Friday, January 14, 2011

Kiwi Bites! vol.3

  • Ouch! I’d forgotten about the “Roaring Forties” :s Crossing Foveaux Straights from Bluff into Stewart Island made me feel very queasy! You’d think crossing that region (and back) two years in a row to the Antarctic would have taught me that lesson… Thankfully the one trick I did remember –getting fresh air and eating an apple- did help. Felt better real fast, and the sea spray in my face was fabulous! As were those sooty shearwaters (called muttonbirds here) flying just above the waves.
    Muttonbirds flying over the waves of the Foveaux Straights
    • This trip is confirming my previous assessment from 3 year ago, that (most) Kiwis are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met! Whether it be the girl at the Te Anau DOC centre talking about Fiordland penguins and other birds and the advantages/disadvantages of their various Nature guidebooks, or the skipper on the dive boat who used to work on fishing boats out of Bluff telling me fishing tales and good tidbits about Stewart Island. Ditto the 3 bus drivers today who conveyed me from Te Anau to the Stewart Island ferry at Bluff. They helped clear some of the confusion about not being on "the" bus I had booked (but one run by a different company) and being passed along to another bus twice (when we thought we had a direct “drive”). The 2nd driver was particularly fun. I sat behind the drivers on all three rides and he was chatting with me most of the way, talking about his job, things along the route, the beauty of Stewart Island where he’d live if the missus would consent! ;o)
    • On the other hand I think I’m going to stop listening to the advice of the STRAY bus drivers on places to stay… ‘cause this backpackers I’m in now at S.I. is pretty bad! No internet (even though they say yes on the website, but 2 old computers who don’t work well don’t count! I'm in the bar of the gorgeous little South Sea Hotel using their Wi-Fi and drinking cider), problems with the gas oven and stove… and outdoor access to the bathrooms in a place where it’s very chilly!!! :s
    • LOTS more sheep in the fields crossing Southland… rolling hills with good pastures it seems. Ditto with deer. Still seems weird to see those behind a fence like cattle!
    • Stewart Island is FABULOUS! Great place to relax… and wait ‘till I tell you about the birding paradise that is little Ulva Island, and going kiwi spotting at the beach at night! :o)
    gazing across the harbour of Oban, Stewart Island's main township
    Stewart Island Shags nesting on a rock in the harbour

    Kiwi English:
    • A dish towel is called a “tea towel” (but Brits use that as well, I never did get it…)
    • You leave your car in the car park, and you don’t rent a car, you hire one!


    1. It's called a tea towel coz you use it to wash up the dishes from tea! ;)

      Oban looks beautiful - we used to go to Scottish Oban every year when I was very small and I loved it, and Kiwi Oban looks equally beautiful!

    2. Kiwi Oban is cute and sweet! Unfortunately there is a distinct lack of shops! :p

      If a tea towel is for tea dishes, what do you use to wash up the rest of the dishes? lol!


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