Leon at LCA2006

06 February 2006

Taieri gorgeous

These were taken on the way back down, there will be more from the trip up sooner or later.

Middlemarch pub

Lovely old stone building. Nice chips, too. The whole town is about 2x2 blocks, takes about two minutes to circumnavigate on a pushbike.

beaches on the river

Beaches on the river.

rail bridge

One of many scenic railway bridges on the track.

river flowing

The river doesn’t look fast or anything, and the water is lovely and crystal clear, but every so often the flow bunches up a bit and you start to get a hint of how much water really is flowing through there.

view along the gorge

Shot along one of the straighter bits near the top of the gorge.

the light at the end of the tunnel

One of many dark and exciting tunnels. Some were bare rock, a few were cement-lined, many were brick-lined, a few had some combination of the above. The tunnel has a peak to let the smoke escape.

long way to fall

Some the drops right alongside (or even under) the track were substantial.

driftwood accumulated at a rapids

Some of the rapids accumulated quite a bit of driftwood. We have running water, fish, firewood and shelter, sounds like an excellent place to camp.

rocks in the gorge

The rock formations run from measly to reasonably grand. Most of the rock seems to be the wood-grain-looking stuff I saw on the beach a few days ealier.

05 February 2006

Photos from the trip home

swapping icecream on the Tairi Gorge Railway

The Taieri Gorge train stopped on the way back to dump all of its icecream on the afternoon train, which had already consumed fearful amounts of it (and was packed with Japanese tourists who looked like they regarded Dunedin as being unpleasantly warm despite the airconditioned carriages).

swapping coaches

This is the coach swap happening a little way north of Timaru. Ritchies’ reputation preceded them, so we weren’t looking forward to this.

rack full of PCsThis is the rack full of PCs at Base in Christchurch, and below is a shot of te Linux-based router controlling them all.

The Internet system was operated by small pre-paid tickets which allowed you to log in to an XP session, and kicked you off when your time expired. There was no continuity and from what I could see the system was set up to do a quick reimage on logout.

A UTP cable taped to the floor of the Internet room led away to one of the dorms, so I suspect that (given the unlocked rack door) bypassing the PCs with your own laptop and cable would not exactly be rocket science.

Linux-based PC rack controller

botanical gardens fountain

This was a truly ornate fountain on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch. There were many nice plants in evidence — as one would expect — so I’ll take time to cull out some pictures of those for you later.

CHC water cooler

This was a simple and obvious fitting in the Christchurch Airport departure lounge which I don’t see in Australian airports. It requires no paperwork or money for access, and works for all races, creeds, genders etc. I guess if the Aussies do implement these, they’ll have a coin-slot and a boarding-pass reader.

sydney hangar

Transferring from International to Domestic within Sydney Airport took us past some repair hangers. Master Six was very impressed by the size of all of the gear. Not much else leaped out and said “photograph me!” in the two hours I had there.

clouds on the way out of sydney

Here is some of the excellent cloudscape which presented itself to the fading sun on the way across New South Wales towards home.

01 February 2006

Gawrsh! Can't wait to see...

...what they say about LCA2008 being held in Broome. (-: