Dunedin

After another free breakfast I drove off to the Moeraki Boulders. It was full of Asian tourists there and quite hard to get a few pictures without them inside. But with some patient it was possible.

I drove on to Moeraki Town where I snacked some crackers and Hummus close to the harbour in a nice picnic area and wrote my diary.

From there I drove directly to Dunedin. I found my hostel – Chalet Backpackers – quite easily, finding parking was less easy though but you can park on the street unless it is a resident area or against the direction of travel. I checked in and got a BBH card. With that you get $4 discount per night in every BBH hostel plus $15 refund on your first online booking over the BBH homepage. The card is $45. So if you stay in hostels a lot (just have to be careful to choose BBH hostels) you will start saving pretty soon. The system is great, but the BBH homepage is horrible. It is usually faster and more effective to call the hostels directly or book directly over the hostel homepage than over the BBH one. I walked down into town for an ATM and checked out where the Scotia Whiskey Bar was. I passed a Sushi shop that just sold everything for half price to close the shop for the evening and thus had my dinner. I ate the Sushi in the dining room of the hostel, took a short nap, talked to some people and then I was off to town again for the whiskey tasting I had booked over BookMe; tasting of four Whiskeys and a cheese platter at the Scotia Whiskey Bar for only $35. I was expecting a small group but I ended up being alone. Was a bit weird since drinking is rather a social thing for me and I just expected something different, but the bar is really nice, the bar tender very friendly and the cheese platters and my whiskeys were delicious. IMAG2864 (FILEminimizer)Since I was alone I didn´t stay too long and on my way back hopped into the Warehouse to check for more camping gear. I went to the Lounge and wrote my diary. Next day I went to the Otago Museum with Remmert (a young Dutch guy who slept in the same dorm). It was a rather rainy and cool day so perfect museum weather. It is an interesting museum.

After we checked out a few souvenir shops and outdoor shops like Katmandu followed by Fish´n´Chips in The Fish Hook. On the way back we went to the Warehouse where I bought the stuff I hadn´t found or were too expensive in the other stores. I had a nap, worked on my blog, cooked and had dinner and in the evening played Jenga and cards with Remmert and a German girl. For the next day I had booked a surfboard at St Claire Beach, also over bookme (2h for $20). The water was 14°C, so I had to wear a wetsuit. I got a 4.3 mm wetsuit and a super long softboard and jumped into the water. IMAG2874 (FILEminimizer)Had a few difficulties in the beginning, but once I got the hang of it again I had lots of fun. At one point a sea lion showed up. First I thought how cool is that, but it became more and more aggressive with nudging against my board and when it started to open the mouth and trying to bite in my board and also snapping at me the fun was over. It was constantly close to me and around me and I didn´t even dare to paddle since I didn´t want to put my arms in the water with a snapping sea lion next to me. I was kind of waiting for the waves to slowly carry me towards the beach while being super afraid. I once even got washed off the board and died a thousand deaths until I was back on it. The sea lion even chased me up the beach when I finally got out of the water. That was definitely a scary experience! Took me a few minutes to get my wits together again and walk along the beach to bring more distance between this territorial animal and me before I went back in the water. It was showing up a few more times though, also chasing some others out of the water, but it never got that close to me again. But I was also super careful not to get into his territory again. After two hours I stopped to bring the board back since I had only rented it for this time. But the woman who had given me the stuff said I could keep it as long as I like. I had a little break with some snacks and then went back into the water for a while. I was pretty scared of the sea lion and running out of power though so I didn´t make it too much longer, only like 30-40 min. I sat in the sun to warm up and talked to the nice Swedish woman before walking around with my camera to take some pictures.

I lay down on the beach to read a bit until the coming in high tide almost washed me away. Back to the hostel I took a shower, had a nap and got some stuff done like applying for visas. I got up earlier than expected the next morning since some people in the dorm were checking out very early and were very inconsiderate while doing so. After breakfast I drove to Tunnel Beach where I did the Tunnel Beach Treck (1h return). It is really beautiful there! I also went through the tunnel down to the beach and on the highest cliff to look down. The sun was burning down and walking back rather steeply uphill got quite hot.

I drove back into town to see Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. The slope is so steep that for every 2.86 meters traveled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 meter. People who live here definitely stay fit walking this up and down on a regular basis!

I got a lunch deal for $10 at an Indian restaurant close by, stocked up at new World and had a quick walk through the botanical gardens.

I had a massage appointment for a 1h Bliss Massage at Erban Spa that afternoon (got a good deal over bookme). After the massage I decided that it is finally time to go to a doctor since my sinuses got worse even with taking decongestants and I had pretty bad sinus problems for 2 weeks already without any improvement. I hadn´t been really healthy anymore since I caught this cold on this road trip in Flores and something had to happen. I constantly had the feeling my head would explode every second and I was completely out of energy. So I went to the walk in clinic the pharmacist had recommended to me. It was pretty expensive and of course I got antibiotics. But by that time I was desperate enough to take them. I had to take them for 14 days! Great! I put the car back to the hostel and walked into town again to take pictures of the Railway Station, the Cadbury Factory and such.

I warmed up my leftovers from the day before and later went to the Dunedin Social Club with 3 people from the hostel for a beer. It was Friday night and my last night in Dunedin after all. I would have loved to stay at least one day longer, but I had to pick up a friend at the airport in Invercargill on Sunday at 10 am. I could have easily filled another 2 days in Dunedin. I wanted to see at least a little bit of the Otago Peninsula, so the next morning after checking out I drove first to Larnach Castle. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of it and being able to take a picture without paying the high entrance fee, but unfortunately there was no free view before the barrier with the paying booth. Since a castle is not so special for me as a European, I didn´t want to pay more than $30 to get in. So I turned around

and went to Sandfly bay. I walked to the lookout and all the way down to the beach. There are a lot of birds and sea lions. The sand dunes look really nice!

Back to the car it was time to start the long drive to Invercargill.

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