Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
December 2022
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Putangirua Pinnacles

A bit of a drive to the south-east of Wellington takes you beyond Lake Ferry and to the start of a track to the Putangirua Pinnacles.

We took the scenic route, which involved a lovely walk through the bush before reaching a lookout that gave us an overview of this amazing geomorphological feature. The conglomerate rock has been dramatically eroded by water, to create some spectacular pinnacles and canyons. 

To give you a sense of scale, if you look very closely at the centre left of the following photo you can see a white dot with a small black vertical mark to its north-east. Now check the enlargement of this in the photo after that, and you get an idea of the size of the pinnacles.

This sign seemed ironic although indubitably accurate.

We continued into the main river bed itself and explored some of the canyons. Apparently parts of the area were used for the “Paths of the Dead” sequence in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

Some of the side canyons are quite narrow and the area is very active geomorphologically. My brother David tried to take us to a section he’d explored earlier in the year but it had changed dramatically following recent rains.

We also contributed to some of the erosion, as the rocks were not always stable beneath our feet.

It is a spectacular area, and, although the winter sun and resulting contrast shadows made for tricky photography, it was well worth the visit.

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