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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Whale of a Time

A Giant Sperm Whale in Kaikoura, New Zealand

The city of Christchurch, known as 'the Garden City' was  draped with a blanket of snow but to our relief  the sunlight appeared in horizon. Overnight it had snowed so heavily that the traffic remained disrupted and walking on roads was really difficult. We went towards the Canterbury Museum which was closed. Hagley Park, City Center, and other places which otherwise hummed with visitors wore a deserted look. Last year in February 2011 a giant earhquake had struck the city leaving a trail of destruction  including a hundreds of years old church in the city centre in its wake!  The largest store, Ballantyne and Re Start market in the city are major attractions. The Re Start market has about 27 odd fashion, garments stores and eating places all created in Containers, used by shipping lines! A very unique place ! We were eagerly following the news till the day ended as the next day we were to depart for Kaikoura which is 183 km from Christchurch and is famous for ‘ Whale Watching’

We could barely sleep at night as the thought of early morning trip to see the giant sperm whales kept us awake! It was difficult to walk the distance of barely 100 m due ice formation on the road making it very treacherous for walk as it was slippery! At 7 AM the bus arrived and we boarded along with a big group of people. It headed for Kaikoura along the scenic route with white snow everywhere as far as the eyes could see for miles, once it left the municipal limits of the town. The road is lined with a thick foliage and there is an unending view of snow clad mountains through which the bus meanders through to finally arrive at Kaikoura, three hours later. It is one of the few places that has snow clad mountains, the Pacific ocean, clear blue skies and a very exotic marine life. After checking in the hotel which was at a vantage point overlooking the cute city , deep blue ocean and mountain ranges we headed for the ‘Whale watch’ office and were issued boarding tickets after half an hour of wait. Each boat carries the passengers for a 2 hour 45 min ride to hunt for whales but only for viewing. When the boat left the harbor I could feel the same sense of elation as what Captain Ahab of ‘ Moby Dick’ must have felt in hunt for white whale hundreds of years ago. This was a very modern boat fitted with sonars and hydrophone to detect the movements of whales in the vicinity and bring the boat at just 20 m distance to get a fantastic view of the mammal sprouting a jet and after a few minutes diving majestically with the tail fin swaying before submerging in the water! We sighted eight whales on this particular lucky day, which has got etched in the memory forever. We also saw, dolphins, and massive albatross and seagulls! Kaikoura is also known for breeding ’Cray fish, and there are a number of places where the delicacy is served. The earliest settlers from Great Britain and France had stepped on the shores of the place In early 1800 when Maori tribes inhabited the place and the legacy of the early colonizers still lives on. The sun sets in early and the darkness engulfs the place by 5.30 PM! A lazy stroll through the deserted market place marked an end to a truly rewarding day!!



PS- I have been away from the world of daily humdrum for over two weeks now and have missed the world of blogging to which I have now got addicted since almost last nine months . It has become an umblical cord from which the separation now apppears to be difficult ! A long holiday had been planned which like any event in life did not take off very smoothly but as the time rolled by each day became one to look forward to and the next morning would unfurl a host of mysteries which would leave me bewildered by the great beauty of mother earth! I am recounting some of these lovely moments of my recent trip to the land of Maoris- NewZealand and Singapore and hope that the readers would enjoy too!.

108 comments:

  1. Looks like an exciting trip with amazing views of whales,dolphins & exotic birds. Looking forward to more of your posts.

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  2. Beautiful trip, and I am waiting like others to read more about your trip.

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  3. An amazing description of the sperm whale spotting. Thank you for sharing that pic with us. And yes being in the southern hemispehere, NZ is in winters know. Snow clad mountians , bliss. Although walking in snow a pain. Wonderful Rahulji, looking forward to all your travelouges :-)

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    1. Jenny, it was just awesome to keep seeing whales every few minutes! It was like a dream unfolding:)Thanks for that kind comment!

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  4. waiting for more posts on your trip. Loved this post as well.

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    1. Welcome to my blog:) I am happy that you liked it:)

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  5. Glad you could get away from daily routine and get to enjoy an exciting time, very interesting place!

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    1. Indeed lucky, Padmaja :) The place was just incredible!

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  6. OH MY WOW New Zealand, good detailing Rahul sir like this a lot :D
    and Sperm whale oh my :D all super super

    I will want to visit NZ someday :P
    BTW :D Welcome back to blogging world :D we missed you

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    1. Ramya, it is such a pleasure to read your comments:) I wish you do travel to NZ and see even more than what I could see!

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    2. Rahul Sir forgot to ask :D did u do that LORD of the rings trail there?

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    3. This is in Queenstown which was a bit far from Christchurch where I was based initally, so could not make it:( Also, it had snowed very heavily

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  7. wow now that was an awesome holiday of two weeks away from the humdrum of daily life
    and off you went to NZ! LUCKY YOU! :))
    and of course you did bring NZ alive for us

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    1. Sujatha, Yes Lucky me! One to see the lovely place and another to have a great blogger like you reading and enjoying. A big thanks:)

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  8. A lovely post, photo and video dear Rahul... whales are amazing, majestic mammals, I look forward to more of your holiday posts.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thanks a lot for that beautiful comment Dianne! Hope I am able to write more to sustain your interest!

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  9. YesI thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. :) Was really very vividly explained.

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    1. A big thanks Ria! I am still awaiting your post of trip to Belfast:)

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  10. Must have been a truly rewarding experience!

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    1. Certainly a rewarding and very enriching experience:)Thanks for reading!

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  11. I am glad to see you had a fun trip :) :) Thank You for stopping by at my blog :) :) BTW I cannot view the video!

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    1. Welcome to my blog and a huge thanks for following it too:)You made my day! May be the data did not buffer! Try again at a lean time or else I will email to you separately:)

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  12. you had a fun trip.. :)

    I am hoping ot go to new zealand next year sometime , missed it when i went to OZ, will see the whales then for sure

    Bikram's

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    1. Thanks a lot Bikram! Must see the whales and Dolphins and Seals in NZ next time! You will certainly like it!

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  13. New Zealand! wow! More posts and pics please :)

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    1. Thank you Kusum! Will follow up for sure!

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  14. wow...i feel like catchn d next flight to new zealand...beautifully written

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    1. Alka, I have managed to sell NZ to you:) Thanks a lot for that kind comment!

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  15. Looks like you had a lovely trip, Rahul. My Crit Partner is in New Zealand and the pictures she shares on FB make me yearn to visit it.

    Missed your posts a lot.We are all getting addicted to your writing.

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    1. Rachna, it was just wonderful!You should avail the offer of your Crit Partner if you get one to visit NZ! I treasure your sweet comment and there could be no bigger award than this for me!

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  16. Welcome back rahul!!! I'd love to see a whale someday, it is one of my secret dreams!

    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
    Bloglovin'
    Facebook

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    1. Thanks Francesca for that kind comment!Hope you see the whales soon:)

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  17. Eight sperm whales! That must have been awesome, right? Hope you have a great time and give us glimpses of what you see and experience. When are you getting back home?

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    1. Zephyr, it was just incredible to keep spotting them at every few minutes and that too at almost 10 m away sometimes!I am back now after a few days stay at Singapore too:)

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  18. Welcome back, dear! Wish I could see a whale sooner or later :)

    xoxo,Alessia


    THE CHILI COOL


    FACEBOOK

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    1. A huge thanks Alessia for that comment! Hope you too see them soon!

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  19. Eight whales? So cool. I'm sure this'll remain a great memory. We caught sight of some Humpback whales a few months ago. It was fun. Here's sharing my story - http://www.dnambiartravelblog.com/2011/12/whale-watching-adventure-on-monterey.html

    Waiting for more NZ and Singapore travel stories.

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    1. Divya, a great trip indeed!I read your hair raising blog which you have written so beautifully that it captures the spirit of the adventure! At least, I have someone to vouch for what we saw was a lifetime experience:)

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    2. Lifetime experience, it was!! :D.

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  20. Eight whales is incredibly lucky. We saw three and considered ourselves lucky too. Dolphins are fun - they frollic almost to entertain us, don't they? As for snow, I get chilled to the bone even at the thought. Glad you enjoyed your NZ trip and welcome back to blogistan. Where else in NZ did you go?

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    1. It was awesome, KayEM and I remembered that you were in NZ while I was there:) We hopped around NZ in Christchurch, Akaroa, Kaikoura , Picton and Welllington :)

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  21. Lovely vacation. My son is a whale lover,NZ would be a great travel destination for us.On my wish list now.

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    1. Kavita, you and your son will enjoy immensely! Please do visit:) Thanks a lot!

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  22. Seems like an interesting and exciting trip!! You have described so well that i can actually visualize!!

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    1. Thanks a lot, Radhika for that nice comment!It was a fun filled trip:)

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  23. I am addicted to travel posts. :-) Loved this read. We recently went to Darjeeling-Gangtok and nothing went as planned, yet we had a fab holiday! :D

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  24. Thanks a lot Vidya for having liked this one:) I look forward to read about Darjeeling and Gangtok to refresh my memories of the visit to those beautiful places!

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  25. Appears to have been an excellent trip! :D

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    1. Thanks for reading, Jaishree:) It sure was a fun trip!

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  26. I love reading travel stories and this was awesome!

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  27. reading travel entries, calls out to the travel freak in me :P I love reading them. Seems like you are having a great time =D enjoy:)

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    1. Thank you Aishwarya, and adds strength in attempting more travelogues:)I had a swell of a time!

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  28. You, lucky you! NZ is high up on my list to visit in this lifetime! For now I will make do with your accounts and pics.

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    1. :):) thanks Rachna! Lucky yes to have nice ppl like you reading the story ! You must see NZ!

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  29. Sir Is there any place you haven't seen? I wish the video was a little longer. Thanks for a lovely narration.:)

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    1. Saru still do much to see:) thanks for those nice words! I will send you a longer clip on your mail I'd :)

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  30. its really very refreshing to have a break form daily hick-ups and if that break gets you to these beautiful locations then this can add more flavour to the break......

    thanks for sharing that wonderful post.....:)

    just keep them comimg Sir...:))

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  31. Thanks a lot Irfan to read this post!Am happy you liked it:)

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  32. Great post and I love the photo. Hope someday I could a giant sperm whale.

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    1. Thanks a lot Eden:) Sure you will see !

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  33. So glad you enjoyed your time away.

    Seeing whales close up really is a wonderful experience!

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    1. Thanks LadyFi! It was a memorable experience:)

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  34. Wi went dolphin watching snot in new Zealand but over in Sri Lanka and just loved it so I can imagine how it would have been. Yes blogging is addictive.
    Www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Dolphins are so adorable! We saw them many times in different places in NZ!Maybe I will write a post on it:) Am sure you must have had a lot of fun too!

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  35. Hi Rahul, hope you have had a wonderful holiday, I will hopefully also be back to regular posting and commenting when I get back from vaykay myself. Whales are so majestic, it must be a once in a lifetime experience seeing them up close. Would love to see more pictures!

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    1. Hello Sam, Yes back from vacation with a huge hangover of all the travel and fun!I should have made a more visual post:) Thanks for reading and following, on vacation too:)

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  36. And you had a "whale of a time" in New Zealand! Welcome back....

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  37. Really, Purba! "A Whale of a time" it was:) Thanks a lot, and nice to be back in the real world from a fantasy like holiday!!

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  38. What an incredible experience, beuatiful capture on film and camera.;)) It is so odd to see snow covered mountains in the mids of the summer.;)
    I share your sentiments about blogging, to me it is a creative outlet and indeed a diary too.;)
    Thank you for your recent very flattering comment and wishing you a nice weekend.;))
    xoxo

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  39. Thanks a lot, Zuzana for those nice words! The place is a sheer beauty:)

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  40. Interesting post and seems like you had nice holiday. I was away from blog too but not holidaying but writing exams. Just managed to catch up now and read about your New zealand break. Great one.

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  41. Thanks a lot, Sushma for having like the post! Nice, it sure was!Good to see you back after a while:)

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  42. Long overdue here on this post..
    WOW...that sounds like a wonderful holiday.Truly a Whale of a time. LOved the video too.

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    1. Thanks a lot Uma for liking and good to see your footfalls again:)

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  43. Amazing post,,, I have been on ure blog for over 30 min now and absolutely loved reading the pieces.

    U seem to hve had a great holiday!! Its a beautiful country, hve been longing to go there but didnt get a chance yet.

    for now this post has mellowed down my craving for NZ, wud soon plan a trip as well :)

    http://styledestino.blogspot.com

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    1. I am honored with those words SJ! Welcome to my blog and hope to see you here more often!It was a holiday which has now got etched in memory:)Hope you are able to see NZ soon!~

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  44. Welcome to my blog and a huge thanks for your appreciation:)

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  45. wow! what a nice way to spend a holiday - whale watching. I wish I could do that sometime.

    THANKS for dropping by my blog. I followed you here in GFC :)I'm number 125.

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    1. A huge thanks Balut for following my blog:) Am honored and hope you will like further posts too!

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  46. this reminds me of your post about the giant tortoise....you are lucky to have witnessed such marvels.

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    1. Alka, No denying to have been lucky and blessed to travel around. Consider myself even luckier to have people reading these child like exploits shared with them:) Thanks a lot! and from so many blogs you still the Giant tortoise one!

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  47. Thanks for your comment, hope you have a wonderful week.

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    1. Thanks a lot Sam! You too have a wonderful week ahead:)Are you back from vacation?

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  48. Thank you, Izdiher!Nice that you liked!I am now back from vacation:)

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  49. Thanks a lot, Jyoti for the beautiful comment:) The whale watching is addictive:):)

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    1. it is indeed..
      my comment was abt that only..
      I watched thrice that video :D

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    1. Thanks! Wishing you a nice week ahead:)

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  51. Cannot wait to read more. Love your travel tales. I feel like I'm traveling through them.

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    1. Thank you for those nice comments, Gayatri! Your words of appreciation keep me on the move to write more on my travel tales! Will follow up soon on this for more fun in NZ!

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  52. Wow. Nice to know you had a great time Sir :-). Indeed, you should count yourself blessed to be able to travel this extensively and witness wonderful events. Keep these travel tales coming :-)

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    1. A big thanks Ashwini for that lovely comment:) I count my blessing each day and thank god to have been so kind to have bestowed me this boon of travel and have readers like you enjoying the tales!

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  53. Great experience. Loved the video.

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  54. A great experience indeed, PN! Thanks a lot for liking:)

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  55. Ow my my ... what a wonderful experience! Thanks a lot for sharing. Can make out how lovely a holiday it must have been. Love the video.

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  56. Thanks a lot, Ruprekha for having taken time off to read my blog and following it too:) You made my day..

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  57. I would love to visit new zealand someday.... great post!

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  58. Thanks a lot for that kind comment Ash!I am elated that you are following my blog:)

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