Felicity was invited to give a talk and run a workshop in Sapporo, so we stayed a night in Osaka before flying north to Hokkaido.
We spent the afternoon near the station in Tamba, walking though a 9-level “vertical park” which I thought an interesting way of providing some green spaces for the citizens of the surrounding high-rises. We also explored some of the city’s shopping arcades before catching the limousine bus out to the airport where our hotel was sited a convenient 5 mins from the departure hall.
Continue reading Yoichi in Hokkaido
On day 7 we started the Kohechi section of the Kumano Kodo trail, which heads northwards from the town of Yagio to end at Mt Koya four days later. Each day the path crosses a mountain range via a series of passes, all involving over 800 metres of ascending, and usually almost as much coming down again.
Continue reading Kumano Kodo Kohechi Section
On the peninsular south of Osaka is a network of Japanese pilgrimage trails known as the Kumano Kodo. Written records from over a thousand years ago show that these have been used since ancient times.
Continue reading Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Section
If you turn off State Highway 1 at the point where it vears away from the Waikato River and heads west to Tirau you will find yourself on the Horahora Road. This follows the eastern bank down towards Arapuni. About half way along is a large reserve on the edge of the river, with a nice launching ramp, so that’s where we headed.
Continue reading Little Waipa Reserve
Our walk today began in the small town of San Martino sul Fiora, about half an hour’s drive from the previous night’s acommodation. We had just enjoyed one of the best breakfasts of the trip so far – fresh melon, muesli and yoghurt followed by the most vivid orange eggs I have ever seen. The taste reassured me that it was due to the quality of their feed rather than some chemical additive.
Continue reading Saturnia
On the southern side of Kawhia Harbour there are some interesting rock formations that we have been wanting to kayak to, and this weekend we thought the conditions might finally be right. Felicity needed to visit the local doctor to discuss student placements, so she arranged to meet him late on Friday afternoon. Continue reading Kawhia Harbour and Lake Ngaroto
Despite the fact that heavy rain was forecast for Saturday night we decided to spend the weekend kayaking, and the Rotorua area seemed the obvious choice. We left home on Friday morning, and made it as far as Karapiro by lunchtime. Continue reading Dunham Reserve and Blue Lake
For the first time since our return from Europe we’ve spent a weekend in the motorhome down in the Waikato. Felicity had an appointment at midday Saturday in Hamilton, but we hit the road early on Friday morning, and as usual she worked with her Surface Pro on her lap all the way down the motorway.
Continue reading Karapiro and Matamata
Today’s walk passed through the thermal spa town of Bagno Vignoni, one of the most interesting places in the Orcia Valley. As we walked down towards the river after breakfast we had some fantastic views of Rocca d’Orcia behind us up on top of the hill. Continue reading Rocca d’Orcia to San Quirico
For the last couple of days, our view has had White Island steaming gently on the horizon. We have both wanted to visit for ages, and even made a booking once, which was cancelled by wild weather. When we inquired at the Opotiki I-site yesterday and discovered that the conditions today would be as good as they ever get, we knew we had to head straight for Whakatane.
Continue reading White Island
It rained overnight at Morere Springs, but the sun was shining again by morning. We decided to hike the Mangakawa Track which climbs high above the hot pools before following the Mangakawa Stream back to the springs.
Continue reading Gisborne and Rere
When we first woke this morning, the sky was quite clear with an pink-orange glow. I was still drinking my bed tea when out to sea the sun popped over the horizon and shone straight in our bedroom window. It was obvious to both of us that it was going to be a kayaking day.
Continue reading Kopuawhara Stream and Mangaone Caves
After abandoning our plans to go away in the camper last week due to the horrible weather, we committed ourselves this weekend no matter what. I loaded the kayaks on Thursday so by late morning Friday we were ready to hit the road south, way before any motorway traffic to slow us down.
The only slight problem was that yet again we were short on cheese. A first-world problem to be sure, but needing to be rectified nonetheless. Continue reading Lake Rerewhakaatiu
This weekend we’ve been down in Whitianga, where Felicity was running a GP Research conference. We drove down on Thursday afternoon, not quite beating the traffic out of Auckland. Darkness fell as I drove over the Coromandel Ranges on the Kopu – Hikuai Rd.
Continue reading Whitianga Conference
Dunkly’s Place must be one of the most unimaginatively designed and badly situated motels we have ever stayed in – not surprisingly it is up for sale. It did provide everything we needed for the night, and there are lots of interesting things to do in the neighbourhood, so I shouldn’t complain.
Continue reading Lake Eacham
A friend of ours rented a holiday house located right on the shore of Lake Rotoiti over Easter, and invited a dozen of us to celebrate her forthcoming 75th birthday. We loaded our kayaks on the roof of the campervan and left early on Good Friday morning to beat the traffic. As we had hoped, the motorway was clear, so exactly an hour after leaving home we were stopped on the bank of the Waikato at Mercer eating breakfast.
Continue reading Easter at Rotoiti
Heavy rain forecast for Friday made us decide to hang around Hokitika so that we could get some work done using the wifi in their public library. The Motor Caravan Association has a campsite just across the bridge from town, so we found ourselves a spot there.
Continue reading Hari Hari
On Thursday and Friday last week Felicity was speaking at a rural doctors’ conference in Rotorua, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a few days away with her in the camper-van.
Continue reading GP Conference in Rotorua
Running from the junction of State Highway 2 and Lyons Rd to State Highway 1 at Mercer, this track is part of the Te Araroa Trail.
Continue reading Mangatawhiri River Track
When Felicity told me she was planning to fly to Whangarei last Friday, I suggested that she forfeit her ticket and drive up with me in the campervan instead.
Continue reading Ngawha Springs and Wairere Boulders