Friday, November 29, 2013
A southern route was calling our names, and after driving out of the mountain range, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in Cromwell. The rest of our afternoon was fairly uneventful, especially driving through Balcutha and Gore, although we did enjoy a sign in Waihola that read “no doctor, no hospital, one cemetery.” We were happy to cruise on out of there. We eventually reached The Catlins in the late afternoon, and found ourselves at the Waipapa Lighthouse where the sea lions were basking on the beach.
Further down on a gravel road, we encountered a cow crossing. They literally took up the entire road, and there was no way around them. They just poked on their way moving like, well, a bunch of cows. Even though there were ranches on both sides of the road, this “speed bump” completely threw me off because there were no signs warning of any kind of cattle crossing. They also appeared to be marked, so it led us to only assume that we were witnessing some sort of Friday night happy hour. These party animals had clearly escaped. Unbeknownst to me, one of the neighbors was trying to herd them back into the gated pasture, and had directed them exactly towards us. You have no idea how terrifying it is to drive a car and have a couple dozen cows stampeding in your direction. I flipped Dee in reverse, and got out of the way as quickly as I could!
The wind was picking up and the weather was less than picture perfect, so we made a quick visit to Curio Bay, drove past Samson Hill which resembled something similar to a Lord of the Rings scene, and watched the sun set over a spectacular lookout next to the coast. The clouds turned a bubble gum pink with wisps of purple and sherbet blended together. It made for the most stunning drive to Nugget Point where we decided to stay overnight.