Seals, Llamas and Sounds

October 16, 2010

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Chris Lewis
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 14:29:33 -0700
Subject: Seals, Llamas and Sounds
To: post@posterous.com

Upon arrival in Wellington, we immediately hopped on the ferry to head
to the South Island. The sun was starting to set as we left so we had
some great views of the coast of the North Island, however, that meant
it was dark by the time the South Island came into view. Once we hit
shore, we found our hostel and crashed.

The next morning we were booked on a 8am ferry to take us to Ship Cove
where we planned to do a day walk along the Queen Charlotte Trek. As
luck would have it, it was rainy and overcast that morning, but we
decided to still give it a go. It was a 1.5 hour boat ride to get to
the start. The dock we landed at had a history of Captain Cook, since
he apparently landed there several times. After reading the info and
taking a few pictures, we were off.

The first 45 minutes of the hike was uphill to get to a scenic
overlook, which Cressie was not too happy about. We finally made it,
and the rain had stopped and the clouds were liftimg so we had some
great views. After resting a minute we pressed on, as this was a point
to point walk and we had to be picked up at the far point at 3pm. It
was an interesting walk through lots of unique trees with some great
views of the inlets as we walked. We stopped at several points along
the track, including one where we got engaged. Soon after we realized
we were starting to run out of time so we picked up the pace. We made
it to he lodge with 10 minutes to spare. We got back to land as it was
getting dark, grabbed some dinner at the pub by the hostel, and called
it a day.

The next morning we got the early bus to head down the coast to
Kaikoura. Immediately upon arrival we wre picked up and headed out to
do a llama trek. This consisted of walking while dragging llamas on a
leash through a not too scenic area (compared to the coast that was 5
miles away), and we stopped to have a picnic lunch. Cressie really
enjoyed it though, and since I was expecting to not really enjoy it as
much as some of the other things on the trip, this activity went as
planned. This took up the rest of the day.

The next morning we were booked to go and swim with seals but it was
postponed due to weather. We instead decided to walk up the road to
where a seal colony was. Once we got there we saw 6 just laying on the
rocks. By this point the clouds had lifted and we saw snow capped
mountains surrounding us. We sat and watched the seals for a bit and
took some pictures. We were so close we could have touched them. We
then headed along a cliffside path to look for other seals. Eventually
we found a narrow trail that cut down the cliff to the beach where
there were literally hundreds of seals on the rocks. We made our way
down the trail and looked at these seals for a bit. There was none
else here which probably had something to do with it being 3k from the
car park where the other seals were as well as the steep cliff trail
you had to go down. We then walked back to town and caught the bus to
Christchurch. Next time we are in Kaikoura we are going to check out a
place where baby seals swim upstream to a waterfall and play there. It
is 20km out of the town though so we couldn’t get there without having
a car.

We only stayed in Christchurch long enough to grab a meal and sleep.
We got on the 7:45am bus headed for Dunedin, which we are on now. We
spend a dew days there and then head for Queenstown and the sounds.

I’ll be posting some more pictures whenver we find some wireless
internet that doesn’t charge by the MB.

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