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January 2017

The absolutely terrific Abel Tasman

After hitting paradise beach after paradise beach in Belize, Mexico and Fiji – I can understand that you guys might think: doesn’t he ever get enough of beaches? And yes, I do. But at the same time you get tired of it, it’s also damn nice to spend a day in a place like this. I mean, look at it?!

The south island of New Zealand is famous for it’s many mountains and spectacular highlands, which is my main purpose going here. But on the way south I drove by this place, Abel Tasman, and thought I might just spend a day here since I soon will be spending about 14 days with the mountain goats.

On the ferry from Wellington to the south island I met a Canadian girl, so we traveled together for a couple of days including this paradise look-a-like place. The only thing not remind of paradise might have been the crowds. In paradise, there were only Adam and Eve – but in the main New Zealand holiday season we were not alone, but the NZ-people (called Kiwis) are super friendly so we didn’t mind. That would by the way be my first travel tip in New Zealand: DO NOT go in late December or early January. Everything is more expensive, crowded and hard to find accommodation. So hard I’m sleeping in the car.

We took a boat out to a scenic bay called Anchorage. You who have done you geography homework know that Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska, but this Anchorage is pretty far both distance  and picture wise. On the way out about 50 dolphins “joined” the boat ride. I choose to write join since they were literally one meter from the boat, such a nice experience. They always smile at you and look happy, and that makes it really hard not to smile back.

After half a day at this bay we had a 4 hour hike back to the car and my way further south to the might mountains could finally begin.

A new year, new adventures and finally New Zealand

There is one place that I’ve had on my list for a long time, New Zealand. I don’t know why I’ve never made it here. I guess the distance from home in combination with that you need at least 3 weeks is part of the reason. Now though, I’m finally here and ready to explore this hopefully fantastic place.

New Zealand is by far the place I’ve been looking the most forward to on this long trip and I have high expectations (even though I know that’s not always good). So why can’t I wait to explore this place? As you probably know by now, I’m an outdoor guy. I love hiking, mountains, beautiful nature and also beaches. All this you can find in New Zealand. Also I hope it will remind me a little bit of home (Norway) with the nature down here, even though it’s as far as you possibly can get from Norway. There is one other thing I really like too: road tripping! I’ve been road tripping many scenic parts of the world and there is no better vacation than a road trip. The freedom and flexibility to go where you want, when you want is worth paying for.

After 1,5 days in Auckland,  the biggest city in NZ where 1/3 of the people live, I headed south. Boromir from Lord of the Rings was right: “One does not simply walk into Mordor”. About a 5 hour drive from Auckland is Tongariro National Park which in LOTR (Lord of the Rings) is better know as Mordor. I did the hike through Mordor, called the Tongariro Crossing, a 19 km hike which is pretty tough but with amazing sceneries such as Mount Doom where Frodo climbs up in order to destroy the ring. That was my first little adventure down here and it was nice, but something says me it was just a teaser of what to come.

I drove straight from Tongariro to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, to “celebrate” New Year’s Eve. I seriously could not care less about that day. Just an overrated day with way too high expectations and everything is supposed to be so “perfect”. I also believe that people that need a new day or a new year in order to make a change, won’t be able to make that change anyway. People in order to make a change, can do it any day of the year. Another thing I find a bit ironic is that many people want to start a new, better and healthier life – but instead they wake up with a big hangover. There is one thing I like about this day though; it’s my mom’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Morsan!

Wellington was a short and windy experience. They say it’s always windy and the 1,5 days I spent there sure was windy, very windy. The wind usually doesn’t bother me, but since I was going to take a 3,5 hour ferry across the open ocean I was a little nervous I would get really seasick since I suffer from motion sickness. A double dose of motion sickness pills and the ferry felt like a dream, even though it was REALLY bumpy and I saw many green faces.

So, finally on the south island of New Zealand which is supposed to be the most beautiful of the two islands. Can’t wait to explore it and right now I’m really tempted to say just as Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit movie: “I’m going on an adventure!”

🙂