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Tongariro Alpine Crossing, chasing Mt. Doom

Posted by on June 23rd, 2011 in New Zealand, Polynesia | 3 comments

[Not a valid template] Everyone I had met in New Zealand, who had tried to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the last thirty days, either had to cancel because of bad weather or had to turn back midway because of sudden change in weather. Usually this time of the year, you need a guide and proper alpine equipment to go to the crossing. But I was in luck as the winter was late this year. [Not a valid template] Even if the winter is late, the weather is still very unpredictable and usually poor this time of the year. I just arrived to Taupo, and my plan was to go to Turangi first and go to the alpine crossing from there. This however was not to be. I went to check the weather forecast for the Tongariro Alpine...

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The geothermal wonderland that is Rotorua

Posted by on June 18th, 2011 in New Zealand, Photos, Polynesia | Comments Off on The geothermal wonderland that is Rotorua

[Not a valid template] That is first thing you notice when you arrive to Rotorua, the smell, but that is why you are here. Well, not for the smell as such, which basically is like rotten eggs. But the smell is caused by the reason you’re here – geothermal activity. Even just walking around the city, you see the geothermal activity everywhere. The parks are full of bubbling mud pools, steaming ponds and boiling water. And the smell, well you get used to it quite quickly. The locals don’t even notice it anymore. [Not a valid template] [Not a valid template] [Not a valid template] On my second day in Rotorua we went for a tour to Wai-o-tapu. We first drove to, what apparently is, worlds second largest mud pool. Biggest being in Yellowstone; damn Americans, always have to...

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Arriving to New Zealand, to Auckland

Posted by on June 14th, 2011 in New Zealand, Photos, Polynesia | 6 comments

[Not a valid template] I caught my 7am flight to Auckland after a few hours of sleep at the Papeete airport and arrived 6 hours later at 11am to Auckland, New Zealand. But to my shock it was the next day, I lost a day. I hadn’t realized I was crossing the date line, new experience for me. But then again, since I started this trip, I usually have no idea what day it is anyway, so shouldn’t really make a difference. I pulled out the immigration form for New Zealand and set to work, but there were a few peculiar questions that caused me some issues. Could had been more to do with the sleep deprivation thou. [Not a valid template] Are you here for the Rugby World Cup? I didn’t know that the World Cup was right...

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Tahiti – expensive paradise

Posted by on June 9th, 2011 in Photos, Polynesia, Tahiti | 2 comments

[Not a valid template] I stepped off my plane, it was hot and humid even thou it was already eleven o’clock in the evening – very promising. There was a band playing ukuleles and girls handing out flowers as I made way towards the airport building, creating a very relaxed atmosphere. Then I spotted the express queue for European passport holders, just like in Europe, no visa forms, no stamps, no nothing, as I had just arrived to France. What? We are in the middle of Pacific, last that I checked Paris was over 15000 kilometers away. But no, Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, which in turn belongs to France. Thou they use their own currency here, the Pacific Franc. I wonder if it should be the Pacific Euro these days. Oh well. [Not a valid template] [Not...

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Backpackers survival guide to the Easter Island

Posted by on June 4th, 2011 in Easter Island, Photos, Polynesia | 6 comments

[Not a valid template] [Not a valid template] Easter Island or Rapa Nui as the locals call it; the place of the Moai, those stone statues that have fed our imagination for so long. And here I finally was, in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific sea at a small island, finally about to see the Moai. Mind you getting here was a pain. I sat on a three planes to get to Easter Island from Santiago. On the first plane we just sat in for an hour, before we got back to the terminal to have some breakfast. Then we boarded the second plane, this time we actually took off, but after about an hour of flying, we turned back as there was something wrong with the engine. On the third plane we finally made it to...

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