Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kia Ora - Kaikoura Part II

Kaikoura is known for its marine life. You can sign up with tour operators to go for whale watching trips (a German couple whom we met at a B&B in the later part of our trip told us they saw a family of whales at close proximity) or dolphin and seal swimming tours, which allow you to snorkel in close proximity with the marine creatures. Due to the bad weather, we figured going on the tours would be a waste of money and went to the Peninsula Seal Colony, home to the Southern Fur Seals instead.

We were unlucky because we only spotted two seals at least 50m away. A friend of mine who visited the same spot previously managed to get up close and personal with a sleeping seal.

Can you spot the seal?

We were hungry and stopped at Kaikoura Seafood BBQ, a little shack by the roadside which sold almost every oceanic goodie you can imagine.

Lunch was a piping hot bowl of seafood chowder, grilled crayfish and whitebait fritters served with white rice. Our favourite dish believe it or not, wasn't the grilled crayfish but the humble chowder which was chock-full of clam, fish, prawn and squid. BEST CHOWDER EVER!

Kia Ora - Kaikoura Part I

We were greeted by many signs with "Kia Ora"when we landed in Christchurch. (Kia Ora is a Maori greeting which according to Wikipedia, informally means "hi" although it literally translates to "be well/healthy".) Never mind that it was gloomy or rainy, we were on holiday and determined to enjoy our 2 weeks away from work.

We picked up our car, a humble Nissan Sunny from Apex Rentals near the airport. The husband pre-booked our car from Apex because it was the cheapest out of the rental companies and we could borrow and return the car at different towns. After checking the car and doing the necessary paperwork, we made our way north and kept our fingers crossed for some sunshine for the rest of our days in NZ.

Our first stop in our NZ South Island road trip was Kaikoura, a seaside town about 180km from Christchurch.

Although it was only supposed to be a 2 hours journey, it felt like the longest drive of our lives. We hadn't slept well on the red-eye flight and the cold, wet weather was making us both extremely sleepy. We struggled to stay awake and had to roll the windows down a few times to let the cold draft whenever our eyelids got too heavy. On hindsight, we should have rested one night in Christchurch before starting the road trip.

After what seemed like eternity, we reached Panaroma Motel, a motel which I had picked thanks to Tripadvisor. A pity it was still rainy and gloomy, or we would have gotten a spectacular view of the beach, with the Kaikoura Ranges in the background.

The view from our motel room

It would have been beautiful, if it were sunny

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Tiger Cub

I'm 87 photos away from being a crazy cat lady.

The Story of Benji

It's been almost two months since we got our second kitty, Benji. 

To be honest, we were perfectly happy with having just one cat. But some time in February, we noticed a change in Pheebs' behaviour. She would chew up scraps from paper bags and cupboard boxes during the day when we were at work. Besides being destructive, she also got increasingly needy and would whine and try to nip at my legs whenever I tried to leave her room.

L, my cat whisperer friend, said these were symptoms of boredom and asked me to consider getting a second kitty so she could have a playmate. Although cats are independent by nature and not pack animals like dogs,  they are not solitary and need to socialize as well (although not as much as dogs). We decided we'll get a second cat to keep her company. Based on my web research, it seemed it would be easier to introduce a younger, male kitten (sterilised of course) to a female cat so, a tom cat it would be.

I found a post on Benji, on the Cat Welfare Society's Adoption Board. The fosterer described him as a 6 months old cat who has been given up by his previous owner due to financial issues.

"Benji has grown into a handsome looking cat, has a lovely calm nature, friendly and trusting. He has beautiful long straight tail and wearing a nice shade of light patterned brownish fur coat. Litter box trained and newly sterilized with ear tattoo. He gets along with other cats and settles in easily. He is all ready now and looking optimistic in finding his new family for good."

I had a good feeling about Benji (I must admit, I thought it was fate he shared the same nickname as the husband) and made an appointment with the fosterer to see him.

We brought him home the same day we viewed him. Benji had another sibling who looked exactly like him. But we choose him because he was quiet, less active than his brother and completely relaxed around us. A complete contrast to our vocal, active female feline who never sleeps when we're around. I knew I wanted to take him home when how he fell asleep in my arms like a little baby. (Note to self - first impressions are deceiving. The naughty boy goes ballistic whenever he smells any kind of food and jumps into the sink, onto the kitchen counter and the dining table, much to our dismay.)

Once he was home, we did everything the 'experts' said to do when we introduced him to Phoebe. We let her get used to his scent, before allowing him out from his cage. There was hissing and growling and she would follow him everywhere he went, to make sure he wasn't up to any mischief. She would also pick a fight with him, although I was told it's normal for the older cat to get territorial and it would take a while before two cats learnt to get along.

Two months later, it's obvious from the way she treats him that she dislikes him. Even today, she still chases him around and smacks him with her paws if he tries to eat from her food bowl or hang out at her favourite spots. She acts like an older sister who's insanely jealous and upset by the fact she has to share her paw-rents and space with another cat. The poor boy's frightened of her and keeps his distance from her.

So much for being a playmate. Benji seems to be her prey-mate!

Oh Pheebs, can you stop being so unfriendly?

I don't expect them to be best buddies, but I hope she'll learn to tolerate him in the months to come. Till then, fingers AND toes crossed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Been Four Months?

Oops, I have neglected this space, haven't I? It's been four months since my last entry and we're two months away from the second half of the year. Now, where did all the time go?!

It's been nothing but busy since we got back from the Southern Hemisphere with CNY, our first wedding anniversary, friends' weddings, work, spending time with family and friends and mostly with taking care of our two kitties (yes, we adopted a second cat but more on that another time!) whom we adore despite them driving us mad on a daily basis with their antics.

So till the next entry (which would highly likely be another few months down the road!), here's a photo of us at my good friend's wedding in Hong Kong, taken by her wedding photographer. It's not often we get a candid shot of ourselves, so this one's a keeper :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Vacation

Photo by Eadwine of Plush Photography

And we're off for our first long holiday since our honeymoon.

Best wishes for the New Year, everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Days in Hong Kong - Seafood in Sai Kung

I like Sai Kung. It may be teeming with weekend dwellers, many of whom are daytrippers making their way to the nearby islands via the jetty, there's still a sleepy, laid-back charm about it.

Life seems to move at a slower pace in this part of Hong Kong.

And of course, the fresh seafood!


Related Posts with Thumbnails