It started with a trip to Winton with Rebecca to stock up on groceries and some other essentials (like a pair of gum boots, a bucket, and a light-up snowman that plugs into a USB drive for my desk at work for this Xmas).
the trip was quick, because I had to get back to Otautau for a lunch-time interview with a local journalist who is doing an article on the two new doctors in Otautau. He also happens to have found our blog, and is an avid reader! Shout out! So it was a fun interview. We'll see how it compares to the article about me that was in the Trib back home a couple months ago.... I don't think I will have 4 pics or be on the front page this time..... which is fine with me. that was a little much, but funny : )
After the interview, I decided I was just going to head towards the Fiordlands, and check out a big lake over there. Lake Hauroko was my target, and it turned out to be a pretty good one. See for yourself:
Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand, over 1000ft deep, I think. that's scary deep.
I went on a little hike to have a look around, and was rewarded with beautiful views.
this was part of the path, just along the lakeshore. Pretty awesome.
As I was wandering around, another vehicle pulls up, and it's a couple of guys in their 40s-50s and they start chatting with me. Nice guys. turns out, they used to live in Otautau, and we talk about mutual acquaintances and such. They are planning on meeting a bunch of Otautau guys there at the lake to take off out of the lake down the Wairaurahiri River to go Whitebaiting (see previous post!) for the weekend. It was really a weekend to hang out with the guys and drink a lot. So after talking with them for about 10 mintues, they are like "did you bring a sleeping bag with you?" I said no, that I was just out running around for the day, and they were genuinely disappointed because I 'should have just come with us for the weekend!' that's how nice the people are here. You meet them for 10 minutes, and they are inviting you on weekend fishing trips with the guys. So I missed out on what was surely a pretty entertaining weekend alternative, but I still do alright for myself. they passed me a few secret hunting spots back near Otautau at least.
So off I go, slightly disappointed that I missed the whitebaiting guys weekend, but I drove down the road about 15 minutes, and this was the view:
And as if that weren't enough, 30 minutes later, I see this:
Rainbows are a dime a dozen down here. But still exciting! This one was actually right next to the coast. I was near the town of Tuatapere, and I saw a sign for Blue Cliffs Beach, so of course I decided to see what that was about. After winding around on some gravel roads for a little bit, I finally got to a little tiny, but very steep, road that went right down to the beach:
So this is Blue Cliffs Beach! Worthy of some signage all 15km away. I battled that little rain shower for a few minutes, which was totally worth it.
So after leaving the beach, I went back to Tuatapere to meet Aaron and Rebecca for dinner at this little spot called the Last Light Lodge. Aaron found it online, so we decided to meet there for a little Friday night dinner out. I got there about 20 minutes early, but was not bored at all. This place is awesome. It is the closest thing I've seen to a hipster coffeshop/bar since I've been here, and it felt good to be there. It made me glad I had on a stocking cap and a flannel shirt. There was a pet cat there and live music performed by a hippie kind of guy named Jesse that was really pouring out his soul on stage. Since I was the only person there for a while, we made small talk and the waitresses were really nice too. The waitresses drew mustaches on themselves in honor of Movember/No shave November (prostate cancer awareness month!) Everyone was just super chill. jesse also showed me a bowl drum that he has (total hippie instrument) Aaron and Rebecca arrived and liked the spot a lot too. And the food and drinks were good! I definitely see myself heading back there on a weekend or Friday night again to just lounge around, pet the cat, listen to the live entertainment (which eventually expanded to include a violin accompaniment for good old Jesse) and just chill out.
So the day off was a huge success. Definitely scouted out some places to head back to. the rest of the weekend was equally nice, with probably the best weather we've had since we got here. More info on that at another time. This post is already pretty lengthy. thanks for sticking with it if you made it to the end! If anyone has requests for topics for posts, let me know. any burning questions about New Zealand?