23 April 2012

New Zealand holiday: week three (and a bit)

I got back to Cusco this afternoon but my wonderful New Zealand holiday is still very fresh in my mind, especially as I've just been looking at all my photos. Here are my images for week three ... and I cheated a little by adding a couple of extras.

366/105 April 14, 2012
Though I didn't actually take this one but appear in it instead, I did take others of the same tree and I liked how my green tshirt makes me kind of blend in. And what a tree! It's at the bottom of my friend Rosie's garden in Titirangi (in Auckland, New Zealand) and is a kauri tree. This one may well be as much as 1000 years old, judging by its size. Just magnificent!

366/106 April 15, 2012
Taken inside Auckland Art Gallery yesterday ... looking at the lovely marble bust, and at the old part of gallery building and at the lovely trees in Albert Park beyond. The gallery currently has a splendid exhibition entitled From Degas to Dali which I enjoyed with a couple of friends. It was the first time I had seen the new extension to the gallery, which is a magnificent building in itself.

366/107 April 16, 2012
This is a flower from the metrosideros family, of which 12 are endemic to New Zealand. The most common here is the pohutukawa, known informally as the New Zealand Christmas tree as it produces its brilliant display of red flowers (made up of a mass of stamens) at Christmas time. This miniature variety is flowering now and provides a wonderfully colourful display.

366/108 April 17, 2012
The path around the Community Centre in Titirangi is lined with tiles made by local school children and designed to show aspects of life in the village. This is a good example of Titirangi, a beautiful tree-lined suburb on the shores of the Manukau harbour. The area has long been home to artists and other creative people, so these children probably have creativity programmed into their genes.

366/109 April 18, 2012
I went out for a long long walk this afternoon, partly through the tree-lined streets of Titirangi and partly around the bays that line the Manukau harbour. This was my view at about 3.30pm, and from here I walked straight ahead then turned left, crunching over oyster shells, sliding over muddy ancient lava flows and checking out rock pools. Bliss!

366/110 April 19, 2012
Another day of shell crunching today - I only have one full day of holiday left and it's busy with more friend catch-ups, so I was determined to hit the beach one last time today. I love the feel of the sand between my toes, and the smell of the salty sea, and beachcombing along the high-tide line. Pure delight!

This old tree has obviously seen better days, with barnacles and other beasties growing on it, but what wonderfully tangled roots it has.

366/111 April 20, 2012
On the last day of my holiday in Auckland I think it's appropriate to highlight the city's most well-known building, the Skytower, reflected here in another of the city's skyscrapers. At 328 metres, it's the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere and, from the viewing platforms, you get breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction. You can go up it, eat in it, and jump off it – and, I don’t mean anything suicidal by that. It’s one for the adrenalin junkies – it’s called Skyjump and basically you’re attached to a wire, then lowered off the side, very fast, 192m straight down. Not for me!

366/112 April 21, 2012
I couldn't resist one last beach picture before I left New Zealand and I thought this was so cute, with the kids' scooter and trike parked by a post at French Bay.

366/113 April 22, 2012
And I just had to add one more New Zealand photo before I left the country. This is the Percival Gull, the tiny plane that Jean Batten flew solo from England to New Zealand in 1936. It's on display at Auckland International airport and seems particularly appropriate as this was the beginning of 2 days spent flying half way across the world, from Auckland back to Cusco, though obviously in much bigger planes!

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