All posts tagged: history

Lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu – Peru

“Machu Picchu is a trip to the serenity of the soul, to the eternal fusion with the cosmos; where we feel our fragility. It is one of the greatest marvels of South America. A resting place of butterflies in the epicentre of the great circle of life. One more miracle.” – Pablo Neruda Machu Picchu has every right to be listed as one of the new seven wonders of the world.  The great Spanish poet Pablo Neruda summarises it to perfection.  I cry reading his words they are so beautiful and true. Spiritually I’m connected.  I do have mixed feelings about the journey but let me tell you about this marvellous ancient site first. The layout is intense, the Inca thought of everything.  They put many of today’s city planners to shame.  The building structures are made from gigantic stones cut perfectly to fit together without mortar, some still standing over 300 years later.  The sophisticated irrigation system running through the terraced fields.   Zoned areas for farming, residential neighbourhoods, a royal district and a sacred area.  The perfectly positioned temples that align with the …

A day with a volcano – Browns Island (Motukorea)

I’m on a boat with world renowned volcanologist, Dr Harry Keys! His sister Margi from Forest and Bird has organised this rare event to Browns Island (Motukorea).  I’ll be walking to the volcano summit and circumnavigate the island with my friend Jessamine and 28 other people.  There are 58 volcanoes in Auckland, all on the one field.  The field is dormant, for now   … this is my first ever Meet Up group!! Many friends questioned my decision to the island, one said it looks like a zit out of water, others said its just a grassy island with a hilly bit.  I would have to agree as I’ve actually been past this island many times on the ferry to Waiheke Island.  More than likely I would have been too busy drinking wines on the deck to notice Browns Island.  But when I saw this event come up on the Auckland Conservation Meetup… the nerd in me leaped out and said ‘do it woman’!! So I did and as we are waiting for our boat, Jessamine said to me “I hope the boat is big”. …

Waiotahi – a journey to my ancestors

I’m almost in Waiotahi, my jandals are off and I’m driving bare feet.  The smell of the ocean is swirling through my car.  This is how I like it.  Waiotahi is where part of me comes from, I’m a half-caste.  Maori/German. I’m here for a family reunion on my Maori side, my Great Grandparents Mariana & Te Waihirere. Our Kaumatua (Maori elders), including my mum, tell us stories in Te Reo (Maori Language) as we visit the pa and the house my mum grew up in. My ancestors roamed this land, they had food, water and each other.  Some lived on a pa, like this one I stand on.   A pa was not always a village though, they were often used to spot the enemy and defend their land. When they didn’t have to fight for their land, I’d like to think they had time to look at the view.  I’m also pleased to say that most pa sites in NZ are protected so no one can build a house on them.  They are for people to visit and to learn …