More New Zealand photos

I’ve been playing around with the theme and layout again. I’m a little happier with this however I couldn’t find one I liked that could fit my preferred header image in… I will ponder some more and maybe change it again in the next week or so.

I guess if I really wanted I could go all the way into custom themes but I don’t really want to at this point.

Anyhow, I decided to post another New Zealand photo

I swear there's a beautiful view from here.

I swear there’s a beautiful view from here.

I picked this one for a couple of reasons.

First, because the weather in NZ was a huge mix – plenty of beautiful weather (like the day we went to Edoras), gale force winds that brought down trees and powerlines around us (driving from Greymouth to Fox Glacier), and storms that dumped a few metres of snow on Tekapo while we were in the rain on the coast.

Second, because rain never stops us from enjoying our holidays.

This was the first day we had our hire car. We had spent a few days in Christchurch, and then took the Tranz Alpine train across to Greymouth. On the advice of the lady in the fish and chip shop who cooked wonderful veggie burgers for us, we drove up the coast to Pancake Rocks. The road was great – one of those windy coast roads through dramatic scenery where you have to keep stopping to take photos because everything is amazing.
It was dramatic and grey and raining and all meloncholy and it was awesome. I love rain. It makes me either energised, or all snug and content. Either way rain never makes me sad because I don’t let it stop me doing things. We walked all over Christchurch in the rain. In fact it made our city tour so much more personalised because nobody else ventured out into it. Same went for the coast. We booked a river tubing tour which took us down the river, into a cave filled with glow worms, and then tubing back out of the cave in the darkness again. We were the only people there and it was so much fun, AND it included a spa and a beer at the end so that was great.

Anyway we made it to Pancake rocks. They are odd columns of what looks like flat rocks stacked all together, and there’s a few blowholes there as well.
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It was pretty impressive. We were undecided if we wanted to go, especially because we were running out of sunlight, but we figured we were on holidays and we might as well go for the drive to check things out. My photos didn’t all turn out great because it was getting towards dark and it was already overcast, but the rock formations were fascinating.

So yes, it was raining, and yes it was kind of cold, but I’m so glad we did. Scenery often changes with the weather, and I’m glad we got to see the West Coast all wild and stormy.

Besides, how could I not enjoy it with Gary by my side?

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if you want more information about the pancake rocks and Punakaiki (where the rocks are), click here

A bit of holiday silliness.

A bit of holiday silliness.

I know I haven’t gotten around to sharing much of our holiday to New Zealand yet. I’m sorry about that. But I was trying to think of a fun way to pick out the best shots from the thousands of photos we took.

here’s one I like. Not just because it was during our wonderfully beautiful day spent snowshoe hiking with our guide Errol in the Remarkables (the mountian range which was actually used for the distance shots of Mordor in Lord Of The Rings), but because it’s a glimpse into the silliness of our everyday lives.

This day was wonderful. We had a lovely guide and he had all the equpiment we needed, including oh-so-delicious vegan sandwiches for us. We strapped on our snowshoes -something neither of us had done before – and headed off through the skifields and into the unbroken snow.

it was wonderful. A nice clear blue sky, the crisp snow, the rocky peaks. Everything was perfect.

The best thing was we were the only people booked on the tour for the day, so we had the place (and the guide) to ourselves. We cracked jokes, we wrote in the snow with out feet, we dug out a snow cave.

and then Gary and I were discussing the location, as we recognised the frozen lake from the movies. And I smote his ruin upon the mountain side… and then wrote the word “Balrog” next to him so that everyone would get it because he doesn’t really look like a creature of shadow and flame.

anyway the point of all of this is that we had a wonderful day in the snow with a lovely guide (I still maintain that his voice sounded like a cross between Iain Glen and David Wenhem which gave him bonus points for being awesome). And that lovely sunny day in the Remarkables led to us going back up there for unplanned snowboarding lessons. Gary also went for Skiing lessons but I spent that day jumping off platforms attached to giant rubber bands. Thats a story for another time though.