So, after I got back from my awesome adventure on the upper half of the Southern Island Amelia proposed that we head south for the remainder of the time before school starts. So, we went to the Catlins to see lots of wildlife.
Yesterday we decided that we needed to travel and headed south to Dunedin. We (Amelia and I) bought a tent while we were travelling before and are now camping. We froze last night and had to wake up to shove clothing down our nice 15 degree sleepingbags in order to keep warm. Today we had a lethargic day of our own. We went shopping after attempting to get free internet from Starbucks. Unfortunately, our information about free internet was false and we just ended up spending money on coffee. Whatever. We went shopping after that because we just about froze last night in the tent. I bought a new dress and a pair of cheap long underwear. I could've spent more, but I didn't.
Sorry for the lack of updates but here is only this super small Internet cafe in this vast wilderness. I am jealous about the fresh snow that fell all day. It has been raining here often and I finally got a warm sleep last night by cramming all of the clothes I brought down my sleeping bag with me in it. I woke this morning to the noise of a small yapping dog, but was informed by Amelia that it was really the couple next door having super loud sex. Bleh.
It has been super cold down here. I have been wearing long underwear and warm clothes all the time. The only reason I was outside at all is because we went birding and saw a ton of really cool birds including giant albatross and penguins! We also saw seals on the beaches with their pups. They were so cute!!! I guess we also saw some midget dolphins this morning. They look really strange and I will attempt to surf this evening with hem. They are supposed to be super curious, and I can't wait to see them up close!!
So, an update. After I left the internet to go surfing. There are Hector's dolphins in the bay and we saw them that morning. The nicest thing happened. As we were surfing the dolphins came within two feet of us!!! :D I couldn't believe my eyes! There were four of them and they were swimming around me as I was floating on my surfboard. One brushed my foot as it swam under me. I really had an awesome time surfing for about 3 hours. The only reason I was able to last that long was because the wetsuit that I rented came with these super nice booties that kept my feet warm. Ahhhh, I wish I could afford that for when I go again. It was SO nice! Anyways, after I went surfing I took a super hot shower and made dinner. We had cold salad and bread with nutella. MMMMMMM!
It was cold again that night and I stuffed all my clothing in the sleeping bag to keep me warm. It also rained, but it didn't matter...the tent was able to keep us dry again! :) We woke up to pack and go to the Cathedral Caves (attempt #2, the first time we got there and it was closed). It was really nice with these giant caves that were carved from these giant cliffs. There was a nice hour long walk to get there and the majority of it was along this beautiful sand beach. I took some pictures, but I don't know if they convay what I saw that well. Anyways, we hiked back to the car and made it to Owaka a very small town that rivals Two Harbors in size. We camped there last night with the same amount of cold and rain as the last two. We've got the technique down to stay warm and managed to keep dry as well. Before we went to bed we walked down Suart Bay (another beautiful beach) and saw these GIANT (and I mean 350 - 500 kg) male New Zealand Seals. They at first seem like giant logs that have washed up on shore, but then they have a small appendage that moves. There were about 5 of them on this beach and I assume that we walked for about 3 hours down and back. It was a really nice walk and made us feel better about driving so far in the car that day.
So, after that night we woke up ready to drive all the way to Omaru. This would involve a 3 hour drive up to see the little blue penguins. Unfortunately, the car that we have (A 1995 Subaru Legacy) that we have dubbed Gary decided that would be a bad idea. He first got a flat tire, in which we were able to haul the spare from the trunk and put it on to get to the only mechanics shop in town. They told us we put the nuts on wrong...dang and could replace the tires for new ones. This was good. So after getting an oil change there (because Gary needed one anyways) we were off. And then we weren't. About 10 minutes after leaving the mechanics we mysteriously stopped on a small hill. So, we called the shop and had them tow us back. This was a little more than thrilling because the guy that towed us back only had a yellow towrope and we barely had any brakes. After just about dying on a U turn that we took and flying up and down the hilly road we made it back to Owaka. The mechanics hmmmed and looked at Gary and finally (3 hours later) decided that the belt had shifted and had to be replaced. This would take until tomorrow. So, after leaving at 10:40 and it now being 4:00 it was decided that we would stay another night at Owaka. So, here we are at the old hospital which is now a backpackers, waiting for the car to be fixed.
We'll go out to the bar and have a few bumps with the mechanics and be on our way....all 5 hours to Christchurch if we're lucky. Then two classes start on Monday. Wooopie! I can't wait!