We have just sent off our first visitors, sadly. We had a wonderful visit with Cress and Gigi Whitfield and come to find out Adrian's youngest son coaches their son in soccer - what a small world! We had a really nice time and the house is terribly quiet this morning with kids in school, Adrian at work, and only the sound of the washing machine. So I will happily relive our latest adventure. I was a bit overwhelmed at getting this post out so I am going to break it up into chapters. The visit through Kaikoura being the first.
|ferry ride to Picton|
Ferry to the South Island trip was smooth and gorgeous as we entered the Picton area. We met and visited with a Maori woman, Maata, she had flax reeds and weaved those reeds into a Maori bag during our visit. Just before we docked she gifted us with the basket. Through tears we exchanged hugs and the traditional Maori hug which is placing forehead and nose to the other persons forehead and nose. It was a real highlight to meet and visit with Maata. She spoke Maori with her grandchildren and had the traditional tattooing around her mouth and chin. The Maori call it carving and as I have learned from Grace (she learns the culture, legends, customs at school) each carving tells a story. She certainly is a wonderful story teller and a deeply feeling and passionate woman. A very special beginning to a very special trip, indeed!
|baby seal at waterfall pool|
The other wonderful thing in Kaikoura are the fur seals. There is a great spot to pull off the road and look at the seals on the rocks. There were so many of them. These seals take their babies to a feeder creek so that they can safely learn to be adolescent seals. We hiked up this path next to the creek that feeds into the Tasman Sea. There were so many little black baby seals - hard to see against the rocks really. At the end of the trail there was a waterfall and a pool where the babies were swimming and twirling and trying to fight like seals do - so special and something that enthralled all of us.
On to Christchurch...