Wanted: one camera
for multi-month world-travel trip,
exhibiting respectable zoom range,
delivering excellent low-light operation,
capable of operating a gamut of full-manual control to full-automatic modes.
Christchurch, New Zealand was rocked by an earthquake back in 2011, magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale, roughly 10 km (6 miles) from city center. (More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Christchurch_earthquake )
I figured that since it's now 2 years later, that the city would be fairly rebuilt and the thought hadn't even entered my mind that there would be no night life, since the city was so vibrant when I last visited: http://www.whereisholden.com/2008/01/christchurch-itself.html
Turns out that the city is starting to rebuild, but that it's still a ways off. We entered town on a Friday night, hoping to get dinner downtown and possibly go dancing at a club. Almost no restaurants were open (6pm), and we found no late-night dance opportunities.
In the morning we went to the city center where a shopping mall made from shipping containers has been erected, and we were impressed with the quality of building, the number of people out and about (despite what my in-opportune-timed-photos suggest).
And apparently busking is still a reasonably big deal there. This guy was definitely wearing a straightjacket, riding a tall unicycle, and there was fire involved in his act. :)
The coromandel peninsula in New Zealand is just east of Auckland and is stunningly beautiful. It presents miles and miles of winding coastline, peppered with small and large islands, some rocky, most with vegetation. Pictures don’t do it justice!
On the east side of the peninsula is Hot Water Beach, a thermally active area which has hot springs coming out of the ground near the coast, on the beach and even in the water. The water is scaldingly hot in some places.
We ended up digging a pool near one of these hot water jets (comes out of the sand) and would use a bucket to mix refreshingly cold sea water with the hot fresh water. We had a relaxing soak for about an hour, before the tide started to come in!