Okay, picture waking up at a nice little vacation home. Spending the morning on the deck, laying in a hammock while reading your favorite book and sipping a cup of coffee.
Welcome to Kaikoura. This little coastal town is absolutely phenomenal. Except I honestly didn’t see any vacation homes and most residential places looked a little broken down. (So maybe this isn’t the vacation home ideal but still) this place is wonderful.
Backtracking a millisecond I have to tell you all what happened after arriving in Christchurch and before heading to Kaikoura.
I decided to spoil myself so after a billion hitchhikes to get there… I booked a room all to my self at the hostel in Christchurch. Oh my goodness. This was the first time I slept in a somewhat normal bed since I first began my trip. OH MY GOODNESS. I didn’t even wanna leave the room because it was so nice to finally have a space to myself. I pretty much hibernated and drank coffee on my balcony and felt like I was living in luxury.
The next day reality set back in as I checked out of the room and moved into another room with 6 bunks.
I spend the day walking around the city. The next day was going to be Easter Sunday and I realized that everyone in my hostel who was traveling was about to miss out on the Easter bunny shenangians. SO I decided to problem solve.
I went to the grocery store and bought endless amounts of hollow chocolate Easter bunnies. I decided I was going to hand them out to people in my hostel the next day before I leave to Kaikoura. When I got back to my hostel I was heading up the stairs blaring James Bay in my headphones being all happy about life. I don’t like my style of chacos and I don’t wear the toe strap so natually I fell up the stairs. I couldn’t catch myself because my hands were full so I landed straight on my hip on the metal stairs but it was one of the last stairs so the rest of my body slammed against the top of the stair way.
I honestly never have fallen so hard. Ever. I wanted to scream but I to hold my composure and just clenched my teeth so tight. My immediate thought was “oh no, all the hollow bunnies are going to be broken”. Good news, the bunnies were fine so life was still alright. (Despite the fact that my hip was bleeding and I was partially dying. PS My hip is still bruised two weeks later and my whole right side hurts)
Okay. So… The next day I played Easter bunny with my bruised hip and I walked around endorsing healthy eating for breakfast (chocolate bunnies)
I hopped on the bus to Kaikoura. I arrived so early that I just went to the beach and sat around eating chocolate and laughing at the seal. Spending Easter alone on the coast was pretty amazing honestly. I had so much time to reflect and embrace the day.
That afternoon I went and did Peninsula Walkway which is exactly what it sounds like. There were so many seals. The first one I saw must have been a bit confused, sorry little guy but you’re not supposed to be in the trees…
The people working at my hostel were pretty nice and I spent the night chatting with them. In the morning I was hoping to get a call from the Dolphin Encounter in Kaikoura because I was on the wait list for the dolphin swim. (It books out super fast). Just as I was telling a girl about it my phone rang. YES.
They had one opening so I took it right away and headed off to the office. They said the waves were really rough and that I needed to be very comfortable in open water and comfortable snorkeling because there would be times I wouldn’t be able to see the boat. Uh duh I can do that. (Except I had never actually snorkeled before and hadn’t really been in the middle of the ocean. Oops) Once there they sent me back to a room to get suited up. I was looking pretty snazzy in my wetsuit and flippers.
It’s pretty incredible because the Dolphins we would be swimming with were completely wild. They are not drawn in by anything so the skipper actually had to go out and try to find them.
After about an hour on the boat we saw a group (herd? I don’t know) of Dolphins. The skipper sounded the horn which meant we could jump off even though the boat was still moving. We all plunged in and began swimming. The Dolphins are attracted to sound and they stay around you longer if you entertain them.
I was surprised by how many swam under me immediately. There were hundreds of them. I had one entertained so I was spinning in circles with it. So freaking cool. I couldn’t believe it. What an amazing experience.
I was spinning with another dolphin and when it swam away I brought my head above water and was so dizzy. I literally felt so sea sick, in the sea. We got back on the boat and a lot of people got sick…(thank goodness I didn’t)
The skipper said that another fishing boat just called and said they had seen killer whales so we were gonna go see if we could find them. They hadn’t seen them in over a month. After about 15 minutes we had our first sighting.
They were absolutely incredible. The males were so much bigger but all of them were phenomenal. One swam under our boat and I was just thinking.. Alright dude, please don’t come up too early and break us. We ended up seeing 7 or 8 of them (at least). What a unique experience.
That night I played with a soccer ball on the beach by myself for awhile before going back to the hostel and hanging out with the workers again. I spent the remainer of Kaikoura on the beach before heading back to Christchurch to leave.
In Christchurch I just got my bags ready to go and picked up a couple of last minute things. I slept in another jail cell but had to catch my shuttle to airport at 2:30am. Heading to the airport felt so surreal. Everything does.
I can’t believe I’ve left New Zealand but I know that I will be back. Such an incredible country with so much more to see. I’ve headed off to hangout with its neighbor and play with Kangaroos for a bit.