24. Dunedin: St Clair

Monday, March 6: A little rain overnight and mostly overcast during the day with a touch of drizzle

Swimming: 1600 m


After yesterday’s early waking and long journey I decided to sleep for as long as I could which was until just after 9:00. Very simple breakfast of OJ, coffee and two slices of toast with vegemite were sufficient to get me on my way.

First project of the day was to find the cobbler in George St. Mike had said that he was opposite the church, which is quite some way down and was really only a typical shoe repair/key cutting place. I was not particularly hopeful, since I needed the repair by tomorrow evening but to my surprise he suggested rivetting a D-ring over the torn eyelet for $15 and would have it ready by about 4:00. Paid my dues and then was on my way back via the supermarket to Mike’s.

The supermarket had coffee on special offer with their club card so I would have to try something else to get this card. However, in the meantime a bottle of lemonade (passion fruit) could be bought as I might need that for rehydrating after swimming. Back at Mike’s I made two rounds of ham sandwiches for an early lunch, then headed off in the #8 bus to St Clair where we arrived about half an hour later. On trying to pay at the pool (one adult entry ticket: $6.5), the woman attending was obviously caught up in a phone conversation and asked me to to pay as I left, so it was into the changing room and then off into the pool. St Clair Hot Saltwater Pool is outdoors & very open to the elements, but heated nonetheless. Surf could be heard crashing on the beach and the water was certainly salty. All in all a somewhat different “rainy day” activity. I was getting my 200 m done in as little as 6’45”, which could be due to weight loss, buoyancy in salt water, or both. After just one hour of this I had completed my rounds (with about 100 m of freestyle thrown in), showered, paid, and went to the bus stop to await the #9 to take me back (bus fares were two single adult trips @ $3.4 a piece). Strange way of numbering the lines! In addition to that it appears that the #7, which I could have taken yesterday, operates only in the evenings on weekdays and at weekends. With no summary map this movement is very difficult to follow.

I had discovered a message from Sara, that she & Peter were stuck at Dunedin airport yesterday from 12:45 for two hours, but it had only been sent at 7:30 last night which precluded me seeing it before I got onto the bus. What a pity, because my bus was there just a few minutes before and I could have spent the two hours with them moderately fruitfully and used their transport into town for the final stage.

Back here it was about time to go & collect the boot. This time I went down the southbound SH1 to Albany St to see if I could identify the students’ clubs & societies building I would be speaking at tomorrow. That was found without a problem, then I set to work having recognised a New World supermarket in town, of getting this damned club card.

Went up to the service counter and stated that I only really wanted the temporary card, the permanent one was not of any interest. Was told that a temporary card would only be issued if an application for a permanent one had been made unless – and, of course, this is nowhere in any print size, large or small – unless I was a tourist. Which I affirmed, much to the surprise of the young woman dealing with my inquiry. That having been clarified, there were no further questions, and I was handed a brochure with the punch out “Tourist Clubcard,” and was told that it would eventually expire and that in that case I should ask for a new one.

So to sum up, there are two supermarket discount cards which will come in handy:

  • Countdown: Onecard, plastic card which can be registered online for further bonus points and fuel discounts
  • New World: Tourist Club Deals Card, paper card, alternative to the regular plastic card which has to be applied for with a New Zealand address & telephone number for further bonuses

Took a while, but there you go.

Picked up the boot which now laces up perfectly well and was given the advice of buying only boots with D-rings on all eyelets, the material eyelets were a sign that the boots were not made for serious tramping. Again, you live & learn.

Had been unable to find the hamburger joint on George St from 2013 (very likely closed down) but there was a roast place that started serving @ 5:00, which I thought it was past, but apparently not so. I was aiming for a takeaway a little up North Rd that had fried rice for under $10 in the hope of eating it in the shop; but on the way I passed Mei Wah, 660 Great King St, which had BBQ pork fried rice for $9.9, eat in shop and I jumped for that despite the early hour (way too much, but becoming more like ⅔ rice, ¼ onion & carrot, 1/12 meat). Called by the local New World for a six pack of Harrington’s Rogue Hop and a packet of coffee, both of which were clubcard specials and which netted a discount of $5.5.

Back here was busy writing the diary and considering a couple of preparations for tomorrow and the Nelson weeks.