Friday, December 29, 2006

yellow-bellied tizzle torts

well, the pohutukawas are in bloom, which means that it's christmas, or it's been christmas, or christmas rode a lemming off a cliff catching a pleasant summery breeze while plummeting into the briny depths; aucklanders are flocking to their former-baches-now-holiday-mansions; and beaches are over-run with hooligan teenagers and children with abrasive squeals. this new year's will be spent at the coromandel peninsula ("where the beer flows like wine, where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of capistrano"), specifically at hahei.

spent a few days down in wellington. had the pleasure of crashing at 128, a community house and hangout for the anarcho-activist-pinko crowd. there i met more people than names i can remember, made friends and acquaintances with a few members of the community, including a dog--shock horror--named willow. besides the lovely company, the house boasts a vegetarian kitchen with a glut of free bread from a fancy bakery, as well as a library filled with radical books, and a bike shop; but seems to lack a shower with hot water. the advantages i feel far outweigh the drawbacks. i look forward to spending a few days there upon my return while brendan and i find a flat and some jobs.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

yeah, whatever.

a brief photo dump. just some highlights, but by no means all of it. gotta post before the internet cafe closes. click to enlarge.

just got back from here... being able tasman national park

the routeburn track

the milford track

patagonia: dessert! it's what's for dinner... and breakfast.

penguins at a reserve near dunedin

and some other ones...

best big-screen internet spa-pool in arthur's pass. the campervan conference garden is also nice.

takahe's are awesome.

ladies, brendan makes good funny faces. that's talent.

...says it all.

not funny, but ferny... so bad, yet so, so good.

Monday, December 11, 2006

camels are momos.

last we met, i had yet to walk about on a river of ice. well, i now can check that off my list. our first effort at fox glacier was a bust. three days of driving rain made sure of that. instead we watched a bunch of films on their giant projection tv, including new zealand's most famous domestic flicks whale rider and once were warriors. we ended up deciding to push on up to franz joseph, the other glacier of note on the south island's west coast. we were lucky to be gifted a lovely overcast afternoon sans rain, allowing us to go and stomp on some ice. as usual, photos tk.

from there it was off to hokitika, jade carving center of the universe. after an afternoon carving cow bone, which is cheaper than jade and a softer object to work with. we then bounced off to greymouth, which is pretty much solely known for the monteith's brewery, where i had a tour and tasting (i recommend the black, radler, and summer ale, though they all seemed to be pretty decent beers to me, as beers go).

we made it all the way over to nelson, where we're presently stationed. today is probably the best day of weather we've had since arriving in the south island. it is warm, sunny, with clear skies and a light breeze. most of the day was spent wandering town looking at art galleries. i also paid a local artisan cut my hair off for the low, low price of NZ$10, which is like $6.70 in real money. the coiffure took about two and half minutes to complete.

other things accomplished in the past couple of days:
1. ate fresh fruit: banana, mango, cherry variaties
2. saw new bond film: bad ass. best bond since goldeneye (same director... go figure)
3. made more bone carvings: tutorial by german immigrant stephan, who refused to breath when he talked, preferring to push out every syllable from his thought process until he ran completely out of breath.
4. went to the world of wearable art.
5. saw the holiday: not bad for a holiday-based romantic comedy, a little bit too much on the cheesy side though. kate winslet and cameron diaz are fine. jack black doesn't play a complete ass, which is surprising. the same can probably be said for jude law, who plays an awful lot of jerks. it's the first likeable guy i've seen him play since he was in enemy at the gates.