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September 30, 2008

Awaroa Bay to Wanaka

Filed under: New Zealand, Travel — anotherheader @ 11:25 pm

Panorama at Awaroa Bay on departure

Panorama at Awaroa Bay on departure

We headed out from the Awaroa Lodge to Wanaka. This was set up as a two-day trip with a stop at the western coastal glacier region along the way. We returned via sea taxi that picked us up at Awaroa Bay. After (more…)

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Wanaka

Filed under: MTB Travel, New Zealand, New Zealand MTB, Travel — anotherheader @ 10:43 pm

On the way to the trails in Wanaka

On the way to the trails in Wanaka

On Tuesday we did a long ride in The Plantation area with a return on Lakeside Track in Wanaka. The Plantation area is a purpose built bike park that spans an area a little larger than Water Dog in Belmont. The trails start at the edge of the suburbs and extend from the forested hillside down to the lake, where the Lakeside Track is located. There is a high density of trails in the area with trails dropping from both sides of a forested spine (more…)

September 24, 2008

Wanaka to Queenstown

Filed under: MTB Travel, New Zealand, New Zealand MTB, Travel, Wine — anotherheader @ 2:41 am

A flawed pano of Lake Wakatipu from the gondola station

A flawed pano of Lake Wakatipu from the gondola station

After checking out of our lodge, we headed towards Queenstown taking the long route. This route, though unplanned, took us through the center of the Central Otago wine-growing region. This area is (more…)

Queenstown, Day 2

Filed under: New Zealand, Travel — anotherheader @ 2:23 am

Kawarau River, Roaring Meg segment, with a sledger in the water

Kawarau River, Roaring Meg segment, with a sledger in the water

The weather at the coast was socked in and our flight to Milford Sound was canceled so we resorted to our back-up plan, river sledging. This, like all other activities in Queenstown, is easily booked at pretty much everywhere you go.

We were picked up by the Frogz van and transported to the Roaring Meg segment of the Kawarau River. River sledging basically involves heading down a river a something resembling a boogie board (see http://www.frogz.co.nz/roaringmeg.html). The Roaring Meg segment is Class II/III whitewater, (more…)

Queenstown and Milford Sound

Filed under: MTB Travel, New Zealand, New Zealand MTB, Travel — anotherheader @ 1:01 am

Southern Alps from the airplane on the way to Milford Sound

Southern Alps from the airplane on the way to Milford Sound

At 7 am the weather conditions again did not permit our trip to Milford Sound in New Zealand’s Fjordland National Park. Just as we were giving up hope of making it out there on this trip, the weather changed. After some last minute snafus and a rush to the airport, we made the 10 am trip out to the Sound. The flight took off from the Queenstown airport from the grass field despite a perfectly serviceable paved runway being available.

We headed out to the Sound over the Southern Alps. The views were spectacular, but it was quite turbulent as the pilot seemed to like to fly in the wind rotor of the nearby peaks. All told, this flight segment was more adrenaline inducing than yesterdays river sledging adventure.

(more…)

Queenstown on to Christchurch

Filed under: MTB Travel, New Zealand, New Zealand MTB, Travel — anotherheader @ 12:31 am

Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower in Christchurch

Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower in Christchurch

We had a scenic trip from Queenstown to Christchurch with some beautiful views of Mt. Cook along the way. We arrived in a very quiet and peaceful Christchurch on a Saturday evening, again with beautiful weather.

The next day, Sunday, we headed out to the Port Hills Tracks for a short ride. We stopped along the way at a bike shop to find a map (they were out) and XTR brake pads (no luck there, either). We did get some directions from a local enthusiast and headed up the hill to the trails. We only got a brief glimpse of the trail offerings in this area, in part because of the short time to ride and in part due to the lack of a good map. It seems to be a real favorite of the locals and there is an extensive set of trails to explore. We’re not sure that this is a biking destination, in and of itself, but we are certain that we would look forward to more exploration of the trails in this area when we come back.

(more…)

New Zealand Travel Summary

Filed under: General Mountain Bike Travel, MTB Travel, New Zealand, Road Bike Travel, Travel, Wine — anotherheader @ 12:12 am

Stats:

Distance from SFO to Auckland:  10,560 km

Campvan mileage: 2561 km

4 internal flights within NZ including two grass field landings

8 boat passages

7 campervan nights

(more…)

September 22, 2008

Where we’d like to go

Filed under: General Travel, Travel — anotherheader @ 6:27 pm

Not counting return trips…

China/Tibet by train

Lisbon/Portugal

Dolomites (northern Italy)

Hungary

Croatia

Sicily

Greece

More Italy

Burgundy

Loire Valley

Guadalupe

Thailand

Bali

Malaysia

Turkey

Alps/Switzerland

Toronto

Med islands

Normandy, Mt. St. Michel

Northern Germany and the Bavarian Alps

Tallinn Estonia and Helsinki Finland

Seychelles

Caribbean

and there will be more….

Where we’re going, as of late 2008

Filed under: General Travel, Travel — anotherheader @ 6:14 pm

Italy/Sicily (soon)

Sedona Arizona (November)

Chile Patagonia (March)

Where we’ve been

Filed under: General Travel, Travel — anotherheader @ 4:15 pm

For reference, here’s where we’ve been:

US:

All fifty States, at least a week in at least 20 States

International (in no particular order):

  1. Canada
  2. Mexico
  3. England
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Italy
  7. Switzerland
  8. Austria
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Netherlands
  11. Vatican City
  12. Monaco
  13. Denmark
  14. Norway
  15. Sweden
  16. Spain
  17. Portugal
  18. Singapore
  19. Malaysia
  20. Indonesia
  21. New Zealand
  22. Australia
  23. China (Hong Kong airport stop)
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