Local Heart, Global Soul

January 16, 2017

A Quiet New Year Started Off With A Meal…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago on the night of December 31st we were in New Zealand about to see in the New Year.

Unlike in The Netherlands, there are no fireworks (there is a nation wide fire ban due to it being summer and the risk of forest fires being high).

As teenager we used to sometimes save fireworks from the November Guy Fawkes celebrations and sneak off to an isolated beach to let them off out to sea on New Year.

I’m not even sure if that is even still possible because the Guy Fawkes celebrations were for a long time in risk of being phased out too.  (It’s one thing I haven’t kept up with, if they have or haven’t been).

Three years ago we don’t have too much planned, just a quiet celebration.

First however we feel like going out for dinner.  Racking our brains we come up with a favourite from a previous trip: Harringtons in Belfast, to the north of Christchurch. My camera of course is still suffering from it’s fall onto the grass in Wellington, so these photographs are far from ideal but per our previous trip’s visit, there are large helpings of delicious food and we end the year stuffed to the brim.

The first week of the New Year will be spent visiting various family and friends in Christchurch, and then we head back to Hanmer Springs again where our favourite little house has been booked so that we can enjoy a relaxed time away from the city and further travels until it is time to head back to the airport for our trip home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A Quiet New Year Started Off With A Meal…

January 15, 2017

With This Many Fault Lines, Anything And Everything Is Possible…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following my yesterday’s post, I am documenting the Canterbury coast between Kaikoura and Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island east coast because I want to record “before” photographs before our next trip.

These might have been taken three years ago (even though that trip feels like yesterday) but especially in light of the November 2016 severe earthquakes and aftershocks centered around Hanmer Springs and Seddon that have literally changed the face of the landscape, they are a record of how New Zealand is evolving.

I don’t yet know if I have gotten lucky and captured a dramatic change in the natural landscape, our next trip will not be for  a while and no one can know what the future holds as far a further earthquakes and land movement.

One thing that is for certain, is that with as many fault lines in nation as there are in New Zealand, anything and everything is possible.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 14, 2017

Will I Feel At Home With The New Landscape?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heading south on the northerns section of State Highway One, the main road that runs the length of  New Zealand, Family Kiwidutch are heading to Christchurch.

Usually I would skip some of these because they are somewhat similar to a few I have taken on earlier trips.

However, since this road is largely closed at present, and there are multiple landslips that have changed the nature of the landscape, I wanted to record the extra images that I have.

What I would like to do, is to see if it might be possible to find spots on my next trip to New Zealand (by which time State Highway One will be open again), take photographs of how it looks at that point, and compare them to these photographs from three years ago.

It’s also not to know if there will be more earthquakes in this region, bigger or smaller than the ones of 2016, and how this will continue to shape the New Zealand landscape.

Either way, the land here is not still, there is a process where the coast has dramatically risen in places, where the road and rail links may have to be transferred to the new land to avoid more landslips and unstable mountain sides. It will be very interesting to see if I feel as much at home with the new landscape as I did with the old one.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 13, 2017

This Loo Makes A Splash…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We stopped in the tiny settlement of Ward three years ago whilst on our New Zealand visit.

Of course regular readers will know that I have a category on my blog for unusual lavatories, so it will come as no surprise that this post is about a loo.

Of course once we had finished our lunch we needed to use the convinces, so I made my way with the kids to the end of the restaurant.

Just outside the entrance to the toilets there was a sign, featured below in my photographs.

No prizes for guessing that there were a few jokes about wiping the water off the seat before sitting down, and before I got to take my turn. Giggles ensued and we left the toilets will grins on our faces.

We loved the charm and sense of humour here, and when Kiwi Daughter and I went inside the ladies we found that the toilet seat was of the decorative variety, so I grabbed a photograph. No prizes for guessing that there were a few jokes about wiping the water off the seat before sitting down, and before I got to take my turn. Giggles ensued and we left the toilets will grins on our faces.
Ward is a lovely little place and we were pleased to have stopped here. Well fed and relieved, we head back to the car to make our way south bound on State Highway One.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 12, 2017

Photographs Do Not Do Justice To Ward…

Filed under: ART,Kaikoura & Region,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago, whilst heading south on State Highway One in the South Island of New Zealand, we stopped in the mega tiny town of Ward.

I’m not certain what the current state of the town is after the November 2016 earthquakes in the region that have closed the road closer to Kaikoura, but we loved our stop here.

The staff were super friendly, the food was very good, the ambience in general could be summed up as “homely”.

There was a mural on the wall of another building close by: it was only later that I realised that there was probably an explanation in the text next to it, sadly I didn’t get a photograph of it before I realised.

Ward is a beautiful little place, my over exposed photographs from my damaged camera doesn’t do the place justice by any stretch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 11, 2017

Having Issues With Over Exposure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have left the InterIslander ferry at Picton and are heading south.

About half an hour later we arrive in Blenheim, a small town that has grown exponentially after the area was found to be ideal for growing grapes some decades ago.

It is now the hub of a well established wine industry and more and more paddocks have seen transition from sheep farming to the cultivation of vineyards.

As I mentioned in a recent post, this road is partly closed at present due to the Kaikoura end of it suffering multiple large landslips in the November 2016 earthquakes, these photographs having been taken back in 2013.

I also mentioned that I had been unwell whilst in Wellington.

Before I realised that I was running a fever, we popped out to visit one of my cousins and I dropped my camera on the grass as I was getting out of the car.

Little did I know, I picked it up and it appeared to work fine so I didn’t think too much of it (just “Phew, Thank Goodness it’s working“) but it became apparent later that there was some stiffness in the lens when trying to zoom in and out.

Later, looking at the photographs I took, it appears that at some focal points something is going wrong with the aperture or lens.. or at least… something. I still wasn’t completely well so I didn’t see this until far later, but it’s why many of the photographs appear to have some issues with over exposure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 10, 2017

Dramatic And Photogenic Weather As We Put To Sea…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s time for Family Kiwidutch, back in 2013, to leave Wellington and head back to the South Island.

On our last morning the low cloud partially lifted and a few streaks of sunshine sneaked in. Coming over the hill from Wainuiomata towards Lower Hutt, we suddenly spy a rainbow, or at least the end of one.

It looks like the “pot of gold” should just be around the next corner further down the hill, unfortunately when we got around the corner the rainbow was gone, so no gold for us on this occasion.

We make our way from Lower Hutt to Wellington and branch off when we see signs for the Ferry Terminal area.

Waiting in the queue to drive the car on board, I photograph the rain falling on the far side of the harbour, the wheeling sea gulls a sign that there was still some rough weather further out in the harbour and out to sea.

It’s dramatic and photogenic weather so I click off some photographs before it is time to board. I know that I took a LOT more photographs even on this fairly short trip but somehow I have completely misplaced them, so you have the very short version. Later, once on board the InterIslander we passed the time looking at the sea and the changing scenery as we left Wellington Harbour behind, crossed the Cook Straight, entered the Marlborough Sounds and then docked at Picton.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 9, 2017

The Thing That Makes The Best Memories, Is The Love That We Share…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in 2013 Family Kiwidutch arrived in Wellington, New Zealand in stormy weather.

There had just been a cyclone in northern Australia, the tail end of which swept across the Tasman Sea and hit mostly the North Island of New Zealand.

A part hit the South Island’s West coast, the soaring Southern Alps stopped the rain clouds in their tracks, the precipitation was dumped on a coast that is well used to coping with large amounts of water.

The West coast of New Zealand is one of the wettest places on earth, with an average of twelve meters of rain per year. (My converter tells me that that is 39.4 feet for those readers in un-metricated parts of the world).

The east coast of New Zealand’s South Island thus enjoys a drier climate than the rest of the country, and as a kid, before global warming turned the world’s weather on it’s head, I enjoyed long hot dry summers, cold dry blue sky, winters and rain in spring and autumn.

These days the weather is rather pot luck in both the northern and southern hemisphere, with weird weather being the new norm. The storm we arrived in lashed the North Island all week, with the heaviest rain falling in the north and central areas of the North Island. Wellington did not escape so rain poured down the entire four days we were there.

We drove out to see the Christmas lights that people had put on their houses, sadly all but one of my photographs were a fuzzy disaster. We visited one of my cousins and Himself and the kids made a trip to the local swimming pool, on the first day I came down with a heavy cold and spent most of our stay in bed, but we still enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day with some excellent friends.

The husband in the family is battling late stage cancer at the moment so we hope to return to New Zealand before his time runs out. It was a very special Christmas that no matter what happens in the future, we will remember for much joy, laughter, good food, excellent hospitality and loads of love. It goes to prove that it is not the weather or things that make the best memories, it is the time spent with people that matter and the love we share.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 8, 2017

Back Then This Road Was Open, Today They Are Working On It…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch have left Kaikoura behind and are heading towards Blenheim and then Picton, so that we can catch the InterIsland Ferry.

These photographs were of course taken three years ago, but in recent months a series of exceptionally large earthquakes have shaken Kaikoura, most of them having their epicenter in this northeastern area of the South Island.

New Zealand is of course no stranger to earthquakes, but have experienced many more than average since the large quakes that have rocked Christchurch since 2010.

This area is lucky in that it is sparsely populated, a magnitude 7.8 followed by the many aftershocks above 5.0  in a densely populated area anywhere in the world would be certain to cost lives.

Livestock were lost to the quake due to landslides and to that fact that in a few places the ground quickly opened up and then closed again (a terrifying thought but a mercifully quick death). This area is still somewhat isolated because of landslips on State Highway One on the northern side of Kaikoura, the slips to the south having been fewer in size and number and having been cleared in recent weeks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The northern slips are predicted to take at least two months, so all traffic between Wellington and Christchurch is currently having to take the only other road north, the “inland route” , a journey that now takes at least seven hours.

Fortunately back in 2013 we didn’t need to take the Inland route and between three and four hours later were in Picton where the ferry awaited.

The crossing to Wellington was stormy and rough so we kept near the upper decks, I kept far, far away from food and we all got through the crossing intact.

There was a magician on board (for the Christmas school holidays) and he kept a lot of the kids distracted from the rolling of the ship with jokes, magic and balloon animals and shapes, Kiwi Daughter likes monkeys so was delighted that the man was able to fashion a monkey in a tree, Little Mr requested a bike, both kids were satisfied customers.

I’ve been in a far worse crossing in my youth and survived that (the chairs weren’t bolted to the floor in those days and with very roll the unoccupied chairs would start skidding towards the low side. When the opposite roll came they would repeat their movement in the opposite direction, as soon as I got in to Wellington that trip I found out that the ferry sailing in the opposite direction had been cancelled because it was deemed too rough to get through).

Luckily this storm was nothing on that one, but that said it was a very different experience to some of our other near-millpond  crossings. We peered out of the porthole at the InterIslander’s sister ferry going past us near the Wellington Heads… they heading into the worst of Cook Straight weather and us about to shelter from it. Wellington harbour was a welcome sight, even more so for Kiwi Daughter and I, as anyone who has ever suffered from sea sickness can attest to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch) (Salt flats)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

January 7, 2017

Have The Local Residents Gotten Used To The Upheaval?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago in the first week of the New Year,  Family Kiwidutch were visiting New Zealand.

Having spent some time with Family in Christchurch and then relaxing in Hanmer Springs, we now head up State Highway One to Wellington.

Having passed through Kaikoura, we are now back at one of our favourite spots: the seal colony close to Ohau Point.

In life you feel like your natural surroundings will always stay the same, mountains, rivers and beaches are constants, it is the people that come and go.

Our human life-soans are just specks of time when compared with the things that make up the geology of the earth, Mother Nature has millions of years on us.

Recent months have changed that view however: in my lifetime the physical nature of the Kaikoura coastline has undergone a massive upheaval, and even stranger, the process took roughly two minutes. That is because a huge 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake lifted a section of the coast line here clean out of the sea. The amount of uplift varies between half a meter up to just over two meters, and one 0f the biggest areas affected was the area around this seal colony. It might be a while before we are back here, so I will update photographs when I can, but the sight of seals basking on the rocks with their your pups will look somewhat different to the photos I took back in 2013. Who knows if the local residents have gotten used to the upheaval?… and what they now think of the new landscape around them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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