A very cold night in the Catlins, most unseasonable I'm assured but that's less than completely believable.
The morning ride through the Southern Scenic Route is just glorious. The only weakness for is that the three wheeler finds the surface pretty rubbishy and by lunchtime the cracks in the number plate have turned into great big crevices and it's really ready to fall right off. The mudguard and plate are attached directly to the wheel so every little jolt shakes it.
The NZ Post Office no longer deal in number plates it seems and I was referred elsewhere, a Vin I think she said. I compromised by chucking the broken bit in the top box and forgetting about it.
Lunch in Dunedin's Octagon is very nice with lots of choice but be there on a nice day.
Onward from Dunedin we stopped at Shag Point for a magnificent display from a couple of fur seals who were rolling in the sea just below our vantage. Fantastic. The “world famous” Moeraki Boulders are worth a stop and I didn't really begrudge the $2 per person charge for a look. If they put the price up I'd question it though.
Oamaru boasts a penguin show when the come ashore, apparently at 8:45 tonight. We shall go and pay our $25 each and see, I wonder how much the penguins get of this ?
The Portside, a 35 minute walk from the Oamaru Bella Vista, have an fairly plain menu with some very good items on it. I wouldn't go for the Blue Cod wrapped in bacon again as it's obviously an acquired taste but I needed it some different way to battered.
There is an older area in town with the Historic Radio Station where the DJ is very friendly (he invited us into the studio) and they have a huge collection of antique radios, radiograms, 33rpm LP's, 45rpm singles, 78's and so forth. Quite magic. We'll get the proper details but this is really well worth a longer visit and I am sure would welcome any donations of old audio equipment.
The final excursion of the day was the Blue Penguin colony, 50 metres from the Portside restaurant and only $20 for over 60's. This is well set up with information boards, displays and a viewing grandstand would you believe? As it gets dark nearly 200 penguins come ashore, some days more, literally in waves and make their way up to the nests.
It's a great opportunity to see penguins and the only weakness is the crowd behavior which is at least on this occasion is appalling. Photography is obviously not permitted but people insist on doing it anyway. It should not be a surprise but a large crowd of people chattering away make quite a noise and it scares the little darlings. Worst of all the pengins get everywhere and some people corner them outside for pictures. It's hard to understand such cretinous behaviour from what I hope is only a few.
The staff say the tour busses are the worst. I think DOC or the Council will need to step in to ensure a better separation which is tragic but I'm afraid typical, the actions of the few spoil it for the majority.