Backpackerbird

An insight into the world of travel

Get Involved November 30, 2009


Here’s your chance to get in on the action.

Comment on what you have read on this website. Tell me your own stories. Ask me questions.

All you need to do is write in the reply box, it’s simple. I will get back to you next time I’m logged in.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Backpackerbird.

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5 Responses to “Get Involved”

  1. Here is an old journal entry of mine to get you started.

    New Zealand

    Starting in Christchurch, along with Liz and Chris was picked up from the hostel by what was going to be my transport for the near future, the stray bus. Kerry was to be our guide. He had a dry sense of humour and made practical jokes. He was a Jack the lad type of bloke, extremely likeable. I made sure I sat within the main crowd that was forming on the bus so as to ensure I was sure to get to know more people.
    1st stop Kaikoura. The weather was pretty miserable but we didn’t let that stop us having a blast. There were snow-capped mountains behind the town, not that they were anywhere to be seen for the thick cloud that lingered. Once we had checked into the lovely quaint and cosy hostel that had traditional fire places in each room, ornate wallpaper and plenty of old photos or Maori culture hanging in the many corridors, we walked down to the sea front. We were heading for the whale watching depot. $120 bought me a ticket to jet out to one of the deepest underwater canyons in the world. The ideal place to spot a sperm whale. A short wait in the gift shop ( a ploy to get us to purchase) and out to the boat.
    I was truly expecting a boat rather like a sea trawler , the kind you see in fishing programmes in the north sea. An old battered tin can. I couldn’t believe how wrong I was. We were escorted onto a swanky Catamaran with large comfortable leather seats and foot rests to match. I was suitably impressed. Off we went, out to see in search of the giant sperm whale. It took about half an hour to reach the canyon, which I am told is as deep as 5 Auckland sky towers are tall. The Maori skipper has a whale tracking device so was positive we would see a whale. Whilst we were on the hunt an other guy gave us some useful information about the sperm whale and the area we were in. It wasn’t long before we were hot on the tail of our first whale. Once it surfaced we all sped out to catch a glimpse. This whale was apparently called Big Nick…He remained on the surface for about five minutes, blowing air from his hole giving us all a good view, before arching his back and plunging deep down into the depths of the canyon flicking his tail as he subsided. He cave us a classic whale pose. Perfect photo opportunity.
    There were five whales out that day, the skipper said we were extremely lucky. On the way back to the marina we saw a seal having a fight with an octopus. Clearly lunch.
    Fish and chips was on the menu when we got back on dry land. I opted for sweet potato chips, an interesting flavour, an acquired taste.
    The rugby was on that night so we headed to the local bar. I sat drinking with the guys, We played cards which soon turned into drinking games. Bates were placed and money was lost. That’s what I call a day in the life of a traveller.

  2. Adrian Says:

    Your journal entry is fantastic. I never kept one when I went, I relied on the thousands of photos I took to do the talking but your experiences took me right back there. Its made me remember things that I thought were long forgotten. I, myself, went to Kaikoura in my final week so it was quite a sad experience. 6am on a freezing morning in Christchurch and I was questioning my decision to spend the remainder of my dwindling funds on the visit to Kaikoura.

    After expecting a large tour bus to pick us up, we were greeted by a man called Geoff driving a relatively small hatchback. As there were only four of us, we quickly realised that this would be a truely unique tour experience. On the 2-3 hour journey we, very quickly, became friends with the ironically named Geoff, even if it was only for the day. I say ironic because we had learned of his deep and far reaching Maori background and his name did not do his family history justice. We did everything with this guy for the 18hours we spent together, including watching him devour the most disgusting looking and putrid smelling seafood chowder.

    This smell on his breath came back to haunt later when we boarded a light aircraft to go in the search of whales. Whilst I have no problem with flying, many factors came into play to result in me feeling incredibly queezey on the plane. The first was the smell of chowder, the second was that the pilot had only just began his studies at high school yet possessed the skill to fly a plane. This made me uneasy. Nevertheless, these minor effects on my stomach and psyche took nothing away from the unbelievable sights I witnessed, the whales in the perfect blue sea, against the snow capped mountains that pointed toward a cloudless sky. I have truely never seen anywhere like Kaikoura and the same can be said about the many other places I visited in New Zealand but that can be for some other time.

    Thanks Hannah for vividly reminding me of my trip and making me incredibly jealous of you. Also it’s worth mentioning that you have taken my ‘blog virginity’. Congratulations!!!

    Make your dream happen!!!

  3. Thank you Adrian, I could have only hoped my experiences could have provoked such a response. You have just made burning the midnight oil, writing my blogs all worth while. This is exactly how I want to make people feel. Bringing old memories to life is a magical thing. It is a shame you didn’t write a journal yourself. I often flick through the tattered old dog eared pages of mine. They make me laugh, cry and cringe. Fantastic. Better than any book, even if I do say so myself. I will endeavour to copy more entries from yesteryear onto this page before I go, hopefully they will rekindle fond memories for you.
    I will post some images of the time i sent in Kaikoura.


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