Sweet As, Bro!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A fun filled weekend...

After being in the country only 3 days, I really hit the ground running. Having been here before, it was fairly easy to get acclimated again to a culture and area that I was somewhat familiar with. Helping along the way are two of my friends, Dave and Galina. Besides serving as my unofficial guides to Hamilton they are also generous enough to let me crash on their sofa until I can find a place to live. Props!

Being the great guides that they are, they suggested that on Saturday we go and do a nice day hike at Wairere Falls. Of course I couldn't say no to that! The falls is the highest in the North Island with a height of 152m (according to wikipedia, but we thought it looked a bit higher), so the sight was pretty sweet. The trail leads to a midpoint lookout as well as the top of the falls. On the way up there are various little waterfalls that gave me an opportunity to snap some interesting photos.

This was the first time that I had really experimented with longer exposures and running water, but for an initial try I think they turned out ok. At least the falls is close enough that I can return if I wish.

Of course, being in NZ means that you have to take unnecessary risks to be "extreme" (think: bungee, skydiving, etc) so we decided that walking out to the edge of the falls for some photos would be a good idea.

After a nice hike down, we returned home for some well deserved rest, only to prepare for the next day.

On Sunday myself and two other PSU students, Sam and Amanda, went along with Dave and Galina to partake in what seemed to be one of Dave's favorite pastimes in NZ, the luge at Rotorua. This is somewhat similar to the "Alpine Slide" at Seven Springs back in PA, but instead of being on a track you steer the sled around a concrete race course. Of course, in typical "extreme" Kiwi fashion, you are very capable of crashing into each other, tipping over, and flying off of the track. I only did two of the three having saved myself from tipping over on a few different occasions although a mouth full of sand from my time spent flying off of the course was a bit less than desirable.

Here's a cool group shot that Galina was able to take during one of our runs.

A reoccurring theme resonated throughout the weekend: a great time was had and we returned home exhausted.

More to come later, possibly today, since we made a trip to the Hamilton Zoo yesterday.

As always, check out my flickr at www.flickr.com/danielbott for more shots and bigger versions.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A few shots...

Originally uploaded by Daniel Bott

Since some have been clamoring for photos, have your fill.

I took a short walk through a local park this morning. The light wasn't really that great, but there was a lot of interesting plant life...things you wouldn't normally see in the states.

I plan to go back sometime soon and shoot some stuff with a little more ambition, but for now this should wet your whistles.

As always, click the photo to be taken to my flickr page and to explore the rest of the set.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here at last...

So after about twenty hours of traveling I arrived in Auckland around 5am NZDT. After another 1.5hr in a van I finally made it to Hamilton. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly sure if I should be tired or completely energized from the hours of sleep I got on the plane...I guess I was energized given my agenda.

Got my cell set up, met up with some people from the last visit to Hamilton, walked a ton, ate the closest thing NZ has to a cheesesteak, walked some more, got my courses and student id (what a pain!), walked some more, ate some of the greasiest fish (or fush) and chips (or chups) that I have ever had, made friends with some bros at the hostel, followed those bros to the local skatepark in hopes of getting some shots (didn't get anything, apparently it's easy to get "sponsored" in NZ), walked some more, and finally posted a blog entry.

Its 8:50pm now, and I am just like a little energizer battery...for another 10min.


Monday, February 15, 2010

leaving on a jet plane...

I'm outta here in 13hr and 35min.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The clock is ticking...

As I sit in my car on my 15min break from work listening to Pierre
Robet's vinyl cut, I figured I'd check in quickly. I leave in ten
days, and I couldn't be more ready and less ready at te same time. I
keep remembering things to back and jotting them on my mental list,
but I haven't started the physical ritual of packing. I still don't
know how many or what suitcases I'm taking which I will hopefully sort
out this weekend.

How does one pack for 6mo of their life spanning 3 seasons into two
checke bags and two carry-ons? I'm not quite sure, but ask me in ten
days and I may have your answer.

Later days.