Tag Archives: New Zealand

Following in Frodo’s Footsteps – New Zealand

After trying for days when Archie, Kelly and Amy were here to do New Zealand’s “Best Day Hike in the World”, Tongariro Crossing, we finally gave up because of the awful weather.   They left and the forecast was perfect, unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, we had a cloudless day full of sun.

 The hike took us eight-and-a-half hours and we were impressed!  This is where Peter Jackson envisioned “Mt. Doom” and Frodo’s hellish journey to destroy the ring.  From climbing Mt. Nguaruhoe with its steaming vents and red rock crater to the sulphuric Emerald Lakes this hike is definitely going to be in our books as one of the best hikes in the world, too bad Frodo didn’t have time to enjoy his surroundings…

Starting the hike, 6:30 am!!!

Mt.Ngauruhoe, aka “Mt.Doom”

On the craters edge

Looking out to Blue Lake, where we will be in four-ish hours

Blue Lake

Emerald Lakes

Steaming vents on Mt.Doom

Injury from “scree running”, 2 hours up, 20 mins down…

View from the summit

Not a bad lunch spot

The wildlife

Red Crater

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Where are we now? What’s going on?

Living the dream – Raglan

So what’s the deal with the recent posts? Our stories seem to be scattered from New Zealand to Nepal!

We’re now on month 9 of our travels and have been settled into New Zealand since mid February, living mostly out of our van which we’ve lovingly named Jag. Yes, it’s the climbing, hiking and plain old bum lifestyle that’s always intrigued me…. paired with bouts of the extreme… Like washing down steaks with fine wine, dining at Auckland’s Sky-tower.

The nice thing about being settled is that we have a bit of time to reflect, and most of all……WRITE!

We have tons of stories, which we’d love to share with you and our hopes are to get caught up on some of these as we travel. Piece by piece, when inspiration and internet collide.

We’ve been through Thailand —> Nepal —> Thailand —> Laos —>Vietnam —> Cambodia —> Japan —> Philippines —> New Zealand… so far.

Lunchtime in Kaikoura

We’ve had friends and family recently come and go, and we’ve had the chance to connect with friends we’ve met along the way. Even though we’re a good 4 months away from being back to work, it feels as if the trip is on its home-stretch.

As fall turns into winter in NZ, and I look into heaters for the van. We’re planning a few more hikes, climbs and hopefully some “good ‘ole farming” experience. We’ll see where tomorrow takes us!

So bare with us as we spew our memories onto the web in whatever random order they happen to appear.

And look forward to more action, since we’ve booked our flight home for July…. Through the COOK ISLANDS, Los Angeles and San Francisco !!

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World Naked Bike Ride. Oh, New Zealand…

Not that choosing an outfit for the day ever takes that long but today it was a breeze, literally!

Suzie and I had been living the ultimate climbing bum lifestyle for a few weeks now in Golden Bay, NZ, when we came across a poster advertising the “World Naked Bike Ride”

       

With rides happening in San Francisco, London, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few, New Zealand alone pays host to rides in both the North and South Island. This ride aims to raise awareness on the over-use of fossil fuels and promote green-transportation and challenge the negative world-view on nudity.

Participation was free (Perfect!) aside from the cost of our rental bikes….yes we used rentals, HA! And overall I would estimate that there were about 30-40 participants there that day…including one unicyclist!

        

The day was sunny, which was better than the rain we had been seeing, so sunscreen was key…lots of it. Men, women and families all had a great time riding up and down the road waving and smiling to awestruck passer bys. Friends waited by the roadside with cameras and cheered us on as we rode by. Each biker was “un”dressed-up in whatever they wished. I chose a climbing harness since “safety” was another theme for the day, but others had full out superhero costumes, a wizard, Adam and Eve…or many with as little as a painted message on their back.

          

As we rode, we chatted with our naked neighbors and learned that laws on nudity in NZ are more relaxed than what it seems to be like in Canada. The nude police-man asked us about naked bike rides in Canada and we didn’t even have an answer! We thought “No Way!” But after a little internet digging we found out that Canada does indeed host a number of rides each year!

Go Canada! Check out bike rides coming up in both Toronto and Halifax, near June, and get riding!

Because as Suzie said, “ It’s funny how quickly you get comfortable riding your bike with a bunch of naked people you just met.”

And all for a good cause too!

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