This morning we left Motueka and headed for Kaikoura, about 4 hours drive. We stopped in Pelorus Bridge. Sound familiar? I think it was in the Hobbit. Anyway, I think it had the name before the Hobbit was written. At the café there we had a couple of pies (wild pork/kumara/apple & chicken/camembert). They were good, but a little different than what we had in Tasmania.
Then we walked a trail, the Totara Track, which had a large totara tree on it (surprise!). We also walked down to the Pelorus River and watched it for a little bit. Nice break in the trip. The nicest part of the break was the tomtit (?) bird who put on a 5-minute aerial display for us at the base of the big totara tree. Among other tricks it would leap from a low perch, fly up 3 or 4 feet with a couple of wing sweeps, stall out, and swoop back to where it started. We had nothing to give it for its display except our appreciation, but that we gave in full measure. Crazy little bird. ☺ After the walk we went back to the café and got a “chocolate fudge slice,” which seemed to have shortbread cookies broken up in it. (The drive was highlighted by logging trucks and other traffic, but the roads had shoulders! Much can be forgiven if the roads have shoulders! L)
Along the way we were stopped a couple of times along the road while trees were being felled. They seem to do a lot of clear-cutting here. There are many hills completely denuded, with trees around the hills starting again along a straight line. Another thing we have noted is hills covered in trees planted in straight lines—apparently after clear-cutting.
Then we headed on for Kaikoura. I made a reservation this am for a whale watch tomorrow am. We arrived in Kaikoura about 4:30 pm, went to the i-Site, did a little grocery shopping, and found a campsite at the Alpine Pacific Holiday Park. The woman we talked to at the i-Site also mentioned some other things we could do locally tomorrow after the whale watch.
At the holiday park, we started laundry (one washer, 3 dryers!!!), fixed dinner, then spent the evening with laundry and computer stuff. Not a big exciting day today, but a good chance to recuperate after yesterday, and tomorrow we swim with the whales!!!