Thursday, April 22, 2010


Now, with a distance of some four weeks, I believe it is time to share with you dear readers that I had a little, very short, emotional affair during our trip to New Zealand. I fell in love, suddenly and completely while on my honeymoon.

I didn’t mean it to happen. We went peacefully and without any idea of what laid before us on the Otago Peninisula. The peninsula is just outside of buzzing Dunedin but feels a hundred miles away. Somehow it feels empty with all of the rolling hills covered with farm land and countless sheep, even with the countless little homes and vacation lodges dotted along the roads.

First we stopped over at the only castle in New Zealand, the Larnach Castle.
The weather was dramatic, lending an amazing view from the castle towers.

And led to some silliness

We then drove further towards the Penguin Place for a penguin tour. The Penguin Place is a privately organized and run nature reserve for the yellow-eyed penguin, the only solitary penguins in the world. They evolved without any natural predators and when the Europeans brought over dogs, cats, shoats, etc. suddenly the little penguins were breakfast for too many of them. And then as the Europeans cleared away the natural bush that the penguins had lived beneath they suddenly found themselves quite homeless as well. Now, generations later, the penguins are protected but it is still difficult for them to live in peace. Thankfully the Penguin Place was founded and dedicated to helping these little guys out.

These days the reserve is financed through tours given through a series of half-underground and heavily protected chamaflouged trenches. The penguins are very sensitive, so while humans are brought close to their homes, they are also carefully hidden and quite very quiet. At first we saw a few penguins resting in their nests.

And then we saw a solitary penguin approaching, slowly waddling towards us on the way to his nest.

And he got a little closer and BAM! I felt myself drifting towards that emotional itching called ‘falling in love’. Who wouldn’t fall in love with this face? Really. And the waddle! A heart must be very hard not to melt.

The tour guide impressed greatly upon our entire group – but somehow looking a little too knowingly into my direction – that penguins cannot be tamed and they certainly aren’t interested in getting to know humans. I was crushed.

Thankfully the Mr. was not only forgiving but also a great sport about it.


1 comment:

Erica Lynn said...

3rd pic down is my fav, i totally need a copy.

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