We are now in Dunedin which was built based on Edinburgh. It is a lovely city but does not look like Edinburgh. It is the oldest place we have been to and pretty hilly though. Most places in New Zealand are hilly!
We have had some weather issues the last couple of days. The last two nights camping have been in the rain and we managed to cycle into a gale yesterday. We decided to take the scenic coastal road rather than the highway from Oamaru to Moeraki which was going to add a couple of kilometers to the day but would mean that there were mulitple cafes to stop at and beautiful views. There were beautiful views but we were cycling into the wind for hours. At one point it took me 45 mins to cycle 4km. The day before I had been over the moon because we had managed an average of 20km/hr for the day (about 84km) but yesterdays average speed was more like 9km/hr! We got there in the end and got to see spherical boulders (made out of a honeycomb rock) and then eat in a restaurant called Fleur's Place which was brilliant because Nancy and I have a very good friend called Fleur. We met the Fleur of Fleur's place and accosted her to have our picture taken which she took well. You can get a way with a lot when it is clear that you have cycled somewhere a long way away.
The day before yesterday we went to see penguins coming home to their homes in the evening which was amazing. They are only 30cm long and weigh less than 1kg but they swim for 70km a day to get enough fish to feed themselves and their young. It made the 90km that we had cycled seem less impressive! The penguins were fascinating though and you only get them in the southern hemisphere which was pretty cool. We also saw yellow penguins which you only get off the coast of NZ and one walked all the way up the cliff to stand about 5m away from the watching people. They are supposed to be timid and avoid people so it was very cool to get that close.
We also cycled though the 45th parallel which was cool. In typical NZ fashion there was a small yellow signpost on the side of the road saying 45th parallel but no parking for cars or bus loads of people there. There was a brilliant sign saying 4990km to the equator and 5010km to the South Pole. We are heading towards the most southerly point in NZ soon and that will be exciting because there will be nothing but water between us and Antarctica.
I am now going to go to sleep and recover from the last five days' cycling before the next challenge!
lots of love,