March 21, 2011

The Catlins

My first trip to The Catlins - with James in 2004.

This weekend we (James, Nick, Kelly and myself) headed down to The Catlins.  It was Nick's idea, as the surf at Purakanui Bay was supposed to be perfect.  I don't surf -- but any reason is a good one to head down to The Catlins.
Nick and Kelly's tent at our camp site.
Kelly walking at Purakanui Bay.

The Catlins is the name of a region south of Dunedin. Hills covered in dense temperate rainforest roll right down to the edge of stunning, seemingly untouched beaches. Until very recently, the only main road through the region was gravel. Most of the smaller roads are still narrow and gravel, undulating and curving with the landscape. Travel along these roads, from a scenic waterfall, to ocean side caves, to an inland walk, is slow.  And gorgeous.

March 13, 2011

A Busy Few Weeks and a Nice Summer Sunday

It's been quite a busy few weeks since I last wrote.  Here's a few things that have gone on:

  • James and I had our 5 year anniversary!  Unfortunately we also had a doozy of a cold. We have yet to celebrate.
  • I had my "6 month review" and I am now *officially* a PhD candidate at Otago. After a TON of work, the review was very anti-climatic.
  • An article I wrote about older immigrants in NZ was accepted for publication in "Ageing and Society", a journal read only by academics interested in ageing, but hey, that's somebody!
  • I finally vacuumed the house.
  • Spurred on by Air New Zealand's announcement of an upcoming additional fuel-surcharge, I bought tickets to America for November 2011!  I'll be over there for a month! 
  • Thanks to a friend who is a physio, I have a new workout regime to help with some pain and headaches I've had since my bike crash. Thanks, Dan!
  • James took a couple of days and climbed Mitre Peak in Fjordland.  Conveniently, this trip took place right when I entered the insane "do not disturb me" mode leading up to the aforementioned 6 month review. 
  • I started teaching at university level for the first time ever - running 200 level anthropology seminars.
  • I got a hair cut.
After some weeks of ridiculous busy-ness and some anxiety, it was nice to spend this weekend relaxing in Dunedin.  We celebrated our friend Nick's birthday on Saturday night. On Sunday, we made the most of a sunny, warm day by hiking up the local Mr. Cargill with some friends. After not having much of a summer in the way of weather, this was a much appreciated, gorgeous day.

Relaxing in the sun on the summit of Dunedin's Mt. Cargill.