Our next call was Port Chalmers, the port for Dunedin. It was a fine day; the weather wasn’t as cold here. There was no wind and the water was mirror smooth. Shore leave until three pm was posted so I galloped off the ship straight after breakfast. At the wharf gate a helpful guard gave me a timetable for the bus to Dunedin.
Port Chalmers is the last stop for those heading down to bases in Antarctica and the nautical museum on the wharf edge had photos and memorabilia from there as well as anything to do with the sea. I saw a large photo of Joseph Conrad and asked if he had been here. But his only connection with this place is that his ship was called the Port Chalmers!
I checked out the cosy and well-equipped Seafarer’s Centre adjacent to the wharf gate, then sat down to wait for the bus. This day, Saturday, must be the dog’s day out in Port Chalmers lots of owners went by with pooches on leads. Everyone said hello.
Traveling in Burma Photo Gallery
The bus driver was amazingly friendly. At first I was the only passenger. He had left the bus when he arrived at the port and wandered away to buy a pie. Then, after we took off, he stopped a little further on and sat in the back seat to eat it. We continued on. He waved to everyone he passed, greeting some of them and most of the passengers who got on by name. He was never in a hurry to take off, waiting until everyone was settled. He seemed to be the local information service as well. No question was fobbed off no matter how long it took to answer.
We rode up and down incredibly scenic picture postcard hills with trees and little wooden houses clinging to their slopes beside fiord-like inlets. But where were the famous NZ sheep? I saw none.
Dunedin was a lot of shops, an impressive church and a street the inhabitants claim to be the world’s steepest. I gave that a miss, but strolled about the others.