My last stop in the South Island of New Zealand was Dunedin, on the southeast coast. This would mark the furthest south I have ever been (at least until I get to Antarctica someday).
Although tea is king here, Gretchen would have enjoyed the coffee if she were here with me.
Dunedin was settled by the Scottish, and so it retains a Scottish feel.
The old train station could be lifted right out of Edinburgh.
So could the schoolgirls for that matter.
Of course, then they go off to college and all innocence is lost. Here a college student disassembles her office as a work of “art” in a downtown gallery.
They love their rugby in New Zealand. They even show love to the opponent. I was lucky to witness the arrival of the Welsh rugby team at the airport for a big game with the New Zealand team in Dunedin.
The local Welsh folks came out to cheer on their boys.
And they were given a warm welcome by a band of bagpipers on the tarmac and a men’s chorus singing a Welsh song at baggage claim. And remember, this is for the opposing team. They are very polite down here.
Outside of Dunedin is the Otago Peninsula, a rugged and rustic area.
With plenty of sheep.
A little Maori culture.
And a lot of wildlife, which is a draw for most visitors (rugby notwithstanding).
The Sea Lions of Sandfly beach are big and curious.
But the real stars of this place are the very rare Yellow Eyed Penguins, that nest here. Every evening at sunset they come ashore to their nests in the cliffs and dunes. Since they are endangered, it’s important to keep a distance as to not disturb their nesting.
And from this remote point down on the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, where the water does indeed spin counterclockwise, and the night sky is ablaze with unfamiliar patterns, and where June 21st marks the beginning of winter, it’s time to think about heading back home.
But no worries, as they say down here, Barcelona is only three weeks away! See you then!