Madam meets Rolf Harris in disguise....
Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
250Trip End Dec 01, 2011
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I can't say Elvina is sharing my enthusiasm yet... but she will..... we get ready and make another packed lunch.. (what can I say....it's cheap!) and head off for the short walk to the meeting point where our ride is waiting... we opted to pay for the drive as we would of had to leave about 6am... its that far up in the mountains to Fyffe view ranch. This was an amazing trek with yet more outstanding views... Elvina's horse was called Dreamer and mine...... Madam... a fitting name if you ask me!!
We trekked through rain forest, streams and mountain valleys... it was beautiful... Elvina was a natural or was it Dreamer being more laid back... mine on the other hand lived up to her name... she was a handful and she bolted a number of times... other than a bashed leg we both survived!! I have confirmed though that my pet allergy is not jusy cats and dogs but includes horse too...
Our ride then dropped us off at the Maori Leap caves.
The Maori Leap Cave runs through 60 million year old Kaikoura Limestone that’s just dripping with stalactites.
Maori appear to have been unaware of the existence of the cave, and the ‘Maori Leap’ name relates to the actions of a warrior in an inter-tribal battle. He was faced with the choice of being captured and becoming a slave or jumping for freedom. He leapt off the cliffs and supposedly survived, although the story is unclear about what happened to him in the end. The cave was discovered when a quarry was being developed in the area and locals found a hole that lead into the roof of a large cavern. As this didn’t offer very convenient access, an entrance through the base of the cliff was subsequently cut and the hundred metres of the cave lit and fully explored. Tours of the cave are run out of the roadside diner close by and are delightfully low key compared to the packaged patter at more touristy places.
Our guide "Frank" was about 100 years old and resembled Rolf Harris as he took us through the cave with his torch which he would shine on parts of the cave and ask us what it resembled... "do you know what it is yet".... light was shown on things such as seals, sharks, Santa, queen Victoria... basically markings in the stone.... it was the strangest tour... and when frank offered to take our picture he also subsequently "passed wind" with an oops!!! We then had to walk through the smell.....
On returning to the diner.... Frank bless him offered us a lift back into town... one that saved us a couple of hours walk... it was worth the risk of further smells!!!
We were dropped at the Kiakoura museum next which includes Maori artifacts, whaling, fishing, farming, saw milling, social history, marine fossils, geology, photographs, archives and all the memorabilia that makes Kaikoura what it is today. It also includes an original prison cell and a padded cell... this was quite scary and we quickly took pictures before getting out of there!!
The heavens then opened... apparently the first time in a long time.... lucky us! We stop off at the supermarket and head back for a quiet night.... that is until we hear a siren.... Elvina asks reception what its for and scares herself silly when the guy says you have nothing to worry about unless it becomes really loud... its a warning of an accident or tsunami..... hmmmm when do we leave??!!!!
And on that note its time for some sleep.....