Sunday, January 24, 2010

Road Trip.

After nearly two weeks in New Zealand, Tyson and I decided we'd better take a wee road trip and see some of this beautiful country before starting work. We rented a car, {Sunny} loaded it up with our tent and some food, and hit the road last Friday. Our only known destination was the southern coast and Curio Bay, a place known among things, for penguins! As Queenstown faded in the rear view, we drove along Lake Wakatipu and the mountains shot up clear into the clouds.

Soon after heading out, we realized how truly remote is this part of the world. With no CDs in tow, and no radio stations coming through on the dial, we were absolutely ecstatic our ipod and speaker set made its way into the backpack. Beautiful scenery brought to life by the sounds of a great song as it flies by

Little did we know a swirling display of varying landscapes existed around every corner.Lush, grassy hills peppered with endless sheep as far as the eye can see.

As the coast drew near, we traded blue bird skies for the familiar coastal grey of Seattle. Sunny pulled into Curio Bay campground and between the breathtaking coastline and the sleepy, green waters of Porpoise Bay, trying to decide on a site made our head spin. On the one hand, Porpoise Bay was shielded by the strong winds coming off the coast, and boasted the opportunity to see dolphins and nocturnal penguins. On the other hand, the peace of the endless sea. We settled on Curio Bay, this spot specifically.

And as we unloaded the car, this little fellow crossed the road in front of us.

With little knowledge of the area and no agenda, we woke on Saturday and decided to let the adventure continue. We hopped in Sunny and headed east along the coast, stopping anywhere that caught our eye. We hiked through the forest to the McLean waterfall. Um, really great. Next up, we hiked down to the beach and to the Cathedral Caves near Papatowai. Because the weather wasn't necessarily great, I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but the closer we got to the beach, the sunnier it got. And by the time we reached the sand it was full on sublime.

After that we were pretty happy. It wasn't as easy as we'd hoped to find a camping area and we ended up grabbing a spot in a off-the-beaten-path campground that wasn't anything special. I didn't mind considering we'd had such a great trip already. It was cold and rainy though, and I was ready to sit back and relax. We set up camp and then drove up to Nugget Point just in time to see two yellow-eyed penguins returning from sea to their nests. So cute!

Sunday, we drove back north through Balclutha, the fruitlands and Alexandra. As previously mentioned, the landscape was remarkably different throughout the weekend. Though New Zealand isn't the most culturally different country I've ever been to, it is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places I've seen.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

what the hell is that thing that crossed the street when you guys were camping??

miss you dear!! thanks for sending the photos!!!! trying to keep up on all of your adventures - wish we were still there with you guys!! how was your first day of work today?!?!?!
xoxo Claud