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For Kiwis (and lovers of special trees)

Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Are you walking the Ingles or planning to visit A Coruña before heading home?

Here, courtesy of Google Maps, is a total wonder - an absolutely immense Pohutukawa. It has a pointer all its own on the map!
You can find it behind a police station (of all places), a 12 or 13 minute walk from the Igrexa de Santiago, where the arm of the Ingles from A Coruña begins. The directions tell me it takes as much time to walk as to take the bus.

So if you want to feel a little more at home before you set off - or just want to make a botanical pilgrimage - check out this amazing and venerable tree!

Here is an interesting article that mentions it - you'll need to scroll down past the botanical details; about a third of the way down the page. The history of this tree and the history of Aotearoa make a very interesting story.

Edit - After posting this I realized that A Coruña and Chch are antipodes of each other. That tree is as far from home as it is possible to be and still be on the planet.
 
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cathietherese

Catherine Davis
Past OR future Camino
SJPDP - Finistere May/June 2012
Le-Puy-en-Velay to Cahors/ June 2019
Oh my gosh! How fabulous. It’s especially cool you kindly shared this during Advent season as the Pohutukawa is considered Aotearoa/NZ’s Christmas tree.

I was born in the Central North Island. One Christmas I got summer pajamas when I was still a little tot. It wasn’t until some years later that I got to have a coastal holiday and I will never forget the joy of seeing my first ‘real-live’ pohutukawa.

They’re such a tenacious and joyous species that often grow in precarious positions, such as tumbling down cliff sides.

When I reflect on this ability now and your post at this time, it is encouraging me to grasp the metaphor of hope this offers for life in the time of Covid.

Christmas blessings to you all, and thanks for posting. I will definitely make a botanical pilgrimage to this beauty who is clearly feeling at home on the Way whilst as far from home as possible.
 

cathietherese

Catherine Davis
Past OR future Camino
SJPDP - Finistere May/June 2012
Le-Puy-en-Velay to Cahors/ June 2019
Oh, and I just found the translation. The suggested age of this beauty is astonishing given the popular history of NZ’s European settlement. Fascinating stuff.
Plus, I never knew this:
Its name Metrosideros comes from the Greek metra = heart center and sideros = iron in allusion to the hardness of its wood.
It makes absolute sense to me though. They’re such mystical trees.❤️🌲🌲
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you for this. I went over to Google Street View to check it out and it also looks great from the ground but unfortunately it wasn't in flower when the the Street View car went past. It must be even more magnificent when it is in flower.

Here is a screenshot from Google
Screenshot_20211208-114022.png
It looks like it is even bigger than this one.
DSCF1567ccrs.jpg
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Somewhere in all that I read they bloom in Spain between March and May, which seems early to me. But the (much smaller!!) one I saw in a park near the harbor was not blooming in July, so maybe that's right.
This is consistent with the traditional wisdom that says that early flowering indicates that the coming Summer will be long and hot.

It would seem that it prefers a certain temperature range in order to flower and, in Aotearoa New Zealand, if that temperature comes early then that is usually associated with a weather cycle such as La Niña that leads to long hot summers in ANZ.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
I can see that I will have to go back to A Coruña. I wish that I had known of this tree back in 2019
Me too.
It's not in a park or anyplace a peregrino might go, unless on an aimless meander. Fortunately A Coruña is less than an hour from Santiago by train, so it's a nice place to visit after finishing a camino. There's other stuff to see as well. It's a nice city.
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
Are you walking the Ingles or planning to visit A Coruña before heading home?

Here, courtesy of Google Maps, is a total wonder - an absolutely immense Pohutakawa. It has a pointer all its own on the map!
You can find it behind a police station (of all places), a 12 or 13 minute walk from the Igrexa de Santiago, where the arm of the Ingles from A Coruña begins. The directions tell me it takes as much time to walk as to take the bus.

So if you want to feel a little more at home before you set off - or just want to make a botanical pilgrimage - check out this amazing and venerable tree!

Here is an interesting article that mentions it - you'll need to scroll down past the botanical details; about a third of the way down the page. The history of this tree and the history of Aotearoa make a very interesting story.

Edit - After posting this I realized that A Coruña and Chch are antipodes of each other. That tree is as far from home as it is possible to be and still be on the planet.

Thank you so much for posting this, @VNwalking - this is so fascinating. I had never heard about pohutukawa growing there before I went to A Coruña. I was going to upload a photo here that I took on 26th May 2019 (if that helps the flowering season debate!) but I'm on my phone and the signal isn't strong enough - I'll try again when I'm on a better connection! I was just walking along the street and saw the tree and at first it didn't even register - a flowering pohutukawa is such a familiar sight, it took some moments to click that I was still in Spain! Of course once I'd seen one they were popping up everywhere. I understand they grow further down that coast too, possibly as far as Portugal.
(Edited to add - the ones I saw were much smaller and younger than the police station beauty of course!)
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
I was just walking along the street and saw the tree and at first it didn't even register - a flowering pohutukawa is such a familiar sight, it took some moments to click that I was still in Spain!
So funny, because I had a similar experience in the garden by the port, and the penny didn't drop for a minute or two - until I remembered I wasn't actually in the Parnell Rose Garden or someplace like that, and what the heck were those trees doing here? In my defense they were not blooming, but still. I was completely aware of what they were.

It was a classic double take that I still remember because my response was so deluded it was funny. "Nice pohutukawa...too bad, wrong timing - they will be lovely in Decemb....Wait, what?!" 😂

But they are small by comparison to the one up the hill. Are they cuttings? Seedlings? It would be interesting to know.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
A simple Google search just led me to the answer to my question. Indeed, they are related to the parent tree up the hill.
the metrosideros, sons of the one who is in the Local Police headquarters and who arrived from New Zealand

(That's quite a wonderful garden, by the way, well worth a wander.)
 
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Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Pohutukawa:

Attached are some photos I have taken since I started training nearly 10 years ago.
Some are taken in my village and some of those from my living room window.
Some are taken around my big town of Porirua, typically have the Porirua Harbour somewhere in shot.
And some about 20 km south and some about 20 km north.

And wishing you all a merry Christmas and happy new year.
 

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Past OR future Camino
please see signature
They were from 2012
Here are some more recently:
 

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Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Some from earlier this week
 

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Past OR future Camino
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and some from Christmas Eve (24 December 2021)
 

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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Oh, my.
Thank you so much for this Christmas pressie, Alwyn. I am beset with nostalgia.

May you all be having a wonderful day, wherever you are today!
 

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