A Travellerspoint blog

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Now time for a contest!

Sorry that the posts seem to come in bunches. It's rare that Ashley and I have time, energy and a good internet connection to post regularly. Please be patient and believe me I will make sure we keep posting new content.

Now for a bit of a contest, the first person to figure out what this is a picture of, and post the answer in a comment will win a personally written and addressed genuine post card from out next destination, China.

Obviously it's in New Zealand, but what is it?

That being said, we are also weary that we may not be able to access our travel blog once we cross behind China's Electronic Great Wall. Posts may not be possible until Vietnam.


Posted by Scatman 02:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (6)

Two Nights in Wellington

Ashley deftly secured us a great hotel room in downtown Wellington. The place was only 50 bucks a night, and came with its own personalized traffic cone.

Actually it was conveniently located next to the Blue Bridge Ferry terminal and within walking distance of all of Wellington's Central City District. This allowed us to head out each evening for a few beverages and some great dinners.

We even got the opportunity to "enjoy" some live Wellington music at the "Mighty Mighty", consisting of drum beats and electronic noise. I realized I was old when I didn't "get" the music after 30 minutes of trying.

Apparently Wellingtonians enjoy Spree Candies, they commissioned this public art work to commemorate them.
Only the green ones, however.

Ultimately we hit all the standard tourist spots, and as pseudo San Franciscans, had to scoff at their "cable cars."

At the Te Papa Museum, we finally came face to face with Tumatauenga. We paid our homage, and he continued to reward us with good weather.
Thank you, Tumatauenga

Posted by Scatman 01:31 Archived in New Zealand Comments (3)

Abel Tasman National Park Adventures

Or, escaping from Devil's Island

sunny 64 °F

Based on a true story (but dramatized for your pleasure), see our hero, Dave, like Papillon before him, escape Kommadant Ashley's grasp. He is forced to hike thru rain forests and finally escape by sea in a kayak from Abel Tasman.

Our hero spies the Kommadant vainly searching for him thru the rain forest.
Eventually he makes his way to the ocean and makes an escape. Ashley's only recourse is to track him down via kayak.

Dave know he has finally knows freedom when he spots Split Apple Rock. He has made it out, barely alive from Abel Tasman...aka The Devil's National Park.

Okay, none of that really happened in that order. This was more the speed of our trip in Abel Tasman National Park.

This is Ashley relaxing on the beach with our guide, John, during lunch of our all day kayak trip around the park. We ended up seeing some wildlife.
Now the following day, Ashley did have us march for 12 miles from Bark's Bay back to the car in Marahau. It was tough going and Ashley definitely earned the Kommadant moniker that day. By the end it was all smiles, and we got to see some beautiful scenery on the forced march.

Posted by Scatman 00:42 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Thanking Friends

1B7E87C32219AC68172223E70DBAD56F.jpg Listening to Sinatra via my JBL Charge in a 1 room cabin filled with two heaters running full blast after sleeping 7 nights in a campervan (er, a minivan!), I'm thinking of how thankful I am for those who gave me tips and ways to make this leg of the trip outstanding. I've got a jam packed itinerary for New Zealand with the right tools, attitude & knowledge thanks to friends and experts like Heather, Jesse, Elliot, Sasha, Mary N (LA Mary), Michael, Amy, Sue & Lauren. Also thinking of sisters Alexa & Amy with whom I last glacier tracked (with the help of a lift), including drinking straight from the stream.

Lastly, (for now), after getting a proper send off dinner party from Sue, Tabz and P, & also exceedingly memorable goodbye events & remarks from Cambria Solutions & WAHBE colleagues, I got out of Sacramento with Ronnie & Reece's help, I happily filled some NZ time reading Ben's thoughtful yet humorous suggestion of The Little Prince and am moving on to reading about Phileas' adventures over 80 days per Dave.

What's new? Dave & I have been moving more than ever, doing a short 2.5 hour tramp near a hobbit hole yesterday and a full day kayak along Abel Tasman National Park tomorrow followed by a 7 hour tramp within Abel Tasman the next day after a water taxi drop off (our attempt at that today got stormed out with power outages and the works...sorry Woody Allen, we may never know how your movie ends tho Dave & I have determined our own ending which may be a more fun way to finish movies).

Pics from our latest jaunts are attached.

Also we added the Hello Kitty pose to our collection - thanks Zarah!

Feeling like it is a very good year...

Posted by Equatorials 02:55 Archived in New Zealand Comments (7)

Tramping Our Way Up Fox Glacier

semi-overcast 42 °F

Today we trekked up Fox Glacier on the west coast of New Zealand. We also learned a bunch of French words that have some special significance in mountaineering.
My first shock of the day was when they fitted us from crampons, those metal cleats used for walking on ice. Ashley told me this would be just an easy walk around a small glacier. Clearly she had fooled me.
This is our guide, Zarah, don't call her Sarah or else the ice axe could be coming for you. She is a native Aussie, but prefers to be broke and therefore, claims to be more Kiwi. Her next gig will be working at some fancy resort up in the Canadian Arctic. She only lost two customers while busy taking this selfie.

We ended up spending about 4 hrs tramping about the ice, and got to go thru a couple of moulins (fancy French word for hole in the ice carved by water). Yes I actually fit in those holes. I have photographic evidence to the support that fact.

Later we ended up trekking up a few crevasses (fancy French word for crevice). The size of the crevasses were impressive for this "small" glacier.

By the end of the day, Ashley and I were drenched in sweat having gone up about 2 km from the terminal face of the glacier, and finally could return to the parking lot. Luckily for us, the glacier had moved about 1 m closer to the parking lot while we were on it, saving us a few extra steps.

Ashley overlooking Fox Glacier from the crampon on/off area, having returned alive from its crevasses.

Posted by Scatman 22:09 Archived in New Zealand Comments (3)

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