Thursday, July 18, 2019

Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

That up-close seal photo I posted last time was taken with a long lens. You're supposed to keep 10 meters (30 feet) away from these beasts because, contrary to their big blubbery visage, they can move surprisingly quickly and they also have some serious jaws.

A daunting task, later in the walk, was trying to stay even three feet away from the seals, which had hauled themselves up close to the path.

Here's the trek, the red dotted line at the left edge of the bluff.

You don't have to read the geology, but it explains a lot.

The cliff-edge path was extraordinarily satisfying.

We looked down at the seal blobs basking in the sun on white limestone.

There are lots of seals down there

 Whaling: then a bloody whale-killing business, now a thriving whale-watching tourist trade.

 Soon we descended to sea level. 

And wound our way back through all the action we'd seen from above.

This was a path of many textures.

It was startling to see the seals so close, and in some segments not possible to keep far away.

The path, decorated with seals.

This one was eyeing Art as he stood quietly making a video. I didn't like the look of it.

Meanwhile, herons?

Art's good at using his homemade walking stick (with the horn handle) to negotiate changing terrain. This was an amusing moment, since I was waiting below to see if he needed a hand and he shoo-ed me off, which is typical. The next thing I knew, a sweet young Asian couple was hurrying over to see if we needed help. I laughed and said no, but thanked them sincerely. (Clearly, good home training.)

What's the only thing for a hunger built by such a grand trek? This food truck on the way back to our campground.

Half a cray (lobster) for Art, with rice and salad.

For me, a cray fritter with the same sides. Speaking of adorable, the young women making all this happen were a delight.

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