Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nü Zealand

In 4 Days (3.5 sleeps) this is where Kate & I drove around New Zealand in the early days of this fine month of November. All these here photopix taken by the aforementioned Miss Magellan Kate D. Apologies for the quantity, I'm still wrapping my head around the concept of brevity. If this post is taking too long, you can view smaller thumbnails here (this will also allow you to bypass my long-winded narration.

This is the 2 door Pulsar I rented. Her four monster cylinders and highly responsive manual transmission carried us with swift grace from Christchurch, to Akaroa, through Arthur's Pass in the Southern Alps, to Franz-Josef Glacier, Fox Mountain Glacier & Lake Matheson.

I have yet to fully grasp the numerous translations of the word "coffee" in New Zealand & Australia but these are Latté Bowls. These were consumed on the Lavender farm/café/gallery just outside of Christchurch, a glorious find en route east.

Blue door cathedral on the way to Akaroa.

Akaroa is southeast of Christchurch on the Southern Island. Akaroa, which means made-up-fairyland* as you can see here, is surrounded by hills with sheep on them, like everywhere we saw in New Zealand.

I have come to realize that I love waterfalls, and will continue to chase them. This one spotted on the descent to Akaroa.

I love Norfolk Pine, and really regret letting the one I had in my bedroom shrivel up and die when I was 13. I'm glad that my tree made it to Heaven.

This is a memorial along the main street in Akaroa.

This is for my friend, he will notice how I am falling over.

This is me in Akaroa when I was 10 years old, & before my jaw was reconstructed.

This is in Akaroa where we had a picnic, one is advised not to eat any shell fish from this part of the beach...

This is a fantastic Hostel in Akaroa. You can't miss it, cause it's pink and on the main street. Aside from being ridiculously inexpensive, it also offers you a full kitchen, garden, BBQ, use of their bikes, fishing poles & hammock. They also mailed me my belt because I forgot it.

For dinner we BBQ us some salmon, steak n' Asparagus.

From Akaroa, an early rise has us working our wayward wagon west, towards glaciers & through mountains.

This old car reminded me of and old man, friend, an old man friend.

Kia's are big birds that supposedly eat the rubber off of cars (an the tomato off of tomatoes).

This is Franz-Josef, the town of.

This is Franz Josef, the glacier.

We were constantly bewildered by the thick jungle surrounding the snow-capped mountains and mass of ice.

We tent camped on a dried up riverbed of a (temporary) glacial spring. While peeing in the middle of the night, I saw a 3.5 foot Kip McClellan.

We roasted us some veggie kabobs,

and we was home in time to celebrate Kate's birthday in Melbourne, with pavlova.

*In My language and Long Harbor in Kāi Tahu Māori

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Chalkboard

I put the first coat of chalkboard paint up tonight, he's a happy black dot.

Also, a massive posting of images from my whirlwind trek 'round New Zealand coming in a day or so.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Magnificent mornings

Yarra River on the left (the same river that runs behind my home) Yarra trail on the right.

I have come to understand that our journey to wherever we spend our day can have a profound effect how we experience it. The reason that I am only now realizing this is due to my previous proximity. I have not had a commute of more than 10 minutes to work or school for quite some time (if ever). My commute now, can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, this all depends on how I chose to get there, what mode of transport, and how relaxed I chose to move.

In previous times here in Melbourne, I have thoroughly enjoyed riding the trains, it's perfect for winter, and I feel some sort of inexplicable love for it. However, I've always preferred riding my bicycle to almost any other form of transportation, so as the days have gotten warmer (and oh have they! Its been reaching the low to mid 30s (roughly 90ºF)) I have made an effort to ride as much as possible.

Until about two weeks ago, I was riding (on a designated bike path) along some fairly busy roads for about 3/4 of my commute into the city. The ride was only about 7kms, but took about 25 minutes, if I biked quickly, due to traffic. The new ride is closer to 20kms, and takes about the same amount of time at a reasonably relaxed pace. Not to mention there are no cars, and the scenery is positively gorgeous.

Yarra River on the left (the same river that runs behind my home) Yarra trail on the right.

One of a couple attractive bridges along the trail, can't help but make me think of all the beautiful bridges in Minneapolis

Vines, veggies, and other plant-life on the Collingwood Children's Farm.

more Collingwood Children's Farm, the farm also has a café, with chickens, peacocks and geese running around.

Today a friend and I stopped in for iced coffee, and a peacock had his feathers open, unfortunately all I have is this phone picture. Regardless, the café is fantastic, and how great to have morning coffee on this bustling farm

Some handsome characters in some of the paddocks a little further down from the farm.