Grateful we did our marathon drive in one day, we sleep in and enjoy a leisurely pursuit of activity deciding to start with a walk down a steep set of cliff-carved stairs into town. The French settled Akaroa and the influences remain right down to the streets being labeled Rues and mounted on the blue rectangles with an arch on top. An ice-cream lunch and some kayaks get our outing off to a popular start. We slept much too late to catch a boat. It is unfortunate because the boat would have afforded us the chance to swim with the small Hector dolphins that Akaroa is known for. A bottlenose dolphin swim we did a couple of year's back has still not been fully concluded and categorized in my memory- it is stuck in philosophical review. Such joy to be alongside those magnificent creatures who show a genuine desire to interact, but such sadness that the business of interacting with them has been commercialized and consequently needs to happen on a set timeschedule in order to fairly divest people of their money. As a result, it all turns into one Pavlovian experiment after another carried out by a doctoral mastermind and a bunch of student henchmen who think they are valued for majoring in behaviorism. I am afraid any education these students have is valued much less than their willingness to serve as part fish monger, part veterinarian assistant and part model (being willing to hang out in swimwear even when its freezing because the job calls for it). The Dolphin swimming here in Akaroa is in the wild- I would expect no less from New Zealand.
After some great family fun involving varying degrees of competitiveness we turn in our kayaks and hang out in the bay swimming and jumping off an anchored platform offshore. I am SO going to miss this place. Later, we cook up a smorgasbord of remaining food and leave any leftover groceries in the communal kitchen. There is a group of French early-20's and an Asian family with a 20-something son that are unknowingly providing oodles of entertainment as their cultures clash when they attempt to share the same stove. The French girls with their ambivalent attitude, mussed up hair and jean shorts ripped in strategic locations don't fight fair. The evening ends with getting to the 'list of things the kids need to know before they leave home' and teaching them poker. We use river pebbles as our chips. We are off to a good start with the faces, we have a while to practice as next on the list is learning to drive a stick.