First Great Walk

Tomorrow I try my first New Zealand Great Walk it’s the Tongariro Northern Circuit and goes around two active volcanoes Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. What makes it different for me is that I have to take all my food & possible water for two nights & three days. I’ve booked both the Oturere Hut and Walhohonu hut and taxi service to take me to Mangatepopo and collect me from the Whakapapa Village Centre

The weather forecast is looking OKish although there are certainly high winds. I don’t intend on going to the summit’s so hopefully should be OK.

I’ve downloaded the relevant New Zealand Topo50 maps into the Viewranger app and will be taking a spare battery.

Should be interesting – now to pack my bag 🙂


Arrival in New Zealand

I left Cambridge at 9am on Sunday the 14th October and arrived in Auckland at 2pm on Tuesday the 16th with brief stops at Dubai, Kuala Lumpur & Melbourne on the way. Thats 43 hours  straight without any proper sleep.

First job in Auckland was to try and get my D550 camera fixed as it went totally dead on the way over. It wasn’t the battery and so I ended up buying a second hand body from Camera & Camera on Queen street for about $599 🙁 an expensive start to the trip. Next job was to sort out the iPhone.

text from 3

Welcome text from 3

Three had kindly sent me a text  on arrival offering internet at £6,000 a GB in New Zealand. I thought that just a tad to expensive… So I went over to Vodafone where I quickly was set up with a 2GB / 1 month Supa Prepay Broadband+ package complete with iPhone5 SIM for $50 a month a saving of ££5,960 🙂

Emily Place signAfter all that excitement it was off for a well needed sleep at Jucy’s hostel. in Emily Place 🙂


I arrive in Kuala Lumpur, well Gate C22

Dubai - Kuala Lumpur flightpathFor some reason the  flight from Dubai to Melbourne takes a break in Kuala Lumpur  after 5689km. It’s not clear what is happening other than we are all deplane with our belongings. The pilot reminded us that there is a death penalty for anyone having drugs!

So we come out of one door and re-nter through another, having our bags x-rayed far more thoroughly than at Gatwick. I had to remove my kettle and aluminium spec case so the lady could see they were harmless.

Now on my 4th airline meal are a couple served earlier:

Dinner on EK016


Emirates snack

Well we are all boarding the same plane, same seat for the next leg to Melbourne!

Travelling to New Zealand

Geoff leaving CambridgeCurrently flying 543mph at 35,000 feet en route on the 3602 miles to Dubai. This is the first leg of my marathon journey to Auckland.

The journey across London was once again bedevilled by an ‘incident’ on the platform. Leading to the closure of St Pancras which on top of the closure of the Victoria line & Circle line (well it is Sunday). Not finding any buses I quickly jumped into a passing black cab, whose voluble driver promised to get me to Victoria for 15 quid maximum then proceeded with his life story About his travels to all the (ex)colonies in the 60’s. Staying in each one for a couple of years.

At Gatwick I eventually succumbed to buying a Kindle but could I get it to sync 🙁 I’m sure it was getting in a muddle with the Kindle apps I have on my Macs 🙁 in the end I downloaded the books to the Air and then used a USB cable on the plane to drag them into the Kindle. So I can now read the new Goddard books at less than £3 a pop.

A weird thing is that charging the Kindle through the backseat USB socket on this B777-300 means I cannot read it at the same time 🙁

Hopefully will get to post this in Dubai! I’m certainly not paying 3’s £6 a Mb roaming rate though