Journal #7  Red Rock Seals
    I'm still waiting for the stunt audition, but I'm not wasting any time.  I spend most mornings at the gym and afternoons exploring Wellington.  I've found so many things to spark my imagination.

     One of my favorites was the "Red Rocks Seal Tour."  Traveling several miles up the west coast, driving right along the beach, we traced the edge of the tall, rugged hills that swept down to almost touch the shore.  The hills looked like they had been painted purple, red, and gold teeming with an abundance of spring flowers.  The ocean was a crystal blue-green through which I could see the depths far from shore.

     Across the water, on the horizon, the snow capped peaks of the mountains on the South Island faded in and out of view.  They looked like another world magically emerging from the clouds.  I took deep breaths of the sea air, exhilarated at finally getting out of the city to someplace natural and wild.

     We drove across loose rocks and sand until we reached the outcrop of volcanic rock where the harbor seals were hanging out.  The seals were much bigger than I expected, at least three hundred pounds.  A few didn't care for our tresspass into their territory and rolled off the rocks to go for a swim, but most didn't seem concerned and continued sunning themselves.  I sat down twenty feet from one and watched his fluid movements and large eyes.  He must have thought me as funny as I thought him because he kept turning his head upside down and backwards to take a look at me.
    After leaving the seals the tour continued up into the hills above Wellington.  We stopped on a cliff high above restless ocean.  The tour guide pointed to a large rock face over the road.

     "A couple of months ago, large white patches appeared on that rock.  Then a few days later they were gone," he said mysteriously.

     I looked up at the rock as he continued.

     "I asked the farmer who owns this land about it.  He says the designers from Wingnut Studios had been out here taking casts of the rock for their sets on
Lord of the Rings."

     The rock face towered above me weather worn and jagged.  I wondered if any part of the huge stone room I had seen at the studio had come from this lonely cliff facing the sea.
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