At the end of June 2012 Denny and I had a great weekend in Auckland with Kim & Andy.
They are frantically preparing for a year in Lausanne Switzerland where Andy is going for a postdoc and Kim is still looking for an opportunity.
I visited clients in Christchurch, where the city still looks very sad.
This hairdresser still has the sign outside “Appointment not necessary”
Manchester Street, which you can see in more details on my page http://barneymeyer.com/tribute-to-christchurch/
Please have a look at the pictures and virtual tours of the magnificent ANZ Bank Chambers building and of Sol Square. Note the bright red Telstra sign which still remains in the picture of Manchester street above. All gone. I used to love having a curry and a pint at the Two Fat Indians in the shopfront still standing (to be demolished) on the right.
Then on to Napier, Auckland and Hamilton. I always make an early trip to hamilton to catch the sunrise over the Waikato and as usual, I was not dissapointed.
Then Denny arrived to join me at Kim & Andy's apartment, where they are frantically packing and disposing of whatever has to go into storage.
This virtual tour called “Moogertron Movin'” will give you an idea of all the stuff they need to sort out:
The Moogertron is an electronic instrument created by Andy.
To view the tour full screen, right-click on the image and choose “fullscreen”
You can scroll up and down and side to side using your mouse, or your finger (on a tablet) or by using gyro motion on a tablet.
Note the face behind the door peering at the “Piha Bach Boozers” outside.
Then we all decamped for Piha where we stayed in a bach overlooking the ocean.
Dear non-Kiwi friends, i have to explain that a “bach” is a Kiwi term for a beach house. Real men used to set up a beach shack where they could fish, drink, tell dirty jokes, burn meat over fires and not take a bath. In other words, behave in exactly the way they used to before the civilising influence of women and children entered their lives. The term “bach” arose to signify a “bachelor's” life.
Modern influences and the ascendancy of women have sadly turned the bach into something much more modern, with electricity, hot water, wood fires, television and even wifi internet connections.
The sunset on the day of our arrival was spectacular. You can click on the large images and download a larger copy for yourself.
As it was middle of winter, facing the wild west coast, even on the sunniest of days it was not too warm outside!
I wanted to take a panorama of the bach but nobody wanted to join me.
Fortunately I met two old geezers who had similar views to my own. We got on very well but Jeez! could those guys knock back the red wine?
Here we are sitting on the deck enjoying a bottle (or three or four) of wine
We had several nice long walks in the area surrounding the bach. Dear reader, when I say walk, please don't think about the leisurely idea of strolling along a boulevard hand in hand. Think instead of the Kiwi term “tramp”, which is a much more serious affair involving stout boots and smelly old clothing which you don't mind getting muddy, very steep ascents and descents along muddy tracks through rainforest cladded craggy peaks with many streams descending and often having to be crossed by hopping from boulder to boulder which have been cleverly loosened and are on the edge of balance often precipitating the trusting tramper headlong into freezing water (Denny).
We had a nice tramp to the Nihotupu Dam, one of the dams in the Waitakere Ranges which serves Auckland with clean water.
On the way back up we stopped at the bottom of the dam wall where this panorama was captured
The dam contains more than 2 Gigaliters of water, was completed in 1923 and the wall is 50m high.
Just above the rhs corner of the pumping station you can see Denny near the top of the first flight of steps.
Andy is in the cage and Kim is in the corner. I have not yet recovered from the wine drinking with my friends and am lying prostate behind the pumping station.
On our return to Auckland Kim continued packing and Denny and I explored the new viaduct developments, including the viaduct bridge.
Zillion dollar mega-yachts are now parked where the wharves previously held only piles of logs for export and rusty fishing trawlers moored.
Cross the bridge with us.
We are now back in Melbourne. I came back from the office on Friday to find devastation in our street.
Imagine if they had the wrong address?