Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Campground Rage" at Bachelor Party

A photographers enjoys the (normally) tranquil Glenorchy

The normally quiet little village of Glenorchy on New Zealand's South Island (absolutely STUNNING place, by the way) got a taste of urban violence a while back when some guys decided to have a big night out for their friend's bachelor party, then stumble back to the campground late at night. I'm a little late getting this posted - it happened back in March.

Here's the whole story according to the Southland Times:

Celebrating a friend's impending marriage went horribly wrong for a man in Glenorchy when he was stabbed twice at a campsite in the early hours of yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Grahme Bartlett said an argument developed about 2.50am between a 53-year-old British man camping in a tent at the Glenorchy Holiday Park and two men who were using the nearby kitchen.

During the argument one of the men who had been in the kitchen was stabbed twice, once in the chest and once in the side of his stomach, he said.

The man was taken by ambulance to Dunedin Hospital and was last night in a serious but stable condition.

The second man who had been in the kitchen suffered a minor knife wound to his finger but managed to restrain the British man for about an hour until police arrived, Mr Bartlett said.

The two men in the kitchen are understood to have been part of a group from Gore who were in town for a stag party.

Holiday Park manager Stan Roney said there was a group of about 20 people staying at the campsite who had been out drinking and he understood two of them had decided to "have a feed".

Mr Roney said he had moved to Glenorchy from the Gold Coast in Australia to escape this kind of violence so it was disturbing to have it happen in such a quiet place.

"Over there (the Gold Coast) you get this all the time. You come back here and get something like this and it's a little bit frightening," he said.

The attack has shocked the sleepy settlement at the top of Lake Wakatipu, with many residents spoken to by The Southland Times struggling to remember the last time a similar incident occurred.

Nicole Scott, who has lived in Glenorchy for 15 years, said as far as she knew there had never been another stabbing since she had lived there.

"Everybody will be quite surprised. It's not exactly something that happens every day," she said.

Another longtime resident, Ronda Gollap, said she had lived in Glenorchy all her life and had never heard of anything like this happening before.

She could understand being upset at people making noise late at night but an argument escalating into such violence was unbelievable, she said.

The British man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Reclaimation by Nature

I love visiting places where man's influence is being slowly replaced by what nature intended.

Over Easter weekend, we took a trip up to the Coromandel Peninsula on New Zealand's North Island. It's an area that has been quite heavily mined for gold in the past (and to some degree even now) so there are a lot of relics of old mines around.

We visited the Karangahake Gorge, once the site of a large gold mining operation. While some of the tunnels, tracks, etc. are being preserved by the Dept. of Conservation, you can see where nature is taking its course.

Ferns and other plants are sprouting up in cracks in the old walls.

It's an interesting juxtaposition of man made and natural environments.