Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heading to the top

I've now been north of Auckland. Still didn't quite find the anticipated summer - more of a warm and humid greyness. We did 'sights' rather than beaches and my togs stayed dry in my suitcase - probably a relief to all other beach goers.

Ruapekepeka - Maori war battle site - English position is in far distance

Stone Store (oldest stone building in NZ, 1832) and Kemp House in Kerikeri - relics of missionary settlements

A Moreton Bay fig tree in Russell, planted 1840

My feet relaxing on the verandah of the Pompellier Mission: it's the sole surviving building of the French Catholic mission to the Western Pacific. It was built to print Maori language books in 1841. Bishop Pompallier and his Marist missionaries printed almost 40,000 religious texts in Maori here in eight years.

The world's largest waka, 30m Ngatokimatawhaorua, built for the treaty centennial in 1940, will be in a fleet of 29 waka and 2000 paddlers celebrating the 170th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi at Waitangi next week. It hasn't been in the water since it was launched at Waitangi in 1940.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Pounawea #3

Pounawea #2

Shopping trip to Balclutha

Trying for that perfect cup of coffee

Pounawea New Year 2010

I was lucky enough to have ten days down here alone. Bliss - to do what I liked, when I liked; walking, riding, eating, sleeping, reading, shopping, maintenance...a little of everything each day.
It was a rare time of quiet. If the weather had been warmer I would have been completely satisfied.
But, it was the usual Catlin's mix of hot, cold, rain, wind, calm, mild, hail, blue and grey - often all within the same hour. Ah well, if it was better weather it probably wouldn't be the unspoiled, lovely, quiet place that it is?