Waipapa Bay - Camping and Crayfish

Waipapa Travel Blog

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Waipapa Bay - Crayfish and Camping.

Waipapa Bay, Crayfish and Camping.
Although I am basically retired from taxi driving, I still am on call for when the company is extra busy, such as when a Cruise Ship is in the Port of Picton. A week or two ago I was called and asked to take the taxi to pickup 4 people from the Cruise Ship and take them to Blenheim to the Omaka Aviation herit
age Centre, a wonderful place full of interesting collections of WW! aircraft and memorabilia that is set out in tableau's that bring the scenes to life. I have taken many people there but have not actually done the tour myself, but I must one of these days.
I met the 2 couples from the cruise ship that turned out to be peop
le from Jamaca, the first people from this Nation I have ever met. It is bad that my preconceived idea of what Jamacian folk were like was based on a Harry Belafonte image, these people were not at all deepest black but ranged from white to light brown, and although later they did sing to me they were not Calypso singers!
As we drove through to Blen
heim we talked about just what they might like to see and do while in Blenheim. It was decided that a visit to the beautiful Pollard Park to stroll through the rose garden and the scented gardens along the stream would be a nice start before going inside at the Aviation Centre.
After a lovely stroll together around the park taking hundreds of photos, we drove on to Omaka for them to enjoy the Aviation show, aafter which they intended for me to take them around several winerys to sample the local wines. I sat in the sun and read my book while they went arond the acres of floor space full of the most interesting memorabilia that fascinated them for well over an hour.
When they came out of all they could think of was Crayfish, our New Zealand Lobster, I think someone in the Centre must have mentioned these yummy crayfish to them, they said take them to where they could have a Crayfish meal. I thought and realised that I couldn't take them to any resturant with any assusrance of there being fresh Crayfish in stock as they are very expensive. So I sugested that we go for an hours drive down the Kaikours coast to where Crayfish are caught and sold on the side of the road by fisherman and also in a small store at the Waipapa Bay Camping Gound. Surprisingly by new Jamacian freinds were all for going to Waipapa Bay immediately.
We had the most enjoyable drive down the Kaikoura coast past lots of farms with sheep and cattle that interested them and we saw Fur Seals on the rocks along the coast, we talked the whole way, they told me about Jamaca and I told them a little of New Zealand, they sang me a nice song, we were very cheerful. Finally we arrived at Waipapa Bay, there in front of us was the giant metal Crayfish on the roof of the small store at the Camping Ground. Lots more photographs were taken before I took them in to meet Sherryl, the best freind of my stepdaughter Leigh, who sells these seafoods. I left them to buy a crayfish for lunch while I had a coffee and a chat with Sherryl. These wonderful people wanted to buy me a whole craffish to have for lunch with them, but at $65 each I said it was too much but thankyou. However I said, most people only eat the tails of Crayfish and just throw away the body part that takes some work to extract the meat, so if they didn't wnat the bodies I would be most happy to nibble them and show them how to go about doing so.
They sat in the sun and enjoyed their meals, when I joined them it was to find 4 whole bodies of Crayfish waiting for me! Yummy I dived straight in and showed them how to snap a hard bony leg to winkle out the delious meat and then how to open all the bony sections within the body to be able to eat lots of the sweetest tastiest meat in the Crayfish. One of the men had a good go at it and enjoyed his body while I ate everybody elses! What a feast we all had, and then licked out fingers! This was a very popular pasttime, while we were eating every table was full of people doing the same as us.
We then had the hour and a half long drive back to the Cruise s
hip, we were feeling very replete and happy, still chatting merrily and singing songs now and again, I made such good time that we were able to stop and have a quick wine tasting at Montana Brancott Winery, where they bought several bottles to take home with them. Igot them back to the ship just in time, after nearly 7 hours together it was hard to say goodbye to them. it was only after they left I realised I had no photos to add to my blog, as I knew I would write up this nice story of our great day, so I rushed home to Erle and said soon as we have a free few days we must take the caravan down to Waipapa Bay to the Camping gound there so we could get photos and also so I could buy us each a Crayfish for our dinner, it took a couple of weeks before we wer free to do so and the weather was just right to enjoy the holiday. This week we have been to Waipapa Bay and camped in the best little coastal camping ground around.It is set right on the beach with high brooding Limestone cliffs towering above, protecting this small bay from the worst of the weather, apparently the Maori's use to live in the bay years ago and high up within the cliffs there are ancient burial caves, making the climbing of these cliffs forbidden.
The Camp is not overly equiped, just a toilet block with showers and laundry facility, all very natural, but we had our caravan with kitchen etc so needed no more, electricity was available to us so we were content.
After we had explored all around the camp and the beach we b
ought our Crayfish for dinner which we sat outside int the evening sun and enjoyed very much.
The following day we wandered along the beach searching for Paua and other small sea creatures on the rocks and in the small pools left by the tide, getting ourselves pretty wet while doing so, but we quickly dried in t
he sunshine. I found this natural sea sculpture on the beach and couldn't resist photographing it.
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photo by: glennisnz