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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

23rd Sept – Wuthering Heights

From Balcutha – famous for its concrete bridge and very little else ( and no picturesque in into Dunedin as it was foggy until we got there. )

The first challenge of the day was to walk up Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world as certified by the Guinness Book of Records. At some points its gradient is 1:2.86, and to do it you have to walk leaning forward. I avoided using the steps – more of a challenge and got to the top easier than I thought.

The next challenge was to drive along the Otago Peninsula – with my blonde driving (and in a Transit) the 30 km along the coast, with the other side steep hills. No crash barriers or fence and a drop into the Bay. If I got it wrong by 3 feet we’d be paddling.

WE stopped off partway round at Larnach castle, a Victorian folly. The mist was still swirling around the top, which made it feel eerily like a Hammer Horror film set.

Reading the history of the place, the owner had 3 wives and outlived the lot. One died suddenly overnight at 38, another from blood poisoning – you’d have thought the third one would have known better – perhaps she had a death wish. (two children also died – I’m sure it was all perfectly innocent, but scary.

With the opportunity to see an Albatross on land, we drove further round the coast, but with a 45 dollar admission and no guarantee of it producing the goods, we watched the Shags on the coastline. (Cue for a Frankie Howard ‘Oooh No Missus’)

In the evening we went to Pirates Rugby Club, (est 1882) to watch the inevitable one sided USA v Australia game. Great club – it had its own giant screen and indoor stands to watch the game. The club’s décor was like a deck, with its own steering wheel, bell and poop deck. Most people there were cheering the underdog – the Kiwis could never support Oz, and the Yanks in the bar were shocked by the support – used to moans about Vietnam, Iraq, Bush, etc.

Kate Bush – Larnach Castle was a house at the top of a Moor, surrounded by swirling fog – I expected Heathcliff to appear.

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