Whereby we escape sand flies. I suspect this must be the only place in the world where sand flies are honoured! DH has accused me of waving at strange men (no doubt in part because a strange man waved at me in Te Anau apparently after I smiled at him – I didn’t but he obviously thought so – and DH has used the incident to his advantage to tease me unmercifully) but I’ve only been batting the flies away. Considering I react badly to sand fly bites, I have emerged relatively unscathed. Tally so far = one.
And whereby we are officially back in Southland after two days in Fiordland. Even now I’m not sure if we’re fully in Southland as Fiordland is on one side of the road and Southland the other, but for simplicity’s sake let’s call it Southland.
It was cloudier driving out than it had been in, and definitely shorter since we made less stops. We travelled via Manapouri (where we stopped at Pearl Harbour) ...
... Clifden (where we stopped to explore limestone caves and also an historic suspension bridge ...and photograph two chickens outside the caves) ...
... to Invercargill, and finally to Bluff. Bluff is known as the bottom of the South Island, although technically that honour goes to a small landmark several kilometres from here (and which we may not be able to visit because it's generally closed at this time of year due to lambing). Our cottage where we are staying is quirky with up and down floors, a califont for hot water and which makes an incredible racket when you turn it on, a kitchen too small to swing a cat, and bookshelves in doorways and part walls removed. But it's warm and comfortable and home for a night.
From Fiordland to Bluff has been quite a journey … tomorrow we leave the mainland for Stewart Island … another long held dream.
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5 (KJV)