Tag: Backpacking

Christchurch: Then and Now

Four years ago I travelled to Christchurch with Noel, a fast walking, fast talking Irishman from Cavan, and Ian, a lanky, slow-ambling Californian. I had met them working on the Thornton overpass in Wellington. We had been working there for months, high up and exposed to the elements, demolishing and removing rusty old crash barriers…




The Travel Bore

If there is such thing as a travel community, the Travel Bore permeates every level of it. She (it is often a ‘she’, though travel verbosity is not exclusive to the sex) has been found in every hostel, hotel, beach hut and long-tail boat at one point or another. If you travel long enough and…




Epic NZ Road Trip – Part 2

I have previously lamented that New Zealand has rather draconian laws regarding freedom camping. One can receive hefty instant fines of $200 for camping in an undesignated area. And I have yet to see an area that is designated. Having said that, though not strictly freedom camping, there are a some spots that are not only free but…




Epic Road Trip NZ – Part 1

The plan was to head to Raglan with Jono and Nick, hang out with them for as long as they wished to stay, and for me to get a much needed job there. Jono would then chauffeur Nick around the rest of the island for the remainder of his vacation, and that would be that….




Raglan, Best Surfing Town in NZ?

Raglan wasn’t on my radar, in fact I had never even heard of it. Jono, Nick and I wanted to try our hand at surfing and Jono had heard that Raglan was a good place to do it. Nick is a new addition to our squad, Jono’s mate from back in Vancouver. We were also…




Paihia and Russell (Bay of Islands)

A week after arriving in Paihia on a rain-soaked, blustery night to find that there was no room in the inn, so to speak, I’m still here. I’ve had some luck with the hostel situation, managing to stay at Base Backpackers every night since my first, despite requiring others’ cancellations to do so. Incredibly this…




A Backpacker’s Tale of Three Towers

There is something timeless about a tower. Historians believe man have been building them from at least as far back as 8000BC. Although towers have many practical purposes, often used in the past for military defence, they are frequently emblematic of something greater. The Bible contains the famous story of the Tower of Babel, where…




Arrival in Mexico – Throwback Thursday

2 June, 2011 The flight from Auckland to Mexico City was fraught with problems. I had trouble processing my Esta (US security check). It was sorted in the nick of time, but when I landed in LA, security carted me off for an interview about my being in the US before. Apparently I had overstayed…




Bikram Yoga in Auckland

What is the purpose of travel, if not to experience new things? That is a philosophy I imagine I share with the vast majority of nomads and vagabonds around the world. And yet when an opportunity presented itself to do just that recently, I was reluctant. The reason for my reticence was that the proposed…




Manic Morning, and a Museum

Our initial intention was to go to Waiheke Island today, but after a farcical morning we ran out of time and settled for the Auckland War Memorial Museum instead. We slept in. Then I discovered there was no bodywash since I had left it in the (communal) shower the day before. If I have done…