Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Homeward bound

As much as I don't want to think about it, it's almost time to fly out and head back to good 'ol Southern Ontario. If that's not a depressing thought, I don't know what is! Well, it could be worse... I could be going back to my old job at Turnpike. :)

The last week here on the North island has been a pretty good trip. In case you haven't seen any of my new pictures I've uploaded, I rented yet another car... and got a pretty good deal on this one. I had a 2005 Nissan Pulsar with only 3650 kms on it, and for a good price since it was an Auckland car and I was returning it from Wellington for them. It's just so much more comfortable than being wedged with my guitar into buses, and I really don't think it cost me much more than it would have to bus it. Plus it was another 5-speed, and a ton of fun to drive through the twisties. heh.

The day I rented the car in Wellington was a beautiful sunny day after all that rain, a sure sign I was about to head out on the road. I think I was in much better shape than Marc as well, so the walk to pick up the car wasn't too bad for me. We did another pub crawl the night before, and somewhat more successfully this time since there were more than two bars in town! I actually managed to drive a couple hundred kilometers up the west coast that afternoon and stayed the night in Hawera. In the morning I checked out Egmont National Park and Mount Taranaki, a famous volcano close to where I stayed.

From there I drove across to Whakapapa, which was just south of Turangi and close to a couple volcanoes. These were mostly covered by cloud, but it cleared up and was very nice the next day. I did the Tongariro Crossing, said to be the best single day walk in New Zealand... Dani tried to do this but said on her blog it was shut down due to high winds. Really too bad, because it was probably the best thing I've done here in New Zealand... besides the fire show in Picton. :) The walk was 17kms, and supposed to take 6-8 hours to complete. I had to do the one side trip though, a climb of about 600 additional metres up Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom). That was a pretty intense scramble... I'm really glad I climbed that one mountain outside of Queenstown so I knew I was in good enough shape to climb this one. I actually ended up being the first one up the volcano in the morning besides a couple that had camped in a hut nearby. heh. I managed to climb a little over 800 metres with only a couple one minute breaks. :) (I know, I'm a showoff. haha) The way down was interesting, even more so because I was wearing sandals. From one guy on the way down: "You're wearing sandals!! Man, you must be tough!" To which I replied, "Tough or stupid?" It wasn't really a climb down, it was more of a slide.

Anyways, I should let some pictures do the talking for those artsies reading. hahaha.. soooooory Mel! :)

Those were Mt. Ngauruhoe with about 600 metres left to climb, Red Crater, and the Emerald Lakes, all along the walk. See the rest of my new pictures.

I had pretty lousy weather the next couple days, where I went to Hot Water Beach and a nice holiday park just outside of Auckland. At Hot Water Beach you're supposed to be able do dig a hole in the sand at low tide, and have your own personal hot tub because of the hot springs. It was cloudy and drizzly though so I didn't feel like waiting around for a few hours for the tide to change. The holiday park the next day was great though, I got to borrow a kayak for free and they had a nice little swimming hole right beside my tent site.

So now I'm at my last stop here in Auckland... had to drop off the car a couple days ago, and now I'm waiting around for my flight in less than a day! Gotta pick up a few souvenirs and books for the plane and I'm done. Sigh... When I get home my parents are leaving for a couple weeks to Costa Rica, and I've got their car and house. (Yes, everyone's invited to the party. Parties. heh.) So everyone drop me an email and let me know what you're up to when I get back, cause I wanna do some more road tripping!

Everyone's asking me how I feel about going home... I gotta admit, it's gonna be pretty strange to have to look for a real job again and start paying off debts. But there's a lot I miss, so even if I had the choice to stay longer I'd probably head back. My first meal when I get back: Kraft Dinner with root beer to drink. Mmmmmm! :)

Anyways, it's been fun keeping the blog updated, and not only because it gives me a chance to get my internet fix. So... I'd like to hear from people who've been reading that haven't left comments, or haven't commented in a while... just leave a comment under Anonymous and put your name at the bottom of your comment so I know who it is! My handy little counter tells me my blog has had over 5000 views in the last year, and I don't think anyone I know has been bored enough to check a few times a day for updates! Well... maybe Mel. :) But I know you only look at the pictures.

See everyone soon!



At February 01, 2006 10:26 p.m., Blogger Cruwysinator said...

Heh heh...I skipped a paragraph and then saw "pictures for you artsies".

Don't forget my pearls and koalas and...sparkly things!

And get a haircut, you hippie!

At February 02, 2006 12:36 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! I decided I would also like a didgerydoo...or however you spell it. So...get on that.

At February 02, 2006 4:48 p.m., Anonymous allie said...

I believe you owe me some pearls as well. And other fun things. And a kangaroo. wooo hooooooo

At February 02, 2006 5:24 p.m., Blogger Pamela said...

I think its safe to say that everyone wants a big stack of exciting presents! hahaha.

At February 03, 2006 7:41 a.m., Blogger Pamasaurous said...

Brad has changed his mind and now doesn't want any parties in Belleville while his mom and dad are away!!!

At February 03, 2006 9:04 a.m., Blogger martin said...

See you tomorrow night for the big party! And see you tonight in Toronto!

At February 03, 2006 9:52 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've been reading your blog too :(
but only b/c i was very bored for the past year or so.
very nice pictures, good stories.
welcome back.


At February 03, 2006 1:44 p.m., Blogger Cruwysinator said...

I will also be at said party.

Burninating the countryside.

At February 03, 2006 5:37 p.m., Anonymous Allie said...

Sweet!! Party!! I'm afraid i may have to hold off on the excessive ass kicking for a few days Brad. I broke my back. I'll explain later. TOMORROW mwa haha!

At February 05, 2006 7:34 p.m., Blogger Waynem said...

Hi, your blog's been a great read, it's let me travel vicariously while I've been between holidays and inspired me to start planning for my own overseas odyssey. So where's the next trip?

At February 06, 2006 12:43 a.m., Blogger Bradtholomew said...

Allie's already got her kangaroo. He was a little jet lagged, but he's hopping around like a... trooper now? Sure, why not. Your koala's on the way, don't worry. He's not moving as much as before, but I'm sure he'll snap out of it after a night out in our tree. Everyone else's presents are on their way, Martin and Allie already got their bobbing head sheep too :)

Hey Kaska, I'm glad you enjoyed reading, I'll be by later this week to bug you, I've got a year to make up for. Mwahahaha!

The party didn't turn out to be quite the big affair I expected.. but oh well. I guess it would've helped to know a single person other than your sister that was still in town. hahaha

Thanks for the comment Wayne, really glad to hear I've inspired someone, somewhat! My next trip.. well, need to make a good bit of money to pay off some debts first, but I think I'm going to travel my own country before anywhere else again... there's a lot to see here that I should get to!

At February 07, 2006 8:24 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

While everyone else is excited to have you home, I miss you in the southern hemisphere, and my tent feels really lonely now that he doesn't have his cousin with him.

You will be glad to know that the "Cheers" tradition continues.


At February 14, 2006 1:04 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey brad, this is rob from pff land. just wanted to thank you for writing all this, ive had a great time reading about your travels. if you stop by vancouver in your travels in our country, look me up, well get wasted.


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