Kaikoura and Christchurch, NZ

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January 5th 2009
Published: January 5th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Heading south from Blenheim along the east coast we continued our roadtrip to Kaikoura, a pretty little town on the ocean with mountains in the backdrop. Right before getting into town we stopped at a crayfish shack to pick up dinner for later. Crayfish are lobster-sized in NZ, and are pretty much lobster but without the claws. We pulled into our totally ghetto motel, A1 Backpackers, popped our crayfish into the mini fridge and headed into town. After some meandering about and setting up our respective activities for the next morning, we decided to go check out a sheep shearing show. Rather, *I decided. I thought it was the best entertainment that 10 NZD could buy. Not only did we watch some guy shear a sheep, but I got to give a lamb a bottle, and Audwin had a ram eating out of his hand. Baaaaahhh... And the sheep shearer also gave us a brief intro on the wool industry in NZ. I definitely found this much more amusing than Audwin did, so after the show we headed over to Kaikoura Winery for a tasting. Later that evening we cooked up our fancy crayfish dinner in our run-down hovel and drank the rest of our fine Marlborough wine. Woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning for surfing (me) and whale watching (Audwin). But the ocean was really flat (good for Audwin, bad for me...) so my surf dude took me paddle boarding instead. Took a little getting used to standing faced forward on an oversized surf board, but I managed not to nose dive off of it. As for the whale cruise, Audwin saw a sperm whale and some dolphins which he said was pretty cool. It was only 10am when we left Kaikoura, so on our way down to Christchurch we took a detour to Hanmer Springs and simmered in hot pools for a few hours. We went our separate ways in Christchurch, Audwin flew back to Auckland and I picked up my rent-a-dent for the next stage of my journey through the south island. Checked into my hotel, Hotel Off the Square, which is a contempo little boutique hotel next to Cathedral Square. Walked around for a bit and checked out SOL Square for a chill bar with live music and reruns of the Giants game. (SOL = South of Lichfield St. and not the fate of the Giants against Minnesota!) Woke up to a beautiful sunny day the next morning so I went to check out the botanical gardens which was lovely. Also hit the Art Centre and walked all over central Christchurch before stopping for lunch at a crunchy granola but tasty joint called The Honeypot just outside SOL Square, after which I hit the road for Lake Takepo.

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