A Travellerspoint blog

open road

Words are words
And these are those
At least that’s how this story goes

Months comprised of constant travel
Days spent under foreign gavel

Time asleep at the wheel,
I took advantage, copped a feel

Masjids, Buddhas, holy mountains,
Tuk-tuk’s, rickshaws, electric fountains

Beaches, leeches cars and boats,
Incense, yoga, I hit the note

Surfing, swirling in the zone,
Lacking possessions, even a phone

A dragon, a manta, a buffalo
Where am I? Don’t you know?

Western ways and culture shock
A wary stranger, part of the flock?

Adventure found and good times had,
Pennies left, not all that bad

A genki gaijin through the door,
Pacific answered, the rest is lore

City of Jesus you gave me shelter
But weather a mess, helter skelter

Manchester mistress, an Avon punt,
I just want a beer, where should I hunt?

Rugby rituals on Saturday night,
Look, there’s an Aussie, let’s start a fight!!!

Up the hill to take in the view,
Down in Lyttleton, we’ll have a few

Round the bend, the end is here,
Glaciers, fiords all so near!

Winter be gone, spring come forth,
I’m heading out yonder, and then up north

Road to nowhere cradle me gently,
I’m taking my time, and there is a plenty.

Posted by ggithens 11:15 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

domesticated, briefly

all seasons in one day 0 °F

time has passed, yet situations remain unchanged. stagnant. motionless. still wandering in thought though......

christ's city doesn't seem to embrace religion with any enthusiasm, but rugby may well take its place. saturday evening gospels with ritual dances and bloodshed. a few gory episodes and a victor emerges, usually wounded. enought drama to captivate a nation, and a fairly bored american.

a few excursions to nearby destinations have dotted the calendar, but have been few and far between. miserable weather, high petrol prices and apathy are the main reasons. sounds like domestic life's nuisances are bothering me again.

dutch, french and british explorers all landed in nz with adequate seafaring vessels. place names are varied accordingly, with haast, a personal favorite, port louis-philipe, now known as akaroa, and britain's christchurch representing some european flavor. add maori into the mix and you have a pretty standard colony. ahem, former colony.

akaroa's french street names and views of the banks peninsula make for a pleasant day trip from the city of god. pleasant is an apt adjective. nothing tingles the senses. a lighthouse made for a nice photo though.


the queen's birthday and easter, both indicitive holidays for a secular and sovereign nation, gave me two excuses to spend some time in the party-mountain town, queenstown. inventive name, eh?

i cannot slight the scenery in this country though. simply superb. a three-day circular walk around the greenstone and caples tracks was a welcome break from the monotony of gridded streets and grey days.

sleeping under the stars, beneath a thin layer of feathers, was also a satisfying experience. roaming through the paddocks and valleys was quintessential new zealand. what i will be doing in about two months time, when temperatures rise and petrol prices fall.


spider webs

setting sun

i've met more than a few friendly souls down here, and it can be said the people you meet shape your experience. i've been fortunate enough to have an awesome job with wonderful people coming and going every few weeks. the students at the language school are sometimes wide-eyed and gullible, but definitely keen to have fun. and although languages seem to separate human beings into groups, there has been a great mix of culture, skin color and laughter in my brief existence in christchurch. without mates, all i have is a guitar a full backpack.

sign of the kiwi

queenstown/tekapo/mt. cook

Posted by ggithens 18:35 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

kiwi land


sunny 73 °F
View kiwi land->s. island on ggithens's travel map.

standing still and watching days flutter by

christchurch was my destination and is now my home. fortuitous events unfolded as luck intertwined with effort. or that's how i'll spin this yarn. forty-eight hours of job-searching yielded my current position here and i'm all the better for it. a short week after arriving in kiwi land i had lined up a teaching job and was on the road with a little brother of sorts.







we embarked from christchurch heading west over arthur's pass. my first glimpse of the mountains didn't drop my jaw, but a dip in the icy cold water of a cave numbed some body parts that like to be warm. the pain subsided within a few minutes in the glaring sun, and a trio of backpackers were happily tossing a frisbee to and fro.






we stayed nearly every night by water, enduring the hideous flies for a morning dip in crystal clear waters. the days i spent marveling at rugged country with snow-capped mountains. we hiked up to a glacier and drank its melting remains. the crisp, smooth liquid lined my throat with refreshment. a taste unrivaled by any corporate engineer.





moving waters and still lakes primed us for a trip down the left coast, full of nothing and everything at the same time. colossal glaciers with snap-happy tourists and desolate beaches with seals. a combination of landscapes so close in distance yet so distant in mind. we made our way past haast to jacksons bay, the end of the road on the west coast. little towns became signposts for beaches and nature walks. the end of the road proved to be nothing miraculous, but something so simple and so kiwi. a fishing village with smiling faces and views of the mountains.





crossing back over the s. alps and we were greeted by looming mountains and freezing-cold rivers. a hearty fire with s'mores galore warmed us up for a morning of rain. luckily we darted ahead of the rain clouds and into wanaka, a lake town surrounded by hills. a day hike afforded gorgeous views of the pristine lake, and as always, our couchsurfing hosts were gracious.






rounding out the mini-tour was a stop at mt. cook national park. camping in the bush outside the park was a treat, as we could see the top of mt. cook over a mountain and hear a stream trickle through the briar patches. a day walk up to ball glacier and its hut provided a bit of exercise, while crashing glaciers in the valley provided treacherous noise. the final day was muddled with mist and rain, leaving us running down the path in search of cover. the yha was kind enough to offer free hot showers to us in exchange for nothing, and we gladly accepted.



making my way back to christchurch via lake tekapo was also a nice journey, albeit from the seat of a car and later on the seat of a bus. living in one place for two weeks now has me thinking, maybe i can do the domestic thing again. i'll have to as funds for future travels are not in place yet. the city offers cultural, social and natural pursuits aplenty, so i shouldn't be complaining. life is awesome.

Posted by ggithens 21:25 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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