After leaving Greymouth we headed to Reefton for lunch. Not a great deal to say about the place. After that we headed down the most friendly road yet. Aaron for once got waves from nearly every camper van one even flashed its lights first before giving a very enthusiastic wave. Aaron has faith in others again! Along the road to my horror we spotted the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand. Aaron decided to stop and have a go on the Zip line I waited at the end declining the offer of crossing the bridge to get a film of him. Funny thing is that the zip line wouldn't have scared me at all but there was no chance I was crossing the bridge to have a go.
We got to Nelson Lakes in the evening where we just went for a few walks to see what there was around the campsite. What we discovered was that on the full day walk we intended to do the next day was millions of wasps. It was the worst time of year for them as it is actually breeding season. Aaron now feeling a little aprehensive about the walk.
In the morning we set off for the walk which could take up to 10 hours. You could hear the drowns of wasps all along the lake but you could only really see them if you stopped so we tended to keep a nice steady pace instead and tried to ignore them. As promised there was a river to cross as otherwise the walk would be another 3 hours (time we didn't have). Well this river in English standards was not a river you would be recommended to cross but Kiwi's are deffinately crazier people. We prepared by taking off our shoes and socks but nothing could prepare us for the freezing cold water that actuallly turned out to be thigh high with a very fast current. It felt like we were going to be carried down the river. Aaron took it a lot carmer than me or at least he didn't show any fear on the outside as he came back in to help me wade across. Next time we may opt for the extra hours walk! At this point the weather also started to change and it pretty much rainied for the next four hours of the walk. That was fine untill Aaron slipped on a lot shallower creek and fell badly on his hand leaving us with another trip to the hospital to make.
Instead of heading to Abel Tasman park as planned we had to head to the delightful Nelson for a hopsital stop. It tuned out to be tissue damage to his fingers so not much they could do. It did mean making driving very painful for him but not much we could do about this.
The next day we set of to Kaikoura but not without an alcohol stop in Blenhiem where Aaron got insulted by being asked for ID in the supermarket. Not what you expect at 29! Not much to see but was impressed by the public art along the river should be more.
We arrived in the evening at Kaikoura and spent the night relaxing on the pebble beach. In the morning we were woken up to a school of dolphiins enjoying themselves in the waves. Then we set off for Whale watching. We found the Whale very quickly. We watched it lounge around on the surface and then the highlight was when it prepared to dive underneath and it showed us its huge tail. Then we set off to see the next whale who also showed us his tail which again was pretty cool. In the afternoon we laid about on the beach and I caught up on some sleep. For once we went out for a couple of drinks which was nice for a change then retired early as we were getting up at 5.30 am to do some dolphin swimming.
To make sure we would not miss our trip we parked up for the night outside the place so in the morning we got up and went straight to the office. This was the best experience so far on our trip. Even after our first swim in the freezing sea where we saw few dolphins but nearly caught hypertherma. The next two swims we got to swim with hundreds of dusky dolphins who came so close to you. At times they actually touched you. They loved to hear you make silly noises and swim in circles with them. This turned out to be tiring but exhillerating. On a high we set off to Picton and the ferry to the north island. If the north island is half as good as the south we are going to have a great time.