Blog of Blog Entry

There are 274 blog entries within the category of Blog Entry

Salmon Fields Forever
July 11th, 2003 | View Post
While driving from Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook we came across a salmon farm just 12km off of the road. After deciding to turn off the road and explore, we managed to pickup 1/2 kilogram of salmon fresh out of the river for just $12.00 NZ (~$7.20 USD). It turned out to be one of the best salmon I have ever tasted in my life and it was entirely cooked in the campervan!

Photo Gallery Updates:
Camper Van
Animal Encounters
Anglican Cathedral of Christchurch
International Antarctic Centre
Mt. Hutt
Lake Tekapo
Mt. Cook
Not the Powder We Were Hoping For
July 10th, 2003 | View Post
Unfortunately the Mt. Hutt ski fields are definitely not all they're powdered up to be. Since we have finally had the opportunity to go skiing in New Zealand, the one thing I would say to anyone who has ever thought to invest thousands to do so is: do not. While we have not yet been to Queenstown (which I'm told is the BEST skiing in NZ), we have been to the highly regarded Mt. Hutt. I have only skied about 7 mountains in the US (should I say only?), so perhaps I am not entirely qualified to make this statement. In my experience, Lake Tahoe and Park City have been the two nicest mountains that I have skied; Riudosa, New Mexico has been the worst. But in typical American fashion, you get what you pay for.

My impression of N.Z. skiing was that you pay for Riudosa but get Park City (obviously an exciting notion). This is NOT the case. The Mt. Hutt ski area was horribly overcrowded (I waited almost 30 minutes to get on a lift once), the slow trails were not groomed throughout the day (thus beginners have a horrible time skiing in the afternoon due to mogul cuts), and worst off were the pull-cord lifts that were used (though they have regular lifts as well, just not where they are needed most). A note on these lifts: They have a device, which we use in US ski areas no doubt, that two people can grab at a time and a rip cord pulls out about 25 foot and tows you up the mountain. This is perfectly fine at the bottom as a more lateral lift, but this was the method to get to the summit! It was exhausting to be pulled up diamond and double-diamond runs especially on a snowboard where you are turned sideways.

Anyway, that's my take on Mt. Hutt. I do not think I am going to spend the money to ski in Queenstown, but perhaps we will at least visit the mountain basin.
FAQ Section Updated
July 6th, 2003 | View Post
Please visit my New Zealand FAQ for answers to lots of questions that have been asked of us on our travels. I think you'll find it is fairly well organized.
What a Grand Sound!
July 4th, 2003 | View Post
I did forget to mention one thing regarding Nelson. When we stopped in the National Cathedral, I was given the opportunity to play a giant church pipe organ consisting of over 2,500 pipes. It was incredible and I would highly advise anyone presented with the moment to take it.

Laptop Access Increasingly Hard to Find
July 3rd, 2003 | View Post
I apologize for taking so many days to get our new content online but it seems as we travel through the South Island it is becoming very difficult for me to find internet access. While internet cafes are still around (though becoming increasingly expensive for slower service), they will not let me plug my laptop in. I suppose it is fair to give them some credit as the typical reasons for WHY I cannot plug in are them wanting to remain hassle-free and ensure their networks are secure. Regardless, it has become quite a nuisance for me as I expect to be turned down in most places now. I can only hope that the larger cities will have less strict policies.

Have you ever wondered just how close you can get to a seal? Well apparently it is close enough to learn that they have the worst breath of any living animal I have ever encountered in my life. While driving down HWY 1 from Blenheim to Kaikoura we came across the Ohau Seal Colony (or so the signs read). While deciding that I was a National Geographic photographer for the day I approcahed a few seals very closely as you can see in the new gallery photos. When startled they become quite frightening and their well known bark quickly turns into a low pitched snarl, much like that of a tiger.

Photo Gallery Updates:
Camper Van
Animal Encounters
National Cathedral in Nelson
Lake Rotoiti
Black Sands Beach
Ohau Seal Colony
A Bit of Hot and Cold News
July 2nd, 2003 | View Post
I am still not exactly sure how this happened, but a small mishap has finally taken place on the trip. While running through Wellington to catch our bus back to Lower Hutt (where the motor park was), my camera somehow slipped from its bag. It fell into the middle of the road and has been damaged. The far right side of the lens has been cracked and the frame has loosened itself a little ways. I have no idea how, but it still takes fabulous pictures. The only incident seems to arise from zooming to 200mm and trying to use the auto-focus. In such a setting it seems to pick up a bit of the fracture and hence cannot focus properly. This also is not a problem since the camera has manual focus as well. So, sadly it is now a 'tainted' camera, but thankfully still in fine working order. I would also like to note that all photos past the 'Te Papa National Museum' gallery will have been taken with the broken camera. Please email me if you notice any flaws in the picture(s).

Photo Gallery Updates:
Camper Van
Animal Encounters
Palmerston North
Te Papa National Museum
Cook Straight
Marlborough Sound