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Published: January 11th 2006
Straying to the end of South Island
Our last Stray driver and our guide to the Catlins was Noddy. A nice enough bloke, but very opinionated and always having a dig at the Aussies for one reason or another.
We made several stops on the trip up to Dunedin at: a fur seal colony, a petrified forest preserved by molten lava millions of years ago at Curio Bay, three Hector Dolphins playing in the surf at Porpoise Bay and then a walk down to see yellow eyed penguins at Nugget Point.. but they were hiding!
At Dunedin - 'the most scottish town out side of scotland!' - we stayed in the On Top Backpackers, a brand new hostel built with a 16 table Pool bar on the groundfloor. Lin went for a walk around town and the shops while I went on a tour of the Speights Brewery. Speights have a huge presence 'down south' and their tag line is 'Speights - The Pride of the South'. The guy who came up with that slogan never has to pay for a Speights beer in his life. (Note to self - Must try sending a new slogan to Budweiser!)
It was a very good tour, and the guide was
Pouring a drink for my twin!
so enthusiastic having been in the bar trade for 40 years. At the end we were able to 'pull' our own tasters, a recipe for disaster!
From Dunedin it was pretty much an express drive up to Christchurch with just a couple of stops. The first at Baldwin street, the worlds steepest street which at its steepest point has a gradient of 1:2.86. We walked up the street and it was pretty knackering. Jim later told us that a girl had been killed trying to come down in a wheely bin!
Further up the coast were the Moraki Boulders, which are spherical boulders formed millions of years ago on the sea floor. Encased in sandstone, the earths crust moved and the coast rose up from the sea. Millions of years later, when the sea eroded the cliff face the boulders have been uncovered. We could see one side of a 'new' boulder sticking out from the cliff, and when the sea has done it's job, this will then fall down and join its mates on the beach before being broken up by the waves. A very unusual sight!
Arriving in Christchurch, we got off the bus having
Wouldn't like to be the paperboy on this street!
Strayed to the end of the line. Said goodbye to Matt, the Southafrican guy we'd seen on and off from Wellington, then were picked up by Jim and Maverick and taken to their place in Moncks Bay... Time to relax again!
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