A Picnic @ Otaki Forks

The Grizzly Bear and I went out for a drive last weekend because we wanted to make the most out of the glorious sunshine that bathed the Capital. It was decided we’d drive up the coast (Kapiti area) and find someplace to have lunch ,sit around a bit more and then drive back to the city. We brought enough food with us – we had half a chicken each, 2 bottles of Lemon Lime and Bitters, a big 2L bottle of water and a bit of leftover orange juice. I thought we’d be having a picnic at Raumati Beach or perhaps at one of those little rest areas you see at the side of the road. No. The Grizzly Bear, apparently, had something else in mind.

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Mount Mayon and the Cagsawa Ruins

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

It’s embarrassing to admit but, even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for most of my life, I’ve never actually seen the country’s most majestic peak, the Mayon Volcano. Visiting Legaspi, Albay has always been on my to-do list but somehow, I never quite managed to get there. Finally, after years of procrastinating and missed chances, I had the opportunity to see this magnificent mountain.

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Easter Weekend Walk (Holdsworth – Kaitoke Track)

Guess who spent three full days out in the bush on Easter Weekend? Yes, you got it! Pretty little princess me! I know! I can’t believe that I went on another tramp – a real one this time (Tramping Partner insists that the first one he took me on was just a sampler, and not the real thing) – and guess what. Not only did I enjoy the Holdsworth-Kaitoke Track (well, I think I did anyway), I have … once again … survived to tell the tale.

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Tiptoeing on the Tip Track

Went on a 2-hour-tramp this afternoon. I needed to try out my new tramping boots and increase my fitness level so I’d be prepared to take on Tongariro in about three weeks. The closest track to home is the Tip Track or the Te Kopahou Reserve. I’ve been told that, even though it will be steep in some places, it’ll be generally a fairly cruise-y walk – and I suppose, in a way, it was. Yeah, I still huffed and puffed for most of the way but I made it to the top in one piece. In an ideal world, I should be walking uphill without stopping but, since I have my camera and there were lovely views – I paused every so often … to catch my breath, have a drink of water and take some pictures! 🙂

Here are some of the lovely things you’ll see if you walk the Tip Track.

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The Land Where Time Begins

It’s the first day of 2015 and what better way to celebrate the new year than to post pictures of my recent trip to Tonga. What’s the relevance of the New Year and Tonga, you may ask. Well, according to timeanddate.com and worldtimezone.com, Tonga is one of the countries that greets the New Year before the rest of the world. The first ones to usher in 2015 are Samoa and Kiribati (Christmas Island), followed by Chatham Islands and parts of New Zealand. Tonga falls in the third group, together with more parts of New Zealand (Wellington) and Fiji. I guess that’s why The Kingdom of Tonga is also known as “The Land Where Time Begins“.

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Skippers Canyon

Remember the workshop I went to in 2012? I mentioned it briefly in my entry “The Colours of Queenstown” – well, the photos on that post weren’t from the workshop itself. Those images were taken at the Queenstown Botanic Gardens and I think Jackie had time to spare so, while waiting, she showed me various ways to use my camera. The actual workshop was held at Skippers Canyon.

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