Misty Dawn – Catlins
Another morning, another dawn. We moved to the Catlins Coast in Southland after riding the Otago Central Rail Trail for a different South Island experience. Our accommodation was at Hilltop Backpackers at Papatowai, a one store settlement between Dunedin and Invercargill near the rugged Catlins coast. Backpackers accommodation is not our usual style, but places to stay are in relatively short supply in that part of the world and Hilltop had good reviews on the web. Being sixty something and not really wanting bunkroom style accommodation, we took the en suite double room which turned out to be a nicely furnished quaint period room in the old house overlooking the valley leading to the sea.
Fellow travellers on that first night were from Hong Kong, Germany and New Zealand. A retired school teacher and hotel concierge from Hong Kong, a PhD student from Germany, an office administrator from Auckland, and us – all fetched up on a hillside in the middle of remote Southland.
We had arrived at twilight. Being concerned that we had turned up at the right place we weren’t fully aware of the surroundings. Sheep were wandering around nearby – one even surprised me in the dark as I unloaded the car by appearing out of the gloom to observe what was going on.
In the morning there was rustling outside our room which turned out to be one of our Hong Kong travellers photographing the mist and the sunrise. It didn’t take much to get me out there as well, and this is the result. What a great welcome to the Catlins Coast.