Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shake It Out

One more from Kaikoura. Sorry, no dolphins or anything; just some run of the mill sea lions.

Aaaaaaaand dry

So sorry for waking you

Awaiting communication from mothership

They've got it pretty good.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Kaikoura Peninsula

I had been to Kaikoura once before, when road-tripping after racing in Taupo in 2008. I remember being immediately struck by the beauty of the Peninsula; so much so that, after discovering I'd left my camera back at the room, I harvested two speeding tickets to get it: one on the way there and one on the way back. Whoops.

On this visit, I'm greeted with cloudy skies, which makes for some favorable light.


Unfortunately, the clouds knock some of the ridiculous color out of the vegetation in the water, but it's still worth my while to make a large photo.

South (click for bigger)

I'm not afforded the opportunity to wait around for better light, as I've got quite a few more km to go to get to Nelson, so this'll have to do.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Little Devil

In general (and this is no stunning revelation), seagulls can be pretty cheeky. This one in particular was VERY not shy.

Near Kaikoura. He (she?) was the bravest of the flock.


Thursday, June 6, 2013


Somewhere along the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand (OK, it's near Goose Bay) is this calm little spot...

Soft and sharp

Rinse cycle

Geeks: these are both 6" exposures.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

NZ Elites

For a variety of reasons, I'm going to deviate slightly from my posting pattern of alternating nature and running. Basically, I'm going to hold off on the last running one for the time being, but I'll filter in something that's still at least sport-related.

After the wedding in Akaroa, I got up early and escaped back to Christchurch, where the NZ Elite Road Cycling Championships would be going on. The course included 10 laps up an AWFUL hill right by Jo and Bevan's house, so spectating was easy. Sean came by to watch, too, so we made a nice few hours of wandering around the nearby parts of the course.

And yes, this one's kind of abstract, but look closely and you'll find the cyclists :)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Akaroa by Night

After my run up Purple Peak, I hobbled down to the other group guest house for a pre-wedding BBQ. On the long-ish walk there along the waterfront, I stopped for a couple photos that felt like they were worth my time:


Slow growth

The party was a great chance to catch up with people I hadn't seen in 5 years; truly an awesome privilege. As was inevitable, the flow of food eventually slowed to a trickle and was replaced by a swelling flow of beer. Latching onto that opportunity, I excused myself for a few minutes to make some photos.

Andy cools his feet (geek note: this was taken almost exactly 2 hours after sunset, and there's still enough sun to light the horizon and the clouds...)

The skies in Akaroa are exceptionally clear. Not only is there very little atmospheric pollution, but light pollution is also minimal. The confluence of these two factors generally means that pointing a camera towards the sky is a good idea.

Sailboats sway in the harbor

By the time I realized that the night sky was officially Going Off, the party had shifted into high gear. I may have treated myself to one last beer, but eventually couldn't resist the pull of gathering some more photons.

Rocks, water, tree, and stars

Milky Way's swath

The long walk back home got a whole lot longer as opportunities to point camera skyward kept arising.

Akaroa Head Lighthouse

Whale pots

Even though the walk home took twice as long as the walk there, it was well worth it. Further, the crew was still kicking around having "one last one," which sounded like a pretty good idea, too.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Purple Peak (aka Solo NZ Running Camp Pt. 8)

I arrive in Akaroa the day before the wedding, stash my bags in the house I'm sharing with a bunch of other fine folks, and promptly figure out where I can smash myself on an orientation run of sorts. I don't have to go far; I head up the street our house is on and am quickly on some paved sections that are nearly too steep to run. Party on!

Akaroa below

Peacefully grazing

The trail climbs up and up through farmland above Akaroa, and after a good long slog, I'm at the saddle where I'm rewarded with a pretty sweet view in both directions.

Purple Peak Saddle

The view east

From the saddle, I continue meandering up to the top of Purple Peak, and the views of Akaroa and beyond from up there are...inspiring. Unfortunately, the last few hundred meters are comprised of a bushwhack of sorts, and further, there's something in the long grasses here that I'm apparently horribly allergic to. I "enjoy" the summit briefly while sneezing uncontrollably.

'Tween sneezes; water visible on both sides of the peninsula!

Figuring that escape is the best policy at this point, I bomb off the other side of the summit towards something hopefully less grassy. This eventually works, but not before I sneeze so hard a few times that I trip and wipe out. It feels pretty silly to be incapacitated by sneezing, but this is apparently my new reality.

Another look east

After winding back down the mountain, the trip into town is short and gleefully devoid of allergens. I tack on some extra distance along the waterfront of this lovely (but tourist-trappy) town and call it good. After a shower and an ice cold beer or three, I head back down along the waterfront to one of the other wedding guest houses, where old friends, BBQ, and good times await.

Along the waterfront

We laugh late into the night before we make the long walk home, but not before stopping for a few photos along the way :)


Past Detritus