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« January 2002 | Main | March 2002 »

February 23, 2002

routeburn track

Monday morning we're starting the Routeburn Track, another of New Zealand's "Great Walks." It looks a little more intense than Abel Tasman- uphill the first day, level the second, downhill the third. Hard on the knees, this tramping stuff. Should be back online Thursday or Friday.

Posted at 15:48

February 21, 2002

queenstown

We're in Queenstown for the next few days, and Beth is bungee-jumping tomorrow morning at 10am. I'm going along to spectate; I've got better, err, I mean, different things to do with $100. ;)

Posted at 10:33

February 17, 2002

wanaka

Now posting from Wanaka, NZ. It's been a busy, Internet-less past few days (week?). Since my last update, I've done some cave tubing outside Greymouth, glacier hiking at Fox Glacier, toured Monteith's Brewery (excellent beer with brewed minus additives or preservatives), and seen the Oparara Arch near Karamea, which is 43m high and 219m long.

I just got the pictures from Abel Tasman National Park online (see to the right). Enjoy!

Posted at 13:14

February 11, 2002

in westport

Posting from Westport, NZ, having completed our 4-day tramp in Abel Tasman. We've decided to head south along NZ's western coast, and will eventually cross over to the east coast for the return trip up to the North Island. I'll post some highlights from the camping trip sometime tomorrow.

Posted at 07:43

February 5, 2002

abel tasman

Tomorrow Beth and I are heading into Abel Tasman National Park to hike the coastal track. We have 4 days and 3 nights planned, and have an "aqua taxi" pickup scheduled for 3:15pm on Saturday, somewhere in the northern region of this map. The laptop is definitely NOT making the trip, but the camera most certainly is. As is the underwater case, should we encounter any rain. I'll update again once we return to civilization!

Posted at 16:59

bone carving

Today I took a day-long course here in Nelson about Maori bone carving. The result? My very own necklace. Here's a closeup of it, sitting on the iBook's keyboard, and here are the rest of the pictures from the day.

Posted at 16:48

February 3, 2002

nelson

Posting from an Internet cafe in Nelson, NZ, where I have the iBook connected to their network. This is the fastest public Internet connection (ADSL) I've found yet on this trip; I got over 40k/s uploading all the pictures to Arwen, and over 70 k/s uploading them as a backup to Toasty!

Woops- been here for an hour and a half already, and I was supposed to meet Beth at the grocery store 10 minutes ago to pick up dinner supplies... D'oh! I'll get descriptions of all the new pictures online soon- there are some great stories behind some of them!

Posted at 14:18

mt. victoria lord of the rings

Back in the Wellington tourism office I picked up a brochure about the filming of The Lord of the Rings, all of which was done in New Zealand. Lots of it happened in and around Wellington, and yesterday we hiked Mt. Victoria. Here's an article about it. It's where they filmed the scene when the Nazgul (black riders) were pursuing the Hobbits, who were running from the Shire for Brie. Here are my pictures from the day.

Then, at 5pm yesterday, we went and saw the movie (my third viewing, after about 8 readings over the past 8 years!) at the Embassy Theatre, where the New Zealand premiere was. The lady at the ticket counter told me it's Peter Jackson's (the director of the series) favorite theatre in the world, and that he picked out and bought them a brand new sound system a few years ago while they were filming. I believe her- we were shaking in our seats from the audio of the tiniest little action- Sauron's severed yet still-ringed finger hitting the ground in the opening scene in front of Isildur, Bilbo dropping the ring on the floor of Bag End. The screams of the Nazgul were especially piercing, and Gollum.... Preciousssssss..... :)

Posted at 14:04

Wellington tidbits

A few tidbits from our short stay in Wellington last week:

We're now members of the New Zealand Automobile Association, which is NZ's equivalent of AAA back home in the US. Basically, they'll help us if we have trouble with Samson.

The drinking age here is 18; Beth got carded the other day when buying a glass of wine!

I picked up a power inverter for Samson, so I can plug in various gadgetry and not waste batteries.

There are oodles of one-lane bridges here. Uggh. As if things weren't already weird enough, driving on the left side of the road!

Posted at 13:48

beirne and samson

Beirne writes that he gives Samson another 2 months of lifespan... What Beirne doesn't realize is that Samson has the Lord on his side!

Posted at 13:25

ryan lemans

Courtesy of Ryan, who has waaay too much time on his hands back in Oxford (grin), here's a picture of a Pontiac LeMans, a red version of which Beth and I are currently driving around New Zealand.

Posted at 13:18