Life on a Sheep Farm

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dunedin is a curious city, described in our travel guide as 'exuding artsy, boozy ambiance' (i.e. our first sightings were numerous interestingly dressed college girls, carrying their own bottle of wine walking down the main street preparing for a Friday night on the town). We showed up at Hogwartz Hostel, high up on a hill with quite a climb up a staircase shrouded by bushes and vines, lugging all our groceries and bags into an old Bishop's home and up another majestic flight of stairs to our room.

We had been 'offline' for most of our time in NZ so when we saw that the local library had Wifi we decided to make contact with the outside world and do some visa preparation for future travels.  We dove into the library at about 10:00am and ended up spending the entire day there experiencing much frustration with the details of Indian and Vietnamese visas.  For two people who like to plan as we go and who don't remember details, the Indian government is asking a lot!  For instance, they want to know exactly when and where we are going and if we were in India before (which we were in 1985) our flight details and the # of our entrance visa. In addition, we would have to send our passports to their consulate in Wellington and not expect them back for 20 days. We may not be going to India...

Where is the sheep farm, you are asking...? We headed out to Port Chalmers, driving a winding road along the bay to Billy Brown's intensely steep hill up to the sheep farm and hostel.  Billy and Ann are the lovely hosts of their hostel and owners of the farm.  When asked about sheep farming and what they do with all the sweet little baby lambs, Billy told us he just raises them then on the day they go to slaughter he tells them  'they are going on a picnic'.  Poor sweet little things! As much as I am wanting to have a lamb meal while here in NZ, I am not sure after seeing all those wee babies (it is lambing season) I can sit down and enjoy a meal.

Our time in this area has been a feast for the eyes.  The Otago peninsula offers large sandy beaches with sea lions, cliffs with huge albatross catching the late afternoon winds and views of rolling hills dotted with sheep and young lambs.  As the sun began to set and the mist lifted off the hills we walked on a beach, aching to see the unique yellow-eyed penguin come home from its day out in the ocean collecting food for its babies in the cliffs on the shore.  Apparently if you are on the beach in between the penguins and their nests, being a shy animal they will return to the sea, digesting the food meant for their chicks who then go hungry. So it is important not to get in their way.

It is such a delight to be here during spring with the promise of young life, crisp fresh air, long days, new growth and the locals' anticipation of warm summer days. Did I mention it is cold and dark at home in Canada right now?
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Sue Walker on

Beautiful, Simply Beautiful!
Sue xo

Leigh Miller on

Again - spectacular!!!

Sarah Steinwand on

YAY New Zealand!! Please let me know if you have any questions or need recommendations. I know I already gave you some!

Judi on

Fantastic reading and beautiful viewing of your pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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