West by North

I won’t as a habit go all Tolkienesk on you as I am with this first ever post, but in explanation I had read The Hobbit years before I first travelled the Lewis Pass and these hills in the first photo are how I had imagined the hills between Bree and Rivendell all those years ago.  I had a little time to spare and the road was quiet after Hanmer Springs so I slowed down and took photos through the windscreen with a pocket digital, nothing classy but enough for an impression from a 4hr drive.  Click on a photo for full size.

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It took an early start to travel West by North along a winding road

Through mountains misty; revealed at dawn

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Up dales riven by Ruaumoko

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To an ice bound pass where drizzle freezes to the glass

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Gloriana and Faerie Queen stand lost in cloud

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so down the other side

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At Marble Hill there’s desolation wrought by a cyclones blast

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where tawhai lie in twisted heaps

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Yet onward waits a mountain lonely

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And the Rahu wall

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Between them, there are beech and cedar by a pristine waterfall

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In time the mirky wood gives way, to farms with spotted cows

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Then a final push beside a river deep and green, the mighty Kawatiri.  Placid now in winter drought although the colour speaks of rain

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Landmarks rapidly pass, Berlins, Hawks Crag hewn from the bluff

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Ohikaiti, Blackwater, Fern Arch and the Ohikanui

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At the utmost west there sits a port, a haven set apart

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Watched over by the Paparoa with Buckland in the van

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This journey is not over, for now we must go north, on a road as straight as straight can be, to where the mountains reach down and touch the sea

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Here too the damage wrought by Tawhirimatea is clear, as Tane’s forest lies toppled to lay the ridges bare

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At last my destination the town of Granity, a ribbon of houses sandwiched between the mountain and the sea

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An empty beach of sand and coloured stones

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Driftwood and flax and a place to rest

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Aquamarine by the Tasman Sea.

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