Category: Uncategorized

Witches Market

La Paz, Bolivia – September 4, 2018

After ten days of living in La Paz, Bolivia at 11,180 feet (3,404 meters), it was time to bring my lungs on a walking tour of parts of the city.  The Community Liaison Officer (CLO) organized a walking tour on the Labor Day holiday.

About 20 people met at the U. S. Embassy to begin the adventure.  A station on the light blue line of the Teleférico (Linea Celeste) was a little more than a block beyond the starting point.  It took several gondolas to get the group to the end of the light blue line.  Once at the end, the group transferred to the orange line (Linea Naranja).

The orange line “flies” quite high above the never-ending city of La Paz.  The views of the town are stunning.  It is amazing to see just how many homes and businesses are packed into an area delimited by steep hills and cliffs.  It seems one can look in any direction and see hundreds and hundreds of red brick structures clinging to any area of soil that looks as though it may support a structure.  Some look rather doubtful, but that does not seem to deter the owners and builders.

The density of La Paz is like no city I have seen.
View from the orange line of the Teleferico.

In our direction of travel, the orange line drops passengers off near the old train depot.  While it is still known as the train depot, no trains originate from the depot.  For some reason, service was suspended years ago.  The only remnants today are the old building and a couple of train cars sitting on display on tracks that lead nowhere.

The orange line of the Teleferico deposits one near the La Paz train station, seen here in the background.

Departing the orange line terminus, the group walked along Avenida Buenos Aires.  In front of a building under construction, there were a half-dozen burros.  It is uncertain for what they were being used or whether there are others in the city.  These are the only burros I have personally seen here.

Burros at the side of Avenida Buenos Aires.

A few bends along the Avenida later, CLO announced we were at our first destination.  The destination was not readily apparent.  CLO pointed to a wee opening off the side of the road and proclaimed, “There is the entry to Uyustus Market (Mercado Uyustus).”  At first sight, it did not appear that it was an entry to anything.  But, sure enough, once through the entry, one found all sorts of shops on both sides of a very small aisle.  The aisle could not have been more than three feet wide.  Regardless, it was open to travel in either direction.  There were not many people at the market when we arrived.  In fact, several of the shops were not yet open.  Some experienced people in the group said the aisle was very difficult to traverse when all the shops are open and the market is packed.

The narrow slit between the white tarp and the yellow/orange shop is the entry to the Uyustus Market.

Walking through the market, one passes numerous shops.  Some of the shops are no more than a stall about eight feet by eight feet (2.4 meters by 2.4 meters).  One can buy shoes, backpacks, cosmetics, underwear, shirts, pants, electronics, household appliances and more.  Every now and then there was a small opening between shops.  Walking through those, one entered the ground floor of the buildings which line the street.  That was an entirely other maze of shops offering everything one can imagine.  If an item cannot be found at Uyustus Market, it is not something one needs anyway.

A quarter-mile (434 meters) up the market road, thankfully at the end of the upward march, both my lungs began to complain about the 12,300-foot (3,749 meter) elevation.  I was happy to stand still and search for usable atoms of oxygen while my companions looked for bargains.  Looking up, I saw the tangled mess that delivers power, cable TV, and telephone.  I am not sure how one could possibly decipher where to begin if one of the utilities stopped working at a nearby home.

Above the ground floor shops were another four or five floors of apartments.  Probably 95 percent of the buildings appear to be unfinished.  In other words, the exterior is frequently just red brick.  The interiors are finished and certainly livable.  One Bolivian told me there is no sense in making the exterior walls “pretty.”  They are outside.

View of the Uyustus Market.
This mannequin must have been five percent off…
Typical apartment homes above the ground level shops.
The main portion of Uyustus Market is quite crowded.

Soon it was time to walk back downhill toward Avenida Buenos Aires; hooray!!

In the middle of Calle Uyustus was a sleeping dog.  Since this is a market street, the majority of the traffic is pedestrian.  The dog was unfazed by any of the activity.  On that note, there thousands of dogs roaming throughout the city.  Some are simply turned out by their owners for the day.  Regardless, it makes walking dangerous.  Not because of packs of dogs growling at passersby, but because of the “gifts” left behind by the dogs.  Picking up dog feces does not appear to be in vogue in La Paz.  Therefore, when walking, one has to be constantly aware lest one acquire an odorous gift on the bottom of one’s shoe.

Let sleeping dogs lie…

I am reminded of our time in Madrid.  While living there, the city faced a similar problem of people not picking up after their dogs.  The city’s campaign designed to turn the problem around was simple.  They put up signs throughout the city that simply stated; bolsa caca.  Loosely translated, it means bag the crap!  Maybe a similar campaign could gain traction in La Paz.

The other hazard when walking in La Paz is uneven terrain and holes.  By uneven terrain, it is not a reference to the larger terrain of the steep hills and cliffs; but, rather the sidewalks and streets.  There are any number of trip hazards in every few yards or meters one travels.  It is unsafe to walk and look about at the sights.  It is much safer to pay attention to the path to ensure one does not encounter holes, unexpected curbs, sudden inclines or declines, and the occasional dog gift.  If one wishes to see the sights it is best to cease walking and then look.

Back on Avenida Buenos Aires, it is amazing to see the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  Often the vehicles and the humans are separated by mere centimeters.  Luckily, there were no mishaps spotted.

A Dodge bus on Avenida Buenos Aires.
A red Ford bus on Avenida Buenos Aires.
An approaching Dodge bus that was just not quite as fancy as the first.
A family of three on a moped on Avenida Buenos Aires.
Literally, a little old lady walking along Avenida Buenos Aires.
A Bolivian woman wearing the traditional bowler hat.
Some nuns in the back of a minivan.

On the way to the Witches Market, we walked through yet another market.  This was along Pasaje el Rosario.  There were many shops open; however, it was not overly crowded with people.  It is interesting that there are so many shops in the area.  They seem to be sectioned off, for example, one area deals primarily in sewing and knitting supplies.  Another area features mainly electronics and appliances while another deals in aquariums and aquarium supplies.

Another small market on Pasaje el Rosario.
There are many things in the market competing for one’s attention.
A Bolivian woman in a bowler tending to a shop in along Pasaje el Rosario.

We walked into another such area, the “Home Depot.”  This street has every type of hardware or hardware related item one can imagine.  There is a similar area near where I live.  The road on which the shops are located is an active road.  It is a one-way road.  The vehicles have to negotiate with the shoppers while also being inconvenienced by a vehicle stopping to take on a large load of something.  That sets off the horns on the other vehicles for blocks.

A portion of the road, Isaac Tamayo, is the local “Home Depot” of this area of La Paz.

Not long after the “Home Depot” we made it to Calle Sagarnaga.  That meant we were very close to the Witches Market (Mercado de las Brujas).  Finally, at the intersection of Calle Sagarnaga and Calle Linares, we found ourselves in the middle of the Witches Market.  Apparently, the market is so named because in addition to selling the normal tourist fare, one can also buy many spells and potions.  I did not buy any tourist items or potions, preferring to defer my purchases until I return with Leslie and Lorraine.  However, upon my return, I doubt any potions will find their way into my shopping bag.

View north along Calle Sagarnaga toward San Francisco Basilica.
The intersection of Calle Sagarnaga and Calle Linares.
Bolivian women tending a street shop in the Witches Market area of La Paz.
In the Witches Market, looking south along Calle Linares.
The entry to the inti-illimani shop in the Witches Market.
Entry point to another area of the Witches Market along Calle Melchor Jimenez.
A woman waling along Calle Linares.
One of the very colorful street displays found throughout the Witches Market.

About an hour of shopping later, the group met for lunch at a Cuban restaurant.  I opted to not join the group.  I had to return to San Miguel to go to the Tigo store.

I walked down Sagarnaga toward the San Francisco Basilica.  I would have liked to have gone in, but I had to keep my errand in mind.  Walking from the basilica to the Teleférico, I caught several glimpses of Mount Illimani.  That mountain is about 21,122 feet (6,438 meters) high.  It is visible from many of the higher points of La Paz; including from the Teleférico.

The main entry to the San Francisco Basilica.
Mount Illimani in the distance.
Riding on the light blue (Linea Celeste) of the Teleferico, apparently destined to Mount Illimani.

I still had to settle my bill for cable and internet after the previous facility manager departed.  I took the Teleférico back to the end of the green line.  From there I taxied to Tigo.  Once my bill was handled, I decided to walk home.  As I walked, I passed a dentist office.  It was obvious they were trying to use a clever combination of the words teeth and health.  Unfortunately, on retrospect, maybe the “H” should have been lowercase…I’m just sayin’.

Maybe the “H” should have been lowercase too…
Even though the city is so dense, there is new construction nearly everywhere one looks.
Looking down and to the east along Calle Uyustus.
Near the top of Uyustus Market. The light pole seems to be a starting place for electrical, cable, and telephone spaghetti.
Walking back down to the main portion of Uyustus Market.
Nearly back to Avenida Buenos Aires.
Buses traveling up Max Paredes.
People mix freely, but cautiously, with the traffic.
A paint store at the intersection of Calle Sagarnaga and Avenida Illampu.
Pedestrians able to cross the intersection.
Walking down Calle Sagarnaga to the north, toward the Witches Market.
A partial view of the Plaza Major de San Francisco. The traffic jam is on Avenida Mariscal Santa Cruz.
The bell tower of the San Francisco Basilica.
Looking to the southeast beyond the Plaza del Obelisco, following Avenida Camacho, one can see Mount Illimani in the distance.
Pedestrians waiting to cross the street.
From a bridge on Calle Bueno, looking to the southeast along the light blue line of the Teleferico. Mount Illimani is covered with a few clouds.  Note the Batman and Wonder Woman restroom sign.
Marvelous La Paz.
The Marvelous La Paz sign visible in the City Park.
The Linea Celeste drops in elevation to the point that one can no longer see Mount Illimani.
Departing the next to last station on the Teleferico Linea Celeste.
Preparing to pass under the bridge.
From the last station on the green line of the Teleferico looking back toward the northwest.

Wellington Museum

Wellington, New Zealand – June 28, 2018

I wanted to visit the Wellington Museum.  For some reason, the timing never seemed to be right.  That changed yesterday.

Leslie and I walked to the train station near our home and rode the light rail to the main Wellington railway station.  Exiting the train, we walked to the waterfront and then essentially south toward the museum.  Just prior to gaining the waterfront, I stopped to photograph the Hotel Waterloo building.  Finished in 1937, the building has a definite art deco style.  It is one of several art deco style buildings in the Wellington CBD.

The Hotel Waterloo building. It dates from 1937.

The first business we walked by was MADINZ.  It is a store selling New Zealand tourist items and collectables.  What actually caught our eye were the two shih tzu dogs inside by the front door.  When we walked in, the younger of the two, Oscar, became very excited.  Leslie stopped and petted Oscar.  As we began to wander around the store, the dog settled down.  The items for sale were very high quality.  We did not buy anything only because we already have a lot of New Zealand mementos.

As we walked farther, we came to the building at 1 Queen’s Wharf.  It is an old harbor office building dating from 1896.  Maybe the most well-known business there today is the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.  We did walk in and take a quick look at the items on display at the Academy.  We did not spend much time because much of what we saw was too modern for our taste.

The building at 1 Queen’s Wharf. It dates from 1896.

At the south end of 1 Queen’s Wharf, in between that building and the Wellington Museum, one can see a set of entry gates to the wharf area.  The gates date from 1899.  I found the seal on the gate to be quite whimsical.

The 1899 gates to the Queen’s Wharf area.

Finally, we had reached our goal; the Wellington Museum.  The museum is in the 1892 Wellington Harbour Board Head Office and Bond Store.  It is a Victorian style building designed by the same architect as 1 Queen’s Wharf.  The bond store was a warehouse that stored goods imported to New Zealand as the customs fees and paperwork process was complete.

The Wellington Museum. The Bond Store dates from 1892.

As with so many of the museums in this country there is no set entry fee.  There is simply a place to leave a donation.  The quaint museum does a very good job of taking one through the maritime history of Wellington from the mid-to-late nineteenth century up to today.

The ground floor houses exhibits in a timeline fashion, highlighting many years past.  A few of the exhibits that caught my eye included replica crown jewels, a 1958 diorama, and several peace sign emblems.  The jewels were reproductions made for display at the 1939-1940 Centennial Exhibition.  I do not recall the significance of the diorama other than it depicted 1958…say no more.  The peace signs date from 1982.  They were part of the nuclear-free New Zealand protests at that time.  The protests came to a head with the visit of the USS Truxtun.  The United States at the time would neither confirm nor deny any nuclear capabilities of the cruiser.  Decommissioned in 1995, we now know the cruiser was nuclear powered.  The Truxtun was the last U.S. ship to visit New Zealand until the USS Sampson visited in 2016.

Replicas of St. Edward’s crown and the Sword of State.
The 1958 diorama.
The nuclear-free peace symbols.

The first and second levels delve into the maritime history of Wellington, New Zealand.  The most poignant area of the museum deals with the Wahine sinking on April 10, 1968.  The movie in the museum is difficult to watch.  There were 51 people that lost their lives that day.  An additional two died later, bringing the toll to 53.  The disaster happened during one of the worst cyclones to ever hit New Zealand.

A depiction of the Wahine sinking in 1968.

As Leslie and I walked up the stairs to the Attic level of the museum, I had to stop to take a photo of a portion of the diagonal bracing of the building.  I may very well be the only person to ever do that!

The Attic is a wonderful, hands-on portion of the museum.  I believe we enjoyed those exhibits the most.  If we had visited the Wellington Museum earlier in our posting, I am sure we would have returned.  It is well worth the visit.

Detail of the diagonal bracing at the Wellington Museum.
Touching the plasma globe in the Attic.

Leaving the museum, it was time for lunch.  We ended up at the München Food Hall and Bier Haus.  We both opted for a rueben sandwich on rye and a liter of beer.  Yes, you read correctly, a full liter of beer each.  That may not have been the best decision we have made lately…  Regardless, I thought the food was very good.

The interior of the München Food Hall and Bier Haus.

When we left the restaurant, I wanted to walk to a photography store nearby.  On the way, we passed near Wellington’s Civic Square.  As we got closer, I remembered that a new Ferns orb sculpture was to have been erected the previous day.  I walked into the square and sure enough, the orb was there, suspended above the square.  It is an impressive sculpture.  The artist is Neil Dawson.  He had a similar sculpture in place earlier, but it was taken down.  This new sculpture has a stronger internal structure.

A second view of the Civic Square.

After visiting the photography store, we walked back to the Wellington Railway station to catch a train back home.  The railway building is another from the art deco era.  It dates from about 1937.  The front of the station is easily recognizable by the tall Doric columns at the main entry.

We found a train leaving in about five minutes.  We got on and rode the 20-minutes or so to our train station.  Then it was a short walk home.  All totaled, we walked about four miles, so we were both ready for a nap even though it was late in the day.

The Railway Station from ground level.
A docking area at the Queen’s Wharf waterfront.
A very seaworthy police boat.
Model of a German ship that commandeered by New Zealand.
The captain’s cabin from the ship Te Anau.
A wooden mermaid.
Poupou (carved posts) and tukutuku (woven panels) made by Rangi Hetet, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, and their family.
A firetruck passing by the gates to Queen’s Wharf.
The Fern orb above the Civic Square.
The Fern orb.
Half-off sale???
The building at 1 Queen’s Wharf. The Wellington Museum is at the far right.
Pedestrian II.
Pedestrian III.
Boys on scooters.
Pedestrians IV.
The Railway Station.
Awaiting trains.
A passenger finding a seat.
Waiting for the departure.
Our driveway, the entry to a secret garden…

Makara Beach

Makara Beach, New Zealand – June 10, 2018

A couple of weekends ago, as Leslie and I were driving to the parking area for Red Rocks, I saw a sign that piqued my interest; “wind turbine.”  The words were on a sign in the Brooklyn neighborhood.  It was a brown sign which implies an attraction.  I wanted to go for a walk and I thought that might be interesting.

I began to look at Mr. Google’s map to see where the wind turbine is located.  After I found it, I remembered seeing a wind turbine farm from the air when returning from one of my trips.  I thought seeing several wind turbines at one time would be more interesting than just seeing one.  Looking around some more, I stumbled upon the town of Makara and Makara Beach.  Since I love to walk on the beach, I decided that was the place to go.

Leslie did not feel like going with me, but she said I was welcome to go.  I hopped in the car, told TomTom where I wanted to go, and pulled out of the driveway.

By road, Makara Beach is only 30 kilometers (18 miles) from our home.  The route TomTom chose sent me through the suburb of Johnsonville.  When I reached Ohariu Valley Road, it was like I had left urban Wellington 100 kilometers behind.  I instantly found my self in a green, fertile valley dotted with horse, cow, and sheep properties.

Several kilometers into the journey, the road name changes to Takarau Gorge Road.  The emphasis should be on the word “gorge.”  The road narrows down to the point that two vehicles can barely pass each other.  There are several spots where the road is really only one-lane wide.  At several locations, painted on the road, were the words “one lane bridge.”  I thought to myself that was an understatement since the entire road seemed to be one-lane.  Regardless, even passing several cars driving the opposite direction, I made it through the Takarau Gorge unscathed.

The gorge is visually stunning.  The Makara Stream adds to the picturesque feel of the gorge.  If there had been places to safely pull off the road, I would have taken several photographs.

As I negotiated the final curve in the road before I saw the ocean, I noticed the house on the curve had a fence that was completely covered in paua shells.  Since Leslie and I have such a fondness for paua shells, I knew I would need to photograph the fence.  But first, I thought it was much more prudent to get a cup of coffee.

About 50 meters from the beach, I saw the Makara Beach Café.  I drove to the beach, made a U-turn, and parked in front of the café.  I was not quite sure if the café was open, but then I saw several people with motorcycle helmets standing near the entrance drinking coffee.  I got out of the car and walked to the service window.

The nicest woman, Philippa, was at the window.  She took my order for a long black.  While she was fulfilling the order, she talked to me about photography (she saw the camera around my neck).  She also helped my hone my pronunciation of Makara.  There was a distinct difference between her pronunciation and mine.

Philippa at the Makara Beach Cafe.
A portion of the Makara Beach Cafe patio. Note the motor scooter through the door, waiting to begin the rally.

Receiving my long black, I sat at one of the picnic tables in the patio area to enjoy the coffee.  I noticed there were some repairs to the building underway.  It was not until I returned home that I understood just what was happening.  Back in late February, cyclone Gita made an unceremonious appearance on the west coast of the North Island.  In a photograph on the Makara Beach Café Facebook page I saw just exactly what that meant (it is really worth clicking on the link to see the devastation).  Rocks from the beach and very large driftwood trees were tossed along the main road of the town, well past the café.  It was obvious from the photograph that a lot of work went into returning the area to some sense of normalcy.

When I finished my coffee, I decided it was time to walk back to the home with the paua shell fence.  As I walked the short distance, I noticed the people I had seen drinking coffee.  They were standing near a group of motor scooters.  I was able to work out that they were all participating in some sort of rally.  One by one they came to the starting point, waited for the signal, and then departed the town.  I continued my walk, took a couple photographs, and then returned to my car to get my tripod.

House with the paua shell fence.
Detail of the paua shell fence.

I walked the few steps to the beach.  Looking north along the coast, I did see the wind turbine farm.  However, when I looked the other direction, it appeared there were more photographic opportunities.  I started off to my left.

View from Makara Beack toward the Makara Walkway.

Not far down the trail I saw a sign.  Two different Makara Walkways were delineated on the sign; one followed the coast while the other wound its way up the hillside to a World War II gun emplacement.  I decided the upper route was the one for me.

About 400 meters along the trail, I stopped at a rock pillar formation.  It made for an interesting subject for some photographs.  After another 250 meters, I was at the point where the trail splits.  Along the way, it was easy to see that the trail had been compromised by Gita.  At some places, there was no trail left, only the rocks of the beach.

The rock pillar.
The rock pillar and the wind turbine farm.

Heading up the trail, I soon came to the opening of a small valley.  At the top of the valley was a lone wind turbine.  I am not sure why there was only one while across the bay there was an entire farm of wind turbines.  During my stop to take some photos, a man and woman passed me.  I ultimately turned to follow them.  Soon, I came to yet another fork in the trail.  The couple had gone left.  I decided to go right.

The trail rose quickly.  I stopped several times to wheeze.  Ultimately, I made it to the top of the rise.  The view from there was one of the best views I have seen during our travels in New Zealand.  I found myself on a fairly steep clifftop.  The cliff and hills continued on toward the south.  I could easily overlook Cook Strait and see the South Island.  From my vantage point, I was essentially looking through Queen Charlotte Sound, toward the town of Picton.

The South Island in the distance.

I was interested to continue the climb toward the wind turbine and the gun emplacement.  However, the rock scrabble trail at this point looked a little iffy.  Instead, I decided to concentrate on my photographs.  I thought I would descend back to the fork in the trail when I finished with my camera work and continue up toward the wind turbine.  As it turns out, when I got back to the fork, I was a bit tired.  I also thought Leslie would be wondering why I was gone so long.  With that in mind, I opted to walk back to Makara.

Arriving back in Makara, I decided to stop at the Makara Beach Café again to get a bottle of water.  Philippa was still there.  She sold me a large and wonderfully cold bottle of water.  She is representative of the many Kiwis we have met, so very nice and friendly.

As I strolled back to my car with water in hand, I noticed a sign across the street that was not there when I arrived, “Makara Art Gallery.”  I decided to cross the street and check it out.  That was a pure stroke of luck.  The art is by artist and illustrator Helen Casey.  When I walked into the gallery, I saw several of her pieces on display.  While I was looking, Helen entered the gallery.  We began talking about her work and what exactly an illustrator does.

Helen Casey in her gallery.
“Itchy” the seal. The work reminds Leslie and I of a seal we saw itching its back on a rock at Red Rocks.

Helen has done work for magazines, books, and art at several of the New World supermarkets.  The work she had on display at the gallery is some of the most unique I have ever seen.  She combines gesso, graphite, and varnish into some amazing, textural pieces.  Two pieces caught my eye; a painting of a gannet at the beach and a seal on a piece of driftwood.  After quite a bit of conversation and thinking, I opted to purchase the seal on the driftwood.  It connected with me, and I am sure with Leslie too.  It is on a piece of driftwood.  Both of us like driftwood.  We have collected a lot while we have lived in New Zealand.  Both of us love seals.  Some of our best memories of New Zealand will include the seals at Red Rocks and Cape Palliser.  That meant that piece was destined to be our favorite piece of art from this beautiful country.

Helen packaged the artwork.  I put it in my car and turned to head home.

In my opinion, the town of Makara is a must-see location!

A panoramic view of the main street. Compare this to the photograph in the hyperlink to the Makara Beach Cafe Facebook page.
Another view of the main road.
The town of Makara is partially visible on the far right. The wind turbine farm is just across the bay.
The wind turbine farm on the opposite side of Ohariu Bay.
View back toward Makara.
The view back across Ohariu Bay from the point where the Makara Walkway forks.
A single wind turbine.
A father and son sitting, looking across Wharehou and Ohariu Bays.
Wind turbine.
Makara as viewed from the point, across Wharehou and Ohariu Bays.
Looking along the coast, one can see the lone wind turbine.
View across Wharehou Bay II.
View across Wharehou Bay.
The grassy trail leads to a viewpoint of the wind turbine farm.
View toward the south along the west coast of the North Island. The South Island is just across Cook Strait in the distance.
One can just make out Ohariu Bay in the center of the photograph.
It was windy, so the wind turbine was definitely in motion.
The wind turbine atop the valley.
The rock pillar as seen from up above on the trail.
Toward Makara Beach.
The bays and the wind turbine farm.

Wainuiomata Coast

Wainuiomata Coast, New Zealand – February 8, 2016

I must have gotten sidetracked.  I never posted these photographs from 2016…

A colleague at work recommended the Wainuiomata Beach for beachcombing.  Always interested in a new beach experience, Lorraine, Leslie, Hillary, and I drove about 30 minutes to the beach.  It was barren with few people.  From the beach, one could see Cook Strait and the lighthouse complex at Baring Head.

We were hoping to find some nice seashells and sea glass.  We found neither.  All we saw were rocks and driftwood.  Regardless, it had its own stark beauty.

As Hillary and I walked the beach, we did come across a man fishing.  I am not sure how successful he may have been.  It looked difficult to me, what with the wind blowing onto the shore and the wave action; I do not see how he could have gotten his bait out far enough to do any good.

On the drive to the beach, we had passed a sign for the Remutaka Forest Park.  Leaving the beach, we decided to take a quick look at the park.  I am glad we did.  I was very picturesque.  The only thing that was somewhat irritating was the incessant sound made by the cicadas.  They were noisy.  While I had certainly heard them before, I had never seen one prior to this trip.  They are an odd-looking insect.

Leslie had made a lunch before we departed the house.  We found a picnic table in the park and had lunch.  After that, we took a brief stroll and then went back to the house.

View toward Baring Head with Cook Strait in the distance.
Three generations.
A fern beside the stream.
A type of pampas grass.
A stream in Remutaka Forest Park.
Rocks in a stream.
Detail of a stream in Remutaka Forest Park.
A cicada on the tree just above the two leafs.
Wainuiomata River near the coast.
A windblown stump.
Geese and black swans.
An old stump on the beach.
Wondering just how much longer I will be out taking photos.
Fishing from the coast.
First portrait in New Zealand!
A large rock on the beach.
A small wave coming in on the rock.
Walking toward the beach.
A red-billed gull.