Sunday, March 07, 2010

Monochromatic: Seals at Kaikoura

Here's another photo for Carmi's monochromatic week at Thematic Photographic. This one's not from our recent road trip, but from last September. It was taken just north of Kaikoura (a popular destination for whale-watching, etc) when we were returning from a holiday in the North Island. There wasn't a lot more colour than this in the original photo - just variations on grey - blue greys, beige greys etc.

When I was pulling this one out of the files I remembered a letter to the editor of our newspaper a week or so ago. A Brazilian tourist was saying that he had a wonderful time in New Zealand, but...

He went on to complain that our roads were single carriage way, even near the big cities. He seemed to think we should upgrade them all. Well - except for Auckland, where there are real traffic problems - we seem to get around OK. Even if we sometimes have to wait patiently to pass a slow campervan or truck. We only have four million people, the traffic problems are not huge. And I think most New Zealanders would think that if we have spare money, it should be spent on health and education rather than a lot of unnecessary multi-lane highways (except in Auckland, where, as I said, there are real traffic problems. Although not as bad as London).

The point of all this? Well, when I took this photo I was standing on State Highway 1. The equivalent of the M1 in Britain. Except that the M1 is a multi-lane highway where the view is of nothing but other cars whizzing past at high speed. If you can see the countryside at all, it is mostly embankments or hedges blocking any wider view.

OK, I wasn't actually standing on the road. I was at least a foot from the side of the road. And yes, the traffic here in the South Island is less than the North Island, but there's plenty of places in the North Island, too, where you can just pull onto the shoulder on the side of the road and stop to take photos.

I have a huge file of seal photos, those pups are just so cute. (New Zealand fur seal, the Maori name is kekeno)

1 comment:

Carmi said...

I'm a believer in prioritizing anything else over road construction, too. Because once the roads go multilane, the opportunity to just get out and shoot whatever appears over the next curve seems to disappear.

Here's to slower, richer journeys. And beautiful scenes like this. I just want to pet them!