No blue, yellow-eyed, black-crested penguins

March 21, 2009

21032009186Saturday morning, raining like hell, good thing we went yesterday to the lovely Otago peninsula. It stopped for 2 minutes just to give us the time to load the car, and continue the road trip. Direction the Mackenzie country, NZ’s treasured highland. On our way, the weather started clearing up and timid sun shone. We stopped in Moeraki to go to the beach and the weird boulders formations, there were no panels by the public car park, so I do not know why and how they formed, but they are something special. Our next stop was Oamaru, the city dedicated to the penguins. We did not see them in the Otago Peninsula, or the West Coast, so I counted very much with this city with historical buildings and concentrated on the small mammals to see them. Well, for your information, penguins do not go ashore but after dusk, so too late for us. We visited all the buildings in the area, bought a nice tomatoes and olives bread, another panetone-style cake (the Italian version is much better) and two spirals al pesto for the visit. We went into the communal local radio where they showcased an astonishing collection of all radios and music gramophones and we also visited a place in the old town where they do whisky. Our plan for the day was to reach Mount Cook and sleep there, but there is a similar problem as in GVA anytime, too few offer for too much demand, so when I phoned, the “sorry, we are fully booked” sounded familiar and we decided that we were not going to pay 300 USD for the only other nice hotel probably available. DTG_7774So we booked at Twizel in the B&B, cottages, doubles, backpackers and all other possible segments of tourists. On our way here we were amazed by the views: mountains on the right, on the left, the Alps in front of us, and in between all these, nothing, just a road and a few cars, no houses or tiny villages all over the place. DTG_7768 Such a fantastic landscape and noone. It is so amazing to be really in the nature with nothing else to disturb the contemplation. We detoured at Lake Ohau, and there you have a beautiful lake and a beach and we are the only humans around. We were there for 30 minutes, throwing stones to the lake and we did not see another soul.  Dani won by far the stone-further-in-the-lake competition. We continued and checked in at Omahau Downs, the place is very nice and our room has good views to the Southern Alps. And then we went to the city center to see what we could do. Ha ha ha. The guide at the information center did not feel like working or talking to a foreigner, so he briefly answered my questions and we left. We walked around for 5 minutes, see the city center and the conclusion was to go back to our nice accommodation and relax.

We have already booked the accommodation for tomorrow night, impressive as we normally do it either on the spot or a few hours before our arrival. We are lucky it is no high season.

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