Sunday, January 15, 2017

I HAVE A DREAM... MARTIN LUTHER KING - August 28, 1963





Today he would have been 88 years old. The time is now!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Milford Sound, a nature cruise

 When I go out to fiordland it seems like the clouds follow me. Rain makes good weather for waterfalls. 
 Nice dramatic photos thanks to the cloud cover




 That waterfall was loud and made all of us passengers very damp



 Fur seals basking in the cloudy sunshine 

 The weather might not have been on our side but we lucked out seeing these yellow crested penguins. 
 This group was headed out to the ocean and we got to see them on their way!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Glenorchy

 There is just something about Glenorchy that is magical

 Many people don't even visit Glenorchy. They stop in Queenstown and then travel on to other destination. Which is fine in my book. Less people to spoil it.
 Springtime means flowers are abundant. 
 This tree was just waiting to be noticed 

 A lagoon beside the lake

Don't forget to look down sometimes, otherwise you might miss the little things

Mount Rainier and the sky this week





Driving to Wanaka








Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Haast


 Really through those trees there is a waterfall cascading down
 The water of the river was an amazing shade of blue and those are very large boulders

Knights Point

 While driving south bound on the west coast of New Zealand
I came across an UNESCO world heritage site
 Very pretty little rest stop

Peters Pond by Franz Josef

 Peters Pond is a very serene spot 

dainty little white flowers growing beside the track

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hokitika Gorge

 A glimpse of what is to come further up the trail. There is even a swinging bridge to cross.
 I'm glad I took the time to see Hokitika Gorge, the colors were out of this world.
 Even with the dreaded sand flies, hiking the short distance was worth it.
 Look at that beauty.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Punakaiki or Pancake Rocks

After spending a few days in Pohara New Zealand we traveled to the west coast and stayed in Westport. Our host at the local holiday park encouraged us to visit Pancake rocks at high tide. Our high tide window for optimal viewing was 11 AM-12 PM. That didn't seem so hard. Off we drove down the two lane road. The closer we got to the famed limestone rocks, the more spectacular the coastline became. For the most part we didn't encounter to many other cars until we were within reach of our stopping point. 
Now here is where the story gets interesting. With the knowledge of having to be there during high tide we knew more tourists would probably be in the vicinity. However since it was late spring before the Christmas holidays for the school kids began we didn't think it would be all that busy. Nor did we foresee what we were about to encounter. 

Have you ever heard of a McLaren?
 It is a very expensive sports car. In fact last I heard they had some of the fastest cars in the world.

Picture yourself driving down a two lane road in the middle of nowhere. A very fancy sports car drives past but you don't really register it. You are now very close to your destination and getting excited about the natural wonder you are about to see. You have gotten to your destination within the perfect time range so that you should have a great viewing of the famed pancake rocks, you get ready to pull your camper van into the parking lot when you notice something.
RVs, camper vans and other cars are trying to do U-turns. You turn into the parking lot and quickly register your mistake and also take in the scene. Not one but somewhere between 30 to 50 McLarens are parked blocking most of the parking lot and on the visitor center grounds. There is some meet/ car show or owner get together that has taken over the entire area. 
Now remember you are in a remote area of a small country where the sheep out number the humans. How is it there is one McLaren let alone 50 in this parking lot at the optimum viewing time?!
There is no parking the way your camper van is facing. There might be a spot on the opposite side of the road really far down there but you are to shocked to whip a u-turn.  
Instead you find yourself driving a kilometer or two down the road, pulling off at the designated rest area and staring at a pancake rock formation that isn't by the ocean nor does it have any blowholes spouting up for dramatic effect. And that my friends is exactly what happened to me. Maybe some day I will experience the famed pancake rocks and blowholes in Punakaiki but not this visit. 

Pohara area

 In the northern hemisphere it is currently winter time. The sun rises late and set early. However in southern hemisphere it is currently summer time. Let me transport you to late spring in New Zealand with this photos. 
 Now of course the beach is gorgeous and it was sunny when I was there however it wasn't very warm yet so we will have to image that it was perfect weather.

 There are also fossils embedded in the rocks
Isn't it nice imaging sunshine warming your face?