Thursday: It’s a damp start. My trainers are still a bit from the torrential downpour that lasted most of yesterday evening.
However, I was pretty lucky to have a working heater in my dorm room.Today we’re driving around 2.5 hours up the road to get to Kaikoura. Famous for dolphin watching and swimming, whale watching and seal swimming. Well, that’s what I know it for, and that is why I’m ridiculously excited!
Today is a strange day. I’ve been travelling with a group that largely broke up in Queenstown over a week ago, but there have been a few people that I’ve caught up with in the Deep South, and then again in Queenstown. Today I’m heading out with a few familiar faces on the bus, but after tomorrow I may not know anyone. It’s strange because whilst I am travelling solo, it doesn’t always feel like I am – which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just different.
The name Kaikoura translated into Maori means ‘land of the crayfish’ and the peninsula here used to be an island! This is one of the rare places where dolphins and whales actually live all year round (which is rare because they are migratory animals).
Something I didn’t realise until now (when the bus driver told me): NZ fur seals are actually incorrectly named. They’re actually a small species of sea lion but the name has stuck.
I booked on to the whale watching for this afternoon and swimming with dolphins in the morning.
Unfortunately, my whale watching trip has been cancelled but luckily I booked an extra night here so I’ve rebooked for tomorrow afternoon. I was in two minds about booking the dolphin swim because… Well. I’m actually a bit scared of open water and well, the ocean.
It’s irrational really. I’m not scared to the point where I won’t get in, it just scares me to think of everything that is in the ocean, that I can’t see, that I probably don’t want to see. I don’t think it’s so much about not touching the floor, it’s just being freaked out by everything in there. It’s so vast!
Anyway, I’m doing it. This is one thing I know I’ll definitely regret not doing. Not being brave enough. So I’m doing it. (Weather permitting).
It’s still pouring with rain but I have been informed this is a lovely place when the sun is shining!