Mon 27 February 2017
- Km today: 24
- Total Km: 686
I am supposed to have an interview with an Otago Daily Times journalist today. Being one reason that I am in Dunedin. I haven’t heard from them so go down to the railway station for a wander and some breakfast at the excellent Ironic Cafe. Next I drop in on the team at Dunedin Railways, it’s a two cruise ship day so I don’t want to stay for long but it is great to see friends. Plus the Flemish renaissance style station must be admired whenever in Dunedin. I marvel at the Royal Doulton tiled ticket windows and the Milton tiled floor of the booking hall. It is amazing to think that 750,000 tiles could be made on the other side of the world to go onto a station floor in Dunedin. The station was obviously a statement piece for New Zealand Railways of the time. I need to bank the money made on the train yesterday so find where the local ASB Bank is and make a beeline towards it. ASB is a major sponsor of St John so I believe I can deposit the cash there. Um no, turns out they can’t, so I need to go to my bank to make the deposit then use my credit card to donate the funds into my Everyday Hero account. Taking cash is not easy, go figure.
I take the time afterwards to visit the St John station in Dunedin. It is an impressive Art Deco beauty. I do hope to meet Leeann, who is based here and following my blog, however it is not to be this time. I get a call from the ODT journalist and an interview is arranged for a little later at the hotel. John and I have the interview then I go out with the photographer to get a shot for the piece. That accomplished I am happy to get on my way. Dunedin Railways has a rail car going out to Waitati this afternoon so I arrange a ride. This gives me a headstart of a whole day for my walk north. The train staff onboard are equally keen on supporting my walk and St John so it is quickly decided that the passengers would be informed and could donate if they choose. Fortunately many are cruise ship passengers who are on their last day in New Zealand so are happy to drop their change into the donation bag. Another $85 is donated which is quite extraordinary. The passengers all clap as I disembark the rail car in Waitati – embarrassing however the donation to St John makes it worth it.
There is a domain in Warrington where I can camp or can continue walking to Karitane. I am just off the main road when I spot a couple putting hay bales onto a ute and trailer. It’s been a few years since I have done hay but in my time I would have lifted and stacked thousands of bales. So I hike up the hill, introduce myself and start heaving bales. Melanie and Tony seem happy for the help. It won’t end there though as the bales need to be stacked in their shed too. The coast line to Karitane is spectacular with wide views from the Otago peninsula around to Karitane taking in the sparkling ocean. The road undulates around the small rifts and valleys, following the railway line below. We arrive to have a cuppa before off loading the hay. I’m on stacking duty – this hay better not fall. I haven’t had a hay stack collapse so far so good. I’m rewarded in phenomenal kind for my small effort with dinner, a tour of Karitane and a place to stay for the night. Another remarkable day ends having exceeded any expectations I could have had this morning.