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Ferry to South Island & Kiakoura

Another early start as we had to check in for our Ferry Crossing by 8am. Fortunately the terminal was only a 5 minutes drive from the Hotel so we made it good time and were soon aboard.

We managed to secure the best seats which were big seats right at the front of the boat next to enormous windows. So we had a fantastic view of the entire 3 ½ hours crossing but were not aware of the rest of the passengers. The boat was well maintained and the facilities were good.

Just as we set off, Norwich kicked off in the FA Cup replay game against Chelsea. As this went to extra time and penalties this kept us both occupied the whole crossing. Although I was not surprised the free WiFi was not string enough to allow me to use iPlayer through a UK to watch the game, it was sufficient to be able to 'follow' the game on Twitter and with chats with Barry who was at the game. Shame about the final result, but at least we didn't disgrace ourselves and that it was quite a game for Barry to be at.

The crossing was quite smooth and I didn't feel queasy at all which was a relief to us both! It took a while to get off the boat as we were parked on an upper deck.

The drive to Kaikoura was interesting. The scenery just got more and more spectacular as we got closer to it. The roads also got more tricky, hilly and harder to drive. This was made harder by the fact that they were still reconstructing the roads in places from the November 2016 - 7.8 Richter earthquake which had cut the town off for months. In many places there was a 30km restriction as hundreds of workers toiled on creating new safer routes.

After about 90 minutes we pulled over at Kekerengu for a break at a small roadside cafe. It was lovely having a wander down to their beach and sitting in the garden. I got collared by some Kiwi who wanted to tell me a long pointless story about his visit to the UK. Everyday we are able to remark upon the absolute friendliness and warmth the New Zealanders have shown to us. I do wonder if it all stems from the Maori background who have a fundamental belief in being welcoming to strangers.

We arrived at the Motel to be greeted warmly by the owners. Ironically, he was wearing a Chelsea shirt. After trying to talk to him about the match, it was clear he was not that much of a fan.

After we settled in we decided to hop back in the car to explore Kaikoura. The bay, the views, the walks were breathtaking. The sun and blue sky made it even better. It reminded us some what of Camps Bay in South Africa. We were blown away by it all. We went back to the town centre where we ate in The Whaler. This was another

pub/restuarant which although a bit grubby, Karen declared her food to be the best of the trip.

A quick pit stop for petrol and more fruit saw us heading back to our room for an early night.

Karen decided that that the room was too hot and put the air con on. I was not hot in the first place and soon was flipping freezing. I can never work women out. When we are away we have to always always always, have the air con on so that it is really cold. Yet when we are home I am nagged constantly that the heating is not high enough. There is no consistency. I just have to put up with it. You won't catch me moaning........ (much).

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