Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Four days on the West Coast...

My mother used to say the West Coast was 'another country' (she loved it). The contrast between  the flat, bush-denuded Canterbury Plains and the forested Coast mountains is just one part of this 'other' which extends to people, buildings, industries and lifestyle in general.

In the week before quake #2, Elaine and I took off for the Coast to meet up with her sister Margaret at Okarito. We stopped at Arthurs Pass where I couldn't resist a conversation with the cheekiest of three kea...
Wonderful camouflage!
I am not feeding the kea. He is biting my finger and I am grinning from ear to ear!
On the other side of the Pass ('over the hill' as coasters say) we stopped at Otira just in time to watch the Trans-Alpine Express coming through, its colours a happy contrast with the grey sky and dark bush.

Trans-Alpine at Otira
And as for colour, I was enchanted by  the Otira Hall where locals were holding a market. One of the ladies-in-charge gave me a run-down on the history of the hall which, with its sprung floor, was the venue for local dances in her youth, also doubling as a cinema.

Smoko outside the Otira Hall
At Hokitika I wanted to see the sea (from one coast to the other) and so we 'happened across' the driftwood sculptures on the beach. These too made me smile because while they had clearly originated in a competition, it was also apparent that spontaneous sculptures were colonising the beach in all directions.

Mushrooms (driftwood and flat stones)
Cactus - and a study in grey
More to come...


  1. Nice trip. Were you there or at home during the moments of the quake?

    Love the ee sounds of "cheekiest of three kea." Ouch! Looks like a powerful beak. You are quite brave. And I'm so happy for the photo of you! You look exactly like I had imagined you would :-)

    Love how the art forms on the beach look like natural phenomena.

  2. p.s. Our west coast (California) is also like another country and culture. Flowers grow there that look like giant mutations of our Georgia species.

  3. I love the feel of birdy tongues on my finger when they bite. Though beaks can be quite painful at times.