Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kia ora, Kaikoura.

In Maori, that means: Hello, good day, town of crayfish food.

Kiakoura is actually named after a Maori story. The entire name is Te ahi Kaikoura Tama ki te Raki. It means "the fire that cooked the crayfish of Tame ki te Raki". He was on a journey from the North Island around the South Island to find his three runaway wives and he stopped here for dinner. Kai means food and koura means crayfish. And this town fishes for crayfish (which are lobster sized and cost $50 here).

In Kaikoura, I spent a lot of time just sitting on the beach. The hostel was right on the beach. It was very nice and there were some really cool people there. I shared my room with a Swiss girl and an American guy who had met a few days prior to arriving in town. The guy had the same pack as me, only in the boy version. His was 5 L larger, but mine was (slightly) heavier. I don't know how I do it. We had a lot of fun, cooked dinner together in the amazing kitchen (some hostels don't have amazing kitchens, this one did). They actually invited me to come to Nelson with them, but I already have the rest of my trip pretty much planned out! I also met a German guy who had traveled through Canada, Australia, now NZ, and was heading to Thailand. He said Canada was his favourite country (I'm biased, but I can understand what he's saying :)

This was the gravel beach. O yeah, Kiakoura is at the base of a beautiful mountain range. There is snow at the top of the mountains all year round. When I saw the snow, I felt SO happy, like happy homesickness. I'm sure I'll take that back next March.

My NZ wool on the NZ beach. Fits right in.

On my second day in Kaikoura, I walked down to the Saturday market. I bought some honey and I had a whitebait sandwich. Whitebait is a local delicacy, it's at the end of the season right now, and apparently it's worth a lot of money. I had no idea what it was, but I thought I'd try. It's tiny little fish fried in a pancake. Yep. Eyeballs and everything. O, and they serve it on a piece of Wonderbread with margarine. HOW is that a delicacy? It tasted pretty good, but I couldn't look at the little worm-fish while I was eating it. Here is a horrible picture of my mostly-eaten whitebait pattie.

And, there's a big thing in Kaikoura. A big crayfish, of course. Since this I've found two more big things in NZ, so watch out for them.

More perfect knitting on the beach, this is going with this and it looks lovely. It'll be nice and warm for the winter back home.

And then I hiked out around the lovely coastline. The seabreezes here were just so refreshing.

I walked out to the end of town to see Fyffe house, the only remaining house from the whaling days in Kaikoura. And this house belonged to the man who brought the whaling industry to this region. I don't know if it's always been pink, but now it's very, very pink. And it's built on whale bones as a foundation. They also used the bones as fences.

A cool cookie cutter in the kitchen cupboard :)

Whale vertebrate on the front porch.

I went down to a wool farm to see a sheep shearing show. That was interesting. This is a picture of Ramman, one of the rams at the farm. I fed him. I can't show any pictures of the sheep being sheared because it was too traumatizing. It took three minutes with electric clippers to shear one sheep, but the farmer can actually do it in 37.2 seconds. In the background you can sort of see the little sheepdog pup that's learning how to work on the farm. His name is Sam! There's also a little bit of a black sheep too. They're both eating the ram's food.

These are some of the lambs at the wool farm. I got shocked by the electric fence for this photo (and it's not even that good...I wanted more lily and spotted lamb face). I'm sure I'm not the first since people come here to see the lambs and I didn't notice any signs indicating the fence was electric. The farmer even told one guy he could go in with the lambs and didn't mention the fence. Anyway, it was just like a flick to the muscle of my left arm and I was totally fine.

On my last day in Kaikoura, I borrowed a bike from the hostel (for free, that was nice) and rode out to see one of the seal colonies and hike around the end of the peninsula.

Baby sealface! Can you see him?

Landseal, right beside the boardwalk. You're supposed to keep at least 10 m between you and the seals. Usually, that's no problem because they stay out on the rocks. This guy was right beside the boardwalk. I wasn't that close, but other people were.

The hike was really neat. There were all kinds of old Maori sites along the way. The ridges you can see in the first hill were actually a Maori fort, or Pa. The town of Kaikoura is around the other side of the point. It was so foggy I couldn't really see the mountains in the background.

I sat up over the ocean and knitted for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures!! The wool looks beautiful!!! What are you all knitting there?