|March 25, 2010
After our change of plan, we got up this morning to head south to Invercargill and along the southern coast to The Catlins. We had run out of bread so we had to do a quick run to the supermarket prior to breakfast. On our way out, a guy from the hostel approached us and asked if we had room for another person. We said we had and told him where we were heading and he asked if he could come along. He was supposed to be going to Milford Sound too and after having his trip cancelled was trying to get across to Dunedin.
After packing up our stuff and having some breakfast, we headed off. Our passenger was a chap called Alex from Israel. He was a nice, friendly guy and most of the time we didn’t even notice him in the back.
The drive south to Invercargill was pretty but nothing amazing. The best part was seeing the snow on the top of the Remarkables mountain range as we left Queenstown. After that, the mountainous scenery flattened out and we were met with fields after fields of sheep grazing and little else!
In Invercargill we stopped for lunch and were just after something light. Elizabeth and I did have food in the car but given the bad weather (cold, wet, windy!) we decided to find a café to get something else. I had a really nice venison burger and Elizabeth had a falafel wrap. We offered Alex a lift to The Catlins and onto Dunedin with us tomorrow if he wanted to. He accepted so we all headed along the coast road towards Owaka, where the YHA is.
We took the scenic route along the coast but quite honestly it didn’t really give you much in the way of coastal views like we expected. It didn’t help when the paved road abruptly ended and we had gravel tracks for about 20kms! We finally found one viewing point and the views along the coast were lovely. However, in my haste to get a better view I managed to slip down the path and cover myself in mud!
Once at Owaka we found the YHA and checked in and found our room. They didn’t have any dorm beds left so Alex found a place down the street and said he would meet us tomorrow morning at 10am to head to Dunedin. The YHA is an old converted hospital, I think, and I definitely got that hospital feeling about it. The building is quite big and our ward, sorry – room, is a bit away from the reception area. This isn’t helped by the fact there are a group of pensioners staying here on a walking trip who have taken over the hostel and often wander the corridors looking for chocolate cake and confusing us with other couples who they met this morning.
It was a fair drive to get to Owaka and it was gone 4pm by the time we had gotten relaxed in our room and put our laundry on – part regular requirement, part necessary as my jeans were mud covered!
Dinner was leftover Thai curry but this time it was accompanied by a lovely Sauvignon Blanc rather than the pissy Pinot – thankfully Elizabeth had finished that last night, being ever so lady-like and slurping directly from the bottle!
Elizabeth also wants me to remind you that we also played pool and darts – I of course won at both. No idea why she wanted me to add in something about things she is so bad at!