Penguins

Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
1
58
96
Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Swaggers

Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Monday, May 30, 2011

I had a great sleep & when I woke (late again) I continued with the draft blog. Agra came in at 9.55am with a coffee for me, (I hadn't told her I have it black, never mind) which was sweet of her although I think she had an ulterior motive as she said she didn’t expect me to sleep the day away. I told her I had just finished yesterday’s draft & would soon be up & off. The sun was streaming through the windows & I could see the sea, the town & the Penguin Colony from my bed.  Ooh & the coffee has sugar in it – still I shouldn’t even think about not drinking it!

I was soon up but Agra started talking to me & that was it, I didn’t get anything done & didn’t go anywhere for hours!! I could see that I wasn’t going to get everything done that I wanted today & get back to Queenstown so text Tanya about staying another night – she was fine with it & so was Agra. Last night, whilst chatting, Agra had told she periodically tells backpackers suddenly to leave very late at night!!! so I asked her if she was going to do the same with me but she assured me she wouldn't.  That sorted I said I had to go as I needed to do things & it was midday already. Agra told me to go to Fleur's even if it was just for a wine.

I went to Moeraki township to look for the lighthouse. Fleur's was closed Monday & Tuesday so I didn’t get to go in try the world famous restaurant. I went up the hill first to the lookout where the signal mast had stood for a whaling station founded by John Hughes & a party when they landed at Onekakara, which is now Moeraki, on 26 December 1836. Fantastic views from there, one could see for miles but that would have been why a lookout was there in the first place. Then I went in search of the road to the lighthouse, it wasn’t difficult to find. It was a gravel road but not terribly long. When I got to the end of the road there were several cars in the car park but I didn’t see anyone. I followed a path that went alongside the lighthouse & on down to the peninsula, the edge was fenced off with an 'out of bounds, endangered wildlife’ sign. As I walked along I saw a tiny ‘hut’ & there were 2 little blue penguins beside it, one was standing up perfectly still just looking & the other was lying down. I took several photos & was waiting for them to move but the upright one only moved his head & looked as though he was on guard. I carried on down the hill & saw 2 sea lions lying motionless on the sand in the sun in a cove & nearby right near the top of the hill lay a yellow eyed penguin, I was only about 2 feet from him but he wasn’t bothered by my presence at all.

After hanging round watching for more penguins I went to have another look at the boulders; I parked further away from them than yesterday so walked barefoot up the beautiful, sandy beach. I had put shorts on as it was such a lovely day so went running through the water & got soaked, The tide was higher than yesterday so some of the boulders were almost covered by the sea. I went further out into the surf to take photos, it was great, the only thing I was concerned about was slipping over & going for a swim with my camera!

Agra had also told me I should get some fish & chips in Hampden as they were so good, there was no problem with going to the right shop for them as there was only one takeaways in the minute township. When I stopped, however, by the dairy on the other side of the road, & in the direction I was going, I saw Cox Orange apples & kiwifruit for sale so bought 3 kg of those instead & munched through 3 on the way back to Oamaru as they were so delicious. After refueling in Oamaru (full service given again) I drove round the town taking photos of the grand buildings in the main street & St Peter’s Basilica, which I spied at the end of a side street whilst driving down the main road out of town so made a quick left to get a closer look. I thought it was rather a grand looking cathedral for a small town.

Back in town I saw an ANZ so went in to sort out the PIN number for my credit card – what a different feel in there to the city branches, so relaxed. The bank was meant to close at 4.30pm but at 4.35 it was still open & the staff didn’t seem in a rush at all. My eftpos card was in the box of stuff I'd sent from Mongolia to Lana's & to get a new one cost $15 but the teller said she could load an account onto my credit card so that I could use that as an eftpos card. Whilst checking my accounts to see which to load she said I should see a personal banker to tidy up all my accounts! I told her I'm leaving town tomorrow but there was a 10am appointment so I took it, it meant, too, that I had a reason to tell Agra I couldn't stay chatting!

I went back to Swaggers early & sat in my room for a while to get stuff done before Agra caught me. She’d said this morning about us sharing a bottle of red tonight so I’d got one from Countdown but didn’t want to have it till later. A 19 year old Dutch boy, Stefan, had turned up & Agra had put him in another room (thank goodness, didn’t fancy sharing with a young guy).  We ended up having dinner at the same time so chatted at the table, his English was exceptional & said that in Holland english speaking movies are not dubbed but have Dutch subtitles & the new releases often don’t even have subtitles for a while, which is how he learnt english so well.

I carried on with the blog in the lounge, which was fatal as Agra came in & sat down & started chatting so then I told her I had got the wine we’d talked about. It was a very good red too – Nikau Point Merlot, a NZ wine. We chatted for ages &, when Stefan returned from his penguin hunt, he joined us for a while. Agra brought out a bar of choc so we had 2 of the 3 things that go so well together, the third wasn’t available.

Eventually both Agra & Stefan went off to bed & I continued on the laptop, Agra had given me a DVD to watch that some Buddhist monks had left with her a few days earlier but my laptop said I had to download a programme to watch it so she gave me access to the internet to do so but the download wouldn't work. Agra still let me have the internet for almost an hour so I wrote a couple of emails & uploaded some photos to the blog before she came back in & said she was turning it off. So I went off to bed, it was only 11pm!!!! It was unheard of me to go to sleep that early so I fiddled with photos for ages.
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