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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

New Zealand Scenes and Shells‏

March 3rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

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The wild west beckoned yesterday. Not America’s, but rather New Zealand’s.

I drove the width of the South Island from Golden Bay in the northeast to Westport in the east in about eight or nine hours. Most of the journey took me through a beautiful scene of verdant forest. Green was everywhere, not only in the trees but more grass that I ever saw before. The grass came right up to the road itself.

While beautiful, this scene doesn’t lend itself to spectacular photography. However, sunrise on Golden Bay and sunset at Tauranga Bay did.

Golden Bay in the Morning

Golden Bay in the Morning

Click on the picture above to enlarge

My campsite was literally a few feet from this scene. Had I been thinking about tsunamis I would have chosen a more protected place, but again I lucked out. And then I tramped this beach in search of shells and photographed a few where I found them, as my friend Karen suggested by email a couple of days ago.

I Kept This One

I Kept This One

A Green Shell Mussel, the Likes of Which I Feasted On a Few Days Earlier

A Green Shell Mussel, the Likes of Which I Feasted On a Few Days Earlier

Click on the pictures above to enlarge

At the end of the day I reached Westport, where I got a campsite, but immediately left to visit the seal colony about 10 miles south. While I didn’t get any photographs better than I had before, I did capture this shot of the bay where they raise their pups.

Tauranga Bay

Tauranga Bay

Click on the picture above to enlarge

But the beauty of the bay is not what attracts the seals here to raise their pups. Normally they breed and raise them on offshore islands, but they found a site just to the right of this view that we can look down upon but can’t approach closely.

The people here have the reputation of being different too from other Kiwis. This coast has the same frontier spirit that we have had in the American West and which still strongly survives in Alaska. As a westerner myself, I resonate with it.

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Posted in: New Zealand

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Dan Garcia // Mar 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

    the photos of Golden Bay look really nice. I’ve never travelled there myself, but I’ve been to Thailand on several trips and lived in Japan previously. I stumbled upon your website through your Saw Palmetto article.

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