Notes of a traveller

Alan Dodds – photographer (among other things)

Notes of a traveller


Now for New Zealand and dancing with Tara

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2016 at 10:35 am

When Tara told us that she was booked for two shows in Wellington as part to the Festival of NZ, and that Pippa would be there too, what could we say but “Can we come?”. And so here we are in Kapiti, some 50km north of Wellington staying in a lovely house just five minutes walk to the ocean on the west coast of the North Island. We have been lucky enough to arrange a house swap with Rob and Eileen (thanks you two) which has allowed us to be near the city without actually having to be in the middle of things.

Our house swap in Kapiti ... just the thing for aspiring hobbits!

Our house swap in Kapiti … just the thing for aspiring hobbits!

The first of Tara’s two shows is a piece by Douglas Wright, “The Kiss Inside”. Douglas hails from NZ but having performed in Europe and New York he returned to NZ and formed his own dance company. You can catch a glimpse of it here – Tara is the middle of the three female dancers. Our reaction after the show is “Pity we can’t see that again!”. It is the last night and we briefly meet an adrenalin soaked, but satisfied Tara after the show before returning to Kapiti. Pippa has taken some amazing images of this show the last time it was performed. You can see them here

One of Pippa's photographs on the cover of the program.

One of Pippa’s photographs on the cover of the program.

This about Tara in the program.

This about Tara in the program.

*********

The beach here is soooo different to the beaches we are used to in Queensland. The west coast and black sand stretching off into the distance are such a contrast.

Raumati South Beach just a short walk away.

Raumati South Beach just a short walk away.

And then there’s the weather … you know, four seasons in a day and all that. The weather forecast is given in layers here. The idyllic scene above can easily give way to the three layer day with 100k/h winds as shown below.

Raumati South beach on a three layer day!

Raumati South beach on a three layer day!

Pippa and Tara enjoy a rest day .... not quite sure why they didn't swim though.

Pippa and Tara enjoy a rest day …. not quite sure why they didn’t swim though.

Now I have a little quiz for you all!

Geography 101: Q1. On the west coast of New Zealand from which direction does the prevailing wind blow?

Got it ... Got it?

Got it … Got it?

Geography 101: Q2. Are Norfolk pines affected by the prevailing wind?

Got that one too? :-)

Got that one too? 🙂 Why not, I ask myself.

Seriously though … it is a pretty spectacular beach but it does need some pretty serious defences against the ever rising sea level. The logs in this pic are very big and have simply been tossed up at high tide.

Some serious sea defence needed here.

Some serious sea defence needed here.

There are houses all along this beach … it must be a popular commuter spot for those who work in Wellington.

The house that Jack Built ... and changed the design a number of time along the way.

The house that Jack Built … and changed the design a number of time along the way it seems!

We take a day to check out the country to the east and try and get into the hills that run down the middle of the North Island like a spine. Up a very wiggley road and we can look back down to the coast.

The view back to the coast

The view back to the coast and the island of Kapiti.

Then off through the Hutt valley; Lower Hutt and then Upper Hutt and then up to the Rumutaka Crossing. We take these passes so much for granted these days, whizzing up them on smooth roads, but back during WW1, thousands of soldiers route marched across this pass.

Rumutaka Crossing on the way to Featherston. Much used in the first world war.

Rumutaka Crossing on the way to Featherston. Much used in the first world war.

Rumutaka Crossing back down the valley to the Hutt River.

Rumutaka Crossing back down the valley to the Hutt River. Quite a feat of engineering!

Tonight we go to Tara’s second show, “The Complexity of Belonging”. It will be the first night of a five show run during the festival. This show has already run in Melbourne and has toured through Europe last year. You can catch a glimpse here. Really looking forward to it … don’t go to first nights very often … might even have to dress up!

'Complexity of belonging' at the James Theatre in Wellington.

‘Complexity of belonging’ at the James Theatre in Wellington.

Tomorrow we are off to Aukland and the second part of our little journey … but more of that later 🙂

Mother and Daughter with lots to talk about.

Mother and Daughter with lots to talk about.

Sitting on the deck of this lovely house, we can’t see the sea … instead we have to look at flowers. Doh!

Enjoy Alan

Magnolia ... don't you just love trees that flower!

Magnolia … don’t you just love trees that flower!

 


9 responses to “Now for New Zealand and dancing with Tara”

  1. Danielle says:

    Hi Alan,

    Great photos of windy Wellington! Thanks for sharing.

    Looks like Tara is a very accomplish dancer. The title of the show ‘The complexity of Belonging’ sounds so interesting. It makes me want to see it.

    Much love to you all.

  2. Elizabeth Gray says:

    Oh what joy! Dance, family, landscape! Life is rich!

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. regina synnot says:

    Great reading and really gives me more of the itchy feet then I already had. Good you get the special time with Pippa and Tara. Countryside looks wonderful and also the lovely house . See you when you get back. Still warm here and all is pretty well. regina

  4. JaciMac says:

    Lovely blog Alan as always – thank you! Miss u! The girls are doing great ‘guns’, and look fabulous – possibly too tired to swim??? That strong wind is an experience in itself isn’t it – love Welly xxx and yr pics xx

  5. Terry Walton says:

    Great chronicle yet again, Alan. The Complexity of Belonging, in particular, brought tears to my eyes. Such stunning, powerful art. Cheers, Terry

  6. Max says:

    Looks like a lovely place to be. Have a great time Mum and Dad, lotsa love to you both.xx

  7. Kenny Steward says:

    Hi Alan, amazing photos as ever. I will have to show my business partner, Skippy, as he is from that neck of the woods.
    Love to everyone, and hope the show is a hit, Kenny Jude Niamh & Freya X

  8. Lynn says:

    Thank you for included us in your trip. Always enjoy your insight to new experiences. Hope first night went well. X

  9. Rob and Eileen Ledger says:

    Dear Alan and Jacquie, we have never met you but feel we would enjoy your company. We are glad you have enjoyed our home as we have enjoyed yours. Certainly contrasting life styles! I have been looking at your blog and was amused by your experiences which seem to mirror our own! Cruises, gps errors that took us into formidable territory in France and Spain! Not funny at the time but very funny when you look back? Thank you for exchanging with us.

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