Friday, April 23, 2010

Kaikoura = Paradise

And we have officially arrived. I can't even tell you, our timing couldn't have been better! We are currently in Kaikoura, a name that means "lobster ocean" in Maori, and we have finally scored some of those little buggers! But let's back up a second here.

Our first priority after finishing the apples was to head for the coast. We couldn't have landed in a better spot than Kaikoura. The day after we got here, a huge swell came in making for epic waves for Mick to surf his little buns off. It had been nearly 2 months since his last surf, so needless to say, he was ecstatic!

The point break (surf lingo) is surrounded by beautiful mountains with a dusting of snow and the ocean is filled with beautiful seafood. What an abundance! Paua is the NZ version of Abalone (the shell is where mother of pearl comes from and lots of popular jewelry is made from) and the snail like creature that lives inside is so incredibly tender...especially when you pound the heck out of it and fry it in beer batter! And then there's Lobster!

Mick's been up to his survivor-man antics again making a hand spear out of straightened fish hooks, a bit of straight willow branch and some bungee rubber. He's made a makeshift diving weight belt out of rocks and socks. Don't worry, I've been filming it all for the documentary that I'll make on backpacker survival skills someday. He went free-diving yesterday right next to a seal colony (where the lazy little fella you see below lives) and caught a few lobsters!

YUM! He fashioned a crude BBQ grate out of some chicken wire that we found on an abandoned campfire and we had a feast! Watch our Bear Grills, Mick Coonrod is hot on your tail!

Did I forget to mention that I've had a video camera this whole time? I've gotten some awesome and selected footage so far. We'll have to have a little premiere when I get home!

So that's the hap's on the craps. Next we are heading to Christ Church which is the nearest big(ger) city. Stay tuned and enjoy the photos! I'll be enjoying the lobsters!

Friday, April 16, 2010

On the Road Again!

That's right. No more apples! We were able to bank around $5000 in a month so we are cashed up again and ready to go! . If you check the map above (click on it to enlarge), you'll see where we are and where we're heading. Right now we are in Nelson at the top of the south island. We will be heading over to the Kaikora coast (which means lobster in Maori!) and then to Christchurch and over the Queenstown from there! Should be one helluva trip over the next 3 weeks. We are in queue to see some beautiful things including 2 glaciers, a famous mountain pass and of course miles of virtually untouched coastline! I can absolutely promise some photos in the very near future from some of these beautiful places so stay tuned for those.

I must say, over the past month whilst picking apples, we learned quite a bit about being "homeless" or as they put it in New ZEaland "freedom campers". For example, since we were living in a "van down by the river" we didn't have access to a shower. In lieu of showers, we bathed in the river every day, which got a bit cold in the end, with biodegradable soap! When we really wanted to splash out, we'd drive to nearby Nelson for a $2 hot tub and shower at the local public pool! Never underestimate the power of public facilities! I know, most of you are thinking public showers, yuk! But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! And we did it well! I never thought I'd be proud of being homeless, but NZ is a great place to do it!

Happy Earth Day and feel the hugs!