We were very excited on our last day in Christchurch as we were meeting James and Laura at the airport who were jetting in from home via Melbourne. They were picking up a campervan so we got to spend a few days on the road with them. We drove down to Akaroa just an hours drive out of Christchurch where we had a great dinner of spag bol and a few beers. It rained heavily but we didn't mind as it was supposed to clear up the next day.
The following day we had a walk around Akaroa town and it rained, and then we drove up towards Kaikoura stopping at a beach for lunch and it rained!! We reached Kaikoura in the early evening and the rain had got heavier, we all stayed at the top ten park and booked ourselves in the hot spa where we had a few beers. The following morning it had stopped raining but it was very grey. We got up really early to book ourselves on the 7:15am whale watch tour. Kaikoura is a great place to spot whales as just off the coast of Kaikoura is the continental shelf. We piled onto a catamaran and made our way out to sea, there was a sea sickness warning in place as it was fairly choppy, me and Kam didn't really think much about it as we have never felt sea sick before. As we went out further we both started to feel queasy, luckily we felt better out on deck. Despite being very grey and miserable weather we had a good time, we saw albatross circling and another big sea bird - the petrel. We found out that 75% of the worlds seabirds species can be found around Kaikoura! Then we got to see a big male sperm whale, he spurted water out and floated around - we all snapped away with our cameras and then he dived down for more feeding, as he disappeared we saw his tale flip out of the water which was pretty good! We did look for some more sperm whales but found none, on the way back to shore we did see that same whale again. They showed a really interesting dvd on the way back which showed how deep the water was below us, there were canyons and trenches and the depth was in some places over 1600 metres deep. The whales use the canyons on their migrations between feeding and breeding grounds.
I think we were all relieved to get back onto solid ground, we all got in our vans and headed up towards Blenheim. We had only realised the day before that William & Kates Royal Tour was heading to Blenheim the same day that we were! So we drove fairly fast up the coast stopping briefly at some rocks absolutley covered in gorgeous seals. It was full on raining again. By the time we got to Blenheim we realised that we had missed the royals, they had a rememberance service in the towns square and it had just finished! James and Laura were really interested in the Marlborough region where Blenheim is because of the vineyards so they went off to do some wine tasting and the place they went to, they found out that William & Kate had just had lunch there! Me and Kam decided to go and look for the royals as we knew that they were going to Peter Jacksons aviation museum. As we got closer we realised that we had just missed them there too as there was a huge traffic jam of people leaving. We felt a little sad that we had missed them, we were quite near the airport when suddenly we heard a huge roar as this huge NZAF plane took off over our heads - we found out later that this was definitely the Royals jetting back to Wellington!!
The following day the weather was still a bit wet and miserable, me and Kam were making preparations to head towards Nelson in the next few days as we were due to housesit for a family. We then got a message from the family to say they didn't need us anymore which we were a bit gutted about as we had planned our whole last few weeks around this job and that is why we had driven all the way up to the Marlborough region. We suddenly found ourselves a little bit lost and didn't know what to do, a bit of praying later we decided to try and find some work down in the Christchurch area. We had signed up to a website called Helpx, where you work for someone for about 4 hours a day and they give you food and lodgings. We picked a walnut farm just outside of Christchurch, gave them a ring and to our amazement they had some work for us! We were really happy.
It was our last day with James and Laura in Blenheim, they decided to hire a tandem bike and do some more wine tasting, we had a few bits to do to Cyril so we arranged to meet them for lunch. We met at the St Clares vineyard, it was still a bit wet but the vineyard was really nice. We even did some wine tasting - I don't even drink it! We felt very sophisticated. We had a great lunch too, me and Kam had a morrocan chicken burger and James and Laura had a huge sharing platter with olives, cheese, meats and bread. Me and Kam had a go on their tandem which was really good fun and then we all went to a chocolate tasting shop. In the evening we had one last hot spa with them and a few more beersies. We were really sad to see them go in the morning, they made their way towards Abel Tasman and we started on our long journey back to Christchurch ...........