• Recovery?–From Dunedin to Christchurch

    Still punishing myself for allowing the $3000 to disappear. I was so careful the whole time, too. Slowly recovering, everything had been going so so good.
    My last night in Dunedin was spent with Miguel at a dinner party with some of his family. His mom died recently and the party was to honor her. A wonderful time was provided for everyone. When we first arrived I noticed a flat-bed trailer parked in the driveway and next to it what looked to be a tiny house, just like I will be building after I return. And, I was right, it was. Steve gave us a tour of what he had built, it was fabulous. He is building the little house for someone else, and he is doing a good job. I got some good ideas from him for the house I want to build.
    After my stay in Dunedin, I was back to Christchurch to stay with Ian and Verna, find them here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/berrnie/. This is a classy couple, and their home is exquisite. A comfortable and pleasant stay the whole time, some good new friends. Ian let me use his bike yesterday and I rode many kilometers all the way to the beach and around Christchurch. I used to ride almost daily for a workout, but have not for some time. My muscles and back hurt by the end of the ride. I did see much, though.
    Earlier I spent some time in a park.  A little girl was just summer-saulting by me, then stopped and waved hi. What perfect timing for this to happen, I had been quite down. I have to remember what is important in life and that things will get better. I also saw kids playing rugby and cricket, something you would not see in America. Seeing these kids helped me to get my head on straight again.
    Where Clinton and I went in the mountains


    But then, it was back on the bike in the evening. I was planning of riding to a hostel that is on the way to a free Christmas concert held in Hagley Park. So, I get to the hostel and asked and they do not have any room. On the way out I passed Clinton, who I spent time with in the mountains before and I wrote about. I had some of my best time on my trip with Clinton driving and touring together. One of the places we went to see was Milford Sound, a fantastic place. Take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Sound.  How strange to run into each other like this. This nice hostel Clinton was staying in used to be a jail, people sleep in the cells that housed prisoners in the past, here it is: http://www.jail.co.nz/. Seeing the inside of the jail and the cells brought back memories for me, some bad ones. Take a look if you have not seen these:
    After we broke out of jail Clinton decided to join me to see the concert. So we walked over, as I pushed the bike. At first there were not many, but more and more people were there, I heard earlier there might be close to 500,000 attending. A concert of various music and bands, hard to see the stage, though. There were two big screens broadcasting the show. Look here: http://www.christmasinthepark.co.nz/christchurch.html.
    Today is Sunday, looking forward to returning to the US on Wednesday and starting the next portion of my journey, yet not sure why I am feeling that way. It has been a long trip over here, and ever changing, which was nice.
    Write to you again soon>>>>>>Kit

  • The joy, the loss–In Queenstown

    Monday, November 21, 3am–Slow to start, bad allergies at first, this sickness has invaded my body. Perhaps a cold, maybe flu, I feel terrible. I don’t like waking and getting up so early, but did not want to wake the two other guys and the girl who are bunking with me in the same room, so up at 3am. As you would know, there are sickness bugs over here my body has never had to deal with before. Now it is the next morning, feel better today. I tend to wait until I see the sun has risen a little before I get up, often just laying there, waking between 5 and 6am often. Not even keeping a clock or time keeper with me, going by the sun.
    Eating well. This morning fresh fried potatoes with onions, again. Every day I am eating my 4pm salad. Developed this habit about 18 years ago, every day about 4pm I eat a salad. I guess it’s a good habit to form, yes?
    The mountains outside Queenstown, very nice, as you see
    So, I have about 9 more days with nothing to do while in New Zealand, any ideas?  Right now it is 7am and I have the whole day ahead of me.  I want to move on away from Queenstown, but which direction. I will be eventually flying out of Christchurch, so I guess I should aim toward there. Thinking about hitchhiking, never have done that before. Queenstown is much of a tourist destination, many stores and places aimed toward that crowd. As you would know, I am not so much a part of that crowd. Come to think about it, not sure what “crowd” I would fit into. Not the juggling crowd, not the salsa crowd, not the church crowd, perhaps the “Kit” crowd? Want to join me, there’s plenty of room.
    Darn, there was one travel company who did not have any seats for the bus from Queenstown to Dunedin. I went to another and they didn’t think there was anything available. I was all set and looking forward to hitchhiking to Dunedin. I’ve never hitchhiked and thought it would be a good time to start a new adventure.  They called on the phone and there was one seat left, so I bought my ticket and leave about 3pm. Perhaps I will hitch from Dunedin to Christchurch, I’ll let you know.
    Right now I am at a walking mall in Queenstown, very nice.  There are so many shops here, and tourists to buy, of course. Yet, I have no interest in buying things, have all I need.
    Well, it happened today. And, everything had been going so smooth and perfect.  I keep all my cash separate in an envelop that is in my small case on wheels that goes everywhere with me, this was (yes, I wrote was) income from the workshops and book sales that I never made an accurate count of. I kept this money so well organized in the envelope, I can picture it now. This afternoon I looked for the envelope, not there, not anywhere. Looked many different times, thought it would turn up as my wallet turned up. I did not have the money counted, between two and three thousand gone, just like that. I went to the places I remember going today, no one found anything. I went to the police department and filed a report, they will email me if someone turns it in, although, I don’t see why they would, who wouldn’t keep an envelope with a bunch of cash and no identification?  I was careful, not fully conscious of who was watching when I got into this envelope. Did someone see where I have it and steal my money? I think that that’s what happened, theft.  I wrote before that losing hundreds or thousands does not hurt for me, but boy does it sting. It’s like the envelop simply disappeared. Could have been theft, yet no one knew where I had this envelop, I think anyway. No one could have known where I had the cash, or I could have put it down somewhere. I’m feeling like such an idiot, really hurts. Very careful the whole time with this, too. Do you know, is this loss something I can write off on my taxes?
    As always, I will find a way to get through this, as hard as it is.  As you know, I have been having a fantastic trip, but that is no excuse for the loss. I can picture that money now, neatly put into the envelope. The important thing is I still have my computer and can write you to, more important than money to me. This loss, as all the others, will be included is the book I want to write. Just reading this and editing on the next day I felt the hurt.
    Here is where the outline of a book I have worked on about my first accident is:
    take a look, let me know what you think. I have about 200 pages of notes and ideas to jump forward with toward this book. But, I have many more loses and changes to include since the time I wrote that outline. Many of you wrote to me saying that you think I am a good writer from what I have written to you so far about my trip, thank you for that. The book I have in mind is one that, I hope, will change humanity toward the better (or, am I thinking too big?)  My plan is to find a good ghost writer (although I’m afraid of ghosts) to help me finish a book on loss and growth. I have a massive amount of material to work from, including these emails and blogs I have sent you about my trip.  I think it might take two or three months of intense work between me and the ghost to complete the job. Now, where would I find a good ghost writer, any ideas? A line comes to mind, “Who ya ganna call, Ghostbusters.” This person and I would have to become friends and work well together.
    23 November—Woke about 3:30 with pain of loss on my mind, and my tinnitus blaring in my ears. I’ve already pretty much gotten over this loss. But, help me figure the total loss out. The income would have totally paid for my trip, and then some. With the loss I am out the income made plus the plane ticket and expenses to be here. So, it seems that I have lost double what I could have had if the money did not disappear. All confusing, but does not matter in the end, life goes on. Today I will have to go to a bank to see if my debit card will work in their ATM to get some cash (I believe it should). There is food left that I have with me, such as peanut butter and jelly for lunch sandwiches.  I’ll write you again with a better story of life.
    Back in Dunedin again staying with Miguel, a very kind sole and good juggler. I want to help him get his street juggling act together and going. I will take the time to see more of Dunedin.
    Bye for now>>>>Kit

  • A new adventure, alone again

    Clinton and I parted ways yesterday. He had wanted to spend time alone out in the wilderness. My time with him was some of the best on my trip, we saw much wilderness, mountains, rain-forests, snow, sheep lands, the sea and more. I had gotten used to being with him, now all alone again.
    Clinton dropped me off at a hostel, once again, on a lake, checked in and went to my room. This place is more expensive than most I have stayed at, $36 a night. Slept well, yet woke at 3am and jumped on my computer (no, not physically.) I had paid $10 for 24 hours, so I wanted to get my money’s worth. I often wake at that time anyway. A big place with many there, once again, just another place to sleep, nothing special about it at all.

    Left this hostel at about noon, I knew there were other hostels in town at a lower price. The first one I went to was sold out. The next had a bed at $26, so I dove in. In here with four Germans, the two girls have a separate room. They are speaking German and English off and on. Yes, just another place to sleep, yet comfortable. When I awoke I had to pee, the room was so dark. Finally made it out and did what I had to, must have been 3 or 4 in the morn. Went back to bed and just stayed there until the sun was up. Here they are–www.kiwi-backpackers.co.nz

    Yesterday I had a scare, could not find my wallet anywhere. When something like this happens my mind does not go into the panic mode. Right away I click in the solution mode. My mind starts searching right away for things I need to do—who to contact about my cards and such. But, I just kept a minimal of stuff in my wallet for the trip. My PA driver license, my debit card (that needs a pin number), my health insurance card and a small amount of cash (I keep the rest in a bag on wheels that goes everywhere with me.) So, as they say here so often, “No worries.” Anyway, today I searched through where I keep the other money and found it—relief. In a way makes me feel like a fool, but, I guess, I don’t care.
    Seeeeeeeee      ya>>>>Kit

  • Into beautiful Milford Sound, New Zealand

    16 Nov, 2011—Drove with Clinton from Dunedin to Invercargill.  And, what a brilliant drive it was. Along the way we stopped at a rocky beach and we saw two wild penguins on the rocks. Also, we saw a beach with trees that had been petrified, it was amazing, looked like wood but felt like stone. The sign said fossilized forest, which it was. We went to the furthest south point in NZ, next would be Antarctica.   We stopped in one shop by the cliffs and I drank a banana shake, quite tasty. Along the way we passed so many sheep fields, thousands of the white bodies with four legs, saw limited cows, too. Very strange though, they used so much land for sheep, but we saw no one growing crops, just green fields of grass for the sheep. This looks like very fertile land, l am surprised they do not grow any crops.
    That night I took up in a hostel ($25) and Clinton slept in his rental van. It is set up well as a camper van, just for one person, though. This hostel was just a place to sleep, not nice like I had at The Big Hostel in Sydney or Nikki’s JuggleRest. Woke with the sun coming up, as usual, then it was off to meet Clinton at a local breakfast place.

    We continued the drive up to Lake Gunn, way up in the mountains. The sight was amazing when it turned so quickly from green pastures to lush forest.  For lunch we cooked up some spaghetti. You know how things taste much better when you cook it up in the mountains, well, it did—delicious–that along with salad and bread, perfect. With thirst I went to drink from the lake, very clean and tasty it was. Then the rain started. You can tell it rains here often with the moss on the trees and ferns on the ground. I wrote before on the Narnia books, this could have easily been a forest in Narnia, as I pictured in my mind what I read from the past. In fact, they are right now filming the hobbit movies in NZ.

    At a new hostel now typing this, it’s on a lakefront, some good views. But, just another “bed”, not like the two I wrote of before.  Many staying here, right now I am in the kitchen area, many cooks all around me. Talked with “Kyle”, who is a fan of Tony Robbins and was impressed that I had lunch with him at his house and went to his first wedding, we had a good talk. People share food at hostels, very friendly.  Kyle is working on the set of the new hobbit movie being filmed in New Zealand. I’ve heard about the filming before, very secretive though.
    Now the next morning, the hostel provided tea, had three cups. Someone offered me a raspberry muffin, so, that was breakfast. Last night was quite cold, but I provided myself with two thick blankets, so warm I was. Sitting out front waiting for Clinton to arrive now, seeing how nice it is here. Sitting directly across from the lake seeing great views, how perfect, a clean fresh smell is in the air. I look out and I see a boat moored up out in the center, as well as a plane that can land on the water. I look to the right and I see snow covered mountains. I look to the left and a see forest that goes on and on. Couldn’t be nicer, wish you were here to share this with me.
    Today was even nicer.  We drove up where we were yesterday, but higher up on the mountain, didn’t have enough gas yesterday.  Higher and higher we drove up the mountain, went from sheep farmlands to lush rain forests to rocky and snowy glacier areas up one side of the mountain. Then, driving down the other side we went through what could be a desert type area, then eventually dropped down to sea level as we came upon an inlet. So so many changes today, delightful, a great day being a tourist.


    Up on top of the snow covered mountain there were these parrot birds, Kea birds. They wanted a hand-out of food. So strange to see these parrots up in the snowy mountains. After dealing with these birds we went through a tunnel, and a long one, perhaps 2 kilometers in length. There was only room for one direction of driving. So, there was a green and then red light you had to follow. We went to a place called “The Chasm.” To get there the pathway went over bridges and around through the rain forest—the best scenery I have seen so far. You could drink any of the mountain streams, which was  a delight. There is so much detail to go into about this, it was phenomenal. For the drive we were listening to ZZ Topp, the perfect music for the drive.  So, we went from near sea level to above the tree line into glaciers, then back down the other side to snow level again. The memories will always be with me—it was breathtaking (heh, who took my breath?)   Along the drive we saw many more sheep farms, and also saw deer farms. I don’t know if there are also wild deer, but to see on a farm was different.
    Have to apologize. In my last email to you I wrote some thoughts I had about god, or the idea of a god. This was not the correct format for me to state my thoughts toward such a subject, I’m sorry, I’ve just been thinking much about that area. I will stick to just the trip from now on, and, as you know, what a trip this has been. Hope my words did not chase you away.

    I miss you>>>>>>Kit