9-16 Following Locals in Dunedin

Living statues at the Market.  I miss art.

On Friday afternoon, we stopped in the town of Palmerston for lunch. We were ahead of our new-and-improved schedule and thought we’d pick up some internet at the library. One of our hosts in Dunedin, Zoanna, was on Facebook chat at the same time. She offered to come pick us up in Waiakouaiti. We considered our regularly frozen toes, another night in the tent and how much we wanted to watch the rugby opener and took her up on it.

We got to the Dunedin City limits on the bikes. It was another 50 k to Dunedin. Random fact: Dunedin’s city limits were set during a gold rush. The city planners were quite responsible and planned for the city to continue to expand, what they didn’t plan for was the gold to run out. So, they set the city limits based on the rate of expansion during the gold rush and now there are “urban farms” that include pasturage for herds of sheep and acres of fields. The Dunedin City limits are also outside of three very large hills. We got a ride over those. Which was good for our legs.
Our adorable guide through the city and her mama.

Friday evening, I got nominated to drive to the store to pick up more cider. New Zealand drives on the wrong side of the road and the steering wheel is on the wrong side. I didn’t hit anything and I came home with cider.

Saturday, David and Zoanna had to go do things for school but had asked friends of theirs to take us to the Saturday morning market. The market was like a Farmer’s Market and lovely in the variety of foods and art on display. It was actually overwhelming to have four kinds of apples to choose from and so many varieties of bread and pastries. Jason tried a Bacon Butty and declared it tasty. It involved bacon, cheese, and egg in a sandwich.
They gave us a short walking tour of the city including First Church, which is a lovely cathedral. Curiously enough, there was a Victorian Hat display in the museum at the back. The hats were nice and all, but why were they in a church? Some of them could have been worn to church, but some were certainly not church material. It was very odd.
Sandfly Beach at moonrise

After that, we went for a drive in the Otago Peninsula. Most or all of the Otago Peninsula is also within the Dunedin City limits. Go figure. There is a lot of gorgeous scenery and I enjoyed the conversation along the way. We even stopped for ice cream, which remains one of my favorite foods.

When David and Zoanna got back, they offered to take us back out that direction to Sandfly Beach to see sealions and penguins. Of course I jumped on that chance.
Very large mammals that smell like fish

The sealions were pretty amazing. The beach is the home to a large number of wild sealions. On our walk down the beach to the penguin hide, we were a matter of feet from some of them. It turns out sealions are enormous creatures and they smell like fish. Who’d have thunk that a sea mammal would smell like fish? There was one cute white pup with its mama, but we didn’t want to get too close expecially after Zoanna’s stories of being chased by one.

We waited at the penguin blind and got to watch a handful of penguins come waddling out of the water. Unfortunately, none of them came our way so we only saw them from pretty far off. The penguins are very shy and don’t like humans at all, so you have to stay well hidden to keep from scaring them off. We were hoping a few would decide to come roost close to us for the night, but we didn’t see the ones that did. We heard some that were very close, but we never caught sight of them.
We went back to a delicious dinner prepared by our guides from the morning. We ate while watching the England vs Argentina rugby match. It was a long day for people used to the isolation of an island or a bike and we crashed pretty hard that night.

Dunedin City from the Otago Peninsula

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