Our practice trip to Girona, Spain June 2017
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
I like our hostel in Rotorua - we have our own room, including a bathroom. The hostel is pretty new, the bed is (sort of) comfortable, and the kitchen is large. Craig said he felt out of place because we initially were the oldest, except for one guy who definitely looked totally out of place here, amongst the 20-something international crowd.
Link to North Island 2
Monday, April 2, 2018
Had a sunny, beautiful, and at times very windy ferry crossing from Picton (on the South Island) to Wellington (on the North Island). Fortunately for Craig, the wind only came on towards the end, and the ferry was big, so we only noticed it when standing on the deck. The wind was strong enough, though, that I could not keep myself, and the camera still, despite the deck being totally level.
Link to North Island 1
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
After dropping Kim and Chris off at the airport, we ran a couple of errands, and found a peninsula outside of Christchurch, where we did a nice walk along the coast. I had fun watching a surfer do tricks, and would have liked to jump in, except that by the time we got back to the beach, there was no sun.
Did a short hike enroute to the Wairoa Valley, where we spent 5 nights in a riverside cottage. Drove down twisty dirt roads, opening and closing gates as we went, and agreed with the recommendation of arriving in daylight. Fortunately this car rental company does not say anything about unpaved roads.
Link to the last of the South Island pic’s
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Chris beat me to it, so we published his blog post as soon as we received it. I had finished my write up, but not yet the pictures by then.
2 weeks approximately. A rented Honda CRV, 4 bikes on the roof, and enough space for the 4 of us. Not enough time to write regular notes, or upload and comment pictures, but lots of laughter, fun, a bottle of wine a night, home made food (except for the pies Chris or Craig might write about). Chocolate for me, and often biscuits (cookies) for K&C for dessert, with Craig making sure he got his fair share of everything.
The first 3 pictures in the link are from Craig’s and my return trip to Christchurch after dropping June off.
Link to NZ with Kim and Chris
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
We have not wasted any time. Craig and I survived our crazy travels from Vietnam to NZ (long layovers at the wrong time of day to allow any sleep). We slept a few hours near the Christchurch airport, picked up a car, dropped off my bike at a bike shop, got groceries for several meals, found a NZ Afghan for June, and goopie looking things for ourselves, unsuccessfully searched for replacement toothbrush heads, and met Craig’s sister June when she arrived 13 hrs after we had landed. Afghans seem to be a type of NZ chocolate cookie.
Link to NEw Zealand 1
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Twice we were told there would be no guided walks in the National Park on Cat Ba Island during our only full day there. It was the first day of Tet, which we didn’t know when we planned the trip.
It seemed there were nothing but obstacles in our way, and that we would not be able to attempt this 12-16 km hike, despite having had it as a major goal here.
A guide is recommended because of the logistics involved, and the fact the trail goes through the jungle.
There were slight discrepancies in the listed length of the trail, and how much time to allot; the last public boat one needs to take after completing the point to point trek, left at 1pm due to the holiday; the morning was overcast, and so far no forecast has yet been correct for us in Vietnam - we would not have been surprised if it rained.
Link to Vietnam 2
Monday, February 12, 2018
⁃ Now we can’t escape comments about our advanced age. The niece (late 30s), of our hostess in Hanoi used her phone’s translation program to communicate. They seem very polite here, as with almost every translation, I read something about the ‘Grandparents’. That is us.
⁃ After arriving late due to the visa requirements at the airport, and a lost key, we tried to sleep a few hours in an apartment we weren’t supposed to be in. It was unheated, in a building with no insulation, and old windows. Craig thinks he slept maybe 20 min. Got up at 6.30, and guess it was the same 52 F inside, as outside. The entire building is being renovated, and this unit is waiting its turn. But the niece was super friendly, very apologetic, and got us some sweet bread for breakfast. A last minute change of plans, when an Uber didn’t come. The Grandparents were offered the option of being driven in a private car instead of taking the public bus, and we did this despite the $70 cost. Destination: Gia Sinh, a small village near Ninh Binh, 3+ hours south of Hanoi. All was well, except this made Craig a Comrade, when he ended up using a borrowed helmet after leaving his in the car. Fortunately his was waiting for us in Hanoi, in the correct apartment. Unfortunately this unit also is without heat, but it is a bit warmer now.
Link to Vietnam
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
We had decided not to bike here, but to instead come only for a few days to see the temples. You can’t win them all.. it would have been fun, and relatively safe, to bike from downtown to the temple complexes, and enroute to explore villages, and the country side. Instead we spent money on remorks (a Cambodian tuk-tuk, the main form of tourist transportation, aside from large tourist buses). We walked as much as we could, but communication with the drivers was difficult, and in the end it was easier to just take the established routes they are used to, from one temple to another. Angkhor Wat is the most famous, but there are dozens more, some bigger, some more interesting. They were all impressive, and I also enjoyed visiting them despite not being interested in history or religion. The restoration work continues, with the help of various foreign groups, and countries.
Link to Temples and their surroundings
Link to Siem Reap