I have now returned from my week in the Chatham Islands, 800km east of New Zealand, 44°S. These isolated islands belong to NZ and currently have a permanent population of about 580 people. Its primary income is from fishing and stock farming. It has an incredible history with its first inhabitants the Moriori, the early whalers, sealers and missionaries from Germany and France, and the arrival of the Maori and English settlers. Enough to say here that it was a great week, the hospitality was outstanding, and the weather much better than what has been reported back home! It was rather like stepping back in time, and all that was good in my own back country upbringing. However, I would not wish to live there permanently, they have to be very self-reliant. Day-to-day living is costly, with supplies being shipped in from NZ. Longtime residents are very proud of the Chathams and their inheritance.
Thank you to those who left comments on the blogs which self-posted while I was away, your comments are much appreciated. I have yet to start work again, ideas are forming but they need more time before I make a start. In the meantime, I shall continue to report on the Chathams. Here are some general photos:
Waitangi, the main township on the Chathams.
A typical road through farmland, most roads are gravel, with some sealed roads through the towns. In this photo the sea mist forms a haze across the island.
Coastline on the south region of the island.
This is quite a special photo. If you look very closely on the centre left you can just see a narrow strip of Te Whanga Lagoon, a fresh water lake. The sea on the right is the Pacific Ocean.