Toka, me te repo – Boulders and The Bog

I woke up quite gradually on Thursday morning but Davey was keen to get going, so while I was pottering around getting ready, he did a bakery run and returned with a smoked salmon bagel for me. I’m still getting over how common salmon is here. I think there has only been one day where I haven’t eaten salmon of some kind and this was the second day in a row I had a smoked salmon bagel for breakfast.

We took the second coastal route (which goes inland first through Omarama and then on to the coast). We saw similarly spectacular views:

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We also came across a hydro electric dam at Waitaki, which had gothic style windows like something out of The Great Gatsby.

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As we were driving, we also encountered an area of cultural significance where there were some Maori rock paintings depicting European colonisation.

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And there was some random weaving…
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We stopped for lunch, quite unintentionally at the Moeraki Boulders. These are a natural phenomena that occur through a process called concretion where, essentially, hard rock forms around shells and then cracks and fills with crystally stuff and then gets exposed by the erosion of the softer rock around it. That’s a pretty poor explanation but if you are a geologist then you should already know, and if you’re not, you might not know any better…

We had some fish for lunch at the restaurant, who’s seafood menu is so fresh, they write a new menu every day on a piece of giant rolling brown paper.

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After some wonderfully fresh blue cod, we wandered down to the beach to see the boulders.

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There was even a boulder that had a World Cup feel…

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The weather was a lot finer than the last time we drove along the Otago coast but it was incredibly windy – Davey commented that he could feel the car being blown around while driving.

We had a pint of ice cream that we had bought in Lake Tekapo which we had just packed in the back of the car, intending to re-freeze it when we got to Dunedin. Re-freezing wasn’t necessary. It was still perfect when we unpacked it after 4 hours in the car.

By the time we checked into our hotel in Dunedin, not unlike the ice cream we were freezing. And then it started to rain. This is the view from our hotel room.

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We weren’t blessed with a gas fireplace this time, so we had to crank the heater and get in bed, even though it was still 3 in the afternoon. We took this opportunity to watch The Lego Movie, which I hadn’t seen before. (I felt particularly nostalgic after seeing the blue 1980s spaceman character, who was the first lego set that I had ever played with as a child of the 1980s.)

We then ventured out to The Bog, which is an excellent pub, for a number of reasons:

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1. It is an Irish pub, serving beer which has been brewed the same way at the same premises longer than the age of my country.

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2. They play the Corrs.
3. There is a fireplace right by the door:

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4. You can come back after a year and a half and still get the same seat.
5. There are two types of potato, plus kumara (NZ sweet potato) with your roast:

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6. They have Speight’s cider on tap (which is not unusual for a South Island pub, but something that makes it better than everywhere else I frequent in Brisbane.)

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7. They have Barry’s tea behind the counter for both customers and bar staff.

8. It is a really short walk to our hotel but just enough distance that you are in the cold for long enough to make you appreciate the fire.

When we returned from The Bog, after walking in the drizzle, we settled in to watch Frozen (which I had also never seen before). I’m not sure if it was an appropriate choice given the weather or if it made me feel colder than I otherwise would have been, but I feel asleep with the addictive Disney songs reverberating in my brain and the howling wind reverberating our walls.

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