This is a month where we got back on the road. One thing has become very clear to us these last few weeks, that even after more than two years on the road, we are definitely not ready to settle down into one spot anytime soon! 
It's been an interesting month where we have finally walked the Godley Heads track near Christchurch which we somehow managed to miss in the entire twelve years living in the area. It's a fantastic and, judging by the amount of people walking in the middle of the week, very popular track following the hills to old gun emplacements. It still fascinates me that as a species we invariably forget to look in our immediate area for interesting places to visit believing that excitement is always somewhere else. If this adventure teaches me only one thing then it is take advantage of everything close by and really enjoy it.
This adventure of ours also provides interesting opportunities. This month led me to an assignment in Auckland, yes I do occasionally do some work as well, photographing a diverse families celebrations as Mum, Grandma and Great Grandma Doreen celebrated her 90th birthday. Great to see a family that all pulled together to make the most of the day and happily allowed me to capture planned and, not so planned, moments for posterity making for a fantastic book of memories.
Half way through the month it was time to hitch up the van, say goodbye to our friends and get back to what we enjoy most, just us and the open road. The open road on this occasion lead us back up the centre of the South Island over to the east coast and down to Marfells Beach. We were last in this spot two years ago and loved that the site we stayed on had the waves at high tide breaking just a few meters from the van. The massive earthquake that hit the area only a few months ago has dramatically changed the landscape though by pushing up the coastline by a few meters. This change meant that at high tide the waves were now breaking about 20 meters further out than they used to and a headland which we could only negotiate at low tide is now completely dry at high tide. When you see results like this the power of Mother Nature is very, very evident and awe inspiring.
Further down the coast at the settlement of Ward I met up with a local who explained to me that the piece of land I was currently stood on taking photos of the waves and rocks was underwater prior to the earthquake. The only benefit of the land shaking he could come up with is that they now have a lot more beach than they used to, always a silver lining if you look hard enough.
We have again met some wonderful people on these travels. Genevieve from Clarence has taken the bold step of starting a food van to service the needs of the workers getting the Kaikoura rail and road network going. Heading down from Blenheim is an eye opening experience as you get a small taste of the devastating power of the earthquake and, when you can go no further, you are rewarded by absolutely amazing food at the truck......seriously it is worth the drive to get there, have the food and hear their stories of life in the area post earthquake. 
And lastly, a thank you must go to our friends Pete and Julie who allowed us to stay on their farm for considerably longer than we anticipated due to various challenges. They are undoubtedly among the most generous people we have encountered on our travels and very much look forward to being back with them again soon......we promise not to stay quite so long next time!

Wonderful light on trees during a road trip around the Canterbury backroads

A lone leaf hanging on while the river rushes by

A walk through a forest had lots of steps. These ones felt like they should lead to a grotto in the woods!

Part of the Godley Heads track on a very calm day

A cross and prayer flags at the top of the cliff looking back towards Christchurch

Barbed wire prevents access to the Godley Heads Gun Emplacements which are undergoing restoration work following the earthquakes

Wonderful day for a walk on the headlands

A foggy day at the botanical gardens led to some interesting images. The bikers bowed head added to the gloominess of the conditons

Leaves turning from green to gold as Autumn comes to an end

One of the bigger trees in Christchurch Botanical Gardens which has lost most of its leaves.

The tree in the distance caught my eye as I walked past the row of trees leading to its ghostly silhouette in the mist

Morning walk in the mist shrouded Hagley Park

The setting sun glimpsed through the few remaining leaves on this tree hanging on before winter claims them

Early morning light and a blanket of dense cloud on the horizon led to a very stark image

At high tide the water used to cover these rocks, now they are completely dry following the earthquake ground upheavel

Walking along the beach to Cape Campbell lighthouse on a stormy day

I was amazed to find that two years later this structure on Marfells Beach is still standing

Marfells Beach at low tide and sunset, simply beautiful

Boulder on Marfells Beach

Jordy ready to take our order for a wonderful Breakfast Burrito and Pulled Pork Sandwich at the Clarence Food Van

Afternoon light heading back towards Blenheim from Kaikoura

Rail lines have gone rusty as there are no trains running since the earthquake. 

Windswept tree on Ward Beach made for an interesting study in texture

Looking out from the South Island to the North Island from Marfells Beach

Capturing what was once the seabed on Ward Beach at sunrise. Fascinates me that this was once submerged!

Light pollution from Wellington on the North Island provides and interesting counterpoint to the rising Milky Way

Standing on what was once the seabed at Ward Beach

Walking from Marfells Beach to Cape Campbell Lighthouse revealed a different landscape to the one we remembered two years ago

Cyclists enjoying the calm and clear blue sky day

Rickety old steps take you up to Cape Campbell Lighthouse for stunning, if windy, views

I love quirky views and couldn't resist how this angle of the lighthouse create an image that looks like an envelope

Early morning light and stormy skies made for some dramatic light on the distant hills

Mussels high and dry on Marfells Beach

Lake Grassmere in the early morning

Havelock gradually appearing out of the morning fog

Playing around with unusual angles while walking around Nelson on a beautiful clear day

Just love the peace and quiet of the Chines Gardens in Nelson

A, slightly eccentric local, feeds the ducks in Nelson gardens

The deserted road. This image shows a deserted State Highway 1 that leads to Kaikoura. Prior to the earthquake this shot would not have been possible due to the volume of traffic. On this day I was able to set up for the image with no vehicles passing for almost 10 minutes.

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