Posts Tagged ‘blog4NZ’

Contrasts

Mittwoch, März 23rd, 2011

Being in New Zealand means the experience between a stunning scenic atmosphere and big smiles by getting crazy laughing a lot by getting to know the people or practicing one of the many crazy outdoor activities.

Your soul takes a deep breath:

Sneak a peak: Whakawerawera

Dienstag, März 22nd, 2011

Back in the big City of Sails after one week in Whaka Village. Or to be more exactly Whakawerawera The Thermal Village. It’s part of Rotorua – the smelly town. Anywhere there is a light breeze of sulfur. Sometimes you even see it, sometimes not.

picture: Diana Boeva

We had been four musketeers to achieve and complete works, anybody did before. We had been part of a cooperation between Nomads Hostels and Whaka Village. The so called M.A.D. – Making A Difference. And we really did. One week we went in, out and through the village. We (Craig – Canadian Kiwi, Paula – Dutch, Diana – Bulgarian and me, Isabelle – Germany) learnt a lot about Life and traditions of the Maori. Our timetable had parts of working units and cultural program.

The first day James (Maintenance Chief) and his co-workers took us behind the Presbyterian Church. We had been confronted with a jungle of fern, grasses and tea trees. An old walking trek should be recovered. And all by bare hands – one point to recognize not being in Germany. The Girls and Craig wore Gumboots. I guess the Kiwis love them because I had been always asked if I either don’t like to wear some. But I was fine with my own working boots.

To get an imagination of Whaka: The village isn’t a museum village. Various generations of Maori are living over there. It’s important for them to show the normal and the traditional way of life. We by ourselves had a guided tour first of all. You enter the village passing a small bridge. In the village anywhere there are small wood carved guards and anything seems to be surreal, nearly it seems to be a filmset. Over here a barrier, over there an abandoned house, here the laundry on line and a barking dog in the front garden, there a huge four by four passing with the sound of Hip Hop out of it… and anywhere steam. Building clouds.

Even a clear pool, looking like a mountain’s spring has a temperature on surface of 100 degrees Celsius. In depth of 50 meters it’s already 200 degrees and it’s heating up the deeper you go. In Whaka you also have one of the most active geysers in the country. From the beginning of settlement the Maori used the power of nature. To heat, cook and have a bath.

Whakawerawera is a village which wants to be getting to know. And therefore it had been our duty to recover the savaged treks. A few hours and many cubic meters of wood later, we already had recovered the way to the river. Our minds already played scenes of the future picnic area over there with hot springs are flowing in the river and under the shadow of the tea trees. A really nice picture in mind.

Thursday the 11th of November had been our last real working day. We recovered much more space through the bush. Had the view to two sparkling mud pools and that felt really adventurous. James had been that happy to see the mud pools he had last seen in his childhood. On top we discovered a new mud pool.

The nice thing by working outside in nature is: you see your progressions and you are happy even while getting dirty and maybe even while hurting yourself: you are just happy being outside. Outside in wild nature of Whaka village.

Powerful Places in the very North

Dienstag, März 22nd, 2011

Bay of Islands

90 Mile Beach



Do some Dunesurfing

The best place to eat fish’n chips

Be respectful at Cape Reinga

Getting closer…

Montag, März 21st, 2011

Getting from Europe to New Zealand takes a lot of time. Not to forget the time difference. From Germany to Heathrow, Heathrow to Hongkong, Hongkong to Auckland. I chose the shortcut. A flight time of about 26 hours.

In the years 2003 – 2006 I had been traveling a lot. Always long distance. Therefore I know about how different the feeling on board could be. But I never have been traveling that long. But maybe just as in real life: if you have a goal, you can make it.

And i chose the – now to say – one and only Airline to get to New Zealand. Air New Zealand. I got on the plane in Heathrow at night. And I really enjoyed the time on board. It’s not just the few centimeters more you have to spread your legs. It’s the hospitality of the crew and the equipment. Really nice fleece blankets, soft pillows, … everything fine.

On my flight going to Auckland I nearly already felt like being in New Zealand. A group of Maori shared the flight. Many of them of course tattooed, and some of them with facial Mokos. I had a big inner smile. I knew I would learn more about the Maori culture later on participating on a volunteer project.

After all these hours of flying the landing time approached. I had a walk and saw the Maori next to me looking out of the window. So I went there to sneak a peak as well. It was my first view on New Zealand.

I was a little bit excited to pass the officers, showed my hiking shoes and unfortunately they had a little bit of my parents’ garden green on it. No big deal. The officer put his swiss Knife out of his pocket and went to the rubbish to scrape it of. He asked me where I want to go and I told him about my plans. It was really nice. Out of the airport I looked for the bus not being sure which one to take. Therefore I went to the Supershuttle drivers and asked the first in the row if he had space for me. Normally  his van would be full but he said that I could have the seat close to him in front. My bagpack in the trailer and off we went. We had a really nice conversation. Asking me where I come from, talking about my plans. And he explained a lot to me about Auckland and New Zealand as well.

He dropped me close to my hostel near the University and Albert Park. I had been arrived.

All the time while traveling in New Zealand I always got to know nice people. Anytime I had a little talk. I love the Kiwi accent and often we laughed about me not finding the right words but anyway expressing myself. I’m not that bad in English but there are a few expressions you sure only know in your native language. And even if some of the Germans I met found it difficult to understand the Kiwis: I never had a problem. You just have to be open minded. Just as – for me – the Kiwis are. No matter where are you from, no matter how old you are.

…and your mind feels so easy

Sonntag, März 20th, 2011

just being on the road, seeing these wide landscapes