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nomad adventures "bike, paddle and adventure - that´s what life is all about!" emma & scott

Happy New Years from down under!

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 3 January 2010 | Views [1121] | Comments [3]

We made a promise to do updates every ten days or so, but after 20 days on our NZ trip you know nothing about our whereabouts.  But as the expression goes "no news is good news" -- we've just been too busy to write !

To set the scene for those of you back in snowy Sweden, here's where we are:  Sitting under a shady tree in a beautiful green meadow filled with wild flowers, on a bluff above the Waimak River (site of the Coast to Coast paddling stage), typing away on our MacBook.

Here a little update on what we've been doing …

* We left Sweden on Dec 11 and flew to Los Angeles for a few days. We celebrated an early xmas with Scott's family and Hanukah (pick your spelling) with the Tinter family, visited In-N-Out burger, REI, and the other regular US sites.  Before moving on to NZ, we both got some terrible stomach virus that knocked us down for 24 hours. Luckily Emma recovered just in time to find the strength to check us in for our 14 hr flight, but Scott wasn't so lucky. He slept in the airport chair and tried not to vomit -- lucky for him (and the passenger beside him), he was passed out for most of the flight.

* We had a 12 hr layover in Brisbane, Australia, so we rode the train out to Surfer's Paradise and body-surfed some waves, ate a smoothie on the beach, and severely burned our backs (Scott promises to apply more sunblock to Emma's back next time, which bubbled into weird designs, then peeled off, in the ensuring 5 days. Ouch !)

* Arrival in Auckland brought a number of necessary "chores" before we could get on our way.  While NZ may have a beautiful country, its cities suck.  Auckland is a disaster of strip malls, highways, and red-lights, but luckily this also included a number of used-car places.  We bought  a 1996 diesel Mitubishi van with a home-made "loft" to sleep on. Plenty of room underneath for our gear, plus left over space for our two mountain bikes … and  a roof rack to support our soon-to-be-purchased kayaks.  We connected with Andy Warner and Sue Henaghan who welcomed us into their home and helped us "launch" our adventure.  Among other things, they gave us sheets for our futon, fold out chairs, thule kayak racks, a cooler, and of course a shower and great BBQ meal -- Thanks to Andy and Sue !

* Next stop: Rotorua. A mecca for mountain biking, we spent two days on the fantastic single track (Scott claims it was better than Moab. Shibby, you need to come here). A fantastic dinner with Dan and Donna Tartaglia -- Dr. Dan even showed Emma around the hospital with other med students, just in case we may return here on a more permanent basis …   Brent Edwards of Team Orion Health treated us to a great trail run, BBQ (and a much needed shower). He even lent us his kayaks for the day-- a Sharp 6.5 and a JKK U2.

* Christmas eve was a fantastic warm evening at the hot springs in Taupo, with our beer, cheese, and crackers. We soaked where the cold river and hot water mixed -- perfectly "lagom" -- and watched the sky slowly turn orange and then finally dark after 10 pm.

* Now it was time for some trail run training. We ran the four-day Tongariro Circuit Trek in 8 hours ( 4 per day) with light packs, running across lava fields, scaling a volcano, taking a dip in a turquoise "crater" lake, and jogging through a beautiful Beech forest. To save weight we stayed at a hut, shared a toothbrush, and ate plain pasta and oatmeal -- but it was worth it! Light and fast is the way to go!

* A little over 10 days was too much time on the North Island, so we took the 3 hour car ferry to the more adventurous South Island. Of course, the other reason was that we had purchased a kayak that was sitting in Jeff Mitchell's garage in Christchurch and we wanted to pick it up ! At Jeff's house we received another taste of Kiwi hospitality ! As a top adventure racer and expert on the Coast to Coast, we drilled him with questions about how to prepare for race day (Feb 13, 2010).  The next day he took us on the running stage -- a 33 km mostly unmarked river bed over Goat Pass.  For those of you who don't know, this run is the crux of the race and international competitors are usually at a disadvantage because they don't know the course as well as locals. We were lucky to have Jeff -- he knows this run better than anyone in NZ !

* Coast to Coast training continued a few days later when we got to paddle the 70 km down river paddle, through mostly class II rapids. This time we had Tim Pearson -- another top kiwi athlete and Coast to Coast expert -- show us the fastest way through, around, or over the rapids. As our support adn driver we had John Morrisson, also a kiwi multisporter, that we had bought a Sharp 6 kayak from. Those Kiwis are just so nice and helpful! What an incredibly beautiful river ! Turquoise water, steep gorges, and a maze of braided channels to pick from -- which is where Tim's advice came in handy :) We will paddle this several more times before the race, but it will be a joy rather than "training."

Ok, that's enough. More in about a week (or two, or three…)

One last note: While we do have a few pics (see gallery "NZ 1), we managed to delete the first 12 days of photos accidently. Scott claims the "SMRT" award on this one (ask Grant Sisler if you want an explanation on this - gsisler@hotmail.com). Among other things, this means you will have to "imagine" how beautiful that Tongoriro volcano was … or rely on Google Images.  Sorry to Emma and to all our readers !




Great update! I read it earlier but forgot to comment, so I'm doing that now. The photos are beautiful and it sounds like you are having a FABULOUS time down there. I think my favorite photo is the breakfast in bed - the van looks pretty nice and comfy. I also love the photo of the mountains and wild flowers. Wow. Can't wait to read the next update on your adventures!

  Kelly Jan 9, 2010 8:41 AM


Looks like an amazing adventure, as always. But...plain pasta and oatmeal? Yuck! To me,t he reward for hard running, hiking, biking, kayaking, snoeshowing, etc is the tasty meal afterward. Don't know how you did it!

  Beth Jan 18, 2010 4:25 PM


Det går att rädda raderade kort från minneskort. Min bror lyckades återskapa kort som raderats för väldigt länge sedan!
Hör av er när ni kommer hem så kan jag skicka mer info.

  Henrik Pilvinge Jan 26, 2010 9:36 PM

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