Eat Crayfish

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In Maori, Kaikoura means eat crayfish. I did not eat any crayfish. I didn’t want to spend all the money on something I wasn’t sure if I would like or not. Kaikoura was a blast. The people were super friendly and there was a great variety of travelers from all over the world and even a few locals. The first night a group of us from the hostel went to the bar. My birthday was at midnight, so it was cool hanging out with everyone celebrating me getting old. The following day I went whale watching by plane. We only saw one whale, but I think from the plane it was the best view. It was a massive sperm whale. They are not as active as the humpback whale. This particular one was sort of floating there, and randomly blowing spouts of water through his blow hole. I would say the highlight was when he dove into the depths of the pacific and we got to see his tail. That was awesome. The pilot then took us over to a pod of about 500 dolphins. They were so playful and flipping and jumping out of the water. They looked so happy and carefree. I couldn’t believe how many dolphins there were. And when I compared the size of the dolphins to the size of the whale I truly got an idea of how massive that whale was. The ariel view of the peninsula, the coastline, the mountain was just gorgeous. It was a wonderful way to start my birthday. The plane ride did make me feel a bit queasy. I had learned how sensitive my stomach is on this trip. After getting some lunch, I decided to round out my birthday by going for a run and then a yoga class. It was nice and relaxing. Different yoga than what I’m used to but nonetheless still fantastic. I went out for a steak dinner and it was delicious. I am still contemplating whether to try and prepare my own mini thanksgiving or treat myself to another steak dinner. My mouth is watering thinking about it. I had rib eye with a garlic butter sauce, mashed potatoes, and some greens. It was tasty and not completely terrible for me either. I went back to the hostel and another group of us decided to go make a fire on the beach. It was then that everyone there sung happy birthday to me in their native tongue German, French, Danish and English. It was unbelievable, and probably something that will never happen again. The plane ride was awesome, but that may have been the highlight of my birthday. My last full day in Kaikoura I decided to do the peninsula walk. It was a long walk. It took me about 6 hours to complete it, and that included stopping a bit for lunch and to read my book. But it was well worth it. Kaikoura is also known for their seals, and these seals aren’t afraid of humans. You can walk right up to them. I took all the pictures I could, and there were so many cute baby seals. I stopped and had lunch with a baby seal. I don’t know what kind of seal they are. Definitely not the California Sea Lion I’m used to . At one point during my walk, there must have been 200+ seals. It was amazing. I laid on the beach for a bit to soak up some sun. However, it is not a sandy beach, all rocks, and we had one last campfire on the beach. I need to enjoy the warm weather here while I can because tomorrow I am headed into the Misty Mountains where it will be cold, and I think even a bit wet. I will for sure buy the makings for homemade mashed potatoes. But I’m hoping the deli will have some pre-sliced turkey or ham. I will also look to see what kind of green been casserole dish I can easily make and that will be my thanksgiving. I thought about waiting until the 27th to celebrate it because that is when everyone back home will be celebrating it since I’m a day ahead. But well shall see. I didn’t realize Canada celebrated Thanksgiving. For some reason, I thought it was an American thing. Maybe there were be some North Americans at my next place and we can all celebrate thanksgiving and be thankful that we were giving the opportunity to be where we are today. I still can’t get over how friendly everyone is Kaikoura was. Some places I’ve stayed at, tend to be very clicky, and others no one talks to each other. But at the Fish Tank it was like a small family. It was a great place to be for my birthday, and if booking was so limited at Mt Cook, I may have postponed my trip up to spend thanksgiving in Kaikoura. I just hope that the people of Tekapo are just as “wicked.” 😉

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