|View from room at hostel|
The pilot on the Doubtful Sound boat trip advised, "If you end up in Invercargill, you've got to have dinner at the Duo Restaurant on Kelvin Street...... Let me back up. We got to Invercargill at 2 minutes to 5:00pm and arrived at the tourist office minutes before it closed for the day. Since Invercargill is a town of 50,000, we figured here's one night when we don't have to reserve a hotel room.... right? There was an agriculture convention in the town that week. One room in the whole town was available - in a backpacker hostel hotel in a seedy part of town. So, we swallowed our pride, parked the car in a tiny car park behind the hotel, crossed our fingers, locked it up and went to the room, which really was OK - clean and with a private bathroom. Then we remembered John's (boat pilot) recommendation. The Duo Restaurant was not more than a 5-minute walk from the hotel. And of course, they were booked. But the waitress who greeted us decided we looked "nice" and offered us the staff table in the back, next to the rest rooms, fire extinguisher and the kitchen. We said "Sure!" The chef, wandering around in the back, took one look at us and groused that he had to clean up his language, but he provided a superb meal, probably the best on the whole trip. We had an excellent bottle of wine and two awesome seafood entrees - salmon and blue cod. A memorable evening.