Monday, February 23, 2009

Heading south to Dunedin

I haven't been getting on line that much as mostly it eats up the NZ$'s but today there is free email at this hostel in Omaru and I have decided to stay put here for the day as its wet and windy out - the weather isn't very summery right now but hopefully will improve soon - they have had it so dry for so long they need the rain but now the roads are flooding and the south wind blows! The hills are very daunting - I have been speaking to a chap here at the hostel who is a serious Scottish cyclist who said that the cycling here is tougher than the Alps! I have hardly ridden so far and have given Robert my tent to take back to Picton as the hostels are great and cheap and I can lighten the load a bit - anyway its all good! I took the bus dwon from Christchurch yesterday - $40

I'm staying in Omaru at the Empire Hotel backpacker south of Christchurch on the east coast of the south Island - built in 1866 - a lovely city with lots of limestone buildings in very good repair too - and some lovely public gardens -
Have visited the penguins last night which is what Omaru is particularly famous for - saw 4 yellow eyed and lots of little blue penguins - they are SO wonderful to watch tumbling in off the surf and waddling and hopping up the slope to get to the colony - we saw 30 of them - they tend to come up in groups of 6 or 7 - there was a fur seal on the slope which they were a bit worried about and at one point when the seal moved all the penguins tumbled back down the slope into the sea again - the babies are all waiting and squawking for their parents and we were watching all this with the area lit with special lights so that supposedly aren't disturbed - in fact they apparently come right into town and nests under the builidngs here - quite amazing
Tomorrow I will go down to Moeriki where the bolders are and apparently a lovely little community with a famous restaurant "Fleurs" which I think I should try out -
So all is good - will do more exploring here today and some down time to write pc's - and then head south to Dunedin - so hopefully I will be on the train to Middlemarch and the start of the Otago rail trail on Sunday - Cindy has given me a contact at the end of that trail so I shall try to get in touch with them -

I am enjoying this freedom - retirement is a wondeful thing - though I haven't got a cheque yet it will hopefully magically appear in my account at the end of this week!

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear of your tramping were sharing everything with the residents they love it!Pat you know who she is she's always on the look out for you and used to sit outside your door and we'd blame everything on Angela. Im spending some of my holidays in Parksville and were doing a dogs to ground so Otis is in a compition for Ratting and Iris is in race going after a rabbit(a bag of course) but it all happens in parksville from June-Sept. Every one still talks about you everyday and It's great to hear fantastic adventures!!!!!! Tammy P.s.
    Hows that New Zealand Wine???