My road trip a couple of weeks back was to capture some stunning dawn shots of rivers and mountains. This time, following my son’s instructions, I drove right up the Rakaia Valley as far as Glenfalloch Station. I got there well before dawn, walked around a bit until I saw some signs of life and introduced myself to the very friendly landowner. Unfortunately this was the visibility up there that morning, at least for the hour or so that I waited:
Several months ago I bought a raffle ticket. It was quite expensive as raffle tickets go, $5, but I was hooked by the great idea behind it. It was called “Cow Pat Bingo” and the result would be decided on 19 September at the Auckland Point School Gala Day. I noted the date in my diary and eventually the day came around. I had quite a wait before the “draw”, but there was some really neat face painting to watch:
I spent a few days in Canterbury last week, deliberately staying well clear of the state of emergency in Christchurch following their big earthquake. A hitchhiker from Israel I picked up on the trip down could not believe that the earthquake was the same magnitude as that in Haiti. The very small number of casualties here shows the difference made by good infrastructure. I’m sure the fact that the engineers at Canterbury University are world leaders in earthquake engineering also helped a lot.
I drove from Nelson to Methven and apart from a detour around Coalgate/Glentunnel had a fairly uneventful trip. The church at Hororata showed some damage, but apart from that there was little evidence of the quake. I drove past the church a few days later and was amused to see the effective security in place. The locals had simply run up a deer fence round the church.
Some of the roads travelled in search of good landscape images can be fairly rough, occasionally disappearing altogether. This is a typical country road which runs between the Rakaia River and Lake Coleridge, heading towards Algidus Station (a famous high-country station, the focus of a well-known book “A river rules my life” by Mona Anderson).
The massive earthquake of last weekend in Christchurch is still very much in our minds right now. Here are some images from the area still cordoned off, taken at a happier time. The Christchurch Arts Centre in fact used to be the home of Canterbury University. When my wife and I attended that university the campus was split over the two sites. She had most of her lectures in these buildings, while I had Chemistry II lectures here and the rest out at Ilam (its present location). The “town site” is a lovely spot:
A highlight of our trip to Kaikoura last weekend was the fur seals. There are hundreds of them, all down the Kaikoura Coast, but one spot in particular had hit the news the week before. A small stream at Ohau Point has provided a safe refuge and playground for the last five or six years for groups of fur seal pups. The 10 minute walk up the gully takes you to a small waterfall cascading into a pond. The pond contained more than 30 baby fur seals, looking very cute and having a great time.