Local Heart, Global Soul

November 13, 2018

Glass Half Full… A Jucy Slogan!

Passing back through the small township of Franz Joseph, I get a photograph of one of New Zealand’s many rental camper vans. “Jucy” is a well known rental company, to my knowledge all of their campers are a brilliant shade of Granny Smith apple green and they have delightful slogans and sayings on the side. I think (but am not certain) that no two of the sayings are the same. I love theie sense of humour and so capturing this photo was a delight…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 12, 2018

Glacier: The Way Back…

Family Kiwidutch continue to take photographs as they walk back to the car park…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

November 11, 2018

Getting To A Glacier Lookout…

Family Kiwidutch continue their Franz Josef Glacier walk…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Unusual coloured lichen on the rocks…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

The group of people up ahead are standing at the lookout point… as far as Himself and the kids will get today.

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Close up you can see this is rock…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

but from further away it could be mistaken for a waterfall…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Deep groves as the glacier scratched it’s way over this rock…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

A close-up of some of those grooves and scratches…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

November 10, 2018

The Kiwidutch’s Sans Kiwi, Start Out…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Himself and the Kiwidutch kids have left me to have a rest in the car park whilst they take a walk and try and see as much as they can of the Franz Josef glacier. 

I’ve handed over my DSLR camera and they have strict instructions to take a “ton of photographs please”.

Partly due to the novelty of handling a camera that is not imbedded in a phone, and having more zoom in the lens than they are used to, they actually do!

There are a lot of “This would look good on Instagram” type of photo of course (naturally I’m talking about my offspring here, not about Himself, who could care less if he was ever in a photograph) and these end up in our Family album instead of on the internet.

That said they also take turns carrying the camera and so I get a variety of styles of shots too.

It didn’t take a degree in rocket science to guess who took photos of helicopters and who took the close ups of ferns for example.

They were all keen to do the one and a half hour walk until during the scramble getting out of the car, we realised that due to the hot weather Little Mr. had left his sneakers back at the hostel in Greymouth and was wearing his open sandals instead.

This footwear meant that safety needed to come first and the forty minute walk to the first look out point would have to do. 

They didn’t particularly mind.

The first section of the walk is on a nice path through native trees and scrubs, they follow the riverbed and the way gets rockier and open from there on. The photographs can tell the story of their journey…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Here the rock face bears the swirling scratches of the glacier as it ground it’s way past…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Alternate walks…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

From a distance it almost looks like a pile of driftwood…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

Another swing-bridge high above the waterfall of the previous photographs…

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Family Kiwidutch)

November 7, 2018

Perfect Photographic Timing And Deception …

Photographs tell as story, and give us a snapshot of a moment in time. Sometimes though this can be interpreted differently depending on the angle and exact moment the shutter is released.

The following photographs are just one such example. In the first photograph it looks like there might be smoke coming out of the tail end of the helicopter… this could be in turn sensationalised into something it isn’t because if you look at my second photo…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… which was taken one fast shutter-click (on the “sport” setting of the DSLR so it’s pretty quick) BEFORE the first photo, you can see that it’s just a strange cloud formation and the helicopter just happens to fly into a position where it looks like this is a streak of smoke coming from the rear of the aircraft. So no drama after all… so the old adage the “the camera never lies” … can be sometimes one of the biggest deceptions of all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 6, 2018

Tourists Get An Aerial View…

We didn’t have time this trip but if we come this way again there is one certain thing I would love to do, and that is to take a helicopter trip over the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. On a fine day this would be an exceptional way for someone like me to see these beautiful features of nature up close once again. It’s quickly becoming clear that the track will be too much for wheelchair and it’s way too far for attempting on crutches. In the township we see signs for helicopter tours, on our way in we see a chopper coming in low for a view up the valley. A little later another one is spotted coming down the opposite side of the valley, so tourism appears to be doing ok here, for today at least. We get a look at them, since we are crossing the river, who knows: they probably have a photograph somewhere in heir album of our little car crossing the bridge too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 5, 2018

The Dramatic Landscape Towards The Glacier…

The Franz Josef township is about five kilometres away from the glacier of the same name. It’s one first kilometer back to the main road then signs lead us in the right direction. The road in is beautiful, and busier than I expected, probably because I still had my old 1980’s visit in mind. Soon we arrive in the carpark from where the walking track begins, again it’s all been upgraded since I was here last. I remember the bridge that brings us cross the river and then a rough path that took just a couple of minutes to get to the glacier. Things have of course changed but apart from the glacier, the rest of the dramatic landscape around us remains the same.

(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)

November 3, 2018

Oh How Times (And Places) Change!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s January 2018 and Family Kiwidutch arrive in the bustling community of Franz Josef.

It’s now full of places catering to tourists, cafe’s, restaurants, backpackers, accommodation of all varieties, and it’s a far, far cry from when I was here last.

Back somewhere between 1983 and 1985 I made a trip here and the community I drove up to was a fraction of the size of what it is today.

There were of course tourists, but I can’t remember seeing camper vans, just people with backpacks, tramping (hiking) various walking tracks or thumbing a lift from one place to another. I worked shift work where I worked eighty hours a week (Yes, 80!) but then had the next week off.

Effectively I crammed two weeks work into one and then enjoyed every second week off. It’s certainly not a lifestyle for everyone but I was single and it suited me at the time.

I had friends scattered all over New Zealand, most of them in the South Island and would often visit on my weeks off. I also made separate trips just for fun, visiting places that interested me, places I hadn’t been to before or hadn’t been to in a while.

Since I was on a tight budget, I would stay in Youth Hostels if I needed to break up a long trip and since I was travelling alone it was a habit to give lifts to women travelling alone, or couples when I could.

I did pick up male hitch hikers sometimes too, but mostly gave preference to the ladies since both they and I felt safer for it.

If I could get the car full of both ladies and gents that was also ok too. Staying the night at hostels and seeing people in the evening and at breakfast usually gave me a chance to size them up and see if they would make good travelling companions, I am lucky to say that I never had a bad experience and met a ton of wonderful people from all around the world. Franz Josef and the relatively nearby Fox Glaciers were two stops on one of these trips so of course I had a certain expectation of what the town would look like when we arrived. Needless to say my expectations were blown away, it was like somewhere completely different, there were so many new buildings, it was bigger, brighter and so modern compared to my trip back in the 80’s. Ouch… I sound old. Who am I kidding, I am getting old! (aren’t we all?). We arrived in Franz Josef and took a quick look around, looking mostly for an Information Centre…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 2, 2018

Creeping Up On A Glacier…

We are getting closer and closer to Franz Joseph Glacier… Let’s take a look at the journey.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Below: the colour of this river is due to minerals in the water from glacial melt…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Haast is a tiny West Coast township on the Coast side of the Divide, and signals the end of the Pass of the same name which is the only way though the Alps at this end of the South Island. Continuing to Haast and taking the Haast Pass brings you out at Wanaka ( in the Province of Otago) and, eventually, Queenstown.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As a Kiwi From the South Island of New Zealand,  now living in the very, very, flat Netherlands for 20+ years, I can not help but zoom in on the peaks around me.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Below: more zoom… even the hot summer weather can’t melt the snows on the very top…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(sigh) I miss these hills and mountains so much…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tree play peek-a-boo! ( or in Dutch: “Kiekeboe“, pronounced: ” keek-ah-boo”)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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