Thursday, January 15, 2009

Southern Travels

Well while Tom is ski touring, training, and analyzing routes I've come down south and am working on my tan. Stopped in Fiji for some great island hopping and snorkelling before coming to Auckland NZ for xmas and New Years with family. The flying around the coast of Auckland is very beautiful with sites for most wind directions. Its windy at times and can be fickle but apparently experienced locals have counted more than 60 flown sites within an hours drive of the city over the years! Thats a lot more than Vancouver. Got a golden day with Michel, Hugo, Francois, and Damien at some huge sand dunes on the west coast south of Dargaville. Pacific Pyla. And to make it interesting we had to commit to be being there for a full tide cycle as the sand is undriveable at high tide. The wind was with us and it was on for the full 10hrs we were there! I reckon I flew 7 of those, everything from big to little dunes and an inch away to 300m above. A remote and wild location just made it magic.

After that I escaped the gravity well of the city and went down to go hiking among the big volcanoes of the north island. Crossed Tongariro park from west to east and summited on Ngarahoe. Colorful volcanic landscape and it was very nice to be in the hills and sleeping in the tent again. Next its Australia and some thermal flying. Maybe some more of the addictive dune flying before I leave if the wind happens! See here for more pix: