Monday, November 26, 2007

BMWs in the family

Cousin Peter and my brother Gary returning from the Burt Munro rally in Invercargil, called in for a cuppa today. So decided to join them for a ride out of town, up the Paekakariki Hill road. A favourite windy road for motorcyclists and a good way to avoid the heavy evening traffic.

Our three BMWs parked at the top of the Paekakariki Hill.
Such a beautiful sight!
So only afew weeks to go until my Aussie trip. getting excited!

Naenae Festival - chalk art

Naenae Festival on Saturday brought the people out to shop, listen to the bands and do chalk art. Probably not such a successful chalk art project as the Petone one, but all the same a nice project.

Afew of the local littlies came to get things started. Not sure about the guy with the bat, do not think he did much drawing!

Tony, came to add his expert touch after his exhibition opening the previous evening.

A fantastic sunny Naenae day, very hot and bright. Beautiful conditions to be adding colour to the pavement.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Memories of Dad and Wainuiomata south coast

Having recently picked up some of my dads orchids from his home, am very delighted to see one of them in flower.
Memories of my visits finding him in the shade house pottering with his beloved orchids. Among his possession, now with me are exercise books of information about individual plants and varieties, accompanied with numerous photographs.
Seeing this plant in flower gladdens me that I also share his passion for orchids, that I have inherited some of the qualities of my dad. Yet I have a huge amount to learn to be able to care for these precious plants adequately.

More I have to learn if I am ever to come near the marvels he created within his garden,
still I marvel at the apple tree he had grafted with several variety of fruit on the one original plant. He did the same with a pear tree. Must be fabulous at harvest time.

So with my special dear friends visiting from the Naki this weekend was an occasion for much celebration. Actually a little too much and the injured knee suffered as a consequence. Not too worry. So a gently trip to the beach was in order and time spent studying in detail the beauty nature has on display there.

The drying kelp such a delight of rich colours and textures.

The Hand intrigued me.
I feel I have been lacking a little lately in adventures due to the wobbly knee.
However just about 5 weeks til motorcycling Australia adventure, so time to recover before that. Not long actually.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rimutaka Incline

Due to this torn ligament in my knee I had to cancel the hiking trip had planned for this weekend. Cycling apparently the best exercise to strengthen the knee without risk of further injury. Not satisfied with a gentle ride around the streets of Lower Hutt or Petone threw the bike in the car and drove up to the Rimutaka Incline track. Just have a strong desire for adventure .......
Very interesting and gentle ride up the west side of the incline, gentle gradient and pleasant scenery. Mostly scrub and pines with some native trees trying to make a comeback. The area was subjected to many fires during the years the railway was used. This being due to the large amount of sparks from the fell engines.

Parked the bike on the only remaining original bridge and photographed its beautiful colours and textures

A little further on came upon the first of the four tunnels on the Rimutaka incline trail.
This one at 75metres long is a baby compared to what was to come.

Beautiful sandstone and concrete blocks line the inside of the tunnel. Unseen in such detail by the human eye however with the advantages of adjusting digital camera and tweaking the image with Photoshop, the interior of the tunnel is brightened allowing a nice view of the lining ...and the folk making their way through.

Once at the top the somewhat sad sight of the old engines left to rust greets one. Beautiful shapes and surprisingly small, to me. Covered in a fabulous rich red rust. Beautiful to photograph.

Being fairly ignorant about rust and its impact on different metals I am guessing that the fantastic green is the result of copper.

Lovely contrasting colours and fabulous textures

So now the biggy. The 580 metre tunnel. Again enhanced with photoshop. The tiny spot of light is the light at the end of the tunnel. Important to keep focused on this when negotiating this tunnel. A very weird and unbalancing feeling riding through this. Actually not really to my liking as completely dark, cold and wet in the middle. Next time take a headlight!

Made it to the other end !

This is where the fun begins! 6 km down the east side of the incline, the steep side. This side is not as manicured as the west and way more fun.
It did however briefly flick through my mind as I was racing down the track, that I would have to ride back up again.

Some of the trail looking like the way into Mordor. The track can just be seen left side cutting across the hillside.

On the was back up the last of the four tunnels and the remains of a bridge that nature has washed away.

Have to confess after the ride back up my poor old knee was a wee bit painful. Just maybe I over did it a little. Hey but had fun!