Day 1: Christchurch to Blenheim (Via Kaikoura)

We headed to pick up our camper at 8am and finally left at 10am (left just say that Apollo Motor Homes is a bit less organized than Let’s Go Travel!!). Christchurch doesn’t have much to offer for itself, so we didn’t hang about. We drove north from Christchurch, through the beautiful Waipara valley.

The Waipara landscape is special in its own way. Large areas of flat valley land, rolling hills to the east, thousands of grazing sheep and lambs frolicking around.

Gore Bay

While we didn’t choose to take every turn off or stop, the ones we did choose were well worth to detour. One of them being the 20km loop road out to Gore Bay, which was far more beautiful than I imagined.

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Kaikoura Coast

Back in the car, we drove to Kiakoura. This stunning driving route to Kaikoura wedges itself between the coastal mountain ranges and the ocean. Wide-open seascapes, rolling sand dunes and untamed beaches are flanked by rugged mountains.

Once we arrived in Kaikoura, two starved humans searched for their famous dish, Crayfish. Given the streets where tiny and our camper resembled a small bus, we decided to walk to our destination (without checking the actual distance!). Big disaster, 40mins in we still hadn’t reached it. We asked a local for directions, who confirmed it shut 30mins ago!!

The views from the walk made it worth it however. The village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. My camera really didn’t give this place justice.

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Blenheim

Blenheim is the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. It doesn’t offer much as a town, but we stopped over for the night, to check out a Brazilian restaurant which was recommended to us by one of Jules colleagues.

The food was unbelievable. I had a traditional fish dish, with coconut cream and Jules has a smokey black bean stew. The owner popped over to our table during the meal and seemed to take a great liking to Jules (major Bromancing going on!). He even spoon-fed Jules at one point, slightly weird. He obviously saw my reaction to this, as he followed this act with a story about his wife and child (at the time, I thought he was joking with me, turns out its true haha.)

After Jules flirtatious session, he gave us extra love and attention. With extra scoops of ice-cream on our Churro’s. He even gave us a lift back to the camp site in his Bently.

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