Moving On To The South Coast
When I woke the next day I could barely move, I was in serious pain from head to toe. We'd had all sorts of ideas about trying to get out to Doubtful Sound today, but it was fairly quickly obvious that I wouldn't be able to do too much at all. I knew it would be best to try and get myself mobile, so I suggested that we walk into town, which wasn't far away, to get breakfast out. We walked very slowly and gingerly to a place that sold a 'bowl of latte' – that took my attention, I felt like I needed a serious caffeine injection!!! After breakfast we headed back to Zilly for a while and then went out for a couple of strolls during the day to take some photo's and to try and keep myself moving.
By the following day I was still in a great deal of pain and having no idea how long I'd remain in this condition I suggested that we move on and skip Doubtful Sound, so we did. It was a serious wrench to leave it behind, knowing that I really wanted to go and take a look at it, but with limited time left on the south island it seemed the right decision.
We packed Zilly up and took the road south through Manapouri, the gateway to Doubtful, then beyond down to the south coast. It didn't take long for the dramatic mountain scenery to be left behind and for rolling countryside to take it's place …... it felt wrong, to both of us. I knew the fact that we didn't manage to make Doubtful would play on my mind and it did already!!
We drove the Southern Scenic Route through Riverton, Invercargill and Fortrose before pulling off to Waipapa Point, where there is a lighthouse and the chance, if you are lucky, to see sea lions that come up on the beach here sometimes. We park up and take a look at the lighthouse and then found our way through the dunes out onto the beach. I had barely finished telling John that we might be lucky enough to see a sea lion when I hear him say “bloooody hell!”, he was in front of me, so I ask what's up and he says “there's a sea lion” - I'm busy looking along the line of shore and out at sea hoping that I don't miss it, saying “where, where?” and he points about 3 metres in front of us on the beach “THERE!!” Absolutely beautiful and we stand watching him bask in the sun, he took a look at us every now and then, but largely seemed uninterested in us. After spending quite a bit of time there we walked further on up the beach in search of others, but we couldn't find any, so eventually we returned to see if he was still there and he was, still taking in the sun rays and looking really cute. After spending a bit more time with Mr Sea lion we got back in Zilly and headed off to the most southerly point of the south island, Slope Point and then on to Curio Bay.
The reason for heading to Curio Bay was to see a fossilised forest. For anyone interested click here for a link to a website about it – I found it fascinating. The remains were extensive and easily identifiable.
We decided to pull into a campsite for the night in part of the Catlins Conservation Park. The campsite itself left a lot to be desired (for one you pay for), but the couple who ran it were so friendly and they also sold home baked bread and cakes, so it ended up being a good stop just for one night.