Monday, 3rd December – Nelson to Kaikoura

Leaden skies again on awakening in Nelson, and the threat of rain was always there. Very mild temperatures, though, and virtually no wind at all.

The Cambria House B&B has been quite comfortable, but we’re not totally sorry to be leaving. The landlady, whilst pleasant enough, wasn’t particularly engaging and gave the impression that she wasn’t enjoying running the place. Not a great shower, bed a bit small, no aircon (last night was very muggy) plus other minor issues. Also, we have “done” Nelson itself, but it is a very nice place indeed. Here’s a pic of the front of the B&B:

Another three and a half hour journey to Kaikoura for our whale watching expedition tomorrow. Uneventful, apart from the last 15 kilometers or so, which were almost solid roadworks. Lovely scenery, grey weather, lots of sea mist as we approached Kaikoura.

Stopped at a café on the way for a coffee and a leg-stretch:

The weather in New Zealand is so changeable, because it is so mountainous.  Despite that, even the natives agree that it’s not been great over the last week or so.

I try not to pre-judge a place before I get there, but I had visions of Kaikoura being a lovely little seaside town. It ain’t. It’s sprawling, ugly and makes its money, it seems, totally from whale watch cruises and associated spin-offs. Apparently, the population is around 2,500. Looks a lot bigger than that to me…..

However, the apartment we checked into was HUMUNGOUS. Double bedroom with ensuite, another bedroom with two single beds and its own bathroom (so at least there is somewhere else to sleep if snoring/arguments/other issues come into play), lounge, fully equipped kitchen and – washing machine and tumble dryer!! So glad we extended our stay to two nights….  Also, got a refund from Trailfinders immediately for the extra night I’d paid for here. Fantastic service.

Checked out where we need to get to tomorrow morning, got some breakfast essentials and some fish and chips to eat in. Very nice indeed.

Check-in for the whale watch cruise is a civilised 10.30 a.m. tomorrow morning, so we’re all set.

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