Category Archives: New Zealand
The publicity for the Lost World Adventure told me Tom Cruise had done this three times. Well, we’ve seen him do all kinds of weird stuff, and we know he has special effects people to make it look death-defying.
I was doing all my own stunts here, with only guide Anna above me giving instructions and guide Jimmy attached to me by a bit of blue ribbon which he promised would break my fall if necessary. Continue reading
The final days of our cycling tour took us up the lovely West Coast, sometimes by the beach, sometimes by lakes, often up into the hills and the forests. Continue reading
‘Stay strong, Christchurch,’ is the message posted everywhere. People are nervous, of course. When a brief aftershock rattled the windows at 10pm, I tucked my mobile phone under the pillow, remembering those who’d been able to send text messages after being trapped. Of course I didn’t need it. Continue reading
It’s hard to take a bad photo in New Zealand, and I know it’s a terrible cliche to photograph a sunrise (only photos of sunsets are more cliched), but it’s nice to prove I was up at dawn. And on this occasion I did like the mist hanging in the valleys and the contrasting shapes of the trees. My question for anyone who knows more about photography than I do is, how can I intensify the sky colours without completely darkening the landscape?
All suggestions gratefully received!
Two little stories seem to me to sum up this country and its people.
A tour bus pulled up as I emerged from a quick lunch at The Thirsty Weta cafe. Elderly passengers alighted and stood around in a semi circle, as if expecting some event to begin. I pushed between them and walked on towards where my car was parked, then noticed little knots of people standing up and down the main street of the little town. The flags were at half mast.
I stopped too. An older couple bustled out of the Mitre 10 hardware store. The woman tugged her husband’s sleeve. ‘Stan, stand still!’ ‘Why?’ asked Stan, setting down the plank of wood he was carrying. ‘Christchurch,’ she whispered.
It was 12.51, the time it happened, exactly a week ago.
There’s little happy news from Christchurch in this morning’s New Zealand Herald, but there is one good story:
To raise money for the relief effort, Phil Johnson is auctioning the 30 tonne boulder that rolled down the hill and smashed its way into his home. ‘Rocky’ is advertised as ‘a landscape feature designed to create an indoor/outdoor flow’. Mr Johnson has had plenty of enquiries and comments, including one from a woman who thought Rocky sounded like her ex – ‘no personality, stoned all the time, sits on his arse and does nothing and I guarantee the TV remote is under him somewhere.’
Phil believes it’s a welcome distraction for people and it’s giving his fingers a good workout, ‘which is just as well because my gym’s been destroyed.’
If you’ve read other RT’s LOTR posts, you may already know about my fear of heights. You will understand that dangling on a rope 100metres above rocks is not my favourite place to be.
However, today I’ve learned to trust gear and trust guides. Continue reading