Does February + Red = Valentine’s Day? Not when you’re on vacation in New Zealand!
We’ve been in New Zealand for almost four weeks. It’s a warm and colourful break from home (Calgary, AB, Canada) where everything is white, grey and brown and the overnight temperatures are stubbornly plunging well below zero (minus 40 degrees Celsius last night). It’s also why I’ve disconnected from blogging, tweeting and browsing for almost a month (more on that in another post).
Anyhow, as we’ve travelled the South and North Islands, I’ve kept a lookout for things that are red and are somehow representative our experiences here.
1. Pohutukawa Flowers – Summer in New Zealand is slowly winding down and it’s well past Christmas, but just outside our treehouse accommodation near Kaikoura on the South Island, I spotted some small Pohutukawa trees still blooming. These New Zealand “Christmas Trees” burst into bloom in December as a colourful, natural form of holiday “decoration”.
2. Amazing Food – We’ve savoured wonderful meals throughout our trip and we’ve tried a lot of food that’s been new to us. One thing we’ve observed is that there’s a very strong and consistent emphasis on locally sourced, organically grown produce; these are often highlighted on the menu, which can change daily to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. One night we enjoyed a tomato salad made with tomatoes picked off the vines growing in a greenhouse I’d wandered through that afternoon.
3. The Unexpected – We’ve had a lot of surprises on this holiday, almost all of them good. One such surprise was on the first day we had a rental car. Mr. GeoK was driving us from Queenstown to Franz Josef. Our eyes popped when we spotted a fence line decorated with bras! It reminded us of the hat fence along Highway 22 in southern Alberta, but with a New Zealand twist. There were several red bras hanging on the wire.
4. Signage – No matter where you travel in the world, red on a sign means “pay attention – important information or instructions”. In this particular case, the DANGER warning is for the very steep cliffs at Cape Kidnapper, which raise almost straight up from the turquoise blue sea.
5. Geology – The geology of the North Island includes a lot of volcanoes. The lava flows include a lot of iron. One result is striking red craters, including this Red Crater in Tongariro National Park and Mount Ngauruhoe just behind it (which was Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy).
As usual, I’d like to bring this monthly post to an end by thanking P.J. over at A ‘lil HooHaa for hosting the monthly photo blogging challenge. Click here to “see red” in P.J.’s world and the list of links to other bloggers taking part in the challenge.
This marks the one-year anniversary of the photo blogging challenge. Maybe you’d like to join the challenge for year two, which gets underway in March!