Hi everyone. We woke up this morning in our nice accommodation across from the beach. We packed our stuff and grabbed some sausage rolls from the Kaikoura bakery that were tiny and then zipped over to our morning activity and drove about 2 minutes down the road to where it was. At the centre there was a little cafe that we grabbed a coffee and a muffin in just to top breakfast up. Which was nice, but ultimately turned out to be a massive mistake.
Our morning activity today was swimming with the dolphins. Kaikoura is the home to thousands of Dusky Dolphins year round and they love to interact with humans. This is a sustainable encounter as they are wild animals in the open sea. They aren’t fed or trained or captured or anything. Ronnie got his full swimsuit fitted and we watched a little safety briefing. They informed us that they had not yet spotted any dolphins (there is no guarantee dolphins would be found). They also informed us that because of the large amounts of rain and wind over the last week that the seas were moderately choppy and that there is a high likelihood of seasickness. Having not had seasickness in the past, we brushed this off.
We got on the bus which drove about 5 minutes up the road and they put us on the boat. Ronnie was quite uncomfortable in his swimsuit as they fit them tight. By this time they had reports of dolphins so we zipped out to them. The swells were large and the boat was extremely rocky. We immediately started feeling seasick. We eventually found the dolphins and got into the water. The guide encourages you to make noises and dive down as this increases the chance of the dolphins interacting with you.
It was quite difficult to move around in the water as the swell was so large. There were two or three dolphins close by to Ronnie but he struggled to interact with them. Then we got called back onto the boat. Ronnie got back on the boat and saw Aimee was holding a bucket. She was incredibly sick and spent the rest of the hour and a half vomiting. About half an hour later Ronnie started vomiting too, as did 5-6 other people on the boat. This was the worst. We just really wanted to get back to land. After a couple more dips that we were unable to participate in and some photo opportunities we sailed back to land.
This was a massive relief but we still felt sick. We bussed it back to the centre and got in the car to go to lunch. We only drove for about 30 seconds before Aimee started throwing up again. It still felt like we were on the boat. Our stomach were really struggling to settle. We eventually got to our destination and went for a bit of a walk on solid land to try and shake our sea legs.
We walked down the road to our lunch which is called the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ Kiosk which is right near the seal peninsula and is a little kiosk off the rocks on the side of the road. The name of the town Kaikoura literally means “Eat Crayfish”. Of course we had to have a crayfish. We ordered a half crayfish which comes with rice, salad and garlic bread. It was actually quite delicious. Very similar to lobster but not as buttery. It went down a treat but was also a bit smaller than a lobster and as we shared it wasn’t much, but we don’t think we could’ve stomached much more.
We then hit the road to our next destination – Blenheim. Blenheim is pretty much a stop-over to make it a shorter drive to Nelson. We were just crashing here and getting dinner. It looks like a pretty dodgy town and there are quite a few rough looking characters around.
We settled into the hotel and drove over to the restaurant we had booked in for dinner. Tonight we were eating Brazilian at Gramados. The host sat us down and he was an extremely handsome and nice man. He sat down at our table and explained the meals to us (as they are all in Portuguese). We ordered for our entree Croquettes with lamb & Chimichurri with a spicy sauce. It was soft and meaty and spicy all at the same time. Really delicious and a great start to the meal.
Ronnie also ordered this Brazilian soft drink that tasted like Red Bull without the caffeine. It was great. Then it was time for the mains. Ronnie ordered the Brazilian Prawn Mocqueca which is prawns with Brazilian Cachaca and Dende oil with smoked paprika, they were in coconut cream, vegetable and coriander with a side of rice and salad. This was a fantastic meal. Ronnie loved it. It really hit the spot for him. Aimee had the Feijoada which is a traditional Brazilian Smokey black bean stew with chorizo, pork ribs and bacon. She enjoyed it but said it was a bit too much of the same beans texture which became a bit much for her after a bit.
We then ordered a dessert each. Ronnie got the Brazilian Pudim which was basically a flan served with whipped cream and caramel. Ronnie loved gelatin type desserts like flan and pana cotta so he enjoyed it a lot. Aimee had the cheesecake which had a Brazilian Fruit, lemon, lime and passion fruit. She enjoyed it but again found it to be a bit much for her – very strong flavour wise.
Bakery Breakfast – $15
Muffins & Coffee – $17
Towel – $2
Crayfish lunch – $36
Drinks and lollies – $19
Dinner – $134
Total – $223
Ronnie & Aimee