|A Giant Sperm Whale in Kaikoura, New Zealand|
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!.