Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dunedin, The South Island

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We’re getting a little behind on our blog posts. Been too busy working on boat projects. The big one right now is installing an ITR Hurricane/Zephyr boat heater/hot water heater. It always takes some time to get photos ready for a blog post. This time we had some technical issues caused by the chief photographic assistant. We have new, hand-me down, Canon camera body. Our son-in-law, Tyler, passed this one on. He was using it to take night sky long exposure shots. I failed to reset the ISO setting on the camera. The result being a lot of grainy photos. Oh well.

After a few days in Auckland we flew out to the southern end of the south island with our friends Ken and Di, visiting from southern California. First stop was a few days in Dunedin (Doo-neee-din in Kiwi). In the 1860s this was the largest city in New Zealand. It was populated with a bunch of Scots, mainly the Free Church of Scotland missionaries. Now it is a major university town, including a medical school and the University of Otago (Otago being the region that Dunedin is in). Dunedin, at 46° South, is a lot colder than the north island and a lot rainier. While we were there it had the look of an overcast,rainy Scottish day. No wonder the Scots thought it was good place to settle.

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Downtown in the evening drizzle.

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Painting the exterior walls of buildings is big in NZ. They seem to mostly reserve the graffiti to railroad cars. I’m not sure how they find the time to get these murals painted while it isn’t raining.

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The car parks aren’t that great, but the wall murals make up for it.

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Here’s a close up of the detail they put into these murals.

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I wanted to take a train ride, so my traveling companions agreed to head to the train station – appropriately dressed in Scottish rain gear.

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We took the 1920’s rail cars on the Taieri Gorge Railway to Pukerangi, at the head of the gorge.

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A remote farmstead along the rail route.

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The rain lightened up as we crossed one of several long steel bridges that span this gorge.

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When we arrived at Pukerangi station, you get a little walk around while they shuttle the engine from one end of the train to the other for the trip down the gorge. Not much at Pukerangi – OK, really nothing, but nice to walk a bit.

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The railroad opened up these gorge areas to sheep farming and logging. After I got my train trip I had to agree to pretty much anything else the travelling companions wanted to do for the rest of the trip.

Paul

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