Seeing seals, eating Crayfish and being cold...
We have a really tight schedule for the South Island in order to fit in everything we want to see so we hit the road early this morning to head to Kaikoura, as we've read there are sea lions and seals just before you get there at Ohau Point.
On the road we saw vineyard after vineyard, I have never seen so many! I guess we are in the Marlborough region though.
Just before Ohau Point, Andrew thought he saw something on the rocks on the beach and he was right! We stopped on the side of the road, looked down and there were sea lions (I think they were sea lions?!) on the rocks, only metres away from us.
Then Andrew said "There's one in the grass" and again he was right. Just a few strides away from us, I don't know how we missed it in the first place, was an enormous sea lion puffing his chest out. I was a bit scared to have a wild one so close at first but they were obviously used it.
We were about to carry on to Ohau Point, when we saw a seal in the grass a short way from our car!
At Ohau Point there were so many seals and sea lions, bathing on the rocks and beach and swimming in the rock pools. They were so cute but so far away compared to the last ones we saw.
Back in the car we were going to head straight to Kaikoura, but we saw more seals and stopped again. We were so glad at this point that we hadn't gone on the buses here. As Jay from the Inbetweeners would say, caravanning "gives you the sense of freedom you don't get with other holidays"! There were two seals on the rocks on the beach and then right in front of me, maybe a metre or so away, was a cute little seal in the grass!
And just on the rocks below, these gorgeous little fellas...I was in love with them!
We also stopped at another place along the way and saw a huge colony of them again.
After the excitement of the seals, we were on the road and it had started to rain a little, when we saw Nin's Bin on the side of the road and thought we'd see if there was any prawns for dinner. There wasn't, but there was big crayfish which you could take away or eat there cold with lemon or warm with garlic butter. It smelled so good, we couldn't resist! We got a small crayfish with garlic butter for $50 (about £28) but it was well worth it. The man in shop cooked them all and his dad and brother caught them. The cooking area was just a couple of stoves and somewhere to cut the fish, it's amazing how little you need to make delicious food when it's this fresh.
By the time we'd eaten it had stopped raining and view from Nin's Bin was really pretty too.
We stopped in Kaikoura and had a wander around, a pretty typical New Zealand town really. But we were there to go to an isite to book our glacier trip. After lots of debating we decided to do a half day walk on Fox Glacier. The Franz Josef Glacier trips all had heli-hops, which would have been so cool, but they were more than double in price and we thought it would be good to just even walk on a glacier. So that's booked up for 2 days time!
Moving on, we drove to the beginning of Arthur's Pass and took in the scenery along the way...
We stopped at a campsite called Craigieburn. It was still light when we arrived but already very cold so we were dressed for winter in thick socks, hats, fleece and big coat. There was no getting warm though.
We're now in bed both wearing long sleeved thermal tops and leggings, two pairs of socks and a hat. We can see our breath inside the van!