19 April 2012

New Zealand holiday: week one

Either I used my return ticket to New Zealand, or I would lose it. No contest really! I also needed to use my annual leave or I’d lose it. And, though I hadn’t really missed much about New Zealand – no great cravings for peanut slabs or pineapple lumps like some people do – I yearned particularly to see the sea again. I hadn’t realised how much I would miss living close to water until I lived in land-locked and mountain-enclosed Cusco. And I knew it would be wonderful to catch up with friends and family again.

Plans were made, flights reserved, accommodation booked in – THANK YOU SO MUCH, dear Rosie, for welcoming me into your beautiful home so I could enjoy the delights of Titirangi again.

So, how has it been? Well, this year one of my projects on Google+ (where I am daily inspired by the amazing images of my photographer peers, have been welcomed into their photographic community, have been co-opted to co-curate a daily theme page, and frequently contribute my own humble pictures) has been to take one photo every day and post it to a special album. For me this has become something of a personal diary, as I’ve taken images that show aspects of my life, where I’m living, what I’m doing, what surrounds me, what I see.

To document my holiday in New Zealand, I thought I would share the images I have been taking as part of my 366 project, so here’s week one.

366/90 March 30, 2012
I lost a day travelling here to New Zealand so I'm adding two shots for one day to make up for it. Both epitomise my first day back in Auckland, as the friend I'm staying with lives in the bush (NZ's name for forest) so we are surrounded by greenery. This is looking down from her deck into the top of a huge fern (punga in the NZ Maori language).

366/91 March 31, 2012
One thing I have greatly missed living in Cusco has been water! Coming from New Zealand, an island nation, I have been surrounded by water most of my life. It was so amazing yesterday going to Piha beach, on Auckland's west coast, for a walk along the beach.

366/92 April 1, 2012
Another day, another beach ... this is the long long beach at Waipu Cove, on New Zealand's east coast, just south of Whangarei. It feels like you could walk forever!

366/92 April 2, 2012
This is the bark of New Zealand's most famous tree, the kauri. They grow straight and thick, and have very dense hard wood so, when the Europeans arrived in New Zealand in the early 1800s and quickly recognised the value of the kauri, there was mass felling of the trees for use in ship and house building, and for making furniture. As a result of this mass destruction of the kauri forests, it is now a protected species and cannot be felled. The largest kauri tree in New Zealand is approximately 45 feet (14 metres) in circumference and 169 feet (52 metres) tall.

366/94 April 03, 2012
Winter's coming ... but isn't it pretty?

366/95 April 4, 2012
This is one of the oldest buildings on Auckland's waterfront, the former Union Steamship Company office. The architecture of the newer buildings is not particularly inspiring, so I'm glad they haven't demolished some of these older ones.

399/96 April 05, 2012
A sunhat ... an essential accessory in New Zealand, which has the second highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

366/97 April 06, 2012
It's been a glorious Good Friday here in Auckland so my friend Rosie and I joined the throngs at Muriwai, a stunning 60-kilometre-long west coast beach not far from the city. A superb day for a long walk on the sands!

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