sir david attenboro has nuthin’ on us

so later that same day (after the bungy jump) we headed out to the otago peninsula and made our way to the beach, in a bid to see the rarest penguins in the world, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguins, of which there are about 3000.

but first (and it neglected to mention this in the guidebook) we had to pass through an obstacle course of (also rare, but far less cuddly) sea lions, which were scattered over the sand laying in the sun like slugs. giant, powerful, dangerous slugs, that is. aiming to give them a wide berth (and avoid a small group having a vociferous spat), we climbed through the maze of high sand dunes, only to stumble upon more of them sleeping in the tall grasses. not an animal you want to accidentally surprise.

we finally made the (very long and circuitous) route to the penguin blind, hid ourselves in the little shelter, and waited patiently (or in my case, not so patiently) for them to make their arrival.

and as the sun began to set, in they came – surfing in on the waves like fat sleek bullets in the shadows, then waddling wetly and ungainly over the large rocks, and finally (and most comedically) bunny-hopping their way up the steep cliffs to the nests high above. a spectacle of nature unmatched anywhere, guaranteed.

have i mentioned recently just how lucky i am?

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