Sunday, January 27, 2008

Some photos of Wanaka, Poolburn, Manitoto, Dougal and myself on Camille's blog

Camille, a French woofer friend I mentioned in one of my posts about a month ago, maintains a blog [in French] of her travels in NZ - see some shots of our 3 day trip together [1/1 and 1/2]>>
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Monday, January 21, 2008

A week of solitude and peace [with heat]

Dougal and I have just returned from a week as volunteers on the Wanaka Dept. of Conversation Buff Weka breeding programme on Stevenson Island, Lake Wanaka, just up the lake from home...

Looking west from near the site of the hut we stayed in and the aviary...

The aviary with equipment and food shed to the right...

Looking south from the Table Bay [north] side of the island on the right. That is the north [Penrith] side of Wanaka town in the distance, with the Pisa range in the background...

An adult Buff Weka fishing one evening for food for it's chicks. It caught a cock-a-bully a little later and dutifully took it ashore for handing [or should I say beaking!?] to one of the chicks...

The accommodation hut on the right that was our quarters, and that is a wonderful open-air shower in the center. Although the hut was on the windward side of the island the tall Kanuka around about gave good shelter and welcome shade from the 30 degrees plus temperatures we were subject too...
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Kepler - a designer track

We're just back from three perfect days walking one of the so called Great Walks, the Kepler track. Each day is very "full' but the surface is impeccable. It's great to wander through such scenery without having to think!...more>>
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Holidays and heat

The visitors are starting to thin out, and work increases, as will no doubt the heat - we seem ahead of schedule this year, and it won't be long before I'm finishing work at 4 pm and heading to the lake for swims. I've not done many this summer so far despite hot trips like the one below.

The route to Calhouns beach on a remote part of Lake Wanaka - West Wanaka in fact...

From the beach looking across at the prettiest island on the lake [the name escapes me spelling wise as it's now Maori - I knew it as a child as Pigeon, and then Harwich. It has a small lake on it half way to it's high point - the track and landing beach being on the other side]...

All we'd need in this shady spot would be a vulture in the tree and we could dream we're in Africa...

Apart from all this sweaty stuff, yesterday was Anton's funeral. Quite a wonderful event celebrating a loving and gentle person, and as one eulogiser mentioned we [mt people in Wanaka - many of us], do these events well, and too often! Consequently I found all the emotions in the air quite exhausting. Today is chill out day, and speaking of which, although the white dry heat I love is all about the sky the mornings are quite chilly.

And lastly off to do the Kepler track tomorrow with Dougal's mates, and back on Sat. hopefully
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

The passing of a friend and some retro photos

I'd like to note the passing of a friend and fellow cross country skier Anton Wopereis a few days ago on Mt Cook.

We went back a long way to a time when we were doing big trips back-to-back, and we'd always tend to cross paths coming and going from huts, or noting in hut books that we were there just days or hours apart. It was subsequently a joy to me that we ended up living in the same town, and hanging out x/c skiing together. Everything good that was said about him in the numerous press releases was so true.

As a reminder of those old days and since it is a new year, here are some early photos [scanned] of trips I did in that other age:

Alistair on Mt Hooker...

Myself on Glenmary [Mt Hooker is the pointy peak in the back ground and we'd just spent 10 days trying to climb it, but weather beat us, so we were pretty fit on this Glenmary day - a peak closer to home in the Lake Ohau area]...

Julie on the Quarter Deck on the approach to Mt Aspiring...

Some really early stuff: That's me on the left with the [late] Michael Nother and David McNulty. Mike lived too close to the edge in life and finally succumbed some years later, and then later again David got buried in an avalanche while guiding and never made it out. We're enjoying a fly camp here in Canyon Crk. in the Ahuriri - that's a radio aerial across the photo...

The above Canyon Crk. trip turned into a really tough one weather wise. That's me in the background in my new swani [which leaked and weighed a ton as I recall], and David again. We're looking serious as we're about to go up for a couple of very hard nights living under a tent fly in wind and snow storms. I think we were pretty silly in one way, but we learnt a lot in this style of experiencing small mountains in bad conditions. We were taught to always ensure all our experiences were small ones and thus survivable!

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