Around The World · 98 Days · 165 Moments · September 2018

98 days of travel: Bali - NewZealand - Hawaii

22 December 2018

Back home for Christmas๐ŸŽ„ We are very glad getting this opportunity to travel for 98 days around the globe ๐ŸŒ but now we are happy to be back home ๐Ÿก. Back home we have a lot of things to do #postholidayproblems โ€ข sort our mail โœ‰๏ธ โ€ข shop groceries ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ—๐Ÿซโ˜•๏ธ โ€ข do laundry ๐Ÿงบ โ€ข finish book no. 19 ๐Ÿ“š โ€ข organize New Years Eve ๐ŸŽŠ2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ9๏ธโƒฃ๐ŸŽŠ โ€ข ...last but not least: get into Christmas mood ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ

20 December 2018

San Francisco - Very last evening ๐Ÿท& time to say goodbye ๐Ÿ‘‹. A few facts about San Fran โ€ข San Fran is very hilly area โ†•๏ธ โ€ข the Golden Gate Bridge ๐ŸŒ & Alcatraz โ›“ are must doโ€˜s โ€ข Cable cars are fun ๐Ÿšƒ โ€ข Uber works well โ€ข a lot of homeless people โ€ข Americans do not eat the same for breakfast as Europeans (us)๐Ÿฅจ
San Francisco - Ice cream heaven found ๐Ÿฆ
San Francisco - Madame Tussauds๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคฉ
San Francisco - Dungeon Sounds better than it was - unfortunately not worth the money ๐Ÿ’ฐ.
San Francisco - Fishermanโ€™s Wharf

19 December 2018

San Francisco - Sunset from the Hotel After a long day we went back to the hotel to relax before having dinner & what we saw was an amazing sunset overlooking the city ๐ŸŒ‡.
San Francisco - Chinatown The weather got sunny โ˜€๏ธ in the afternoon & we went for a nice walk through Chinatown ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ. We also thought we would eat there - we tried but we failed. The food was so disgusting so we left without eating all the ordered stuff.
San Francisco - Cable Car Today we took a ride in a San Francisco cable car๐Ÿšƒ. Its the world's last manually operated cable car system. Of the 23 lines established between 1873-1890, only three remain ๐Ÿšƒ.
San Francisco - Alcatraz San Fran would not be San Fran without visiting Alcatraz. We took the early bird ticket to be one of the first visitors. Alcatraz or โ€žThe Rockโ€œ was a maximum high-security federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 2 km off the coast of San Francisco which operated from 1934-1963. It was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. Alcatraz Island also provided housing for the Prisons' staff & their families. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts during the 29 years of the prison's existence. As you can see in the photo, the prison cells, purposefully designed so that none adjoined an outside wall, typically measured 2.5 x 1.5 m & 2.1 m high. The cells were primitive with a bed, desk, washbasin, a toilet on the back wall & few furnishings. Prisoners had no privacy in going to the toilet & the toilets had emit a strong stench because they were flushed with salt water. Hot water did not exist until 1960s.

18 December 2018

San Francisco - At night The Hopp-on Hopp-off also included a night tour through the city ๐ŸŒƒ. Highlight was driving over the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island to have a stunning view on the skyline at night.
San Francisco - Lombard Street Lombard Street is for sure the most famos street in town due to its steep & curvy design. that is famous for a steep, one-block section with 8 hairpin turns. The street was built in 1922 to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade to 16% which was too steep for most vehicles.
San Francisco - Pier 39 After lunch we walked to Pier 39. Itโ€˜s a big shopping/souvenir place ๐Ÿ› & sea lions hang out there. Itโ€˜s really funny to watch them: they crawl over the others while the others are loudly complaining. They make lots of funny movement & noises too. Some facts โ€ข California sea lions are known for their intelligence, playfulness & noisy barking โ€ข Males reach 390 kg & 2 m in length while females can reach 110 kg & up to 1.8 m in length โ€ข A majority of the sea lions at Pier 39 are male โ€ข Sea lions live up to 25 years
San Francisco - Ferry Building โ›ด The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay, hosts a food hall & offices. On top of the building is a 75 m tall clock tower with four clock dials, each 6 m in diameter which can be seen from Market Street. We strolled through all the nice tiny shops there & had a wonderful lunch at Gottโ€˜s ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฅ—.
San Francisco - Golden Gate Bridge After passing several sights throughout the city, our first real stop was the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point 2 on the other side. From the car park we hiked up the hill to have a better view (Battery Spencer). The bridge is to 80% surrounded by fog - but not today. Some facts The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the 1.6 km wide strait connecting San Francisco Bay & the Pacific Ocean ๐ŸŒŠ. At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest & the tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 1โ€˜280 m & a total height of 227 m. Now is now the ninth-longest.
San Francisco - Hopp-on Hopp-off Bus ๐ŸšŒ We started our visit with a city tour & used the Hopp-on Hopp-off bus ๐ŸšŒ to move from one sightseeing stop to another. We were so so lucky ๐Ÿ€ because the weather today was so nice & sunnyโ˜€๏ธ - really rare for San Francisco. The picture shows the morning view from our hotel Hilton Parc 55 directly at the Union Square.

17 December 2018

Hawaii - San Francisco Byebye Hawaii ๐ŸŒบ we had a blast but now we are happy to fly back to civilization ๐Ÿ˜‰. Here a few findings about the Hawaiian Islands โ€ข all 4 island are c o m p l e t e l y different โ€ข Ohau has very exhausting hikes but you will rewarded with very nice views โ›ฐ โ€ข Maui in a Mustang is lots of fun & a must do ๐Ÿš— โ€ข the Helicopter flight over Kauai was breathtaking ๐Ÿš โ€ข Big Islandsโ€™ nature consists more or less of dried lava ๐ŸŒ‹& beaches๐Ÿ โ€ข a Jeep Wrangler is the worst car we have ever rented โ€ข we drove 2โ€˜983 km in 52 hours โฑ on the Hawaiian Islands ๐Ÿš—๐ŸŒบ โ€ข we had 10 days water from above โ˜”๏ธ โ€ข we went on approx. 4 hikes - bigger & smaller ones

16 December 2018

Big Island - Kailua-Kona Last sunset in paradise โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด

14 December 2018

Big Island - Manta Night Dive ... without Mantas ๐Ÿ™. There was no plankton around and so no food for Mantas. We are a little bit disappointed cause we saw a friendsโ€˜ video how the show looks like. Tja - nature is unpredictable. BUT we saw a bunch of dolphins ๐Ÿฌ passing by, buffer fish ๐Ÿ  & other fish fights for food ๐Ÿคฃ.
Big Island - Turtle spotting Pt. II ๐Ÿข Second attempt to spot some turtle ๐Ÿข at the beach. As you can see we were successful & spotted one hanging out and another one in the water.

13 December 2018

Big Island - Turtle spotting ๐Ÿข Honokohau Bay is famous for its resting & sunbathing turtles ๐Ÿข on the beach ๐Ÿ. Unfortunately we only saw a bunch of turtles ๐Ÿข resting in the water and not on the beach. We will try it again ๐Ÿ˜€

12 December 2018

Big Island - Mauna Kea ๐ŸŒ‹ Today we changed our location to the other side - west side of Big Island. On the way we went up the highest mountain on the Hawaiian Islands. Mauna Kea is a volcano ๐ŸŒ‹ & - believe it or not - 4โ€˜200 m above sea level. Most of the times a paved road leads to the summit but a part consists of gravel too so that only 4WD are allowed to get up. If you donโ€™t have it - do not go up: the gravel road is very steep & bumpy. Itโ€™s been said that Mauna Kea summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation due to favorable observing conditions (no light pollution). On the summit there are 13 observatory centers with telescopes ๐Ÿ”ญ.

11 December 2018

Big Island - End of Chain of Crater Road There is a lava field active till now since 1986 ๐ŸŒ‹ . At this time, we havenโ€™t seen flowing hot lava ๐Ÿ˜•. But the field looked impressive & much more darker than lava fields from the 1970โ€˜s.
Big Island - Chain of Crater Road This is a lava field from the 1970โ€˜s. The dry lava looks like burnt coal & reflects perlmutt colors in the sunlight โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ.

10 December 2018

Big Island - South Point We went all the way down to the very south point of the island. Besides the lookout, there is a cliff from which you can jump from. It was very very windy out there, nevertheless we took the 12 meter jump down into crystal clear & warm water ๐Ÿ’ฆ. It was so refreshing ๐Ÿคฉ.
Big Island - Green Sand Beach Green Sands Beach, also known as Papakลlea Beach or Mahana Beach, is one of only four green sand beaches in the world ๐ŸŒŽ. The coloring comes from from olivine sand eroded out of the enclosing volcanic cone. We took a shuttle ๐Ÿš• from the parking lot which turned out to be necessary cause the road is very very bumpy. The lady managed it pretty well to drive us forth & back with her old car โ€žJosรฉโ€œ (*1993) that seems to be more dead than alive ๐Ÿš•๐Ÿ˜‚.
Big Island - Hilo We are here! Good vibes & food only ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿฅฅ

8 December 2018

Maui - Kaanapali Beach Aloha State ๐ŸŒˆ seen a complete rainbow ๐Ÿคฉ
Maui - North Shore New Zealand weather in Maui w/ at least 20 degrees warmer ๐Ÿ˜‰

7 December 2018

Maui - Kahana Sushi heaven ๐Ÿฃ
Maui - Humpback Whale Watching ๐Ÿณ Today morning we went on whale watching wit the Pacific Whale Foundation - a on-profit company dedicated to protecting the ocean ๐ŸŒŠ through science ๐Ÿ”ฌ and advocacy. Once we started the tour we only went out a few meters & saw two whales ๐Ÿณ playing and jumping around. When we reached them they showed up again but without jumping. In the second place we saw a baby whale and the mother. This was a really nice experience & the crew on board provided a lot of information. We will keep this trip in our memories since taking photos was very difficult.

6 December 2018

Maui - Haleakalฤ National Park Sunrise at 3โ€˜000 m above sea level is freaking cold! We got up at 3:45 am to start our journey to the vulcano ๐ŸŒ‹. It was predicted to have around 2.5 hours. The crater road to the summit is 22 miles long & has 32 switchbacks, climbing an average grade 6%. Luckily we had most of the time no car in front of us (or they let us pass) so that we had a lot of fun driving up ๐Ÿš—. We were able to made it within 2 hours. Once at the summit the day seems to start soon so we searched for a good place among the other 1โ€˜000 tourists. It is definitely no joke when we say it was so so cold: there was a freezing cold wind & approx. 2 degrees๐Ÿฅถ. Nevertheless there were other tourists who wore flip flop & a sweater- we are still fascinated that they survived ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

5 December 2018

Maui - Poโ€˜olenalena Beach Park Sunset as its finest ๐Ÿโ˜€๏ธ

4 December 2018

Maui - Road to Hana In the car ๐Ÿš— Ford Mustang ๐ŸŽ
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 9 - Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach ๐Ÿ The beach is part of a crumbling red cinder cone & there is a lava rock wall which breaks the force of the ocean waves before they can crash on the sand.
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 8 - Hamoa Beach๐Ÿ A beautiful beach with white sand & blue water that is a great spot to do some swimming & tanning when the weather is nice โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด. We were not that lucky...
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 7 - Kipahulu, Haleakalฤ National Park The Pools of Oheโ€™o (aka Seven Sacred Pools) are located here. 7 cascades going down before ending up in the ocean.
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 6 - Wailua Falls A โ€šstopโ€˜ is hard to say here cause you literally drive by without the need for stopping. We stopped anyway to take a photo of this lovely waterfall cascading 25 m down the side of a jungle wall into to a pool.
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 5 - Waiโ€™anapanapa State Park Its one of Mauiโ€™s volcanic-sand beaches where you have the chance to experience a black sand beach alongside the ocean.
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 4 - Keanae Lookout Very nice spot to take a few photos of & with our vehicle ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿค™๐Ÿผ
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 3 - Koโ€˜olau Forest We saw the so called Rainbow trees.๐ŸŒˆ They are called Eucalyptus deglupta & known as the Rainbow Eucalyptus, Mindanao Gum or the Rainbow Gum. The multi-coloured streaks on its trunk comes from patches of outer bark that are shed annually at different times, showing the bright-green inner bark.
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 2 - Twin Falls The twin falls were not even worth to take a photo but the giant bamboo trees ๐ŸŽ‹ were!
Maui - Road to Hana Stop 1 - Hoโ€˜okipa Lookout
Maui - Road to Hana So folks we went today on the famous Road to Hana ๐Ÿš—. The Road to Hana is a scenic highway (Highway 360) that twists through the rainforest ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒด & past waterfalls ๐Ÿ’ฆ that line the island's northern shore. The Hana Highway is 64 mile long (104 km) with 620 curves & 59 bridges (46 one-lane). The Road to Hana might seem short, but traveling it will most likely take all day given the number of scenic lookouts ๐Ÿ‘€ & other places to stop. Nevertheless, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive to Hana even when no stops are made.

3 December 2018

Hi Maui ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ we are here!

2 December 2018

Kauaโ€˜i - Beach & Dinner ... nothing more to say. We took it easy today (what else?!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

1 December 2018

Kauaโ€˜i - Helicopter Tour ๐Ÿš Its been told that the best way to see the breadth and majesty of Kauai is by air. So we did & went for a flight over the garden island. We saw a lot of things we would have never reached so we flew over the east coast, waterfalls, mountains, cliffs, Napali coast, into cliffs again, North shore and many other areas. It as breathtaking ๐Ÿคฉ & we would do it again & again๐Ÿš .

28 November 2018

Kauaโ€˜i - Hanalei We went further on the North Shore to Hanalei to get some food. We choose a street food truck which have has too many choices (obviously). On the way back we had a nice views overlooking the North Shore & Hanalei Valleyโ˜€๏ธโ›ฐ๐ŸŒด.
Kauaโ€˜i - Kilauea Lighthouse This was a really nice experience & totally worth the money: when we got there they claimed that the entrance fee is 10$/person which we found a little bit overpriced but they offered a tour inside the lighthouse so we did it. The lady who took us through the tour was a very passionate storyteller on the history of the lighthouse so that we totally forgot the time. Here a few facts we could remember: It operates from 1913-1932 on oil light & 3 keepers were needed to keep it work during the night. It reached 20-22 miles, until the horizon & sent a double flash ๐Ÿ’ก every 10 sec. The lens was designed and built in France & consists of 400 individual glasses. This lighthouse is small in terms of height cause it was built on a rock with higher elevation (52 m above sea level) and thus, reached the horizon by only being a few meters high (16 m).
Kauaโ€˜i - Wailua Falls Simply one picture taken here cause there is no access to the bottom of the waterfall. Nevertheless this is a very strong & 52 m high waterfall and if you are lucky you can see a rainbow ๐ŸŒˆ was we did. And the waterfall is a celebrity: it is featured on the opening credits of the television series Fantasy Island.

27 November 2018

Kauaโ€˜i - Weimea Canyon Today we had visited an incredible beautiful canyon. Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon, approx. 16 km long & up to 900 m deep. On the way to the main lookout you have the chance to stop whenever you want cause the road is directly beside the canyon.

25 November 2018

Oahu - Sunset Beach After the hike we wanted to go for a swim in the ocean & settle down at the beach to get a tan. But unfortunately we ended up in a surf contest ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ which we thought will be held at Waikiki Beach. Same here - no wind ๐Ÿ’จ but huuuge waves ๐ŸŒŠ. The commentator highlighted that these conditions are extremely dangerous for the surfers & on the limits of feasibility. The beach (& Susanne) also got flooded by the waves ๐ŸŒŠ coming in. The waves catched Susanne & her towel ๐Ÿ™ƒ - not funny.
Oahu - The Sunrise Shack ...was the original trigger to visit the North Shore of Oahu. This tiny little pop-up cafe right at the street serves coffeeโ˜•๏ธ, smoothies & smoothie bowls. Pascal took an Aรงai Bowl ๐Ÿ‡ with honey ๐Ÿฏ & coconut ๐Ÿฅฅ. Susanne chose a Monkey Bowl ๐Ÿ’ with banana ๐ŸŒ & almond butter ๐Ÿฅœ. Both came with granola. They were suuuper nice so we can highly recommend this little cafe ๐Ÿคฉ.
Oahu - Kaena Point Trail long & hot ๐Ÿฅต This was our impression after 20 minutes of walk. No shade, no bush, no tree - nothing but the sun โ˜€๏ธ, the wild ocean ๐ŸŒŠ & a dirty trail ๐Ÿฅพ. After those 20 minutes we turned & went back to the parking lot. The walk was supposed to be approx. 1 hour to the point & 1 hour back. We were also tired of walking from yesterdays hike. Anyway we enjoyed & were fascinated by the ocean & its big waves ๐ŸŒŠ (it was not stormy).

24 November 2018

Oahu - Olomana Ridge Trail 7 km & 3.5 hours through a slippery, steep & humid forest ๐ŸŒฒ but the view was worth the sweat ๐Ÿ’ฆ.

23 November 2018

Oahu - Honolulu, Chinatown After our Crossfit session later the day we stayed in Chinatown for dinner. We chose a Thai restaurant called โ€žOpalโ€œ. So far so good. We luckily got the last table in there. Everything went as usual: we got the menu, we discussed what we would choose and what dishes they serve - and then nothing happened for 15 min. until the boss itself came to our table & the fun began: he took away the menu and asked us where we are from๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, what kind of herbs ๐Ÿฅฌ๐Ÿฅฆ& meat/seafood ๐Ÿฅฉ๐Ÿคwe like & if we want it hot ๐ŸŒถ or not. So he told us: โ€žI will order for you, i already have your menu ready. I am the best & relaxโ€œ. The only thoughts we had was - oh my gosh... ๐Ÿ˜จ BUT what we got was a kind of menu we usually would not have selected. It was soooo delicious & spicy for Pascal ๐ŸŒถ. He challenged the boss & he gave him more chilis ๐ŸŒถ to eat ๐Ÿ™„ otherwise the bill will be the double ๐Ÿ’ธ - luckily Pascal made itโœŒ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฅณ. in the end the bill clarified what we have had ๐Ÿคฉ.
Oahu - Waikiki, Black Friday - live - in the US๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ kind of crazy ๐Ÿคช. The day before we talked to a local about the Black Friday sale in the big mall & were advices to go early and without the car. So we did. We got up early ๐Ÿ˜ด, rented biki bikes ๐Ÿšฒ & arrived at the mall around 8 am. The mall already opened at 6 am and supposed to close at 10 pm. We dove into the crazy people who hunting on promotion for another - but to be honest some promotions are really - and i mean - really good ๐Ÿ’ธ. Shops like lulemoon, Prada, Gucci, Versace... and and and, we could add many more. They were partially closed due to overflow so that the people lined up outside to wait until they can get in๐Ÿคช. Unfortunately we were busy in hunting promotions too so we didnโ€™t took any photo of this experience.รค ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Honestly, Susanne has no space in her backpack ๐ŸŽ’ for all the stuff she bought...

22 November 2018

Oahu - Beach Day aka โ€žwe need a tanโ€œ ๐ŸŒดโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ We definitely need to refresh our tan & we rewarded ourselves after this โ€žchallengingโ€œ hike with a sunbath outside the city โ˜€๏ธ. We think this beach have had the highest shorebreak we have ever seen. It was kind of dangerous to go for a swim ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ.
Oahu - Diamond Head Crater ๐Ÿ’Ž Diamond Head Trail is a 2.4 km trail that offers scenic views over Honolulu. The crater is more than 1 km in diameter & part of the Hawaiian volcano chain ๐ŸŒ‹ from more than a half million years ago. It got the name Diamond Head almost 200 years ago when British sailors believed there were diamonds ๐Ÿ’Ž in the side of the crater but there were none found. This trail is also the most popular one around Honolulu & so it was very crowded on that Thanksgiving Day. Once the summit was reached we had a nice view over the city! ๐ŸŒƒ

21 November 2018

Oahu - Kailua - yummy food & Crossfit Not the very first session after our 4 week break but the first session in Hawaii ๐ŸŒบ at Crossfit Kailua๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Was hard & sweaty but we made it through. Before we had a delicious dinner at Nalu in Kailua Downtown.
Oahu - Makapuโ€™u Lighthouse Track Next stop on our way to Kailua was the 1.5 hour (4km) easy track to the Makapuโ€™u Lighthouse with a stunning view ๐Ÿคฉ of the Ka Iwi shoreline. Makapuu Point is the southeastern point of the island of Oahu. To the east of it is the Kaiwi Channel which passes between the islands of Oahu and Molokai which are about 40 km apart. With increasing importance of commerce between the United States ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ and the Hawaiian Islands ๐Ÿin 1906, a lighthouse was needed to ensure safety for the ships ๐Ÿšข. The Lighthouse Board contains a twelve-foot-tall lens, which had an inside diameter of roughly eight feet nine inches. This hyperradiant lens is the largest type of lens and the only one of its kind used in a US lighthouse.
Oahu - Roads & Lookouts ...on the way to Kailua ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒดโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ
Oahu - Koko Head Trail During World War II, the military several built bunkers at the summit of Koko Head crater. They also constructed Koko Head Railway (now the Koko Head stairs) to move personnel and supplies up and down. There are 1โ€™048 railroad ties to the end of the railway then another few meters of walking to get to the look out points ๐Ÿคฉ. That was a tough hike of 25 minutes up - but we made it! Locals do it in 13 minutes or so๐Ÿฅต.

20 November 2018

Oahu - Pearl Harbour We had some time left until we got our hotel room so we decided to visit the Pearl Harbour Memorial. Great museum, very well explained in the American way ๐Ÿ˜‰
Aloha Hawaii ๐ŸŒบ We had a good trip & arrived savely in Honolulu (Oahu). After pick up of our rental car ๐Ÿš— we went to the hotel ๐Ÿจ. We will spend here 6 days & we are curious what Oahu offers ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒดโ˜€๏ธ.

19 November 2018

Onewhero - Auckland City (70 km, 55 minutes) After dropping off our bags in the hotel we went to the airport & to return our van ๐Ÿš. Everything went nice & smooth - we didnโ€™t have any bigger accident only some โ€žouuups.โ€œ & โ€žstoooooop!โ€œ moments ๐Ÿคฃ. Here a few numbers about our New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ trip โ€ข we drove 3โ€˜973 km in our Happy Camper van ๐Ÿš โ€ข we needed approx. 44 hours โฑ& 14 tanks of petrolโ›ฝ๏ธ โ€ข we had 9 days water from above โ˜”๏ธ & approx. 9 days of light from above โ˜€๏ธ, the rest of the time it was cloudy โ›…๏ธ โ€ข we stayed at 21 campsites ๐Ÿ• โ€ข we went on approx. 14 hikes - bigger & smaller ones & joined 3 times an organized tour โ€ข we saw vulcanos๐ŸŒ‹, rain forests ๐ŸŒฒ, untouched nature ๐ŸŒฟ, lots of sheep ๐Ÿ‘ & cows ๐Ÿ„, kiwi (animal ๐Ÿฆ… & fruit ๐Ÿฅ), endless roads ๐Ÿš, local people ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ (rare, but some live here), lonely mailboxes ๐Ÿ“ฌ, different Holiday Parks & mostly beautiful free camping camping sites ๐Ÿ• All in all it was a nice road trip & we were HAPPY CAMPERS ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ˜‰

18 November 2018

Coromandel Town - Onewhero (136 km, 2 hours) Officially last day in our campervan & we are on the way back to Auckland where we have one day left thanks to Air New Zealand (postponed the flight). One the way to our free camping site #21 ๐Ÿ• we stopped by in a small little cafe in Waiomu to have some lunch ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ—. We decided to drive further than usually planned to have dinner in a small Thai restaurant in Pukekohe. Once we arrived at our campsite we made our van ready for drop-off means cleaning and giving all the stuff we bought to other travellers we met at the campsite ๐Ÿ•. They were happy to get some free stuff & offered us a beer ๐Ÿ˜‰.

17 November 2018

Hot Water Beach - Coromandel Town (75 km, 1.5 hour) Just another road along the Coromandel. Campsite #20 ๐Ÿ• was Top10 Holiday Park Coromandel. Coromandel Town itself is not that interesting - itโ€™s famous for gold bit unfortunately the museum has closed permanently.
Hahei - Cathedral Cove Stopped here to see the famous Cathedral Cove. Itโ€™s a rock from a vulcano years ago that was spoilt out by water and thus got a hole in the middle. We went there by kayak ๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ - it was kind of everything: fun ๐Ÿคฉ, wet ๐Ÿ’ฆ & coldโ„๏ธโ›…๏ธ.

16 November 2018

Mount Maunganui - Hot Water Beach (155 km, 2.5 hours) After the hike we left Mount towards the Coromandel Peninsula and made a stop in Hot Water Beach (village & beach have the same name). Our campsite #19๐Ÿ• is the Top10 Holiday Park. There is only one thing to do at this location: digging a hole into the beach ๐Ÿ to create your own hot pool. Underneath this beach there is a 170 degree hot stone which heats the ground water up to 64 degrees. If you dig a hole on one of these two spots, you get your own hot pool. Pascal mutated into โ€žBob the Builderโ€œ & made a huge hole ๐Ÿ•ณ after a few attempts to find the spring. Despite the sunny โ˜€๏ธ weather we had today, itโ€™s only 18 degrees, so we decided not to jump into the hot pool not to risk a cold๐Ÿคง.
Mount Maunganui - the โ€žhikeโ€œ As we said before this mountian is more like a hill: itโ€™s only 232 m high. We did morning sports and went up there in 35 minutes, still feeling our legs after yesterdays Crossfit session. YES, we went to Crossfit again. Really nice box & nasty workout ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ (no photo proof): 30-20-10 KB Deadlifts 20/30 Burpee Box Jump Over finishing with a 3 RM OHS

15 November 2018

Otorohanga - Mount Maunganui (138 km, 2 hours) Todaysโ€˜ route led towards the โ€žRiviera of NZLโ€œ consistent of two towns: Tauranga & Mount Maunganui. It definitely warmer than somewhere else in NZL & sunโ€˜s out again โ˜€๏ธ. Campsite #18๐Ÿ• is Beachside Holiday Park located at the base of the mountain. Perfect for a climb tomorrow. Btw, โ€žmountainโ€œ is a little bit overrated: Mount Maunganui is only 232 m high.

14 November 2018

Lake Maraetai - Otorohanga (102 km, 1.5 hour) Besides the stop at the Glowworm Caves we did a quick stop at the Otorohanga KIWI Wildlife Center. We went to this wildlife center to make a tick to our to-do list โœ… & see a Kiwi bird ๐Ÿฆ…. The Kiwi is not a bird bird: he cannot fly, comes out of the egg with whole feathers & is fully independently from its parents. We saw a lot of other NZL birds too but unfortunately cant remember the names ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. We found a nice campsite #17 ๐Ÿ• at Kiwi Holiday Park. Ps. Kiwi bird was not allowed to photograph even they are living in a dark house mimicking night time ๐ŸŒ’๐ŸŒ™.
Waitomo - Glowworm Cave We stopped at the Waitomo Glowworm area but didnโ€™t chose the touristy tour. Instead we took a provider with a smaller cave (Footwhistle cave) & groups. This was the right choice: the tour was perfect, we saw lots of glowworms ๐Ÿ› & the lady provided a lot of information on these tiny animals & history of the cave.

13 November 2018

Rotorua - Lake Maraetai (73 km, 1 hour) After wine tasting we went on to our way to Waimoto to see the glowworms on the next day. We did an overnight stop at a really nice campsite #16 ๐Ÿ• called Lake Maraetai. In the evening we had a strong rainfall but on the next day we woke up with this view โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒฒ
Rotorua - Volcanic Hills Winery We did a wine tasting ๐Ÿท. We liked the wine - it was really nice. We also had a nice view onto Lake Rotorua cause the winery was located on a hill. Unfortunately this location was only built for tourist purposes & they produce the wines somewhere else.

12 November 2018

Rotorua - Redwoods Treewalk ๐ŸŒฒ This was sooo cool ๐Ÿคฉ & definitely worth to go! The treewalk consists of 21 suspension bridges traversing between 22 Californian coastal redwood trees ๐ŸŒฒ . It gave very unique view to the trees & forest from 12 m above the ground. Treewalk quick facts๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ: starting height 6 m, highest point 12 m, longest bridge 37 m, length 553 m, 21 bridges, 22 platforms. New Zealand Redwood Tree quick facts๐ŸŒฒ: tallest living trees on earth, first tree planted in 1901, height 72 m, diameter 2 m, circumference 6.2 m, volume of wood 75.4 cubic meters: enough timber to build 3.5 houses ๐Ÿก.
Rotorua - Wai-O-Tapu On the way to Rotorua we stopped by another active geothermal area (15 sq km) Wai-O-Tapu. Due to many geothermal conditions beneath the earth, the area has many hot springs with colourful appearance like the Champagne Pool ๐Ÿพ. In addition the Lady Knox Geyser is located next to but as we heard afterwards, its a fake geyser: they make the geyser to erupt daily at 10:15am by dropping a surfactant into the opening of the vent๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ. We donโ€™t like ๐Ÿคซ even we were to late for the eruption as we recognized also afterwards. The lady sold us the tickets even she knows we were too late ๐Ÿคฌ. The yesterdays geothermal area was wayyyy better & not so crowded by Chinese people.
Taupล - Rotorua (86 km, 1 hour) We left Taupล to Rotorua early this morning to see another geothermal area & go to a redwood forest near Rotorua. Our campsite #15 ๐Ÿ• is called Holdens Bay, cheap but nothing special. Tomorrow is planned to go for a freedom one again.

11 November 2018

Taupล - Orakei Korako We visited this highly active geothermal area that is most notable for its series of fault-stepped sinter terraces. Its one of the largest geyser field in New Zealand with up to 35 active geysers. The most famous of these is the Diamond Geyser whose unpredictable eruptions can last from a few minutes to many hours, ejecting boiling water as high as nine metres. Unfortunately we didnโ€™t see any eruption ๐Ÿ™ƒ. Nevertheless we were impressed what mother nature can achieve & maintain over years/decades ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฟ.
National Park - Taupล (100 km, 1.5 hours) Weather wasnโ€™t that good to do a hike again & we went further on to Taupล, one of the larger cities in NZL. Campsite #14 ๐Ÿ• is a 5* one with hot pools ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ nearby. It was a deal via campermate โ˜บ๏ธ so we chose this one ๐Ÿ˜‰.

10 November 2018

Whakapapa - Ridge Walk Track Since we decided not to do the crossing there are plenty of possibilities to walk through Tongariro National Park to have an amazing view on the volcanoes ๐ŸŒ‹. We took the Ridge Walk which is a short climb through low beech forest, the track emerges into alpine shrublands with panoramic views of all three active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŒ‹. Despite Tongariro National Park was the fourth national park established in the world & ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage. The view was very nice and worth the climb - we like!
Ohingaiti - National Park (122 km, 1.5 hours) We continued our way to the Tongariro National Park ๐Ÿ”. Once there we decided not to do the crossing due to bad weather conditions & inappropriate clothing ๐Ÿ˜‚. Ok, sounds more like an excuse but there is still snow on 1โ€˜900 m so you have to wear warm clothes โ„๏ธ & second, when you are not so passionate hiker, 8 hours are very long & challenging. Anyway, we went for a shorter hike to a lookout where we had a nice view onto the volcanos ๐ŸŒ‹. After that we went for the campsite & for the first time, our favorite was fully booked & we need to go for a very crappy & cheap one: campsite #13 ๐Ÿ• is called Joyโ€˜s Diary.

9 November 2018

Ohingaiti - Whitecliff Boulders These were hard to find: even google donโ€™t know their real location๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. We needed to use gravel roads & crossing sheep paddocks ๐Ÿ‘ to get to the carpark ๐Ÿš. The best thing despite the Boulders was the walk through the sheep paddocks ๐Ÿ‘. The Whitecliffs Boulders are extremely intriguing Boulders known as cannon ball concretions made from mudstone. Some are split & some even have trees growing from the centre ๐ŸŒฒ.
Wellington - Ohingaiti (204 km, 2.5 hours) We left windy Welly & went our way to the North. First stop towards the Tongariro NP is Ohingaiti. There is nothing to do exept seeing the Withefalls Boulders in the forest ๐ŸŒฒ. Campsite #12 ๐Ÿ• is Flat Hill, very small, cosy & cheap ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

8 November 2018

Wellington - Scopa Italian Cuisine We were at a really nice italian restaurant not only because of the pizzas ๐Ÿ• also the hot chocolate was rated here as one of the best - and they would became right: this place makes one of the best hot chocolates โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿซ not toooo sweet just perfect - and the best you can get it in different sizes: as a shot, regular & large. I took a shot (espresso size). Cheers!
Rainy & stormy Wellington ๐ŸŒง๐Ÿ’จ What to do when the weather god is not in favor of you? First of all, take a long sleep ๐Ÿ’ค. Then go for a Brunch ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ‘โ˜•๏ธ (Floriditas) & search for indoor activities to do: 1) visit of NZL National Museum (Te Papa Tongarewa; for free), 2) go for a pool game or two... and last but not least buy tickets for the cinema ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿฟbut before we go to

7 November 2018

Picton - Wellington (103 km, 3.5 houry by ferry โ›ด) We took the ferry โ›ด to the Wellington, New Zealandโ€˜s capital. The ride over was smooth & we took a semi-freedom campsite #11 ๐Ÿ• at Wellington Waterfront. Basically its a paid carpark without any amnesties BUT its close to the city ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. Wellington welcomed us wit rain ๐ŸŒง & wind ๐Ÿ’จ or even storm! Anyway, we are excited for our next destinations on the North Island: Tongario NP, Rotorua, Coromandel... and we hope to see the sun โ˜€๏ธ again!
Marahau - Picton (198 km, 3 hours) via Nelson & Queen Charlotte Drive On our way to the North Island we stopped in Nelson, a cute little city with cafes & more cafes โ˜•๏ธ. It is a nice city nice for shopping & go for dinner or so but not worth to stay a night here. So we changed our booking for the ferry โ›ด to this evening. After Nelson we hit the famous Queen Charlotte Drive from Havelock to Picton, where you usally have a great view over Marlborough Soundsโ›ฐ. As you can see, our good weather luck ๐Ÿ€โŒ is already over & we had to deal again with rain ๐ŸŒง & clouds โ˜๏ธ.

6 November 2018

Marahau - Abel Tasman NP Oh hey - this was just a PERFECT day to hit the tracks in Abel Tasman NP ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches ๐Ÿ, sculptured granite cliffs โ›ฐ & its famous coast track. We took the first aquataxi to Bark Bay in the middle of the park & walked via Cleopatra Pool back to Anchorage Bay where we got picked-up at 4 pm. All in all, we hiked 15 km in 5 hours ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธincluding a lunch break. The views were incredible & water were soooo clear ๐Ÿ’ฆ. We have had loads of sunโ˜€๏ธ , nature๐ŸŒฟ, rain forest๐ŸŒฒ & beach ๐Ÿ.

5 November 2018

Murchison - Marahau (143 km, 2 hours) We woke up with relatively nice & dry weather but as soon as we were on our way up north to Marahau, the door to the Abel Tasman NP, the weather gets better and better โ˜๏ธ๐ŸŒฅโ›…๏ธ๐ŸŒคโ˜€๏ธ. Marahau welcomed us with a cloudless sky & sun โ˜€๏ธ โ˜บ๏ธ - finally itโ€™s warm again! We went for a first short walk of 1.5 hour into the NP. Tomorrow we chartered a aquataxi ๐Ÿš• to Bark Bay & we will walk all the way back to Anchorage Bay, where we will get pick-up again. For tonight we chose a little campsite #10 ๐Ÿ• called โ€žThe Barnโ€œ๐Ÿš.

4 November 2018

Pancake Rocks The only hour where it was not raining today - we are so lucky ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ˜‚. The Pancake Rocks are a layered rock formation formed 30 Mio years ago from fragments below the ocean. Water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers and so the layered shapes appeared. This is totally worth to stop for and go on the short loop walk ๐Ÿ‘ฃ
Greymouth - Murchison (170 km, 2.5 hours) After a very very stormy โ›ˆ & rainy โ˜”๏ธ night we continued our way to Abel Tasman NP with a overnight stop in Murchison. On the way there we only stopped at the Pancake Rocks ๐Ÿฅž& Blow Hole, all other sites we wished to stop came with rain โ˜”๏ธ. Our campsite #9 ๐Ÿ• is Murchison Motorhome Park located at the river.

2 November 2018

Fox Glacier - Franz Josef Glacier (32 km, 30 minutes) Probably one of our shortest drives here in New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ. We went one village further to shop some groceries. We decided spontaneously to do the glacier valley walk in this place and not to go back to the Fox Glacier. So tonight we are sleeping in a rain forest at a very nice campsite #7 ๐Ÿ• Rainforest Retreat Holiday Park ๐ŸŒฒ.
Franz Josef Glacier - Valley Walk & Climb At Franz Josef we did two walks: first the so called Sentinel Rock Walk to the top of a little rock. This โ€žclimbโ€œ was indicated with 10 min up - we did it in 5 or so ๐Ÿคฃ. The Glacier Valley Walk took us a little bit longer - 1.5 hour return. We could access the glacier to 700 m before its terminal. Seeing the glacier was not that special and we think Switzerland probably offers better sights on al glacier as we saw in August this year๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ.
Fox Glacier - Lake Matheson We did the 1.5 hour walk around Lake Matheson that is is famous for its reflected views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Unfortunately, the mountains were covered by the clouds โ˜๏ธ.

1 November 2018

Stop 4 - Roaring Billy Falls Again an easy walk along a track lined with tree fern, passing some fine examples of miro, matai and silver beech trees. The Roaring Billy waterfalls terminating into the Haast river are less spectacular than the incredible way through the forest ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฟ.
Stop 3 - Thunder Creek Falls An tall & easy accessible 96 m waterfall that is located in Mt Aspiring National Park, along HAAST Highway.
Stop 2 - Blue Pools It was a short walk through mature beech & podocarp forest that leads to the natural crystal clear glacial water gathered from the mountains flowing into the Makarora River.
Stop 1 - Lake Hawea Lookout This was so far the best view we had so far! See the pictures- they talk for themselves๐Ÿ”โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.
Wanaka - Fox Glacier (363 km, 6 hours w/ stops) The first thing we did in the morning was going to see the doctor cause Susanne has an issue with her right eye since 4 days ๐Ÿฅ. Hope we could fix it now๐Ÿ€. After that we left Wanaka towards Haast & Fox Glacier. On the way there we did several stops ๐Ÿ›‘ to see the incredible nature ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ”. After this long day we checked in at campsite #6 ๐Ÿ• Fox Glacier Top10 Holiday Park and now enjoying some sun โ˜€๏ธ outside with s nice glass of wine ๐Ÿท.

31 October 2018

Wanaka - Rippon Wine Tasting Never had a better spot for wine tasting ๐Ÿท. Nice ambience & a fantastic view over Lake Wanaka ๐Ÿ”. The winery is fully family owned & runned with in total 14 ha of land. They produce their wines fully natural & donโ€™t add any supplements to their wines. The wines taste different to those we were used to (eg Italian or French) so we didnโ€™t bought a bottle - even this was the intention why we went there! ๐Ÿ˜•
Wanaka - Mount Iron Track ๐Ÿ” Mount Iron is a small rocky knoll that rises nearly 250 m next to Wanaka. Its a short hike/walk up (45 min) & from the summit there is an excellent 360-degree view of Lake Wanaka & surrounded mountains๐Ÿ”. As you can see in the pictures - even the sun โ˜€๏ธ is out, its pretty cold โ„๏ธ & windy ๐Ÿ’จ, especially you sweat from the hike.
Queenstown - Wanaka (67 km, 1 hour) We cruised over a pass & had a really nice view down to Queenstown. Here we had a little odyssey to find our home for tonight. We wanted a low-cost campsite cause we had everything we needed to stay at a non-powered site without any amneties. At the first campsite near Wanaka Susanne felt unsave cause there obviously live some homeless people permanently in their campervans so we moved on to Lake Hawea to camp at campsite #5 ๐Ÿ• Lake Hawea Hotel.

30 October 2018

Queenstown After dinner we went for a drink ๐Ÿฅƒ to the โ€žBelow Zero Ice Barโ€œ โ˜ƒ๏ธ - below zero means here -12 degrees โ„๏ธ. Cups, sculptures, chandelier- everything is made out of ice. This was a nice experience but not a bar you stay for longer. Positive side effect: when we left the bar, it was way warmer outside than before โ„๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ.
Queenstown In the evening its getting more and more clear and finally the sun came out โ˜€๏ธ. We strolled through the city and went down to the lakeside and enjoyed the view ๐Ÿ”. It was planned to have a dinner at the famous Fregburger (take-away only) ๐Ÿ” BUT the queue was sooo long so we decided to go to restaurant (The World) where its also possible to sit in. The burgers here were nice ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ & spicy ๐ŸŒถ.
Te Anau - Queenstown (172 km, 2 hours) When we left Te Anau it was quite ok weather but on the way to Queenstown it got worse & worse. When we arrived in Queenstown it was raining and we didnโ€™t know if its possible to do the bungee. But we made it: Pascal did his bungee today (that was btw his birthday present from Susanne). With its 134 m the Nevis Bungee is the highest one in NZL. It was suuuper windy ๐Ÿ’จ & he was really lucky that it was possible to jump anyway. The following people had to wait until it calms down. We chose AJ Hackett Bungee: a very well organized company & we were able to do both activities watching each other. We checked in to our campsite #4๐Ÿ•, the Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde.

29 October 2018

Te Anau - Doubtful Sounds We did a day trip to one of New Zealandโ€™s UNESCO World Heritages - the Fiordland National Park where Doubtful Sounds is part of & discovered in 1770. The National Park covers 10% of New Zealandโ€˜s landmass. Its one of the wettest places on earth with 200 days a year of rain delivering around 7 meters of water from above โ˜”๏ธ. As you can see in the pictures: we had one of those 165 lucky days๐ŸŒค! The mountains surrounding Doubtful Sounds are covered by a rainforest๐ŸŒฒ ๐ŸŒฟ & the ocean hosts seals, penguins๐Ÿง & dolphins ๐Ÿฌ - but we were unlucky & didnโ€™t see any of them ๐Ÿ™. Doubtful Sounds is only accessibly by crossing Lake Manapouri & Wilmot Pass, the most expensive street in NZL (2$/cm) ๐Ÿšง and the only street that is not connected to another road, built to access/build-up the Manapouri power station. You see, we got a lot of historic information besides enjoying untouched nature ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฟ

28 October 2018

Nugget Point - Te Anau (230 km, 3 hours) The third part of todays drive to Te Anau took us along endless green fields with thousands of sheeps & baby lambs ๐Ÿ‘. Looked like that NZL might have more sheep than citizens ๐Ÿค”. What we also learned today that we should not underestimate the distances to drive because NZL roads are different - either in terms of condition ๐Ÿšงor the scenery๐Ÿ”๐ŸŒฒ. When we arrived in Te Anau the weather was quite friendly & not rainy anymore that gives us hope for tomorrow day trip to Doubtful Sounds ๐Ÿ›ฅ. Campsite #3 ๐Ÿ• was the Te Anau Kiwi Lakefront Holiday Park ๐Ÿš, the best one so far.
Dunedin - Nugget Point (110 km, 1.5 hours) Nugget Point is located more south the coast & it took us 2 hours to get there (110 km). At the end you can see two things: the lighthouse & rocky islets in the ocean (The Nuggets).
Dunedin - Baldwin Street Before we left Dunedin we went to see the steepest street in the world. Baldwin Street is about 350 m long where the last 70 m has a slope of 35%.

27 October 2018

Aoraki/Mount Cook - Dunedin via Moeraki Boulders (318 km, 4 hours) On the last third to Dunedin we stopped at Moeraki which is famous for its boulders: spherical stones scattered across a beach. Each boulder weighs several tonnes & is up to two metres high.Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago. When in Dunedin we did some final shopping for the campervan & went to our campsite #2 ๐Ÿ• TOP10 Aaron Lodge Holiday Park (not recommended).
Lake Pukaki - Aoraki/Mount Cook ๐Ÿ” (58 km, 45 minutes) We woke up early to be in time for the sunset at Aoraki - the village close to Mt Cook ๐Ÿ”. The morning drive to the village along Lake Pukaki was adventurous: 60 km one-way & rabbits ๐Ÿฐ always crossing the road: almost 2-times we hunted for our dinner ๐Ÿฝ . Unfortunately the sunset was not there but we took the chance for a non-crowded walk to a viewpoint. The Kea Point Track leads to a platform where we enjoyed the views of Mount Sefton (3โ€™157 m), the Mueller Lake and Mount Cook (3โ€™754 m) ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŒฒ. We were so lucky ๐Ÿ€ with the weather so no clouds โ˜๏ธ hiding Mt Cook which is very common. After this nice morning walk (1.5 hours) we continued our journey to Dunedin via Twizel. The road to Twizel leads along beautiful Lake Pukaki.

26 October 2018

Lake Tekapo - Lake Pukaki (47 km, 30 minutes) Next stop was Lake Pukaki which covers an area of 178.7 square km. The glacial feed to the lake give the distinctive blue colour, created by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glaciers. Same here - stunning view to Mount Cook ๐Ÿ”. Lake Pukaki is our free campsite #1 ๐Ÿ• sharing with other tourists. We cooked & re-arranged everything in our van before enjoying the sunset from the inside w/ a Phase 10 game ๐Ÿ˜†. Btw - itโ€˜s f#%! coldโ„๏ธ. Tomorrow we buy some more blankets & a hot-water bottle ๐Ÿ”ฅ
Christchurch - Lake Tekapo (227 km, 3 hours) We drove 227 km along a very beautiful scenary to Lake Tekapo, a turquoise lake. The lake has a size of 83 square km and offers a stunning view towards Mount Cook๐Ÿ”.

25 October 2018

Christchurch โ€žLook at this beauty - itโ€˜s your home for the next weeksโ€œ ๐Ÿš. With this words the girl from the car rental handed over our camper. We took it over with 277โ€™401 km - letโ€˜s see how many we add!
Bye Bye Bali โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ 5 weeks in Bali got us like: approx. 30 hours in cars ๐Ÿš• & 14 hours on a boat ๐Ÿ›ฅ, 18 dives ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ , 5 waterfalls ๐Ÿ’ฆ, 1 hikeโ›ฐ, 20 hours in the gym ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ & 25 hours at the beach๐Ÿ‘™ ๐Ÿ, 7 sunsets ๐ŸŒ… & 1 sunrise ๐ŸŒ„, 2 rainy days โ˜”๏ธ, 12L to fuel our scooters โ›ฝ๏ธ, cruised 200 km around Canggu ๐Ÿ›ต, 10 laundries๐Ÿ‘• & 2 illnesses๐Ÿ’Š, 9 books read ๐Ÿ“š, 28-times Phase10 played ๐Ÿƒ aaaand around 46โ€˜000โ€˜000 IDR๐Ÿ’ฐ. Thank you Bali - we had a blast! โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒŠ Now we are at the airport & waiting for our flight to Christchurch, New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ & last but not least: loss of our AMC Swiss Army Knife at the security check ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

22 October 2018

21 October 2018

Our last Day Trip ...took us to the Sekumpul Waterfall that is rated as the most scenic waterfall in Bali. The waterfall is a cluster of 6-7 narrow cascades with a height of 100 m & come form the centrepiece of a lush green bamboo ๐ŸŽ‹ forested valley. Getting down there requires effort with paths comprising dirt tracks, 365 stairs & crossings over streams. The trek was fun too & we took a refreshing swim in one of the pools. Going back up was again not funny for our guide cause we were too fast for her.

20 October 2018

Today was the first day of rain โ˜”๏ธ but only in the morning, for 10 minutes. Not that long but quite enough to destroy our plans to go to the 9 am Crossfit class... We hung out for the rest of the day at Finns Beach Club to have food ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ•๐Ÿฅ—, beers ๐Ÿบ, cocktails๐Ÿน & a tan โ˜€๏ธ

19 October 2018

Back โ€žhomeโ€œ in Canggu, the boys went for a ride to Tanah Lot a traditional Hindu temple. Tanah Lot means "Land in the Sea" in the Balinese language. The temple sits on a large off-shore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. While the boys went for sightseeing, Susanne was doing girls stuff and went for a manicure & pedicure ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป

18 October 2018

Komodo National Park from above captured at the flight back to Bali โœˆ๏ธ.

17 October 2018

Komodo Dragons ๐Ÿ‰ After two dices we went on the Komodo Dragon Trek & luckily saw a few of those giant lizards๐ŸฆŽ. It is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a length of 3 m & weighing up to 70 kg ๐ŸฆŽ. This was a nice but hot treck through the Loh Buaya Komodo National Park on Rica Island.
Day 2 in Komodo National Park This day started delayed cause the boats didnโ€™t got clearance for going out due to the jumpy ocean ๐ŸŒŠ In the end we were the only boat who got cleared cause we have a speedboat ๐Ÿšค . First dive was at Sabayor Kecil, second at Tengah/Pengah Kecil. Both sites were with more or less bad visibility but very nice coral reefs. We dove two times through a narrow coral reef that was soooo beautiful ๐Ÿฆ€๐Ÿก๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฆ‘๐Ÿ ๐Ÿข

16 October 2018

Day 1 in Komodo National Park Yesterday we flew to Labuan Bajo the Mekka for all divers๐Ÿ ๐Ÿข๐Ÿฆˆ Today was day 1/2 for diving in the legendary national park. The park includes 3 larger islands & 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1โ€™733 square km (603 square km of it land). The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard. Today we went to 3 dive sites: Police Corner, Batu Bolong & Makassar aka Manta Point๐Ÿข๐Ÿ ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฆˆ๐Ÿฆ€๐Ÿก and yes, we were lucky and saw 2 big Manta Rays w/ a disc diameter of approx 4 m. This does sound not that big but when you are on the same level like them - they ARE such beautiful giants!

14 October 2018

Bali sunsets are the best โค๏ธ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒŠโ˜€๏ธ

13 October 2018

Birthday treatments ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽˆat La Brisa w/ ocean-front day bed ๐Ÿน๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŒŠโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด

12 October 2018

Night Trip to climb Mount Batur ๐ŸŒ‹ We were picked-up by Jony at Thursday night around 1.30 am to made our way to Mount Batur. Mount Batur (1โ€˜717m) is an active volcano located north west of Mount Agung. The first eruption was in 1804 & the most recent in 2000. We arrived at the parking lot around 3.00 am where our guide welcomed us. He gave some instructions & told us that we need around 2 hours to hike up. We told him that we accept the challenge ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ & we will do it in 1 hour 30 minutes - he didnโ€™t took it that serious๐Ÿ™„. After a few minutes of walking he asked if we need a break - we declined. We did so with the following 2 stops & he suddenly realized that we take it serious. After an hour or so, the guide needed a break cause we were too fast ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ: mission accomplished ๐ŸŽฏ. We reached the top in 1 hour 26 minutes where it was freezing cold ๐ŸŒฌโ„๏ธ. At the end, we were honored by an amazing sunrise overlooking the other volcano Mount Agung ๐ŸŒ„

10 October 2018

After having lunch in Ubud, Pascal & Michi went to the Monkey Forest ๐Ÿ’ to have fun with those friendly monkeys ๐Ÿ’. The Monkey Forest is a sanctuary for Balinese long tailed Monkey. There are around 749 monkeys living in this sanctuary, divided in 6 groups. Where monkeys are, there are also trees ๐ŸŒณ: the forest hosts 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares. While the boys have been on traces of our ancestors, Susanne went on a window shopping tour through Ubud ๐Ÿ›
With a drive of 2 min ๐Ÿš• (probably the shortest we will ever do) we changed the location & went to the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace. They are famous for their stunning view & they are so well maintained. The layers of dense green foliage creates an amazing pattern on the side of the hill, almost like a big, green, layer-cake ๐Ÿฐ. The rice fields can be easily explored & enjoyed by a variety of tracks. We decided to enjoy the view w/ a coke ๐Ÿฅค & water๐Ÿ’ง from a restaurant cause it was too hot to go on a trekking tourโ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ
Day Trip to the Ubud area Today we went to the center of Bali, the Ubud area. There are a lot of things to do e.g. going on a giant โ€žsuper extreme swingโ€œ overlooking rice fields. In the end, the super-duper extreme swing was not that super-duper as we expected it is but nevertheless it was fun!

9 October 2018

Beach Day & Surf ๐Ÿค™๐Ÿผ We went for a beach day ๐Ÿโ˜€๏ธ & surf ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ Michi was sooo excited to go surfing, so he asked Susanne every 10 min when they go... At 4.00 pm they jumped in & catched some baby-waves ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿค™๐Ÿผ

8 October 2018

Look who's coming over here! Michi arrived this evening & got picked-up by our driver Jony! He was so tired ๐Ÿ˜ด so he slept aaaaall the way to Canggu.

7 October 2018

You are wondering what we are doing the whole f*#% day?! Surprise, surprise but we are getting up early - around 7.30 am. Then we prepare breakfast by ourselves. This looks all day the same: oats, granola, milk & different fruits ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅฅ. After eating our granola bowl we come to the hard part of the day: relaxing, tanning โ˜€๏ธ, reading a book ๐Ÿ“š, playing cards, go for a swim ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ, to the beach ๐Ÿ... We have our lunch or 2nd breakfast around 2 pm & always trying to find new fancy cafรฉs in Canggu Paradise. CrossFit is also part of it: we joined CrossFit Wanderlust - 1โ€™000 square meters of pure fun. Either we go at around 11 am for a open gym session or we join the class at 4.30 pm. We usually go every day - our โ€žrest daysโ€œ are those when we go & explore the island. Having the morning CrossFit session, we go for the sunset ๐ŸŒ… & a beer and eat dinner around 7 pm. You see we have a โ€žhard lifeโ€œ - but actually we wonโ€™t change or miss this as time passes sooo fast every day! Cheers ๐ŸŽ‰

6 October 2018

All in all, this was a very loooong day starting at 06:30 in the morning, followed by waiting at the harbor for 1.5 hours to get to the fast boat๐Ÿ›ฅ. After a 45 minutes cruise we reached a platform in the ocean where we got a shuttle boat ๐Ÿšค to Nusa Penida. The schedule was so tight so we havenโ€™t had any lunch ๐Ÿด. Luckily we brought some protein bars ๐Ÿซ with us that saved our life. Means, the organization was bad but we were rewarded with an amazing scenery. We would go again, maybe with spending a night on the island ๐Ÿ›Œ.
Last but not least we stopped by at Crystal Bay for relax, beer๐Ÿบ & coconut ๐Ÿฅฅ. The bay is best known as one of Nusa Penidaโ€™s famous snorkelling & dive sites. The boat ๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ went back at 3.00 pm so we had no time for snorkeling.
Second Stop was Angels Billabong & Broken Beach ๐Ÿ Angels Billabong is a crystal clear tide pool cascades into the ocean ๐ŸŒŠ that was closed for swimming - unfortunately๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. Broken Beach (Pasih Uug) is an incredible little cove & scenic coastal formation. The highlight of the cove & the reason it is called Broken Beach is due to the archway that wraps around the bay allowing water to flow in and out from the ocean. What a beauty!๐Ÿคฉ
Day Trip to Nusa Penida We started early in the morning to get to the harbour ๐Ÿ›ฅ & the boat to Nusa Penida ๐Ÿ. Once there we had some slight difficulties to find our driver ๐Ÿš•. Nusa Penida is like Nusa Lembongan 4 years ago: no one speaks proper English, 1/3 of the roads are โ€žokโ€œ developed - the rest are very bumpy & narrow roads. So going around there takes time๐Ÿ•– and thus, we focused on the Western part of the island. First stop was famous Kelingking Beach with its stunning view. There are two storys behind the name: 1) the cliff formation is reminiscent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex head, hence its nickname โ€žT-Rex Bayโ€œ. 2) Kelingking translates into English meaning Pinkie a term referencing the smallest finger on the hand - like a pinkie promise. Select the one you like most๐Ÿ˜‰. There are no more wards needed: we were overwhelmed once more what mother nature can achieve๐Ÿ˜. Due to lack of time we did not hike down the 400 m cliffside.

5 October 2018

What a beautiful tree! ๐ŸŒณ

4 October 2018

Day Trip to a special place We visited Beji Guwang, a hidden canyon. It is a rugged & deep rocky gorge along a section of the Oos River between Ubud and Sanur. Even our driver Jony didnโ€˜t know this place, so it was for both of us a surprise how this turns out. When we arrived, there were only a few people, so this place was definitely not on everyones list. The entrance fee requires to hire a guide which turns out to be necessary. However in the beginning we never thought that this would one of our best tours๐Ÿฅ‡. So we were asked to put on our swim cloth and only to carry flip flops with us. Then we started climbing rocks ๐Ÿง—๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ & wade through water ๐Ÿ’ฆ to explore this amazing canyon. Finally we swam deep into one canyon that had an amazing lighting โœจ. This was an unique experience we highly recommend to do when you visit Bali ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.
Our trip - our adventure First, we went to a waterfall called Tegenungan in the Ubud area. This place was a litte bit crowded even we were there at 9.00 am. Actually the waterfall has less water ๐Ÿ’ง. Nevertheless he is quite strong & itโ€˜s forbidden ๐Ÿšซ to swim unterneath. When its rainy season the water is everywhere and you cannot go down.

2 October 2018

Pascal is back! ๐Ÿ˜€ Being two days separated, Pascal came back yesterday evening. Of course he passed his Advanced Open Water Cert & is now allowed to dive deeeep ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฆˆ๐Ÿณ no more โ€žbubble-makerโ€œ anymore๐Ÿคฃ. But now itโ€™s all about pool & tanning w/ a crossfit session later that day. 31 degrees brought also Susanne to the pool for a quick refreshment ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ.

30 September 2018

Mornings in Canggu w/o Pascal Crossfit ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ - protein shakes ๐Ÿฅ› - blueberry smoothie bowl & a book ๐Ÿ“š at the Motion Cafe aaand of course our room mate โ€žStummelschwanzโ€œ ๐Ÿฑ: she is always welcoming & accompanying us w/ a noisy *miau* (itโ€˜s a bummer that i couldnโ€™t post videos)

29 September 2018

The best way to observe a fish, is to become a fish - Jacques Yves Cousteau We followed this quote & went diving today. After 20(!) years of completing his Open Water Cert Pascal started his a course to get an Adv Open Water Diver ๐Ÿ’ณ - in preparation for our upcoming get-away to the Komodo NP ๐Ÿš๐Ÿข๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿฆˆ๐ŸŠ. Susanne accompanied him by his first tryout after years for two dives. The dive spot is called Blue Lagoon located next to Padangbai in East Bali ๐Ÿ›ถโš“๏ธ. This spot was not thaaaat exciting - we both already saw better ones - but the main issue was to get comfortable again ๐Ÿ’ฆ/to become a ๐Ÿ  before heading to Komodo. However, we saw cuttlefish, turtle ๐Ÿข, eal, boxfish, lionfish...and others ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ . A kind of a surprise was the low temperature of the water: at 12/18m depth it was around 23 degrees which is actually coldโ„๏ธ. Susanne was freezing during the first dive so she got a second wetsuit for the following dive. Pascal stays for 2 nights in Padangbai & Susanne went back to Canggu.

27 September 2018

We donโ€˜t wanna miss out the possibility to introduce you to our driver of our last (and probably future) tours: Jony from Canggu๐Ÿš•. He is a really nice guy with excellent local knowledge and tips & always up for a joke. A selfie at the end is a must ๐Ÿคณ.
Last but not least we visited the UNESCO World Heritage Jatiluwih. These stunning rice terrace covers a surface of 32 square kilometers in around 1โ€˜000 m above sea level to provide optimal conditions for the growth of rice ๐Ÿš. We had luck with the weather (usually it rains in this area) & so we went for a stroll through the rice fields & had the possibility to get nice photos ๐Ÿ“ธ
The third stop on our tour was a hindu temple built in a lake (actually surrounded w/ no water๐Ÿ’ง ): Pura Ulun Danu Batran. We think this temple was more impressive to the Asian visitors than to us. Just for the record: take a photo in front of temple โœ… . In about 15 min we finished our visit there & moved on to the final destination of the day...
The second waterfall weโ€˜ve seen today is called Banyumala, far in the north of Bali. We hiked up/down to this impressive twin waterfall & took a refreshing swim ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธ.
Day-Trip to the North We hiked to a wooooonderful & hidden waterfall called Leke Leke๐Ÿ’ฆ . This place was just magical: the light, the tiny waterfall & the silence. Believe it or not: weโ€˜ve been there w/o any other people.

24 September 2018

After late lunch we went on to the highlight of the day visiting the Uluwatu Temple for sunset ๐ŸŒ… The sunset was very nice but we didnโ€™t watch it to the very end cause Susanne got afraid of the monkeys ๐Ÿ’ once she saw them fighting and jumping around & stealing smartphones. Sidenote: Uluwatu has very aggressive monkeys ๐Ÿ’ so it is not allowed to wear any sunglasses or other removable things. Nevertheless the monkeys find other things to steal so one tourist lost his iPhone.
Our driver took us for a late lunch to Single Fin close to surfers paradise Uluwatu Beach where we enjoyed the afternoon with some nice food ๐Ÿ” & beers ๐Ÿป overlooking the ocean๐ŸŒŠ.
Next stop was Dreamland Beach ๐Ÿ The name says it: a very nice beach w/ crystal clear water & high waves๐ŸŒŠ.
Day-Trip to the Sounth We hired a driver for one day and he took us to the South of Bali, to the โ€žBubbleโ€œ. First we stopped at the hidden beach Tegal Wangi for a short visit. Unfortunately swim was not allowed there.

23 September 2018

Pool-Day! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒด

22 September 2018

First sunset spotted! ๐ŸŒ… We went out for a sundowner at FINNs beach club. The club was enormously crowded. Anyway we enjoyed the sunset with a cold beer ๐Ÿบ in one hand & with nice music in our ears

21 September 2018

The helmets from the scooter rental are way too big and of course disgusting๐Ÿคขso we decided to buy new ones. They cost around 20 CHF what we thought is a good investment into our safety: safety first! Cause of a sunburned Susanne we stayed today in the villa which turns out to be better cause Pascal got sick later the day๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ’Š anyway we chilled and read books, drawn mandalas & played Phase10 where Pascal has waaayyy more luck ๐Ÿ€ than Susanne.

20 September 2018

Those who have wondered ๐Ÿค”: no - we did not stopped Crossfit ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ . In the following weeks, we are happy to share with you a few workouts from Crossfit Wanderlust.

19 September 2018

Sundowner at La Brisa, a fancy pirate beach bar๐Ÿน๐Ÿธ ๐Ÿ’€
Surviving Balis crazy traffic ๐Ÿ›ต๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ๐Ÿš•๐Ÿš™๐Ÿš™๐Ÿ›ต๐Ÿ›ต Indonesian Traffic โ€žRulesโ€œ - first come, first drive - go with the flow - the road is anywhere that wheels have traction - a tap of the horn can mean anything: โ€œIโ€™m passing youโ€ โ€œdonโ€™t back up yetโ€ โ€œIโ€™m gonna run this red light, please donโ€™t hit meโ€ โ€œwhassup bro?โ€
Want to share the delicious breakfast for Susanne from todaysโ€˜ morning ๐Ÿคฉ at Gypsy Cafรฉ ... and yes, she ate it all by herself.

18 September 2018

Arrival & Settling ๐Ÿ›ฌ๐Ÿก After waiting 45 min (!!) for our backpacks๐ŸŽ’ & a 1h ride to Canggu we finally arrived in Bali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ. Once we settled in our appartment, we rented two scooter, explored the near neighborhood & went for fooooood ๐Ÿฅ—. Luckily, this time Canggu nearly looks the same to Susanne, except the new parking lot including parking fees at Batu Bolong๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. So its not allowed anymore to park in front of the shops/restaurants/cafรฉs. The food was as usual aaaawsome ๐Ÿ˜ or it might was the huge appetite we had ๐Ÿ˜‰ - just joking: Betelnut Cafรฉ is an excellent address for eating bowles of any kind. Later the day, we went to the AMO spa & Pascal got a new haircut ๐Ÿ’‡๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Susanne has her appointment on Thursday 4pm ๐Ÿ’‡๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. Now we move on to a sundowner & dinner ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ‘. Cheers๐Ÿฅ‚.
This is how we live... for the next 5 weeks or so ๐Ÿ‘™๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒŠโ˜€๏ธ We have found this hidden gem on AirBnB: Villa Botani๐Ÿ . The Villa has two rooms & a pool (obviously) & is located in a quiet street next to the center of Canggu ๐Ÿ“.

17 September 2018

In-flight moment... ๐Ÿ›ซ Singapore Airlines A380 50D+E Eco ๐Ÿ’บ Bali we are coming...!๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ

16 September 2018

We are ready to go! We have put together all our stuff. Surprisingly it all fit in our backpacks ๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ‘•๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ‘Ÿ But guess who has the bigger backpack๐ŸŽ’!? Pascal has 10 litre more space available!!!๐Ÿ˜†