13th April…. 13 to go.

So windy even camera blurred

So windy even camera blurred

Countryside a cross between Dorset and Tellytubbyland!

Countryside a cross between Dorset and Tellytubbyland!

Whitebaiting stations along the river

Whitebaiting stations along the river

DSCF4560
windy or what?!

windy or what?!

On path to Slope point

On path to Slope point

first visit to sign

first visit to sign

Second visit with David

Second visit with David

I reckon there'll be a yellow stain on the Antarctic Ice shelf in about an hours time

I reckon there’ll be a yellow stain on the Antarctic Ice shelf in about an hours time

Shadows lengthening as get nearer to Curio Bay

Shadows lengthening as get nearer to Curio Bay

sun set and still not there

sun set and still not there

7.30pm Curio Bay, The Catlin’s

I’m feeling weather beaten today. The wind has been incessant since leaving Invercargill. A “fresh” north easterly has been providing a firm test of our resolve and holding up our progress all day as we headed East. This area of Southland is relatively flat so the wind is unimpeded by anything other than a few bowed trees. I’m pretty sure it is always windy here and it’s just which direction it blows in that varies.

Having said all that it has been a sundrenched day and the scenery of big blue skies, wild deep blue coast and the greenest farmland I’ve ever seen has made up for the headwinds. This area reminds me a bit of Dorset back home.

David has struggled a bit pace-wise but fair play to him he was determined enough to take the 12km detour to Slope Point. Slope Point is the true most Southerly point of the South Island and it felt quite different to Stirling Point back in Bluff. For one it is 6km down a hilly gravel road off another gravel road and felt much more isolated and “end of the landish”, and there certainly weren’t any Bluff Oyster restaurants there, just a small sign and a few sheep. Maybe it is a more appropriate end destination.

To have now got to the official ” end of mainland nz” and to have made up the missing kilometres, making my total travelled distance over 3000km, is giving me a warm glow of satisfaction (or is that just the windburn?).

Despite the tempting offer of indoor accommodation for 20 bucks at the
Slope Point backpackers ( near the turn off and where id left the panniers to get to the point and back) we continued on 12km to Curio Bay and the sun had set by the time we arrived. The campsite here is a bit basic and a shock compared to great facilities at Invercargill. We had to eat our dinner standing in the toilet (as in the room not the receptacle) . We were pretty much starving and threw a load of stuff in my pans hoping it came out OK, surprisingly it did. There is no one in the office until 10.30am tomorrow yet the site is quite full, hopefully people will be honest.

It was too dark to look around by this point and getting even more windy so I’m having an evening in the tent eating minties and doing
this blog.

I’m hoping to get up early in the morning to investigate, I believe there may be penquins nearby and also the petrified forest will be exposed at low tide which is around 7.30am. Dolphins are regular visitors so to see them too would be awesome.

I stopped for coffee (2 actually, plus a very nice savoury muffin) at info cafe in Fortrose. Chap serving was like comedian who used to work with Les Dawson, what was his name??

Met our American pirate friend from Invercargill again at curio bay, who had a big smile on his face after meeting his “lady friend”. Didn’t really need to know that!

I met English couple at slope point who’d got residency visas. Lived in
Wellington for year,she was a procurement manager, apparently a scarce skill category making residency easy,I wonder if Te Araroa walker and south island cycle circumnavigator is a scarce skill!?

David missed out on buying a mattress as late Sunday opening times. His phone battery is also flat as he listened to music on bike. His money is running low. He can, but doesn’t want to, ask his mum. I’m helping him out a bit but know he doesn’t want me to.

Left thank you card and chocs for Wendy and Doug at central city campsite.

Lionel text to say well done.

Sent photos of Hayes and bikes to Barry, Felica and the boys.

Forecast tomorrow is mainly sun but still windy. Supposedly 80km to Owaka tomorrow but mileage seems confusing between maps, road signs and distance charts, today may have been 87km rather than 102. Could maybe make Balclutha even leaving about 80km to Dunedin.

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