Tramping, climbing cliffs and getting stick for England losing to The All Blacks...

Published: June 23rd 2008
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Well it's been a bit of a slower couple of months lately so there hasn't been too much to write about besides exams, and noone wants to hear about that; though I think i've finally got enough to fill a blog with now.

Also why did England have to lose at rugby? Even the shopkeeper at my local store greeted me by asking if I could remind him the score of the game, and then of course didn't hear and wanted me to repeat it. And then we get beaten again this weekend! It's a sad time to be a 'pom'...

So I've finally done some rock climbing here, something I've been wanting to do for a while. I know Jenny and Ben have already done quite a bit of this, so now finally see what I've been missing! Are you guys still doing it? Have to go with you both sometime when i get back! It was awesome, made me want to climb everything I saw afterwards. On the second day of the course we got to do it on a few different cliff faces on Long beach near where i'm living. Very cool, and a bit freaky as parts of the cliff aren't perfectly stable (luckily the bit supporting you is), so not every rock you grab stays in your hand. Still gets the adrenealine going a bit..

Anyway I've finally done my first tramp! I've done a few mini-ones, but this was a proper 'track' called the 'Kepler Track' that goes up a mountain in a part of Fiordland in the south of the south island. Man it was hard work; doing a tramp with two superfit people is never a good idea aswell, took us 4 hours, relatively break-free (thanks to the superfit people), to get up the steepest part of the track. Though once at the top and out of the primevial-like forest we'd worked our way up through, the view was awesome. We were surrounded by snow-capped mountains and could look down between them all and see the clouds below, occasionly catching a glimpse of a calm, blue sea beneath them.

That said the night was far from calm, after we'd settled into a campers hut, and were all in our sleeping bags, wearing about five layers of clothing each, a massive wind storm started up. It was howling and rattling the walls all nights and it sounded like the doors and windows were going to blow in. Pretty scary stuff, although if you know how much I like extreme weather like that, you'll know that I was bloody loving it...

In the morning we headed back down through much colder weather, though luckily, much less windy also, this time hoping to see the Kiwi bird that is common there (no luck!). Anyway it wasn't the biggest tramp, but was pretty awesome nonetheless!

So now I've headed up to the north island to visit my friend Karthick during the break and to explore a bit myself too. Just spent a night in a hostel in Wellington; it definitely lived up to it's reputation of being a very windy town. The taxi driver told me on the way to my hostel that there'd been 50mph winds all day and that Wellington was one of those towns that could see four seasons in one day, pretty much like England then i guess. Anyway it was a flying visit, so I only had time to explore a bit, check out the harbour, see a live jazz band with a guitarist who made me feel like a guitar owner as opposed to player, and do the English thing and buy myself a big fat curry. This morning I headed up from 'Welly' up to Whanganui on the west of the north island to visit Karthick, and his mum kindly just cooked us a huge curry - i never get sick of this meal.

The plan now is to go visit Rotorua and Taupo in the centre of the north island where there are geysers, multi-coloured mud pools, volcanic activity everywhere and an option to do a bungee jump if I feel the need to freefall above a volcanic lake (and if I have the money to do such a crazy thing). So i'll hopefully have more to talk about after all of that...

Anyway hope everyone's good and enjoying themselves,
Speak soon! Tom


23rd June 2008

Windy Ridge etc
I know you'll have loved evey minute of that door rattling storm - sounds so exciting! Glad to hear you're eating plenty of the Pommy's favourite meal and enjoying some great hospitality in Whanganui. Great that you're making the most of all the opportunities to explore and enjoy NZ. BTW are there any New Zelanders playing at Wimbledon??? (Maybe carry on keeping a low profile!) xxx
23rd June 2008

Still jealous :P
Hey :D Glad you are still having a great time! I am very jealous of everything you've seen / done / experienced so far. What is a tramp though?? First image I got was of a smelly old alcoholic guy sitting in a cardboard with a few bruises after you'd done him over!! Lol!! Btw, if you do get the chance to bungee jump - do it! It's awesome!

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