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A Decade, Today - Retrospective

Wed, September 19, 2001 20:46:39
Fox Glacier

Cleared skies (intermittent cloud) lasted through the morning. We drove up to the scenic overlook, and thought hmm. It’s only one spot on the track, and another spot on the road with the same view, somewhat. The one on the walking track is better overall. Then we drove back down, and up to the glacier access. From there we walked in along the track, pausing (of course) for photo opportunities. We lucked into seeing a group on the glacier itself; who knows how they will show on the photograph.

Clouds rolling in encouraged us to walk out again through cold air feeling of rain. A trio of tourists approached me as we walked through the car park to determine what I might know about cars. Theirs would not start. I checked what I could: Steering wheel locking the ignition? Anything electrical operating when the key is in the on position? The answers were no, and no. I offered to drive the two ladies into town to obtain better help.

They are from France, here in NZ on holiday and due to go to visit a veteran friend living in San Francisco, USA. Specifically, they are from Normandy. We saw they had a ride back out with a mechanic, and that’s the last we saw of them. I wish them well.

After lunch we drove out to Lake Matheson to potentially see the “View of Views” from the end of the lake. We did find some interesting photo opportunities, but rain encouraged us to leave the lake and head for other opportunities. After all, the famous mountains were cloaked in clouds.

So we drove down to Gillespie Beach, there potentially to see a seal colony. We discovered the walk to the seal colony required three hours, and since sunset was little more than two hours away we deferred that opportunity, and instead photographed southwester waves and sky on the west coast of New Zealand.

Back to the hotel after closing down the cameras from both lack of light and excessive rain, for a hot shower and supper. As mentioned yesterday we got our dinner this evening from the pub which is attached to the hotel, a very hearty stew, and much better to our taste than what we had in the dining room yesterday.

This morning came with fewer clouds, but Mounts Tasman and Cook still held their visages behind cloaks of grey. We chose to thank the two mountains for the somber mood offered in condolence of the deaths of thousands in our homeland, and continued on northward.


South Island Day 10


We paused several places, some planned, some spontaneous. One spontaneous stop was a shop in a small town offering jade, bone, and wood carvings. The name, Kotuku Galery in Whataroa, his name, L A. We never did get his wife’s name, and she was the one who extended the hospitality. After mentioning that the jade pendant I bought, I wanted because it called to me, she and Herself started talking rocks. She invited us into the back of the shop/museum which is their house. There she showed us rocks they’d collected over the weekend, and gave us one, very special, very rare, mixtures of color blue and (something).

We met her husband; a former helicopter pilot. He flew for a lumber company in Malaysia, and Herself thinks it is an American company. He does have a brother in Chicago, Illinois. Then she showed us the workshop, where they polish and carve the stone, and gave us several more pieces.

She recommended we stop in Hokitika when Herself asked about the woven kit bags (kita may be more correct, a lady traded one to Herself on Fellowship Night). We did stop, saw a couple of camera stores, and I went in to ask about 120 mm film. Did find some, outdated infrared and Ilford 400 speed B&W. I bought all eight of the outdated infrared, and one Ilford B&W. Then while I inquired at a Fuji film store (none there, she recommended Network in Greymouth), Herself found a jade place with nice pendants ranging between $5, $8, $10, and $15. I bought one at $15, two at $10, and two keychains at $10; Herself bought several more.

One planned stop in Greymouth yielded more film to replenish our stocks, and information for Herself to aid her search for greenstone in the raw (you may know it as jade).

We arrived at Punakaiki and its famous Pancake Rocks shortly before sunset; about two hours. Herself was able to make some photos, but my “Old Man” as Herself calls the Mamiya chose to lock up on the film advance. Again. It should be easily fixed, as it’s happened before. All I need do is open the back, and things reset. Usually I do this long after dark, with the camera well swaddled to protect the film from light.

That being the case, it’s time to close this journal.

Retrospective
What a difference a decade brings in terms of resources. I've maps in the box with the other information and the negatives/slides from this trip, yet I'm not going to dig them out for reference. Maps are available on-line. The road we drove over to the coast on is the Cook Flat Road which we then turned off onto Gillespie Beach Road. I've retraced our route through Haast Pass as well. Fascinating.

On the other hand, I think the Google Street views are still rather old. Nor do the satellite pictures show any of the earthquake damage.

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