WQW – 5 Senses: Tasting the memories

Aaah the taste of Bluff Oysters – the new season started 1 March, and at last my blog posts will restart this month. 

I have been MIA for most of February due to our extended summer road trip through areas with limited wifi reception.  I have focused – pardon the pun – on using my camera extensively rather than blogging. 

“Pull up a chair

TAKE A TASTE

Come join us.

Life is so endlessly DELICIOUS.”

Ruth Reichl

This quote is meant to be about food but let’s take it a step further. I have been tasting the delights of travelling around the stunning South Island, especially Central Otago, Fiordland and Southland. I’ve been chasing rivers and waterfalls, mountains and fiords, and the elusive Lady Aurora herself. The Aurora Australis remained elusive but the waterfalls were amazing.

Central Otago: 

Parked over alongside Lake Dunstan in Cromwell, the weather was stunning with very hot summer days  and  balmy evenings. Just right for enjoying happy hour, (G&T, beer, crackers and cheese)  with our neighbours in the campground. after a leisurely stroll along the lake. 

We also parked up beside the mighty Clutha River at Millers Flat, otherwise known as the ‘fruitlands’  where we tasted the famous Roxburgh apricots and had a tasty dinner at the old tavern across the historic bridge built in 1897.

I was thrilled to find an old hand painted aerial photo on the wall. My first job was using photo oils to hand paint photos just like these. A meaningful memory for me and a great overview of the Clutha River at Millers Flat.

Fiordland

We spent a few days relaxing in Manapouri before heading to Te Anau, to catch up with friends, and attempt to capture an image of Aurora Australis -I found just a bit of airglow at Manapouri.

We decided to take the coach tour to the Milford Sound, where we boarded the Milford Haven to cruise  through the Milford Sound towards the Tasman Sea. Although we had been there before, Milford Sound never ceases to amaze me within its spectacular mountains and magical waterfalls. 

If you never been inside a waterfall, this is the place to do just that. I got soaked, my camera got soaked – and it was magical. The water tasted pure and delicious on my tongue (surprisingly – my camera survived another wet adventure).

Entering the Tasman Sea

Southland:

Bluff is the southern- most harbour at the bottom of the South Island.   Bluff is also world famous for these delicious Bluff Oysters. 

Some say that Bluff oysters are the finest in the world. They are grown slowly in the cold clean waters of the Foveaux Strait. In season, (March till about August) they are dredged by Bluffs oyster fleet. Oystering first began commercially at Stewart Island in the 1860s.”

Bluff Oysters

Many years ago the North island company I worked for had a social club which organized a  weekly shipment of fresh Bluff Oysters to be flown in. I had a regular order for 5 dozen bluff oysters which arrived each Friday of the season.  All weekend we would eat oysters. We ate raw oysters, battered oysters, oysters wrapped in bacon   (Angels on horseback), and oysters baked in a creamy white sauce. The taste was divine every which way they were prepared. Another meaningful memory!

And in my world I did find the pearls. 

The Bluff Hill Lookout offered spectacular views across Fouveaux Strait  to Stewart Island/Rakiura, our next destination. 

We had decided on a day trip rather than struggle to find  expensive and scarce accommodation.  The weather was perfect for the one hour catamaran crossing of Foveaux Strait, notorious for its usually wild weather.  

We  scheduled an island bus tour in the morning and a boat ride with guided bush walk on  Ulva Island, a wildlife sanctuary, in the afternoon. These kept us busy. No time for tasting any food at  all but we drank in the peaceful scenery and spectacular sights. We heard the bird calls as we trod carefully and quietly along the forest track. We touched the texture of the trees and leaves.

It was a truly a tasty feast for all my senses. 

https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/03/09/wqw-five-senses-taste

This is also my contribution for Sunday Stills https://secondwindleisure.com/2022/03/06/sunday-stills-making-meaningful-memories/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide expands my appreciation

 A wide angle lens was the choice I made to capture the magnificent views of New Zealand’s mountains, lakes and valleys.


Man-made structures also look spectacular when viewed with a wide angle.

Leaving the mountains, it was time to appreciate the wide views that form the coastline and islands at the top of the South Island where the river meets the sea.

Wide angle lens truly expands my appreciation.

Lhttps://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2021ake/09/14/lens-artists-photo-challenge-165-going-wide/

Sunday Stills – Tiki touring in the Great Outdoors

North and South, East and West.  

From the ocean to the mountains, from coast to coast. Just a few photos of the great outdoors of NZ where I love to visit with my camera.

Lets start at the Southern Alps which is in the rugged mountain range that spans from from North to South of the South Island. Although climbing mountains is not my thing I did struggle up to the Tasman Glacier viewpoint – and saw ICEBERGS.

Moving westwards towards  Arthurs Pass is this stunning landscape.

Venturing a little further North on an inland road we stopped over at Iveagh Bay at Lake Brunner

Heading to the top West corner of the South Island is Karamea – which also provides a perfect opportunity for a West Coast sunset.

Further down the coast is  Punakaiki, famous for its blowholes and rugged beaches

Time for an overnight at Fox River to meet friends and eat pancakes (what else) before heading East through the Kaikoura mountains and onto the East coast. 

Finally we headed back up North to the Marlborough Sounds  and over the top to French Pass at the top of the South Island where Pelorus Jack once roamed the sea.

Home again to another silvery moon and to hunker down at home for the winter months. The great outdoors can wait a while until the weather warms up again.

For Sunday Stills June 27

better late than never.

11. Trespassing in paradise

How did I deserve this? To be wandering through paradise with camera in hand. Awe- inspiring scenery every which way I look.

 I  was on a special mission. I was looking for my phojo. I had lost it a while back when the busyness of life interrupted my self imposed obsession.

 My mission was to recapture my passion.  Just one look at the passing scenery and I was hooked all over again. 

Feeling like a trespasser in paradise, I revelled in the expansive vistas surrounding me. Emotive superlatives flooded my mind.  I was back in my happy place.

 Later, in front of my laptop, I was excited to find my phojo was back in full force. Editing decisions abound. Which images shall I keep? Which images will I edit.  How many should I share?

 My phojo is back from where it was hiding, right back where it has always been, patiently waiting for the right time and place to return. 

The majestic mountains and lakes of the Mackenzie have worked their magic on me. I’m not trespassing at all. I’m rediscovering  New Zealand/ Aotearoa again. 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.\https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/09/01/september-writing-prompts