Curio Bay > Paptowai > Glenomaru > Milton > Dunedin

6 Nov

My first 4 stops…

Left Curio Bay around 8AM Saturday morning and saying good bye to a beach view for a bit and heading into the beautiful forests found in southeast, a few of those forests being of the rain variation, which is the first rain forest I have been to!  Continued on the through the Catlins, which is pretty far off the beat and path of the main highways and general tourism but is highly underrated.  I managed to pass 11 scenic reserves on my first day of running to a LITTLE town called Papatowai.  And by little I mean 26-people-in-the-whole-town, little.  Somehow I was put in touch with 1/13 of the town and was invited to spend my first night at a bed & breakfast/successful eco-tourist hub owned by Mary and Fergus Sutherland.  Mary and Fergus operate their family run specialty wildlife tour business out of their home in Papatowai (check it out here! www.catlins-ecotours.co.nz).  They both have extensive expereince and passion in wildlife maintenance and show this through their active participation in professional and volunteer development of numerous national reserves.  One project they have been continually working on since the late 1980s is the Te Rere Penguin Reserve, a reserve developed and maintained to protect and nurture the rare Yellow-eyed Penguin.  Their tours consist of several adventures involving wildlife viewing, rarely seen sights, and scenic reserve upkeep.  If you have any interest in conservationism or experiencing raw wildlife in an enriched and breathtaking slice of NZ paradise, they are the people to talk to!  42 km/ 26.1 miles from Curio Bay to Papatowai..

36.2 km/ 22.5 miles later…

The Sutherlands put me in touch with a couple in Glenomaru which is a place no more than a couple of farms off the highway coming from the Catlins.  This farming couple, Bruce and Katherine Wilson, are parents of 3 children, grandparents of 7, who continue to run their family operated farm far into their latter years.  The Matuanui Farm, as it is known, has been passed down from generation to generation, from father to son for almost 120 years.  Their farm of cattle, sheep, and deer,  is the longest legacy in the district and it shall continue for Bruce and Katherine’s son, Nathan is progressively taking the reins.  They, of course, were fantastic people, who brought me in with no hesitation and sent me on my way the next morning with a full belly and content mind.  And the morning I left they let me feed there three sheep and calf…too cute haha 🙂

45.1 km/28 miles later…

My next stop was at Bruce’s cousin’s place in Milton.  David and Kay Drinnan are both retirees who live on 5 acres of mini farmland with 20 yews (female sheep, for those who don’t know…I didn’t until I asked David), one ram, and an itty bitty dog.  The Drinnan’s live a life of leisure in Milton which is a slightly larger town than all I had visited thus far, boasting a population of approximately 1000 people.  Dinner at the Drinnan’s was quite relaxing, having a hearty meal in front of their big screen TV watching Antique Roadshow (yes I know, ANTIQUE ROADSHOW) taking our guesses at the value of the goods and deciding if we would sell the antiques or hoard them.  Woke up to a sweet brekky (as Kiwis call it) of peaches and cereal and bounded off to my longest day of running…

58 km/36 miles later…

Arrived to Dunedin!  And my phone service cut out…  Luckily I still had the number I needed and I got a hold of Christine Quach, an Oxy student studying abroad at the University of Otago.  Her and her flatmates were great and allowed me to stay for two nights in their extra bedroom in the exchange student housing.  I took a day off in Dunedin, exploring the college city, and kicking back.  Huge thanks to Christine and her sweet flatmates and great luck in finals and the rest of your schooling!

That’s it for now…tell you more when I get some more time!  Peace!

Big Cat

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