Today is my final day in Kaikoura. After living on the beach for nearly 2 straight weeks in my car, I've decided to move on. The surf is flat too, so that's some incentive as well. The McLaren Family has a relative that owns a farm about 50 kilometers from here, so I'm going to go say hi and probably stay there a few days and see what a New Zealand farm is all about.
I've grown to love Kaikoura. It represented an interesting time that was full of realizations and learning experiences. I've spent more time to myself here than I have the entire 3 months I've been in New Zealand...and probably the most time I've spent alone in my whole life. Travelers came and and went. Most only staying a night or two. But I had the opportunity to stay here in Kaikoura for more time than most people even spend in all of New Zealand. I'm very thankful. I got waves everyday. Of course only of few were truly epic. But I feel so good and am very thankful with what I got. The scenery is more than I can handle sometimes. Dramatic is an understatement. The mountains seriously rise right out of the sea and prick the sky with its towering peaks. Snow covered tops, lush greenery covering the undeveloped landscape. Rugged rocky beaches with waves that make the boulders moved on the bottom creating a new sound of the pacific that I've never heard. The ocean had more life than anywhere I'd seen. I was constantly sharing the waves with many different kinds of dolphins, giant snarly fur seals and massive fish I've never seen before. There were even a few days the water was full of clear strains of some type of egg about the size of marbles. It was surreal.
I've been through sunny days and gorgeous clear nights. I've been though a southerly storm blown in from Antarctica that violently shook my car and dumped massive amounts of rain for 3 sleepless nights. I sat alone numerous nights contemplating all the shortcomings of life and meanings of everything. I played the guitar and sang as loud as I could. I cooked incredible feasts on my camp stove and savored each bite as the highlight for the finale of an epic day. I watched sunsets and attempted to learn the foreign stars. I met travelers and locals all with unique stories and tales of traveling adventures of the past. I had fires on the beach, both alone and shared with people. I spent numerous hours just staring at the waves. Learning the breaks and watching people surf. I learned to surf my right side with a whole new feeling. That, in itself was a revolutionary feeling. I missed, felt alone, was bored, found excitement, found happiness and felt free all at the same time. I learned to appreciate conversations and the daily grind of just being surrounded by good, friendly people, because to my discovery, they're not always there. Kaikoura will always have a place for me and I will always have a place for it. My time spent here was very symbolic of the surrounding land and ocean. Dramatic. I may return again on my journey, but never again will it hold the same sense of discovery and newness that I so badly desired at this point in time.
Here's some shots I took my last few days here in Kaikoura. A few pictures from a hike around the Peninsula and some surf shots I took from a fairly small day at a break called Meatworks.....named for people getting their feet cut up on the big rocks when getting in and out of the water.
As for whats next. Going to spend some time on a farm and see what that's all about, then probably go do some treks in the mountains before winter fully sets in. I was graciously invited on a fishing trip with Hamish and Grant on their sailboat at the end of the month. Not sure when I'll have a lot Internet time again, but I will update the next chance I get. Again, I like comments. Helps me know that people actually read this....So don't be shy!