Sea Lion Encounter

February 6, 2016

We are heading north to Dunedin on the east coast. Plenty of sheep, pasture, forest and ocean to take pictures of along the way. Despite what looks like isolation to our California eyes, people seem to be living normal lives in a beautiful country. Besides there are plenty of signs advertising upcoming rodeos and hoe downs. Country is still king around here.

For summer, the weather is still very cool with plenty of cloud cover. No sand flies today so life is good. We reached Dunedin by noon and went grocery shopping with the rest of the town. We found our favorite market and went on the baked cinnamon roll quest. We were skunked again as the good ones sell out first thing. We will continue the quest. Got a rotisserie chicken for our picnic and headed up the Otaga Peninsula across from Dunedin. Enjoyed a bay side lunch with some polite sea gulls. The trick is to drop nothing.

We finally reached the end of the peninsula and encountered a number of sea lions. It was a close encounter. They have really sharp big red teeth. They also lunge by springing flipper forward. I have no idea how they can be so graceful in the water and goofy on land. We avoided harassing them as much as possible although they weren’t shy about telling you if you were invading their personal space. Peggy stayed afar but managed a few hundred seal close ups

We declined to spend $50 each to see the Albatross eggs and babies. It was cheap of us but we did enjoy the videos about their life cycle. The like circling the Antarctic continent using the polar winds. Some are known to travel 1000 kilometers (or 600 miles for the metric challenged) in a day. My trash paper that I accidentally dropped almost went that far in a couple of seconds. Since I caught it, I must be as fast as an albatross. We also found a Yellow Eyed Penguin that I could pose with.

Dunedin is the second largest city in New Zealand after Auckland. We managed the traffic better here than in Queenstown. The hotel is nice and down the street from every imaginable Asian cuisine restaurant. There was also a bakery with cinnamon rolls. They also had Vegimite Wraps that we found easy to pass up. We also managed to check out a wonderful Presbyterian Church with amazing hammer beam construction.

Dinner tonight is a sausage veggie stir fry with Kiwi February corn of the cob with carrot cake and cheese cake for dessert. Tomorrow we head up to Mt. Cook and more glaciers.

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