Local Heart, Global Soul

August 1, 2014

Got Lost In The Town, So We Are Now Getting To The Point…

Filed under: Agia Kiriaki,GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post about our travels in Greece in October 2014,  we are tying to work out a bit of a puzzle in the little village of Agia Kiriaki. Situated near the tip of the Pelion Peninsular it’s part of a scenic detour we made  on the way home from visiting  the small island of  Palio Trikeri earlier.

We’ve already been into the village, the road appears to end with some shops, cafés and houses on the waterfront and a careful look on the way back out of the village has eliminated the possibility that we missed a side road on the way in. Frustratingly we can see a road on the other side of the village, it’s just not clear how on earth we can get there by car.

Whilst we are pondering the situation and wondering if maybe the best option is just to back-track up the hill again, we figure that this lookout point is also a good place to take a short break, get out the water bottles and get a breath of fresh air.  To the right of the  little peninsular we are on is a tiny bay, dotted with roughly a dozen houses plus a few half built ones. There are boats in the water and the calm of the Aegean Sea is beautiful in the afternoon light.

The map we have borrowed from our in-laws is not nearly detailed enough to be of any help either. Agia Kiriaki is on it but represented as a  named grey blob with road leading in one side and then again out the other. There’s no street detail to show if or how the two are connected. Logic says that they must be, so now we decide that the only option is to go back down to the village and try again…

(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)

November 13, 2012

Stop In The Name of The Law!

Filed under: Kids and Family,LIFE,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are slowly making our way back to Singapore on the coach when all of a sudden we slow down and then start to pull over… for some reason there is a police road block here and our driver and guide exit the coach to go and talk to the police.

From where I’m sitting I can no longer see them once they leave the bus, but we sit there for a good five minutes waiting for the all-clear to move on.

Whilst we wait Little Mr delights in trying to outdo Himself for the most audacious reasons why we have been stopped and why the checkpoint is there.

Options range from a random breathalyser text, to escaped convicts, armed bank robbers, drug runners, spy catching and kidnappers, although it could just as easily have been a random check of the vehicles warrant of fitness or some other mundane thing.

After some five minutes or so our driver and guide climb back on board and we are on our way. No reason was offered for the unscheduled stop so we will just have to let our imaginations run wild with possible reasons for the checkpoint and the nature of the police business.

So, what’s your weirdest and wildest guesses as to what or who the police were looking for? … answers on a postcard in the comment box please.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 11, 2012

Watch Out For the Babes in Charge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You have joined me on a slightly retrospective tour of New Zealand … well at least part of New Zealand.

Family Kiwidutch were there December 2011-Janurary 2012 and after some weeks in Christchurch we are now heading to the North Island to visit more friends and family.

We know that just north of Kaikoura there are masses of seal colonies.

They are easy to spot, a quick look out of the window as you drive on State Highway 1 on the edge of the coast and you’ll probably see some lounging on the rocks close by, but even more interesting is that my uncle and aunt have told us that there’s a bay with a stream that runs unto it where for some unknown reason baby seals head inland up the stream.

The weird part of it is that no adult seals join them, it’s like a self-run baby-crèche.

Apparently sometimes the spot upstream is packed with baby seals, sometimes there are just two or three and sometimes there are none.  Why they band together in a group seperated from their parents like this is unknown, and like most things goverened by nature there is no guarantee that they will be there when you pass by.

Time of day and the season of the year have a lot to do with it, but even that appears to vary so basically the trick is to find the place, take a walk with your camera and keep your fingers crossed that it may be your lucky day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve worked out that the bay we need to find is either just before or just after Ohau Point which is a short drive north of Rakautara, which is about half way between Kaikoura and the Clarence River.

We are heading north, have passed Rakautara and see a sign with a seal on it… but on the other side of the road there is a train tunnel and no stream. Still, we stop and investigate and find that just off the road there is a small viewing area, some information signs and below us, seals galore.

There are adults and babies, and the more you looked the more you could see as what often first appeared to be bolders or black stones suddenly stretched and moved…more seals and we could count in the end.

Some prefered the shade and some were obviously serious sun lovers, and while we were a decent distance away for safety reasons and my camera did an O.K. job, this is a moment when a long telephoto extra-zoom lens would really have come in handy.

The break from sitting in the car did us good and everyone had fun spotting one seal after another. We piled back into the van and lo and behold, just around the next big bend in the road, there was the exact spot where the river and the seal baby-creche was… Duh! …sign posted and all.

But we need to get to Picton on time and we’ve just had a rest break so we aren’t stopping here now. The good news is that now that we know what the spot we are looking for looks like, we can stop there on the way back to Christchurch on the return leg of our journey. Let’s go seal spotting…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Where are we? North of Christchurch, East coast of the South Island…

(photograph edited © Kiwidutch)from TopoMap NZ CD Rom

(photograph © Kiwidutch) Map photographed from NZ lands and Survey Atlas

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Kaikoura Coast… (looking south)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These rocks are on the extreme left of the previous photo…now look at the dark spot bottom right of the photo…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Let’s zoom in…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and zoom in even further… four baby seals in a rock pool of water …playing with seaweed?… three bigger babies and one really little one.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

View looking north…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The viewing area…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are at least nine seals in the next photo…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

How on earth does he get up there?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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