Sunday, May 30, 2010

DJ and Dan's campervan adventure - Part 02

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Some funny bloopers from our trip here.
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Seeing as the last meal we had eaten was KFC the night before we thought it was time for a bit of a feed and what better place to stop than the township of Kaikoura. Known for its abundance of seafood we were all hoping for a bite of fresh crayfish, perhaps some fish n chips or even just a mince pie from the local service station would have cured our starvation.

When you arrive in Kaikoura you can choose two different routes to drive. One of them bypasses the township area and gets you back on the main state highway quicker. The other takes a more slower, scenic route down by the waters edge and past the bustling shops and caf├ęs. Be sure to take the later route if you want to hang out at the beach, extract information from the information centre or if you have trillions of dollars to burn on an expensive tourist activities.
Being on a bit of a shoe-string budget the likely hood of us being able to afford some fresh crayfish looked even more dismal when we heard what the current going rate for one was. You should have seen DJ, he looked like he’d just been told Christmas wasn’t happening for the next five years.
I guess it had been a while since we had brought seafood and the going rate had gone up. However, in the hope of fulfilling our dream of tasting crayfish we came up with a plan to catch our own for free. I had heard about the old Kaikoura fisherman’s technique that my Uncle once told me about. For this you will need a pair of woman’s panty hose and some stinky old fish bait. I know, easy, because it’s two things that most people carry around in their boots anyway. But for a campervan load of boys we looked pretty strange holding packets of pantyhose at the local four-square supermarket.
Essentially the way you catch a cray (as told to me by my Uncle) is to fill one end of the pantyhose with stinky bait and then dangle this down into the deep parts of the ocean, over the sides of the coastal rocks. The crayfish latch on hard to the pantyhose, tangle themselves up with their silly antenna and you get to walk away with a fresh piece of Kaikoura seafood. Bam!
Unfortunately for us this technique failed to produce any real results, our pantyhose just kept getting tangled on the rocks and we were drenched by several large waves, stink one auh. Although this method of fishing may sound like a bit of a far-fetched tale we were re-assured by the locals that this technique really did used to work successfully back in the day. Unfortunately it was probably about 30 years ago that it last worked successfully and things are a little different now due to smaller crayfish numbers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

DJ and Dan's campervan adventure - Part 01

Hi I’m Dan and this year I went on a mean as road-trip around the top of the South Island with my good-as mate DJ! We also had the pleasure of taking a camera crew along with us and documenting our shenanigans so you can have the joy of watching moving pictures through the interweb.

Our adventure kicked off in the most “happening” city of the South Island of New Zealand – Christchurch! With a ridiculously huge Bunning’s Warehouse, two dollar fried rice and original Greek souvlakis, it definitely is the excitement of the South. First of all we picked up the campervan from Jucy's rentals depot - a handy 2 minutes drive from the airport. Very convenient if you are flying in from somewhere, but seeing as we weren’t flying in from anywhere, it meant a bit of a drive out to the airport ha ha.


Being underprepared boys we had only a very rough plan of what direction we would take and absolutely no idea of what would end up in our video diaries I doubted we had anything important to say at all. But never the less after a refreshing guilt-free meal at the Colombo St KFC we forgot our worries and headed north along the east-coast.

After about two and a half hours of conversation about ex-girlfriends and why they are our ex-girlfriends, we arrived out of the Hundalee hills and onto the beautiful coastline of the Kaikoura area. It takes about thirty or so minutes of driving along this picturesque coastline until you actually hit the township of Kaikoura and all along the way there are lots of little bays, each with their own unique “tearooms” and an assortment of New Zealand family bachs.

These tea rooms sell a variety of pastry delights, one time we had real good curry pie, it was tops. If you are from the north Island and you know what the "Hollywood Bakery" is - you've got nothing to worry about, you food wont come out frozen.


Seeing as we had decided on the “eat-in” option at KFC and had mucked around in Christchurch we arrived quite late on the east coast. So instead of falling asleep at the wheel like in the adds we decided to then pull into one of the first bays before Kaikoura, “Goose bay”. We found a pretty nice campground there, nestled into the base of the hills with full power available and several strange mountain cows that came and went. The campground is pretty clearly sign posted and you’d be a real goon if you missed it (as it is about 50% of all that exists in Goose bay).

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I’m not sure of where the whole “Goose” thing comes from, because we certainly didn’t see any Geese just the scabby beach seagulls that stare at you for ages with their "giz a chup, giz a chup" look.

After spending the next morning hassling DJ to get out of bed, we finally found ourselves moving again and proceeded to make our way out of the camping grounds. However we didn’t make it much further than the entrance to Goose bay because as we turned back on the main road we all noticed something happening in the ocean - Hundreds of Dolphins going nuts in the water.


Mesmerised by this strange yet awesome sight, we quickly pulled the campervan over and ran out on the nearby rocks to get a better view. After about half an hour of gawking at flipper we dwindled back to the shoreline and ended up chatting with some of the locals who were obviously not nearly as mesmerised as we were. Apparently it happens pretty regularly around there, and the dolphins are out eating breakfast in their hundreds most early summer mornings. However for us city folk it was something magical and even more impressive at the handy price of $0.


A couple of hours later and we were back on the road again but not before we could stop and make friends with a paua diver and ask him a few silly questions that would have made even the slowest of us cringe. Oh well it probably helped to solidify the stereotype in his mind that city folk are all silly.