It’s a beautiful day, the sun is out and there’s a big blue sky overhead. We’re driving over SH7 heading to the East Coast and Kaikoura, a touristy beach town crowded with people. We don’t know that until we arrive. Kiwis have started their holiday.
Along the way we had to stop at two cafes (those Cafes) – Nor’wester Cafe where we had a delicious lemon pie, and then a few miles away we stopped at Pukeko Junction Cafe for coffee.
We’re the first to arrive at our new hostel, Badjelly, which is a funky little place a few streets removed from the crowds and noise of town center. Our hostess shows us around and points out the fresh-baked bread, still warm, in the kitchen. There’s plenty of fridge space! The hammock and porch swing in the backyard beckon. Eventually most of the guests arrive then leave to celebrate New Year’s. We’re happy to stay in and relax. The last couple arrives, people our age, and we hit it off immediately. We get so engrossed in conversation with Brian and Margaret that we almost forget it’s New Year’s eve. For the next two days we enjoy numerous chats over breakfast, lunch and dinner as they talk about living in Christchurch (and the earthquake) and we talk about our sailing and we all talk about NZ.
In case you’re wondering (I was) why the name Badjelly? Our hostess/owner says she’s like Badjelly the Witch, a popular children’s book from the ’70s, handwritten and illustrated by Spike Milligan.