Whoops! Published before I wrote anything. 

The supremely honest and trusting campsite at Kaka Point was a great start for today’s expedition. 

First though let me introduce Erin, a nurse practitioner from Vermont, USA, who used to work in Colorado with the poorest of patients, many of whom had no insurance. She worries that with their current president, funding for these patients will be withdrawn.

Not a flattering picture. She was a lovely warm concerned person who is doing the whole of NZ , by herself, in 2.5 weeks. She had a great smile. 

First stop today Surat Bay. With the possibility of seeing sea lions (as opposed to seals which we saw yesterday). We discussed the fact that they can disguise themselves to look like logs. Like this one. 

Which turned out, when we’d stealthily crept up on it, to be a log. Ah well…..

We saw a real one though – and this isn’t a reserve or a sanctuary – it’s real sea lions living their non captive life, free to come and go and behave as they wish. 

We saw the people before us had been quite close – we could tell from their foot prints – no denying it although I wondered why they’d been swinging their feet around so much. 

The penny dropped. These are sea lion tracks! As are these. 

Further on we saw ancient coastland forest: 

Then three more sea lions: 

Sorry all so distant. 

Then one coming out of the sea- Amazing site: 

Whereupon he joined a group of around seven others…. bellowing, playing, flicking sand, possibly sulking….​​

Watching the sea lion come up from the sea to the group was like watching a fat lady come from the waiting to the Consulting  room ​…. eight steps and a big pause to regroup, get breath. 

Perhaps the most wonderful thing today was seeing one sealion head towards the sea- lots of pauses to regroup then she was In The waves cavorting. Calloo Callay o! Frabjous day!  Definitely gyre and gimbling. 

And then a man on a bike on a beach: 

Starting to get a bit surreal. 

The Purakanuo Falls involved a walk through ancient forest:

We’ve now left Otago and are in  Southland. The bays here open onto oceans that stretch to the South Pole. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s beautiful. 

But still it’s rural New Zealand. Rarely a car. Today whilst on a fairly main road we met these ladies: 

Everything stops as they pass. And why not? 
View from the van tonight:

And after I bought some factor 30 and a Sunhat too ! I think things will improve weather wise as we work our way up north. I can’t believe it can possibly get more beautiful, fascinating, welcoming. 

Tantrums: 1 (major. Me)

Endangered species seen/eaten:0. 

Tomorrow invercargill. 

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