cold that seems to be making its way through our tour group. What better way to cure that then walking around in the drizzle by the sea. We had already walked to town for a coffee
Get it! Get it!Get it! Get it!Get it! Get it!

Dave's turn during a round of "Wavey-Rocky"
before the bus left this morning so when we were dropped off again with the rest of the group an hour later we figured we better go to the beach.

The beach here was all coarse gravel rounded off by the relentless waves, We soon made up a game of throwing a large stone partially into the surf and daring each other to go and get it before the next wave came crashing in. This kept us entertained for nearly 45 minutes because like most men our senses of humour and adventure stopped maturing by age 12. As you can imagine, running up the rocky banks laughing our asses off did wonders for our coughs. Our shoes only got moderately soaked and filled with little pebbles. And everyone else just went shopping. Ha!

Well Dave and I eventually got bored and did some shopping too. I got a new hat. Yay. We then went for lunch as we craved some seafood chowder. The café we picked was crowded as it seemed to be one of only two places in town serving actual lunch at that time. Upon getting to the front of the line we were dismayed to
Modern DesignModern DesignModern Design

New construction in Christchurch
hear there was no more chowder left so we went for the vegetable soup. Turns out we got the last of that too. Nobody was particularly upset when we picked up the rest of the group on the bus and headed for Christchurch.

As many of you know Christchurch has been devastated by earthquakes the last couple years. Much of the old city centre had to be demolished for being structurally unsound. This has presented the city with the unique opportunity to completely renovate its core though. Right now it is a strange mix of sleek modern design clashing with the dilapidated ruins of condemned structures with many empty lots and car parks awaiting re-development. Speaking of sleek modern design, our hotel room was something else. There was a central console next to the double bed (which was my turn to claim, suckas!) to control nearly everything from the alarm clock to the absolutely necessary mood lighting the bathroom. But most importantly, it had air conditioning. Praise the lord above.


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Kaikoura CoastKaikoura Coast
Kaikoura Coast

Yup. Rocks.
Seal CrossingSeal Crossing
Seal Crossing

Look out! Theyre mean bastards out of water
CondemnedCondemned
Condemned

And covered with graffiti


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