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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