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100 Days Of Summer When your home country is covered in feet of snow and -20 is the average temperature everywhere it's important to flaunt that you aren't home! This blog documents my adventures through the Pacific and South East Asia as I enjoy exactly 100 Days of Summer.

Swimming With Seals, Driving With Miley and Katy

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 13 February 2014 | Views [633]

Well we have had the campervan for a couple of days, and what a couple of days it has been! Eggie (short for Ol'Egbert) is a late 90's Mitsubishi Delica with chipping paint and a tape deck. More importantly he has 2 beds, 1 stove, and 4 wheels! We stayed outside of Kaikoura beside the ocean. It was stunning but we encountered a new enemy: the sandfly. These little flies seem so harmless but when they bite you feel it! And they leave a mark, an itchy one at that!

A lot of people gush about the whale watching in Kaikoura, but Danielle found something better: seal swimming! Sure seeing whales is cool but swimming with seals is even better. It lived up to all our expectations. We went with a family run company called, go figure, Seal Swim Kaikoura. We donned our wetsuits (for those keeping a count that's the second wetsuit of the trip), masks, and snorkels and were ready to meet some seals! Much like the beaver in Canada, the fur seal population of New Zealand suffered during colonization because of the popularity of seal fur. The government put the species under protection and has since significantly rehabilitated their numbers all over the country. Seal Swim Kaikoura does not have a tank or set spot. They literally take you out in the ocean and look for seals. When you find some friendly ones you jump out if the boat and swim with wild seals! As risky or inconsistent as that may sound, it's not. They do have spots they know the seals like, and the guides are very knowledgable. They know where the seals like to feed and how to find the more relaxed, playful seals. It was absolutely incredible! We swam alongside them, and sometimes other seals joined in! At one point three seals came around us so curious about what we were doing! One swam up from the depths right under me and put it's fave right up at mine! It gave me a fright and I squeaked under water. I swear it laughed as it swam away! We also saw one eating an octopus. Our guide was so determined to get us out there with one "having a nice octopus snack" and he got his wish. The octopus apparently stick on to the seals' tails as they swim by. The seal then throws the octopus all around so it doesn't get too stuck, and to kill it, but it just looks like it's playing with it's food!

I could probably talk your ear off about the seals but I'll save that for the next time I see you! We left the seal swim and embarked on a long driving journey to the west coast and glaciers! The drive was unlike any road trip I've ever been on. I mean come on, we are driving a campervan on the left side of the road in New Zealand! But in all seriousness the drive was incredible. We headed across the country (literally) to an area called Arthur's Pass. It's this huge mountain road that goes up, down, in and out of to new of mountains! I swear you can't look around and not see mountains or ocean in this country. We drove through clouds and valleys and actual mountain passes. Ol' Eggie and I have a similar approach to the whole mountain climbing thing. We move slow, give it our all, don't stop, breathe heavily, but we alway make it (especially with Danielle cheering us on!)

He made it though and we saw the Fox Glacier today! It was cool....ha get it! Honestly, it was really cool to see the rock formations and glacier especially so close to a rainforest, but it was dirty. I know that sounds really weird and I'm trying not to diminish it. I liked the glacier I swear, but it was really dirty! I just wanted to clean it and make it look pretty!

Anyway, we are continuing through the west coast and a lot of crazy mountain roads. I love driving here! Especially with our new driving friends Miley and Katy! Yes you read that right. Danielle and I sometimes jam out to Drake, One Republic, Taylor Swift, etc. but we mostly listen to the new Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry albums! They're just so great! (You open a new tab right now and play 4x4 by Miley Cyrus on YouTube and try telling me it's not great! Go ahead, I'll wait! ………yeah that's what I thought!)

For all I know any song off either of those albums could be a huge hit right now but they will forever remind me of my roadtrip in the mountains of New Zealand.

Tags: campervan, kaikoura, new zealand, roadtrip, seal swim, west coast


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