Moment of awesome
Last Monday I was holding my frisbee, contemplating inviting others throw, while feeling the warm sand of the tropical Waiheke Island beach between my toes (ow and I was all naked). How had it come to this? A friend of the family I’m staying with and I decided to go on a day trip to Waiheke Island – a formerly hippie retreat off the coast of Auckland, now home to more lush mansions (although the relaxed vibe seemed to have survived). From the ferry we took a bus that dropped us off on the far end of the Island’s main beach. As we were walking to the other side of the beach my travel companion warned me there was a nude section toward the end. I figured we’d probably end up somewhere in the middle but somehow we made it to the end – right in nude central. When we sat down we were the only ones there, but fairly soon we were joined by visitors in their birthday suits. Expecting to see the usual suspects (creepy guys with bodies you never unsee) I was surprised to notice that our neighbors were just ‘normal’ people. I liked this place. Usually, I don’t like going into the water, so I hadn’t brought a bathing suit. It was pretty warm, however, so taking advantage of the fact that I was at a nudist beach I skinny dipped to cool myself down (no photos, sorry). After my swim I really wanted to toss a frisbee with someone, which presented a bit of a dilemma. I was not sure about the etiquettes about approaching people on a nude beach. Despite not satisfying my frisbee urges, skinny dipping on a tropical island was a bit of a dream come true. IT WAS AWESOME!
PS leave a comment saying what you would have done!
Read more to find out about my exploration of Auckland and to see how I’ve been preparing for the upcoming Frisbee season. Read More
Having been on the road for months now, I feel I have the city exploration routine pretty much down. I search Google Maps for interesting places, grab my bike, and go in the general direction of my intended destination. Usually I end up somewhat close, but often (especially on Auckland’s curvy roads) I get hopelessly lost. This is an absolute nightmare for the control freaks amongst us, but I believe getting lost and allowing unexpected things to come to you is an essential part of traveling with an open mind. Yet, getting to your intended location is essential if you want to actually see certain places. The house I’m staying at is close to Cromwell Park – one of Auckland’s largest park. It’s smack in the middle of the city so I was surprised to see cows and sheep roaming around in the park! I guess it fits the kiwi lifestyle. On weekends, the park turns into the world’s largest playground with families having all-day picknicks on any of the park’s meadows.
Numerous travel guides rate Auckland as one of the most livable places in the world. It’s not hard to see why. The vibe is very relaxed for a ‘big’ city, a one hour drive in any direction gets you in nature, and wherever you are in the city there is always a body of water nearby. After my trip to Waiheke Island, I attended a WordPress conference, followed by drinks at Viaduct Harbor. It’s such a lovely place to stroll around at night. It made me feel as if I was in the south of France on an August summer night. Later in the week I walked along one of the city’s other shorelines – St. Heliers beach past Kohimarama to Mission Bay. I can see why this city is so popular to raise kids.
Just so that you don’t think all I do is walk on the beach I actually gave myself some homework. I’ve been taking part in a daily fitness challenge for the past 17 weeks now and I’m one of the last 6 contestants. In addition, I started running intervals 3 weeks ago. On an even more exciting note, I joined one of NZ’s top frisbee teams this week. I’ve noticed the result of my trainings – at the end of the Saturday practice I outran everyone during the shuttle runs. I don’t mean to bump myself on the chest, but I find it empowering to see how discipline and routines have such a strong result as long as you are determined. As part of the daily fitness challenge, there are also a few weekly exercises I need to do. One of them is a stair workout, check it out (19 sec.):
Shells at Onetangi Beach on Waiheke Island
Local news – Photographer Travels Across NZ with Gandalf Costume, And His Photos Are Epic!
Rumor has spread around the islands; a traveler dressed up as Gandalf has been going around this remote corner of the world. Asking fellow travelers to take pictures of him at stunningly beautiful sights, he posts his pictures on #GandalfTheGuide. This is one of his most popular photos:
A word of wisdom
“When I see less, I see more”
Christine – New friend from Germany talking about slowing down when traveling.
Dash for cash