Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Boulders, Penguins, and Sheep

Yesterday morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at our B&B (aptly named "Designer Cottage") with our gregarious host, Chet. He fueled us with one "plunger" (French press) cup of coffee after another, so we were wide awake when we left Christchurch and headed down the east coast of the South Island. Best road sign this time around: "Combined church, vet, café." We stopped for a sandwich and shepherd's pie at a town called Oamaru. Its grand limestone architecture dates to the late nineteenth century, when the town was a major port for the region. Other ports with deeper water later eclipsed Oamaru, so the town appears frozen in time, making it a draw for tourists like us.

Heading further down the coast, we stopped at a beach to look at the Moeraki boulders, which resemble enormous bowling balls tossed into the surf by giants. Then it was on to Dunedin (the Gaelic name for Edinburgh), set amid lush green hills descending to the sea. We've seen plenty of sheep on our trip, but here there are so many you can't swing a bat without hitting one. Oddly enough, you can see sheep one moment and penguins the next. See the video and pictures posted by Philip. Speaking of Philip, he's told me I need to stop writing and start packing. It'll be hard to leave our B&B in Dunedin. "Hilltop House" is a lovingly restored Victorian home with incredible views of the bay. Now we head for the hostel scene in Te Anau . . .


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