Saturday, May 23, 2009

Monsoon season

view from kitchen, flatmates & rugby, Lauren at breakfast
Some pictures from the past rainy days at the house.

it's Sunday, and the 5th consecutive day of rain. i am going a little stir crazy. i got G-texed up yesterday and went for a walk along the coast. it was beautiful but wet, and as the footing along the sea cliffs is not great when it rains for days on end i cut my walk a little short. for the most part we have been hanging inside, drawing, drinking spaights, watching rugby-league (GO WARRIORS!!!!) and reading tramping guides.
last night we had a pint and a game of pool with the flatmates, then went to Australian Andy's house for a little party. i met some of Lauren's coworkers, and some other cool folks, despite it being a biology party. fun, but inside living is getting old. we planned to go south to the Catlins area this weekend, but the weather was just terrible. hopefully we will be able to get up to the silver peaks Tuesday for some nice tramping.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A word about the weather

I had my first real taste of Dunedin's winter weather yesterday. In the morning it was beautiful, blue skies, low 50's. By 12 it was bitter cold and raining, the wind was blowing so hard closing car doors was a two handed operation. The hills surrounding town this morning are covered in snow and our deck has some residual hail. This is apparently called a "southerly". They are the worst storms we get because they blow straight off Antarctica and slam directly into Dunedin.

Weather here is very dynamic, it will fluctuate between pounding sheets of rain, and tropical sunshine without warning. One day it did so at least eight times in a 10 hour period. The other amazing part of this is that often you will see where it is sunny as close as a 1/2 mile away.The weather you experience depends on the cloud you are standing under at the time. On my first day this resulted in the coolest rainbow i have ever seen. It was a full arch, with both ends clearly visible. It was so close you really thought you could hike down the hill and touch it.

Beam & Coke in a can. Can you imagine much rowdier football would be.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I went to work with Lauren today. This is the Otago Marine lab, where Lauren grinds sea urchin guts/ muscles into a fine powder in the name of science. In addition to being a really cool lab it sits on a beautiful spot on the peninsula. I helped Lauren grind for a little while, and when the rain cleared out i went for a walk in the sheep pastures around the lab. there is a great walking path along the harbor, very scenic despite being covered in sheep poo.

We went up to a sheep farm on the peninsula today to look for yarn. the place has a little store that sells natural wool, yarn and beautiful knitted goods of all kinds. it is run by a wonderful woman who makes much of what they sell, the rest is made by other women in the community. a really simple and just comforting place.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the landscape of dunedin is pretty breathtaking. rolling green and red hills (covered in Sheep) that drop right into the ocean. little beaches of blackstone or sand (often with great surf) around every turn. the roads are similar to highways in ireland, meaning very tight lanes and very sharp turns. this video is taken on High Cliffs rd. a particularly scenic drive just outside of town.

First day

i left columbia at 7:30am on Friday, and arrived in Dunedin at 9:10am on sunday the 17th. everything went really well until i got to Auckland with 2 hours to make my Dunedin connection. after i navigated customs and bio security i had about 20 min to catch my flight. i waited in security for 15 before the guard informed me i was in the wrong terminal which led to a mad 1/2 mile (no joke) run to the domestic terminal, this made for a sweaty nick, and i feel for the TSA guards who were there when i took of by shoes for X-ray.

after four flights and over 35 hours of continuous travel, lauren met me at the airport and we headed for the house. The place is just amazing (i will post pictures later). I got a shower and we went to lunch down by the beach. We spent the rest of the day driving around just sightseeing and trying to keep me awake to avoid jet lag. this was not hard, Dunedin is beautiful!