Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembering New Zealand

I think labor may be starting now, and I'm trying to distract myself by looking at old pictures of dreamy, inspiring New Zealand. We went there in October of 2007 to do research for my first book. (I was going to post pictures of St. Petersburg, but I can't find them.)

Here's the golden coastline of Chatham Island, where my novel ROHANA takes place.

One of the carved kopi trees. Each carving is done on a live tree, and most represent the spirits of Moriori ancestors. Unfortunately, many trees were cut down, the carving peeled off, and taken "home" to England and elsewhere to be put on display. The peeled carvings don't have the breath of life in them that the living ones do. Sadly, the trees are dying out (even though protected) and no one remembers exactly how to carve new dendroglyphs.

I don't remember the name of these falls, but the hike to them was amazing and the roaring was awe-inspiring. It's in the southeastern part of the South Island.

This is a snapshot of Lord of the Rings country, in the center of the South Island. The water is freezing cold and deep blue due to the mineral deposits from the mountains. Unreal, really.

One of the last days of our trip (as you can tell by Jim's beard). This was at a campground just north of Auckland, on the North Island. The trip is etched in my memory as one of wonder, excitement, and family bonding and bliss.

Anyone else been to New Zealand or somewhere equally beautiful? Share and link pics on your blog if you have!


cindy said...

gorgeous! it took labor to finally get you to post these? ha! PUSH amber PUSH! good luck! am thinking of you!

Val said...

I haven't been to New Zealand yet but I have some nice pics which was taken during my trip in Germany last June. You can see them on my blog.
Waiting good news! Thinking of you too!

Jacqui said...

I want a field trip!

Jill Corcoran said...

Have a great 'labor' day!
Try to picture those landscapes in your mind when the doc say....just a couple of more pushes. You can do it.

Rachael King said...

Hi Amber - I found your blog through Laini Taylor's - I met her in Portland in November when i was there for a literary festival. I am intrigued by your novel set in the Chatham Islands! I am a New Zealander, and have been to the Chathams. My father wrote the definitive history of the Moriori people (called Moriori by Michael King) as well as a photographic history of the islands called A Land Apart. there was also an excellent docu-drama called Feathers of Peace which was based on the book. I was wondering if you have come across these in your research?

Good luck with it - I would be very interested to hear more about the project.