James (Jay/Jim) Bunning

J2NZ

James (Jay/Jim) Bunning

I had been on holidays to Europe and a bit further afield, but never done the proper 'Round the World' backpacking adventure. I started planning for that very event in 2004. Finally in June 2006 I got on that plane that started my year of backpacking around the planet. What an amazing journey! It changed my life like nothing else. And it was where I found my life partner...

My plans for that year included living and working in New Zealand. This was because I felt like I really wanted to move there permanently but needed to 'check it out' for six months first. I liked that NZ offers the perfect setting for my sport interests (Kite buggying/boarding, snow boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, trekking and climbing). I got a work Visa for NZ before I left the UK and then planned the rest of my trip around NZ.

As for the rest of the places I wanted to see, it was based mainly on my keen interest in the nature's offerings, much more than the cultural aspects. So I’d much rather be on a beach, trekking up a mountain or snorkelling in the sea than walking round an ancient pagoda… Although I did end up doing more of the cultural stuff than I expected.

Another aim of my travels was to learn to snow kite, kite surf, dive and paraglide on my travels… Final results: 3 out 4 - snow kiting was scuppered by a nasty snowboarding accident in NZ...

Apart from the photos I also uploaded videos on Youtube now: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=j2nzj2nz, my old videos are here: http://www.stick-e-web.co.uk/travel/videos/ And because part way through my travels Thailand banned YouTube (it depicted a video that was not too nice about their King) I also used Google Video too.

I also uploaded a few Quick Time panoramics here: http://www.stick-e-web.co.uk/travel/panoramas/ (go full screen and you can zoom in, etc).

And large images (including some panoramics) are on my gallery page: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/J2NZ/Gallery/

UPDATE Jan 2009I left the UK to live with Lisa in the USA. To start with we are going to be in Las Vegas. There is plenty of great hikes outside the city and a whole new (and enormous) country for me to explore. So there will be a load of new adventures documented here. I am also not working for many months, so I also hope to get the rest of my RTW trip up on here and repair the lost entries when Travelblog had a crash last year.
Finally I hope to centralize all the video clips and panoramics in one place.



North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas August 11th 2009

Tuesday 11th August 2009 Three years ago to the day we met in NZ. It was an adventurous day back then (see) and so we like to celebrate it by doing something similar (as opposed to a fancy meal, etc). So I suggested a sunset hike up Lone Mountain near our house. Not a hard hike, but steep and worth the effort-a 360 degree view of the Las Vegas valley. I stashed a bottle of sparkly and two tuperware 'glasses' in my bag. We got to the top as the sun was setting and had the mountain to ourselves (apart from butterflies dancing at the top). We drank to our fortune of meeting three years ago and then I 'proposed'. As you probably know I'm not one for formal/traditional stuff so there was no down on ... read more
Going that way
and then to there
Photo 9


Saturday 12th June 2009 This was my second time up Bridge Mountain - the last time was in the snow and ice back in Jan (see here). Finding the route was a lot easier and not slipping on ice was an improvement but 7 hours later as we got back to the car I felt just as tired! But then I haven't been hiking for nearly two months! Some video here p.s. Like all these blog entries, the best way to see all the photos is to click on a photo - it starts a slide show with larger versions of the the photos.... read more
North Peak summit
Nice views from the ridge
Nice views from the ridge


Thursday 9th April 2009 I did another evening hike with a Meetup group - this time to Cowboy Caves. I was late and had to run to catch up. Good job I caught up too as I would not find the entrance on my own. Once inside it was clear from the amount of broken glass and graffiti that Cowboy Caves has been a 'party cave' for a long time. Sure there has been many a good time in there - just a shame they had to break/leave bottles everywhere. Like all these blog entries, you can click on the photos below for a slide show with larger versions of the photos ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4


Tuesday 7th April 2009 I decided to do an evening hike with one of the meet up groups. This one was to Muffin Ridge. This is a ridge opposite Red Rock Canyon that I have often looked at as I drive to Red Rock and thought "I'll get up there too one day" and today was the day. On top of the ridge is some rock formations that look like a rather ugly muffin - like I'd make with my culinary skills! We started the hike at the cowboy trails car park (where the horse trekking is) and weaved up the ridge. It also seems to be a regular hook-up/dogging site - see photos of beer bottles and knickers... It was an easy hike but with surprisingly good views from the summit. It overlooked Red Rock ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

North America » United States » Nevada » Red Rock Canyon March 30th 2009

Monday 30th March 2009 I took Pai for a hike to Pine Creek. It is a strange place - even before you get in to the steep creek walls it seems totally out of place in the Mojave Desert. There are ponderosa pine trees that are normally found at much higher elevation. There is a nice stream with vocal frogs and a little meadow - all within a few minutes walk of relatively barren desert. As you progress further in you seem to be traveling to a completely different climate. There is also the remains of Old Man Wilson's place. He made a home there in the 20s and landscaped a garden and orchard. You can still see his garden area which is still relatively free from shrubs. He only stayed there 10 years before moving ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

North America » United States » Nevada » Red Rock Canyon March 25th 2009

Wednesday 25th March 2009 The day before I was supposed to doing this hike with a Meetup group, but ended up doing the easier 'Lost Creek Lower' hike. So I returned with Maia to try the Upper version. It is much better! The views are great and Maia got to play in the water (she was not thrilled!). I also walked over to the waterfall that I was at the bottom of the day before. As I looked down I saw a group of tourists (I could see their tour bus) at the bottom looking up at me and taking photos. See a short video of me and Maia at the top here. Like all these blog entries, you can click on the photos below for a slide show with larger versions of the photos... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

North America » United States » Nevada » Red Rock Canyon March 24th 2009

Tuesday 24th March 2009 I was supposed to be meeting up with a Meetup hiking group to do the Lost Creek hike, but got there late and decided to do it on my own (well with Pai). It turns out I was not on the same hike as the group. The route I took was the 'easy' hike to the bottom of the waterfall that flows through Lost Creek. As I got back to the car I could hear voices from the rocks above the waterfall - I then got to see the Meetup group coming back down - they had hiked up above the waterfall I was at. I took note of their route and promised myself to try it soon.... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

North America » United States » Nevada » Red Rock Canyon March 14th 2009

Saturday 14th March 2009 I had done Turtlehead before and it is one of my favourites in Red Rock. I wanted so show Lisa and as we couldn't leave the pups that long, we decided to take them with us. We also took rucksacks to carry them if they got too tired (we checked them for fit before we left). Turns out the pups both did really well. Pai had to go in the rucksack for 20 mins near the top, but I took him out for the final push - so it looked he did it all on his own - in case there were any other doggies up there. It is a demanding hike, but the views are amazing. Some video here The pups slept well that afternoon! ... read more
Our target summit
Photo 1
Photo 2

North America » United States » Nevada » Red Rock Canyon March 13th 2009

Friday 13th March 2009 I took Pai for his first hike in Red Rock Canyon. The closest stop is Calico Basin (10 mins from home) so we started there. We had a nice stroll around with no particular aim in mind. The sun was getting low in the sky so it was just a quick one - a warm up for Pai's Adventures in Red Rock. ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4


Wednesday 4th March 2009 I got away from the mutts for a quick, easy hike at Fossil Ridge. It is outside the Red Rock Canyon conservation area, about a mile further along the road. I met with a really nice group of people. I hope to get out to more 'quick' hikes until the mutts are old enough to come on hikes with me.... read more
Photo 2
Lots of different cacti
Nice view all the way to Turtlehead




Tot: 3.108s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 15; qc: 114; dbt: 0.0905s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.5mb