Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2002

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Journal for 3-Mar-2002 : Christchurch
Date: 03/03/2002 (Location=Christchurch, Dist=11km, Total=1104km)
A decidedly New Zealand (at least in my mind) weathery day today. After a beautiful morning, the sky was covered by long white (OK grey) clouds.

Packed up our belongings and cycled into town to develop the last of our photographs. Nice relaxing time sitting in the park watching the dogs haras the ducks.

Cycled out to the airport motel and began the arduous task of cleaning, disassembling then boxing the bikes.
Not much of a day eh? OK, let me take a moment to fill in a few blanks I've missed along the way:

New Zealand Road Bridges. Throughout rural New Zealand there are thousands of little sreams that all too often become raging torrents, however briefly. This necessitates a lot of road bridges, and to save money, the NZ roads people build most of these just a single lane wide. One direction across the bridge is designated as having right of way, but it's basically first come first served. Just about every type of construction method has been used, especially on the west coast, with my favourite being the
cable suspension bridges. These are sometimes called "swing" briges for the movements they make as traffic travels over them. Recent additions to these structures are huge cement barrier pilons protecting the cable anchors. These look specificly designed to kill any wayward approaching driver in an effort to save the bridge.

For such a fabulously beauriful place, New Zealand seems to be incredibly unphotogenic. Getting it to look as good on film as it does in the flesh is extraordinarily difficult, and beyond my rather limited talents. The reverse seems to be true of Australia, where I managed to take quite a few descent photos in places where to the naked eye the scenery is not quite all it could be. I think this is partly due to lighting, as in every direction in New Zealand there are always several fabulous elements to in
clude in a shot, each requiring a different exposure times, so at best only one part of the picture turns out as it should. There are also lots of hills, trees, clouds and sharp angles casting shadows most of the time. It also might have a bit to do with the (substantial) limitations of the photographic equipment I use, or more likely I'm just a bad craftsman blaming his tools.

Also no trip to New Zealand is complete without making a little fun of the transposed vowels in the Kiwi accent. Just about everyone has heard a New Zealander pronounce "six" as "sex", but my favourite was a TV ad presented by a prim and propper middle aged woman for "Bitter Loving" magazine, which turned out not to be an S&M enthusiast's journal, but the (mostly) harmless lifestyle magazine "Better Living".


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