Friday, February 20, 2009

NZ Day 16: Free Dolphins

Two weeks ago in Kaikura it cost over 100 dollar to "swim with the dolphins". This evening in Porpoise Bay the hector dolphins had happy hour and swam with the humans for free.

The Catlins, where we are staying tonight are the pure opposite to most of the other places we have been until now. The tourists are here like everywhere else, but there seems to be almost no tourism industry. Not only the dolphins swim on their own in Porpoise Bay. The penguins in Curio Bay next door also go ashore all by themselves. There is even a viewing platform above the bay and a nice DOC Ranger on the ground who knows everything about Penguins and answers questions.

I guess the Catlins people are not all that happy with the state of affairs. They try to catch up with the rest of the tourism industry by sealing the unpaved roads and large building projects like the one we saw advertised on a large plot of land right next to the beautiful Catlins Beachhouse where we got a room tonight.

Every now and then in the past I have been joking about the possibility of letting all that computer stuff be and starting up sheep farming in New Zealand. Here in the south I finally found all these sheep I have been imagining. There are really a lot of them. I guess sheep farming is not all that personalized anymore as far as the farmer sheep relationship is concerned. The sheep seed to be quite interested in me though.

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