Already half-way…

Half-way through my trip as well as half-way through my two weeks in Wellington. Although I’m taking things easy, time just seems to fly by. As you can see from my tweets, I’m feeling very happy here and having a marvelous time. I guess a part of me will always consider Wellington my second home…

Continue reading “Already half-way…”

Arrival in Wellington

When I left New Plymouth yesterday morning, it was beautiful weather and I got to see the mountain (Mt. Taranaki, that is) in its full glory for the first time since my arrival.

Mt. Taranaki

I had such a great time with Denise, Ross & co. but honestly, I had butterflies in my stomach when the bus finally got to Wellington (it’s a 7 hour trip that took almost 8). First you get to see the city from the bay, and the bus stop is right at the train station, where the railway campus of Victoria University is, where I had most my classes. I ended up taking a taxi to my accommodation, a student hall that rents out its rooms during the summer trimester – I get to pay by the week for my very own room (very basic, with shared facilities but my own and with 4 gigs of free wifi to boot), which ends up being quite a bit cheaper than even a dorm room in the YHA would be.

Continue reading “Arrival in Wellington”


Visiting my oldest kiwi friends Denise & Ross (we met in California in 1999!) and their four kids is almost like coming home every time – when my bus arrived Monday night, they were waiting for me, the kids jumping up and down, screaming my name. It was so cool, especially considering that the youngest was only about a year old when I last saw her, but they’ve all completely embraced me as a family member that they just happen to see very rarely. A great way to start my time here!

the kids at play

Denise also took the time out of her busy days to go for some lovely walks with me, allowing me to revel in the beauties of both New Zeland forest and sea. This country is simply so stunning, it takes my breath away…

Taranaki - forest at Mt. Taranaki Taranaki - the beach around New Plymouth

You can find all my Taranaki photos here (not just this year’s but all of them), the photo set for this trip is here.

me at the Coastal Walkway

I’ll be here until Monday morning, when I’ll catch the bus to Wellington. As much as I love it here in New Plymouth and with my friends, going to Wellington feels like going home…

Photos & admin

It’s 7am – I managed to sleep until about 5:30, which isn’t too bad, I guess, considering the 12 hour time difference.

As always I’ll be posting my pics to Flickr, to a special set for this trip: New Zealand 2013

Right now no actual photos from NZ, because I spent most of yesterday on the bus where motion sickness makes me wary of snapping pics (not that the landscape wouldn’t have warranted it – the journey from Auckland to New Plymouth has lots of turns and bends, but is also rather stunning). This is the only one so far, taken after I finally arrived at the airport hotel:
Travel time!

I’ll be spending the week with my friends Denise, Ross & their four kids near New Plymouth, so I have lovely wireless access. This gave me the opportunity to find a new Twitter plugin, so we’re rid of those annoying single line posts and should get a daily digest of all my tweets instead.

I promise the next post will actually be an update about the trip! 🙂


Arrived in Singapore and was met by Amy last night. Unfortunately I now have a proper cold/flu and am coughing and running a temperature, in addition to some inexplainable stomach problems. Despite this I’m enjoying spending time with Amy again and we had fun shopping in the city today. Monsoon is early this year, so currently it’s raining outside.

Singapore Singapore

Also, a photo of Nancy’s lovely parents and brother in front of their house in Claremont (suburb of Perth):

Perth: Last post from down under

Leaving Australia tomorrow to head to Singapore for 3 days. I’ve had a lovelylovely time here in Perth, seriously, mostly thanks to Nancy and her awesome family, who spoiled me rotten. 🙂

More things I did here: Explored the beautiful Kings Park Botanic Gardens, visited the lovely Perth Zoo, another trip to Fremantle (or Freo, as the locals call it), a family outing down the coast, lunch with Chris and Gill from the Uluru tour and Scarborough Beach with Fiona (who I’d met on the bus to Monkey Mia) and her boyfriend. Oh, and played with Nancy’s three cute cats (Rogue, Melma and Lenny) and a lonely little dog named Alby on the way to the train station here. I might also have indulged in a little bit of retail therapy and caught a bit of a cold, which I hope will go away and stop bothering me.

Perth Perth Perth Perth Perth Perth Perth Perth

As always, all photos can be found on Flickr here. And a cute little video of a monkey playing at the zoo:


On Monday I arrived at my final Australian destination, where I’m staying with my friend Nancy and her family. I’m enjoying myself a lot, and not just because I have my own room (even with ensuite bath!) and wireless internet… *g* On Tuesday I met up with Barbara (who I’d met in Broome) and we went to the pretty harbour town of Fremantle. Yesterday I explored Perth’s CBD (Central Business District) and went to see a concert – Panic at the Disco, Cobra Starship and The Academy Is… – which was awesome despite it getting quite squishy in the first few rows sometimes. Almost the best bit was that I ran into Panic’s drummer, Spencer Smith, in the street while out sightseeing. 🙂

Perth Perth Perth Panic in Perth Perth Perth Perth Perth Panic in Perth

As always, all photos can be found here. Less than a week now until I leave down under and head to Singapore for a couple of days…

Also, I discovered another little movie I made in Monkey Mia – pelicans vying for fish leftovers at sunset: