When the day starts, you never know what you’re going to find in it.
The first order of the day was to get to the boulders. The Moeraki Boulders are a rock formation, they are basically just big balls of rock that sit on the beach. They do so as the sea has eroded the coastline that was holding them in and they have rolled onto the beach.
There was a nice explanation board at the site but I did not take a picture I will therefore refer you to Wikipedia for further info if you like.
I was just about to leave the bicycle at the car park and take the 10 minutes walk to along the beach when I realised that the sand was very compact and I could take the bike with me. Naturally I got the full spectrum of looks, from the “what the hell is he doing?” to the “cool, I wonder if I could have skated here?”.
When at the boulders it was tough to get one’s timing right to take pictures without anybody else in the shot. There were quite a few people and, as I was leaving I noticed that there was another tsunami of people coming down the staircase of the caffe/gift-shop.
While there I met a couple of people from Aberdeen that were on holiday with their son, daughter in law and grandson aged one. The son works in Hong Kong and they were first there then here as part of a far east grand tour. they got attracted by the flag and after a brief conversation, in which I managed to shoehorn the words “dreich” and “stooshie” to increase my street cred, we parted company after having exchanged a great deal of well wishes.
On the way out of the beach I tried to ride the bike and, as it was successful I GoProed it and will use the footage in the New Zealand video which I suspect only will surgace in the summer after I’m back in Europe.
Did not have to cycle much today, having let Caroline convince me to stop on Oamaru to see the blue penguins meant I only had 27 miles of “kiwi flat” road. I had some breakfast in a caffe in Hampden and then I took on the task of cutting the northernly wind along the coast.
The aim of the game today was to try and cycle as many miles as possible outside SH1. This state highway is very trafficked and has near no hard shoulder. I did well and in the process not only I got some good shots of the coast but I also cut off one of the nastiest hulls (forgive me, just practicing New Zulland).
In the end I did not get to see the penguins. I understand now why Andrew mentioned the commercial nature of the penguin operation in Oamaru, you have to, shock horror, pay the ticket.
I did however see interesting and exciting things during the day and in Oamaru. The first one was a whole bunch of Cormorant just before Kakanui.
On the beach below them I also took a picture of a Maori family that was obviously fishing and processing some sort of shellfish, there was a cliff between me and them so I could not ask exactly what they were doing.
Then, almost out of nowhere, a few miles out of Oamaru, I saw not one, but two splendid Highland cows. My heart was beating faster and they both looked in my direction, I think they spotted the Scottish flag.
Once in Oamaru I pitched up and cleaned up with the intention of going to the post office to post myself in Auckland a whole bunch of stuff I’m tired to carry with me and I never use, including the mallet for which I’ll get a hammering from Andrew and Shirley. Turns out it’s Otago day so the post office is closed, I’ll try again in Timaru tomorrow.
That having failed I took the stuff back to the camp and went for a ride across town and took the opportunity to do some grocery shopping. the town is quite nice and it reminds me a little of Invercargill.
I saw in the distance a building flying an Italian flag and when I got closer I realised it was just an Italian restaurant, a very patriotic one though, which has been around for a very long time.