A wandering bird's-eye overview of most things even vaguely related to travel, and an opportunity for writers, artists and photographers to contribute the historical, the hysterical, the quirky and quixotic... anything with heart.

4 years ago
All smoke and mirrors
All smoke and mirrors

Destination = Lake Alabaster, New Zealand

On the South Island it's first light; there's the cough and splutter of a single outboard, the slow moving tinnie, low in the water, laden with 5 orange-capped Kiwi hunters; already a speck in the brooding shadow of far forest shores. 

We're in Fiordland, hiking the `Land of the Long White Cloud' and my girlfriend shouts from a slippery pebble beach. "Hey, in there, you really need to see this." 

I rush for the door and outside on the verandah. There's a severed stag head propped by a tree: a hunters' trophy, complete with antlers, wide eyes like brown glass - the noble beast just vermin here.

The air's so cold and crisp; early light washed, wine-dark water still; the smell of last night's rain, wet rotting leaves, dank moss... and burning toast.

Photo:  All Smoke and Mirrors - Lake Alabaster, South Island, New Zealand _ Ian Cochrane