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Published: July 18th 2009
Ever heard of Lands End to John O’Groats? Mizen Head to Malin Head? Bluff to Cape Regina? They are all opposite ends of Britain, Ireland and New Zealand. I think you can also tell which one we are about to start. After leaving Milford Sound we hit the road for a long journey to Bluff. Along the way we stopped off at a town of 50,000 people called Invercargill. Not the prettiest place in New Zealand. We didn’t stop for long and after using Starbucks for their free wi-fi and doing our weekly shopping at Pac n Save we hit the road again. Bluff also is not that nice either and we were disappointed when we found out its not actually the southern most tip of New Zealand. Slope point a few kilometres east is actually the most southern point. They use ‘Bluff to Cape Regina’ when marketing New Zealand for some reason. Maybe it sounds better than ‘Slope Point to Cape Regina’. I’m not really sure. We got our pictures taken at the signposts pointing out different parts of the world. We are over 18,000kms from London and maybe another six or seven hundred from Galway! That’s a long, long
away. Further than we’ll ever be until they start sending tourists to the moon.
After leaving Bluff we got on the Southern Scenic tourist route and drove through the and area called The Catlins. Along the way we stopped at Slope Point, just so we could say we were at the real southern tip of NZ. We stayed in a lovely beach side camp in a place called Cove Bay. It came with a warning that seals may sleep in the bushes around the camper vans and be careful! Needless to say we didn’t go walking that night. As we were pushed for time we hit the road for Dunedin the next day. Dunedin is the Gaelic for Edinburgh or as the Lonely Planet put it ‘Celtic’. Who the hell speaks ‘Celtic’??? This is the second time we have heard this. Once a guy on a bus in Argentina from the US, asked us were we speaking ‘Celtic’. We said no and asked why he thought so? He said he could hear us speak but couldn’t understand a word we said, so presumed we were speaking ‘Celtic’. Fair enough! We put him straight and told him it was called
Gaelic, but when we talk to each other in English it was normally fast and with our different accents it might sound a bit weird. Lonely Planet should know better though! Anyway, Dunedin. It was definitely a town we would have liked to spend more time in. I got to get my two month old head of hair finally cut. It was getting out of order and I think Michelle was using reverse physiology by telling me to keep growing it!
What we also got to do in Dunedin was visit Cadbury World. The factory is right in the city centre and really worth the visit. We got a tour of everything. Right from where the milk and coca comes in the door to where it leaves. They use different coloured pipes to send the three types of chocolate around the factory, Milk, Dark and White. They make different versions of the bars we have as well. Their Moro is the same as a Mars bar and they produce 10,000 of then an hour. Also, their buttons are thick and not flat like ours. We also don’t think their Cadbury’s taste the same as ours but that could all
be in the mind!! It was cool to see then making all the Easter eggs as well. They start making eggs in July for next Easter and will produce nearly 40 million eggs! We got plenty of free chocolate along the way and luckily nobody had to be taken away by any of the Umpa-Lumpas! (bad joke, I know, but I had to put it in somewhere).
We still had to try and fit in Christchurch, Arakoa, Nelson and Abel Tasman national park over 4 days. From the first to the last the distance is over 600kms. Along journey ahead of us, before the south island becomes, nothing but a memory.
We were no where near the huge earthquake that was down here. We were nearly 1000kms away from it. Had it been a week earlier we would probably have been smack bang in the middle of it. It measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and happened in a very remote area of New Zealand called Fiordland, which is mainly only accessed by sea. If it had happened in a city it would have flattened it. Its amazing how news travels too. We didn’t hear about it until
the next morning but people at home heard it an hour after it happened! It did come with a tsunami warning as there were many after shocks as well. We have been in an earthquake already though! When we were in Franz Josef a lady in an internet café asked us ‘did we feel the earthquake?’. What earthquake we asked? ‘Oh, it was only about 5 on the Richter scale, we get them all the time’. TAXI!!!
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
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