Friday, 13 August 2010

Weekend Away Part .... 4?

Saturday 24 July - In the Afternoony
After stuffing our faces with pizza, we drove to Paradise Valley Wildlife Park. The lions had just been fed, and were munching away on their beef bones. The two older females really didn't care that we were within a metre of them:

A younger male was irritating one female, who kept up a very low-pitched growl, warning him to back off.

You can see here how close we were to them!

We wandered up to the lion cub enclosure, where about 20 people were already in with the lion cub. We stayed for about 10 minutes, getting a quick pat, but the enclosure was far too crowded. There were all sorts of interesting animals, including a Thar, llama, goats, black sheep, donkeys, Kea, and a possum asleep in a treestump.

These are a couple of the kea running round, being silly:

We got back to the lion cub enclosure around 4.30. By now, it was 2 hours after the scheduled feeding time, and most of the tourists had already gone through the place, and gone home.

Chase, the lion cub, was pretty tired by now, and the keeper was giving him some quiet time. She let the four of us in, and then opened two doors so the cub had the full run of his enclosure, instead of the half he gets when it's full of people.

We got to play chase with Chase! He sucked my thumb, and nommed on my fingers. His hair was very coarse, and more like a brush than a cat or dog's hair. He chased us around and around, leaping up and wrapping his paws around as high as he could reach. A truly amazing and awesome experience.

We returned home on Sunday, and made it to the Harvest Church Mid-Winter Christmas party!

What a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Textured Paintings

"Hope" comprises self-adhesive gibstopping fibreglass tape laid in the form of a cross, polyfilla with the word 'hope' inscribed in it, polyfilla mountain; sand beach and a "ghost" leaf. The first layers of paint were dark blue, purple and red, which have made it seem far too dark. Tonight I'm going to visit my friend Debs, and after JAM (Jesus & Me bible study),she's going to show me how to fix it up - she has LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of paint!

"Faith" is in it's very first stage - polyfilla mountains, clouds and sea, fibreglass 'beach'. Faith is written in Greek - pistis.

Not sure if I'll get to play with this one tonight or not.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Weekend Away - Part 3

Well, as promised, video footage. Becca took this with the dinky little digital camera we had got her for her trip to Singapore - photos, video & audio for around $150!

This was actually shot on Sunday morning, before we left to go home, so I was stone cold sober. But it was as much fun sober as it had been chookied the night before.

It was FUN!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Long Weekend Away - Part 2

We (Becca, David, Lucia and I) went away for a long weekend to Rotorua.

Lucia is our Korean Homestay, here for about 8 weeks. Although she's spent about 2 years studying English, it's from American accented lessons, by people for whom English isn't in their first few languages, and concentrating on Grammar and stuff. We speak with a Kiwi accent, use Kiwi colloqualisms, and speak very fast (so I'm told).

We were on the road by 0900 on Friday morning, 23 July - a record for us, and made it to Katikati by lunchtime, to visit David's parents, and ask for financial help. Investment property - phoey! Terrifying black hole is more like it.

The drive to Rotorua was nice - would have been quicker if we hadn't taken a scenic route (ie, the wrong road) out of Tauranga. Marama Resort is on the top end of Lake Rotorua - almost opposite Rotorua city itself, and waaaaay out in the countryside. Most of the units are 2 stories, with a lounge/kitchen downstairs, and 2 bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. There was a canal right outside the unit, which was really cool. We took a walk around the resort, talking to the Australian Coot's (black birds with a white beak), and looking at the trout swimming in the canal.

Dinner was at the resort restaurant - lovely lambshanks, that disintergrated when you looked at them. Seriously blew the meal budget, but well worth it. Went back to the unit, where David and the girls watched "Spiderwick". I went to bed and read "This Present Darkness" by Frank Perelli. I couldn't cope with seeing goblins and demons and other nasties on screen, as well as the word-pictures of these creatures in the book.

SATURDAY 24 JULY - Buried Village, Te Wairoa We thoroughly enjoyed it, but Lucia was bored! Te Wairoa was one of the villages that was buried when Mount Tarawera erupted in the mid-1880's, wiping out numerous villages, and the tourist attractions of the Pink and White Terraces. The museum was comprehensive, and well signed, as were most of the buildings they've excavated. It was really nice in the sun, but cold in the wind. Pictures of Becca and I wandering round the village.

This is a rainbow trout, here to spawn. There were dozens in the stream around the village, of varying sizes. Pretty pretty, nommy nommy ....

Last picture is of the 90 ft/30m waterfall. We had wondered if the trout were climbing this, but evidently not. Looking down from the top, it looked like the rocks were giant teeth!

After about 3 hours here (and for me, a trip thru the museum again, as I hadn't had a chance to read and look at everything), we went down to Rotorua and got Pizza, garlic bread, chips and softdrinks for lunch. Sat in the park, on the edge of a large pond/small lake, *enjoying* the smell of sulphur.