Local Heart, Global Soul

April 25, 2018

The Vineyards Escape Damage…

Family Kiwidutch were in New Zealand in December 2017- January 2018. We travelled north from Christchurch on State Highway 1, reopened only five days after more than a year of closure due to twenty-one large landslips over the road and railway, and a physical upwards shifting of land  between 0.5 and 6 metres. We are almost in Blenheim, which is only about half and hours drive from Picton, and the ferry. There is still earthquake damage in the vicinity, closer to the bigger foothills, since the November 2016 quake was a rupturing of multiple faults at the same time. It seems that the vineyards here escaped, or had repairs that could be done swiftly.

 

(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)

Blenheim…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 24, 2018

Once Seen, It Can’t Be Un-Seen…

More photographs as we head north…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For some reason this next photograph reminds me of the old Windows computer background screen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Grassmere salt works…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The New Zealand province of Marlborough is known around the world for it’s wines…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These posts with vine saplings between them give my eyes a sort of false sense of reality. Especially in the second photograph, it almost feels like the photo is upside down (it’s not) and the posts are “buried” into the background brown of the hill behind it. It’s a mind bending effect, caused completely by accident. I found that once seen, I couldn’t “un-see” it. There is a floating quality about it too I think…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was only a few kilometres away from Seddon , the tiny rural town where they determined the epicenter of the quake was. Amazingly there was remarkably little damage to the town.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Historic bridge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 23, 2018

A Dramatic Change In Landscape…

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

A mostly photographic post… our journey from Kaikoura to Blenheim in New Zealand continues…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Latest colours of the cars of the New Zealand Police force…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Road and rail bridges being repaired…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This sign is a regular summer sight in New Zealand, especially in the South Island.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Newly repaired railway line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 22, 2018

Sometimes The Best Design Ideas Are, …Child’s Play.

Family Kiwidutch continue their New Zealand travels in December 2017, travelling north on State Highway 1 and north of Kaikoura. We’ve taken a break at a ‘safe stopping area” as we traverse the various areas of  semi-repaired damage from the November 2016 earthquake. There are numerous “no stopping zones” along the way, and the amount of damage from the tens of large rock slips has taken me quite aback. Our journey progresses…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A little sticker inside our rental car…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We were delighted to see that the ladies and gents manning the ‘stop/go’ signs are giving every motorist a friendly wave.  the road has ben open for five days, I wonder how they will be going after seven weeks of school holidays…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These concrete blocks have bobble-like tops to them, a bit like Lego bricks. I think its the perfect solution to needing very solid walls that also have flexibility and “give” in an earthquake. These walls will move but the bobble will help keep them interlocked.  Sometimes the best design ideas are   …child’s play.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All of these rocks have been raised up in the quake.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More friendly, waving road workers…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Landslips everywhere…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This scenery got here via plate tectonics too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gathering gravel to use in road repairs, with multiple land slips behind.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 21, 2018

Abandoning A Child Not Once But Twice!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst taking photographs of the information board at the “Safe Stopping Spot” in my last post, I was joined by Kiwi Daughter asking of she could please get a photo of the board, with her egg.

Yes, you did read that correctly: “her egg”. A soft cuddly toy? Nope, a very real, hard boiled egg.

One that she had been looking after since the previous afternoon when we visited a friend and had to make an awkward request: “Could we please have an egg to take with us?”

You know you have real friends when they instantly say “of course!” and jump up to get it before even asking what on earth we need it for.

Naturally we explained. Kiwi Daughter is doing Psychology at school and they were covering a unit on children.

The class homework was to have each of the students look after a hard boiled egg for a week. (i.e. their “child”).

Our friend wouldn’t even let us boil it at the Meadowpark unit, she insisted on doing it then and there as we visited.

The students had to photograph their Eggs in various locations throughout the day, meaning that they needed to carry them with them at all times.

The exercise started a day before we left for New Zealand. We first boiled an egg in the Netherlands and it made the journey to Singapore before we thought it through and realised that New Zealand has a strict biological quarantine policy.

Kiwi Daughter’s egg was never going to make it though customs and being frequent travellers, we were not willing to face a strict fine for attempting to do so in any way illegally.

Egg got left in Singapore. Thus the request for a new Egg in New Zealand. Kiwi Daughter made numerous selfies and I was set a challenge: to get a photo of the Egg with it in focus but various beach locations in the back out of focus. I think that the general idea was to try and get the beach just enough in focus so that these shots could be jealously regarded by classmates still in school, in the wintery Netherlands. (We had permission to take the kids out of school early).

I attempted to complete the brief, but think that the background was a tad too fuzzy. Later on, whilst in Wellington, Egg accidently sustained some unfortunate “crush injuries” and after days in hot cars, lets say, hard boiled or not, I didn’t blame her when we found out that she had ditched it. We decided that with more long car journeys ahead, a third attempt was probably not going to be successful.

Kiwi Daughter submitted her sad failure to complete the challenge and apparently her Egg got written up as “Abandoned”, which even more sadly statistically fits the pattern for a percentage of children in the world in real life. Her part in the task was therefore successful as far as the over-all class effort was concerned. Let’s just say that I have full faith in my daughter to make a far better effort when her real children eventually arrive.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 19, 2018

A Safe Stopping Area…

Following yesterday’s post family Kiwidutch have pulled into a ‘safe stopping area” on the Kaikoura – Blenheim section of State Highway 1 in the South Island of New Zealand. Behind and ahead of us repairs are being made to the massive land slips that have blocked this road for more and the past year. The road opened up five days before we used it, so we are some of the first visitors to see first hand the changes to the landscape post the 6.8 earthquake on the Richter scale. I get plenty of family photographs of Himself and the kids as they explore the beach below. The beach looks ‘normal’ but lots of the rocks we are looking at were not visible even at low tide before the quake, since sections of the coastline were lifted up by the quake between 1.5 and 6 meters by the quake. This might be a safe stopping area but looking forwards and backwards we see plenty of places that still aren’t.

(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)

April 18, 2018

Mother Nature’s Tantrum…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As we had heard from the News and friends, State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura sustained some particularly heavy damage in the November 2016 earthquake.

Measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale and lasting two minutes, it’s easy to see why there were some twenty-one large land slips.

We travel in one “no stopping” zone after another and with kilometres of plastic, concrete and shipping containers between us and Mother Nature’s tantrum damage.

We still count ourselves lucky to be able to travel this “short” route to Piton, since this road only reopened five days before our journey.

After more than a year of closure to get it to this point, we are delighted that this coincidence turns in our favour.

Our journey should take some 5-6 hours rather than the 9-12 hours that family and friends told us it took them on the inland route. Of course, the fact that the inland route is on a secondary road is and not a State Highway makes a big difference,  the road also sustained damage after suddenly becoming a truck route, with some sixty trucks a day. This small road wasn’t built for this kind of traffic so it was no surprise that vehicles got through it so slowly. We face one slip after another, New Zealanders learnt after the large Christchurch earthquakes that old shipping containers were extremely versatile, not just in propping up damaged buildings but also in providing strong barriers against rock falls.

I expect that when road workers were on site some of the containers would have been left open, enabling work crews to get inside for safety should another big quake strike. We travel slowly but surely, especially trying to find Ohau Point… but in vain, the landscape is so changed we could not find the spot where we had watched seals so many times. Then around a corner we spot a sign: “Safe Stopping Area”. It’s time to get some fresh air and stretch our legs.

(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)

April 17, 2018

Searching For A Seal Sanctuary In A Coastline Devastated…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Leaving Kaikoura behind, Family Kiwidutch start the next section of our journey: Kaikoura to Blenheim and from there, Picton.

Damage on the northern side of Kaikoura is said to be even worse in places than the stretch we have already encountered to the south so we are really wondering what we will find ahead.

Like before we are pleased with traffic, it’s slower than usual with all the road works but that’s understandable.

Some sections are again down to one lane traffic so we take our turn, but all in all we are moving at a reasonably steady pace.

It’s difficult to take photographs in the worst places because “no stopping’ zones that are kilometres long have been instituted all along the route for safety reasons.

I take what I can get. The one point we are all worried about is Ohau Point, the place where the stream and route up to the baby seal nursery is. Everyone is wondering what as become of it now? Do the baby seals still have somewhere to go?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All of the bridges along the route also needed repairs…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next photograph: note the vehicle on the side of the road ahead…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… the vehicle we saw I the distance earlier,  were pulling what I thought looked like paperwork out of the car…engineers maybe?

(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)

 

April 16, 2018

We Have Lift-Off!

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

I have discovered that I quite like taking photographs of wildlife… well “domestic” wild life too. But with no pets because of asthma and allergies, and living in an apartment, I don’t get the chance very often. The only real “creatures” I get to see regularly are birds, so here is a post all about birds. In this instance the birds in questions are the sea gulls hanging out at the Beach house Café in Kaikoura, New Zealand. a couple of pics are a tad fuzzy, but they show that elusive moment when birds take off, the mini seconds between standing in one spot and flight. These are less than perfect shots, but I continue to work on them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It begin with a crouch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then crouches down more…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And more…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then launches into the air, just as another gull comes into land just behind it…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “flaps” are out as he comes into land…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 14, 2018

Kiwi Daughter Finds Food Heaven…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch visited New Zealand recently.

Heading to friends in Wellington for Christmas, we take the State Highway 1 route to Picton.

Blocked by twenty-one land slips in the November 2016 earthquake, this road has been closed for slightly more than one year.

Although it’s clear that a massive amount of work has been done, it’s also clear that this road is going to be “under construction” for a long, long time still in the future.

Of course there have been delays, sections of the road are still one lane only, there are reduced speed limits for very large stretches and more kilometres of road works and works machinery than we’ve ever seen in a single day before.

A stop for lunch in Kaikoura was most welcome, and we chose the “Beach House Café” on the main road. Kiwi daughter has just “discovered” Caesar Salad, and not only has added it to her new culinary experiences, but putting it quickly into her favourites list. Finding Caesar Salad on the menu made her very happy, but also nervous since she didn’t know if it would measure up to the taste of the first one that rocketed it to the top of her “this is gooooooood!” list. The food arrived. I have to say that Little Mr, our mega fussy eater was less than impressed that his toasted sandwich arrived with brown bread (but that’s his fault, and problem to deal with, not in any way that of the café).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Luckily the “eat it or starve” motto worked on this occasion and after a lot of complaining his hunger got the better of him.

It was of course helped by the fact that Himself and I quietly insisted that he at least give it a decent go, otherwise his Lolly cake would not be available for “dessert”.

Suddenly he had the motivation he needed. Not without a lot of grumbling mind you.

Kiwi Daughter tasted the first bite of her salad apprehensively, Would it measure up? Then her face lit up and it was clear that she had hit the jackpot on this one.

In fact as soon as her mouth was empty she started raving about how good this was, the Paparazzi were not welcome, go away Mama with the camera, she wanted to tuck in.

A short time later she declared that this Caesar Salad was the BEST one she has had so far.

We now have strict orders to come back to this café on the return journey. Himself had coffee, I wanted something a little sweet so had a hot chocolate.

The Beach House Café has been a complete winner for one member of the family, the drinks were fine so no problems from Himself and I, Little Mr. had a more critical review, but that must be taken with a sack full of salt considering just how fussy this kid is and how he fights any attempts to stretch away from his limited array of menu favourites. The positive reviews far, far outweighed the grumpy and hard to please Little Mr. and I think that if Kiwi Daughter lived in Kaikoura, half her wages would go to eating Caesar Salad here at the “Beach House” every day!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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