a visual poem reflecting on past love-relationships and choices. all pictures taken at the stunning wharariki beach on new zealand’s south island.
20 Dec 2013 1 Comment
I met Javi in the neatly utopian community of Tui in Golden Bay, where we were both WWOOF’ing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms). It turned out that, not only did we have a mutual friend back in Australia, we were also both on the lookout for a fellow musician to travel with. After a month of jamming around the campfire, we decided to go on a tour of the South Island – it was to be the most epic hitchhike I have ever done…
The tour could well have been called The Friend Of A Friend Of A Friend Tour, because so many times we got picked up by amazing Kiwi’s who not only transported us but also fed and sheltered us and finally passed on the contacts of their friends who in turn did the same. And so it was that a sister of a friend in Tui, offered us to stay in their family’s beautiful old town house right in the center of the quaint little tourist trap of Queenstown.
19 Dec 2013 4 Comments
You are standing in the prettiest place in the world. Sun is up, and filters pleasantly through an elusive variation of clouds. The camp-fire smell in your clothes reminds you of the glorious conversations and last night’s one-pot stew. This morning’s cowboy-coffee takes the edge of the relentless sand-flies’ bites, but you don’t really care:
In front of you is Mount Cook and his range of snow-capped alpine cousins. Towering so near – pouring clean, crisp water down their arms, and into the hands of the forest and the bush. Silent lakes and strong-headed rivers. Drowsy pastures and the odd farm-house. Over litter-less beaches and into the patiently pulsating Pacific Ocean. This is the last place we got to – the freshest land on the planet.
Time is not an issue. Your thumb is the agenda, and your camp is on your back. Cars passing by allow for another tea and another story – another belly laugh. Nature talks back with subtle critters in the grass, whooshing leaves and the distant crash of tidal waves. The road is warm and life is happy. Someone always picks you up.
10 Dec 2013 1 Comment
I’ve just figured out how to make a gallery, so here’s a few snaps from my latest tramping trip to Lake Angelus near Nelson.
I went there with the amazing Gourmet Tramper Inna from Tui, and my new friend and travel buddy – Javier the Drummer.
05 Dec 2013 2 Comments
in History, New Zealand, Research Tags: A History Of New Zealand, Abel Tasman, Ao Tea Roa, Captain James Cook, Hellhole of the Pacific, Jean De Surville, Kororareka, Kupa, Maori Settlers, Moa Bird, Polynesian Settlers, Settlement of New Zealand, Waka, Whaling
This post is an attempt to sum up parts of New Zealand’s earliest history, so if you’re not into history and just want to know what I am up to, then you’re better off doing those dishes you postponed when you sat down quickly check your email and then ended up surfing the net for 3 hours.
New Zealand is indeed a new place. Not just as a nation, the actual land mass is still emerging from the sea at a rate fast enough to produce regular earthquakes. Mountains grow about 1 meter a year (but only a centimeter remains after the rest has crumbled away again). The soil is slipping and sliding everywhere as any motorist who has ever driven on New Zealand’s winding, crumbling roads will know. But long before New Zealand became what we know today as Australia’s innocent younger sister (sorry Kiwis but it’s true) and the last outpost of Western Civilization, the land had an altogether different culture; it was the land of the Maori – the normal people.
You see, the Polynesian descendants who first settled down in this wondrous place never even thought of themselves as one people until the Europeans started showing up. Until then, the first waves of canoeing explorers who landed on these pristine beaches had formed individual tribes and chiefdoms and fought each other over land and resources as humans have a tendency to do.
Then, when suddenly, gigantic “canoes” with massive sails blew in with their pale looking crew wearing pointy hats and crazy rags, the locals realized that they had a lot more in common with each other than they had with these strangers, and just like that they decided to call themselves Maori which means “regular” or “normal” people. The stranger, in turn, were from then on called Pakeha which means “stranger”. Pakeha is still in common use today and is mostly thought of as a neutral term or simply a necessary word for distinguishing newer settlers from Maori.
It also wasn’t until the arrival of Europeans that the Maoris agreed on a common name for New Zealand, namely Aotearoa. Until then been considered to be hundreds of tribal chiefdoms (Iwi’s) rather than one united country and the name Aotearoa only applied top the North Island which had been discovered first. According to Maori legend, it was the great Polynesian navigator Kupe, who first set foot on this island when he chanced upon it during a long and epic chase after a giant octopus called Muturangi.