Suppose it's time to get this thing started
Hey everybody! My name is Ian (aka Skittles) and this is yet another online journal. Right now, I'm sitting in a computer kiosk in Building 155, McMurdo Station, Antarctica waiting for some laundry to get done, so this isn't going to be a terribly in depth post most likely. How I got here is a very long, convoluted story, but fortunately the main parts over the last year or so are covered here (Antarctica Journal) and here (Colorado Trail journal). Once the work contract here in Antarctica is up, I'll be flying to Christchurch, NZ then spending a month or two traveling around New Zealand before heading home (or at least where my stuff is - Boulder, CO) by way of Auckland, Los Angeles, then Denver. The current plan involves a brief stop in Denver to drop off bags and such, then heading back to the airport to hop east a bit to visit with friends and family, then head to Traildays and whatever project Hardcore has in store for next spring.
So, this journal is going to cover the traveling in New Zealand part of the Grand Plan (tm,) as well as the preperations for it.
At this point, the plan is to get to Christchurch on or near February 25th, then head up to my friend Bodie's parents' house near Motueka for a fuelie (that's the hat I wear here on the ice) party. If things go as currently planned, I'll meet up there with my friend Goldberry from the Appalachian Trail and whoever else is interested in going, then most likely head south to Fijordland and get moving! Not sure what'll come after that, but the general plan is to travel around New Zealand and see as much as possible while spending as little money as possible. Shouldn't be too hard, we've each got a bit of experience with traveling cheap and are not opposed to working along the way (I actually kind of like the idea.) Figure the AT cost about $3,000USD (that includes new england ;) ) and took about 6 months, think I can pull off a comparable rate down here with a few exceptions like maybe giving skydiving a shot. Depending on how things play out I might go a little more plush, but definitely not staying in B&Bs and eating out every night. The main modes of transportation will likely be backpacking, hitchhiking, bike touring, and maybe buying an old beater of a car and driving. Gear wise, I'm set for doing whatever - brought a touring bike setup and some backpacking stuff as far south as Christchurch and will be picking it up on arrival in town. Hoping to get in plenty off the beaten path style traveling and also spending enough time in certain areas to get a real feeling for what it's like to live there - I like to spend more time experiencing places than just moving through them. However things work out, I'm sure it'll be a fun adventure, and hopefully some of that fun will contaminate this blog. So, that's all for now. Will post more when there's more to post!