Edit Blog Post
Published: February 9th 2020
It was a beautiful ferry ride from North to South Island. The water was perfectly still, and the lack of waves made for an easy journey. (When Nick did the same thing 18 years ago it was really rough and everyone was throwin up, so he had put a bit of a scare in all of us). The last hour is going through the beautiful fjords, with the most amazing views. That made the adults happy. Inside there was a magic show and a drawing competition. That made the girls happy. Ollie is getting more and more confident and volunteered to get on stage for the magic show, and afterwards, she won the drawing competition and got to spend $10 in the ferry gift shop. Big success!
We had booked the probably smallest accommodation yet – but it looked super cozy in the pictures, so we had booked it anyway. It was a barrel set in the garden of a house owned by a German/Kiwi couple. They had three children and it didn’t take long for everyone to get along. Having Ollie and Alba speaking fluent English makes it so much easier for them to make new connections.
A favorite activity has become practicing a show of some kind, preferably on a trampoline, and then combining whatever skills everyone has, and then making a show in the evening. It’s awesome to see how they work together.
The barrels were awesome. There was no power, so the evenings were spent by the bonfire under the stars. This trip makes us realise how much more we can use the outdoors when in Denmark. Getting to see how different people live and set up their lives is really inspiring and makes for good conversations about the small adjustments we can make ourselves. So there’s lots of future planning going on. Big and small, anything from moving the sofa to wondering what continent we’ll retire in.
Then we moved on to Kaikoura. Again we were really late in booking accommodation, but got a tip from someone else staying in the other barrel, and ended up in this apartment just across from the waterfront, with the most amazing sunset. Ruth owned the place and lived upstairs, and it just adds a layer of something really nice and authentic to stay in someone’s house, rather than in a big hotel or campground.
Kaikoura is full of wildlife. On the way there we had already stopped at a fur seal colony, just on the side of the main highway. Apart from that we could go diving, go whale watching, dolphin watching or on an albatross tour. We wanted to do it all but had to choose. All the operations looked like they were run super professionally, and we ended up opting for the whale watching. All set and ready to go there were white caps on the waves while we were having breakfast, and when we got to the shop the first morning the boat was cancelled due to bad weather. We took a walk on the beach to another fur seal colony and did not feel disappointed at all. We would not have wanted to be out on a boat in the big waves anyway. We got up pretty close to a seal just relaxing on a rock and saw many of the baby seals playing in the water. There was a beautiful run/walk along the coastline from where we stayed and into town, and we had lots of time, so we both got a few long runs in, and we also
had a beautiful walk with the Ollie and Alba all the way across. They’re getting quite good at this walking business.
Finally on the third day the conditions were perfect for whale watching. There’s a big underwater trench fairly close to shore that holds lots of the food that whales eat, and this is the reason Kaikoura is so good for spotting the biggest animals in the world. The ocean was flat, the journey was smooth, and the information level was super high with interesting whale facts supported with photos and graphics. It was done very well. They use listening equipment to find the whales, and tun off engines when near. We waited around for a bit, but the sun was shining, and we were just happy to be out on the ocean. Not one bit impatient. It didn’t hurt that a few big albatrosses started circling the boat. They are enormous and look even bigger in real life. After discovering the existence of albatross last year, Alba has asked to have her name changed and add “Tross” after her first name. So the big birds made her day! In the distance the first blow of air revealed a
sperm whale (Kaskelothval) surfacing, and the next 5 minutes we were all on the roof of the boat enjoying the presence of the biggest predator in the world. It waved goodbye with the well-known flick of the tail, and it was a boat full of very happy people returning to land.
Christchurch was all about recharging – we had been on the move a lot and needed a little break. We found a great playground, had a big apartment where we could all find some space to exhale and getting ready for two weeks of “workaway” where we would be staying in a busy family house. A road trip to Banks peninsula was the highlight. Beautiful drive and the most amazing views.
Tot: 3.092s; Tpl: 0.031s; cc: 12; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0531s; 3; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb