Chicago skyline at sunset
Chicago skyline at sunset
  • Fiji tomorrow!
    • 11/03/2012
flight 6am
airport 4am
catch bus 3am
= not paying for bed for the night, cinema then internet cafe!
  • New Camera! Panasonic TS3
    • 13/02/2012
ts3

New Camera. Panasonic TS3
So after my Sony compact camera finally having a malfunction that couldn't be fixed by bashing it off a table, i wanted a new pocket sized camera.
In the Cook Islands several people had waterproof cameras, which i was very envious of given the amazing snorkelling.
So i got one of those. It can go down to 12m underwater, which is frustratingly short of scuba depth, but absolutely the best available in a camera without spending several hundred pounds more on a special housing.
And it should be fine to get bumped around in a bag, splashed in a kayak, dropped on a sand dune etc. In theory.
Will update when i've tested it out more.

Regarding my other new camera (the Panasonic G3 i bought back in New York), i love it to bits (apart from in low light when i can't hold it steady long enough)
  • gotta get out of Auckland!
    • 13/02/2012
today i was going to catch a ferry to Roritono, an extinct volcano island in Auckland bay.
But i'm not, because last night i played football (jumpers for goalposts with couchsurfers) for the first time in 6 months and now my legs ache like hell, and i can barely face walking across the street to the art museum.
It is hard to get the same regular exercise whilst travelling as you would at home. Well, i guess it isn't impossible to make the effort to go running but it never really crosses my mind.

So, so far in Auckland i have: walked around a bit. Found out that local beers are very expensive (4.50 a pint expensive). So off license cider it is.
Been to the botanical gardens. It was an hour out of town by bus, but worth it. Very nicely arranged, and there was also a sculpture exhibition and some live music.
Been up the SKYTOWER! Aucklands answer to the CN tower and that one in Seattle. it's only 292m tall but still the highest building in the southern hemisphere. Good views of town and the bay, but unfortunately i managed to time my visit along with a bus load of small nz schoolkids, and a bus load of retired british and american couples from a cruise ship.
Two of the most annoying types of people to be stuck in a small space with, excitable kids and ignorant foreigners who compare everything to "back home".
Been to the Auckland museum, which has collections of Maori stuff (clothes, carvings, canoes, spears), ecological stuff (volcanoes, stuffed albatrosses), and war stuff (maori wars, maori vs colonial wars, world wars). And a room about the Haka. Nice museum. In the park which it is set in, the Auckland Domain, all the trees seem to be full of crickets or something (i couldn't see), the chirrupy buzzing is almost deafening!
Been to new zealand's only IMAX cinema to watch the "new" Mission Impossible film. the cinema itself was great, and empty so i could pick exactly where to sit in front of the giant screen.
The film had plenty of action, and Simon Pegg to save it from being a total Tom Cruise ego-fest. It's another film with annoying product placement, in that every car in the world is a BMW, and the plot needed a lot of suspension of belief, never mind.

Aside from that i've been trying to work out where in the country i want to visit, and how to get there. Many people have reccommended buying a car, even for a short period. Then there are the many backpacker bus pass options.
I think i'll stick to randomly getting local buses, renting cars, and trying to blag lifts. There are so many people driving the same routes that it shouldn't be too difficult? (famous last words)

Auckland has grown on me more as time passes. However, it is a very culturally diverse place and could essentially be anywhere in the world. I am told that the rest of the country is nothing like it though.
  • Back to relative reality
    • 11/02/2012
i feel a bit shell shocked, coming from the overwhelming peace and tranquility of Raro into the middle of a friday night in Auckland city centre, with high rise buildings, bright lights, traffic, and people (shudder).

The last few weeks in the Cook Islands i kept having those "i must be dreaming" moments, and now i feel like i've been rudely shaken awake.

NZ has a reputation for being a few years behind the modern world, and that is most apparent in the number of internet cafes on every street. No free wifi here! errrk.

So now i will spend a couple of days adjusting, reading the guide book, and making a general plan of how to assault this country for the next 5 weeks. 5 weeks i now realise being a stupidly short amount of time.


browse by location

Iceland

Slovenia

Hungary

Slovakia

Hungary

Slovakia

Poland

Slovakia

Poland

Czech Republic

Poland

Czech Republic

England

Thaliand

Hong Kong

Thailand

RSA

Zimbabwe

Malawi

Tanzania

Kenya

Tanzania

Rwanda

Uganda

Kenya

Norway

Sweden

Denmark

Germany

The Netherlands

Cuba

Cayman Islands

France

Switzerland

Italy

Switzerland

England

Wales

Scotland

England

France

Holland

England

Germany

England

USA

England

Thailand

Malaysia

Singapore

Fiji

Australia

Samoa

Fiji

Australia

New Zealand

Cook Islands

Mexico

USA

Canada

USA

England