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PHOTO-A-DAY CHALLENGE

More Wind, Rain and Southern Adventures

Week 182 of the photographic documentary of my daily life

I ran in, of course, because if I had gone slow, I would have felt the cold. | Photo credit: Anne Bonfert

While New Zealand’s weather in summer remains inconsistent and ever-changing, the mountains have received new patches of snow while we went swimming in the ocean.

A little bit of everything, including a new animal photo is what I’m featuring in this week’s essay.

This week began with the Dunstan Trail, a 45-kilometer-long cycling trail we mastered thanks to the help of e-bikes. It was our first time on battery-supported bicycles and we truly enjoyed the adventure.

Following the shores of the Clutha River, the trail was going up and down along the cliffs, offering us great views at times and relaxing cycles in between.

© Bonfert — 25/01/2024 — SCENIC

On Friday, a few clouds were hugging the Pisa Mountain Range as the sun was rising on the other side. I snapped a picture while I was outside combing my hair.

© Bonfert — 26/01/2024 — MORNING

And around sunset, several layers of spectacular clouds were pulling off a show in the sky. I couldn’t resist and took another photograph for the day.

© Bonfert — 26/01/2024 — LAYERED

On Saturday afternoon, I went for a walk along the Kawarau River, just opposite Bannockburn and its vineyards. I hadn’t been to this part of the river and truly enjoyed being out there.

© Bonfert — 27/01/2024 — LUSH

Tiny wildflowers were blooming despite the dry soil.

© Bonfert — 27/01/2024 — TINY

And several flocks of birds were flying and chirping around me but being so active, I barely got a chance to get any of them on camera. With countless twigs and blades of grass between me and them, getting a bird in focus was nearly impossible.

© Bonfert — 27/01/2024 — QUIRKY

On Sunday we were on our way to work when they sent a text saying we were back on hold as it had begun raining in Wanaka. Yes, the weather has become too unpredictable, we can barely foresee what the skies will be like an hour ahead.

Since we weren’t halfway yet, we decided to turn around and stop at Lake Dunstan while waiting for the next update an hour later.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — FLOWING

It was windy and clouds were zooming across the sky when David threw his rod hopelessly into the water. No fish to be seen.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — TRYING

We waited until we felt the first raindrops and decided to head home just as the message came through work had been canceled. The life of a skydiver. You are dependent on the weather.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — DAUNTING

With now a free day ahead, I was motivated to go out even though rain and wind were predicted all around us all day long.

I jumped into the car and drove down to Clyde where the big dam is built at the end of the Clutha River.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — EXPLORING

Walking through the old town of Clyde, I admired historic buildings, brought two postcards to the post and smiled at the fences. I always look at fences, walls or the lack thereof whenever I visit a new town or neighborhood. It tells me how safe a place is.

High walls with maybe even electric fences atop show a high crime rate in the area, smaller walls or fences that can easily be jumped are a sign of a safe neighborhood.

This one clocks in at pretty low crime rates as this miniature fence was barely an inch high.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — SAFE

Later that evening I was sitting on my chair when I looked at the glass door next to me as I noticed a movement. There he was. Our 5-30 hedgehog was visiting us walking nonchalantly past our living room.

I was so excited, grabbed my camera and all of a sudden lost trust in my skills as I couldn’t focus in on the creature or get him in a picture. Frustrated, I returned to grab my husband’s iPhone and finally got a semi-satisfying picture.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal and shy, so usually you won’t get a chance to see them. However, this friend we’ve seen a few times now and finally I can show him to you as well.

He’s tiny, as hedgehogs are, and his body could fit into my hand.

© Bonfert — 28/01/2024 — CURIOUS

On Monday, the weather was steady and calm for a change and we worked off all the customers that had collected. I did 13 tandem skydives in total and if I’d say I wasn’t tired at the end of the day, I was lying.

However, planning on yet another getaway, I was running around between hanging up laundry, packing our hiking packs and the car and quickly snapped a picture of these lovely flowers.

© Bonfert — 29/01/2024 — DELICATE

The sunset too, was spectacular. Every time I went outside, the sky looked different.

© Bonfert — 29/01/2024 — FIERY

On Tuesday, after another busy day at work, we jumped into the car heading south switching drivers three times between David and me as we were certainly tired but wanted to reach the coastline that evening still.

© Bonfert — 30/01/2024 — ROAD-TRIPPIN’

When we reached Invercargill, we decided to have dinner before moving on to the campsite. Settling on ‘Amigos’, we got lucky as the Mexican restaurant had Taco Tuesday and we got served cheap and delicious tacos.

© Bonfert — 30/01/2024 — DELISH

After having set up our tent I couldn’t resist but jump into the car and drive three more minutes to the beach. I even drove with our tiny sedan car through the sand and onto the beach. If I’ve learned one thing in Namibia it is how to drive in sand and how you don’t need a four-wheel drive for it.

Either way. Whatever I saw wasn’t what I had expected. The sun was setting above the horizon of the Southern Ocean and seagulls were dancing in the sky. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

After a few pictures, I ran back to the car, changed into my bikini and ran into the sea. Yes, the water was freezing but I jumped through the waves.

When else will I ever get this moment again? Never, so embrace it, I thought to myself.

© Bonfert — 30/01/2024 — MAGICAL

After almost missing the ferry on Wednesday morning since my African husband doesn’t believe in timetables and set departure times, we arrived on Stewart Island.

While the island is located on the 46th parallel and we have plenty of landmass above that one in the northern hemisphere, there isn’t much land I could travel to on the globe to be ever further South than that.

Arriving on Stewart Island, we set off for an adventure hiking along remote beaches and wandering through pristine forests. We swam in the sea as cold as it got and put up our tent before the rain rolled in.

Because if there is something you can rely on down here, then it is the weather. It will rain or storm, both or at least one. We had a day filled with blue skies and strong winds and were overly happy about that.

© Bonfert — 31/01/2024 — TROPICAL

Below you can see our spot for the night. Finally, we fell asleep again listening to the sound of the ocean. It was so soothing.

© Bonfert — 31/01/2024 — REMOTE

This has been my weekly photo essay. Anyone can join. Once. Or weekly. It doesn’t matter. We welcome everyone! Dennett started this photography challenge in 2020 and many have participated ever since. These are the latest contributors and their essays:

Dennett with “Making Do

Erika with “Regal Mr. Bisou, A Very Pretty Drink, Selecting Paint Colors, “Did I Really Wear One Slipper to the Doctor’s Office?,” Paperwhites, the First Camelia, Bread like A Biscuit, and Uma Tries Caviar

Susan with “Was That a Cat? That Was a Cat. Wasn’t it? It Was, Wasn’t it? And to Change Things up a Bit — a Tortoise!

Kim with “Nosey Dogs and Great Weather for Being Outside

Krasi Shapkarova with “Urban Walks, Country Walks, and a Ride on the Rhodope Narrow Gauge Railway

Penny Grubb with “Hoping Week 1 Doesn’t Set The Tone For The Year

Julia A. Keirns with “My Life In Photos — January 21–31, 2024

These are my previous weekly photo essays:

Join my email list here if you would like to read more photo essays.

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