Peter and I spent about one week in California and have been in Auckland, New Zealand for almost a week now and I’ve begun to notice a theme in our travels. We like the outdoors. Maybe it’s the feel of the sun on our faces, breathing fresh, fragrant air, or being able to finally stretch our legs after sitting so long on plane rides; but we tend to get outside and explore a lot. Well this trip has been no different. Walking, hiking and running are constant activities for us at home, but we are seeing many differences between flat Minnesota, mountainous California, and volcano scattered New Zealand.
We started with a 5K race in San Diego with Mary and kids and then climbed Mt. Woodson overlooking Lake Poway in California to work off our Thanksgiving feast (see Peter’s blog for more about this and pictures Live, Travel, Adventure, Bless ). Heading toward New Zealand, we sat for 8 hours and then 6 hours on two different planes (with a 2 hour layover in Tahiti to stretch our legs) and so we were feeling quite cramped and restless, with our internal clocks totally out of whack when we finally arrived. So we took the advice that Larry Caldwell always gives to beat jet lag and walked around outside facing the sun. It turned out easy to do since we now found ourselves in the southern hemisphere, and on December 1st which is considered the first day of summer here, the sun doesn’t set until about 8:00 p.m. So, one of the first things we did upon arrival in Auckland was climb Mt. Eden. It was only about a 30 minute hike up and down, but still, a great way to stretch our legs.
The next few days were a whirlwind of sightseeing and hiking. While hanging at Piha beach with Peter’s friend Aimee, we eyed a large piece of land called Lion Rock and of course we hiked up as far as we could go. While Aimee stayed back on the beach, Peter shrugged his shoulders as we proceeded to climb and said “I guess this is just what we do”. Today we took a ferry to a town north of Auckland and climbed two more hills, Mt. Victoria and North Head, which used to be an old fortress, full of batteries and tunnels. And it’s not over yet, we plan to go to Rangitoto, Auckland’s largest volcanic cone. And so, we’ll keep on climbing! Up, up up, there’s not a mountain we won’t climb!
Here is a fun mountain song to get you all in the mood to go climbing. I like it because it’s happy and energetic, the mood that climbing and hiking has put us in!