Saturday, April 10, 2010

This swing bridge is made of rust and zip ties?

We just love how the New Zealand government mandates the Friday and Monday around Easter as public holidays. We took advantage of our four-day weekend by lounging around, going to a dinner party and Jake going to a Wellington Hurricanes rugby game. We also had the opportunity to go camping for a night.

We chose Otaki Forks, near the Tararua Forest Park because it's only about an hour and half from Welly and we haven't been there yet. So we threw some stuff in the car and headed out. The weather was looking a little like it wanted to rain but it held out rather well.

Jake was excited to get to use his New Zealand bird identification guide that I gave him for his birthday. There was a bird here but I was too slow to get him in the shot. So I forced Jake to pose for this reenactment. I had planned to PhotoShop a bird in it, but I'm too lazy.*

For me the highlight of this trip was this swing bridge we found on one of our walks. Just big enough for one person and constructed in a way I've never seen before. I took a few steps out onto it before I realised this bridge seems to be held together by some chain-link fencing, rusty cables, some torn basketball netting and a few sturdy zip ties.

Jake didn't seem to mind at all, but I took the trek a bit slower.

Not sure why I was scared though. If the entire thing had failed and dropped me, it would have been a fall of about 10 feet into a little stream that seemed to have the faintest current. I think it was only a few feet deep anyway.

And while I joke about the lack of maintenance on this swing bridge, it is just a joke. Jake and I continue to be impressed by how well kept all the NZ camping and tramping grounds are. Everything seems to be in excellent shape, well marked and carefully planned. Even the toilets are consistently nice -- and that will win you points in my book any day.

*Disclaimer: I'm just kidding about the bird. While I may occasionally remove a double chin or colour correct a landscape, I aim to avoid changing the meaning of any photo.


Phil said...

You should've photoshopped a bald eagle or pterodactyl into the picture, Jamie. Just to make sure the folks back home were paying attention!

Juli Ryan said...

We came soooo close to going camping at Otaki Forks that weekend. I'm giggling just at the thought of meeting you guys there!

Yer Mum said...

Your disclaimer at the end shows what a good journalist you are :) Glad Jake got to (almost) use his new bird book. You two are happy and so all is right with the world. Love your pictures!

KC said...

Gosh you guys seem to be having a wonderful time here in NZ. I love the Otaki Forks area - the tramp / hike up to Field Hut is a good day walk. :)