Saturday morning walk in Ohiwa at Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park. A few route options in this small reserve depending how far you want to walk. We were cut short as it started to rain so headed back via a short cut to the beach and back to the car park. A longer 5Km route takes you further over the hill and out further east along the beach.
The route can be found on my MapShare. Look under ‘New Zealand’ collection, ‘Routes’ and select “NZ – Ohiwa Walk”. Several Waypoints can also be found to check out interesting spots – Puriri Tree, Glow Worms and Ohope Harbour views.
A cancelled appointment at the end of the day gave me a rare opportunity for a quick walk as opposed to collapsing back in my hotel room. I do not visit Perth that often but is always a charm. Below are a few snaps as a walked from Intercontinental down to Elizabeth Quay and back again to the hotel.
Gallipoli – The Scale of War is a current (as of Early 2019) exhibit at New Zealand’s National Museum Te Papa in Wellington. Gallipoli is one of the most moving experiences I have ever had. It is confronting, sobering and emotional.
The exhibit takes you on a journey through the ill fated naval and amphibious attacks on the Gallipoli Peninsula (in Turkey) through five amazing larger than life size models in poignant moments. It is hard to describe the impact these models, of real life men and woman, have on you as you step through chronologically the events of the Gallipoli Campaign.
A total of 100,000 died with Australia and New Zealand suffering about 10% of that total. Gallipoli for both New Zealand and Australian is highly significant and widely accepted as start of a national consciousness of their nations. It is commemorated each year with ANZAC Day on the 25th April.
The scale of the models can be seen below with my wife visible in the background of Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott:
Early last year I spent an excellent few days out of Bangkok with David. He was on his BMW R1150R and I had my Ducati Scrambler loaded up for camping for the first time. Heading out west for a few hours from Bangkok is Kanchanaburi. Heading northwest out of Kanchanaburi is the Erawan National Park and further still the Sinakharin reservoir where we camped on the west side. Heading home involved catching the ferry across to the east side of the reservoir and back down the east side to had back into civilisation.
The first night we rested at a small resort by the river that connects the two dams, second night camping and the third night in Kanchanaburi. We enjoyed the company of several Soi dogs (stray dogs) during our travels, they all look similar, as they all do, but each friendly and just wanted to hang out with two bikers, maybe grab a bit of food and a few patsa !
Unfortunately the camp ground where we stayed at is now closed off. We understand the owner was operating illegally. I certainly hope he gets his paperwork sorted out with the local authorities as the site is a gem and he was a lovely man who joined us for a chat in the evening with stories and photos of previous ‘biker’ visitors.
The two ferries that operate across the two crossings at the Sinakharin Reservoir are fantastic. Although pontoons more than ferries, they are cheap, relaxing and reliable. The one of the east side is regular but if you ride consider taking the road instead for a blast of twitsty fun on two wheels.
The northern ferry crossing is less frequent and you may have to wait a while. But as ever in Thailand food is not far away, so relax, eat and wait. The restaurant there is great with birds and a few Soi dogs!
On a lazy Saturday road trip along the East Cost road (State Highway 35) we stumbled across the beautiful Christ Church in Raukokore. It is open for the local citizenry and passing traveller alike. As a local landmark it comes into and passes out of view over a number of kilometres.
The church is named as one of the region’s “101 must-do” sites by the AA!
My sister is an excellent present finder and at Christmas and Birthdays it is always intriguing to see what she has found. This year a Kalimba made in Burkina Faso, although I think she did not travel there to buy it! A quick search and I discovered my version is somewhat on the basic end of the Kalimba scale and made out of a sardine can but lovingly hand crafted. It is a genuine delight to to have. A deluxe Kalimba can be viewed here and the sound of my one can be heard below, I can obviously not play it and it is a little tricky to get a nice tone out of it.
A spare hour in Seoul enabled me to cross the road from the hotel into the Bongeunsa Temple grounds. As is often the case with a temple in the the city it is amazing how the tension of the metropolis evaporates shortly after entering the grounds. Regardless of your religion, faith or lack thereof I find that people wandering the grounds are usually trying to make sense of life, connecting with friends, thiniking and praying for loved ones and family or just wandering around and enjoying nature and beauty. It is certainly a more noble use of time than going to the mall.
I was particularly intrigued by the numerous small stone pebble constructions which maybe were made by temple visitors as some lesson in patience and concentration by their monk guru.
It is amazing to think that this temple was initialed constructed well over a 1,000 years ago and in it’s current form since 1498. Hard to imagine the surroundings back then but it has survived the progress of mankind springing up it all around it with dignity.
Heading on the bike up to Chiang Rai from Nong Khai along the Thai-Laos border. I spent the night in Chiang Khan for no other reason that it fell somewhere between Nong Khai and Nan and I did not want to ride too far the first day (out of three), so Chiang Khan it was! What a pleasant suprise that I was not able to fully explore after arriving late afternoon and leaving first thing the next day. The high street is a charm with loads of cafes, market stalls and guest houses along the Mekong with views across to Laos. It has a feel of Pai up north so if you like Pai you will like Chiang Khan.
So here are a just few shots of the Mekong from the cafe I grabbed a late lunch at, sunset around the resort I am staying at and a nearby restaurant with typical Loei ghostly artwork.
I look forward to a longer stay on another trip and more photos.
For most, me included, Narita is the airport (NRT) at Tokyo where you arrive and depart but having had several overnights over the years I have started to explore a little.
If you have to stay a night or two at one of the many airport hotels you can probably get a free hotel shuttle to Keisei Narita Station or JR Narita station which are basically in the same locale. From there a 10 minute walk along Omotesando Road and you are into Naritasan Park where you can stroll around and inbibe Japanese peace, order and culture. If you have time for a meal order some Unaju which you can see being prepared fresh if you arrive in the morning. Although you may not want to see your eel alive and then swiftly chopped up, but at least you know it is fresh!
So get out of the hotel, fight the jet lag and explore…. you won’t regret it.