Let’s see…..where did we leave off? It rained hard Friday night, then was sunny Saturday morning, then off to the Farmer’s market…yes, it’s all coming back to me now. I returned from the Farmer’s market and stored by wares in my cosy little apartment. Then, it started to rain, not 90 minutes after those photographs of the Train Station under clear blue skies. Ah, but wait, 30 minutes later, the rain stops…and there are peeks of blue sky. Do I stay or do I go? (Ok, the musical challenge for today: ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ was performed by what musical group? ‘Do I Stay or Do I Go was performed by what musical group? The answers at the end of the post).
In Nz, you can’t let the threat of bad weather dictate your schedule. You go. So off I went, hoping the blue skies would prevail. I decided to travel North of Dunedin (I had been South twice) because….well, why not? I had no particular destination, but rather just wanted to see if North was distinct from South. It was.
The two photos above were taken in Karitane, a very small (as in, maybe a few hundred people) beach community about 40 km North of Dunedin. It was cool (temperatures in the daytime around 9C) this weekend, so I didn’t expect to see many people at the beach and I was right. The tall rock in the first photo is about 40-50 feet tall, and when a set of large waves came in the crash on the rock was spectacular. Looking the other direction, on the same beach, a tall bluff was illuminated by the winter sun, making a striking contrast with the darker seas. The sounds of the pounding surf were powerful and soothing as the same time.
The most direct route to Karitane from Dunedin is via highway 1, a two lane highway which occasionally allows slower cars to pull out into a third lane, when there is a steeper hill. There are many steep hills, so there are lots of opportunities to pass slower cars, or get passed if you happen to be going the speed limit (100km/hour). Dunedin, being a harbor city, is at sea level, so just as you leave town, you head uphill. The tallest hill (or maybe just one of the tall hills) just north of Dunedin is Mt. Cargill. If you choose, you can bypass highway 1 and take Mt. Cargill Road north. If you do, and it’s a sunny day, you’ll be treated to this view of the Otago Peninsula and the Dunedin harbor.
Beautiful green rolling hills, the wonderful harbor, and just above the Otago Peninsula in the top of the picture is the Pacific Ocean. It couldn’t get any prettier. And then just simply turn around, look the other direction and see this.
What I’ve noticed is we should have many more words for the color green. I’ve heard the native people of the Amazon have over 40 different words for the color green, and yesterday and today I easily saw 40 different shades of green (not gray, that’s a different story). Neither my words nor even the photos do justice to the magnificence of the of beauty. Here are a few more photos in a humble attempt to capture the some of the majesty.
Of course it can’t all be scenery on these jaunts into the countryside. There must be a cheese factory somewhere.
Ah, yes the Evansdale Cheese factory. I went there today, and despite it being Sunday, the sign said OPEN. I went inside (I was the only car in the parking lot) and was greeted by….
It’s always nice to assume your guests are challenged, and to give them an arrow that points to the bell. So, I rang the bell. A minute or so later this older man walks out, his hands caked in wax. He’s the nicest guy ever, apologizing it took a minute for him to come ’round, because, you see, he was waxing the cheese. Yes, he is the cheese maker, there on a Sunday, making the waxed wheels of cheese by hand. He had a sample tray of about six or seven different cheeses for me try (I tried them all). They were very savory, and I bought the ‘Tania’ cheese, which is a lightly smoked brie cheese with a hint of Manuka honey. Boy, was it good (and it was his favorite, as well). Suddenly, the reason for all the heart disease is clear…..Fortunately, I have the antioxidant power of red wine.
On the way back to Dunedin, I just had to stop in North Dunedin and see what people here (and the Guinness Book of Records agrees) say is the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street.
I wasn’t the only one there, and yes, it’s very, very steep.
So, in one day, it was very sunny, rained, snowed in the hills, and then was sunny again in less than 24 hours. Amazing.
Four Seasons in One Day is a Crowded House song (one of my favorites), and the Clash did, Should I Stay or Should I Go? Interestingly, the song Four Seasons in One Day was written about Melbourne, here down under. Quite fitting.