11 January 2010

Soggy South Island

Dear Coco
We have now completed our tour of New Zealand’s beautiful (I think, we didn’t see much of it in the rain!) South Island. There are many things that would have interested you and Dougal – like this sculpture of a lonely sheepdog on the edge of a glacial lake at Tekapo where the water is too heavy with sediment to swim or boat on. There are lots of sheep here, and lots of sheepdogs too.
At our accommodation in Twizel near Mount Cook, this cat tried to escape the chilly weather here and come back to South Africa with us…. In New Zealand they have this terrible water monster called a Taniwha (pronounced Tanniefah). Here is an old Maori rock painting of it in the middle of the bundu (or the wopwops as they say in Kiwi language). We were rather afraid we might run into one as there is lots and lots of water here - beautiful big lakes, swamps and bogs, hundreds of rivers and streams and the sea is never far away ...but we only saw these seals at the Otago Peninsula along with lots of sea gulls, albatrosses, sea lions (!) and penguins...and these dolphins that came and swam with our boat in Milford Sound - luckily no taniwhas.
We are now on North Island again, and tomorrow I will write again. Hope all is well, and that you are not barking too much and annoying the neighbours.
lots of love from the food lady and the alpha male xx

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