Across Continents

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Off to Franz – final instalment

July 20th, 2011

Off to Franz – final instalment from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken heads off in search of "Avalanche Girl". And the mouth of the Franz Josef glacier.

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Heading south to Franz Josef

July 3rd, 2011

Glacierpan

Today’s Kiwese word: puck chez. What you take with a camera

I’d been in New Zealand for at least ten minutes before I’d decided I’d need to come back. So it’d made sense to focus on doing one thing well. Rather than attempting to cram lots in. And see little. So I’d decided to head for the Franz Josef Glacier on the western side of South Island. Spend a few days there. Exploring. Weather permitting. But the forecast was good. Cold but dry for the most part.

I’d chosen the Glacier for no other reason that a couple of billion cubic metres of solid ice sounded like a bit of preparation of Alaska. And, after all, I’d never been to NZ before. So, whatever I did, it’d be a new experience. Couldn’t loose.

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At fault

July 2nd, 2011

quake

Today’s Kiwese word: ruck secks. Two or more bags usually carried in the Great Outdoors

One doesn’t want to sound alarmist. But New Zealand does sit on along a major fault line. Specifically, the western coast of South Island. Sort out accounts for the mountains there. And it’s where I’m off to next. Bit of exploration. Probably best not to mention my rather dubious track record. Side-stepping natural disasters and civil unrest by a month or two. Sometimes a lot less. In any case, just enough.

I’d been a bit presumptive. Recent devastation of Christchurch by an earthquake a few months ago. Volcanic activity on North Island. Lofty mountain peaks. Sharply defined. A nation thrust up from beneath. But no. Splinter of an ancient landmass. Eventually dividing up into South America, India, Australia and Antarctica.

I’d have been blissfully ignorant but for hosts Ian, Amy and their three children taking me to Te Papa Our Place – New Zealand’s national museum of errr New Zealand. Maori culture. Social history. Fashions. Household artifacts. And Geology. Plate tectonics. Even an earthquake simulator. Supposedly a seven or so on the Richter Scale. Amy disagreed. More like a four. Experience for you.

And the photograph? One of Te Papa’s supports. Designed to reduce the impact of an earthquake on the building. Slowing down the more violent short, sharp shocks.

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