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April 2008 Safe Travelling

April was mostly full of Wine tasting trips with Mara.

Martinborough trip;
Situated 90 km Northeast of Wellington, Martinborough is the ideal weekend get away and the village knows it. There are approximately 30 vineyards in a 20 km radius, of which, you can taste about 10 of them on a weekend while simply walking around. The Schubert cab/merlot was our favourite ($40/bottle) and very hard to get anywhere but the cellar door. In about 3 hours we made it to 6 or 7 vineyards and enjoyed some good pinot noirs which the region is known for. Good times.

Napier trip;
Later in the month over Anzac day (which remembers New Zealanders and Aussies who fought in the wars and especially the Anzac battle where the English used the Kiwis and Aussies as the front line, mass casualities) we made our way up to Napier via the back roads. Mara was such a good pillion. We catch a nice sunset the first night and then an hour later made it to the backpackers. The next day we made Napier in time for a wine tour. We were running late and called ahead to get the last bed at the backpackers and then jumped on the wine tour with minutes to spare. 4 vineyards in an afternoon and a cool Kiwi guide, I remember going to Moana Park and Mission, but the other two I can spell or say this many weeks later. Then back down via another backpacker near Wansted, not bad, but cash grabbers as they only had videos for hire (not typical rural backpackers). Made our way back to Martinborough again and this time made 9 or 10 vineyards in 3 hours. Mara's a champ, very sad that you had to go, so much more wine and other fun stuff!

Bike in the morning sunCool shots in Hastings by Mara.

That's April.

March 2008, Bike, Ice hockey and more diving

Hello people,

Mini Easter trip to the South Island.
Last year during Easter I was on a motorbike tour of the South Island when I came across a Ice hockey tournament in Dunedin where I got to play goalie for one game. What a blast! So, I emailed around and found out that the same tournament was on again over Easter and they needed a goalie for the whole tourney. Next thing I did was see if there were any motorbikes in the Dunedin area that I may be interested in buying and riding back up to Welly. I found a RED Honda VFR (98), spoke with the guy and deemed it a good one. I offered Greg (bike owner) $1000 less than he wanted as I explained that it would be the only way to make the trip economical and he was to get the bike completely serviced. He was happy to sell it for that price, a little too happy, but I didn't scare and booked my flight to Dunedin.
I was the only one on the street's of Welly Friday at 6am, besides "blanketman" (google it) when I catch the airport shuttle. I arrived in Dunedin around 9 am, grabbed breaky, went for a test ride of the bike where I agreed to take it, picking it up the next day and finally got to my first game at 12:30pm. Our team played 3 more games over the weekend with out a win, but a very close 2 - 1 loss in our final game. I managed to hold the semi pro team to only 9 goals, which I was quite happy with.
Special thanks to Mark for giving me a place to stay and to the team for being a good group of guys.

The bike!
Mark and crew at Tunnel Beach
Sleepy SealAnother Cute American about to get attacked by a seal.
Moon Rising at Billy Brown's Backpackers, North of Dunedin.

Got my Advanced SCUBA certification, which allows me to dive down to 30 meters. Basically for your advanced you do 5 specialty. I did Navigation, Photography, Night, Deep and Wreck. Next up Recuse diver certification.

Talent portion of the diveDive buddy Stu and I.
Lovely Cod.