Jul. 24th, 2008 09:24 pm
eregyrn: (Default)
I know that we here in the NE are feeling a little hinky about the weather recently. Leave it to my friend Stephen in NZ to top that.

"Waves of up to 10 metres batter Interislander ferry Kaitaki as it leaves Wellington Harbour yesterday."

See, just about a year ago (give or take a few days), I was on that ferry. That very one. That is one of the BIG ones. Those are like 5 foot tall windows, okay? And yet, the ferry is sailing.

I am sorry, but, NO. (The article does say they cancelled "some sailings". Perhaps for the smaller ferries. Yeeg.)
eregyrn: (Default)

Sad coda, for those of you who stuck with me through to the end of many postings of pics from my New Zealand trip. In the final part, I posted pics of Tam and Stephen's cats, some of whom I already knew and some who I got to know there. Jake is one of the new additions, a cat from the next valley over who showed up one day and decided that he liked it at their place, despite attempts to take him back to his erstwhile owner.


I probably should have posted that link before! That's the blog they've been keeping since moving to NZ, filled with many wonderful pics and posts about life in NZ.

A few days ago, Jake turned up very badly hurt -- what turned out to be a lacerated and broken foreleg. After a lot of examination, the best guess at the moment is that he'd been shot (although they're waiting on some final evidence of that before going to all the neighbors thereabouts to see if any facts can actually be discovered). As you can see from the pics, Jake is kind of rabbit-colored, and rabbits, like possums, are destructive vermin in NZ, and shooting them isn't uncommon in farming country. So it might have been an honest mistake, though not really that excusable not to make very sure of what you're shooting before you shoot it. Or... it might not have been. They might get someone to fess up to it. Might not, considering the vet bills.

The good news is that Jake isn't dead. But by this point, he's now 3-legged. The joint was too badly destroyed to make saving it practical, or even possible.

:( I feel so badly for Jake, who was and is such an intrepid, tough little kitty, and yet such a cuddle-muffin too. I feel really badly for Stephen and Tam, getting socked with this, as well. Cats usually adapt very well to 3-legged-ness. I'm betting that Jake becomes an intrepid outdoor kitty again. Definitely a reminder that farm life has its dangers, though.
eregyrn: (Default)
Well, this should be the last chapter of this! As always, click on my "travel" tag or look at the list at right for previous parts...

Getting up early in Amberley, with a relatively short drive to get to Kaikoura in time for a 12:45pm whale-watch trip, we decided to take the scenic inland route northwards (more views of mountains than the coastal route). We stopped briefly in the town of Waiau, next to the river of the same name, which is where I took this shot illustrating the wide, flat, stony nature of NZ riverbeds (what you're looking at there is only half of the river's width, too), with the Puketeraki Range in the background.

The rest under the cut... )

Well, thanks for sticking with me through all of this! Hope you've enjoyed it all! And hey, if you ever want to go to New Zealand (which I highly recommend, obviously), I know this farm that you can probably stay on...
eregyrn: (Default)
Okay, back to this! (Previous parts avail. under the travel tag, etc.)

There's a picture-postcard view, huh? That was Lake Te Anau the next morning, looking north towards the mountains beyond which lies Milford Sound. Had we in fact gambled and just waited out the day before, it looks like we would have had perfect weather that Sunday for doing either Milford or Doubtful. But there was no way to know that at the time. And actually no way to know whether the road was indeed open, even if the morning looked fine. (And of course no way to know whether we would have made it to the sounds but found it raining *there*.)

More behind the cut! )

So, the next part will very likely be the last! Some pretty snow, and sperm-whales, and a few odds and ends from the trip.
eregyrn: (Default)
(As usual, hit my "travel" tag or see the list of recent posts at right for earlier parts.)

Hmm, where was I? Oh yes, finishing going to look at the face of Fox Glacier (in the rain), running back into town to change into dry clothes, and then hopping back into the car for a sprint south and over the Haast Pass.

More behind the cut. )

Next: Dunedin, albatross, more alpacas, guanaco, bizarre rocks, and more!
eregyrn: (Default)

After a day off for laundry and so on, it was time for Tam and Stephen and I to load up the car and catch the early ferry across to the South Island, for a 9-day circumnavigation. Above, a shot of the inland Marlborough Sounds, on the drive from Picton (where the ferry lands) west towards Havelock and Nelson.

More behind the cut... )

Next time: over the Haast Pass! Queenstown, Te Anau, Doubtful Sound and a Million Waterfalls!
eregyrn: (Default)
(As usual, if you want to see earlier parts, click on my "travel" tag...)

So then, me and Tam and Stephen and Emily piled into a car, and drove north to Rotorua, which is a famous resort with a ton of hot-springs, on account of it being located on a line of active volcanoes. We passed these two really big volcanoes located right smack in the center of the North Island, Ruapehu and Tongariro, but their peaks were covered by cloud. It was kind of neat driving across the Rangipo Desert, though. The line of geothermal activity extends north from those volcanoes, through Lake Taupo (which itself is the remnant of a gigantic crater), up through Rotorua, and onward to White Island off the coast, another active volcano.

On our way in, we stopped at Wai-O-Tapu, "Thermal Wonderland!", about a half hour south of Rotorua.

More pics behind the cut! )

Next time: the South Island, at last! You think NZ has looked pretty so far? You ain't seen nothin' yet...
eregyrn: (Default)
(Earlier entries of NZ pics can be found by clicking my "travel" tag.)

What the HECK is that, you say? Well, you'll just have to go behind the cut to find out! )

Next time: Rotorua, thermal hotsprings, and the Art Deco delights of Napier!
eregyrn: (Default)
So, it's taken me a really long time to wrangle my NZ pics into order so that I could think about making selections to show to people. (Because I had a digital camera and therefore took almost 1,000 pictures, and no way you're sitting still for THAT!) I'm never going to get this done if I don't start the write-up, though. I figure I'd better break it into parts and do what I can when I can.

(Click on pics at any time to see a larger version, and then click again to see the full-size version, for details.)

Wellington is a really pretty city. It's also an extremely vertical city. My first reaction to it (albeit a jetlagged, bleary one) was the natural reaction of someone who has lived all her life in the Northeast -- "my god, how can you have driveways like that? what do you do when it... oh. It never snows here. Nevermind." Still, I don't care how relatively clement your winters are, the idea of living in a house that is ONLY reachable from the street by going up or down 80 windy stairs, and/or by personal funicular, is kind of scary to me. No matter how admittedly spectacular the view. The whole funicular thing sounds cool for a moment, but then you think about it breaking down and how you'd reach your spectacularly perched house *then*.

Anyway, above is downtown Wellington (really, that's it), taken from Mt. Victoria, which is a park perched on a nearby hilltop. It's also notable for the fact (geek alert) that all those treetops you see immediately downslope have all these walking/jogging trails through them, and that's where the "get off the road!" scene in "Fellowship of the Ring" was filmed. Yes, in the middle of the city, basically. Five minutes away from the Weta studios in Miramar (which are directly behind the viewer). Stephen had driven me up there (on my second day) partly to see the view and partly to take me to that location.

The rest of this batch of pics under the cut. )

So, that was the first few days of NZ! I think I'll stop here for the moment, since that's a lot of pics already. Next time: alpacas! Te Papa! A lizard! Birds, always more birds.


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