Photos, a festival and a return to Makara Beach

Saturday was quite busy. Keryn spent the afternoon baking in Miramar at Kim’s with a bunch of like minded people. I spent a few hours wandering around Wellington with fellow photographers all taking part in the Wellington leg of the Scott Kelby world-wide photo walk. All around the world walks were taking place on Saturday and the uploaded photos would be up for various prizes.

The walk started up where at the lookout adjacent to the Cable Car station at the Botanical Gardens. We made our way through the gardens, across into the city and after passing along the waterfront we headed up Cuba St, ending at the Southern Cross bar. What started as thirty odd photographers quickly turned into little groups going every which way and I ended up walking with four others. Werner and his wife were in NZ from Canberra, visiting their daughter Helen. All three had cameras. There was also Kirsty, a local Wellingtonian who is doing a photography diploma and was taking part in her first online meet up. Kirsty became leader as we left parliament, the rest of us not really sure where our destination was.

The weather played nice and it was good to walk through Wellington with a camera taking photos. I’ve included a few here, there are many more in the Flickr gallery.

A statue in the gardens

Passing through a graveyard

Texting on the waterfront

Last shot of the day on Cuba St

The beer I had at the Southern Cross was very refreshing. We talked for a while and then went our separate ways.

The evening saw me head down to the Petone foreshore to watch the burning of the fire sculptures and the fireworks show, all part of the Petone Winter Carnival. The weather was still playing its part and there was only a light breeze with clear skies slowly getting darker and filling with stars. Sam and Julian joined me and when Keryn finished her baking she came along as well. The sculptures to be burnt were arranged along the beach east of the Petone pier. Shortly after 5:30pm the first was lit and we moved from sculpture to sculpture watching the consumption of each by fire. Some were well designed but lacked the forethought of a flammable component, one a horse made out of driftwood that obviously wasn’t properly dry. Another called Stairway to Success took an age to get going but then burnt down dramatically, the fire consuming the stairs before burning the seaweed figure on top.

One of two commissioned sculpture pipes burns as the setting sun lights up the far hills.

The High Jump sculpture burns

The figure atop Stairway to Success rides the flames

Watching the final sculpture

The following fireworks were very good. Set off from the pier everyone on the beach got a good view.

Petone fireworks

Massed explosions in the finale

We followed up the carnival with dinner at a new restaurant in Lower Hutt called Las Margaritas. The restaurant serves Mexican dishes and I had very high hopes, the Mexican leg of our six month Latin America trip being a culinary highlight for me. While the meal was tasty and the free margaritas went down nicely the food lacked enough flavours to really be recommended, it was all a little safe (I’ll be asking for mucho salsa picante next time). That said the place was quite busy and it was just as well we had booked a table.

Sunday and more lovely weather. The cats enjoyed the sun on the patio outside and spent a lot of time lounging around and rolling on the warm concrete.

Earl and Cadbury (provisionally renamed Whittakers until Cadbury sort themselves out) enjoy the sun.

In the afternoon we drove back out to Makara Beach so Keryn could have a look. Being a weekend with sun there were lots of people out, the car park which was empty when I visited on the Monday past now chocker full of vehicles. We walked back up to the gun emplacements but the trip wasn’t quite so pleasant as there were strong winds blowing in off the sea. Rather than do the loop we returned the way we had came, otherwise we would have been walking in the dark once more.

Fishing off the rocks

Families enjoying the afternoon out

Looking towards the setting sun

Another nice sunset

Heading down we spotted a couple of dead possums, one at least which wasn’t there on the way up. I took a few photos back at the beach but had to give up, the howling wind making it impossible to keep the camera steady even with the tripod. We then drove back to Lower Hutt and spent the evening at the movies watching the latest Harry Potter.

A mystery dead possum

Last of the light

Final shot at Makara Beach

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