Meandering around Mana

About two years ago, a couple of members of the APPS, the Photography Club I’m a member of, decided to go off and photograph the boat houses lining the wharf at Mana. I have honestly never been to Mana (well, I may have driven past it on my way up to Auckland, but that doesn’t count) so I’ve never seen the boat houses they were all raving on about. My curiosity got the best of me so I decided I’d tag along to see what the big fuss was all about.

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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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Mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines!

A few weeks ago, a photographer friend and I went on a 2-week photo-tour in the Philippines (yes, my country of birth). We spent a week in Cebu, a day in Bohol, a weekend in Albay, a day in Corregidor, and the rest of the time was spent in Manila. It’s quite exciting because, to be totally honest, even though I spent the first 31 years of my life there, I really haven’t been to Cebu, nor Bohol, nor Albay (to see the Mayon Volcano) nor Corregidor (which is about a 2-hour ferry ride from Manila Bay).

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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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The Catacombs of Paris

As I have mentioned in a previous post, my overseas trip last May was the most unplanned of all my travels. I seriously didn’t have a detailed itinerary and just went where my feet took me. On my first day in Paris, my host gave me a map of the city and while I was perusing the ins and out of the Metro, I noticed that, situated at South Western part of Port Royal were the Catacombs of Paris. Being the macabre person that I am (I admit that – I love Zombie flicks and other scary films – however those who know me can attest to the fact that I’m as bright and cheerful as a sunny day in January) I desperately wanted to see this place. I’ve read about the Catacombs in text books and I think we discussed this briefly in one of the many history classes I had to take while I was at Uni.

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Pont Des Arts (love lock bridge)

To be totally honest, my recent trip to Europe and the United Kingdom was probably the most ill-planned of all my travels. I normally have every little detail mapped out: I’d have a plan of action for every minute I’m away and I would follow that schedule to a “T”. Yes, I’m strange like that – I really think I’d make a great contender in The Amazing Race – except that I’m diminutive and can’t carry a giant backpack the way those contestants do. BUT — I digress.

As I was saying … when I went away last May, I seriously didn’t have any plans whatsoever. All I knew was that I’ll be in these cities on these days – and even though I had “must see places” (for Paris these were the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower) – I kinda just went with the flow and let myself be surprised by what I would discover.

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