Saturday, February 04, 2017

The Catlins

     Instead of cereal in a motel room, we start our morning with breakfast on neal china in the bed and breakfast. It is finally feeling like a summer day as we head for the Catlins in the forest and mountain range along the southeastern coast. Our first stop is at the lighthouse overlooking the Tasman Sea. We spend several hours here, watching the seals, birds and waves crashing onto the jagged rocks. The beach is a perfect spot for our picnic lunch.

The scenic road turns into gravel and as we come around the bend, encounter an entire 
herd of cattle on the road, all rushing toward us but somewhat confused as to why we are there! 
They crowd around us then suddenly all reverse direction and move into the pasture. The pwer of herding!

     Purakaunui falls is reached via a short walk in the forest.

     At Curio Bay, we spot a Spoonbill and watch him take flight. Gay is giving me a great introduction to birding and I am loving the ones we are seeing here.

     At the end of Curio Bay, we take a leisurely walk on the beach. Suddenly,  Ray and Ron are startled at seeing a seal on the sand right in front of them, which proceeds to chase them! You would think men could outrun a flopping seal but he gives them a run for their money then flops down in the sand and can't seem to take more than 3-4 moves before flopping down again. it is such hard work when you don't have legs. 

     By evening, we reach the town of Bluff. Expecting to see a small quaint fishing village, we are surprised to see stacks of shipping containers on the pier, a large lumber operation and deserted streets with only a tavern and small shop open. We learn that there is no food to be found - oyster season has not yet started and the rock lobster, or crayfish are all being shipped to China! Dinner can only be found by driving to Invergargill, 20 min. away. Our bed and breakfast is lovely and we wish we could spend more time here.  The view over the harbor is lovely and after dark, with the help of google and Night Sky, we successfully find the Southern Cross. 


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