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Day 19 – Blenheim to Kaikoura

November 3, 2012

Well it had to happen after what was probably the sunniest and hottest day of our holiday so far we woke to rain. It was fairly consistent throughout the whole of the day and at times the wind became quite strong especially as we drove along the shoreline. It was so strong at times that I had to drop the speed we were travelling as it was gusting over the hills and buffeting the camper-van.

Our journey today was one of the shortest so far – 130km. We initially did a long climb out of Blenheim then after the descent it was fairly level as we followed the shoreline and railway for the majority of the journey. There was very little in the way of populated areas during the journey. It’s very barren and mountainous towards the middle of where we were travelling.

Had the weather been better the views would have been really nice!! There were some lovely bays though the sand was mainly volcanic so quite black. This coast line is good for surfing though we didn’t anyone out there today as the weather and wind was far to hazardous.

This part of the coastline is also populated with many different birds, seals, dolphins and whales. We saw plenty of birds and seal but none of dolphins or whales. The weather seemed to be pleasing the seals as they where basking on the rocks and generally having fun. It appeared at times that they were having a good laugh at us humans standing in the wind and rain watching them play!!

The purpose for choosing to visit Kairoura was to go whale watching. We have heard so much about this being a special experience so you can imagine our disappointment when we found out that all the trips had been cancelled due to the weather conditions. The sea conditions were dangerous with huge waves and a wind speed of 25 knots out in the area we were to sail in. The conditions for tomorrow morning are going to be similar and we need to be on our way no later than 11am to get to our next destination so looks like we will miss out on this experience.

There was little we could do – we thought about going for a walk but the rain was incessant and it’s not much fun ‘tramping’ in those kind of conditions. So we drove to one of the may lookout points and sat and watched the seals play and the birds using their skills to surf the wind. A truly miserable, cold, wet and windy day. Reminded us of our friends back in the UK who have been experiencing this weather off and on all year!!

So it’s going to be a night of reading etc as the weather has well and truly set in for the evening.

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