May 10, 2004

Home on the Range

Well I've been home for almost a month! Amazing... I finally got around to getting my photo galleries updated. I lowered my standard a bit this time around in order to provide a better idea of what my journey has been like, even if the photos are a bit out of focus/have mist on the lense/etc :) You can see the galleries here.

In order to provide complete coverage of my trip, I'll back up a bit. I did head up to Paihia and dove on the Ranibow Warrior. It was a very interesting wreck above the water and reasonably nice underwater, although I was COOOOOOLLLLDDDD :) Not actually that bad (I'm sure all the European divers on my list will be bombarding me with COLD stories now ;) but enough to detract from the dive. I then went to Poor Knights Island and did a couple of dives. The first one was absolutely fantastic. I totally loved the underwater setting, we spent most of the time in a swimthrough that was gigantic, just noodling around. I had two buddies who were into taking photos so we didn't swim a whole lot, just explored, looked around. The rocks were covered in something that looked a lot like lichen... I'm not sure if there is underwater lichen or if it was some form of coral. It was everywhere and loads of colors and textures. Everything was in-tact. Such a different experience to diving in Thailand and Indonesia where you are always having to deal with the devistation wrought by dynamite fishing.

After diving Poor Knights, I headed back to Aukland for a few days. Which I mostly spent on the internet starting to look at work possibilities.

The night before I flew home, I finanly got a copy of Tim Guest's book My
Life in Orange
. Tim and I lived in a few communes together while we were growing up and this is his story... So in a way it is my story too... I ended up reading it on the plane, got through the whole book between Aukland and LA. I laughed, and cried, I struggled to understand, and I enjoyed stiring up old memories. We had a lot more experiences in common than I realized. And yet I feel that the effects of our childhoods was quite different for each of us. What it is to be individuals! I found Tim's pros alternately very tender and cuttingly direct.

When I got home to Boulder, I had a great appartment waiting for me. I have mostly moved in. I'm right next to the heart of down-town, and somehow I still have an empty lot next to me with loads of wild flowers in it! I have an internet connection and I'm in the process of re-launching my consulting company. I'm working on an eCommerce solution with Pekoe Sip House, which is a gourmet tea shop here in town. And I'm in the process of moving to a new server and portalizing it. This is a community site for kids that grew up in the Osho commune...

I'll probably make one more post to this weblog in the next week or two and then I'll let it go dormant. I'll leave it up on the net as a testement to my journey, but future rants will go to my company weblog which is currently under development.

Many of you are old friends. Thank you so much for staying connected while I have been on this amazing journey. Some of you are friends I have met along the way. You guys, please keep in touch. If you visit the US, come stay with me! Or just drop me an email every now and then :)

This journey has been such an amazing experience. I've met so many wonderfull people, I've seen so many amazing things. I've lived on beaches, eaten in 5 star hotels, I've drunk tea with street people, fallen in the ocean with my clothes on in a drunken stuper, hiked mountains and traversed canyons to see spectacula sunrises, I've been on all sorts of transport from planes and helicopters to mules, motorcycle taxies, boats, trains and of course busses. I've eaten so many new things, from Paroda and Egg Curry (breakfast) in Kerala, rice with raw eggs (gross! breakfast) in Japan, to Circadas in China. I've had fantastic food from street stalls in Bangkok and I'll never forget the pancake man or the samosa man from Koh Tao... Stinky Tofu in Taiwan... I've enjoyed tea culture on 5 continents. I've been to markets selling clothes, cattle, food, flowers, jewlery, "antiques", fish and just about anything made of wood or plastic! I've read nearly 100 books, from Harry Potter to Confessions of an English Opium Eater. I have no idea how many temples I've seen, but the number is astronomical! I've been touched by people who are a world away and yet they feel so close. Above all I have found a ground inside myself which feels firm. But not too firm! ;)

I'm excited about what the future holds. Thanks again, for hanging out with me on this journey, and please keep in touch!

Very Much Love,

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2004

South Island WOW!!!

Yet again, it has been ages since I posted. So I'll try and keep the following breif (for my sake :)... here are the highlights...

From Milford, I headed to Queenstown. Which was really dissapointing! The setting was beautifull, but the town felt like it had lost its soul.

Wanaka on the other hand was lovely! Also a great setting... great cafes and shops, friendly locals, wonderfull walks. I picked a hitchhiker up when I was driving from Queenstown to Wanaka and we went and hiked the Rob Roy trail... ~4 hours to an amazing glacier with loads of waterfalls... lovely walk... lots of parrots :)

The next stop was Fox Glacier... I was there for one full day and it was the first day in 3 weeks when they were able to take helicopters up on the glacier!!! WOW!!!!!! I had no idea that ice could be so blue or so big or so dramatic... (I guess I had an idea, but up close it was AMAZING!)

From fox, I headed up the west coast, did a one day Jade carving workshop... at Bonz'n'Stonez... Also a great experience, wonderfull thing to do on a rainy day :)

Lots of driving up to Golden Bay which is the north west area of the south island. I stayed at a lovely backpacker near the Pancake Rocks and then made it up to Motueka for a cool day of sea kyaking in the Abel Tasman park...

Made it up to a super cool backpacker called Shambala (Thanks Wade!!!). This was the lovliest hostel I have ever stayed in. The whole place was run with alternative energy, the garden was lovely, loads of sculpture, private beach that was deserted for 2 hours in both directions... In their info book, they recommend going to Wharariki Beach, which was one of the lovliest beaches I have ever seen! Wow, ~6 seals within 2 meters playing with eachother for 20 minutes! amazing caves, amazing dunes.... the weather was iffy, but again, it just made the whole experience even more magical!!! I hope the pictures come out :)

My next major stop was the Hopewell backpacker in Marlborough Sound, which was also really amazing! (Thanks Marie!!!). I spent most of a day out on the sound fishing (didn't catch a thing, but it was fun anyway :) I also read "Dead Famouse" by Ben Elton, which was recommended by one of the owners... Very cool murder mystery that takes place during the filming of a reality TV show.... I have to say that these shows apeal to me much more comming out of a book than out of the telly :)

Next stop Kaikura, I was hoping to go SCUBA diving with seals or at least whale watching, but the weather started getting really bad! so I had to just skip it.

I headed back to Christchurch... Had a couple of relaxed days... spent a really lovely afternoon with one of Jess' friends who works in antarctica... Yo Anne, hope you have a safe trip home! :)

This afternoon, I flew back up the Aukland. I have a week, not sure what I'll do... I'm going to look into diving on the Rainbow Warrier wrek... or at least visiting the bay of islands... I don't feel very motivated though... I'm really excited to be heading home so soon!

Loads of Love,

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 03:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2004

Hello from New Zealand!

So much to report since my last post.

I have booked a ticket home on April 16th, so all of you in and around Boulder, I'm looking foward to seeing you soon!

I arrived in Aukland on the 1st of March and spent a couple of days orienting, booking a rental car, airline tickets to Christchurch, etc... Not much to report about Aukland, except a lovely Greek meal and quite severe culture shock! The latter being mostly to do with prices and my trying desperately to translate Hello, Thank You, Yes, No, etc into... English... yikes ;) My brain would try desperately to translate and then realize none was necessary... made me feel sort of dizzy.

Christchurch is a nice town. I esp. enjoyed the Botanical gardens. But didn't feel drawn to spend tons of time. I picked up my rental station wagon (equiped with bed, bedding, stove, pots, plates, table, tent....) and headed out to Akaroa which is about 100k east and south of Christchurc. It is a little town on the edge of a lake that formed when the ocean broke through the walls of a double volcano... Akaroa held my first NZ Experience! Swiming with the Hector's Dolphins! We suited up and headed out toward the ocean. We found a bunch of dolphins and jumped in... OH MY GOD!!!! It was sooooooo cold... For the first 5 minutes I couldn't figure out how someone had gotten me to pay money for something so painfull! However, after about 5 minutes the numbness (just kidding) settled in and I had a wonderfull 40 minutes swimming, diving, singing (apparently it attracts the dolphins) with the dolphins... It was really lovely!

Rather than stay in Akaroa, I decided to head south and see if I could find a camp ground... By 8:30, I stoped at a cafe to ask for directions to a camp-ground and found out that there wasn't one for a long way... and I was almost out of petrol... and no petrol stations were open... Some locals invited me to stay at their house... how cool! I felt a bit too much like a charity case and also really wanted to spend my first night in the car on my own... So I headed out of town in the direction I wanted to be traveling in the morning and pulled off on a small road by a river, and just camped about 2k down the road... Was lovely, woke up to the sound of water, birds chirping, and a lovely pink sky!

I headed down to the Otago Peninsula (just east of Dunedin). Checked into a realy great backpacker (McFarmers) and then headed out to search for Penguins. We saw a few, but they were far away... The next day I went to my second NZ Experience :) there is a Penguine sanctuary on the peninsula, so I went and had a tour... Very cool! I saw the yellow eyed penguins... they were shedding so landlocked for a month... The tiny blue penguines were out at sea when I was there so I didn't get to see them... I hope to catch them somewhere else along the way.

From Dunedin, I took the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins region... Wow! Spent my first night camping by an estuary, then ended up spending a few days setting up a computer to do network traffic shaping at the local internet cafe... I know I'm a geek, but it was fun! :) Incidentally, the weather was not very nice all of these days, so it worked out well :)

From Owaka, I headed into the Catlins proper. I spent several days meandering through small villages, beaches, waterfalls, walking tracks, caves, petrified forrest... What a stunning area and sooooo few people! I have read that NZ has just under 4 million people and 80 million sheap... It definately feels that way! I especially enjoyed walking along deserted beaches looking for Paua (sp?) shells and lovely stones, and walking in the forests (which apparently cover 30% of NZ)... The forests here smell so wonderfull compared with the ones in Colorado. I'm sure it has to do with the moisture in the air here, but it seems like there are new wonderfull smells every few feet... wow! The land here feels very old and also very pristine! Well the land that hasn't been turned into grazing land... but even that feels very wild.

From the Catlins, I headed through Invercargil to Manapori where I booked onto an overnight cruise of Doubtfull Sound with the fantastic Deep Cove Charters. Chris runs a small (max 6 passengers this is compared to the other option which carries 70 passengers) yacht that is fantastic! The weather was very overcast and drizzly and somehow it just made the whole experience even more cozy and magical! We went fishing, Chris put on SCUBA gear and came up after 10 minutes with about 8 HUGE crayfish! We had crayfish for lunch and some blue cod that we caught for dinner! There were two other guests on the boat... it was super fantastic! I woke up to the Sound of Silence! Everything was sooo still.... Thanks so much Chris!!!

Yesterday I drove up to Milford Sound very slowly and then back down to Te Anau for a rather boring glow worm cave tour. The drive up to Milford was really great, as were some hikes along the way. The scenery is a bit like the Morain(sp?) park in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountains and vallys are very clearly created by glaciers. I schedule a day off today to send email, walk around the lake, read, plan the next few days, etc.... Feels very luxurious! Tomorrow, I'm heading up to Queenstown/Wanaka...

That covers most of the large things that I've done so far, but doesn't feel like it comes close to describing what an amazing country this is. In some ways it is very much like England. The size, the way that fields and roads are "planned"... Villages... Pubs... Meat pies... And yet there are so few people... And there seemes to be a much wider diversity of flora... and quite different fauna :) It is very green and clean. The beaches are wonderfull... there are loads of birds... oh and you can get fush and chups everywhere... and they are gooooood! :) The people here are quite friendly and the services although sparse are mostly very good value (not necessarily cheap)! It's a bit strange being in such a developed country and having to plan where to get cash and petrol because there are 100k gaps in services... this is mostly charming rather than annoying!

Very much Love!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)
Site powered by Movable Type 2.661  
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License.