Settling in…..

There is art everywhere in Dunedin. Just across the street from my favorite wine store (Wine Freedom… in case there was ever any doubt…owned and run by long time friend Paul) is this thought provoking image. It’s these nooks and crannies that you begin to see once you start to settle into a place…once you begin to get your feet on the ground.

There are more of these, and I am sure I will be showing them to you over the next few weeks. But first…

I have started to settle into my newly rented house (tonight is my 7th night in this house…so it’s all still quite fresh). Having living in Dunedin previously, I had an idea of what I wanted in a domicile…several bedrooms, North facing (for sun), and fantastic views of the city and harbor…oh, and I only want to spend $1500 a month.

The view from my deck…the City of Dunedin and the Otago Harbor
Sunset and the Otago Harbor….and my one table in the house…

Fortune smiled upon me a couple of weeks ago when this home came up for rent. I recognized the potential, and quickly snapped it up. It came pretty much unfurnished (one bed and one table and several chairs), and I spent a week getting the kitchen stocked before moving in 6 days ago. After 5 weeks of living out of a suitcase, and meals consisting of just ‘heating things up’ I was finally ready to make myself a proper meal. Last Saturday I visited the Otago Farmer’s Market last, and that night and the following made my first two ‘real’ meals.

Fresh lemon peppered salmon and salad
Pear and avocado salad with citrus dressing.

It wasn’t Thomas Keller…but what a difference home cooked food is when you’ve been eating pre-prepared food for 5 weeks! I’ll be restocking the frig tomorrow, after another visit to the Farmer’s Market…

Toko Mouth…The small settlement (it’s not really a town) at the mouth of the Tokomairaro River, as it enters the Ocean.

I love the house…and the views!…but one can only appreciate those Otago Harbor views for just so long before lusting to explore this magnificent land. Last Saturday I ventured about an hour outside of Dunedin to fish (, not catching)..and despite my admonition to not take my little rental Toyota Corolla on any more muddy roads, I found myself zigging and zagging along a wet dirt road to a small community called “Toko Mouth”. It was an in-coming tide (my plan all along) and the tidal estuary looked “very fishy” (a term used by fisherman when it looks like you should catch a lot of fish…but unexpectedly don’t get a bite). No fish, but you can’t argue with the view!

Not getting any bites here, I thought I might try the mouth of the Clutha River (New Zealand’s fastest flowing river…and a very big river at that!), and so I drove about 30 minutes along the South Coastal highway.. as the sun was reaching lower in the sky, I just happened to stumble into this majestic view.

The Clutha River..about 1km from it’s entrance into the Ocean on a cool winter late afternoon

It was late in the day, and this particular stretch of the river did not look very “fishy”…it was silted and murky from recent rains, so I opted to just enjoy the view rather than say I fished and didn’t get a bite.

This was also the week I had to return my rental car….which meant I had to find a car to buy. My biggest priority…a proper 4 wheel drive vehicle. Last thing I want is to be stuck on some road a hundred km from the nearest home or person. It’s like every Monday at work…Where’s Dave? Someone call out the search party! Where did he say he was going fishing??!! So, in addition to fishing for trout, last weekend I went fishing for cars (or trucks). It is a very interesting experience shopping for cars in another country (let alone another hemisphere). I looked at Subarus… (if you’re from the USA, they pronounce them different here…they say, “Sue-Bar-U” with heavy emphasis on the ‘Bar’. I also looked at the Nissan trucks (not ‘Knee-Sawn’…but rather…’Niss-Awn’). In the end, I found a very reliable Mitsubishi Pajero (pronounced Pa-Jer-O…no one here is accustomed to how Spanish words are pronounced).

Over the next week, I plan to test the limits of the true ‘4 Wheeler’, as they say. If you don’t hear from me for awhile…you’ll know why.

This is likely a crime…to have already been in New Zealand many weeks and not have posted any pictures of sheep. So, in the hopes of avoiding (more) jail time, I will leave you with a little taste of last week’s explore….

Sheep in New Zealand always get the best views!

Kia Ora,


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

2 thoughts on “Settling in…..

  1. It’s always nice to read your blogs and look at all the beautiful photos you’ve taken,( National Geographic like ). Glad to hear you’re all settled in. we miss you here too. Take care and stay safe.

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