Akaroa

19 Jan

akaroa

The town of Akaroa.

Look at that view, what a peach!

 

akaroa-front

More Akaroa.

The Akaroa Tourist board has a strict policy that UK passport holders must smile at all time during their stay or leave post haste.  Apparently, a photo was published in a rather up market travel brochure of two men and a woman looking ‘peeved’. These Sons of B’s were tracked down via ‘internetty stuff’ and found to be from Kent in England (a miserable county if ever there was one). The Other Half was taking no chances with me and soon found the local Ecstasy dealer. Now, after 48 hours of solid smiling my cheeks are rock hard and my eyebrows have moved 2 inches up my forehead, I’m permanently quizzically happy.

 

baby-rock

Fishing for rocks provided successful. This particluar beauty we just had to photograph before returning him to the river.

seagull

Kaikoura Seagull © 2013 The Other Half.  This was snapped just after a quick swim and a sarnie somewhere between Kaikoura and Akaroa.

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South Island Adventures – The Beginning

19 Jan

For once I board a ferry with the intention of visiting more than the destination’s cheap booze outlets and returning home by 7pm.

It’s January 10 at 8.30am and the sea is “looking a mighty bit choppy me hearties”. The sick bag is rolled up and tucked behind my ear ready to whipped out at the first sign of the ‘Chunder Express’ arriving.

But on a serious note these weather conditions are a worry. The captain has just told us not to go on deck as there is spray and strong wind. He says “stay inside if you don’t want to get wet or lose your hat”.  That kind of insight really settles the nerves; “We’re in safe hands aren’t we?” I ask the Other Half.

The Other Half then lights her pipe takes a nip of brandy from her hip flask and begins this crusty barnacle ridden tale. “AAwrrr, young lad, tis reminds me of the final words spoken by the captain of that heavy set dame of a ship the Titanic. “The Tit is up” he spluttered “The Tit is up”. And that me sweet young fellow tis whence we get the phrase It’s all gone tits up“.

I’m now trying to think of a last cry of desperation for our ship the Santa Regina which one day might also become a common misinterpreted expression. I’ve donned my thinking cap and opened this up for discussion among my rocking and rolling shipmates.

sea-1

Leaving Wellington – Photography © 2013 The Other Half

sea-2

Half way across– Photography © 2013 The Other Half

sea-3

Down Queen Charlotte Sound – Photography © 2013 The Other Half

super-doper-crazy-wazzy-golfie-do-dah ‎

4 Jan

The hack* writer of such tat as Huckleberry Finn once said that “golf was a good walk spoiled”.  That might be true in some cases, but a round of crazy golf at Carlucciland in Wellington is more of an adventure than either Huck or Tom took on.

Holy, sweet, triple bogies Carlucciland is the best crazy golf course I’ve ever played.  From the table of putters laid out like a medieval torturer’s table of pain to the dazzling array of coloured golf balls- pinks, greens, blues reds, yellow and not one dull white ball in sight. Then onto 18 holes of rocks, metal sculptures, pipes, tunnels, leaf blowers and skulls. For a taste check out the snaps below, but before you do here is the golf report.

My competitors on this day were the ‘other half’ and her sister who’d flown down from Auckland for a couple of days. Of course it was in the stars, tea leaves and my head that I would win and I’d simply let the siblings tear strips off each other for second place honours. That was the plan. This was the outcome.

I lost.

I could rattle off a ton of excuses but that is not something I’m prepared to do, although the 15 I have are very well justified. And as a born bad loser who still remains a bad loser and will always be a bad loser I have to grudgingly congratulate the other half’s sister for winning the game (Christ that last bit was hard to type).

The silver lining is that I will return one day to that Craziest of Crazy golf courses and pick up my blade and once again take battle and yell ” For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.”

* This was a reference to Mark Twain who is a much more betterer writer than me. But, I reckon I could take him in a ‘pun’ war as my use of the word ‘hack’ to describe a bad writer while at the same time being commonly used in golfing terminology is another superb hit to the old punny bone – see here.

blades

Select your weapons.

course

a bit of the course (sensible section)

skulls

some of Girls Aloud watch the action unfold

blueball

blue ball on the move

spinny

more tubes and chutes

round tree

the continuing adventures of the blue ball

setup

a beautiful, text book putting setup – look at the hands!

Over yonder hills comes the future

3 Jan

Bye, bye 2012 you will not be forgotten any time soon and welcome 2013, I wonder what’s up your sleeve?

Tomorrow I will post about the best crazy golf course in the whole wide world, “tiz mega I tell yee” .

deck-chairs

A black swan

1 Jan

Please note:  This not a Photoshop effect where you use the old tried and trusted ‘Ctrl I’ command to invert a White Swan, this is a pucker, bonfide, legit, non lesbian ballerina Black Swan.  Enjoy.

black-swan

Carrot update II

1 Jan

BLAST OFF!

Sorry for the delay in carrot related matters, Xmas and New Year got in the way.

However, the wait was worth it as check out these beauties!

carrots-2

The plan is to ‘thin them’ which I have only now found out means some of my orange buddies are going to be heading for the compost. The alternative is a transplant, but according to the powers that be  “carrots don’t like being replanted”.

So the New Year throws up a tricky dilemma that one could term as a vegetable based Sophie’s choice.

Dear reader come prepared with tissues for the next carrot update, I predict tears.

The town time forgot

29 Dec

As mentioned in the previous post we left Giztown and headed south for a day and night in Napier.

I’m pretty good at analogies but Napier has me stumped. What in blue blazes is this place?

For a bit of back story the town was destroyed by earthquake back in 1931. Then for some strange reason the whole place was rebuilt with an American ‘Art Deco‘ feel. This was fine when the world was still in black and white. But, around 1949 God introduced colour and since then things started going down hill. Now, Napier is a hodge podge of faded Art Deco with glossy consumer billboards and signs hold it all together, a kind of town planner’s Frankenstein monster with bad fashion sense.

By the evening we were Art decoed out and needed a drink. As luck would have it the local pub was having a quiz night. “Well why not” we said.

Although there were only two of us against teams of four and five it was worth a try. Straight away we got off to a flyer as two points came our way after writing down our own names, some hairy knuckled fellow muttered something along the lines of ‘spelling bastards’.

As the night wore on we kept in the top 3 and the other half pulled out some blinders from her brain area, my job being to oil said brain area with glasses of Sauvignon blanc. With two rounds to go we led and despite a wobble on the final round victory was ours plus a $50 bar tab. With no intention of coming back to Napier we blew our winnings on a fine Scotch blend.

hotel

Overnight we stayed at the Criterion. As you can see from the photo above it has all the charm of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And when some man used a key to get into our room at 4am I was hugely disappointed he didn’t say “Here’s Johnny!” and either discuss the merits of his book or stick an axe in my chest.

I’m now of the option that Napier does not exist and is simply an alternate reality between where you have been and where you are going. My reasoning for this is based on the road sign that led us out of this odd little town.

motorway