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New Zealand Trip Day 4 – Pounawea to Invercargill

Yesterday I wrote a movie review column for the Canby Herald. I needed to find internet access so I could send it off to the editor. But first… breakfast.

We made breakfast in the community kitchen. I made a nice omelet with ham, cheese and mushrooms. While we were there we talked to a nice young Dutch couple who were touring N.Z. for a month and Brenda got to describe all the wonderful places she’s been to in The Netherlands. As is typical, she’d seen more of their country than they had.

Next, of to the nearby village of Owaka (Maori for “no free internet access at the library, $2.50 for 20 minutes”).

I paid my fee and hustled to upload everything, check the email, etc. Twenty minutes is almost no time when it comes to the internet, right? Good thing I brought all my stuff in prepared on a USB memory stick.

Off we go out of Owaka through “The Catlins” which is renowned for it’s hills and forests and natural beauty. It’s also filled with windy roads.

Twenty minutes down that windy road it occurred to me that I’d left my memory stick in the computer back at the library. D’OH!.

A quick U-turn and back we go to Owaka. Not to worry, we average at least one u-turn per hour with gusts up to three or four if we’re really looking for something.

An hour later and we’re back into country we’ve never seen before. Brenda and Jean penalized me for the error by making me buy them a cup of tea at the next tourist trap.

After lunch we finally made it to our first tourist target: Curio Bay. Curio Bay is famous for its petrified forest that becomes visible at low tide.

We climbed down to the beach and what looked like a rock strewn shore was actually filled with petrified stumps and logs that has evidently been blown down in a volcanic eruption or some such thing.

I decided it’d be good value to hover around a Department of Conservation worker, a grey bearded fellow who was giving some other workers a bit of training. He was a cheap sort of tour guide. He showed us a “treasure”, a piece of rock that had recently fallen off the cliff amongst the rocks. It was chock-a-bloc filled with fossilized ferns.

One of the ladies also showed us where a fossilize grain stock was.

The weather was blowing hard, sunny, but chilly. It created some dramatic seaside scenes.

After that we were off to Slope Point – the southern most point of the South Island of New Zealand. We hope to enter this next photo at the Portland Trailblazers (NBA) site. They choose one “Wear in the World” photo to feature on each telecast, where people wear Blazer gear in exotic places.

The surrounding countryside – and most of the South Island for that matter – is primarily all pasture lands. Notice the dots of white sheep on the following hillside.

The way they rotate the cattle or sheep (mostly sheep) means that you either have beautiful green grassy pasture or beautiful green grassy pasture with white woolies eating away.

Off we head for our final destination of the day. But not before we stop at a dairy just outside of Invercargill for some Hokey Pokey ice cream. It’s there that we discoverd that Jean had left her wallet back at the campground. No way we’re going all the way back to Owaka again! We called the place and they had it, so they’ll, no problem, mail it to where we expect to be on Monday (it’s Thursday today). At least I wasn’t the only one forgetting important stuff, but she didn’t have to do that to make me feel better.

We finished the day by landing at Simon’s house. Simon played the great host, treating us to smoked salmon, grilled salmon, potatoes, salad and more. (and of course beer). OH! and of course some hokey pokey ice cream for dessert.

Great day.

1 comment to New Zealand Trip Day 4 – Pounawea to Invercargill

  • Mark Fisher

    Look forward to seeing you two during one of the 2011 Blazer games! Brenda looks great – Jon’s sweat shirt looks old enough to have been part of an inheritance. Nice fossils!

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