There was a lot of driving done on South Island, and I’d say half of it was because, “Well, I have time, so I’m going to take this several hour long side trek to see whatever’s there.” I zig-zagged back and forth across the island multiple times in this fashion; simply exploring waterfalls, beaches, seal colonies, big rocks, star gazing, mountain spotting, glacier hiking, lighthouses, things of that nature. Anything that piqued my curiosity (and wasn’t too difficult) got a look. (There were some LOTR filming locations and a Blue Lake I’d heard about, but as they required 12hrs to 2 days hiking in mountains to get there, I uttered several resounding “Fuck that”s)
After Farewell Spit, I drove south (obviously, there was no where further north to go!) to St. Arnaud and Lake Rotoiti. As per usu..uzj…uge…fuck it. I give up., the weather was overcast, but sometimes that makes for brilliant contrasts. This photo is completely untouched – just pure, New Zealand beauty.
I popped on over to Lake Rotoroa (not to be confused with Lake Rotorua on North Island, because, you know, NZ…). This was the first time I experienced the Sand Flies – a huge pain for something so small! I tried to hang out and do some writing, but there were so many that even though I was quite well covered, they found every bit of exposed skin and set to eating me alive. I came. I saw. It was pretty. I left.
As I was driving back to the main road, I felt a sudden sharpness in my side. It then immediately started to burn and itch and I quickly pulled over to investigate. I have no idea how a BEE got under my coat, sweater, workout jacket, AND tank top, but he was a persistent mother fucker because in he did get and stung the bejesus out of my side. I flicked him outside and then saw there were two OTHER bees inside Shadowfax!! WTF?! From whence did this infestation spring?? It’s not like I was sitting with my doors and windows open at the lake, because of the Sand Flies. Anyway, it was weird as. I also realized I am apparently allergic to bee-stings, not deathly, but it was badly irritated for over 48hrs (and I didn’t care quite enough to suss out some baking soda to make a soothing paste). SMH.
ANYWAY… My next goal was to see the seal colony on the West Coast at Cape Foulwind. The further west I went, the better the weather was, and I had a lovely coastal walk on the Cape.
Now, when it comes to wildlife, I REALLY need to get a proper camera with a decent zoom lens, because I tell ya, my iphone just ain’t cuttin’ it! So, while I hold fond memories of my wildlife encounters, I don’t really have the photographic evidence they deserve.
Here’s a few anyway.
I spent nearly an hour just watching them – there were a lot of pups in this group and it was delightful fun seeing them play!
I took another walk along a deserted beach before the 3ish hour drive to the campsite for the night. I recall the sunset was one of the most mindblowingly pretty and pink I’ve ever seen, but alas, no picture could do it justice. So here’s one of the beach 🙂