We have always enjoyed night walking and have indulged the habit with sometimes reckless disregard, braving the locally infamous nocturnal human traffic in Christchurch's Hagley Park. Jumping fences to make use of public pools and bot gardens. Strolling down the middle of empty main drags at three in the morning.
It's probably less dangerous than you think. We've lived in some pretty dodgy areas and faced far more anthropogenic unpleasantness before midnight than after.
Port Chalmers is, relatively speaking, fairly innocuous. Insulin resistance and the current plethora of electronic harassment opportunities tend to keep aimless goons on the sofa these days, so we rarely see anyone besides a few other darkness-loving weirdos. And cats. Plenty of cats. They don't care about you at night, rarely stopping for a pat and glancing derisively at any solicitations. They have cat business.
These images were taken on one of our customary loops around Back Beach, featuring Port Otago's various nocturnal manifestations- strings of glowing high-contrast tableaux featuring saurian vehicles and the sort of lighting rigs that illuminate both fun fairs and internment camps.
The Tunnel Pub is the oldest continuously-operated business in the country. It does not surprise me that in New Zealand this distinction should belong to some alcohol-related concern. The massive stone pile sits like a punchdrunk fighter mugging defiantly at the port that has usurped its view of the sea and despoiled its trade.
It is for sale, if you are interested.
Below: idling on the corner looking toward the fish and chip shop and ye infamous Chicks Hotel, another thickset monument to shifting tides. Whilst too many noisy luminaries to mention individually have shaken the mortar from this southernmost stop on the indie gig circuit, Chicks has been mothballed by its administrators. Which is a great shame. We hope the fluxing demographic will once more lift its fortunes.
At night the trains roll by with no one to pound the steering wheel or spray their windscreen with saliva. Their subterranean rumble passes through the tarmac to become a pleasant sensation in the bones of your feet.