Yesterday I went swimming with the dolphins in Kaikoura which was absolutely amazing. I was in the water around five times, and they reckoned the pod had around 400 dusky dolphins in it. Yes, 400, and all around us. Apparently if you make noises through your snorkel it attracts them so there was one in particular that decided to play to the humming of The Flower of Scotland. It swam circles around me several times, tiring me out by the time it left. It was a bizarre experience. One minute I was looking into the deep blue, then the next there would be tens of dolphins swimming past me in all directions. The experience was right up there with the Manta Ray dives!
I then went and stayed 7km south of Kaikoura on the beach with a Swiss girl (with a family home in Wengen no less!) who was in the hostel the previous night. I had another small world story when talking to her in the pub last night… she had been travelling for two weeks with the author of the Working Nomad website I’ve been following for the last 12 months or so. Anyway, it was time to try the tent I got with the car on a campsite. It is sh!t. It’s an old fashioned one with one pole at either end, and pretty impossible to put up on your own. Oh if there’s a country that makes you want to have your own outdoors gear it’s here!
On the up side, there were a gazillion stars in the sky, a couple of shooting stars, and I saw the milky way, all accompanied by the noise of waves, wine and stinky garlic biscuits with cheese – all after a couple of Indian takeaway starters.
This morning I went for a swim in the baltic sea (not the Baltic sea, just that it was baltic – cold!), and almost swam out to a pod of dolphins that was playing at acrobatics in the bay. I reckoned I may have reached them, but would either be too tired, or die of hypothermia before I got back to the beach.
I’m now in Hamner Springs, having spent a couple of hours in the thermal pools today.
Tomorrow it’s off to Christchurch to stay with Richard I met in the Perhentian Islands 🙂