Journey to Dunedin
Today was scheduled to be another long drive with the Sat Nav showing an elapsed time of 4 ½ hours plus any hold ups for roadworks. Fortunately this were few.
We were in the car and off by 8am. Today the roads were quite clear and reasonably flat and easier to drive. NZ has a lot of road accidents. Much blame is put upon tourists not driving used to driving on the left side of the road. Of course this is no different for us. The universal speed limit is 100km. There is very little dual carriageway although there are regular passing lanes every few miles if you do get stuck behind something. I have noticed a tendency for the locals to cut the corners on left hand turns which is a bit weird.
The scenery was quite boring today but we amused ourselves singing along to the radio and then listening to another Desert Island Disc podcast.
Our first stop for coffee and toilets was at Timaru after about 2 hours. It actually looked a pleasant place but we were on the road again within 25 minutes.
Our second stop for lunch was a Oamaru. This was in a lovely bay where Scott set off for the Antarctic. We shared a Sausage Roll and pots of tea at a Steampunk cafe. We decided to walk round the bay and ended up at the Blue Penguin centre - where you can pay to watch them all come out of the sea and walk to their roosts every evening. We have seen this once before at Philip Island in Adelaide. By now the sun was really burning and Karen was starting to suffer so I walked back round the bay to get the car whilst she waited in the shade.
Then we completed the drive to Dunedin.
What can I say. A dreary place. It was a Saturday afternoon and after checking in we went for a wander. There was no one about and all the shops in the centre were closing at 4pm. We tried hard to like the town but really struggled as there is not much of interest. There are Scottish elements everywhere, which I suppose makes it a bit quirky I suppose but it is still dreary. What shops there are, what building there are - are all just dreary.
Perhaps we have been away too long. Perhaps we expect too much. Perhaps we have been spoilt by what we have seen so far. Perhaps we just prefer the countryside. But whatever it is, we are glad we are on the famous gorge railway tomorrow and having to spend too much time in the town.
For food we ventured out again and walked across town to the Speight Ale House which was part of their brewery. It was highly rated on Trip Advisor and jolly nice it was too. It had a good ambience. The town seemed a bit more lively around the Quadrant area now that it was evening but not that much. There was no real buzz about the place
We are now as far South as we have ever been. Something like 45 degrees. There isn't much further to go on this Island or indeed much more in the world. This latitude cuts across almost the bottom of Argentina. Interestingly though we are not as far South as Norwich is North. Well I think its interesting. Also as we walked back from our meal tonight it was well gone 9pm and still completely day light.