After Queenstown we headed to a town called Te Anau for 2 nights as a base to visit Milford Sound for some sea kayaking and Kea spotting (the cheeky local parrots). The kayaking was good but unfortunately the wildlife was hiding. The Sound itself was beautiful but the clouds of sandflies were pretty horrible and we did get quite chewed (fortunately not to the extent of Rurrenabaque).
From there we headed down to Invercargill which looked like a bit of a hole so we decided to truck on towards The Catlins and Curio Bay in search of the Yellow Eyed Penguin. Unfortunately David has no patience whatsoever for twitching so we gave up when it got cold (about 10 minutes). I still haven´t seen a penguin in the wild. 🙁
In Dunedin (actually on the Otago penisular), however, we did see some Royal Albatross´ in flight which was kinda cool although they do just look like giant seagulls. We then had a very entertaining night out with Kate and Dave who happened to be in Dunedin at the same time as us which involved much alcohol consumption and a bit of dancing. David (and Dave) got to talk about man stuff for a night which they enjoyed. We even met some locals!
The next day was a bit of a write-off, so we drove as far as we could be bothered too and then stopped and watched 5 episodes of Top Gear back to back. Then the next day it was off to Christchurch to finally get rid of the campervan. It was so nice to get back into a real bed. After a couple of days chilling in a cheap but nice hotel we met up with Kate and Dave again for a few days and went on a small excursion to Kaikoura where we saw some more seals, had a lovely Thai curry and a bit more booze!
Then it was back to Christcurch and the Antarctic centre for a go in their storm simulator. Brrrr. It went down to minus 18! There were also a load of penguins which were very cute. It was all a bit expensive for what you got though. After all this arctic fun we went to an Irish pub to listen to some live music and persuade David to go horse riding again!
We said goodbye to Kate and Dave yesterday as they were off to Australia for a fortnight. It was really sad to see them go, as it was nice to have some friends from home to hang around with. We are off to Australia tomorrow too. It will be sad to say goodbye to New Zealand as well. Australia has a lot to live up to. Also not looking forward to the poisonous things and the fact that it seems to be really expensive there. Can´t believe that we are halfway through our trip already, where did the time go?
Next stop Oz.
Sian (and David) xxx