Clinton…..

Clinton…..

After a comfortable night at the hostel we had a wander into the city centre. The city looks very similar to a Scottish city like Edinburgh and Dunedin is the gaelic word for Edinburgh! We sat in the central ‘Octagon’ area and used the free wifi offered by the city. Afterwards, we made our way to the library where you can use the computers for 30 minutes (free), you go to the second floor register your name and they give you a PIN number to sign in with. It seems like the South Island is better connected to the Internet and at faster speeds then the north island.

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Afterwards, we walked around a few shops with Nolan as Sangeet needed some pumps. After buying some pumps, we found a ‘vegan’ restaurant called:

Circadian Rhythm Cafe
72 St Andrew Street
Dunedin
T: 03 474 9994
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They do a NZ$10 buffet which consists of lentils, potato curry, curried chick peas and boiled rice, it is not a bad deal. If buffet does not take your fancy you can buy a ready made meal from the counter. Please note although the restaurant says vegan in its name they use cows milk, and one item had egg, so please do ask before buying. Also they have a very good selection of gluten free items. Nolan and I chose the buffet and Sangeet had the lentil cottage pie with roasted vegetables.

After a filling lunch the three of us went our separate ways, Sangeet had a walk down to the old train station which is very impressive (we drove past it later), I went back to the library to use the Internet and Nolan went to the art gallery.

Train station:
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Library:
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We met back in the Octagon just outside the town hall at 3:30pm, from there we walked back to the car and headed to the Otago peninsula. The drive was amazing overlooking the water. Sangeet and Nolan wanted to see the yellow eyed penguins so we headed to the sandfly overlook.

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The drive to Clinton, where we are going to do our first WWOOFing, is 1.5 hour. We drove up the dirt track and arrived at an amazing house with very smart gardens and lots of sheep. I thought wow this will be fun, the owner said the house you want is back on your left. We had driven too far! At first sight the house was not so amazing. Shaun who is our host is a great guy, the accommodation for the WWOOFer’s was not at all what we were expecting. We are staying in a VERY basic caravan, you can feel the cold, hear trains passing in the night and see stains on the blankets. We are supposed to be here for 10 days!!! I really do not think I can last three! As a host they provide all the food and accommodation in return for you working on their farm, in the evening we went to Shaun’s house for dinner. He asked us to take our shoes off before entering, then when we went in there was a dog and cats wandering about all over the place. I do not like animals in the house, especially not the kitchen! There we met four other WWOOF’ers from Germany, France, Argentina and China, all very friendly and talkative.

For dinner we had lasagne which was fantastic apart from the handful of chillies Shaun likes to add to foods! He made Sangeet gluten free pasta.

We headed back to our accommodation which is about 50 yards from the main house, showers and toilets! It was VERY cold we put on extra layers of clothing but could still feel the intense cold, we could tell it would be one chilly night! Sangeet made the caravan as cosy as possible and as we lied awake shivering wondering what what else was sharing our bed, we could not stop laughing as we thought about how crazy the whole situation was!!!

Our accommodation:
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A long drive…..

A long drive…..

This morning we had a wonder around Kaikoura, it was very quiet, last night we noticed 95% of the motels had vacancies (we tried to bargain with them, even though the rooms were empty they would not move from their prices!). We walked on the pebble beach, there is something very calming about sitting on the beach and listening to the waves.

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We later walked into town, where Sangeet bought some postcards. We all sat at a coffee shop, Sangeet and Nolan had hot chocolate, I had a gluten free chocolate caramel bar. Whilst Sangeet wrote the postcards, Nolan and I decided to get the car parked about a km away. On the way we passed iSite (travel information for New Zealand) and decided to book some accommodation. We are heading to Clinton to start some WWOOFing work which is about 10 hours away, we decided to drive to Dunedin which is about 7 hours away so tomorrow we would not have to drive so much.

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The drive south on route 1 is fabulous, we noticed a train line running parallel to the road, it too was hugging the coastline. I think next time we visit New Zealand we will try the train.

Christchurch is on the way south, where we decided to take a break (after 2 hours of driving along very winding roads), the maximum speed is 100 kilometres per hour. By the way I got caught speeding two days ago, we were driving from Rotorua to Wellington, it was pitch black and I was doing 122kph the fine was NZ$170!!!! – if anyone feels like donating please do let me know!

Christchurch was struck by a major earthquake two years ago, the city is doing a fantastic job of rebuilding itself. After shopping at New World (cheese, biscuits, nuts) in the car in the car park Sangeet made sandwiches, cheese, humus and our favourite peanut butter and jelly! We drove through the city centre. It is a very vibrant and beautiful town, so much better then Auckland. It is less populated and the people seem more friendly. It was around 4:30 pm and we hit rush hour traffic, the drive to Dunedin took 6 hours. We were all shattered when we arrived at out hostel called Hogwartz! NZ$31 per person a night. It is nice accommodation with clean shared toilet and shower.

Hogwartz
277 Rattray Street
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand
T: + 64 (0) 3 474 1487
E: info@hogwartz.co.nz

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