Ok...I have a confession to make. I did not stand on the most southern part of the South Island when I battled the elements to get up Bluff point on Monday.... I thought I had... but discovered on my journey today that Slope Point about 40km away to the east is indeed the most southern point of the south island.but any way I just needed to clarify and not set you astray fgor your pub quiz nights. I am also not including Stewart Island if you want to add tha tto the argument.
I also have an apology to make re my comments on Invercargill. They weren't exactly gushing! When you see a place in lousy weather, it does not look its prettiest like any place else in the world. However in the bright light of day I think I would say it was a mix and gatherem of the most unusual architecture I have seen in a town of 50k. In fact it has the highest level of retail outlets I have seen for such a population as well. This is a thing I cant figure out... how does such a small population support all those businesses? Anyhow I digress. I decided to take the scenic route and boy am I glad. I passed the way along the coastal areas called the Catlins. It is the landscape that reminds me the most of Ireland. The day was improving and the sun began to blaze again. But there was howling wind. I was I suppose on the extreme south coast and the place where I presume the Tasman and the South Pacific Ocean clash and by God do they... they should bottle that energy. Crashing waves the whole way along the coast. I got to Wapapa Point and saw a live sea lion on the beach there. He was lumbering his way up the beach.. According to the nature tour on Doubful sound the other day, seals eat half their body weight in food a day! This guy looked as if he was after eating a few of his colleagues!! Anyhow I got to meet the same couple I met at the cheap lunch yesterday. They were the couple who took the last slice of the delicious carrot cake. Anyhow she cheerily greeted me with.. " hmmm we meet again". Well we continued to meet again and again that morning so I decided to chat to them. They were from Nova Scotia and I have now met my match in life for the amount of profanities that can be uttered in a short conversation. This lady would make a docker blush with her foul tongue!!! It even shocked me and as you know thats a hard thing for me to admit!! Her prim husband was not impressed and was trying to ignore us by walking to the edge of the cliffs to get the best wave crashing shot! Id say he would have liked to get a pot shot of her mouth as her voice was carrying beautifully on the high winds!
I sat into the car giggling to myself to make my way on along the coast to Curio Bay... home of the yellow eyed penguins. Anyhow I got to tune back into the Talk FM station.. This time I got to listen to Michael Lord. This guy was a combination of Joe Duffy, Neil Prendeville and Jerry Springer together! I never heard such outbursts and in addition I was a bit shocked at the racism towards the Maoris! He was almost suggesting that the young Maori males should be sterilised when they were between 14-17 to prevent them being able to father feral children!! Thats like saying the same thing about northsiders! Jeeezzz, what country am I in?? The bold Michael then said the word bolli* twice! God I know that there should not be censorship but maybe a little?? Comments please!
The penguins were not in Curio as I suspected but had fecked off to gorge themselves on the bounties of the seas. I did not get to see any. They were out in the rough swell eating their body weight in fish too! Apparently they return at dusk but I would have no bed for the night if I waited! Had a late lunch/early dinner at 5pm in Owaka. Unusual place with one of the most unusual gardens I have seen on my travels. It was called Teapotland with every conceivable shape and type of dipenser for tea ever seen. I hope I can download a pic!
Rang a few places in Dunedin to book a bed but every place was full. Finally sorted the Alhambra Motel on Great King Street in the heart of the University district...and a very "know it all" owner called Alan. He bugged me from the second he answered the phone but he had the only room available so humble pie would have to be eaten and I had to take it. He seemed to know more about me than I did.. for example when I said "I'm Irish" He said "I know". When I said I was from Cork. He said he knew as well..Who was this guy ? Mystic Meg?? Anyhow he also advised not using the sat nav to find the place as it would not work.. Maybe he WAS Mystic Meg after all and knew Melissas nasty little traits already!! He did know!!
I got to the place at half 7 and he was gushing at the things I should do like ... "Go to the steepest street in the world.. Its in Dunedin you know!! In addition the Railway Station is in the top 200 of the most photographed buildings in the world". This guy has some fascinating tourist titbits... That will keep me occupied for about 10 mins! But I will still check them out even to keep the railway station up in the rankings.
If I thought Invercargill was unusual this place is even more interesting. Its a University town and has all the hall marks of same. Some beautiful Edwardian and Victorian houses, but they have been thrashed by the use of students over the years. Lots of the houses have been renamed. Examples of same are as follows... the Shrieking Shelter, Pandoras Box, The Jolly Roger and finally the Muff Inn! I will do a walking tour of the place tomorrow and see what else I can glean from the place. Stay tuned if ya can bear the excitement of the anticipation!!!!.