Sea Lions and Rainy Runs – New Haven, New Zealand

Richard picked me up and we were off to the Catlins for the Easter weekend. We drove through towns called Clinton and Gore on the five hour drive. The stretch of highway in between was called – what else – the Presidential Highway. The weather got progressively more stormy the more south we went.

We finally arrived in New Haven, a small sea side community in the southeast corner of the south island of New Zealand. Although the weather was windy and spitting rain, we couldn`t resist taking a jog down the beach before supper. The soft wet sand sucked in my feet creating inch deep indentations marking my trail.

We encountered a large black lump of sea lion the side of a couch lounging on the beach. We studied him from a few meters away and I was amazed at how much he resembled a beached whale. I found it difficult to imagine him dangerous despite all of the warning signs to stay at a safe distance. He casually flicked up his sleek black flipper giving us a wave as we continued down the beach. We spotted several more of the curious creatures as we jogged down the sandy trail.

The view was stunning with the active sea throwing the frothy surf onto the shore. By the time we began to head back, I was feeling quite refreshed although darkness had befallen us making it almost impossible to distinguish the sea lions from the driftwood.

We ate cheesy nachos and I taught Richard how to play Yahtzee before we called it an early night. The hostel was full so we had to sleep out in the caravan which was more cozy than I thought it would be. I drifted off to the howling wind and the sound of raindrops pelting the window beside me.

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