Monday, 30 March 2009

bits and bobs...

I so don't like that expression, but nothing else came to mind when writing this post...

Last weekend Patrick and I headed up to Marlborough Sound because Glynn and Jayne were getting married. Proper wedding of about 4 days...pfieuw! I think we all had a great time because of the location, the people, the 'getting to know each other' and the happiness of a wedding in general. Of course! I spend most of my time doing hikes, going kayaking with millions of dolphins, chat with new lovely people, play volleyball and admittedly I also got dressed up like a girl. And we danced...lots!

Loads of pictures are taken, none of them are mine. Patrick has some nice ones on his blog (and none of those are his...) Have a look and enjoy.

Then, finally, this weekend was a lazy one. Yes. A weekend in Christchurch! I made some nice dinners for friends as a thank you for always picking me up by car for all those wednesday walkies. Gin and tonic master was in the house as well...mjummie.
We (Steve, Patrick and myself) did some biking the next day and on Sunday Patrick arranged my Christmas present: a picnic. Lovely if I may say so! Nice fresh bread, good champagne and he even scored some Dutch cheese!

And on a more geeky note: I could not get around it anymore...communication to Europe is seriously failing so...I bought a laptop. Which meant that Patrick did the proper research online (geek as he is...), we went into several shops (read: he chats with the sales person while I drink my smoothie quietly next to them and try not to look to puzzled) and at the end I was more than happy to get the card and pay. And the next step was very predictable and recognisable too....Patrick wanted to play...Looks familiar, doesn't it Sjoerd??

Don't get me wrong though: I love it that way. Get the stupid thing going the way I would like to and then I will use it. Whoever wants to my guest. Next step Internet at home...what a mission...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Inland pack track

Two weeks ago we (a bunch of 8) took off for a nice beautiful (easy) hiking trip on the West Coast. The Inland Pack track. Sort of fairy tale scenery: secret side tracks, little and big caves, good weather, pitoresque camping site next to the river and a lot of hiking through the river itself. Good stuff.

Water from everywhere...where are the gnomes?

Funny water gnome...

Secret track...

Nice lunch spots...

Great food...and great people

Bums...and men doing the dishes...

Fantastic camping!

All pictures are taken by Berit: thanks!

Katrina has send me some excellent pictures of ice climbing from a few weeks ago. So I thought I would put them up to prove that I did it...(not that you can see it is me...but still) In all honesty it looks more scary on the picture than it really is...Let's say Katrina is a good action photographer!!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Ice climbing

In July 2008 I went on a hike with some friends and I made some really nice 'icy pictures'. During that freezing, snowy hike I learned that Paul and Bronwyn love ice climbing.

'Wauw' did I think back then. Since that time I've been dropping hints on how amazing that must be. I mean, ice climbing on a glacier: I have never been on a glacier before (when travelling around with Eefje last year, I saw it for the first time), let alone climb one...crampons, ice axes and just 'walk up' an ice wall...

So again, I was planning on having a cruizy weekend, but when Paul asked me whether I wanted to join them, I was totally excited to give it a go!

On Friday we took off to Franz Josef glacier, to climb it the next day. An hour walk to the glacier, and then an hour walking on the glacier to find that perfect first ice wall to climb. The walk itself was interesting enough: I love the ice (mind you: it is summer here!)

First climb was very interesting. Paul and Bronwyn explained to me what to do and off I went. First meter up was fine, and then adrenaline kicked in. Honestly? I haven't been that scared in a long time...I was just hammering those ice axes in, pulling myself up thinking '...must...get...up...there...'. Totally forgot about the technique, my feet, my hands etc: it was just purely using my arm power to get up.

Half way through I stopped to catch my breath and I thought about going down and never ever do it again or continue and do better next time. One guess what I did...However, not surprisingly that I was completely pumped when I finally reached the top.

Paul and Bronwyn must have giggled though...

So before the second climb I went through the technique again with Bronwyn and this time I absolutely loved it: it went great, I was thinking clearly and it was absolutely cool. I really liked it. When I got down, Bronwyn was smiling. Probably very satisfied.

No pictures of me climbing up the wall (will check with Katrina or Rebecca if they have any...)