Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I came across some old photos today, and because they were of great significance I have to appear here and share this place one more time before the surgery in the morning. In the post prior to the last one I mention a place that this greedy and short sighted government and its corporate masters are slathering to get slippery hands upon, Parakawai in the Coromandel. These photos are of my first visit there in 1993 which I describe in that post. Coming across them today seemed a connected moment in many ways. Today it was announced the the Mokihinui river has been granted resource consent to be dammed, destroying forever 14 kilometres of pristine wilderness sheltering some of the most unique native flora and fauna and wild life left in Aotearoa. Just as Parakawai above does. I think no government should be allowed to wantonly destroy such places until the people who make those decisions have stayed there, at least one night. I realize the futility of writing those words as I write them. More's the pity.

That pool below was some 20 foot plus feet deep, at least at the time this photo was observed. A leap into the pool below took a bit of courage.

Gustav and I, directed here by my friend Nigel. Amazing place, amazing people.

In front of the pool above, an afternoon of swimming and exploring, building our stuff to actually jump off that fall above. "I'll do it if you'll do it!"

The pool. I have camped two nights of my life on the rim above to the left. I recall both vividly.

The common babble speak around places like this is always "no one ever goes there", this seems to be rapidly becoming the mantra of those whom do not go there. Parakawai, by definition, is not a remote place, it is easily accessible in the very well developed Coromandel. So it is now much often visited I suppose in comparison to my two stays seeing no one indeed. But how it moved me, took my breath away, opened up to me the emmense Natural Gifts of this land. To destroy it seeking gold is just obscene. Even though I have never been to the Mokihinui I feel the same about there as well. Who will remember such places when they are gone forever?

Man! Dig those red pants and purple high top Chuck Taylor's! What a spot, what a day. See ya'all later, just felt a real need to share these. Hopefully soon I will be back to actually being at places like this, rather than just dreaming about them. Kia kaha!


Donald said...

All the best for the op. Robb - will thinking of you.

Great photos btw, and I'm sure it won't be long before you're back there.



Mike said...

Hi Robb. Not directly related to your post, but have you seen the recent NZ movie This Way Of Life? I've not seen it yet, but it sounds interesting.

"The film portrays the intimate life of the Karena family. In their early 30’s, Peter and Colleen have six kids and 50 horses. We follow them up into the Ruahine ranges and down to their hidden beach camp. Against these isolated backdrops we explore family relationships, their connection to nature, their keen survival skills and their absolute intimacy with each other and their horses."

Part of it was filmed in the Ruahines. It's screening in Palmerston North at Cinema Gold (11am and 6pm most days.)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Mike,
Tara and I saw it when it first arrived at Cinema Gold, watched it in an almost empty theatre. It was a moving experience that had us both moved to tears through out. Somehow trying to live differently than the rules and norms out here does not go down well with so many. An inspirational documentary, and anyone who appreciates the outdoors will be well served viewing. The Ruahines feature predominantly and are immediately recognizable to anyone whom has roamed amongst them.

greentangle said...

Best of luck with the surgery, Robb.

Clare said...

Good luck with the surgery Robb. Here's to you tramping through the hills in a very short time.

MB said...

Good luck and good health to you, Robb.

ophelia rising said...

Robb, I've been thinking so much about you, and have been wanting to write - but every time I try to write something, it never seems good enough. I suppose what I really want to say is get lots of rest and be sure to prepare yourself for the many journeys ahead that I know you'll be having soon.

The mountains whisper their dreams to me, just as they do you, and when I read your words, I often find myself in tears - I guess b/c I'm feeling the pull of these wild places, this endangered beauty. I took a nap this afternoon, and in that place between being awake and asleep, I saw myself as a wild animal, completely tuned-in to my natural self - the one that acts and reacts completely as an animal would, instinctual and, in a sense, base, but very much real and alive. I can't explain it very well now, but I felt wholly connected to the earth, and thought of you and of Robin, and how you are living this connection every day. I wish I could be like that - I strive to, but end up caught in the daily grind and mundane technologies that, unfortunately, are prevalent and somewhat necessary in the life of a writer.

I suppose I'm not expressing myself as well as I'd hoped. In any case, I wish you a successful operation and a restful time of recuperation. I think of you and send you all my healing thoughts. Much love to you, and your lovely family.

Kia kaha!



Lynda Lehmann said...

Hopefully you will be looking back at today, a week from now, saying to yourself, "I already feel great and am rarin' to go for my first walk!"

I know how you feel about these places, Robb. I feel this way about Maine and Arizona (and all of nature), but particularly Maine. Watching these eco-niches (or parts of them) go up for grabs for already rich corporations to line their pockets, is for us, like getting our hearts cut out.

Hope to see you back here soon. You don't suppose our collective human consciousness will take a giant leap forward before the end of your convalescence, do you?

Take care, Robb. Hugs (((( ))))

Gustav said...


I remember that trip so well. It is a magical place and can never be replaced.

pohanginapete said...

I trust by now you'll be well on the way to recovering, and looking forward to moving freely again.

One of the things that disturbs me so much about the Mokihinui proposal is that the same arguments that apparently carried enough weight to secure resource consent will be applied in the future to other wild rivers — the Waitaha, for example. As long as the demand for power continues to grow, so will the demand to be allowed to dam yet more rivers. What happens when they're all gone?

All the best for the recovery, Robb.

kylie said...

hi robb,
i hadn't realised your surgery was around now. is it done? i'm all frustrated now cos i dont know whether it is yet to come!

thanks for your continued comments at my place. i'm struggling for inspiration but need to do something so i appreciate the people who stick by me :)

i'm sure you will soon be back in your wild places and i hope it is all the better for the waiting


troutbirder said...

Good luck Robb! And the same to those beautiful places.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I pray you heal soon, Rob! You are also in my thoughts as with many of your friends.

A beautiful post with FANTASTIC photos.

I also pray you can protect your beautiful hiking areas from commercialism.

Blessings, JJ

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Robb, I hope all went well. I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are. Post an update soon! Anne-Marie

Tracey Axnick said...

Great pics - the pool under the waterfall looks VERY inviting!

Marja said...

Great memory of a great place. We are so lucky to live here. Aren't we. Nice pants