Congratulations! A prize will be heading your way once I figure out what it is.
Just some random roadtrip pics
Just in case any Auckland readers are wondering why I visited their fair city and didn't look them up, its because I really was just passing through. I was staying in Orewa, attending an event in the upper harbour area, and spent no time in the city proper at all. I got in late Friday and left early Sunday, with a very full Saturday in between.
Chinook got to be the mascot for this trip, as he hasn't seen that much of his adopted homeland yet. As usual he insisted on riding up front.
This is one of my favourite ways to start the day. A full tank of petrol, nothing on the tripmeter, the morning sun shining and the open road beckoning.
Continuing my indulgence with old abandoned houses near Taihape. I saw an excellent example near Cambridge, but was running out of camera battery, so it will have to wait until next time.
Sunrise over Great Barrier Island from Hatfields Beach, Orewa 21st March 09
Wide shot from the same location
At the airshow Chinook wasted little time finding people from his part of the world (ish) to hang out with, courtesy of a visiting United States Air Force transport from Alaska
He also guarded my gear bag quite effectively.
The car after my journey from Wellington, with an interesting collection of mashed insects to ponder.
My quiet (very quiet) accomodations in Orewa
I mentioned earlier that in addition to a photo challenge I was also on something of an economy drive. I can state for the record that it is 592 kilometers from the Avalon Shell station in Lower Hutt to the Mobil in Mercer that I dared not go past. The fuel capacity on my MX-5 is 48 litres. I know from experience that when the gauge is showing empty there is still between 4 and 6 litres in the tank. However while the absolute capacity is 48 litres, that is no guarantee that all 48 litres are available for use (usable volume). Also once you are eating into that reserve you are off the gauge, and running the risk of running out of fuel at any time without warning.
So when the gauge looks like this (in Taupo on the way back) the drive gets quite exciting indeed:
My previous trip to Auckland saw me getting to Hamilton before refuelling. Mercer is only on the south side of the Bombay Hills which are the traditional southern boundary to Auckland, and from which you can see the Skytower so I did a lot better this time. I drove pretty conservatively, not overtaking, descending hills in neutral, and not revving the engine if I could avoid it. This plus the general reduced consumption on the open road got me an extra 130+ kilometres of travel compared to my normal around town driving.
That said I think I could have got more. The car wasn't as clean as I could get it, either literally or aerodynamically. I had the rear window down for most of the way which would have increased drag, the radio aerial staying up while I had the CD player on did the same, and the general layer of dirt and gunk on the car that results from me not having washed it in a while didn't help the aerodynamics either.
The tankful of petrol acquired in Mercer got me all the way to Taupo on the way home after some not particularly conservative driving in Auckland. Aside from the bits where I was wondering if I would run out of petrol before getting to a servo, it was a fun exercise.
I made a side trip to Palmy on the way home, and heading back to the main road I caught this great and moody underlit sky in the early evening.