I think I am in the most southerly city in the southern hemisphere namely Invercargill and its really nothing to write home about. Decided to stay in a motel as I needed some time me to get myself organised and wind down to heading back on Friday! I bargained with the lovely Natalie in the "Homestead Villa Motel" and got the suite for €57 for the night. That is a full kitchen, diningroom /sitting room, bathroom separate loo and 2 flat screen tvs! Not bad. Natalie will even deliver the paper in the morning. She thought I was charming and kept asking me to speak with my lovely lilting Irish accent.. now if I could sell it that easy to others the hol may have cost me half the price... this fool should have definately exploited this earlier!! She was giggling away telling me I was "just the ticket hay" while I cajoled her to knock another $5 off! So all in all it was a great day. After writing up the blog for yesterday I left Manapouri and headed for Tuatapere which has the accolade of being known as the NZ sausage capitol.. I only knew this as I was leaving it but surprise surprise I did happen to have my dinner of Sausage casserole here in the most fantastic place called Yesterdays Museum & Cafe! It was delish.. that with two veg, potatoes , a cup of coffee and a huge wedge of the moistest most delicious carrot cake all for the pricely sum of €8.50!!! Lads I will repeat it again... " we are being screwed back home"!!
On the way towards Invercargill, I was listening to the local Southlands Talk show 94FM.. a little like "Talk to Joe on RTE" but even more opinionated if you can believe that!! At one stage the presenters Willy and JT start fighting and insulting each other up to their eyeballs talking about a most controversial subject.. the shooting dead of a teenager by Police in Napier today.. Apparently the cops here have shot 9 people dead since 2000. This caller rings in to give his opinion and ended up whimpering off after WIllie told him to " shut your face"!! I was agast but determined to listen in for the rest of the time I am here. Nothing was sacred on this. One of the callers told JT he had "shit all" idea what he was talking about!! They dont cut off a crank caller.. they seem to thrive on it and the insults flying every few seconds.
I was getting a little hot under my own collar myself when I stopped at a place called McCrackens Point to view the huge expanse of beach and the surfing waves crashing close to a surfers paradise with the ugliest sculpture (I took a pic!) in a town called Colac Bay. Next stop from there across the water was the Antarctic I think!!! It was bloody freezing with gale force winds blowing but I just happened to bump into two Kiwi sisters.. Ann & Margaret (nee O'Grady) who asked me when I come back I was most welcome to stay with them!! This was after about 5 sentence with them.. By God, I was gonna exploit this Irish accent bit and ham it up!! Anyhow these ladies were descendants of some distant Paddy called Jones from Mallow and Kanturk and Margaret asked me did I know them? I think the wind was getting to her and scrambling her brain a bit but she was asking for a contact number after 10 sentences!! I politely declined thinking that I well may end up having an "O'Grady/Jones" reunion in Cork at some stage in my gaff!! By this is it about the Kiwis.. I have not met an unfriendly one yet! They would nearly promise you their first born if you talk to them for longer than 5 mins.They are amazingly open and really thankful when you tell them their country is great. The good thing is that all of them agree and appreciate their homeland and just hope that every visitor enjoys it as much! How could you not I ask?. Its an incredible place as if you could not glean that from my gushings at this stage!! Drove through Invercargill to the most southerly point called Bluff... a definate bit of a hole but I wanted to ensure that I had reached the extreme top and bottom of both Islands which I did. I know that in reality the most southern part of NZ is Stewart Island but I was not willing to risk the danger of 1.5 hours of up chucking on one of the most violent seas on the globe. Anyhow I think there is a tornado due here soon!! Yikes... hope it passes before Friday! Dont fancy being blown to Cork via Argentina!!