A Day of Mixed Blessings

Trip Start Mar 02, 2008
Trip End Mar 08, 2008

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Where I stayed
Abergo Hanmer

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today was a bit of a mixed bag.
I got up early so that I could get to the Whale Watch on time, and also pack before I left.  I got there too early, but luckily that meant they could put me on an earlier boat.  The weather had cleared over night, so it wasn't raining or windy, but there was a massive swell.  So I decided to get some 'natural' seasickness pills (I asked for unnatural ones full of pharmaceutical crap, but they didn't have any, blasted hippies), I am not sure they worked.  The sea was quite rough, which was cool at first because they have these cool jet powered catamarans that was a lot of fun over the big waves.  But once we stopped and to look at the whales it got a little hairy.
All up we saw three sperm whales (two actually, but one twice), and also a massive pod of Dusky Dolphins, which were actually the highlight of the trip.  They had cool educational stuff on the boat, and showed videos with nifty graphics of the Kaikoura canyon, but I couldn't take my eyes off the shoreline, or else I would have hurled for sure.  I took a lot of photos, which I am hoping have some good shots in them (haven't looked yet, I am thinking there will be a lot of the ocean with nothing in it).
When I was getting back on the bike after the boat ride (no puking, thankfully), I caught a look at the rear tyre on my bike, which had deteriorated notably since the start of the trip.  For those who don't know, Motorcycle tyres are very soft, especially (apparently) what I had on my bike.  So with the punishment I have put them through they were shot, and probably wouldn't last the rest of the trip.  Unfortunately the motorcycle repair guy in Kaikoura didn't have any road tyres (even though he mentioned he often gets guys in whose tyres wore faster than they anticipated).  So I had to run an impromptu trip to Christchurch . . . the Auckland of the south.  I really didn't want to go there.
I managed to do the two hour trip in 1.5 hours, thanks to the lack of policemen. And found a place on the far side (south side) of Christchurch.  Actually I found it before I left Kaikoura and had called ahead to make sure they had the tyres and the time to fit them.  It took 1hr to actually fit them, and then I started the 1.5 hour trip to Hanmer Springs . . .
Man!  What a difference those new tyres make!  Where before I was working quite hard to corner at speed, with the bike doing nasty unpredictable things, now it just glides through the bends, the trip to Hanmer was just magic, the weather cleared up to blue skies, no cops were working, and I got to open the bike up.  I was loving it, and am really looking forward to the road to Murchison tomorrow.
The B&B I am staying at in Hanmer is really nice.   I went into the spa in town and had an hour massage and sauna, then grabbed some food and ate it in the gardens here at the B&B.
Feeling quite relaxed now . . .
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