Monday, December 27, 2010

Warrington, NZ: Coastal Views

The last stretch of coast before reaching the city of Dunedin was traveled under gray skies, which seem to appear all too predictably after a day of fine weather.  A slight detour was made to Shag Point -- named not after any of these definitions, except for the one of the bird of the cormorant family.

Gray skies and gray-blue water offer only little contrast to the rugged brown rocks of Shag Point

Fur seals at Shag Point -- once hunted almost to extinction in New Zealand, now fish at night and sleep during the day.

No shags spotted, but plenty of gulls.
Staying off the main highway sometimes has it price.  In exchange for next to no traffic, there are some significant hills with killer grades.  Two big ones on the way to Dunedin were labeled with signs as scenic cycle routes.  Scenic, yes, but a cycle route only because bicycles were not allowed on the new highway, the one with wide shoulders and an even pitch, that leads into the city.

Looking north from the heights of Seacliff to the arcs of the bays near Karitane.

Our first view of Otago Harbour and the Otagop Peninsula from the summit near Mt. Cargill.

Almost there -- pondering our final descent into the city.
And then there is Baldwin St. in the suburbs on the fringes of the city.  It is claimed to be the "World's Steepest Street".  John cycled to the base of it to get a close up view, and got some of the bystanders excited that he would make an ascent with fully loaded panniers.

I overheard one conversation between a tourist and a local that lived on the street.  Obviously he wanted to drive his rental car up the hill, but was a bit concerned it would make it.  He asked several times -- can he do it?  The local replied, sure, a car can make.  But just don't take one of those rental campervan.  Makes me think it has been attempted, yet not that would have been something to see.

Sightseers cheering John on in his aborted attempt on the World's Steepest Street

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