Thursday, October 05, 2006

Finally, more pictures

So after having argued to, wrestled with, and copiously cursed at Blogger's flakiness in picture-uploading, I decided to look elsewhere.

With any luck, this link should work. It contains pictures of the trip to Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula that Dave and I took some weeks ago. It was a great deal of fun, and we learned the following:

  • * Helen Clark was in the Koru Lounge (NZ equivalent of Maple Leaf Lounge) with us, but in a different part than the standard Koru Lounge riffraff (i.e. us)
  • * We ran into a movie star on the plane! "Sione's Wedding" actor Robbie Magasiva was on the plane with us.
  • * Auckland was lovely, and we found a great garden-mansion hostel to stay in. The weather was much warmer! The plants seem to like it better there too...
  • * All-you-can-eat sushi buffets are a great idea... except for the being-so-stuffed-you-feel-like-you're-gonna-die part.
  • * The roads in Coromandel Peninsula are downright scary. Sharp turns at top speed, teensy narrow roads, vanishing corners, major slopes, steep cliffs and hungry abysses, all at once.
  • * Sheep are less scared of cars than they are of people.
  • * Coromandel Town serves fresh half-shell oysters at $20 per dozen. You eat them while overlooking the body of water they were caught from that very morning.
  • * Shiraz is called Syrrah here.
  • * Coromandel Town is also known for its clay hills, used as a raw source for many local potters and sculptors. One even built a railroad into the clay hills, excavated clay along the way, and has since turned the railroad into a tourist attraction.
  • * On the opposite side of the Coromandel Peninsula is a famous beach. At low tide, magma-heated water seeps upward through the sand, making nice, toasty pools of water to rest in. It needs to be mixed with normal seawater, however, as the heated water can actually burn one's skin.
  • * A set of caves near Hot Water Beach include Cathedral Cove, an aptly-named cave with a gigantic opening and a massive domed interior. It is simply spectacular. Also, the sand on the beach is actually pink!
  • * Calla lilies grow everywhere, wild and untended. Given that they are an incredibly posh, popular, and very expensive wedding flower, it's neat to see them growing by the roadside like weeds. Interestingly, they are the New Zealand symbol of women's suffrage.
  • * Nearby Thames town, there is a greenhouse dedicated entirely to raising orchids and exotic butterflies. Witnessing them flying free is positively mesmerizing to watch.
  • * The atlas moth has a wingspan of nearly a foot, and the beating of its wings has sufficient force to seriously disturb any unstable surface the moth may be attached to... such as a shirt.

Enjoy the pictures -- short descriptions can be obtained through clicking on the "Detailed" view. Let me know if this works for you!


Speaka said...

Sounds like a great the pics!

Margaret said...

I simply LOVE the new photos!!
I'll have your Dad download them so I can show them to Nanny when I go to Ottawa on Saturday.
The two of you are going to have such wonderful memories from this adventure.
Lots of love to you both,

Amanda and Kendra said...

hey karla and dave, the new pics are amazing postcard material... you guys are a great couple... like margaret said this will all be wonderful memories for you both to cherish... i am so happy that you have been able to share this with us back home. take care and kendra and i send lots of hugs and kisses... oh and moms surgery went smoothly she is in her room now and starts physio tomorrow they dont waste time she is in the general hospitol which is just down the street from nannys.. so i thaught i would fill u in... we r looking forward to seeing maggie tomorrow kendra and i will be greeting her along with dad... chow

Faye said...

Wow Karla, the pictures are great. and I see you have magnolias, one of my favorite flowers. Taylor is in Ireland. We move into our new house on Tuesday.Things are a-hoppin'.

Ben said...

Great pics Karla. Makes me really look forward to our trip.