Home for the Holidays – Akaroa, New Zealand

In Akaroa, the food was gourmet and the owners were almost as sweet as their desserts. Le Bons Bay Backpackers is a small family run hostel in a restored 120 year old homestead. We arrived on a dark and cold windy night. We were a little concerned that we wouldn`t find the place through all these windy roads but we finally made it. Garry kept our food warm for us which we promptly gobbled up before collapsing into bed.

The next morning, we waited by the tractor watching the glistening beach reflecting the sun. Garry took us out in the choppy water which made it ideal for wave jumping in the small motor boat. Several seals and birds later we were all beginning to think that maybe the dolphins weren’t around.

We all searched in the distance for a fin when all of a sudden we spotted a pod approaching at a very high speed. The Hectors dolphins, worlds smallest and rarest, raced around the boat crazily as if to exuberantly apologise for being late. Little grey bullets shooting through the clear blue. Jumping high up in the air giving us a perfect display of their strong sleek form.

We cruised around the Le Bons Bay checking out caves and blowholes with lots of long green kelp floating around. We had fun listening to history and marine facts from the knowledgeable Garry. He is very proud of his little slice of the world and I understand why. Staying here feels like coming home for the holidays. All 15 of us sat at the heavy wooden table feasting on more of chef Garrys creations. A 5-star restaurant would have stiff competition here.

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