Daily Archives: September 27, 2011

A different walk today

“These boots are made for walking
and that’s just what they’re gonna do.”

It has been a beautiful day here.  Bright sunshine but unfortunately strong winds and so the temperature has never really reached any great height.  But it is most pleasant to take a walk around the shore and take in the sights.

Marine reserve

We started our walk into the brisk wind and found some very interesting houses.

We are told that the woman of this house always wanted to live in a lighthouse, so while she was away overseas on a trip the husband had one built for her.  True or not it’s a good story.

Life boat house

Immediately to the left of that house sits this one.  As you can see it has a life boat built into the facade.  No information on why it’s there or who put it there  is available but it makes another good talking point.

Two horses house

And to the left of that is this house.  Why there are two horses above the garage is anybody’s guess.

The ocean

If you look really hard you can see the South Island in the distance.

All three of these houses sit with their backs to a high cliff and the sea in front.  It would be an exciting place to live when the southerlies blow and the wind whips up the waves.  But today it was relatively calm.

Hazard warning

The road to the quarry

We then drove a little way around to the Red Rocks Scientific Reserve.  Red rocks or Pariwhero in Maori is an area steeped in myths and legends.  The rocks  are ancient pillow lava formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. Small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks their distinctive red colouring.

There is always more than one story in Maori folklore and the red rocks are no exception.   In one story  Kupe – the famous Polynesian explorer – was gathering paua (abalone) here when one clamped his hand. He bled and stained the rocks red. In the other story, and the one I prefer, the daughters of Kupe, fearing for his safety on a long voyage, they gashed themselves in grief over his absence.  The red is their blood.

Red Rocks

There is an unmanned Scientific Centre that gives historical notes and information on the surroundings and the habitation of the area.  This is one such information tablet.

Another is on the fur seals. These are males who have lost  fights for territory in the breeding colonies at the top of the South Island.  As it is a bachelor colony there are no females and so you are not likely to come upon a seal pup here.

Fur seals

There is also information on early quarrying activity in the area. And I shall write about the quarry and its activities and eventual closure in another post.

Quarry

“I dream of hiking into my old age.”
Marlyn Doan
, 1936 – 2005