Reknowned for its surfing, scenery and seafood and its only 3 hours away, the logistical shackles had finally been uncuffed and it was time to head back to the surf mecca. Taking the family and staying in luxury at the Kiwi Surf Experience pad between Mangamanu and Meatworks with stunning views of the ranges we were indeed in paradise.
That was until I hit the water and realised that my beloved pastime and release had somehow become every one elses pastime and release also. Yes it was smack bang in the middle of school holidays and yes it was the tail end of the holiday season but holy crap was it crowded!!!
Arriving in kaikoura I was kept in good company with the likes of Alan TeMoananui and Levi Oconnor and of course the Lyons boys however this crew headed south to the Cantbury Champs and I was left in the surf state of Kaikoura alone, cold and isolated with nobody to surf with,,,,,,,,,, except half the rest of the world !!!! South American, North American , German , Dutch you name it , left right centre everywhere I looked was a man bun a goatee a pretty girl with really white teeth and all zipping and zig zagging across waves on mals and mini-mals and all sorts each calling one and another off of waves in all different languages only to trip and fall 3 seconds later and there I was amongst it all .... the hypocritical Aussie expat feeling intimidated and funnily enough, foreign !!!!
I did manage to catchup with old mate Nash Robertson on the saturday arvo at meaties but we both only lasted 10 or 20minutes in the water because of the ridiculous crowd.
Sure there was the usual Christchurch invaders but they were mostly tolerable.
So where am I going with this?...... A few things come to mind.
Do not worry about tourists returning to Kaikoura, believe me they are already back there!
Dont get me started on freedom camping, I have a new found hate,
The waves... yes there were waves, but its kind of boring surfing alone amongst 20 others.
I went to Kaikoura to have a mid life crisis but unfortunately everyone else was there having one too.
I did however have a great time with my family and friends and can honestly say that Kaikoura is well and truly on the road to recovery and if you havent been back since the quake it sure definately is about time,
Peace, Love and Harmony