Local Heart, Global Soul

January 20, 2017

Mount Isobel Takes The Final Call…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

One of the things that I miss most after my accident is being able to just go for a nice walk.

Three years ago I also missed out on a decent walk, but one a little more taxing than I have ever made in The Netherlands.

Family Kiwidutch were on holiday in New Zealand, staying in the alpine village of Hanmer Springs, and the walk was in the top of Mount Isabel.

A long time friend of mine from Christchurch was visiting with her husband and daughter, she stayed with me and Little Mr, whilst her husband and daughter joined Himself and Kiwi Daughter getting some serious exercise.

The photographs were taken mostly by my friends husband and daughter, a few were taken by Kiwi Daughter and I think, none ended up being taken by rather cameraphobe Himself.

I mentioned earlier that I am missing a lot of the photographs that I took on this trip, of course I will add them at a later date if I find them.

In the meantime these are the last of my photographs from this trip so it’s probably easier to let the pictures talk for themselves…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

In the following photograph, Conical Hill is the one near the centre (almost covered in dark trees) it’s the walk that has become infamous in the Kiwidutch family (story yesterday) and is a very popular walk from the Hanmer village behind it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

A rather fuzzier close-up of Conical Hill…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mountain stream, water was apparently very, very cold…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mount Isobel as seen from below…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Very windy at the summit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Kiwi Daughter (blue jacket) and my friend daughter (red jacket) images edited for family privacy (they know who they are after all!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Rocky decent…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

The long grassy stuff that they are walking though is called “tussock”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Considering that Kiwi Daughter grows up in The Netherlands which is as flat as a pan-cake, this hill is an accomplishment to be proud of!

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Conical Hill with the dark trees in the centre of the photograph, Hanmer Springs behind that, and on the other side of the hills in the far background, the road back to Christchurch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

January 19, 2017

It’s Only A Lazy Day For Some…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Himself)

We always have days on our holidays when both of our kids feel like having a “lazy day”.

That’s where getting out of pajamas is optional, so is doing anything in particular, food requested is of the take-a-way, or finger food variety, even getting out of bed is optional until after lunch sometimes.

It’s a nice break from sightseeing, visits to friends and family and days full of activity or travelling.

We had such a day three years ago when Family Kiwidutch were on holiday in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand.

The kids just wanted to mooch around the house and garden, reading comics and playing with the hose in the warm weather.

Himself however had itchy feet, he was in the mood to go for a drive and do some local sightseeing.

Therefore I stayed behind to look after the kids and he took the car up the Molesworth Road for a little bit of a look around.

The Molesworth Road is largely a private road, running through New Zealand’s largest sheep station in the north of the South Island. It is open only in the summer months because much of it is unsealed and even then is recommended for only four-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles. It’s also an inland “short-cut” from Hanmer Springs back out to State Highway One, coming out close to Blenheim but it’s not really a short cut in reality because the road is winds through valleys, and is really rough in places.

It’s certainly not a road where any speed can be used, so it’s a short cut pretty much in name only.It’s not allowed to Freedom camp (camp where you please) so there are designated camping spots along the route. One of these is the site of the old Acheron Homestead: it’s not possible to stay in the homestead itself, it’s a Historical building, but there is a camping ground and cabin there that is available for campers to use. Himself drove up to this first hut and once there, went for a walk along the track that runs up the hill behind it. It was just a twenty minute walk, but having savoured the views and gotten some fresh air, he made his way back to us in Hanmer Springs.

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

Campsite…

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

The original homestead, a historic building…

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

(photograph © Himself)

January 17, 2017

Just In Case Things Go Down Hill…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Hamner Springs & Region,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

Three years ago we spent Christmas and the early New Year in New Zealand.

It was a fairly short trip with just over half of the time spent visiting friends and family and the rest of the time spent in our favourite little bolt hole in Hanmer Springs.

Located roughly an hour and a half’s drive from Christchurch, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, Hanmer Springs is famous for it’s natural hot springs in the foot hills of the Southern Alps.

A series of mountain ranges get steadily higher behind the town, but oddly enough one of the most famous walks is to a low hill, set directly at the end of the village, called “Conical Hill”.

I have taken the short but medium stiff walk to the summit of Conical Hill many times as a kid, and three years ago it was the turn of my own children. They too have done the trip several times already, one of the most infamous was when Little Mr was a toddler and it all went wrong.

Kiwi Daughter was roughly six or seven at the time, the start of the walking track is located at the end of a steep street that runs into the centre of the Hanmer village. Himself had put Little Mr into a pushchair, and checked that the brakes were on but had not calculated on the fact that our inquisitive little boy was intrigued that the ground on one side of the  pushchair was a lot higher than on the other.

Our little man learned about slopes the hard way by leaning over the side that had a biggest drop, toppling the pushchair over sideways. Since he was well strapped in, his head made contact with the pavement along with the buggy and he opened up a gash above his eyebrow. Himself, who had only left him for less than thirty seconds as he helped Kiwi Daughter out of her car seat belt and locked the car as she scrambled out, was instantly alerted by the screams of panic and tears.

Himself quickly realised that the wound was small but that the blood flow was not. Bundling both kids back into the car he abandoned the walk and headed to the local doctor’s surgery. There, the kindly GP calmed down two frightened kids, Kiwi Daughter being alarmed not only by her little brother’s crying but also by the amounts of blood running down his face and into his clothes.

Both children were impressed with the technique used to patch up Little Mr… luckily stitches were not needed, just some special glue to seal the wound closed and several tiny strips of tape to keep it shut.

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

I had been busy cooking dinner back at our accommodation and they were late getting back so I was at the point of worry where I was regularly looking out of the window, expecting them any moment.

After that stage came the more urgent ” I hope that nothing has happened to them” stage of worry, as dinner started to dry out in the oven.

Of course those initial worries were not eased by the fact that Himself let Kiwi Daughter out of the car first when they arrived home, and she came bounding inside with stories of how her bother had been gushing blood.

We were to watch him for signs of concussion, but for the rest it soon became apparent that he was fine, it just looked far worse than it was.

Of course getting the blood stains out of the clothes was another issue, because we had a limited amount of clothes packed for the trip, but eventually that came good too.

During later trips Himself and the kids made certain to make a trip to the top of Conical Hill, each time of course this story about Little Mr’s accident would be recalled.

This trip was thankfully without incident, the kids taking the pocket camera up to the lookout point at the top because this is no longer possible for me since my accident.   One point that did shock me when I dug out these photographs: how much taller Little Mr was grown in the last three years since these photographs were taken, he is almost unrecognisable now. Both children my have changed and grown, the one thing in common was that Little Mr is never in charge of navigation, … just in case it all goes down hill.

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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 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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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