Next Stop...Antarctia!

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Sunday, March 24, 2013

A sodden morning in Fiord land National Park. With the forcast being the same for the next da or two, we decided to leave. Shame, as we were looking forward to some longer hiking trips in this area.

Instead, we decided to do a bit more driving. We headed to New Zealand's oldest town for some coffees, cakes and WIFI. We were also able to find a local artist making some NZ greenstone necklaces, so Brian got the souvenir he'd been dreaming about for the last 8 years or so.

Over to the east coast we drove and through the Catlins National Park (I know, ANOTHER national park!). This area was very green with rolling hills. A walk through the woods revealed a lush rainforest with ferns and mosses dripping from every tree. This is also home to some beautiful waterfalls, so we took advantage of the dark grey day and the photographic opportunities that came with it and joined some other shutter bugs at the waterfall edge.

Our campsite tonight is by the sea. The first time we've been on the coast here in New Zealand. A little bay looking out to the south (next stop, Antarctica!) with sea cliffs to the north. All along
this stretch of coast is various penguin and seal colonies. I do hope that I will get to see a penguin before we leave!

Early the next morning we awoke to find a very large seal on the beach who we went to visit. She/he was quite amiable and didn't seem to mind us at all (they can be quite vicious and move surprisingly fast!). Then Brian thought it would be fun to hike to the top of the sea cliffs. Fun indeed. With no path, we simply tried to find our way. In spots it was so steep that we couldn't view the terrain beyond. Sometimes the windswept bush was too dense to walk through.

Other times we found some sheep or cattle paths to follow. We did get to the top, and enjoyed some fabulous views of more cliffs stretching out along the coast. The trip back down to the campsite was more difficult than the climb. Steep up is like stairs, steep down is just like falling in slow motion. Reached the bottom just before the rain came, so we jumped in the car and made our way to Dunedin...

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