Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bluffing. Flashback post to January.

Back in January, Aaron, Rebecca, and I went on a little day trip down to Bluff to go for a hike. It was a gamble with the weather, as it was showery everywhere, but we decided to make a break for it. Our steadfastness was rewarded with a fun hike with a few unexpected surprises.

Surprise 1: Nice Weather! We didn't even get rained on!

Surprise 2: Fancy toilet!
This little contraption has a sliding door, and it notifies you that you have a set amount of time to use the facilities. It plays a jazzy little song for your entertainment, and it has automated flushing and hand washing/drying features. 

As large and impressive as this giant chain is, it wasn't a surprise at all. This is part of a two-part sculpture that portrays a Maori legend that Stewart Island (home of the other half of the sculpture) is a rock, anchoring the fish stringer (the chain), which is connected to the fish (The South Island of NZ). Pictures of the other half are buried somewhere in the blog from our group Stewart Island trip from a while back. 

Surprise 3: Old WWII Military Bunkers!
The hills above Bluff were a key look-out point for enemy craft, and this bunker was one of the primary surveillance points for the Allied Forces in NZ.

Back in the day, the trees weren't in the way, and you could see to the ocean.

A little Peek-a-boo action.

This is a better idea of the look-out views.

Sneaky Kiwis! This building used to be disguised as a simple coastal house. The secret was that it had a giant cannon pointing through the window, ready to destroy anything suspicious.

The little house in the middle of this sign is the 'house' bunker.

Surprise 4: Fantails!
Many of the native NZ bird species are quite curious and tend to come investigate when you are in the bush. The Fantails are no exception. They aren't uncommon to see, but at one point we had over a dozen of these little guys flitting all around. Their flight is not exactly graceful, so it was fun to see so many of them fluttering around, chirping at us.

This one didn't want to show off his fan.

You may have already noticed that I am HOLDING THIS STICK WITH A BIRD ON IT! I tried to get one to land on my hand, but I guess I don't have that much of a Snow White touch. I was still pretty stoked to get it to land on that stick though.

Feeling good after our fantail encounter.

Whitings on the trail.

There were a lot of stairs involved at one point.

Surprise 5: once again, no surprise at all: the coastline is beautiful.

I think you'll have to agree.

I miss the warm weather! It was nice and sunny that day, and clearly warm enough for shorts. It's been very wintery lately, so no shorts and t-shirts these days... For that reason, we are all planning tropical detours on our way home from NZ!

Kelp forest at low tide. We just played and sat along this patch for a while, listening to the waves, soaking up the summer sun and ocean breezes.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

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