Monday, November 26, 2007

Cardrona Vintage Fair

The Cardrona Vintage Fair, the second one ever, held in the Cardrona
Hotel garden looks like it's now established as an eagerly
anticipated event. The choice of date in the late spring for this
very alpine area is perfect - the setting always memorable.

The photo is of locals Pat and Keith in period costume.

I passed on having a stall this year, but was asked to be the
official photographer to capture those dressed in period costumes.
This turned out to be a heap of fun as it's the perfect way to meet
people and ask all about them. When I'd got most of them I then
edited all into a selection for the judges to view.

This week I'm having a few breaks - a trip to Dunedin mixing business
with pleasure is planned.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A trip up Benmore Peak near Twizel

Roger and I are just back from quite a big photo mission up Benmore Peak which is near Twizel, and affords stunning views of Mt Cook and the MacKenzie basin. It's a very bulky mountain and distances on it are deceptive and vast. I've been up it a few times over the years and this time it was a joy to stay up on it in the camper truck and see the sunset and sun rise.

Some photos taken on the expedition:

The iconic Tarras store

Where we camped - note white camper truck sort of under Mt Cook...

New Zealand Falcon enjoying the sunset...

Flowers on the descent track...

Wanaka's first serious round-about under construction...
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Lake Hawea sunset

above: My friend Roger working the landscape photography on Mt Grand on Sat. night

We left Wanaka at 6pm after taking some photos of a local cricket
match and headed to the obscure beginnings of the 4wd track up the
Grandview mountains which run from the north shores of Lake Hawea
down to the lower Lindis river near Tarras. I've driven the the track before so the
only mystery was how some gates were kept shut, as the chaining was
different and complex for them all - I guess they don't get used much.

The light was perfect for photos and I got so many similar good ones,
I'm not sure how to file them. Roger must have got great ones as
well, but as the sun sank there was a bleat from up the hill that was
not a sheep - he'd put his camera box down somewhere in the
excitement, and it was a grey colour so similar to the detritus
around snow tussock.

Dougal found that OK, after I'd got us doing a grid pattern using my
GPS [which I'd only turned on to see the height - 1400 meters] but of
course as I wandered about it tracked me].

Then Roger realised he'd also lost his shutter release cable! These
are very small, old school and hard to buy now, so the search really
began, and it was silver! That one took an hour into the gathering
gloom, and I found it [I thought I would as having exhausted GPS
bread crumb trail I started walking letting my tramping experience
always guide my feet to the line of least resistance].

We then adjourned to the camper truck for supper of fresh baked
bread, tuna, salad and hot tomato soup - it was yummy. I had the
National Radio Sat. night requests on the radio for ambience [I do
love them!], and Roger got a fit of the giggles as Doris Day did a
rendition of a love song, and then we had a 1938 version of Good
Bless America etc. etc. He decided a picture book should be published
by himself: the adventures on Donald and Dougal [I'm not sure if he
was joking or not!]. I think it was one of those special moments
we'll never forget.. so cosy too, while a wicked southerly breeze
whispered outside and groaned and whistled as it swirled around the
roof rack.

We got back just on midnight, after a mostly easy descent [a lower grass section of the track - very steep, had a dew on it, which I'd expected but none the less was one of those things you don't want, as it's a bit unsettling in bad run out zones to feel the wheelsstarting to slide, and the engine relieved of braking responsibilities going back to an idle as speed increases].

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

A mini holiday in Southland

Photo above: a typical Southland rural scene - the road to Mavora Lakes

I've just had a wonderful three day weekend in Southland ending in a
full-on family reunion yesterday in Invercargill. Anyway I'm pretty
exhausted [but at least got home in daylight]. I was able to go
someway towards linking together modern genealogy tales/insights from
my cousin Deirdre's work [she could not attend] on the Harris family
to the Sopers: three generations ago, in my grand mum's era, three
Harris girls married three Soper boys. The end focus for myself
though was that as a little kid I used to hear so much great comment
about my father's cousins in Southland, but travel was not an easy
matter in those old days, and when we did meet them I was too young
to appreciate their quality. Yesterday I met three of them again and
some of their families, and now I understand the [justifiable]
enthusiasm. What wonderful people!!

This side of my family kicked off four generations ago in the midst
of the gold mining era in the Athol, Nokomai and Garston areas. Is it
any wonder I've always had a funky fascination then, for these places
that are just whistle stops on the main road!

As further recreation on my travels I visited the early headwaters of
the Mataura river [4wd] thereby getting views of the nature of the
Eyre mountains, the head of the bush on Nth. Mavora lake [by foot],
and climbed a gnarly little peaklet overlooking Lake Hauroko to see a
wonderful Fiordland sunset. I also once again, after twenty years,
drove through Ohai and Nightcaps, travelling on with some stress to
the nearest gas station to ensure I had enough fuel to escape these
very humbling and poor neighbourhoods [why do they exist in the midst
of Southland's rich resources!?]. From the stares I got not many
camper trucks [which represent $$] go down those main streets!

And the driving was so demanding for a lot of the trip.... there was
snow, sleet and hail on my travels along with the usual high winds of

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