Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Zealand Out-Takes, 1

So we have been here for two weeks, and it's time for a post of pix that didn't quite make the prime time.
At an impressive junque shoppe somewhere on
the Canterbury plain

In Geraldine, the world's largest jersey/knit sweater (certified
by Guinness)

Same shoppe, the Medieval Mosaic, the world's largest
replica of the Bayeux Tapestry...done in sheet metal
mosaic...including a conjectured final 24 panels (missing
from the original); obviously a must-see for us

Up closer; where else but New Zealand?

One of my favorite panels, Harold taking an arrow in the eye

In case you have never seen a Guinness
certificate (I never had), go to Geraldine,
where Michael and Rachael have two

Apparently we're not the only Mark and Vicki pair around;
here, in an alley in Palmerston South

The Canterbury Plain and much of eastern South Island are
flattish and wind-swept; you're almost always in sight of a
wind-break; here, an aerial view on our approach to landing
in Christchurch

Here, not far from Ranfurley, the longest wind-break we've
seen so far...more than a mile, up and down hills...

Grim reminder...drop, cover, hold...drop, cover, hold...

Fruity Cromwell, en route to Wanaka

Kiwis obviously spend their off hours thinking
up ever more adventuresome things to charge
tourists for


In a land awash in sheep, treats for the dogs

And finally, something that probably warrants its own post,
the great Bra Fence in Cardrona; where else but New Zealand?

Sort of reminded me of the great shoe fence we saw south of
Dunedin five years ago (http://roadeveron.blogspot.co.nz/
2009/02/to-dunedin-otago.html); only more colorful

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rural Art Deco Of Ranfurley

For reasons of weather, or rather our interpretations of New Zealand weather forecasts (we have since learned to disregard them), we decided to head back inland, to Wanaka, near Mt. Aspiring and more of the mountains, a place we had much enjoyed in 2009. We had seen all the east coast from Dunedin south, all the way to Invercargill, and, though it is spectacular in places, we didn't need to see it again.

Our route took us through tiny Ranfurley, deep in livestock country (two veterinarians!), picturesque if a bit stark, and reminiscent of some of the hamlets and villages of central and eastern Montana I once knew. Bigger than Two Dot is Ranfurley, though not nearly as big as White Sulphur Springs. But Ranfurley has a claim to fame apart from its location and commerce: it is the center of New Zealand's rural art deco scene. Seriously. There are just the two art deco buildings in Ranfurley, the Milk Bar and the hotel, but they are the real deal, and the Milk Bar's collection is as amusing as it is impressive. They even have an annual rural art deco festival in Ranfurley. I'll just let the pix say what I mean.

YEPs Of Katiki Point

Yellow-eyed penguins. Lighthouse-keepers of yore nurtured a colony of the rare birds, and the Department of Conservation has taken over, providing a blind for visitors to use to view them. We did this sort of thing five years ago, on the south coast, watching the birds swim onto the shore, pause a bit to acclimate, and then head for their nests to feed their mates and young. Still a thrill to see them in the wild!
Seals everywhere...no blind needed

Hard night's day

It's early, only 5:30, but some are coming ashore...we're in


And thus

And thus

Moeraki Lighthouse...all in all, it was a pretty good day...
rock art, Oamaru, Moeraki Boulders, and YEPs...we drove
a bit further on, to Palmerston South, and spent the night
in a motel there

Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are large spherical concretions littering the low-tide beach near Kaiki Point, between Oamaru and Dunedin. They began forming some 55 million years ago--lime has something to do with it--and are appearing now due to the general uplift of the islands and local erosion. They look like so many giant marbles scattered around on the beach, many more than meter in diameter, and they apparently elicit strange behaviors on the parts of some visitors.