Day 38–Sat., Feb. 12, 2011–Dunedin, NZ

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We had a tour today with Ann and met at 8:35 am.  Mark, our driver with Awesome Tours, took us on the back roads to town.  The views were amazing.  We drove up and down Baldwin St. which is the steepest street in the world.  We met a couple of guys that walked up with their bikes so they could ride down the street. 

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We then drove into town with a 1 hour walk-around time at The Octagon in the city.  It happened to be their yearly street festival so there was lots going on.

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     We stopped at the Otakou Marae on our way to Otago Peninsula.  The views were beautiful.

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     We took a one-hour tour at Natures Wonders and rode in an 8-wheel Argo vehicle.  The gave us jackets to wear to try to keep us clean from the dust.  The trails were in horrible shape and it was quite a ride.  The view from the top was outstanding.  I am running out of adjectives to describe the breath-taking views.

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We stopped to see NZ fur seals, which were very close to us.  We then drove to see the little blue penguins with yellow eyes.  They were so far away that the picture I have was taken through binoculars.  I was a little upset that we were so far away, but they stay off the beach for the penguins sake and to keep it natural.  There were some nesting in rocks behind the look-out, but they were hard to see, also.  I guess I was spoiled watching them in South America.

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     We then drove to the Royal Albatross for lunch and then a 1-hour guided tour of the colony.  This was also a little disappointing as we were so far away from the birds after climbing a very steep hill.  Ray was lucky to get to ride a scooter, or he wouldn’t have made it up the hill.

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We took the high road back into town with a quick stop at the train station and then back to the ship.  This tour was 180 NZ dollars per person.  This was an expensive tour, but a lot of the money goes back to preserving the area for the wildlife and research.

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     We got back about 4:15 and took a quick shower to get ready for dinner.  I put in my order and then went out to look at Taiaroa Head, the Albatross colony site to see if I could get better pictures.  I did get to see some flying.  The wingspan is about 9 feet.

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We had a wonderful dinner.  Love the presentation.

IMG_2826 IMG_2827 IMG_2828 IMG_2829 IMG_2830 The show this evening was Simeon Wood, a multi-instrumentalist of dazzling versatility and inspiration.  I was so tired I had to leave after 20 minutes.  He was good, however.

 IMG_2831  “Great lives are the culmination of great thoughts followed by great actions”. –Peter Sinclair-

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