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Published: November 13th 2013
dawned and I woke to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. A quick check out the window told me the surf was up and some brave souls were out in full wetsuits.... and I mean full
.... booties, hood and all.
As the 3 of us settled in to breakfast, we had one of those moments.... you know the ones.... when something happens that just takes your breath away. While munching and talking about our route for the day, Mo suddenly exclaimed that there was something on the beach, and as the waves pounded and the surfers bobbed in the water, a sea lion pulled itself up above the water line to laze in the sun on the sand. Nature has a funny way of making you remember that you are just a small part of the whole.
This morning I encountered the first major hiccup with the camper van. While pulling into the campsite last night and what with all the rain we'd experienced during the day, the ground had gone a tad soggy.... which is to say that some rather deep mud pits were hidden below the grass.... of which I might have not
realised until I was in one... of which might have accidentally knocked the water hose off the tank for the on board kitchen.... of which may have meant that for half an hour this morning while trying to fill it again I was on my back under the van with freezing water pouring down on me, trying to plug the hoses back up. Some of the fun to be had when travelling, and if that's the worst that happens then I can't really complain.
Back on the road and winding our way through The Catlins
,we stopped briefly at Matai Falls
before heading to through Invercargill
. This is a little town right down on the south coast where the ferry for Stewart Island
leaves from. We had decided to spend the night in the tourist park there before having a look at the ferry in the morning for prices and times. It also gave us all a good chance to recharge cameras, phones and all other manner of devices for our next stint... and as Mo would say... "I feel civilized now that my phone is charged" (Anne version of civilized was a brush of the hair and
a little mascara).
There were mixed reason in our group for heading to Stewart Island. Anne and Mo wanted to do the Great Walk
that was there as well as the fact that the island is the best opportunity to see Kiwi birds in their natural environment. I was just heading over for the day to have a look at New Zealand's newest national park (and maybe spot a Kiwi as well). On arriving at the terminal though, I found that we'd missed the morning ferry and the next wasn't until 5pm (the last for the day) making my day trip very unlikely. Coupled with the fact that the ferry was $135 return, and that changed my mind about heading there pretty quick. This meant that it was time to part ways with my travelling companions and I would like to hope that I can now call them friends. Mo and Anne.... best of luck and travel safe.... I'm very envious of your 7 months in this beautiful country!!
Back on the road and on a mission to reach Te Anau
for the night so as to use it as a base to see Milford Sound for
a full day. The scenery continued to be pastoral with the occasional wind farm thrown in the mix. If it's one thing New Zealanders know how to do, it's provide renewable energy. Throughout this entire holiday it has become very apparent that wind and water provides this country with the majority of it's power, with only a couple of nuclear plants in evidence.
On the shores of Lake Te Anau
, I whiled away the afternoon, preparing for what I was hoping would be a highlight of the trip tomorrow.
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