Day 13 - Seals!

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November 20th 2007
Published: November 20th 2007
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After a nice break yesterday (Brian watched New Zealand win the Semifinal in the Ladies Netball Championship on TV), we set out for one last excursion in the North Island. From Wellington, we headed southeast to the southern-most point of the North Island (did you follow that?) The area is called Cape Palliser. It’s claim to fame is that it has a lighthouse with 250 steps to get to it. (Yes, Amy loves those lighthouses! Some smarty-pants girl on one of our tours made a snarky comment that if you’ve seen one lighthouse, you’ve seen them all. One of us strongly disagrees with her. The other thought she was kind of cute.) We can’t really verify how many steps for sure since we lost count due to lack of oxygen. A very pretty view, but nothing beats the seals! There’s a seal colony along that part of the coast and they were awesome. They were sunning and scratching themselves on the rocks and didn’t seem to mind us hanging around. We were close enough to touch and Brian wanted to pet them, but we weren’t sure if our insurance policy covered seal bites (or stupidity). We had a roadside picnic next to some other seals and then headed to a local café famous for whitebait fritters. Whitebait are small sardine-like fish (but tiny like little bitty eels) but without the fishy taste. We would tell you all about the fritters, but the people working the café were surly so we left. We’ll try again in the South Island. As we made our way back to Wellington, we stopped at some more sites that were used for filming Lord of the Rings (Rivendell, Isengard, and the River Anduin for you LOTR nerds). We’ve pretty much figured out that none of the sets remain and every place here looks like Middle Earth so we’re probably not going out of our way to chase specific spots. We made it back to our place and packed up. Tomorrow is the ferry ride to the South Island, the second leg of our NZ adventure. That’s all for now. Stay tuned.

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