New Zealand [week 15]

Cyclone Lusi briefly threatened to disrupt our passage to the South Island but ultimately came to nothing. We arrived in Picton unscathed before zipping down the coast to Kaikoura, where we spent the rest of the week.

The crossing was cold and grey and you couldn't see much, so I took a few obligatory scenery shots and spent the rest of the trip reading inside.

When we arrived in Kaikoura, it was colder and greyer still. The waves were amazing.

The clouds parted in time to reveal our dwellings for the next week: a bed and breakfast on a patch of farmland sandwiched between the mountains and the sea.

My main job was feeding the various animals every morning. Shadow the goat was happy to eat the most festering of scraps.

As was Sushi the pig, whose salivating mouth overflowed as he wobbled towards the pile of old lettuce, egg shells and teabags.

The ducks had an extreme fear of animals that weren't ducks, and an extreme love of pellets, meaning they were simultaneously terrified and delighted to see me invade their pen every morning. Their xenophobia was warranted as falcons are common and they're occasionally ambushed.

There were also three dogs, three horses, two alpacas and many chickens. 

Jobs like scooping up horse excrement are made a lot more tolerable by surroundings like this.

We found this washed up on the beach after the storm. I thought it might be a dolphin but apparently it isn't. Does anyone know what it is? Thanks.

Friday was Sam's birthday, so we did some awesome stuff to celebrate. The first was piloting a small plane, which is something you can do surprisingly cheaply in Kaikoura. To begin, we were given a short lesson on how planes work...

...then Sam was introduced to the controls. Like a driving instructor, the (actual) pilot had his own set to prevent Sam killing us all. To her credit, he didn't have to touch them once during take off, which I thought was quite impressive.

We had twenty minutes in the sky and it was brilliant. She was allowed to go anywhere she fancied (within reason, no landing at major international airports) and spent most of the time circling the peninsula.


After the flight, we spent a couple of hours exploring the peninsula on foot.

I've done this walk a couple of times before, most recently in October with my mum, but it's always great.

We had to carefully plan our route to avoid stepping on sleeping seals. Seals have big yellow teeth and are intimidating bastards when they want to be.

To round off the day, we had dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town, courtesy of Sam's mother, which was amazing. Sam was a lot happier with her lamb than she looks. Thanks Sam's mum!


  1. biology is fun!24 March 2014 at 08:26

    I believe it is some sort of a deer. Note the broad grinding molars and lack of incisors -- all clues to it being an herbivore.

  2. Also, you're welcome! I think Sam would look happier if you stopped pointing the camera at her all the time....just saying....


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