New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

white sheep, black sheep
Sheep on a pasture on the Walter Peak Homestead.
on the shore of the lake
Visitors from Walter Peak Estate await the TSS Earnslaw boat back to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
An Exemplary Example
Homeowner Walter Peak displays a ram stalk.
Merino sheep, one of the most popular types in New Zealand.
part of the landscape
Small herd grazes on a slope of the Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch.
Sheep from Queenstown's Walter Peak Homestead await shearing.
Pastor dog
Sheepdog Border-collie chases and herds sheep, its main contribution to the life of sheep farmers.
Sheep immensity
Hundreds of sheep completely occupy a verdant slope of the southern island of New Zealand.
Herd in a pasture between Wanaka and the base of Mount Aspiring.
Foreman of the sheep farm of Walter Peak prepares to inaugurate a demonstrative shearing.
Falling wool
Homestead employee Walter Peak exemplifies a shearing.
eminent shearing
Homestead employee Walter Peak holds a sheep that he is going to shear.
A Smoothness of Shearing
Walter Peak farm worker holds one of the many sheep on the farm that removed the wool.
New Zealand queue
Line of sheep on a high bank of a river near Mount Aspiring.
Herd at the foot of a slope outside Arrowtown.
Back to the Homestead
Sheep leave a lost homestead in a deep cove of Banks Cove in an orderly manner
20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.

the eccentric Banks Peninsula it seems like the result of a geological fun moment.

A high central massif filled with small undulating hills gives way, at the lower ends, to countless indentations in the landscape, inlets and bays that the Pacific Ocean has long taken over.

Two volcanoes Lyttelton and Akaroa reached 1500 m of altitude there, but a strong erosion, led by the same seismic activity that recently shook Christchurch and the surrounding region, broke and smoothed them over time.

But, strangely enough, there is little volcanic in the scene. There is almost no solidified lava or basaltic rock, covered by a perfect mat of grass that extends along the slopes and even invades the dusty sands.

The Fascinating Sheep Domain of Banks Peninsula

Rustic fences broken, here and there, by wooden gates, follow the narrow roads that introduce us to one of the truly bucolic environments on the face of the Earth. And, curve after curve, pasture after pasture, reveals more and more specimens of the New Zealand sheep fauna.

Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New ZealandSmall herd grazes on a slope of the Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch.

The estate maps of the province of Canterbury prove the predominance of the original sheep farms. If the spectrum is extended to the rainy kiwi nation, little changes.

James Cook pioneered bringing sheep to New Zealand lands during the maritime expeditions he led between 1773 and 1777. The species did not establish itself at that time, but history changed when four enterprising colonists imported 1600 specimens from the Australia to Wellington and distributed more than half across the south of the North Island.

It continued to correct itself after William and John Deans introduced the first merinos (original Aragon sheep) to the plains of Canterbury, long before the species gave way to lighter and more adaptable ones to soaked soils or simply more profitable, such as English Leicester, Lincoln, Romney Marsh, Cheviot and Border Leicester, later crossed.

And Johny Jones achieved, in Otago, in the south-east of the South Island, the first unmistakable success. This investor enriched his Waikouaiti whaling station with 2000 sheep installed on land leased to Maori tribes.

In this way, it ensured a more diversified diet for men of the sea and began to export wool that would heat up the local economy.

Shearing, Walter Peak, Queenstown, New ZealandHomestead employee Walter Peak exemplifies a shearing.

The Expansion of Sheep Breeding across New Zealand

The expansion of sheep farming in the North Island was initially held back by the fact that the Maori indigenous peoples own most of the land and because these are subsumed in a dense forest.

The south came forward, but as settlers managed to obtain more grass from the natives above the Cook Strait, the North Island aligned with the south and New Zealand entered the twentieth century in full prosperity.

From 1882 onwards, the frozen meat industry developed and provided homestead owners with new opportunities. In the recovery period of the 2nd World War, Britain absorbed all of New Zealand's wool and meat production.

And, before and during the Korean War, the US sought quantities of the product never imagined by kiwifruit growers. Until 1961, wool represented a third of the country's exports and its shipments combined with those of frozen meat made sheep farming the most important rural activity until 1987.

From then on, different alternatives enticed the owners of sheep farms that we are finding throughout the country.

In Queenstown, in the sublime region of the southern lakes, as in every corner of the nation, the advent of tourism helped to blur the rules of the game and, in certain privileged places, inspired less laborious but highly profitable solutions.

Lamb Shank, Walter Peak-Queenstown, New ZealandHomeowner Walter Peak displays a ram stalk.

Queenstown: the TSS Earnslaw, towards the Walter Peak Estate

For years on end, the TSS Earnslaw steamship was the only reliable and practical means of transport operating on vast Lake Wakatipu. At the time, it carried eight hundred passengers while clouds of smoke from its chimney painted the sky black.

The Walter Peak homestead, located on the edge of the lake opposite the Queenstown, depended in part on the vessel. Today, its livestock activities are just enough to attract tourists, but the relationship with the boat remains.

Walter Peak Estancia, Queenstown, New ZealandVisitors from Walter Peak Estate await the TSS Earnslaw boat back to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Rain or shine, the “Lady of the Lake” (as it was also called) sets sail from Queenstown loaded with urban curious people who admire the lake and surrounding snowy mountains and tread the grounds of the property eager for rural discovery.

You are welcomed in an elegant central mansion and pampered with tea and scones. A resident humorist foreman then introduces them to Walter Peak Farm and the virtues of local sheepdogs. Finally, he demonstrates the secrets of shearing an unlucky sheep: "The lord with the metal hair back there wouldn't laugh at the creature I'm treating you next!"

Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

Foreman of the sheep farm of Walter Peak prepares to inaugurate a demonstrative shearing.

New Zealand's Constant Sheep Up and Down

But it was much more influential political and economic variables that made and oscillate the number of New Zealand sheep.

In 1973, Great Britain joined the EU and submitted to the protectionism of the Old World, starting to absorb less production from the antipodes. Also in the 70s, there was the first oil price shock that inflated the cost of transport.

Sheep, Walter Peak-Queenstown, New ZealandSheep from Queenstown's Walter Peak Homestead await shearing.

Meanwhile, a myriad of new natural and synthetic materials have replaced wool in the making of clothing and other props.

Forced government subsidies kept the industry afloat, and despite the market's difficulties, the number of animals peaked at 70.301.461 head in 1982. Three years later, the government inaugurated a free market policy and abruptly withdrew all animals. support for producers who began to mislead.

Merina sheep, Walter Peak-Queenstown, New ZealandMerino sheep, one of the most popular types in New Zealand.

Already in the 2000s, some wool that was still purchased by Australia, Europe and United States started to be sent raw to the China, to be wound into a ball at low cost. Even so, in two decades, New Zealand sheep have halved.

“It won't be long, buddy…” lies the modern kiwi cowboy from the top of his yellow quad. Like any native, we think it's normal to be stuck for fifteen minutes on a road waiting for the cattle to cross, but now, as it hardly happened, there are also herds of cows, not just herds, those responsible.

The response of the farms to the crisis implied a drastic shift to the production of dairy products (from cows) that quickly surpassed the sheep income, driven by the action of the country's largest company, Fonterra, which controls almost a third of the sector's international trade.

Flock of sheep, New ZealandHundreds of sheep completely occupy a verdant slope of the southern island of New Zealand.

New Zealand is still the largest exporter of sheepmeat and strong wool in the world. And only the eighth milk producer in the world. But the sheep count continues to fall.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
patpong, go go bar, bangkok, one thousand and one nights, thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

One Thousand and One Lost Nights

In 1984, Murray Head sang the nighttime magic and bipolarity of the Thai capital in "One night in bangkok". Several years, coups d'etat, and demonstrations later, Bangkok remains sleepless.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Parra Sea
Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province

In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Rostov Veliky Kremlin, Russia
Rostov Veliky, Russia

Under the Domes of the Russian Soul

It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
Elafonisi, Crete, Greece
Chania to Elafonisi, Crete, Greece

A Crete-style Beach Trip

Discovering the Cretan west, we left Chania, followed the Topolia gorge and less marked gorges. A few kilometers later, we reach a Mediterranean corner of watercolor and dream, that of the island of Elafonisi and its lagoon.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
Natural Parks
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
UNESCO World Heritage
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
El Nido, Palawan the Last Philippine Border
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
orthodox procession
Suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
A kind of portal
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.