Mount Climie

With a few days left before I start work I’ve been taking some time to get outside. Today I went out past Upper Hutt to walk up the Mount Climie track. Accessed from the Tunnel Gully area of Pakuratahi Forest the gravel road provides service access to communication equipment at the summit. The track is steep, I wasn’t really prepared for the relentless upward grind and it didn’t take long before I was sweating profusely. It’s a 600m ascent and just over 11kms return. About half way up the surrounding forest changed to predominately beech and became much more interesting to look at with lots of native birds. It was nice to take my mind off the constant trudging to watch families of rifleman flitting through the trees.

Hitting the cloud level

Hitting the cloud level

Further interest was then provided by the low cloud level adding a misty fog to the forest. The higher I ascended the more wind there was and the swirling mist was great to watch during my frequent rest stops. After an hour and a half I came across the first of the communication towers. There are towers for TV transmission, cellular communication and apparently something for the NZ Police as well. There are two trigs, the first at 830m and the second at 860m. From the first trig the landscape changes again with the track following an exposed ridgeline that occasionally is snow-covered (some photos of that can be seen here). Not in the middle of summer but for my visit the cloud level was such that there were no views, just wind and white all around. It was eerie to be alone on the summit track, at times it was like something out of a horror movie (The Mist anyone?) but thankfully there were no scary or unexplained events. I ate lunch in a sheltered area by the trig and then spent the return trip taking my time, enjoying the general lack of climbing and taking a lot of photos.

The first trig

The first trig

Made it to the top!

Made it to the top!

The track disappears

The track disappears

Wind sculpts the summit vegetation

Wind sculpts the summit vegetation

A rata stump, the summit rata apparently all killed by possums

A rata stump, the summit rata apparently all killed by possums

On the set of a horror movie?

On the set of a horror movie?

More foggy infrastructure

More foggy infrastructure

Goblin forest

Goblin forest

A mountain cabbage tree

A mountain cabbage tree

All up it was around 4 hours return including my lunch and photo stops. I think it’ll be a few years before I take Alayna up there, she’ll need some practice on shorter climbs first. There is a definite sense of achievement in reaching the summit and I think I’d be more interested in regular visits if it wasn’t a gravel road but rather a track that had a better sense of travelling through the forest. That said I will have to return to see the summit under snow and also on a clear day to see some of the promised views.

Mist and trees

Mist and trees

The 2014 Wellington Color Run

This year The Colo(u)r Run (spot the event that started in the USA) came to New Zealand for the first time and the Wellington event took place in Upper Hutt at Trentham Park. Thousands of people had signed up and ran or walked a 5km course which took in a number of colour stations.

Keryn, Alayna and I arrived after the first bunch of runners had set off and walked around checking our some of the colour stations and watching the happy runners. The whole thing was really well organised with no apparent issues, certainly we rocked up, parked and found our way to the course easily. The best area for us was the blue colour station which was right next to the forest which shadowed the wind and enabled the blue power to just hang in the air leading to great photo opportunities.

The blue station

The blue station

Running through the blue

Running through the blue

Blue done

Blue done

The other really interesting place was at the stage found after the finish line. Here there was loud, happy music and every 15 minutes or so the colour throws took place. The crowd was supplied with packets of colour powder and after the countdown the colour was thrown to the sky which resulted in a riot of pastel hues descending into a powdery fog churned up by the dancing crowd beneath. It was great fun to watch, the only issue trying to keep the camera gear as powder free as possible (small particles and cameras not going together very well). I did get dusted lightly, clothing and cameras, but thankfully don’t seem to have suffered any issues (for myself or the photographic equipment) as a consequence.

Lined up and having a good time

Lined up and having a good time

Trying to catch colour packets

Trying to catch colour packets

Colour filled balls

Colour filled balls

Party time!

Party time!

Acting up for the camera (their mum's camera I think, not mine)

Acting up for the camera (their mum’s camera I think, not mine)

Sensible and kooky attire

Sensible and kooky attire

The colour throw

The colour throw

Colour throw complete

Colour throw complete

Throughout Alayna was in her pram (other than when she was being fed in a relatively quiet location by Keryn) and she was largely oblivious to the surrounding activity. The following photo sums up her opinion of the event.

Alayna was not bothered

Alayna was not bothered

Maybe in future years we’ll go for a run with Alayna. There were plenty of kids and even some people running with their prams. I think we’ll wait until Alayna can appreciate the fun and take enjoyment from the happy mess :).

Order of the Boar – 2013 Grail of Chivalry

Every two years the Order of the Boar medieval re-enactment group holds the Grail of Chivalry jousting tournament at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt. We attended a couple of years ago and returned this year for another visit. It was a hot day, much like the rest of summer recently, and a lot of the afternoon was spent moving with the shade as the sun tracked across the sky. Well, Keryn and Pauline moved with the shade and I stood in the sun taking photos.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Not just jousting.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Lined up for (re-enactment) battle.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Ready to attack.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Arrows from the long bow demonstration.
Ready to joust.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Contact!.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Coming around for another go.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Facing the foe.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Modern day armour repair, MacGyver would approve.

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Professional re-enactment (and in the heat, an amazing method of dehydration).

Order of the Boar - 2013 Grail of ChivalryPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

The worst injury I saw all day, quite remarkable.

I’m looking forward to the next event already, hopefully next time round a little more overcast for the sake of those in full armour as well as us photographer types.

A long time between drinks

This blog hasn’t been forgotten, no matter that it’s been a few months between entries. Much of the delay can be attributed to Keryn and I buying a house and the rigmarole surrounding moving. Thankfully we’re mostly done with the moving lark, there are still a few boxes to empty and we’ve got one set of curtains still to arrive but otherwise we have a home and we’re happy (and warm, it’s nice to have proper insulation).

Moving hasn’t stopped us from getting out and about on a few occasions. Rather than bore with detail you can just look at some photos instead.

IMG 4832Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Watching a steam train firing up at the Paekakariki based Steam Incorporated open day.

IMG 4845Photo by Brendon & Keryn

And in action.

MG 6144Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Spoonbills observed at the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve while of a walk with Kapiti Bird Tours organised through Adventure Wellington.

IMG 4849Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Still on the tour and checking out some friendly eels.

Small waterfall on Tane's TrackPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

A pretty little waterfall seem on Tanes Track at Tunnel Gully north of Upper Hutt.

ApproachingPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

The tunnel at Tunnel Gully

IMG 4910Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Sunset from Titahi Bay

IMG 4931Photo by Brendon & Keryn

And another sunset photographed while standing on the roof at home

IMG 4941Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Gandalf the Grey, one of the new line of statues produced by Weta for the forthcoming Hobbit movies. Seen at the Weta Cave.

MG 6239Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Visiting Kaitoke on a wet day.

IMG 4956Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Starting a photowalk with the Wellington Photography Meetup group, having just viewed the 2012 World Press Photography exhibition.

IMG 4970Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Take-off seen while out on the walk.

IMG 4977Photo by Brendon & Keryn

On the waterfront.

IMG 5031Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Back to Tunnel Gully, this time with Keryn, and we were solving a fern-themed Geocache.

IMG 5052Photo by Brendon & Keryn

walking through the tunnel.

Geocaching is a fairly new hobby we’ve taken up, fuelled by the enthusiasm demonstrated by Sophie and Travis. It also helped that we had vouchers to spend at FCO and they had a nice range of handheld GPS devices to choose from. Any excuse to get outside is a good one I reckon.

Thirty Six

My birth day was an event filled day. After opening a few presents we drove to Petone and spent a short time wandering the Petone Fair stalls we caught up with Sam and Jules and their friend Emma over a drink. From Petone it was north to Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt to watch some of the Grail of Chivalry events including medieval foot combat, jousting and trick horse riding. The weather was warm and we sat on a hillside eating lunch while watching people in armour engaged in mock battles on the field below. After eating we stood near the jousting field and watched richly garbed knights have too with long jousting poles and then moved into the shade as Joe Lumsden’s Rough Riders took their horses over jumps, through fire and performed stunts.

Going to hit you!Photo by Brendon & Keryn

At battle.

Joust knightPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

A knight in armour.

ClashPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Jousting.

JumpPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Leaping the flames.

One horse is not enoughPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Why restrict yourself to one horse?

The end of the dayPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Armour away for the end of the day.

Once the entertainment was finished it was back to the car and onward to Martinborough. We had tickets to the Day on the Green concert held at Alana Estate with Crowded House headlining with support from Supergroove and Seth Hapu. We joined Lydia and Will and some of their friends on a bank overlooking the stage for the first couple of acts, eating food, having a few drinks and conversing. Will had his birthday last week and Lydia’s was the next day so it was a meeting of people getting older. We left when Supergroove finished and made our way to our seats in the posh area, I’d convinced Keryn that seeing as it was my birthday a little extravagance was called for and we had seats right at the front middle of the stage.

Alana EstatePhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Alana Estate.

Brendon & KerynPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Us.

Lydia & WillPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Lydia & Will.

Hold the notePhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Neil Finn.

Crowded HousePhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Crowded House.

Imploring the crowdPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Serenading the audience.

Encouraging the crowdPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Encouraging the singing.

Crowded House were excellent as usual, and the crowd was very enthusiastic singing along to all the hits. We had a few extra-enthusiastic people around us and got up to dance and save our view from the encroachment of others, and it was probably better if less comfortable standing. The encore was long and involved a few song choices from the crowd. At the end the band got together on the stage before thanking the audience and then they all jumped off the stage to thank people in person, darting off to bury themselves in the crowd. It was a good night to end a good day.

Oh, and totally unrelated, one of my photos got used on AFP’s blog, that was nice ;)