Kathmandu: An Education In Humanity

Many readers have asked me things like why in the hell would I go to Kathmandu, with comments about it being a third world city full of packs of wild dogs and all sorts of livestock wandering the streets, it smells of garbage and urine, the power only works twelve hours a day in two…

How I almost ended up in a Nepalese Prison

On January 31st I left New Zealand with the most ridiculous travel plans ever created by man. I flew to Sydney where I had a twelve hour layover, this was only the beginning of the madness however. Upon arriving in Sydney I took a train into the city, forgetting that perhaps carrying my 13kg backpack…

The fun and easy way to be a slightly illegal immigrant

Workaway.info is a wonderful way to both experience the local culture of any given place and save a surprising amount of money. In essence people who need volunteers will post a description of themselves and the environment the workers will be in as well as the type of work required. I have had some wonderful…

Sandboarding, slightly more pleasant than waterboarding

Early in the morning I stumbled from my room at the pickled parrot to the nearby roadside and hopped on a bus. Our first stop was at some kind of insane forest walking path called Puketi containing quite a few enormous Kauri trees, It is hard to describe the height of a tree that is…

Piracy in Paihia

The R. Tucker Thompson is a gaff rigged schooner, essentially a two masted olde time pirate ship. She sails around the bay of islands during the summer months, which being New Zealand means October through April. In the mid 70’s this fellow named Robert Tucker Thompson started building a boat with his son Tod, unfortunately…

Volcanoes, Geysers, and Doom at Wai-O-Tapu

Having recently visited the Shire I decided it was time to see Mount Doom, several fairly incredulous locals informed me that: A. It doesn’t exist and B. One could not simply walk to it if it did. Somewhat dejected I opted for the next best thing, Boiling pits of mud and acid around the what…

So I spent the day visiting Hobbits

The set from Lord Of The Rings was somewhat temporary and had been scheduled for demolition prior to the announcement of the Hobbit movies. Luckily the locals endless requests to visit the set had delayed the destruction to such a degree that they simply made the structures and set permanent, filmed a few more movies,…

Highland Games Auckland

I had intended to attend the Highland games in Auckland but due to unforeseen circumstances I will not be going. I was however able to weasel a ride from Christine Rhodes to spend some time with one of the featured pipe bands as they practiced in the week previous to the event. The Whangarei & County…

Alpacas are not Llamas

A few weeks ago at some sort of farmers market I made the acquaintance of a strange lady named Pav who was selling Alpaca fur. Being that I was entirely unfamiliar with these strange things I inquired if I might come visit the farm and see them, she agreed readily as apparently locals are not…

Waipu Cow Days

Waipu has around 1500 human inhabitants as well as an insane number of sheep and cows, today I attended a festival of tiny humans and tiny cows. The kids were running little shops selling numerous forms of grilled cow in plain view of the tiny cows, perhaps as a warning. Watching small children trying to…