Friday, February 28, 2014

Nelson Cathedral

So it's been, what, weeks since we have seen a cathedral, and when we read (seriously) that Nelson has an Art Deco cathedral, we knew we had to see it. It sits atop a hill, Church Hill, in a beautiful park, with a commanding view over the city.
West facade; hmm, well, the square top night suggest Art
Deco; Gothic Art Deco?

Integral buttresses; flying would hardly do in an Art Deco
structure, right?

Interior stern shot; painted wooded ceiling, matching piers;
well the mauve maybe is somewhat Art Deco

Starboard transept, with maze, just like at

Looking abaft, through the choir (no misericords!), from the

Port transept, overwhelmed by the organ

Rose window? Is this what an Art Deco rose window would
look like?

History of the building; something went
terribly, terribly wrong...

Elevation; we couldn't decide whether it is a
blind gallery or a blind triforium, but it's
definitely blind

Bell tower

As seen from town; we didn't quite grasp what
was Art Deco here, but if Lonely Planet and
Rough Guide say so, then so it must be...and
anyway, we'll be back in France in just a few
more weeks....

Chetwood Forest And Beyond

Back across Tekaka Hill and over toward the Bay lies Chetwood Forest, where Sam and Frodo left the Shire and where Aragorn led the four hobbits "into the Wild." Well, the location was some woods and clearings in or near Abel Tasman National Park. We had the GPS but couldn't identify anything in particular. But it certainly felt like it was out of the Shire and into the Wild. Especially the sand flies.


And thus

View toward Nelson

Weird rocks in the vicinity

We'd had enough adventure for the last several days and
crashed in a cabin at the Maitai Motor Camp near Nelson;
an administrative day and then a do-nothing day

Of course, only a couple hundred meters away, near the
"static" part of the camp, was another lovely Kiwi rig

Cape Farewell

6k down the road and you're at Cape Farewell, northernmost
point on the South Island, looking out again into the Tasman


And a few kilometers beyond that and you're looking out
over the Farewell Spit, jutting 17 miles out into the sea,
dividing Cook Strait and the Tasman Bay

Said to be the longest natural spit...and still growing

Looking south now, across Golden Bay and Tasman Bay
toward Nelson

Wharariki Beach

We proceeded on from The Grove and Takaka, north, toward Cape Farewell, and at the end of even the graveled road, Wharariki Beach, tenting over-night at the Puponga Farm Motorcamp. (Linguistic aside, for those interested: Wh (in the missionaries' transcription of Maori) is pronounced as a soft f. Thus, Wharariki is pronounced Farariki. I think a Whuck You T-shirt would be awesome, but the New Zealand sense of humor may not go quite that far.) We spent a cool and windy night there at the top of the South Island before heading off next morning across the grassy and wooded dunes that comprise most of this real estate.
En route to Wharariki; a low-tide look across Golden Bay toward Nelson

Puponga Farm camp

Environs...all grown-over dunes

Next morning on the trail, Vicki tells the sheep she is Guardian of the Flame of
Anor, and they must let her pass...

Walking the kilometer or so to the beach was one of the more unpleasant hikes can't see it here, but it is a gale force wind that is sand-blasting
you at every step

Thus (I only opened the camera a few times before we reached the beach)

The beach, however, particularly here at low tide, is pretty glorious, all caves
and arches and such; big ones too

Big cave

Cave seal

One of the big arches


Peering through

And another

Up closer

And another

Seal pups in a pool

Unforgettable place

The Grove

So after being wowed in Nelson and Richmond, we resumed our itinerary, driving back northwards, through Motueke and Riwaka, across huge Takaka Hill, down into Takaka Valley, to see The Grove, a DOC scenic reserve of old growth splattered across much older limestone, now uplifted from the sea. It was a bit like Angor Wat, with the weirdly-eroded limestone replacing the temples.

Golden Bay, just a mile or so away

Today's wedding photos, seriously; everyone got enough DEET?