Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Otaga Peninsula near Dunedin NZ

I had a nice day in Dunedin yesterday. Spent the morning riding around town and hanging out at cafes catching up on wifi. I forgot my camera and did not feel like riding back up the long steep hill to get the camera so no pics from town.

In the afternoon I went out on the Otaga Peninsula to see all the coastal scenery and the wildlife. I enjoyed that choice. First I toured the albatross center and watched albatross flying around their rookery area. I did not pay to go see the nesting albatross and in retrospect I wish I had done that. Then after watching them I went and watched New Zealand fur seals with their pups playing along the rocky beach and in the tidal pools. The babies were energetic balls of fur to watch swimming and playing together. A little further up the beautiful coast there were New Zealand sea lions with the males fighting each other for the females. The sea lions were all killed off in New Zealand by the Maoris about 400 years ago. These ones have returned from a small colony that survived out on an island way offshore. There are only just over a dozen female and a bit over a hundred males now living on the mainland New Zealand again. They are endangered. They were interesting to observe with all their fighting and chasing each other.

The same beach had yellow eyed penguins and blue penguins nesting on it. There were quite a few pairs of yellow eyed penguins that I watched waddle up the long steep hill from the ocean to their nests. These penguins mate for life and return to their nest every night all year round. I waited around for the blue penguins to return to the beach around dark but before they arrived the rain started and I was getting cold and wet so I gave up on the blue penguins today. The beach was also thick with birds flying around and standing around on the beach. It was a fun nature filled afternoon.

My time is already running short here in New Zealand. I will never make it around on my bike at the rate I have been going with all the rain delays. I am considering taking a bus tour next week through the lower tip of the south island. Then just taking the bus back up north where I would spend the last three weeks in the warmer North Island. I will decide in a couple of days. This Easter week cut into my time also. The entire country goes on vacation for Easter week and everything is booked up and crowds are everywhere so it is a very difficult time to travel by bike. The traffic alone could kill me. Dunedin is a nice choice to wait out Easter week. a few pics...The first are New Zealand Fur Seals then the later ones are New Zealand Sea Lions which are threatened. The penguins are all yellow eyed penguins

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Christchurch then on to Dunedin NZ

I mostly hung out at the house in Christchurch today talking with the other people staying there. My morning ride around town seemed to be enough for me to get a feel for the city. I just am not in the tourist state of mind these days.

I did go to the store and buy a bunch of veggies so that I could eat well for the three days I will be here. I may be here Monday night too unless the weather report is wrong about rain on Monday. I am done riding in rain. Either sit tight or take a bus is my new philosophy. I am not trying to prove anything with my bike riding I just want to see the world from a bike. If I need to take a bus here and there to do that so be it.

I am kind of jonesing for a good ride though. The ride from here to Dunedin is over some good sized hills so it is a workout. I look forward to it. I like riding up grades. I take the time to focus my energies and make myself a stronger person. It also helps me with pain control by making my brain stronger at overcoming adversity so to speak. I control my pain with mental techniques I learned through yoga and biofeedback. Pushing myself on my bike just reenforces those strengths for me, so come on mountains, but not in the rain please.

Well it is Monday morning and I am packed to go. The only problem being it is raining yet again as the forecast predicted. So I looked up the bus to Dunedin and it leaves at 8am so I will go try to get on that bus. I can’t just sit in one place hoping the rain stops. I am having a long black coffee in a hotel and it is starting to rain harder as I sit (long black is what they call a shot of espresso with some hot water added to it in a small cup).

The forecast has rain in it through next week. I just can not seem to escape this rain. It appears to be following me where ever I go. I did have a couple of nice mostly dry days here in Christchurch. There were only light scattered showers while I was here. Still enjoying myself regardless of the weather. The only thing is my bike ride is turning into a bus tour. Such is the life of a wandering cyclist.

The bus from Christchurch to Dunedin was 6 hours with all the stops and traffic. I am checked into my hostel for the week and will just explore this old Scottish city on dry days if I get any dry days that is. There are nesting albatross here and penguins which I would like to go see. Otherwise just relaxing is in store for me.