Day 13 – Curio Bay to Dunedin

It was lightly showering this morning upon waking – after a windy night – and remained grey with scattered showers most of the day. It did not matter too much. We have had such great weather around Queenstown and Fiordland so getting a grey day for Helen’s final leg of the journey when the mountains were behind us was not bad. The caitlins area is pretty in a foresty rolling hills kind of way.

We wound over and around a foresty inland road aware that the coast was not far away. A few times on the trip today we saw signs to waterfalls but upon closer inspection they proved to require 30 to 40 minutes of bushwalking in rain so we did not partake. Instead I took photos of the bush.

I have grown accustomed to my sister joining me in my larger camper, and we have cackled over the slow encroachment of her from her smaller, less commodious van into sitting on my bed waiting for cups of tea. Hilarious! But yes, I will miss her after she flies back tomorrow. The pic below shows some of the coastline when it came in to view. All the way up this section there are possible seal or penguin sightings. Watch this space.

At Owaka we found a Teapot Town – I’ve never seen so many. We had an excellent coffee made for us by a young chap who had a shop serving only coffee (no food). Across the road we attempted to find something appealing but the limited array of cabinet food was unappealing so just gave up. Here too was a house with a garden bursting with daffodils and bluebells.

I love the richly coloured bushes that dot the hillsides.

After a long drive – pleasant in its varied landscape and winding around bushy reserves – we began to reach level ground and long stretches. Finally we reached Balclutha and all semblance of country road disappeared and became highway.

Stopped for a lamb shank pie and braced ourselves for the last push into Dunedin. Nothing much to report but long straights, fast speeds and encroaching suburbs. I had set my Apple Maps for the Dunedin Holiday Park – on the same side as St Clair beach, and at 3.30 we pulled up outside the office. For a mere $35 Helen and I are in two sites near amenities and feeling a little sad to be parting tomorrow. It has been an excellent 6 days in each others company and around our favourite part of NZ.

We’ve been down to St Clair for a final meal together – two excellent pasta dishes at The Hydro. The pastel light looked amazing over the ocean and the few surfers braving the waves. Coming out feeling very happy the atmosphere was charming.

Tomorrow we plan to ride bikes around the harbour cycleway and have lunch before parting ways.

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