Monday, February 28


Started out on the trip with Amelia and Trixie today. We had a great day driving away from Christchurch. The traffic wasn't bad, but people were panic buying gasoline when we needed to fuel up. It was awful that people felt that they needed to do that because many gas stations are open in Christchurch. We made it through the line anyways and got back on the very scenic road to Kaikoura. We made it there by about 12 and ate a VERY expensive lunch. It was only expensive because it was a tourist town too! Well, after lunch Amelia went surfing and Trixie and I went hiking for 3.5 hours. It was a pretty walk around a peninsula, with a short stint through a cow field. The cliffs reminded me of Maine and we checked out he tide-pools. We found small fish, red and green seaweed, many different types of shellfish attached to rocks, snails, and inverted sea anemones. The anemones were inverted and looked like small squishy black balls of slimy jelly that had a hard end on one side where they were attached to rocks. They had a small circle on the top where they were inverted that reminded me of a belly-button.
We got done with the walk an had a dinner of a cold pasta salad. I was taught two more card games today: frog juice and ratatatcat. They were really fun games, and I will teach them to everyone when I get home.
The next day Amelia and I slept in until 9:30 to recover from the sleep lost when the earthquake struck. We decides that we would spend a few says at Punakaiki later in the trip, so we booked he best hostel there! It is the Te Nikku Retreat, the same one that my mom and I stayed at before. We woke up early to get most of the driving sone so that we could have some of the day for adventures. We got to stop at the swinging bridge that my mom and i hit before, the flat rocks/blowholes and the beach. The beach was the most exciting part with tons of jellyfish washed up on the beach for us to examine and prod with a stick. We also discovered our love of bouldering! It was so much fun to climb the giant sandstone rocks and cliff walls! The last thing we found was fossils! I realized that the sandstone cliffs and boulders was once part of the ocean floor, and at closer inspection saw many many many shellfish fossils in the rocks. There weren't any that we could pry from the rocks, but is wS fun thinking about how they were millions of years old and we were looking and touching them! Before I get too tired I need to write about our day in Abel Tasman yesterday!
Again, I think I am extremely lucky with the weather down here! It was pouring the whole night before we signed up to go kayaking/tramping the whole day in the park! Even at 7:45 while we were in the van going up there, but magically it cleared up by the time we got in the water taxi. We had a slightly cloudy kayak to the seals, and a bright sunny hike to a giant beach. We got so hot Amelia and I went swimming! It was so nice to be in the ocean again!!!
Tomorrow is a day filled with a three hour hike along a river an two swing bridges, a twenty minute walk around the blowholes at Punakaiki, and potential surfing at a new beach. Tuesday we go underground rafting! We go in tubes down a river (after hiking there through a rainforest). The river goes through a natural tunnel to a series of caves in which we see glow worms!!!! I don't get to take my camera (it sinks) but we get a series of digital photographs taken during the event and burned onto a disk for us to bring home! ;). Everybody is excited to go!!!! Well, time for bed so that I can be well rested for trekking! Goodnight!

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Thursday, February 24


Yesterday the supermarkets opened up like nothing happened in the suburb that i live. This is great because many people could not get food for 1.5 days. Now they can go to the store and get what they need, including bottled water.

Many people are without water or power. They go to friends and family to recharge their cellphone batteries and stay the night in a warm place. Today I leave the city with my friend to head north. We managed to secure lodging in a series of hostels in Kaikoura, and Nelson. I feel like we are running away and abandoning the city, but it is the best thing to do with water supplies so low. We will have q brief vacation and when we come back we will help where we can. Probably removing rubble from homes, but I'm glad just to help. Pictures will be uploaded in Kaikoura of some damage.

I love you all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 23


I am fine. It was exciting but fortunately I was near an exit and made it safe outside! School is cancelled for at least a week so I'm going on vacation with a friend to the North Island so we'll make the most out of the situation. The aftershocks still rumble the buildings and it frightens people. Don't worry about me, but pray for the safety of the people in the city in Christchurch! They spent the night in tents in the local park in the rain after being displaced from their homes! Send support! New Zealanders will need all they can get!

The ground rumbles, text messages only to communicate, and boiling water are many of the things we so here to cope with the state of emergency. We are lucky 89% of the city was without power last night. The airports open today, and Amelia and I might catch a 50 dollar flight somewhere else...I would volunteer but they flew in 3,000 emergency workers today. I don't know what I can so to help, but I want to be safe too...we'll see with time and I'll let you know.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 22


Dear All,
I am safe at Michelle's with running water, internet, power and everything. We have plenty of food and everyone is alright...Christchurch is destroyed, but the suburbs are alright.

I love you,


Monday, February 21


I just had my first class: Maori studies. It will be so much fun learning about their culture over here. The professor seems nice and I met a girl from Dunedin who is very nice. It should be a great class to have on mondays. It is my only class on mondays (4-5pm) so....I get a LONG weekend! :) Yipeeeeee! Tuesdays I have two classes before noon, and wednesdays I have three classes before noon. All in all, I'll be done with class early in the afternoon which will allow for some nice adventures. Unfortunately, Antartic studies is an 8 AM class, so I have to be at the busstop at 7 AM. Early mornings...but I'll be able to go to bed early. :) I am all smiles today. I don't have to buy as many books as I thought, my schedule is all set, and I am happily making friends. It is a goooood day in the sunshine.

Sunday, February 20


Hello everybody, I am sorry that I didn’t write about my week sooner. I have been busy with a lot of things and haven’t been spending a lot of time inside. :)
Monday was a full day of orientation. This could have boiled down into “Classes are hard and don’t be stupid in Chirstchurch because it is dangerous”. They told us that the driving was different, drugs were bad, there are murderers out there, and drinking in excess was bad. I made a friend in orientation. Her name is Amelia and she is from Montana. She goes to school in Portland and knows how to surf. She and I have very similar interests and hang out all the time now. She is actually in the Marine Biology class with me! Its nice that I have a nice study partner. :)
Tuesday I went to the “half” day of orientation. It was another session on how not to die in New Zealand. This day covered the city smarts section. Not very interesting and I laid outside for the second part of the afternoon. The sun was shining and I had started reading “The Da Vinci Code”. I actually fell asleep and it was magical that I didn’t get sunburnt again.
Wednesday I went surfing with Amelia and a girl from Holland at Sumner. We had so much fun and surfed for about 2.5 hours. The surf was great and I got up consistently. Amelia also taught me how to catch green waves (waves that weren’t quite breaking yet). This allowed me to stay up longer and ride farther. Afterwards, we went to the fish and chips shop and ate ourselves silly. We then went back to the backpackers that Amelia stayed at and just hung out. We played a new card game that Amelia taught us called palace. It was fun and I ended up taking the bus home at about 10.
Thursday I spent getting ready for school. I didn’t actually have class, but I had enrollment. I managed to be the first one in line and get through the whole process in less than a half an hour. I also got into all the classes that I wanted: Marine Biology, Evolution, Aotearoa: Introduction to Maori Society, and Antarctica:The Cold Continent. I also looked for books to try and save some money. I got all the books that I wanted and saved about 150 NZ dollars. :)
On Friday I meet Goody in the city. Goody is the Taiwanese girl that we met at the Bug backpackers in Nelson. She told me that she was going to be in Christchurch and that we should meet up. She had just gotten her mom, sister and 20 month old niece from the airport. We ate dinner and caught up on the adventures that we have been having. I took the group around the city and showed them the rose carpet in the Chapel. We also went to the grocery store which was quite the adventure for Goody’s mom. They had never seen so many food items in one place! They also had never tried cranberries or apricots, so we got them a few to try while they visit the lower part of the south island. It was interesting trying to communicate with them because Goody’s mom didn’t speak any english. Goody’s sister spoke a little bit of english, but not too much. It was a good time filled with gestures and smiles all around.
Saturday Amelia and I went surfing again but the waves kinda sucked that day. I had upgraded boards (that I’m renting), and that made it a little harder to catch the waves, but I’m up for the challenge. There was a ton of people out in the surf! It was about 100 people on the entire beach and most of them were surfers. I met this really nice older man who told me I was doing a great job for my fourth time out! Its nice to know that I’m making progress.
Today is Sunday. Amelia came over and we played a TON of poker games (not for money). We hung out at Michelle’s house and at leftovers until she could check into the next hostel. We both went over to check her in, and played soccer golf afterwards. It was fun kicking the ball through and around obstacles. We also found this super awesome bouncy mat (like the kind that are at carnivals) at the place she was staying. It was supposed to be for little kids, but we had fun bouncing on it too. We also juggled around for about an hour, it was great to pass the time in the shade. Now I’m home and Michelle is making a pasta dish for dinner. Amelia is staying, and we’re trying to find a used surfboard for me on Well, thats EVERYTHING that I’ve done. I’ll upload pictures tomorrow after I get done with class. Bye!

Tuesday, February 15

New Phone

I have a new phone on the will arrive by Friday of this week. The number is 0212079374 you have to use the NZ country code of 64! so the full number will be 640212079374. Don't ask me to remember that. :)

Monday, February 14


I was a good girl and went to orientation, from 9-3 with another session tomorrow from 9-12. (Snoozefest.) I get a day break and then on Thursday I get to enroll in classes from 9am-12. :) Then I'll be able to get some books and hit them HARD!
But, the good news is that I made a new friend today in orientation, unfortunately she is American. Her name is Amelia, and she is from Missoula, Montana. She goes to school out in Portland, Oregon and likes to surf, camp, and tramp. So, we're going out surfing on Wednesday when we don't have orientation or enrollment. I'm super excited.
We went downtown to get a phone today and eventually found a Vodafone place. My phone will arrive in 3 days and I am pretty excited because there aren't a lot of payphones around here. Going home was an adventure too. I managed to make it onto a bus, but it was the one going in the wrong direction. Stupid foreign country girl in a "big city". Sigh, so it took me 2 hours to get home when it should have taken me 20 minutes. :P My host mom and Japanese girl thats living with her laughed at me when I got home.

Saturday, February 12


We are still alive! WOOO HOO! We have made it to my host Mom’s house (by 8 AM)and met her. She is a very nice lady who took us out shopping around the city and helped me get my bus pass. She is excited to have me here and is very helpful in directing me where to go in order to get to the University. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to take her to brunch and will shop a little afterwards before Mom has to leave.
Michelle’s house is beautiful with a separate bathroom and large closet for me. I have a very comfortable bed (Mom has used it twice now), and am very relaxed here. She has even offered to let Mom stay tonight in the double bed with me. This is very convenient because there is a HUGE race (transcontinental) ending near here and all the hostels are fully booked.
So, now to describe Michelle’s house. Her house used to be a showroom for the suburb retailer. It has a three beautiful bathrooms, three bedrooms, and a large kitchen. Everything is well made and there isn’t any damage from the earthquake. There is internet here that I can use which will be handy in keeping contact with the North Shore. I took a nap in the backyard earlier today in the sunshine. The backyard has a large garden and has been growing her own veggies in the backyard….yippee for fresh tomatoes! She lives very close to the airport, and where Mom has to drop off the car tomorrow. Everything is going well, and I can’t wait to start school and get everything settled. Mom will check in to her flights tomorrow and we’ll get the refund for the camping gear from baggage services. We got her REAL phone number…(03) 359-9429 and you will be able to contact me through there. I think I’ll get a prepay phone though, just to have on me.

Friday, February 11

Lucy's Update

Today is a truly a vacation day. Grace and I will not have to pack up our gear and check out today for the first time in 14 days of good hard travel. We have our own room (not sharing dorm space with any foreigners, pleasant or otherwise, at the eerily quiet Marine Backpackers in Sumner (just 30 minutes from downtown Christchurch). We are 2 blocks from the beach, 2 minutes from the fish and chips shop, and 2 seconds from the bar. I think I did mention that it is officially the Marine Bar and Backpackers. We have all of our needs well met. I believe that it is quiet here because yesterday there were still signs about the town stating WATER POLLUTED posted in front of the surf shops and at the beach. Well, we lucked out. Since when has a little E coli contamination kept us out of the water or even drinking it for that matter.
Actually our surf instructor yesterday did check for the all clear with authorities before allowing us in the water. There are some (but very few things) that Kiwis take seriously. Water pollution is apparently one of them. There was a sewage spill from a broken pipe in a nearby estuary that occurred over a week ago. Water testing on the weekend showed the beach to be clear but they continued to keep the beach closed until further surveillance. Yesterday late afternoon the tests were fine so Grace and I lucked into our first surf lesson within one hour of arrival. As stated in last blog notes, it was exhilarating and exhausting. Today I can feel those arms and shoulder muscles pleasantly aching. I experienced one nosedive (where you bury your head into the sand as you fly forward off the board bringing laughter to any one fortunate enough to witness it) but the thick Norwegian skull prevails… No worries in the head department.
We’ll need a really fast shutter speed but I’ll try to capture some images of us above board today.
A few observations about Kiwi culture. They have a great sense of fun and what’s possible. Yesterday when we first arrived in Sumner we could not find any info available regarding lodging, surfing, etc. At an I site. (These are usually well represented in even the most remote locations.) Fortunately the library was open. I approached the local librarian, a woman of roughly my own age, 50ish, and she did not bat an eye or laugh uproariously when I inquired about surfing lessons. She got rather excited and began an earnest search for the local surf instructors as if she was on board with the whole adventure. She was like most everyone over here, very helpful in a familiar way, as if she had known me for much longer than 30 seconds. I realize that most of the NZ economy is dependent on tourism, but New Zealanders seem to genuinely enjoy being hosts to their country. I have not travelled abroad extensively, but I have never found a ubiquitously more hospitable country in the world. It is if they have all had college education in the hospitality profession. It comes very naturally to them. And they do it all with out pretense but with a generous dose of humor. They are not afraid to have a bit of fun with you at your own expense. Here’s a good example of that.
When Grace and I had a guided paddling day of kayaking in Abel Tasman, we were grouped together with 6 others from around the world. At the end of the day of paddling, as we cruised toward our final destination at Anchorage Beach, all 5 kayaks were lashed together (with our hands gripping each others kayak seats). Our guide, Laird (I will call him that because he was Laird like in his naughty charming way) brought out a large sail. The outside kayaks each took a corner of the sail so that we could sail into the harbor rather than paddle the last bit. Laird invited any one to become the mast head for the group by straddling the front middle kayaks. Candy (a pilot from San Francisco) accepted the offer/challenge. She was very athletic, scantily clad in a black bikini so she of course was the natural choice. She easily stood up on the bows of 2 of the kayaks and we all enjoyed (some more than others) her antics. Then Laird had to up the ante by parting the kayaks forcing Candy to perform the splits. Fortunately she was extremely flexible as she looked like an Olympian up front with her legs fully extended. We all laughed including Candy and she crawled back to her seat. Laird tried to get me to do same, but I modestly declined. However, a very tall (6’6”), lean iron Man type from Germany named Mike accepted the challenge. Now, Mike was nearly my age and had already witnessed what a scene Laird had created with Candy, so he was fully informed when he decided to become the second mast head. Mike obviously had a very twisted sense of humor and was a bit of a showman himself. He clambered forward to the front middle kayaks and straddled them with less grace than Candy. As he stood fully appreciating the fact that we were all laughing with him, once again Laird parted the kayaks and it was Mike’s turn to do the splits in his black speedo.
He survived this ordeal as we laughed and laughed. Then I called out for an encore. He was very much enjoying being the center of attention so he decided to stand on his hands on the kayak. He managed to get into some form of an awkward hand stand position momentarily, but then the Laird factor kicked in. Once again the kayaks mysteriously parted and Mike could no longer stay balanced. He came down hard, crotch first over the bow of a kayak and then flopped into the Tasman Sea, laughing the entire time. Of course, all of us nearly fell out of our kayaks, laughing our asses off. As he scramble into the bow of his own double kayak in retreat, he swamped that kayak but this time, Laird reached over and single handedly uprighted the kayak. At the end of our sail into the harbor, Mike did end up swamping Laird’s kayak and then both tipped over in what was observed by another guide on the beach to be the world’s slowest swamp. More about Kiwi humor later.


Thursday, February 10

Great DAY!

Well, now my trip to NZ is complete. Today I was able to go SURFING!!!! I have been talking about learning to surf for years and today was the Day. It was a great lot of fun and a great lot of exercise!!! I actually stood up and rode a really long wave (once). Most of the time was spent falling off the board shortly after coming to a stance. Apparently my body is facing forward too much (going down the hill) rather than snowboarding across it. However, my balance is pretty good for a little old gray haired lady. It was so fun that tomorrow I am going back to do it again. Tomorrow it will be the focus (and highlight) of the day. We are already staying within 2 blocks of the beach here in Sumner at a backpackers hostel aptly named the Marine Backpackers. Did I mention that the Marine Backpackers is also conveniently a bar as well? Sumner, according to our surfing instructor ,Aaron, is the best beach in the whole world to learn on. There is no undertow, the waves are small but big enough and regularly spaced for beginners to groove on. Best of all, there are no rocks or sharks. Sumner is only 30 minutes from the city center of Christchurch so we are also oh so close to making our full circle tour of NZ complete. This is a great way to end the trip!!! It would also have been a great way to start the trip... or simply spend the entire trip. Can you tell I like surfing? I should have been a California girl.


Tuesday, February 8

For Leo

Dear Leo,

The temps down here have been from 20-30˚C with a high around Christchurch of 42˚C (107˚F) this is approximately 68˚F to 86˚F. The water temperature is a little more is warmer than lake superior and was chilly, yet swim-able when the temperature was 86˚F. My mom had a blast cooling off in it while, it is nice, but when you get out the wind chills you if its not warm. When we went to Milford Sound it was really cold in the morning so we were issued thermal long underwear, a fleece, and a waterproof rain-jacket in case it rained. We also got hats too now that I think about it. It was cold with a misty morning to rival Duluth in the fall, with the occasional sprinkle at night. HA! It was actually about 260mLs (15 cubic inches)...all the rivers flooded and someone who was camping had to head to high ground at about 3 AM. We got to kayak after this massive rainfall and it was BEAUTIFUL with about a 50 waterfalls going that day...and it wasn't raining. :) We've been lucky and avoided the rain until today. We're currently in Dunedin (DONE-E-DIN), a city founded by Scots in 1848. They found gold here and mined the town until the gold ran out. There are a ton of beautiful Victorian style homes and giant Gothic churches scattering the hillside on which the town resides. It reminds me of Siena, Italy with all the hills and the old buildings.
We had a little bit of trouble finding the hostel and managed to get a parking ticket because all of the parking spots you have to pay at a little mailbox and get a receipt to place in your car window. This is not explained anywhere and it just looks like you can park anywhere. Oh well, a learning experience. We then tried to navigate the city and to quote my mother "these streets are ape sh!t!". She was referring to the layout of the city and the fact that the streets are narrow. It was tough because you can't really tell which streets are one ways, which street they actually are because they are poorly marked, and the fact that we had a really bad map. We managed to find it after pulling over, exchanging some loud, strong language, and gathering ourselves for a second attempt. I understand that I was confused during the beginning as the navigator, but when the driver decided to become the navigator and tells the navigator after not seeing the map that the person with the map is wrong...phew! Its like driving with Leo sometimes! (just kidding!)
Anyways, I finally got my BBH card so that I can get discounts on the hostels that we're staying...a little late, but better than never. We booked a night at a really relaxing place for tomorrow night in a bay about 20 minutes from Christchurch. We can dig for mussels, sit on the deck and sip a nice beverage. We also get free toast with internet it must be good! It will mean a 6-7 hour drive day, but we'll stop and make it interesting. We wanted to get up there in order to be in position for a sunny day for surfing at Sumner Beach. This beach is sandy and is supposed to be great for beginners. I'm looking forward to this and seeing the University, my host mother, and just settling in for the work ahead. Soon my mother will have to go home and I want to be comfortable for the long haul ahead.
We often think of those at home...How Patty would love looking at all the plants and fowl, Peg would love to sit and talk with all the friendly New Zealanders and visiters on holiday, Dad would love the countryside with the massive amounts of sheep and deer grazing in pastures, Leo would love all the strenuous treks to torture himself on, how all the country fried chicken places would make Bruce jump with joy and many many other thoughts about how this country compares to different parts of the states.
Anyways, I've been listening to my iPod and showing others the beautiful place that I live back in the states in order to keep from being homesick. Also, all the comments from people about the blog help a lot too...

Well, time for bed. Lucy has been there for about an hour passed out already.

Cheers from the Southern Hemisphere,


Sunday, February 6


There are more pictures uploaded. We spent the night in a pretty seedy hostel. All of our stuff is still here and parasite free. :) But there wasn't any Internet for the last two nights. So, I have finally gotten somewhere that there is a decent connection! Pictures are from Punakaiki (pancake rocks with a small geyser) and from Fox Glacier. We hiked at Punakaiki for two hours and Fox glacier for 7 hours. It was a bunch of fun and the glacier was really cool!
I am super sleepy now and will post more tomorrow night....We're pretty toasty from 8 hours of driving. We drove from Haast through the Arthur Mountain Pass to Te Aneu. YUCK! We tried to break it up by stopping at Wanaka and another rest stop along the way...but we didn't want to drive at night. The drive was very pretty with many waterfalls from the rain that poured down last night. It also drizzled a bit, but it was nice to have it rain while in the car. It also cleared up when we hit Wanaka, and was able to run around and even swim in Lake Wanaka in the sunshine! We also got ice cream after some grocery shopping. They have the best produce this time of year and we have been surviving on fresh salads, awesome locally made cheese, ciabatta bread, and chocolate.
So, we finally made it at 8 pm and Lucy has gone to bed immediately! I decided I better stay up a little later. Tomorrow we wake at 6 AM for a kayak in the rain around Milford Sound. It should be lovely because of all the waterfalls. They'll supply us with warm gear and we were told all we had to bring was: a lunch, sunglasses, sunscreen, a camera, and either wear underwear or a swimsuit. This should be interesting. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, February 3

Survival Update:

So, we survived again today. This time we rented a car and drove on the left side of the road. I literally was the talking GPS and helper while praying that my mom wouldn't run me off the road. Again, the ditches are steep and only a foot off the road. It is really scary driving with my mom who is notorious for driving WAY too fast around corners and all the roads are S curves the WHOLE WAY! So, no motion sickness today...yipee! Only small heart attacks.
I also took a step out of my comfort zone and walked across a swinging bridge. It was beautiful and I actually got used to it enough to take some awesome pictures. The river was roaring beneath me though and it was pretty unnerving. I am picking up brochures in order to go canyoning. This is the act of rappelling down canyons and sliding down small waterfalls and rapids. I think it will be fun and will go when my mom leaves. We are hiking on the fox glacier on Saturday (your time) and will have a good time taking pictures.
By the way, I have added pictures to my blog so you can see how fit and tan I am....My ears are so sunburned from being out in the sun that they are peeling and blistered. Luckily it doesn't hurt, just itches. There are also gnats here and sandflies that have attacked my ankles, but tomorrow I will deftly defend them with bug-spray.
Other than the little buggies, I have been having an awesome time. I have met people from Taiwan, Holland, Germany, New Zealand (of course), Canada, the USA, Israel, Sweden and many, many others...It is incredible how many people are here on 3 month holidays! I wish we had that type of schedule that we could just get away for that long!
Everyone here is amazing and keeps telling us their favorite places to stay and things to do while we're here. It just tells us the important things to do and add to our schedule!
We are still planning to head to Milford Sound and was told that even in the rain it is worth the kayak to see all the beautiful waterfalls! I can't wait!

Well, more pictures today via took me forever to get that to work and hopefully more will be coming!


Car Rental

Today begins the crazy adventure down the coast in the rental car. We will be focusing on driving on the left hand side of the road. It will be scary, but I think with a LOT of focus we can do it. We'll be going to the flat rocks for a brief stop and take a look around, and then we'll try and make it as far as we can down the coast towards the glaciers. The plan is to take a day hike to the leading edge of the glacier and then try and get down to Arthur Pass. From there we can zoom down to Milford Sound and take a nice day long kayak tour down there. From there we'll head back to Christchurch and see if we can get some nice weather on Sumner beach to try our hand at surfing. :). Well, thats all for now!

Wednesday, February 2

We're Alive!

We made it back from the trip. VERY SMELLY!!! We got up at 6AM to catch the bus from Nelson to Motueka (1.5 hour ride) and then a two hour taxi ride to our drop off zone. We then hiked for 12 kilometers (up and down this rocky coast...not very easy) with our HUGE backpacks filled with gear. It was hard work and I literally fell asleep after hitting the beach. I woke up several hours later with sunburn on my calves and behind my knees. Other than that I was fine.

The hike itself was BEAUTIFUL with golden beaches and rainforest-y flora. The ocean is so pretty and warmer than lake superior. We swam in it many times to cool off. Luckily I had packed my swimsuit and have become very tan from my multiple swims/lounging on the beach. There are really cute little birds that look a lot like quail that are running around with their little chicks. There are also stoat like creatures trying to catch them, so we get a free little nature show at night. We camped next to the beach on a crappy rented tent that I had to fix one of the broken poles in order to sleep in it correctly. It looked pretty sad, and I was missing my Marmot Limelight 3 badly.

The second day we went kayaking. It was beautiful and we got to see seals! There were little baby pups with them and they were very curious! We also went around the multiple bays with beautiful beaches. We estimate that we kayaked about 10 kilometers, but it was much easier than hiking. Pictures will come soon.

The third day we went hiking again, but we had heard that you could hire the water taxi to haul all of your stuff back to your final destination for a minimal fee. It was like 8 dollars US. We did that and actually ENJOYED our 12.5 kilometer trek back to the base where we picked up ice cream, iced coffee, and our bags and sat in the nice cool shade with an ocean breeze drifting over us. I swear on this trip alone I lost 5 lbs and gained a TON of muscle mass.

We then caught the bus home to "the bug" hostel and found our luggage waiting for us. A nice cold shower will soon follow this e-mail with fresh clean clothes! AHHHHHHH! I can't wait.