Monday, March 5, 2012

Akaroa


Today was supposed to be the day we went swimming with dolphins.

But when we reached Akaroa, right at the south tip of the south island, after winding through hills and sheep pastures and seeing black cows and white cows, we reached Black Cat and were told that the swells were two meters.

Six feet of water moving up and down and up and down.

We decided not to go. Ileana wasn't feeling well, and Mom didn't want to get seasick (she was already slightly carsick). Ioan didn't want to just cruise, and neither did I. Dad would have liked the cruise (basically just seeing dolphins, not swimming with them), but in the end we decided not to do anything dolphin-related. We might stop by with the camper van, and try to swim, but we're not sure yet.

We'll figure it out.

We stopped at the Salvation Army to buy coats. I have a bright red one. It'll be in all the pictures. Also picked up two books. I finished one of them as we were driving through the hills.

Everything was windy. Wind so strong it steadied Dad for a second or two when he let himself back. Wind so strong it would catch the car door and swing it out faster than it's supposed to. Wind so strong you feel a bit disoriented when it's not pushing you.

The clouds move over the sky like one of those sped-up videos. But it's all in real time. You can see the wispies moving above the car, the thick mist coming towards you… but not. The thick bit of it seems to stay where it is, while the wispies race along the sky.

The grass is a bit yellow, not an emerald green like I expected. It's a greenish yellow, and most of it is tall and strong. The trees are either tall and gnarled or short not-so-gnarled.

Everything is beautiful.

But I'm sort of not in the mood to describe scenery. You can't really describe it. You can sketch out a basic idea, but no one's ever going to see what we saw because you can't capture this with a camera. Not even an HD video. Feeling the wind contributes just as much to a scene as watching the effects of it does. And you can't capture the strength of that wind. 

You can't even capture the right colors— no matter how good cameras are nowadays, they still aren't as good as the human eye. Sometimes woefully worse.

Mom saw something akin to the aurora borealis in Thailand— the sun was rising and there were wispy clouds that suddenly seemed to reflect pink and green and all sorts of colors. She couldn't capture all of the nuances on camera. 

And yet… we took so many pictures today. Sometimes just a look is enough to make you imagine the rest of it, to remember what it was like… to decide to go again someday…

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