Climbing Mt Victoria

Hi guys! Well, I haven’t posted much since our wonderful south island trip – I’ve been working away on the dissertation (a tentative block of viva dates have been set aside, I’m hoping that it will all be set before December (NOT DONE! JUST SET!).  Grant has been doing well at work – and this is his last week of teaching (yup, end of the school year here is October – Summer vacation and Christmas vacation? same thing.)  We’ve eaten some black spaghetti

why yes, that is posed on top of the book “how to get published” – Grant has sent his book proposal off to several presses – so cross your fingers!

Last weekend we took a walk (I rolled my ankle about what seems like forever ago (pre-wedding) and have been treating it pretty gingerly, but have recently started running again (just on a treadmill) and it seems to be getting better) So we decided to walk up Mount Victoria.  Mt Victoria is one of the highest points in Wellington (of which there are many) and it is also where parts of Lord of the Rings were filmed.  (Mainly scenes in which Frodo is hiding on back roads). Like this one:

So yeah, not the most scenic scene, but pretty alright for a weekend stroll!  But (and what is defo most exciting for me) first we stopped by the cricket grounds! Soon cricket games will be on all the time (some of them completely free!) and I AM SO EXCITED!  Grant, however, knows nothing about cricket, and so when I asked him to take a picture of the pitch, he didn’t. Here is the next best thing:

still taken *within* the cricket grounds, so pretty good.  Here is a photo of Wellington on our walk to the hiking trail:

in case you didn’t know, Wellington is STEEP.  That road in the background is almost 90 degrees to the ground, crazy.  Luckily, Grant and I live in Mt. Cook, which is not nearly as much of a climb.  Here is a view half way up Mt. Victoria:

And here is a cute little thing we saw on the way up:

And here are some informative signs:

sort of intense.

and windy:

and then we reached the top!

on the way back down, some of the beach:

and a giant aloe plant

and then off to the Hop Garden for a pint and some chips

So yeah, gorgeous as always, not super duper crazy exciting – but more fun than trying to fix my current dissertation chapter (it feels sort of like giving CPR to a pool raft — pointless, silly, and exhausting. wah wah.

Oh! We also saw a lot of Tui birds on the walk – I love them.  They have two voice boxes and can sometimes mimic human speech, like parrots.  Since they tend to mimic their surroundings, they sound quite different depending on where they are – I think this one is imitating the auto car unlock noise a bit – Grant tried to get some video of the tui, it may be sort of hard to hear over the cars and wind:
and here is a news report on tuis who sing pizza hut jingles
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~ by gakather on October 16, 2012.

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