the Looniverse!

New Zealand
New Zealand
June 2011

Talk about remote. SFO-AUK takes like 14 hours.
So isolated, it's hard to make out the natives' English.
They pronounce seven to rhyme with even; takes some getting used to.

But plenty to see. We moved sort of in an 8, starting out from Auckland to South Island and back, which took us four weeks. Full of surprises.

The landscape often is unique, but the light can be awfully difficult to work with. With those low-hanging clouds it's much harsher than you'd expect. I'd never go and shoot a movie there, so they had to make Lord of the Rings, a trilogy to boot.
Then, maybe because it was wintertime, it was awfully damp. The Sony A900 succumbed and had to take a drying-out Cure that took over four days before it climbed back on the wagon. Meanwhile I'd bought a back-up Panasonic Lumix for about 1/3 more than what you'd pay in New York.
Food-wise, come right down to it, your safest bet is to stick to fish-and-chips—not at all what you'd expect.

Traffic is not bad but they are among the world's greatest tail-gaters, if mostly courteous and forgiving. The weirdest thing about left-hand driving is that, for some reason, they also switch the windshield-wiper and light/turn-signal switches around, so you keep switching on the wipers when you want to make a turn. And after you get back, you start making the same mistake.
Road surfaces are awfully noisy, maybe to make 'em less slippery. Now it's your turn to guess.

Roundabouts all over Noisy road surface Polite, good drivers but tailgaters Give room to pass but flashing emergency to thanks no used A fair guess is, South Island is one of the last countries in the world where people don't bother to luck up when they leave their homes. Well, some people won't.

All-in-all, the place is bloody expensive.
With camera troubles and all, I came back with about 800 shots—counting blanks and everything.
Still very little, just about what I would have used in the analog age; one 35mm film/day.
It's a lifetime habit: why waste it? Just results in endless processing and choosing.
The way I try to organize all that stuff this time is to go for subject by subject rather than by location (which feels travelogue-tiresome).

Maori panoramas cemeteries
Maori duck panorama gay grave
what's left plenty of those my hobby

cities steam & electric volcanoes
Art Deco steam devil's coral
shaking cityscapes energy pours up "ring of fire"

sheeps & muttons fauna wind
sheeps X-ing Kiwi wind
sheepish not many left the Roaring Forties

to follow
cattils flora eat your greens
coasts rocks & boulders mountains
clouds hoo nose water

logo shamelessly stolen from
New Zealand TipTop
and fine ice-cream they make, too

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