woensdag 30 maart 2011
dinsdag 29 maart 2011
vrijdag 25 maart 2011
25 March 2011.
Less than a week left, here in NZ, before we fly back to Singapore. Today we went into town Greymouth, as said earlier, when we had Library Wifi access.
We had clear skies today, great for the drive from West to East, via the beautiful Lewis Pass between and over the mountains. Had a sunny picnic at the river somewhere along the road. In Hanmer Spring we ate at “Robbie’s” cafe, just because we know a Robert at home :-) and the menu / food was good too!
We have wifi via the library again. Seems they opened up wifi for free, because of the quake, so people can get in contact with each other.
We were partly able to skype with ilja, just to say hello. But line dropped frequently. Anyway, tomorrow we are going to the hot pools and spa! Relaxing! Maybe we might watch whales and dolphins later in Kaikoura, before we go south to Christchurch and Banks of Peninsula and spent the last days of the holiday.
Today we were in an i-Site information desk, with brochures and booklets of hotels in Christchurch, many of them had stickers on it “Closed due to Earthquake.” Some of those things you will only notice, when you are getting closer to that town.
donderdag 24 maart 2011
dinsdag 22 maart 2011
zondag 20 maart 2011
zaterdag 19 maart 2011
dinsdag 15 maart 2011
15 March 2011
Today we woke up by the alarm at 7am, as we did want to get up early and walk to the view of views of the mountains, reflecting in the mirror lake. It was early, and we had little breakfast to safe time and use it all for the 45 mins walk. A lot of fog was there, but the best luck we could have, after a full night of heavy rain, was an almost clear blue sky. Great for the walk and the pictures. The walk was great in the dense forest. The lake was indeed a perfect mirror early in the morning, with almost no winds and the fog away when we arrived at the best picture spots. The mountain reflected great, and we took a lot of pictures and shot some film. After this 2 hour trip, we continued, as we had more than 300 km of road to take over, between and next to the mountains. Via the Haast Pass we travelled south, targeting a town just before Queenstown. Its called Wanaka. The road and its views is sometimes spectacular. We stop at a special salmon farm that uses the mountain streams for its fish, and have smoked salmon sandwiches and a big homemade chocolate muffin. Along the road, we stop some times to watch the beach, waterfalls or great outlooks over the lakes and mountains. But the stops are short, as the sand flies are with more than we can kill and they are thirsty like hell. Acting like… real bugs. In Wanaka we find a campsite, after first getting into the little town and do some shopping. We eat early, read the news of Japan in the newspaper, relax with some movie and prepare some blogs, so later we can upload them when we have WiFi…. Queenstown should have a McDonalds, so the family, friends and colleagues should be able to watch these blogs quick this time… and we might catch a burger or ice-cream, who knows… its still holiday.
15 March 2011
I will need a lot of time to sort out the movies and pictures we shoot here. But to be able to post some quick pix I also used the less professional gear too, like my iphone, to grab some quick pix to share on the blog. As the WiFi is slow in most cases, if we have any at all, so smaller low res pix is what I used for this blog.
Hope you are getting some of the views and fun we have here...
Having lunch during the road trip, just near a lake between the mountains… what a view.
Abel Tasman, with gold beaches and crisp clear blue\green waters.
Pancake rocks at the West Coast
Falling rocks, and ice, near the Fox Glacier.
zondag 13 maart 2011
We are going to meet the ice on the mountains today. Preparing for cold and maybe rain later, but we do not melt from both ;-)
So saying goodbye to the Hokitika, Sewell street where we were at the library, lifting on the free WiFi connection there. Thanks and take care all!
Also thanks for the reactions by email, sms etc about the news and questions. Much appreciated. despite wifi or gsm connections are mostly not available, we are doing ok now. :-) bye.
vrijdag 11 maart 2011
11 March 2011 22:00, Abel Tasman Park, NZ South Island
This is not a normal blog, its a blog because we can not sleep. We just watched some comedy series on the laptop, and were starting to prepare to go for bed. When we heard a motorbike (later I understood it was the park ranger on a quad motor bike) and a lot of talking. Than the bike approached our place, it was already black dark outside, so we wondered what was going on. I thought, checking if we paid for the campground. But no, it was the park ranger on duty, coming to inform us, to be prepared to evacuate later tonight, when needed, as a massive 8.4 earthquake shook Japan this evening. The whole pacific was alarmed of a potential Tsunami. Later tonight, we would get more info, if it was really the case, approximately between 02:00 and 04:00 am tonight. In that case we would need to get in the campervan and drive up the main road as high as we can.
So you understand, that while we planned to start sleeping, we are now fully awake. In fact, we started to unwrap and put aside the tent, table and chairs, even put the keys in the car, so we could run away in case its needed. Whow… this New Zealand trip was planned as an adventure, but these past weeks beat all expectations…. a bit too much I am telling’ya!
I asked the guy, how bad it was… He told us it was the heaviest one Japan had seen. He mentioned the first news was about destruction to buildings. A little more than a year ago, we were in that area on a holiday and made some friends and have Japan in our hearts. So this news also hits us in that respect. I hope its not too bad for them, but 8.4 o my, Christchurch was bad, and that was a lower power earthquake compared to this one.
woensdag 9 maart 2011
Alarm went off early today, making sure we were catching the ferry to the South Island. So we say good bye to the North Island. The north where our real holiday started by arriving at Jolyon’s place(again thanks mate, really appreciated we were welcome), picking up the rental van in Auckland, went to the most northern point of New Zealand, felt and smelt the heat and gas of volcanic active areas, put our feet in hot water beach, slept between a million mosquitoes, burn in the sun, saw 75% of the months average rain fell down in three days (including inside the tent), repaired the poor maintenance on the spaceship battery, camped in the middle of the forest, walked around the volcanoes where Lord of the Rings was recorded(Mount Doom and Mordor) and so much more. Quite a privilege to experience all of this on this adventure.
Currently writing this blog, while on the ferry. In a little over three hours we arrive in Pickton. From there we will travel by car to Nelson. I will use these hours to write the blogs of the other days, of the past weeks. Did not have time, was too busy during my holiday :-) Cheers.
dinsdag 8 maart 2011
9 March 2011
We woke up at the great campsite here in Levin, which is in the South West of Manawatu-Wanganui. The campsite was clean and had separate showers, which looked like private cabins for washing and showering. The best seen so far, while the other campsites were good as well. We had breakfast with toasted bread and went off to Wellington. Still a 1.5 hour drive and we arrived precise at a little before 10am, when the museum opened its doors. THE museum I should write. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a free and one of the largest national museum in the world. We spent almost 4 hours roaming around. Outside walking in the city with its nice shops was good too. We checked in at the Motor in Hotel. Refreshed and went to a by Lonely Planet recommended Japanese restaurant. That was indeed awesome food. Made sure to backup all pictures and load all electrical machines now that we had our own hotel room, ready for the next weeks, on the South. `cause the next day we will take the 8:30am Ferry to the south.
maandag 7 maart 2011
8 March 2011
After a very cold evening, we had breakfast with the best view so far. We were looking straight at the Mount Ruapehu, of of the three mountains/volcanoes here. Its here also where part of Lord of the Rings was recorded, Mount Doom its called in the movie. Its also the starting point of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
We set off to have a 3 hour walk across this beautiful scenery. A great walk, with nice sunny weather and great views on this big giants. The path we followed, was leading to an awesome waterfall dropping 20 meters of a cliff. We had a little picnic at this great site.
After the walk, we went up the mountain by car via the one road to Whakapapa Village. Its where the rough terrain inspired the director of LotR to shoot the Mordor scenes. All red and black lava and very rough terrain. After this we set off for a long drive to Wellington, and would see how far we were able to travel today. We ended up in Levin where we found a very nice, clean campsite. The nearest supermarket provided us with a nice steak and mushrooms, so dinner was easy arranged in the kitchen too. We bought some internet/wifi hours, so we could arrange an hotel and the ferry in Wellington. All from the laptop, wireless in the car on the campsite. Watching a piece of Lord of the Rings on the car DVD player and going to bed.Funny, that was much different a few years ago with camping. ;-)