March 16 - Kaikoura
No, I didn't go whale watching in Kaikoura even though it's one of the places to do so in NZ. What I did do was take a nice stiff walk around the cliff walk which resulted in a 6k walk up and down the hills with beautiful views. I must say New Zealand as nicely sealed paths (see post pic). Since I had started relatively late in the afternoon I missed the opportunity to have some fried paua meat. There was a seafood stall at one bay which sold crayfish and paua fresh from the ocean. That would have been nice but they closed before I was done with my walk and I didn't want to hike with a full belly.
Instead of eating seafood I drove on to find a spot for the night and took the first freedom camping site just north of Kaikoura. What a beautiful spot. It was directly at the beach and could hear the waves rolling in all night. I prepared a quick meal and then took my coffee cup and went down to the beach. And what do you know? I found my own paua shells! And when I say shells I mean shells. There were plenty. The thing with that was that not every shell is a particularly pretty one. Some are just very plain and not very iridescent. So I combed the beach for the most beautiful ones and still ended up with quite a few. I also found other stuff the sea had rolled in. There was for example a skeleton of an animal I guessed was a seal. It definitely wasn't a land animal because it had fins. In my artist's vision I could use some of the bones so I carefully broke off three ribs. They were still attached to the backbone. This reminds me of the kangaroo skeleton I saw back in Western Australia and I'm still sorry I didn't collect the whole tailbones. They would have made a great piece of art. Oh well, my artist persona hadn't kicked in yet.
A little digression here: What I have observed is that I can only open up my artistic side when I have enough silent time and let the inspiration come. Usually with my day-to-day job I rarely get artistic. Yes, I do sing in our little choir, but that is 'just' singing along and my parts. I didn't create them. In order to be creative I need some space to myself. I have found out that finding that space happens to me after having been away from my every day obligations. When I can log off. When I can shut off the professional mind and open up the creative one. And that usually happens after some time off from work.
Also I found out that those artistic phases don't last forever. They come in strides and then I'm busy creating something. I might finish whatever I'm creating or I stop some time in between and let it sit again until the next artistic phase kicks in. I used to be a bit annoyed with that. With not finishing stuff. Now I'm at a point where I just let it go and be until I come around again. And that feels good. There is a time for everything. I'm happy to accept and cherish that. End of digression.