Sean Mc on Skynet

Leaving Auckland

Since the last update we've moved on from Auckland and we've been in Taupo for the last 10 days.
On the way down to Taupo we passed through a place called Tirau, not a place I had ever heard of but I had been told to take a picture of the shepherd, dog and sheep!?!
The photo's say it all I think.

All in all Taupo is a pretty good place to visit, it is a town on the shore of a huge lake, aptly named lake Taupo. Everything you could need for sport is here, there is sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing on the lake. There are 3 ski fields within a 2 hour drive and numerous rivers to paddle within the same distance. If that cannot keep you going you can parachute jump or bungee jump. If watching sport suits you better then there is even a motor race track and a cycling race track just outside the town too. After all that to do there's some natural hotsprings in the area, they are a bit strange to most of us, it is literally a hotwater stream flowing out of the ground, I knew volcanoes had to be good for something.

We haven't just been talking about doing all this stuff. In the last week we've been to the natural hot springs, gone zorbing ( gone lugeing (a kind of go-kart thing) taken a ride on a skyline, all in nearby Rotorua and for some relaxation we went sailing on Lake taupo. For those of ye who never heard of a zorb, it is a big plastic ball that you jump into and roll down a hill inside of, to add to the fun they throw in a load of water to make sure you get wet and cannot even attempt to stand up inside it, the video from inside the zorb will follow as soon as I edit it.

From here we've visited the city of Napier on the east coast. Napier is world renowned as an art deco city, not that I knew that before coming to NZ. In 1931 Napier was completely destroyed by a huge earthquake in which 258 people were killed, instead of just rebuilding the city as it had been they people set about if rebuilding a new city in the Art Deco style, if you want to know more goto

As it is currently springtime here the snow resorts have just closed, so hearing that the mountain was open on Thursday we headed up the mountain in search of some snowboarding, unfortunately contrary to radio reports all was closed, but we got a nice picture of Mt Ngaurahoe. This mountain featured in the film The Last Samurai as a substitute for Mt Fuji in Japan. It’s also a dormant volcanoe that belches out some hot stuff every now and then.

That about sums it for now, we are moving on from here in the next few days, not sure where we will be going yet but keep watching.

posted by SeanMc @ 10:39 AM, ,

First Few Days in Auckland

We've been in Auckland for a week at this stage and so far we've sorted transport for ourselves. We've picked up a 1993 toyota people carrier, and have been driving around for a few days now. Our next mission for the car is to get roofracks for boats. We're hoping to pick up some boats fairly soon, hopefully a river boat and a polo boat each. We will probably convert the car to a camper soon, but for now we’ve spent enough money just getting set-up out here. As it is we can let down the seats in the back and sleep, there’s even curtains on the back windows.

The day after arriving in Auckland we met up with the canoepolo club here. We wandered along to their weekly pool session and had to go for beer afterwards. The pool session was good, an outdoor heated pool so no way of hitting the ceiling, a few stray balls did land in nearby gardens. What we didn't realise was that they were having a committee meeting over the beer, so our first few hours meeting these people and we end up at a committee meeting… way to get roped in I fear. All went well and they invited us to their training session on Sunday morning, somehow we got out of bed in time to get a lift at 10am. This session was an outdoor one on a lake, up until this I thought we had wind in Ireland… but WOW. The wind on this pitch was almost blowing people over!

We've now got most things sorted, bank accounts opened, tax numbers done and transport purchased. Today was time to actually have a look around the city and see the sights, first stop the Auckland museum, we figured and hour would do us there… how wrong we were, we ended up leaving after 2 ½ hours with lots more to see. It's certainly one of the biggest museums I've been to. They just seem to fit so much stuff into one building, if we get time we might re-visit.

We're planning on moving on from Auckland this weekend. It's a long weekend here so we're going to visit some friends in Taupo and we'll stay there for a few days, no idea yet what's in store after that.

posted by SeanMc @ 11:31 AM, ,

Goodbye to Kuala Lumpur

We found an electronics shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur during the week, so many toys it was like Christmas morning, it was great. Of course I couldnt keep my money in my wallet, I ended up buying a waterproof digital camera. Now, having bought a waterproof camera I had to go and test it, what better to do than go to a waterpark for a day, a full day at sunway lagoon will do nicely. The camera went on every ride with me and passed with flying colours.

One of the great things for travellers in KL is being able to check in your luggage for your flight at KL Sentral train station, it’s soooo useful.

There you have it, the brief highlights of Kuala Lumpur, would I come back again… Yes!
To see some of our trip click here for some photo’s from Kuala Lumpur

posted by SeanMc @ 10:41 AM, ,

First Stop Kuala Lumpur

After much talk and leaving parties we finally left Ireland on our travels, first stop Kuala Lumpur. I guess one big city is much the same as the next, you've got the big buildings and the historics sites to see. So far here we've seen teh Petronas Twin towers, the tallest towers in the world. Unfortunately the public only get to go as high as the skybridge which joins the 2 towers at floors 41 & 42, there's a good view though.

Much better to see is the KL Tower, where you can go to the 2nd floor from the top for the observation deck, or better still go to the top floor where there's a rotating restaurant. We went for lunch there, which was kinda funny 'cos the women at the desk told me I had to dress myself before I could go in, what she meant was no shorts allowed, soon remedied. The best bit about the food, it's an all you can eat buffet with a choice of Western or Asian food for starters, main course and dessert! Needless to say they were happy to see us go :)

Probably the worst thing about this city is the humidty, the day we arrived it was 24 celcius at 7:30 in the morning, and humidity up at 95%. As soon as you walk outside your clothes are soaked with sweat. The weather is changing though, as I write we're in the middle of a thunderstorm.

posted by SeanMc @ 12:55 PM, ,

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