"I don't think we conquered Everest, I think the mountain relented."
"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
"...even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve."
- Sir Edmund Hillary
"The only trips I regret are the ones I never took"
- Paddy Pallin
Current location: Auckland, New Zealand
*Offline 14-21 Jan 2013
日本語のブログ記事： Ryokou Kiwi
日本語でメッセージを送りたい方、下の「Private Message」を,コメントしたい方「Guestbook]又は「Add a comment」をクリックして下さい。
April 25th 2012
The crowd awaits silent and respectful in the pre-dawn stillness. Minutes later a distant rythmic tapping sound gradually gains momentum and is joined by the sharp call which commands the marching veterans. Applause starts to ripple out through the crowd as the veterans approach, then march proudly up the steps leading to their place on the Court of Honour. Poignant, moving...the single bugler sounds The Last Post, and flags are lowered - signalling the start of a minutes silence. All retreat to private thoughts, more than a few tears are shed. "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them" "We will remember them" The bugler sounds again, 'Reveille' ... read more
April 13th 2012
日本語： As the palm fronds swayed in the gentle breeze, at times allowing the bright sun to momentarily pierce my closed eyelids as though they were little more than tissue paper, the sounds of African Grace filtered through the earphones of my ipod, accompanied by the background percussion of ocean - a two-fold tone of waves breaking, followed by the gentle hiss of seawater rushing over sand. Warmed by the sun, lulled into a state of semi-consciousness, time became a forgotten concept - left behind at the ferry terminal in Kuala Besut. Having recently experienced a summer which, well, never actually happened, this haven of sun, sand and enticing ocean was exactly what I'd been in search of. This was precisely why I had headed north-east for a few days post TravelBlog 10th birthday... read more
April 8th 2012
Meeting up with fellow 'TravelBlog'ers can be a 'hit and miss' game at the best of times. You may make plans to be in the home city of a TBer, only to find out that they themselves will be on the road when you pass through. Or flight schedules may hint at gifting you a random airport catchup, only for cancellations or delays to interfere. On an almost daily basis TBers would undertake an amount of travel looking something like a combined flight route map of all the airlines currently in operation - you know the ones, the maps we've all gazed longingly at while dreaming of the next great adventure. I'm far more a believer in fate, serendipity and the power of the universe than I used to be. Sometimes things happen just because they're ... read more
February 5th 2012
The seven-player form of the sport rugby union is helpfully also known simply as '7s'. National teams compete in a globetrotting tournament series which stops in nine countries and six continents. With less than half the number of players that run onto the field in the traditional format of the game, yet still played in the same sized arena, the pace is hectic. It's no surprise then, that in order to participate you need to train hard, you need to be super fit and ready for the fight - and that's just the battle for tickets if you want to be there in person to witness the action. All that training is not going to count for anything if your concentration and reaction speed just aren't up to it on the big day. Once you make ... read more
January 1st 2012
"Given that there's now around 7 tonne of dynamite strapped to the bridge, did you still want me to drive over it?" asked my brother-in-law as he gave us a ride into town. 'The bridge' was the Sydney Harbour bridge, and my sister and I had tickets for an event on my bucket list - a pole position view of the New Year's Eve fireworks display, with an afterparty of course. Unfortunately though, the pole position didn't come with somewhere to set up a tripod, so my photos were quite disappointing and definitely don't do the occasion justice. The majority of streets in the CBD were closed to traffic until the early hours of the following morning, and the crowds of people starting to build were reminiscent of those seen in Auckland during the Rugby World ... read more
October 24th 2011
On the night of 23 October 2011, All Black captain Richie McCaw held aloft yet another trophy that the All Blacks had just secured. But this time was different. The lifting of the Webb Ellis Cup by an All Black captain was something the nation had been waiting 24 long years to see for a second time. To understand what this moment meant to All Blacks fans, consider the following the sport has in New Zealand, and the idol status those men in black hold. Rugby is what collectively Kiwis get most passionate about. In the capital’s cathedral hangs a painting of the artist’s depiction of God - dressed as an All Black. Should rugby be listed as an option for the Religion question in the country’s next 5 yearly census, there’s a pretty good chance ... read more
October 17th 2011
48 games of rugby were played throughout New Zealand during Rugby World Cup 2011. 48 games played by 20 of the best teams in the world, providing some exciting entertainment and the occasional upset result. But players on the field weren’t the only crowd-pullers. Although some followers took game results more seriously than others, many were here for the atmosphere that can only really be experienced when an international sporting event of this size takes place. From the arrival of the first team until well after the last game was over, it was the fans themselves that were the real support act - wearing their hearts not only on their sleeves, but also painted brightly on their faces. Not even the so-called ‘minnow teams’ were left unsupported, with each being adopted by various towns as a ... read more
September 27th 2011
You'd need to have had your head buried deep in the sand for the last six years to not know what was about to happen that evening. But taking a wander through the Auckland CBD on the afternoon of 9th September you'd have soon worked out that it was a bit more than just an early NYE party. And if somehow you only knew that the event was on around about this time, given the way fans were celebrating, you might even have thought that it was all done and dusted - and every team had won the final. In a matter of hours the seventh Rugby World Cup would be underway, and this year it had come back to where it all started 24 years ago. This was something the country had been waiting for ... read more
November 7th 2010
There was plenty of colour, just as there used to be. The main event took place on a long wide strip of grass, just as it used to. But this time, instead of riding around Ellerslie Racecourse, I was a spectator to the smells, sounds and colour of the inaugural Auckland International Carnival. Getting there ahead of the opening ceremony almost felt as though I had arrived too early. Then more people drifted in, food stalls opened and the atmosphere picked up. After doing a couple of laps of the globe I ate in India, then zipped over to Hungary for dessert. Now I'm not one for missing parades without a good reason, and with this one being the main event to showcase all the the countries taking part in the carnival, I was quite happy ... read more
July 15th 2010
As the wavering red glow shrunk and then disappeared into the still-dark sky, the decision was made - there was going to be no launch from the centre of town, and we went in search of calmer skies to cast away into. Not too much later, just as the sun was rising, another helium filled balloon was released to assess the winds and the launch site for our hot air balloon adventure was decided. This, we were informed, is a team sport - so it was all hands required to unload the basket, burner and envelope (balloon). Actually, it was more a case of 'take photos of the sunrise while the pilot and ground crew unload them', but everyone was needed to help spread the envelope. Slowly that lifeless rainbow started to come alive, and once ... read more