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Journey to The Catlins – Day 58
Tuesday 24th May 2005
I had an interesting journey to The Catlins today, and wanted to fit in a few stops along the way, as I always do. I just hoped the fog would have cleared by now.
I awoke from my bed after a much better night sleep and felt refreshed and energised for the day ahead. It had been a particularly funny night due to a girl who talks in her sleep. She was uttering various sentences to herself, or to whoever else was listening I guess. At one point she asked – quite audibly – “Excuse me, can you help me with the burgers?” I did well not to burst out laughing, and wasn’t sure if she was asleep, or genuinely asking me a question. She may have been playing a joke. But when I answered her question, there was no response.
I left the hostel and made my way to the car to begin my next journey to The Catlins, but first I wanted to stop at Slope Point down the south and get some pictures. There was another sign to indicate distances to the Equator and the South Pole. This is the southernmost point of the South Island, unlike Bluff Point which its name suggests, is just a bluff.
Next stop was Curio Bay, a place made famous for all it’s fossils found on the rocks on the beach. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, or what I was looking at but I think I spotted some fossils. It would have been more beneficial for me to have had an expert there to explain things a bit better for me. It was a nice stop anyway, and a nice beach – although very rocky.
My next and penultimate stop was at Cathedral Caves, a place known for its caves and cracks in the rocks along the beach. A sign indicated the closure of this attraction today due to sinking sand in and around the caves. It didn’t sound like much fun to be sinking in the sand, but I was unhappy not to be able to see the caves. Many have commented on how fascinating they are, and I do love exploring caves. Never mind, maybe I can try again tomorrow.
Finally I visited Purakaunui Falls, scene of a beautiful waterfall. There was a nice little walk to reach the falls, and once there I was amazed at the beauty and tranquillity of the place. The nature of the cascading water is very erratic, as well as dramatic, and sitting down by the pathway listening to the water made me feel totally relaxed. It also made me need the toilet a bit, but that’s another story. It was a lovely place to visit, and made up for the disappointment of not being able to see the caves.
I then found The Falls Backpackers – somewhat out of the way a little – and entered the building to find that, once again, there was nobody there and a note to say welcome to me. I had the place to myself, and was able to choose my bed in the lovely bedroom. It was like a bedroom in a normal house, very homely and very comfortable. I could see I was going to like this place. I used this opportunity to go into the nearby town of Owaka for a while, then returned for some dinner.
While I was eating, people began to arrive. Firstly the owner, who was very quick to greet me and to introduce himself. We chatted for a while and he explained about a book that they kept at the hostel, detailing all the guests who stop by, and asked me for my input. I didn’t see why not. It would be nice if I ever came back here again to see my name in this book, and to remember being in this hostel. A nice idea I thought, and a nice touch. After a while he left, and I was alone again, but not for long.
Two French girls arrived and instantly disappeared into the double room. I didn’t ask any questions, as they obviously wanted to be alone. I spent the evening alone in my room listening to my music and just relaxing. It’s nice to just relax.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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