Having been born and raised in New York City with a population of over 8.3 million people, living in Kaikoura was a welcomed change. But both places are tourism hot spots in their own rights; NYC with its cultural diversity and Kaikoura with biodiversity.
Sounds of seagulls and ocean waves replaced those of traffic noise, lush plants and sand replaced slabs of concrete, and the mountains replaced buildings as the tallest structure in the landscape. And within 1 minute from the town centre was the sea.
The area, with its proximity to the sea, was well-known for their seafood, especially crayfish or kai in Maori.
Meals was relatively simple. Breakfast would consist of microwaved muesli and milk and dinner would most likely be some type of pasta dish. My friend and I got in the habit of cooking and sharing dinner together and would make anything from pesto pasta to green curry (instant, of course) with rice. I remember meals shared, of candlelight dinners with potato gratin and red wine prepared by my French co-workers, of chowing down on carbonara pasta (made by yours truly) together in the hostel’s living room.
We walked and biked everywhere. Once we even biked 2 hours to Mount Fyffe, stopping by a lavender farm called Lavendyl on the way. their lavender ice cream laced with honey intoxicated us, especially against the backdrop of the mountains and fields.