Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

A Mighty View

with 9 comments


I’ve put this one up at 1024 pixels because it’s just so BIG! It needs as much room as it can have. It probably needs to hand on a wall at least 16 x 20 to do it justice, but we can’t do there…

Took this photo on the 6th of this month, driving on the Crown Range Road back to Queenstown in search of a new tripod. I had been complaining about the (very expensive) piece of carbon fibre junk I’d brought with me almost since I bought it a couple of years ago. I didn’t break it on purpose, though if I had it wouldn’t have been a real surprise… There are no serious camera shops in Wanaka, so off we went to the big smoke.

I love and hate this road. It’s an hour of spectacular scenery, course mountain grasses, rock outcrops, snow-capped mountains. It’s a good, well maintained road, feels safe when the weather is fine, but we always seem to be there in the in between, and suddenly we are driving through clouds, past little landslides and landslips, on the edge of sheer cliffs. The last twenty minutes are the most perilous hairpin turns in the southern Hemisphere! My husband is not allowed to drive faster than 30k/hr there under threat of me screaming – I haven’t actually screamed, more the occasional shreik and gasp. He’s very obliging.

Hard to select the best of the 100 or so shots I took along the way… this one seems to capture all the key elements – and the sky was just magnificent that day – the clouds seemed to have floated in from outer space. I love the winter barren-bleakness. Usually the mountains are covered with snow at least halfway down, but not this year – the ski season still has not started. But it will, though I won’t be there.

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

24/06/2011 at 1:20 am

9 Responses

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  1. Magnificent view.

    I can’t help thinking about the hapless traveler whose car breaks down here.

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    Rindo

    24/06/2011 at 1:01 pm

    • True – what’s actually more worrisome is the “Test your breaks now!” signs every so often – which seems to imply you’re heading to certain death should they not be perfectly perfectly up to condition. And then there are the emergency chain bays every couple of kilometres, in case the weather suddenly turns and the road becomes icy and impassable. It’s so foggy and damp up there all you need is the temperature to drop a few degrees and you’re hosed…
      I should probably not cross the mountains that way – but I do…

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  2. I rode that road in 1982. I was on a bus so it didn’t faze me. Only bus tour I’ve ever taken and will ever take…had to room with a woman who never quit talking – even when she was in the shower OR sleeping! That’s the only time in my life I took up running. It was the only way I could get away from her.

    Living in BC – I felt a home in that part of NZ.

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    souldipper

    24/06/2011 at 2:17 pm

    • That woman must have been yakking up a storm for that road not to faze you! It’s scary enough in a car, but to be on a bus with those mad turns! Oy! I admit, I’m a bit more squeamish than most.

      I’ve never done a proper bus tour, though the tour of China did involve a lot of buses and airplanes – but I had my husband as ‘body guard’ so did not have to put up with other people’s habits.

      I really must get to that part of Canada… I’ve got a friend visiting there now – I was actually envious of her going, despite my vow to stay put for the next four months…

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      • There’s a one lane road carved out of the banks of a canyon of a mighty river in Northern Canada – The Stikine. I was a passenger in a suburban while that road was a sheet of ice covered with slimy mud. That scared the daylights out of me! After that, I told my School Board that I’d take that road only if they paid me danger pay. Not only did we crawl along the “ledge”, we prayed no driver would come from the other direction – inebriated or otherwise!

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        souldipper

        25/06/2011 at 10:35 am

  3. Breathtaking. But I would have to be sedated to do that road without screaming. I tried cold turkey at the Grand Canyon rim and my travel companions ended up pouring brandy down my throat to shut me up.

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    Trinity River

    25/06/2011 at 2:07 am

  4. Oh, I’ve been on one of those “test your brakes” mountains, and I agree that it’s a bit unsettling. But this view…oh my gosh, this is just awesome.

    Like

    poietes

    28/06/2011 at 1:10 pm

    • The trade-off terror vs inspiration is worth it. At least, I always think it is when I am not there – and when I am, it’s too late to change my mind.

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