Monday, June 29, 2009

The MSTs are here.

Yup. Right after the holidays. Anyway its not like any of us studied during the holidays right. ok maybe with the exception of some people (eg graeme, darren, weiqi, joel and the other gay people).

Sounds like everyone to me.

But whatever lah. It has always been a marist tradition to leave things to the last min and i guess im sticking to that tradition for now.

This whole week would be busy as hell, so dont expect much updates soon.

Anyway, good luck to all of you who are going to take the mst.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NZ Day 4


We woke up in the early hours of the morning (9.. heh), before heading down to the nearby winery along the same highway that we arrived in town from.

Spent half my time looking out for police and the other half trying to avoid a collision (not that i was that bad. IT really feels like a game, especially in the city, just like gta 4. the only difference being that the stakes are higher and that the steering wheel was totally unsensitive and sucked a ton.)

they had a cheesery nearby too.

Fueled up at the shell before moving off again to the winery. Reached the place 10mins before the tour started, which only had 4 other singaporeans in the 'tour'.

The brochure said wine cave. It just look more like a small room dug out of the side of the mountain.

OoOoo wine cave...

Gibbston valley. thats where we were.

er.. more like wine room.



guest book.

thats where they kept all the wine.

hahah, the reason she was pointing to her face was due to the fact that i told her go give me something high contrast to focus on. this is needed as i did not have my flash on and it was quite dark, so autofocus had difficulty focusing properly. shot this totally unglam shot. hahah

tea pots.

We were here to visit the winery that was quite 'famous' and has won several awards for their wine in international competitions. Ok.

Total flaccidity when we entered the 'cave'.

Got to try some wines there too. Didnt like any of the red wines we got to try, though they smelled really good, the after taste sucked. like biting into a bitter dry mushroom.

I found a new love for another type of wine though, the Riesling.

Rieslings taste like slightly carbonated Chardonnay, or, put another way, champagne tastes like a really really mild version of Riesling.

Bought 3 bottles of wine in the end, with one bottle of their Riesling, and two bottles of their special limited late harvest something, which my mom and sis really liked as it was really sweet.

stayed around that area as we planned to have lunch at their famous lunch place, so we walked around that small area taking pictures and visiting the nearby cheesery.


the vineyard.

and the dead grapes there..

and the poop fertilizer there.

the cheesery was open..

and thats cheese.

Got to try out different types of cheese, which is totally cool cause theres so many different types. But one of the other 'cool' thing i learnt was the fact that cheese was kept by dipping it in wax, which coats and protects the cheese.

Just like the picture, it looks like wax cakes. Another method is to bake bread over the cheese too. or something like that. Bought some nice cheese and walked around somemore.

yup, some are baked with bread.

There were some birds around in the courtyard so i decided to get my second try at nature photography, bringing out the big guns.

ok fine. big gun. 1. uno. big gun.


random pillars.


flying bird.

perched bird.

bird closeup. (check out that detail. i was standing quite far away. this is why the lens is so expensive. quality is amazing)


Moving on and leaving graeme behind to linger on the words 'big gun', i took some photos and am quite pleased with the results.

IT was difficult actually, as the focus ring, although being relatively fast to most other lens, it was still slow as it had a large travel.

To compose then get the right focus often took too much time, and the birds just couldnt sit still for very long. tsk.

nevertheless, i got them. and i can say i kinda of enjoyed it. maybe i could move into nature photography too... hmmm

Blabberings aside, we decided to have lunch elsewhere as we later found out that their menu only included fish and lamb. We were here for the


Thats what we heard when we got nearer.

Yup, we went to this nearby bungee place. Totally cool.

ok pictures...

thats how they got them out of the rope.


totally looks like they sank. nah, its just a reflection off the glass.

high up in the cold wind.


Ok, now youre wondering, did i jump?

well... no.

I should have in hindsight, even though it was freezing in the wind and shit like that. oh well. i vow to come back during summer. and this time i swear ill jump.
(for some reason, i kinda of think skydiving is less scary than bungee jumping...)

some random junk nearby.


im gonna spoil my eyes very soon if i keep doing these shots.

on the way back home. everywhere is just beautiful scenery.

the awesome warmth of the fireplace.

Went back and ate at some place i cant remember, then put our stuff down before getting on our transport to the nearby airport to take our heli ride!


AWESOME. its the first time i have ridden in a helicopter, and i LOVE IT.
I mean, you should seriously get on one if you have the chance.
In flight simulator, i view it as this sluggish slow boring chug along flying thing.

In real life, its simply awesome.

the familiar dials.

the other helicopter takes off first.

cramped in with other people.

a beautiful place to stay.

landing in the mountians.

i like the paint scheme of the helicopter.

back into the heli. time to go.

the rain splatter pattern.

Very maneuverable, its fast (as in we were in the distant mountains in a blink), best of all, its essentially a glass bubble. I loved the ride completely and no amount of videos or pictures can show you what an experience we had. You just simply HAVE to experience it.

Ok enough of that, back down to the story.

Flew from the airport, and i just love the g-forces this helicopter thing pulls. Its a ton of more fun than the roughest landing or turbulence i've experienced in a plane so far.

In no time at all we were cruising over the mountain tops and skirting the ridges. We landed on a flat patch of mountain and were let out to touch 'snow'. It just felt like ice kachang. ahh, i was expecting fluffier stuff.

Got some photos, and got back into the helicopter and was brought home after the pilots gave up the search for another flat spot around.

i love the way it turns like that.

another helicopter lands.

Got driven back and flopped around the hotel bed before going out for dinner again.

as i said, everywhere you look makes a nice picture.

Monday, June 22, 2009

NZ Day 3

day 3, and this time, i slept till 12.

Got ready for the helicopter ride but we postponed it to the next day as the weather wasnt good enough for us to land on a mountain. So today was somewhat free. For some reason my sister had an urgent need for the internet, so we drove down to the town for her to use it at some internet cafe.

the slope was super steep. like what, 40 degrees. more like 45 - 50. this photo just does not cut it.

mountains everywhere.

planned our itinerary for the day in the car with my mom for 30 mins, before we had to drive away from our parking lot as the lot only allowed free parking for 30 mins before you had to pay.Drove around and eventually picked my sis up.

we had decided to drive to the town of glenorchy, of which the road ran beside the lake for most of the entire time. We had expected the road to be really straight and stuff but it turned out really windy.

Got my chance to 'help' again and it was really fun.

The scenery this time was really different, with constant elevation changes, and sharp turns along the lake cliff. Really scenic. Too bad the sun was setting already, and it was really hard to take pictures as it was getting dark. We took some video too though. Super nice.
stopped at some point and took pictures. the road was really curvey. drove just like in a game.

one of those treacherous merged roads.

we were really near the clouds.

this road goes along a lake. beautiful man..

the road had lots of these too, cliff turns or something.

too cold to bother getting my wide angle out.

looking back the way we came from.

it was drizzling

part of a panorama that im too lazy to stitch.

check out the road. thats what i call elevation changes. ok fine. not really. but it goes really high up and really down low.

there were videos when we drove back too but its with my sister and im still too lazy to get it. maybe when im done with this newzealand series then ill find the time to post all of those.

Decided to turn back as we did not want to drive in the dark along these difficult road.
The fact that the roads went some what into the clouds and it was raining and it was also
really cold, i was afraid that there would be ice on the roads.

Furthermore along this road, there were some areas where the road merged into a 1 lane road, and it curved around sharp blind corners. Totally scary as to let 2 cars pass they had to pass really really closely. (not to mention we saw some large trailers going really fast on that road).

On the way back it look really different too. with the darkness and the trees canopy creating this sensation of driving into a dark cave. Totally fun and scary too.

Arrived back in our room somewhat tired from all the exciting things during the trip.

nice colour, nice cupboard. lousy composition.


well we were tired. but it was still fun do jump on beds that do not belong to you.

and superman that ho.

Went out for food again, and spent some time looking for food again before settling on some beef place. The Beef was nice, cept the fact that it wasnt seasoned at all. but nonetheless the texture and stuff was still really nice. like in its all natural taste.

cool stuff there.

and they had this weird medieval deco going on. totally suitable for darren.


shopped at the nearby mart for a while before arriving back in the hotel. next day please!

a happy can of squick!

a cool way to store condensed milk. easier to eat straight from it too!

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