Sunday, January 13, 2013

Short hop to Kaikoura

Sunday, January 13, 2013
oldbearnews editor
Kaikoura is a lovely seaside town - famous for it's crayfish and general fishing industry. Today was "Sarah day" and having decided to visit Kaikoura we got going at around 10am. Traffic a bit chaotic. Still we got there in good time. First stop the local info center where we walked in and straight back out again and went in search for a local cafe for a light lunch for the two bears and breakfast for the two young travelers. Having quenched our hunger we made tracks to the Kaikoura Peninsula walk way. Saw lots of Rata and Pohutukawa in flower along the way. Still learning which is which but getting better in picking them.   There are two possible routes to start with - and we perhaps foolishly went over the top to begin with.  Never-mind the views where really stunning and offered lots of opportunity  for photo-stops.  It was also a hot boiling day - made worse by the lack of wind and the grass reflecting back some heat.  Sweat was pouring of our backs - which I guess helped work of the pounds from some late lunches and previous nights pavlova!! Looking down from the top you could see various seals lounging around and we did have the opportunity to go down to the 'alternative' if non-official walkway later on. There are at various places some signs up that explain about the history and rock formation of the place, including the fauna and flora.  The area has been raised due to earth upheavals at various times - the most recent being about 1-3 millions years ago - the flat bits on the sea floor.  We longingly looked at the clear and invitingly blue coloured water and decided to go down to it and take a paddle.  Normally the sea around Kaikoura is quite cold - but here due to the flat nature and only 2-3 feet deep - it warmed up nicely in the sunshine.  Mamabear can be seen sampling the water and enjoying the view.  No seals or other wildlife came anywhere near so that was a relief. In the meantime I enjoyed snapping this picture of the cliff face we stayed under and managed to get the sun just poking through without ruining the rest of the picture.  The signs on the beginning of the walk way do warn that the tide needs watching as it will come in and almost cut you off.  We ended up having to get our feet wet and climb over some rocks and cliff faces to get back to the starting point - which provided some hilarity and angst at the same time.  Nothing to dangerous on todays efforts - but I would not want to be trapped with a raging easterly swell.  Yes says Sara - I made it out without getting my feet wet!!  Having spent most of the energy from our lunch on walking, it was back into town for a coffee and a drink.  While that was consumed I managed to go and find some cloth badges - including - yes folks  - including a newly minted version for Kaikoura badge -  which will find it's way on to my camp-blanket.  Most satisfying and once again proofing that you had to be a Johnny on the spot person.  By that stage it was getting towards the evening and having enjoyed the sun and warmth we needed to make a decision - should we stay here and have dinner here and be back  home late or go now and have dinner at home - well - thats a no-brainer really - we  decided to stay and enjoy what's left of the day.  So we headed north in search of the St Oswald's Church which was built in 1927 by Mr and Mrs Charles Murray in memory of their son Charles. However we weren't to sure how far north it is from Kaikoura so stopped at a local bay and enjoyed the evening sun with the cousins enjoying a game of knock down the stones  with varying degree of success.  Probably just as well as we did not go and look for the church - google map shows it near Kekerengu which is a lot further north then Mamabear had remembered. 
www.Kekerengu.html  Funny thing is - I also forgot it had what would have to be the worlds smallest Railway station.  Bearly enough for one person to be in it.
 The  beach near the church though is very nice indeed and well worth a visit. Saw a train going past us - and the low rumbling noise it generated reminded us very much of the noise we had heard during the 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch. Back into town for a much needed dinner and as Moritz well knows - Kaikoura is a Maori word which can be translated as follows Kai = Food and Koura = lobster (or seafood).  After dinner it was time to head home - literally drove into the sunset - nice going. 


Looking down to the spot where we ended up sampling the water and enjoyed the rest.  Notice the tide still being out? By the time we left it was right up

Looks cold - but it wasn't - really!

bear print

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