Finally I’ve reached the very bottom of New Zealand (I lie, not quite the bottom, but close enough…)
Myself and two friends met in Invercargill at a quirky little backpackers know as Sparky’s. Decorated with the most bizarre asortment of trinkets and knick-knacks, I quickly became suspicious as to where the owner’s nickname as “Sparky” had originated form. Between his love of the notorious weed-hotspot Byron Bay, his vacant expression, collection of exotic paraphernalia, and general paranoia with everything, I formulated some idea. Whilst he seemed mostly kind and harmless, after a few days I decided things were getting weird; his belief that 9-11 was an inside job by the US Government was one thing, but threatening to kick me out for cracking my knuckles was a bit much.
The place itself was very cool and cute, with only a few rooms and a really fun vibe; it even had a spa pool out the back which was heaven in the Invercargill cold. Now that I’m writing about it, we really didn’t get up to much, but it was a good time nonetheless; played cards, drank coffee, baked cakes, got drunk in the spa. All good things.
The trip to Bluff was…meh. Really, there’s very little there, and it was little more than a novelty. Still, it’s a cool thing to have done and I’m glad I had the opportunity to travel that far south. We found a really cool beach near Invercargill and endured a midwinter swim in the freezing water which was near fatal to my toes, but a welcome shock to the senses.
A tire puncture cut the Catlins trip pretty short, so I’ll definitely have to go back some time to see more. Still, it seemed sublime, and I’m glad we got there long enough to wet my appetite for more.
So, back in Dunedin, but only temporary, tomorrow I fly home to Auckland for the first time in ages. Recently returned from Wellington with my (then) girlfriend as a goodbye trip before she went home to France, so quite a bit of moving around recently. The Wellington trip was bitter-sweet; I miss her but that’s okay, I’m still happy! We cut a pretty sorry sight crying on each other’s shoulders at the airport.