embark on the sea,
and at last wake up in..."
"I pack my trunk, embrace my friends,
"Arriving in the hinterland
with only the vaguest plans is a liberating event.
It can be a solemn occasion for discovery, or more like an
irresponsible and random
haunting of another planet."
After getting over the perplexity of arriving in Auckland, I am almost instantly thrown outside the city to see what it is I am truly amazed by. Refrain from licking the glass of the bus window. Everything here has rolling beauty.
"Nothing induces concentration or inspires memory like an alien landscape or a foreign culture..."
We can never have enough, which allows
us to never be stagnant.
Cathedral Cove, NZ
These other creatures,
the connections are fresh and honest,
we are all here for a similar reason.
Is it possible that we were all in a rut?
The Pinnicles, NZ.
Waitomo and Raglan, NZ
Sometimes going to a place a little naive ends up being a positive thing. When you're friends say, "We're going on a hike tomorrow," of course you say, "Yes!" When you realize it's about a 4 hour treck just to the summit you say, "Yes?" I know it wasn't Everest, but after the feeling returns to your legs...
you feel as if you can do anything
"I could never properly remember
the points of the compass.
Can a traveler be more innocent than that?"
"Are you from the sun
or the moon?"
Somewhere North of Wellington, NZ
It's well known that travel is not only about the discovery of new places, but the encounters of new people. I have been nothing but lucky with the locals I've met and hitched rides with. Here the "southern hospitality" is spread country-wide.
Hitchhiking Day One
1. First ride, a local Maori man with plenty of tattoos. His shaved head with a rat ponytail made me laugh.. The car felt warm while swelling with island music.
2. Second ride, more than supprised when I hopped in the back seat to see a baby about 8 months old. His name was Colby and I helped his mom feed him blueberries. The smell of milk and food made me a little queazy, but I throughly enjoyed the mothers constant car narration in baby talk. This couple used to hitchhike before they had the little one, and also told me there's nothing to do in Turangi except smoke weed.
3. Third ride, another couple. The lady driving had a beautiful Maori tattoo on her leg that meant growth. Her copilot just got back from photographing in India. He also mentioned how he might have tuberculosis...
4. Fourth ride, a lone woman who loves to pick up hitchers. Had lots of good advice and stories. She once brought a hitchhiker home with her and let him stay in her flat. Eventually she had to call the police to have him removed, talk about a 5th stage clinger.
5. Fifth ride, a bearded beer bellied man in a pick up truck. He had just got back from a 20 year stay in Australia. Full time chef and a part time demolition derby driver. We even stopped to look at a car for sale, but it wasn't his style.
6. Sixth ride, these three stoner kids, not a day older than 20, turned out to be the most reliable ride. Headed directly toward Turangi, the drive with them had to be at least 2 hours total, the whole time listening to one Cypress Hill cd on repeat. Each of them had graduated high school and were just working or "looking for work" (bullshit). The kid in the back seat next to me had recently dropped out of the New Zealand army. I passed him the joint as he asked me, "Do you believe in the illuminati?" I'm not sure that this ride was even real.
Hitchhiking Day Two
1. First and only ride, Jamie, a true kiwi with good timing. Got picked up right before it started to rain. It was Easter Sunday and this man wearing his pajamas, a backwards cap, and no shoes. He had just dropped the kids off with their mom and was headed to work at home in Taupo. Since he worked for himself and wasn't in a rush, he decided to play tour guide and make the 30min ride into an adventure. We went to Huka Falls and a camping hot spot about 20 minutes past Taupo. Then I got a personal escort to the front steps of my backpackers. Hell yes.
the only photos from the hitchhike
Have you ever been
by a landscape?
Tongariro Crossing, NZ
could have easily
"There is a place where time stands still...
as a traveler approaches this place from any direction,
he moves more and more slowly.
His heartbeats grow further apart,
his breathing slackens,
his temperature drops,
- A. Lightman
Castle Hill, NZ
his thoughts diminish, until he reaches the dead center
Wellington to Turangi
Turangi to Taupo
near Queenstown, NZ
Milford Sound, NZ
"The nearest thing to writing a novel
is traveling in a
-Sunrise with Seamonsters
Spirit. Antique song.
History lit, kept close to home and child.
Momma weeps all the while.
Her dying frame and living name play tag, slowly.
Rangitoto Island and One Tree Hill, NZ
Gillepsies Beach, NZ
On this trip I've had the amazing oppurtunity to revisit a place that has absolutely captivated me since my first encounter. Said to be one of the spiritual centers of the world by the Dali Lama, Castle Hill has undeniable energy. Aside from having another day to explore this magical place, I also saw my first real clear glimpse of the southern alps and met the king and queen.
Castle Hill, NZ
rainbows of Punakakiki and Queenstown, NZ
in an interesting place
" Yet to be anonymous and traveling
is an intoxication."
-"The Kingdom by the Sea"
outside Auckland, NZ
travel seems to be a blend of
"the importance of elsewhere,"
"the necessity to move."
Waiheke (Waifr3aky) Island, NZ