Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
49Trip End Jul 09, 2011
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A 6 hour journey south saw us 400km further down the south island (you could do that slightly quicker in england eh?) we had passed through many little towns and villages, including ashburton (my mums birthplace - so pretty cool to see that!). Anyway it was far better than the previous couple of journeys we had had. We pulled up in Dunedin, to torrential rain!!! After deciding we just needed to get to the hostel, we could appreciate the city later, we walked as quick as we could with our bags, even in raincoats we arrived outside the Elm lodge like completely drowned rats, as we walked in the place smelt old and damp, lovely. A very sweet swedish girl checked us in and took our money before showing us around, quite quirky i guess, lots of little rooms but i just didnt really want to be there, think i was just grumpy from the rain! however then we walked into the room we were staying in, an oversized lounge with single beds along each of the walls and one in the middle - I was to be on that one, hmmm
We woke up refreshed (and dry!) on monday, petted the dogs (two adorable jack russels - astrix and bella - who had it sorted for attention in the hostel!) and headed out to explore the town. The town is amazing, scottish settlers first came here so the home accent often has a little scottish twang, but it means that the buildings and architecture and so scottish. Huge gothic churches line the roads with plenty of scottish pubs if you need your fill on whisky. Set right on the coast it boosts lovely beaches and its one of the biggest and definately the oldest university town here so plenty of shopping, bars and young people
Next stop the gorgeus botanical gardens, huge landscaped gardens stretching out for acres, from ponds and flat areas to tea rooms and rock gardens, huge hills, south african areas, meditarrean gardens and terraces, really beautiful. we picnic-ed before we carried on back towards the centre of the town. A wonderful building stands proud on the edge of the centre, the thai gorge railway building, housing museums and art gallerys, along with an old steam passenger train departing several times a day to go up into the mountains, the architecture is beautiful and really stands out.
Next stop - the chocolate factory =) =) =) you may think of cadburys as an english thing and thats where it started but in the early 1900s they bought a factory out here, and it does its own things, the chocolate tastes different and as we found out jafa's here do not mean jafa cakes, they are small bright orange coated dark chocolate balls - delicious
Full of chocolate we headed into town, browsed the outdoor shops for more kit (washing stuff and flash lights for our trek next week) before heading back to the hostel and chilling out with everyone for the evening, i really loved the hostel.
Tuesday we shopped, snapped lots of photos and jumped on a bus in the opposite direction to the previous day out to St Clairs beach, it was a tad cloudy so we had huge wonderful hot chocolates in a little cafe while it cleared before spending the afternoon wandering the white sand beaches, keeping our eyes peeled for more seals and penguins, and reading while the boys from the nearby school had their PE lessons - surfing!!!!!!
In the evening we headed out to a recommended japenese sushi restaurant, unbelievably good food, I had salmon steak platter, it was glazed with a delicious sauce over rice with roasted vegetables, miso soup and an amazing salad for the equivilant of about 6pounds!! i tried a japense choya wine (plum) deliciously sweet, the asian culture over here is huge, i really love the light healthy side it pumps into food over here
With a slightly fragile head this morning (i had ound cider on tap in one of the bars - very unusual in nz) we packed up, checked out of our wonderful hostel and headed out to the beach again, a lovely hot walk along the sands dipping our toes into the water, before a quick lunch at sushi express and last minute shop browsing its time to move to the next city.
Lots of love to everyone,