Tag Archives: Travel

Off the Grid

That’s my status now. Although it’s not really true. My wife and I are keeping our home and someone will be sitting in it for us. Yeah, we might get out somewhere without any public utilities but it won’t be for long in duration and certainly not permanent. It’s summer time! And the living is easy. Even the phone is shut off for days in a row. We’ve been adventuring around, having just come back from camp. This week we recharge and gear up for a music festival in the mountains over the 4th of July. Immediately following, we’ll be … Continue reading

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From the Bay of Islands to the Bay Area

Not only was yesterday the 4th of July, it also happened to be the end of the 4th week for me residing in California. Erica had arrived a couple weeks earlier and was set up for us at our friend’s house. The drive out over the hill past Alice’s is beautiful, winding, hilly; bicyclists, motor cyclists, and car enthusiasts love to converge there. This makes a routine commute incredibly annoying. After spending the weekend in the city to see Tortoise we booked in to a hotel. We found a place to live and after spending the next weekend in a … Continue reading

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Fox Glacier for Christmas

The rain just won’t let up in Christchurch and even the locals find it unbelievable for this time of year. We chase the sun over to the west coast. Traveling over Lewis Pass and a night at Hanmer Springs, on in to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks and down to Fox glacier we drive before the rain finally finds us. This car handles so well, it is such a pleasure to drive. At Fox Glacier we stay at a backpacker’s on Christmas eve, and have some very nice conversations with fellow wanderers. There’s a woman who teaches at the community … Continue reading

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Christchurch Ends the Bedford Nightmare

In to Christchurch we march, hell bent to make it without something else going wrong. Erica’s uncle has a place we hope to stay at to refresh ourselves and use as a base. It’s well worth the effort because this is an incredibly nice house with all the utilities running, waiting for us; or anyone for that matter. We buy some beer and rent a stack of DVDs, going back to the house to play a couple games of pool, watch movies and drink. After taking it back to Midas I hop online and put ads out on all the … Continue reading

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Abel Tasman

The big kayak shop we start at doesn’t have any kayaks available, and so calls a smaller place. We sort out the campsites we’ll stay at and pay for the whole lot. Wandering around town we come across a flyer for the kayak place we’ve rented from. He charged us 20 bucks more than the price we were charged. I tell him this when we meet in the morning and he promises to get it to me before we leave, and doesn’t. After a brief introduction to the wonders of kayaking and how to keep one upright in the water, … Continue reading

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Nelson and the Midas Touch

We take one of the windiest roads imaginable with our poor brakes into Havelock, where most of the Green Mussels come from. We check in to a nice motel room which is really an apartment and go eat some of the local delicacy at the Mussel Pot. This town really appeals to us. It doesn’t have the sheen of a tourist town, but does have access to some of the deeper sounds. There isn’t much economy and it seems like the whole town is for sale. It just never ends with the truck. We’re always on edge, jumping up spooked … Continue reading

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Queen Charolette Track

Coming off the ferry the van has changed its mind and is unwilling to start. It’s also shoved against the side of the hull and so we need several people to push this heavy thing out a little so we can open the compartment where the battery is. Of course, the people in their cars are just pouring off the boat until all that is left is one old man waving at me to move my vehicle. I finally get him to come over and he radios for help to get it out. At the last stop at the Warehouse … Continue reading

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Mt. Bruce, Tauranga, Wellington and Picton

Out in the ‘Napa of New Zealand’ we stop at the Tui Brewery to try a couple of the brews. Although it doesn’t taste like old tram tickets to me, I don’t think I’ll be buying mass quantities of it, even with the clever advertising. On the other hand, the National Wildlife Centre was worth all the time and gave me more of a buzz. They are helping to make Mt. Bruce predator free. Their captive breeding program of endangered birds has been successful not only in reintroduction within Mt. Bruce, but on some of the other small islands as … Continue reading

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East Cape

The country is definitely different out here. Heading in to Opotiki there are kids riding bareback through town, with just a rope around the horse’s neck. We stop at a holiday park outside of Te Araroa. The sign says AA Membership discount, and we had just signed up and so enquire. The response is I don’t care if you’re a card-carry communist! I guess the discount is out. A lot of people in trailers call this lovely little campsite home. There’s the man with full-on moko (traditional facial tattoo) with his family. The little boys ask how tall I am … Continue reading

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Collin the Mechanic

Collin the mechanic is a hook-nosed man with barely a scratch of white hair left on his freckled head and a small mouth with some gaps where teeth used to be. I ask if he’s a local and he berates me, seventh generation mate! He says the thing is leaking oil, by which he means transmission fluid, and tops it off. This is where Paul and I both learn that tranny fluid needs to be checked with the car hot. He wants to check the brakes out to see if it’s really the booster and I decide to see him … Continue reading

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