“Welcome to Gondor…”, is what the Lord Of The Rings tour brochure said. It sounded tempting, even though I’m not a die hard LOTR fan. But I know damn well that what you will actually get to see is just some fields that vaguely remind you of the film, so we didn’t go on the tour. Instead we drove from the Mount Cook area, with a short stop at the Clay Cliffs, to a city called Dunedin, which is Gailic for Edinborough, on the south-east coast of South Island. It is NZ’s major university city which should make it vibrant enough for a visit. Hmm.. That’s where we ran out of luck. All lodging appeared to be taken. No vacancies in or anywhere near the city. It turned out to be “orientation week” so the city was packed with kids and their parents visiting uni.. On top of that, a film crew had taken another 200 beds because they were busy shooting “Wolverine” in the area. Another fantastic film that we will most certainly boycot because of this… We ended up driving another 50km south just find a place to sleep. We found it in “The White Horse Inn”, a very run down trucker stop with very run down rooms and facilities. There’s a new experience..
After a refreshing night we drove further south towards Invercargill, visting the Catlins under way. A very nice scenic route with a lot of nice stops; the Mouraki Boulders, yellow eyed penguins (okay we saw just one), seals & sea lions, waterfalls, Slope Point (South Islands most southern most point) and many many many (uhuh very many) sheep… Arriving in Invercargill we scooped what appeared to be the very last room available in the city…
The next morning we raced to Manapouri, a tiny town in Fiordland, where the boat docks that took us on our all day cruise to one of the largest fiords in the area called “The Doubtful Sound” (named so in 1770 because cpt. James Cook doubted there was enough wind for his ship to safely sail in and out of this fiord). Even though the weather wasn’t always that good, the sometimes dramatic scenery made it all right.
We do that so our friends who are not so fluent in Dutch are not scared off immediately.. Besides, I write my blogs in English first anyways and then translate it to Dutch.. 🙂
Hi guys, can you explain to me why the English version of your story is always on top? This does not make sense to me… love, sis