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QBW - Auckland via Waikato (Part 2)

Right, where was I? That's right, in Auckland. So of course we had to do some nightscapes, just because that's what you have to do when a small-town photographer hits up a somewhat larger city - so many lights!

The wind was a bit too strong for any kind of reflection but it was good to check out some spots I'd never been to before. Only almost took a dip under the bridge... Was dark down there. Very dark. And no grippy shoes remember. The tricky spots I get myself into trying to get the shot... So far worth it. So far no damage or injury. I say "so far" because I know it's coming one day. Most photographers have these stories. I just don't have one... yet.

After driving around somewhat aimlessly but actually looking for the pink walkway (and refusing to ask for directions), I googled how to get there and we finally found a spot to take said pink walkway's picture. Tick, done, bedtime, good night.

BTW we had dinner at some stage that night from a small eatery near the BNB - Cliff Grill. The food was alright, tasty meat, but the chips weren't anything special. May eat there again but would try something without the fries. The steak was tasty though!

The next day there was more drizzle and cloud. We went out and about while we thought it was still safe from the weather. It was not. We snapped a few long expos at the Oakley Stream Waterfall before getting rained on and rushing back to the car. The rain then, of course, faded and only left the soggy clothing reminder of how fun it is to get caught out.

But we were not disheartened and decided to find some subjects that might be more sheltered instead - the Auckland Domain Winter Gardens. Being winter, you'd think they'd be open right? Wrong. Or at least half wrong. Under some sort of maintenance, we were closed off from the main part but could still make the most of the fernery and the tropical house. Plenty of fun to be had there.

Favourite image of the day though:

Once back outside, we made the most of the last tree with autumn colours before heading back to the car.

And that was it for the photography fun. Spent the rest of the rainy day looking at oh so expensive lenses and having the self-control not to splurge. Went back to the room and chilled for a bit. Went for a walk to get a coffee at A-lan's Cafe while the rain ceased for a bit, very friendly staff but not very good coffee. Must remember I do not like Helova coffee... Went back and edited for a bit (Me editing? Finally!) Then went into town to grab dinner at Kiwi Grill - similar to the last place, good meat but not great chips. Need to go back to avoiding fries so I'm not disappointed. They've got to be good to be worth the calories!

The next day we got up slow and hit the road in no real hurry. Was on the before-mentioned Briscoes mission and apart from that and breakfast and lunch stops, pretty much headed straight home.

Morning coffee was sought from the only place we could find open on a Stat day morning - Charlie & George a cute little place with coconut sugar on each table - a nice touch. While we should have just sat down and had breakfast (would have been faster than finding somewhere open with cabinet food everyone would eat) we did not. We stopped in at a small eatery near one of the Briscoes, B's Cafe in Panmure. Had a quiche that was decent enough and killed enough time before Briscoes opened.

A long drive home, doing the online shopping on the way home so I wouldn't have to worry about it when I got home, we didn't stop until Taumarunui. Most places were closed, and those that were open were almost out of food! I grabbed a coffee (and a chocolate) from Buy the Gram, who was trying to restock her meusili before the afternoon rush - I could smell the baking all the way down the street mmm... Then we had a sit down lunch from Zarz Cafe which was very tasty and filling - well worth the stop!

All in all, not much we can do with the weather the way it was but I feel the shots I did get were of a good quality. Takeaways are that we need to spend more time in foggy Waikato, it is quality that matters not quantity, and rainy days can make good creative days with the right subject. Our next roadie is already planned (and just around the corner!) and will be a decent-sized one - looking forward to it already!

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