I went to Akaroa at 9.30am today, primarily to go swimming with dolphins. Akaroa is on the Banks Peninsula, about an hour from Christchurch. It was originally settled by the English and French, and the town is split into two because of that.
The journey was quite boring, except when we stopped at the Hilltop Cafe and they had “Croeso i Caffi Bronydd” written on their sign (along with about ten other languages…)
We got to Akaroa at 11.30am, and I had two hours to kill before my dolphin swim. Akaroa is quite a pretty, quaint little village, but there isn’t a lot going on. I went for breakfast, wandered around the shops and and old houses, and got a muffin. Then it was time.
We changed into our wetsuits and could barely breathe. They’re 5mm thick to keep you warm, and they’re buoyant, so I didn’t need to worry about staying afloat. We also got boots, hoods, snorkels and gloves. We looked ace!
Richard and Hamish were our skipper and guide. We went out to where the inlet reaches the Pacific, and looked for the world’s smallest dolphin in the world’s largest ocean. Did I mention that they’re quite rare too? And that the water is only 11 degrees?
Anyway, we saw lots of dolphins, but they pissed off every time we got into the water. Must’ve been some fun dolphin game, making the daft tourists jump into the cold water for nothing!
Freddy called me when I was on my way back to Christchurch, and we arranged to meet later. Lee and Lucy live behind the hostel that Freddy is staying in, so I caught the bus over to them. We watched a few episodes of House and I saw some of their photos from Slipper Island (a private island that they all worked on before Freddy came to National Park Village).
Lee and Lucy are from Leeds, so we chatted lots about Leeds too. And just being around Lee with his accent is bringing back my Yorkshire-isms.
I got the bus back around midnight and had to walk a few hundred yards to the hostel. I forgot how much fun it was to walk around cities alone at night.