Sunday, June 23, 2013

the Catlins

Yesterday Vincent, Joe, and I went on a little adventure to the Catlins (or Catlands, as Joe calls it; we're those pet owners who do our dog's voice for him - in our defence, I did read about a study where dog owners proved they could correctly identify their dogs' emotions... if that's a defence). Our plan had been to get up early and drive inland until we hit snow, to make up for not having had any, in spite of the forecast; but when we woke up, we discovered nearly all roads inland (and north) from Dunedin were closed, besides which one of us was very cold and grumpy and demanded she stay in bed longer and watch some 30 Rock. The road south was open, and the weather better than it's been all week, so once the grumpy bear had been fed and washed, we packed up the car and went south. The flooding in the outer parts of Dunedin was incredible; at one stage we thought we were looking out a lake, until I noticed fence posts sticking up. Poor little sheep. They looked so cold! And have you ever seen a whole bunch of them feeding from a massive bale of hay? This townee hadn't; the hay looked like a big mum - it was very cute. The cows in the next paddock doing the same thing, not so much, especially after last week, when we discovered cow shit in the estuary behind Allan's beach. We have to give up dairy! If only soy, rice, and oat milk weren't so gross.

Anyway, apart from nodding and agreeing when people talk about how stunning the place is (I don't know why in some situations I just agree, even if I have no idea), most of my knowledge of the Catlins comes from Two Little Boys, a pretty bad movie that came out last year. The place looked wild and beautiful, and with that yellow and blue lower south island light that makes even new buildings and cars look like leftovers from the 60s-80s.

To totally over-simplify our little visit, that's exactly what it was; wild, beautiful, and frozen in time. Besides the fact that the places we went were full of baches, it was 3°C, muddy, and gusty as hell, so we hardly saw anybody, which made it even more moody and desolate. I only took photos at Jack's Blowhole, a crater at the end of caves 200m from the sea, where the waves boom in, and those aren't great, so all of these come from the Pounawea Accomodation Centre website. Pounawea is a gorgeous little settlement in the Catlins, with little jetties, and a house with a bird-feeder that had at least twenty tui around it. The last four photos are from the Keswick Park Campground which looked perfect; I can't wait to go back and stay there in summer (and hopefully before that, although it has some serious scary movie potential in winter light). The early dusk and our late start meant we didn't make it further than Owaka this time, but we'll be back in the Catlins soon







 

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