Tuesday, 12/28- Kaikoura Peketa Beach Holiday Park, Kaikoura
Strange weather today. Started out cool, got warm, then cool, windy, and rainy. Strange attitude for me today too. Felt off in the am, realized I left my hoodie at the internet hostel was grumpy, was ok, then back and forth between ok and tired/icky. Think the Stone Night is still catching up with me. One more good night's sleep should help.
Woke up this morning with Christopher Robin's famous words in my head, “Tut tut, looks like rain.” Small sprinkles, nothing real. And it cleared up quick. Suck it, Chris. After breakfast we drove to Kaikoura and up to the lookout. Gorgeous 360 degree panorama of the coastline. The water is blue and clear and excellent (and freaking cold!). From there we followed the signs to the Kaikoura Seal Colony, where the majority of our day was spent.
We easily could have sat in the carpark (parking lot) for a few minutes, checked out the seals relaxing on the rocks just off shore, then bailed. But what fun is that when there is a short hike nearby?
Up the path we go! I chose to do this hike fully Hobbit-style. Barefoot all the way, baby. And for the most part this was a fine idea. It started out on concrete, but only for a short way, which then gave way to dirt and long grass. Soft and easy on the tootsies. The hike wound along the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Great weather, hot even, and very clear.
Eventually we came to a fork. We could either choose to continue on, which would make for a long hike, turn around and go back the way we came, which would make for a short hike, or go down to the shoreline and go back, which would make Goldilocks happy. We took option C. Angela had been hoping we would be able to make it down there since we noticed people walking by the ocean.
This is where if got interesting for Mr. Barefoot Guy. Instead of soft grass and dirt the shoreline was made up of small to medium-sized ocean-rounded rocks. No problem in shoes, but bare feet feel every pressure point. Stability increases barefoot. Thou art an Off-Road Machine. Thy body is built for this. So it was slow going as I picked my way down the beach, but who is in a hurry when they're hiking? The corollary to that is hiking as about seeing the nature around you, but being barefoot means watching where you step. I actually think my neck might be more sore than anything else from craning to look at the ground so much. Wah wah wah.
Scrambling over and around rocks with nothing between me and the earth is a great way to go. Once the little rocks went away we did some climbing and hopping across the large slabs of flat and not-so-flat eroded cliffside that always shows up on a rocky coast. Fun. Felt like a little kid. Laughed in my head at the very serious looking hikers we went by wearing their very serious/expensive hiking or running shoes. I might have had some discomfort, but my body and mind are stronger for it. Excuse me while I go hug a crystal and kick a hackysack.
Back at Captain Slow I was entertained by all the people out on the rocks trying to get a good look at the seals. It looked to me like a Human Colony. “Oh look, honey. Those two have a little one with them. It's can't even walk on its own yet! Awww. Ohhh, and that older one looks confused. Its gotten itself stuck near water and it doesn't know how to cross. Quick, get a picture!”
Lunch at the caravan then in to Kaikoura proper. 60 minutes of free parking yielded 55 minutes of wandering. Cute little town. Nothing super special. But all right. Better than Blenheim.
We'd twice passed a roadside produce shop so we were sure to stop on the way back. Roadside produce equals happy wife.
Feet sunburned equals not so happy wife. Her feet got cooked and now she had bright white Zs from her Jesus sandals crossing a dark and angry red. Hope it doesn't hurt too much in the coming days.
Almost as soon as we got back to camp the wind picked up and really brought the temperature down in a hurry. It also brought the rain in. We've been getting pitter-pattered on now for quite some time and it shows no signs of letting up. Tonight is an inside night. Good thing we bought a deck of cards. Already got my ass kicked in Rummy once. *grumble*
So for now its wind, rain, coffee, and tea. Soon it'll be lamb sausage for dinner then sleep.
Last night I had a minor stress out because of my stone night. I know the chances of another so soon are nil, but camping + kidney stone = fear. Can't help it. I practically have the code to the bathroom tattooed on my hand. Need to relax and enjoy. I'll be fine.
Travel in to the mountains tomorrow.