A Travellerspoint blog

A series of small miracles...

I'm now in Nelson, N.Z. (strikingly similar to Nelson B.C.)

overcast 14 °C

man.
this last few days has been reallllly eventful. I figured I should write an entry before I forget everything that has happened...
The last entry I wrote from Wanaka, down south... I'm on the opposite end of the south island of New Zealand now... up north!
From Wanaka I walked a few km out of town, after booking a doctors appointment for my leg, figuring out that my insurance policy wouldn't cover it and deciding it wasn't worth the wait (it is healing now... much less painful most of the time)
anyhow... I walked to "Puzzling world" I'd love to take the kids there... it was really fun. payed $10 entry to do a 3D walk around maze... the best I have ever seen, and to go through the illusion rooms...I haven't done anythign like that in a long time. so it was really fun. definetly worth while.
from there I proceeded to hitch toward the west coast... first ride was really quick. electrical van drove me to the next town over then hooked a ride with a guy that claimed he was Bill clinton's and John Travolta's chef... no doubt in my mind that he was... he forgot some files at a restaurant about 80km up the road... drove like hell to get there and dropped me off near a little hamlet right near dark as the rain was beggining to come down. I hitched for over an hour, right into the darkness. there were all of 4 cars. I was just scoping out a place to camp after the last car went by as a vehical teavelling in the opposite direction passed, slowed, turned around and pulled up. In the car was a young couple... They said they saw me, knew that there was no traffic and that it was raining and stopped a ways up the road to make room. they also asked if I didn't mind sitting in the back with their pet rats! I threw my stuff in the hatch and hopped in. they were headed to fox glacier... a good ways up the west coast.. they were also running a buisness very similar to the one I want to set up when I get home... making a product and marketing it. They were actually making their rounds with their customers... and yeah.. so we drove into the night, talking buisness, me hanging out with the rats in the back seat...
When we got to Fox glacier we put ourselves up at a backpackers and grabbed some beers... talked half the night way about everyhting under the sun. really wonderful people. I wish them all the best in their buisness ventures and in their lives together. beautiful souls, both of them...
We travelled together the next day aswell... all the way up to Nelson, at the top of the south island, stopping along the way for them to check up with thier customers and to their marketing thing. great adventures...
found this really cool hostel in Nelson... some guy chased us down as we were backing out the car.. promised us free breakfast and a fgood deal... so we figured we'd check it out. The guy was Dave.. the runs "the Palace" if you ever find yourself in Nelson, check this place out.. stay a while. it's a group of buildings over 100 years old... wood paneled ceilings, chandeliers... vines and palms all grown together in the yrds.. spa and really rad decor. And the type of people than hang out there are definetly on my page... really odd people... spiritual seekers and such. great times...
I'm flying down to christchurch day after tomarrow... really dumb of me but I booked a ticket to Auckland from christchurch and now I'm in Nelson... I can't cancel the ticket so I have to fly to christchurch now and then back up to Auckland.... cheap flight, only $93NZ, a bus is $70 and takes 8.5 hours.. so I figured just take a 45 minute plane ride... ahaha and besides I'm already spending way too much money, so what's another $100.
anyhow... making some plans.. go out to Able tasman maybe? jump out of an airplane maybe?
I'll figure it out...
Happy mothers day mom!
and I love you all.
things are well and I should get a chance to write one more entry here in N.Z. before flying to Thailand on the 15th!

Posted by fenderson 18:29 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hitchhiking Comments (2)

South African creationists and sandflies

"the only constant is change"

4 °C

I have had the most bizzare experiances in the last few days..
The ride that picked me up after a couple of hours wait coming out of Te Anau was a crazy kiwi couple that drove 170km/h til the highway split and we went separate ways. good fun. next ride was a cool kiwi guy, lives in Denmark and NZ. follows the good weather. a musician. hooked up right to the nose. buddies with AJ hackett and all them. yeah. he drove me back to Queeenstown, where I waited for the rest of the bloody day.
I've got to tell you something...
I am back on track.
you know how I can tell? the universe is responding to my requests again... now that I am finished resisting it. resisting what is.
I've known for a long time what I was supposed to do... I was supposed to cut off my hair. every ounce of my being told me to do it... but I resisted. (oh and Dad - uncle Ernie did get through to me. he came to me in a dream and told me to cut off my hair. I did the next morning)
things are back on.
where I was going with thaat all... is that by the evening of that day hitching I was desparate for a ride as it was getting dark... I requested for some nice christians to see my limping down the road and pick me up.... within 10 minutes a guy with two kids on bicycles rides by... stops to talk, offers a place to stay... the conversation is open. I say I want to try to hitch until dark, he says he'll meet me at the bridge later... yaddah yadda... dark comes, I'm at the bridge, he's back and picks me up with his friend and daughter. we go into town and buy a stupid amount of food. they're nice people.
we go back to their place and barbecue enough meat to feed an army, get drunk and hang out. two south african couples (white but born and raised there) 3 kids the same ages of my niece and nephews. I put together that they were christians because they mention curch once within the first 5 minutes of meeting them all, we held hands and said grace at dinner... but it wasn' until we had a few drinks did the bible/creationist convo really begin. my god. these poeple were intense. Creationism is very much like scientology.... we talked the night way and I spent the better half of Today talking to Lea, the mom of the kids... holy shit. I could never buy into it... but it is very fascinating to me... to observe the poeple that do... yeah...
Great meal, wonderful huuuuge home with a spectacular view... biiig bed (sooo nice!) and they bandaged up my knee (my knee is f*%&ed right up) and dropped me off at the highway this afternoon, where I got picked up by the most georgeous chilean girls... my god were they beautiful. sat me between them all cozy like in their campervan and listened to their cultural music. my god. I have to learn the language. good ride, but only going to Cromwell. next ride was an irish couple and a dutch guy. dropped me in Wanaka. I'm staying at the Purple Cow hostel. nice place.
Really amazing how different people react to me without my dreads. cute (normal) girls smiling at me and saying hi. I can talk easily with the kind of people I normally despise because they wont look me in the eye...
mainly... people aren't afraid of me... or intimidated or whatever it was.... really interesting to me.
that an it's great to feel my head. I still haven't shaved my head... just wearing the fuzzy shag that is my noraml hair... all different length. I like it.
So yeah. plan is... headed up the west coast and then toward christchurch... might take the train from greymouth or somthing. see what transpires. have about a week to do it. and I am planning on shipping most of my shit home before heading to thailand. far too much to carry needlessly in asia. gonn cost me a small fortune to do so though. send it by sea or something.
ok. I'm alive... been bitten right up by sandflies and can barely walk without my walking stick... but I'm still kickin!

Posted by fenderson 23:17 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hitchhiking Comments (3)

New begginings

a loop in the lifeline of the handprint of god

storm 6 °C

I'm back and I'm alive!
just spent an hour in the hostel hottub!
I didn't do the milford track... there was torrential downpour in the forcast for my day of ascent... so I chose the keppler track. Total distance walked in the past 4 days, over 70km. 1200m vertical (3600 feet for all you feet and inches people)
Unbelivable trek. Only downside was that my knee was acting up.. I forget how I injured it but it was a long time ago... crops up every now and then.... It started half way through the first day, on my ascent and remained very painful throughout the entire trek. I toyed with the idea of turning back after the first night... but decided to proceed with determination. I didn't climb a mountian to go back down the same way I came.... so I walked back down to the treeline and cut myself a walking stick.. and ventured on. really glad I did. hobbled on like an old man for the remaining 55km.
Spent the second day above the treeline, in the snow, wind and rain. MY GOD. no person on earth could have chosen a better colour sceme for a landscape! (don't worry, I took shitloads of pictures) I took the side trips to two mountain summits along the way and decended on day two. spent the last couple of days in the bush. Stayed in the huts along the way. ($10 a night, down from $40 in the high season) There were very few other trampers... in one of the huts we moved the matresses into the kitchen and crowed around the woodstove telling stories half trhe night.... at the hut last night I met a german girl on a very similar spiritual path to myself... vipassana meditator/dreamer... conversation started with dreams... I asked what she does, she says primary school teacher, I resopond by telling her that I was a priomary school teacher in my dreams the night before... which I was... symbolic of new begginings... probably a result of my cutting off of my dreadlocks the day earlier! ahahha yeah. I have no hair. well almost no hair. it's about an inch long or so. really intense experiance. I cut them off naked in the forest (getting too personal here?) on an island where a river splits in two, (a loop in the lifeline of the handprint of god) I cut them off with a pocket knife. been cutting them off every now and then and leaving them in places that were special to me... top of mountains... on the north island... gave one to chrysi.... yeah...
I feel really good about it. soooo nice to beable to feel my head! and to shower and not feel like a drowned rat afterward!!! and people respond to me much differently. really bizzare how much changes when you change a hairsyle... altough it has been 4 or 5 years.... anyway...
ok. time is running out! check my pictures section if you haven't already... check the last message or the one before for the link. I'll post more pics when I find a place that isn't $1 for every 10minutes....
I've got to go.
off back to queenstown toamrrow... then north.,
fly out of christchurch on the 15th.
love you all. gtg

Posted by fenderson 02:29 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Queenstown

Adrenaline junky Capital of New Zealand

sunny 8 °C

Hangin out in queenstown. Bought a last minute flight. Queenstown is very beautiful but it's cold. 10-12 degrees here for a high today, near freezing at night and it's getting cooler in the next couple of days.
ok. this keyboard has a few buttons not working so well... so try to look past it.
Went out the other night and partied it up good and hard with a British fellow named Kieran (british backpackers everyhwere!) and a cute german girl, Karen. that was loads of fun... been a while since I've done that...
Still have not indulged in any Adrenaline sports... here is THE place to do it thought 4 or 5 bungee jumps here, sky dive, fly by wire, canyon swing, speed boats, white water rafting you name it, it's here and it's 3 times more expensive than you thought it would be.
My budget is dead broke right now. I have money enough to live modestly and travel by way of the thumb... anythng else is going to hve to go on my credit card.... That is alright as I am not in the jump-off-something-really-high kind of spirit right now... I would much rather be alone in pristine nature. soooo... I think I am going to head out to do the milford Track... one of the best in the world and I think I can get out there and back (couple of boats and t least 5 hours on the bus from Te Anau) for $150 or so. and the season is past by a few days so I wont have to book it a year in advance. just have to pick up some gear.... we'll see how it works out.
so... if you don't hear from me for more than one week - that is where I am... no wories, as I will surely have to register before I do the track, so the D.O.C. will know where I am.
a little more than 2 weeks and I'll be in thailand. warm. cheap.
ok. time is up. will write soon.
love you all.
NEW ZEALAND PHOTOS!http://www.travellerspoint.com/photos/gallery/users/fenderson/

Posted by fenderson 20:41 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Meditation on the north island

headed for the south here right quick...

rain 19 °C

Hey all.
Long time no write...
I've emailed most of you yesterday.... especially the ones that thought I was dead... I've been meditating and working for no wages. at Dhamma Medini near Kaukappakappa, N.Z. on the north island, north of Auckland.
What an adventure it has been... hitching out after visiting Anna at the mount could not have gone better...we hopped on a couple of busses to get us out of the Tauranga area and walked up a hill... layed in the grass for a while to collect ourselves and Nick stuck out his thumb while I juggled a few Fijaroes (a strange new zealand fruit I found on the side of the highway - I tasted it, was good...ate a few of them and then later found out the were safe to eat, don't condone doing this, but I figured it was alright...it's sort of cross between a pear or guava and a passionfruit or something...bizzare) and we hooked a ride straight to where we were headed.. about 4 hours from there...the fellow at first was pretty serious and stodgey... but after a while I started to get his bone-dry sense of humour... he's a was a sound engineer... likes his drink and was very well spoken... he took us around Auckland when we arrived there... to a bunch of the major radio staions... the rock, some talk station... to the major rebroadcasting hubs.... all of his workplaces...met some of the radio personalities and his cooworkers, saw the studios the were setting up and got to take photos of the Auckland skyline with the tower from a studio on the upper floor of a tall building with a view... interesting times... and he drove us right to Kaukappakappa, near to the vipassana center there. We ended up walking (after dark) from this tiny little town, 2km out in the country, down a little road and then through a pasture and up a huuuuge hill...set up our tents up there.. had a great sleep and woke up to the fog clearing out of a a beautiful panoramic valley. phenomenal. hiked down and got a ride before even setting up to hitch... to the turnoff and walked about 4 or 5 km to the center...
Origianlly planned on sitting for 5 days and then serving for 5 days... but at the last minute was asked to serve for the whole 10 days... I agreed and spent my sesion working 6-8 hours a day for the 10 days... had about 5-6 hours a day to meditate... great times...had 10 different nationalities working in the kitchen (columbia, canada, germany, uk, japan, china, france, kiwi, aussie, and burma)
Yeah.. this session was not like the others... I was serving this time... cooking meals and doing dishes... getting one hour meditation periods, like islands, between. Really had to go really deep when you're working like that. There is alot of benifit to working these sessions... very humbling experiance and you are genuinely helping other peoiple for the right reasons.. and allowing them the chance to plunge deep into the deths of their unconcious minds, purififying them of destructive mental conditioning... best charity I can think of... because I have lived the results of it and know how good it is... And at the end of the session there was a guy from portugal who had this really beautiful sweater he was trying to sell, hand made in chile, purchased there (so that he could donate the money to the vipassana foundation) I wanted it.. but couldn't afford to give much. decided I wanted it and by the time I got back, an italian guy had bought it. I was kind of let down, but accepted it... later that day, the Italian guy knocked on the kitchen door I came to the door and he gave me the sweater, insisting that I have it, he was giving it from the bottom of his heart - I accepted it... bloody well made my day. I have never had anything quite like that happen. I was very touched. and thanked him thourally. Very rarely do you get to see such pure volition. at these sessions it runs rampant... every body giving and loving for the right reasons! if the outside world ran that way.........
anyway... I now have a beautiful new sweater and a bunch of new friends all over the planet! This session was actually really good for me. I took charge and had really stong confidence in the kitchen... cooked alot of the main courses (in batches big enough to feed 80 people, mind you) and was incharge of managing cleanup duties and such. really empowering to know that I am capable of organizing a group of a dozen people or so and actually getting the task accomplished efficiently with that many minds...
The whole time I stayed, I slept in a big canvas tent, which on the last day partially collapsed and flooded in a crazy storm which left the whole area flooded, all of the rivers at high water level and some roads submerged, wetting all of my gear.. soaking my wallet, etc. lovely... if I hadn't been meditating for the previous ten days that really would have pissed me off... but I was fine. I spent my evenings with hundereds of glow works in the forest... wonderful experiance. Cudos to John and Viviane especially for their wonderful company and inspiration!
And now I am back in Auckland. Spent last night in A YHA hostel just up the street. There were 4 of us from Vipassana staying there... spent the evening talking of our travels and what have you... and I introduced a bunch of people to "trailer park boys" because it came on TV last night and I insited that they watch it. hahah! they were as disgusted with it as I thought they would be... as disgusted with it before I watched a few episodes and learned to love it for what it is. hahah
anyhow... I am thinking of flying to qeenstown tomarrow... it's 1700km, wayy down on the other end of newzealnd... the end close to the south pole. it's going to be cold down there (shit, I just looked at the weather forcast for down there... and it's 6 degrees celcius right now and it's almost noon! ahhh! high of 13 degrees at the warmest part o the week! ahhh!) it's gonna cost me $180Nz ($135 canadian) to fly down there.. but I think it's a good bet... because it's just going to get colder and I really want to just get down there, go exploring and make my way back up as far north as I can... just kind of stupid how I planned things... I'm in Auckland right now, I fly out of auckland in 3 weeks but want to go somewhere that is 1700km away and get back to heare in that time... I'm going to be travelling alot in the next few weeks here.... oh well. it's gonna be fun... and then it's off to Thailand! yeyyyyah am I ever excited about that! My mate brandon in Sydney has bought his ticket too... he's meeting me in Bangkok and we're trippin around for a few weeks. gonna be a great!
ok. I'm going to try to get some pics up now. I'll write again soon... probably from queenstown. gonna check on those tickets right now.. all. talk soon.
Ok... it's the next day and I'm in queenstown! it's 10deg C and it's midday! no more flip-flops for me! just a little note to let you know that I uploaded over 60 new pictures, all of New Zealand!

Posted by fenderson 03:47 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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