NZ Scraps

Fragments from the West Coast, plus some bits and pieces.

Currently in a gothic inspiration — the Otira Hotel — just beyond Arthur’s Pass. Bought for one million dollars, along with the whole village of forty houses. It’s on the rail-line, but remained on the market for years because:
1) It’s a Gold Rush ghost town with no economic base
2) It’s deep in a valley that plunges it into permanent shadow for half the year
3) There’s a massive quake due (on the fault-line it straddles) which is expected to destroy everything
The new owners have stuffed the hotel bar with Gold Rush antiques, taxidermy specimens, the first telegraph cable, freaky life-size marionettes … it should be getting dark for the full effect (but it isn’t yet) …

On an Internet ration tonight (Dec. 27.), but I’m going to try to keep this alive — meaning updates undramatized by an ‘ADDED’. Also pics (but some slight time lag likely there).

The NZ west coast is dominated by a near-continuous strip of temperate rain forest, blurring into sub-tropical rain forest in the north. The peculiar local vegetation, including numerous species of giant ferns, give the landscape a prehistoric flavor. It’s also extremely rugged, with the western slopes of the NZ alps cascading right down to the coast. The sea is brutal, and the coastline deeply mauled. The early exploration of this area was tough. It’s conspicuously Gnon-tinged geography. (Patience needed on the pix front, apologies.)

Only 30,000 people live on the west coast of the South Island — and most of them are trying with greater or lesser urgency to leave. The landscape is glorious (the British Columbia comparison is inescapable). Once drone logistics make it viable to survive in web-linked isolation in this area, it’s going to make a spectacular refuge. For the moment, it’s populated by hippies, hill-billies, and extraction-industry social detritus (a great horror fiction mix, however — drugs, guns, and expendables).

Finally — NZ West Coast pics (via the better half).

December 25, 2014admin 6 Comments »


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