Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Today We Sail!"

It’s our last week on the south island so we decided to splurge and not go for another walk.  Don’t get me wrong we absolutely loved all of our hikes, but it has been nice to not have 10hour walking days.  Instead we chose to kayak the Able Tasman, “Today we Sail”.  This basically turned out to be a vacation… from our vacation. Most nights we tend to go to bed around 8 or 8:15pm, because when you are sleeping in a tent you are not able to stay up later then the sun.  The thing that we can’t figure out is why we don’t sleep very well at night.  Clearly we have packed days; we should be completely tuckered out.  Seriously, we wake up with the sun (around 10am) take our time getting ready by sipping coffee and eating our oatmeal on the beach, head out around noon, paddle for about an hour (half of which we would just sit on the water being pushed by the tail wind), and then we would head in for the day.  Once we would get to our campsite we would lay out in the sun.  I mean come on a good night sleep would be really nice for a change. 

Needless to say we had a great time kayaking.  The highlights for sure were visiting a couple of seal colonies.  We would just sit and watch them play and sleep.  As we were watching the seals we had a drawn out conversation about how it would be nice to be a seal.  All they do is swim around and play, and when they get tired they just go to shore dry off with the sun and take naps.  At the end of this conversation we turned up our chins and pondered.  “Wait, that sounds a lot like my life.”  I am a seal!  One of the neatest parts was pups had just been born a couple of months before.  When we had seen them, they were really playful and showing off for us.  They seemed to be just as curious about us as we were about them.  They would come right up and watch us, so cute. 

Since we have been gone our main diet is pita, noodles, tuna, clif bars, and the occasional greens.  Luckily New Zealand has some pretty drastic changes in tide, and when we were there the tide is quite low at dinner time.  On our last not camping we noticed mussels on the rocks next to our site.  Dana had the brilliant idea to change up our diet by cooking up fresh seafood for dinner.  We collected as many as we could eat boiled them in our primus stove and had a great change of taste from the 2months prior.  I must admit I did feel a little bad the mussels, but they tasted so good I wasn’t upset for too long. 

Because we are so used to going at our own pace not really living by a clock the last day we were in a bit of a time crunch to return our kayaks.  We were meant to be back to return our kayaks at 330pm.  Well we underestimated the time it would take for a side trip and to get back to camp….sound familiar?  We headed out for the day just after 1pm, and at 245pm we realized we had to get moving.  Keep in mind we were about 3hours away from our final destination.  We seriously need to get better about time estimation.  We had a mad paddle for about 1.5hours, and finally made it back to the beach at 440pm.  Only 1.5hours after we were meant to be back.  We were all pretty nervous they would make us pay for another day, but luckily Kiwi’s are not as money hungry as Americans.  They told us everything was “sweet as” and we needent worry.  They were just glad we were back safely.  After taking a long deserved shower we headed east to Blenheim. 

There really isn’t much in Blenheim other than vineyards.  Luckily we like wine, and by we I mean Ash and Dana (I think it’s ok, beer is better).  Well, we were given the tip to rent bicycles in Blenheim and go on a wine tour through the vineyards.  Have you ever ridden a bike in a dress?   Well I have; I guess I should have considered the fact that wind might be an issue, but I wasn’t concerned because it was a warm day and I liked my dress.  We were just all happy as boiled mussels, and I am sure that the cars going in the opposite direction were quite happy as well.  We had gorgeous weather so we braved the 22*C day and headed out.  We ended up hitting 4 or 5 wine tasting vineyards and bought a few bottles.  At one of the vineyards we bought bottles the woman seemed concerned and asked, “You girls aren’t riding bikes are you?” “Well as a matter of fact we are; we’ll just put the bottles in our baskets.”  We were meant to return our car by 5pm.  Once again we were not very on top of watching our watches and ended up returning our bikes at 540pm.  Also, pretty cruisy Kiwis and they were sweet with us being a little late in returning.  We seriously need to get better with being on time.   

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