Saturday, November 13, 2004
This place was swank. Tucked away in one of the many coves of the Marlborough Sounds - we were treated to a magnificent thunderstorm the night we stayed. Not only did they offer some of the finest foods of our trip, one of the most comfortable rooms of our trip as well. Shortly after taking this photo we departed for the "Eco-Tour" portion of trip - visiting the first place Captain Cook set foot on New Zealand and claimed it for the Queen. Pics to come!
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Many helicopter rides on this trip - some good pilots, some not-so-good. On this day I was happy to finally put my feet back on the ground and wondered if it was the belly full of green-lipped mussels, big breaths of diesel exhaust or wild ride of g-forces that led me to almost shake hands with El Vomitar. Probably all of the above. Stunning scenery nonetheless - let the record show that ETK was not the only one to feel the effects after wild heli action.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Heli-Mt. Biking outside Twizel. Twizel lies just down the road from Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park, where the spectacular opening scenes of The Two Towers were filmed. This mountain town, set in the heart of the McKenzie Basin, was used extensively for scenes involving Rohan. Ben Ohau Station, a working high country sheep station nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps, provided the plains of Rohan where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli pursue the Orcs at the start of the film. Our guide, pictured here with Chris was actually in the film as one of the Orcs. The biking trail was more or less a dirt road - super steep at times - and often really bumpy and uneven. Spooking the sheep along the way was fun - but it's hard to match the single track in Northern Cal and Oregon. Not that I'm complaining.... any time I can get a lift to the top for a downhill ride is just fine - especially when it's a rollercoaster of a ride with a veteran heli-pilot flying like a madman trying to match the requests of our cameraman Celso.
On our way to the Grasmere Lodge - we shot a stand-up here with Chris, made some mention of Lord of the Rings (how could you not). I guess they shot one of the scenes in one of the films here - how someone could possibly keep it all straight is beyond me. Check the Chris Turner blog to get a more definitive report.