Travelling South

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura
May 27th 2011
Published: July 7th 2017
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Geo: -42.4023, 173.681

Renee and I said goodbye to the North Island and hopped the ferry from
Wellington to Picton. The journey takes about 3 hours and goes out of
the water by Wellington, across the Cook Straight and into the South
Island. As it was very windy and rainy, we did not sit on the top
deck. Instead we found a seat right at the front of the ship in the
food court. Our ferry was the largest of the ferries and had 10 decks
in total and could hold 1200 passengers. The scenery was awesome, but I
did discover that the open water caused some motion sickness! But I
popped on my iPod and did some puzzles and waited for land again. The
entrance to the South Island was beautiful and the sun chose that moment
to come out of the clouds! We glided along past towering hills, small
houses along the shore, saw a few dolphins and lots of sea birds. We
arrived in Picton at 11:30 and picked up our rental car (a red Mazda 3!)
and continued our journey south. Stopped in Blenheim to get some
drinks and then at a wayside further along to have our PB&Js. This
area is big on wine and we went by many vineyards with nice fall
leaves. Heading south, we went through rolling hills until we came to
the coast. Then our road followed right along the shore with towering
hills to the right. The waves of the Pacific were crashing against the
shore and it was beautiful. Stopped at a pull out to let some cars pass
and there were a bunch of seals! They were just lying around on the
rocks and you almost had to watch where you were walking because you
could step on one sleeping in the grass. They did not seem to mind the
people taking pictures and would raise their heads every once in awhile
to check you out. Further along we stopped at Ohau Lookout where there
is another colony of seals. There were some cute baby ones playing in
the surf and making cute seal noises. Renee has some great video that
we'll post probably when we get home.

We arrived in Kaikoura and checked into our motel. We have a small
kitchen area and a bathroom with a shower that's just kind of in the
corner. Renee discovered that the water basically ends up all over the
floor so we know now not to wear our socks as the floor is all wet! We
got back in the car and headed into town. Kaikoura is a small town, but
I could stay here forever. The visitor center directed us to a cheap
fish n chips place and gave us info on a walk we will take today
(Saturday). We went back to the supermarket to get some lunch
supplies. Then back to the fish n chips place where we got it to take
away and ate by the water. It was the perfect setting to enjoy the
fish. Then Renee decided that she wanted to put her feet in New Zealand
water. So she took her shoes off, rolled up her pants and stood by
where the waves were. Unfortunately, the next wave that came went
crashing a little further up and she ended up with water all up the
front of her pants! It was quite funny! Next time she was more
prepared and stood further back. After all that excitement, we headed
back to the hotel for the night.

The good thing about vacation is we are on our own schedule. So who
cares if we have been eating dinner at 4:30 and in bed by 8! It's
nice! Today is bright and sunny and we have a whale tour to catch at
10! Hopefully we see some.

I would also like to point out that everyone in New Zealand is very
friendly and, other than a few impatient people, they are all happy to
wait until there is a passing lane or I have a place to pull over if I'm
the pokey one, which I usually am! The roads are only 1 lane and there
is usually not much traffic so it's not hard for me to drive.

Well, our hotel has a nice computer in the office with free internet,
but Renee is probably ready to head towards town. The sun wasn't out
yesterday and it will be nice to get pictures on a good day. There are
some snowy mountains visible from our room! My favorite place so far!


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