Wednesday, February 29, 2012

28a0212 BlOK Fairlie to Lake Tekapo

28a0212  BlOK Fairlie to Lake Tekapo

I was up and out early, as having to pack tent, etc.  But, luckily, on yet another overcast day, it hadn't rained the tent fly dry (didn't have to wait for it to dry).  Note, on the North Island, always wet in the morning because of the humidity.
I made sure on the way out of the Park, to stop and thank the young man (one of the managers), for operating the best Caravan Park I've yet encountered in all of N.Z.  I told him I would pass the word:   'Top Ten, Holiday Caravan Park,' Fairlie.'
I stopped at the 4-Square market, and KIWI post, taking care of some small tasks, like mailing a check to Rajesh, and extra 'baggage,' to Jim in Auckland.
I verified, with a passerby, the highway to Lake Tekapo, and was on my  by 11A.M.
The ride uneventful until Burkes Pass, where I discovered a small and historic St. Patrick's Church, and stopped to 'capture an image' of such (  The sign said something about being the first 'Union' church in N.Z. (something like 1856?).  This, 'community,' all but a couple of houses and a Cafe (with cute coffee caravan and Morris Minor parked in front).
Up at the 710M / 2,200ft ASL  pass I stopped, and discovered, walking, some bright red 'mushrooms,' later identified by Carl as deadly poisonous 'toadstools.'  Carl wrote, one alone, ingested, will kill you!  He went on to say this:  "Amanita Muscaria were introduced from Europe to N.Z. accidentally. These are the mushrooms used by the Vikings for the Berserkers in battle. The Greeks fed them to slaves then drank their urine for a milder intoxicating dose."  Note, I'll stick to E. Puha.
Going down from the pass was where 'my' N.Z. began, as the pass must be the 'weather line' between the brown and green part (of South Island).  Maybe the sun shinning helped, but I felt FINALLY I was in my part of N.Z.!  It began to look much like eastern Oregon, maybe Colorado. 
Down hill and with the southwest wind, I must have hit 50KMPH, zooming down into the village of Lake Tekapo.  
The aquamarine color of the water of this Lake caused, according to tourist lit., by 'glacier dust' (glaciers grind rocks into dust) and with sunlight create an unusual blue.  Beautiful, in a word!
I stopped at the 'I' (for tourist information) site, to ask about facilities, get a map, etc.
Lake Tekapo, a small (300 permanent residents) is nothing but hotels, motels, caravan parks, restaurants, shops, and a market/petrol station, a hot springs facility ($18NZD to enter), four 'Backpacker' Hostels, and observatory operated by the University of Cantebury.  Seems this is one of the best places in all of N.Z. to observe the night sky.  I wanted to take the tour, but something like $85NZD per.
I stopped at the Caravan Park, to check, but ended up staying in the Lake Front Backpackers Hostel for two nights next door to the Park. 
The LFBHostel, turned out to somewhat trying as crammed full, noisy, and only a small kitchen.  But, I got to observe the 'typical' tourist, most young and 'hip.'  Note, I was always turning the TV off, when on one watching.
The good part, was getting a good contact for Chile, 'Jorge,' who lives in Santiago.  Of course, I made sure to explain I needed his help once there, and got his email address.
Otherwise, I partook of some good brownies (tough to pass up), laundry, shower, and sitting in the sun.  Yes, the sun did shine the day I arrived.
The manager, from Singapore, and I hit it off, otherwise I hardly engaged any of the young guests fixated on their small screens (except Jorge).
Sleeping on the bottom bunk (room #7) in a cramped room wasn't the ideal either, but what to do for $28 per.  Luckily, both nights I was there I shared the room with two women, and women don't usually snore.  The second night, a woman from Luxembourg was above me, and we chatted before going to bed.
Staying at this Hostel I was reminded that all that is inexpensive is not good.  The building newly constructed was a 'noise machine,' doors slamming continually.  The bed, usually too soft (in N.Z.) was O.K. 
I could, maybe should have, camped out in Lake Tekapo, but then I wouldn't have met Jorge.
Always, some good things, and some not-so-good things!

Monday, February 27, 2012

280212 BLOK

280212  BLOK

Just think about it… Money rules our lives!  99% of the decisions we make have to do with money!  It's become 'God' in the world!
But, it's not Capitalism, the economic system of the world, that's guilty, but us, greedy people who want more for themselves and less for others.  R.M. come to mind!
And when all of that greed goes too far, the 'bubble' bursts as it did in 2008, throwing the world into economic havoc!
But, maybe all of what's happening in 2012, is good.  It's going to force BIG CHANGES!
I'll make some predictions:
The U.S. (and the Euro) will go bankrupt, causing
The RMB (Chinese currency), to become the currency of the world.
Within five to ten years, China will be #1 in terms of GNP.   
China will be successful in sending 'Sinonauts' to the Moon. Note, China's time has come in history.  World power is shifting from the West to the East.
Some of the more isolated groups (small countries) will experiment with barter/trading rather than using currency.
There will be many more 'Natural Disasters' as Mother Nature tries to keep the Earth in balance.
But. 12.12-21.12 connotes a 'swing back,' as the 'extreme' (woe) is reached.  The Good News (or 'Gospel'), we will be 'entering' a new, more positive cycle.  The old:
"Kaliyug or the Period of Kali is the last of the four Hindu periods contained in mahayuga - the great age of the world. The age of Kali is when the imperfections are so overpowering that the doomsday is not far behind (12.12-21.12) and a new cycle begins.  This beginning the age of: Satya-yuga (or, 'Kaliyug')!" 
Of course, all those 'you'll come now you hear,' people don't have a clue about 'where they're located at!'   And, they will go with the wind!  During this period, the Spiritual rises, and the Material declines.
If you 'ain't' I suggest you start trying to understand!

Stop Drinking 'Rum!'

27b0212  BLOK 

Stop Drinking 'Rum!'

The one before is yet the last,
But, better to be fast,
The doors of perception
Open slowly!

Captured by
We do the daily drill
Without, within,
Only a few 'win!' 

Come from behind the drapes,
Pulled before your eyes
Opened when you die!

Wake now,
A body needed
To understand
The 1,
The 2,
And what's 'do'…

You can have 'immortal life'
If you follow the fife, the
Drum, and
Stop drinking 'rum!'

26a0212 BLOK/T.T.

26a0212  BLOK/T.T.

There is a connection between Carlos Casteneda / the Don Juan (series), and Tantric Taoism.  We're trying, with practice, to 'stop the world,' as well!  Ours just a different 'drug' than mescaline;  a Tantric Way!


260212 BLOK, Sunday, Fairlie

260212  BLOK, Sunday, Fairlie

It was so cold (in my sleeping bag) in the morning I considered putting my Icebreaker long underwear on -- note, it's 'summer' in N.Z.!  But it's the usual overcast and rain outside (my tent).  
Water (humidity) conducts temperature 22 times greater than air, so when the humidity is high, you're feeling whatever temperature more.  
Wherever I've been in N.Z., I believe it to be something like (80-90%).  I would like it better around 30%.
I'm also interested in the temperature, so I'm thinking about purchasing something that would indicate it and humidity (good luck finding).
My new Kathmandu (outdoor chain) sleeping bag makes claims for warmth.  And as per Mr. Kipling:  'The wildest dreams in the land of Kew are merely facts in Kathmandu.'  Nee… what the Kathmandu sleeping bag claims must be factual, right?  But, I want to check on these 'facts.'  If I have a thermometer I can compare how I feel at whatever temperature.  Ah, you say, folly!  Maybe… But, I get tired buying products that don't live up to their claims.
In the Kitchen (Holiday Caravan Park) there's a wonderful thing on the wall:  A quote by Marilyn Monroe,  "It's all make believe, isn't it?'  if she actually said/wrote this she's in a league with Al. Ein.  To understand that we're living a 'dream,' is profound, as most actually believe this dual existence is real!   Anyway, this little 'gem' was worth the 'price of admission' at the Park.  Enlightenment, is understanding that this existence, really, is just  'make believe!' 
We live in a different 'world' than you…
People wonder why some of us lose our bodies earlier than later.  There's nothing more to learn!
I'm a slow learner, thus I'm still here after 72 years.
'Only the good (evolved) die young!  Marilyn was 'won!' 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

270212 BLOK/T.T.

270212 BLOK/T.T.

D., your C., your wonderful C. inside us!
'Renoyin!'  A simultaneous 'orgasm' of everything!  Simultaneity!


I've discovered some interesting things about New Zealand…

I've discovered some interesting things about New Zealand… Correct me if I'm wrong:

1.  'The Tall Poppy' Syndrome'  Seems New Zealanders don't like anyone to 'standout,' as every one is equal (or should be).  Beware, the tallest always cut down first!  Thus, better not to attract attention!  Note, this is a very Taoist idea, I wonder if they know…?

2.  'The Rotting House Syndrome'  Seems the Government 'caved' to the Construction Industry (lobbyists) ten years ago, and reduced building standards ('We don't need this, and that!').  So, now all the houses constructed since with poor everything, including unskilled workers, are now rotting from the inside out (from water damage).  So, guess who pays?   'The public' of course is going to have to foot the bill (to repair)?
This is a great example of where Capitalism goes wrong (bringing out the worse in people):
You want to make a quick buck!
You bribe the Government into lowering standards and worker qualifications.
You make your quick buck, and buy a boat.
But, because of the 'poor everything,' these houses begin to rot from water damage.
Now, the Government (Councils in N.Z.) have guaranteed such, so they have to repair.  Who pays? We do, the public!  It's BOHICA time again!
There's nothing wrong with a free market, except they're not 'free!'   And there's nothing wrong with Capitalism except greedy people!  People like R.M., who want to own (control) everything, and everybody, everywhere!

3.  We've been having thunderstorms (sounds and fury) where we are in southern Cantebury, So.Is., N.Z.  Supposedly, this is very unusual as none in memory (say the old locals).  Now, there are dozens, with much rain.  Why?  Global warming?  
I find out that we've picked 'the worst summer in memory' to cycle N.Z. 
To me, it's Mother Earth 'crying,' trying to get our attention!  'Stop!' she's 'yelling!'  Or, it's going to increase;  more earthquakes/tsunamis, more volcanic eruptions!  What will it take to get our attention?

3a. Better question:  When the last homo sapian succumbs, will we have been 'here' at all?

4.  Strange ownerships… Is it really true that Harvard University in the U.S., owns the 'cutting rights' to the largest commercial forest in N.Z.?  Is it true that Americans own KIWI Rail System -- no wonder service is so profit oriented (if true)?  What gives, Rip V. W.?


240212, Friday, Geraldine to Fairlie

240212, Friday, Geraldine to Fairlie

50KM in 4 hours, and a very different cycling day than coming down from Mt. Somers.  It was up and down, and somewhat arduous, pushing against the wind as well (Note, heading west with a '10 O'clock,' southwest wind.).
I stopped to get a picture of a rapeseed flower field, reminding me of China.  Suddenly, a voice/man had pulled up, and I heard 'hello.'  At first, being 'spaced out' as I always am (this being a honeymoon), I didn't recognize him.  Then it 'clicked,' as I remember he's the Dutch/Kiwi guy born in Rotterdam, Holland/living in Cormandel Penn. No.Is., N.Z. (for 40 years).  I had met him at the Caravan Park in Mt. Somers.  He is pulling a two-wheel bicycle trailer I'm interested in acquiring.  Note, if you want to become a 'world touring cyclist' you have to get 'out here -- you learn so much from other cyclists.  For example, I noticed Wilhelm's chain was very greasy compared to mine, and he must know something I don't.  Wilhelm and I are the same age, although he's stronger/faster, and no doubt a better mechanic.  Whereas I do 50KM days, he does 100KM days.   A difference in style.  He's an engineer.  I'm a poet.  He's got all the latest devices, and I make do without, and in fact, don't want.  Another example… Our aluminum frame is much more jarring than steel (or the hybrids).  
But, don't worry Mr. Fetes, I'm sticking with you to the very end (jarring my bones maybe makes them tougher).  It's comfort than makes us weak!  I'll never forget a saying from Viet Nam:  'Every day Charlie squats in the jungle he gets stronger.  Everyday I stay here (a hotel room in Saigon), I get weaker!'  Nee, they won the war!
I hit many gravel stretches, having to stop several times to pull off the front tire.  They love gravel highways in N.Z. (cheap)!
At some point I notice the front derailleur not working.  I stop to investigate.  Sure enough, it's a piece of gravel trapped inside the mechanism.  Since I'm in the lowest I keep going as needed up hill, and then possible to coast down (as can't shift to middle or large chain wheels).
At the top, there's a 'Viewpoint.'  I stop to see about removing the little 'rock.'  I have no luck, but in the process a woman (in an automobile) engages me in conversation.  Turns out she's from Bellingham, Washington State, U.S.A. (Dick).  We have a nice chat, she recommends a Holiday Caravan Park near the river.
I coast down to Fairlie.  
The Caravan Park is right there on the left after the bridge.  I coast down to the Kitchen and park Mr. Fetes.  But, I have to ask to find the office (reception).  It's back up, the cottage I passed.  I discover, for the first time in N.Z., young people managing the place, and very 'hip.'  
Turns out $20NZD, / $17.50 per for 1/1 tent.  Additionally, their WIFI is everywhere and for no extra charge.   I'm still hooked (on the Internet) and hooked  for sure after I try (later).  No connection, no world!  Maybe a good idea eventually…
When I arrive in the tent camping area, there's already a couple camped (3P.M.), one of them lying in the sun (ah, the sun was out that day).  I finally decide on a spot out from the trees and near the 'Men's' toilet.
I do the usual 'drill,' 'E.P., nee S.I.' having a wonderful afternoon.
I've still have spaghetti, and launch that early, around 5P.M.
Wilhelm appears again in the Kitchen, informing me that Mike and Wendy (the couple on a tandem) have arrived. We've become a 'traveling circus.'
I enjoy my spaghetti dinner, it almost perfect sans a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (has become my favorite N.Z. wine).
I retreat to a corner, getting online.
During the course of the next two hours the Kitchen fills will a group of touring cyclists (maybe 8 total), and we get to know one another:  Wilhelm, Holland/N.Z., Mike and Wendy/U.S.A., the young couple from Utrecht, Holland, a German girl, one guitar-carrying German 'boy.'   If people wonder why I do what I do (cycle the world), it's the opportunity to meet many different, and interesting, people!
Outside it begins to rain hard!  Luckily, this time, I've closed all doors so not worried about the interior of my tent getting wet.  I'm slightly amazed with the 'sounds and fury of this surprise storm!   I've been in N.Z. almost five months, and this is my first thunder storm.  A bolt crashes nearby, the noise so loud causing us to jump!  We all run outside in the rain to observe what damage, but can see none.  Note, later, Colin, the father of one of the owners, shows me a concrete pole where it knocked off the top.
After a lengthly conversation with the Dutch couple about Utrecht, cycling Holland, etc., I wish all a happy night and 'retire' to my portable 'pied de terre' (French, 'foot on the ground').  But, how to pronounce…?
Viva La France!

Friday, February 24, 2012

25a0212 BLOK/TT

25a0212 BLOK/TT

Vibrating at the speed of thought!  Simultaneity!  'Renoyin!'


250212 BlOK: Mt. Somers to Geraldine

250212   BlOK:  Mt. Somers to Geraldine

I'm up at 0730, and with the sun (no red sky).
'My' cat has returned, as s/he knows a good thing (warmth and milk).  Yesterday, raining and cold, I let it inside my room and gave it some milk.  But, when I wouldn't let it up on the furniture, it wanted out.  Fickle, they can be… Cats…
It turns out to be a perfect cycling day, from start to finish!  Unlike, two days prior, or the 'Blue Blanket Day.' 
Slightly downhill…
No steep ups…
Good highway, albeit it too much motor traffic (this the most daunting thing to me anymore, and what's going to cause me to stop doing this.  Maybe… in some remote part of Iceland, they have fewer motor vehicular traffic).  
Also, on the subject… They love gravel (to use in highway construction) in Australia and New Zealand.  Gravel mixed with asphalt makes what…?  A cheap highway per kilometer.  More for us (Government), less for you, Capitalism at it's finest!
And scenic, with or without gravel.
I got to thinking, because of the nice day, maybe I'm reaching the 'good part' of South Island.   After four months of overcast I was reaching for it…
Best of all, the 'Honeymoon' continues as I move south…
I arrive in Geraldine, lickety split, 50KM, in 2.5 hours, pretty good for me right now (with my sore feet).  
But, guess what… My feet are getting better and I think because of the new cycling footwear (stiff soles).  On the other hand, all the cyclists 'out here' (with experience) tell me I'm carrying too much (40KG should be max.).
In 'Geraldine:'
I first go to the food market to get basics.
Then to the 'i' (tourist information place) to get a map, and inquire about a 'backpacker' (common bed) place.  There's one.
I cycle up a hill, only to be informed no beds available at the 'Backpacker Hostel.' A  room too much 'diner!'  No, can't camp out on their lawn.  But, I think best to camp as sunny.  Oh, how we can be fooled.
I had seen a Holiday Caravan Park, right in the middle of town, so I coast back down the hill to it.
I'm early, as only 1P.M., so I get my choice of tent sites for only $17NZD / $15USD per night.  Note, travelers don't really stop that early (1P.M.) in the day.
I set up on #9, a patch of grass (my home for the night or more…).   Note, you grow more careful selecting exactly where to pitch your tent, as sleeping on lumpy, or rocks no fun!)
I relax (S.I.) in my tent, ultimately taking a short nap.
Then tea.
Then, seemingly, many tasks, dinner included.
I meet Berri, a native living in a caravan, on the way to the Kitchen.  We have a good talk, about all of it.  'Good on you!' 
I walk back to the food market to buy parmesan cheese.  I like a little spaghetti on my parmesan cheese.  Note, since you can't carry much on a bicycle, sometimes many trips to markets when you forget or can't carry…  
The most challenging thing 'out here,' (title of my book about cycling the world) is thinking, remembering… Where is that?  Where did I put that?  'Where you located at?'
i walk to town to investigate for several thing I need:  ATM (for cash), bicycle tube, and two pharmaceuticals from, you guessed it, a pharmacy.  I got both, Rawene (anti-histamine) and hydrogen peroxide (I gargle with.).  $30NZD  Pharmos, so expensive, but I'm still getting a 15% break in the exchange rate.
At 5P.M. I launched preparation of dinner, spaghetti that night.  As I said I don't eat it without parmesan cheese, and I'd managed some for less (so expensive, cheese in N.Z.).  But so crazy… You have to go to the office to get whatever cooking/eating ware you need.  This back and forth in a plastic tub.  Extra work!
But, 'just get out there and do it!
If only I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that dinner (Spaghetti) would have been absolutely perfect!  Food, 'simple' food, so good 'Out Here!' 
I hear what I think is thunder.  Yes, it is!  I'm having my first thunderstorm in N.Z. (been here almost five months).  It rains harder than I've seen in N.Z.  I remember I hadn't zipped my rain-fly door (sunny day), and the tent (because of poor design), would be getting wet inside.  I run about 50 meters to and zip up the door, but forget my cycling jersey (leaving it out in the rain).
I run back to the Kitchen.
My paid time online runs out, so time to go.
I've offered spaghetti and a bottle of wine to whomever, some unused tomato sauce.  Some partake of, but reluctantly.  They've seen too many bad movies.
I retire to my tent for the night.
It's been a near perfect cycling/camping day experience -- except for the rain!
Tomorrow, off to Fairlie, some 50KM west on #79.

22b0212 BLOK 'O Lucky Man' (the movie)

22b0212 BLOK  'O Lucky Man' (the movie)

I finally got to view, Jim's DVD of the movie 'O Lucky Man,' by Malcolm MacDowell (actor; story), Alan Price (music/lyrics), David Sherwin (screenplay), and Lindsay Anderson (director).  This movie in my 'Top Three' all time.  I've seen it now many times, but this one a treat (thanks JIm)  as it's been so long, maybe twenty years!  

Released in 1972, I remember the first time I saw it in a movie theater in N.Y.C.  The music lyrics in particular, 'Smile when you making it, laugh while you're taking it, even though you're faking it, nobodies gonna know!' left an impression on me.  I knew intuitively, at the time, it was what I had just gone through at Alpha Bravo Charlie!  It was, in fact, my own story!

A young man sets out seeking fortune (fame, etc.), his ambitions, his ego getting him into one 'jam' after another.  He survives all of them with the help of people along the way.  Then 'sacrificed,' by evil, for five years he is 'rehabilitated' (no good turn every goes unpunished, but with a 'yield' -- it's called knowledge).  But, evil strikes again and he's almost killed.  Wandering the streets of London penniless, he begs, but no one gives.  Then he sees a sign, and is 'sucked' into a milieu he knows nothing about (a movie audition).  When he can't 'perform,' (smile) he gets a little help from a 'friend' (the director);  'If you can rely upon a friend you are a 'O Lucky Man!'   This changes his life, ah graduation!

'O Lucky Man' makes a great point, its theme (all movies, plays, have a theme, or what it's about).  In this case, that doing what we're supposed to do, inculcated to do, holds only experience (generally painful lessons).  When the naivete is finally beaten out of you, only then, are we open enough for real possibilities.   At the crucial moment when we can't do what we must, something comes along and saves us.   Suddenly, if by magic, we are redeemed!  So, you could call O Lucky Man' a 'savior story, as well.  Note, for every observer, there is a different 'theme,' right Dick?

Themes can be stated, simply, or in this case in Alan Price's lyrics, 'Just get out there and do it!'  In my words, 'Pain is the greatest teacher,  but only 'IT' (some call this 'fate') can redeem you!' 

To me Travis (Malcolm MacDowell, is a knight in 'shining armor,' one that get's ejected from the 'Castle.'  Then after many trials and tribulations, 'gets it!'  Now,  he's welcomed to stay in the 'Grail Castle,'  as he knows what to 'say' (perform).  I'm sure the creators of this movie gem, all English born, had the legend of the Grail (Arthurian tales) in the back of their minds when they 'gave birth' to this 'masterpiece' in my opinion!

Also, for movie people (interested in the creation of such)… Anderson did two unusual things in adapting the story for the screen.  He used his repertory of actors, play more than one part.  Secondly, he wove (in limbo) the musicians (Alan Price's band) into the story.  Both ideas, very clever I thought.

If you haven't seen this movie, I'm told it's available having been re-released (2007), on DVD.  It's worth it, if you can find it (especially for the younger ones).  It's all of our own story, actually, "O Lucky Man!"

"Everyone is going through changes, no one knows what's going on, but everybody changes places, but the world still carries on…  And love must always change to sorrow, but everyone must play the game, it's here today, and gone tomorrow, but the world still carries on…"  (Alan Price)

"Smile when you're making it, laugh when you're taking it, even though you're faking it, nobodies gonna know!"  (Alan Price)

22a0212 BLOK

22a0212 BLOK

Union with 'IT,' that's the goal!

A simultaneous 'orgasm' with everything:  Renoyin! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

220212 BLOK, Mt. Somers

220212 BLOK, Mt. Somers

The Blue Blanket Day

What a day, yesterday!  What a challenging day!  'Whew!'  I survived, huffing and puffing, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!'  I went too far, too long, but couldn't help it, as events dictated.
I sometimes wonder is this Pilgrimage is a 'test,' (of strength), or the Shambala Demons 'f______' with me?
I slept late in Glentunnel, not getting up until 0730, but is was the usual morning overcast, and no inspiration to get up.  Robin, the manager, had said to go whenever to like (1st time in N.Z.).
I met an interesting Danish couple in the Kitchen making breakfast.  We had a nice chat, and discussed both Denmark and New Zealand.  
They live on the Juteland Peninsula, near Viborg, where I cycled through on a snowy day in April (2005).  They had rented a camper van (to tour around N.Z.), at a shocking price (something like 40,000 Danish Crona).  
And petrol in N.Z., so expensive, yet people drive too fast, burning more, and costing them more!  How unconscious people are of their ways.  But, a positive note, the faster they burn it, the quicker the world supply will be gone, and then… more bicycles, less petrol-driven vehicles.  Of course, we will (until we succumb or change our ways) find some other resource to exploit. Yes, we plant trees, but mostly for commercial reasons.  
It's all about money in modern life (sucks)!
I got off from the Caravan Park at 1015, the 'Dairy' (small convenience store with 9K things) at 1030.
Cranked for an hour, it misting a bit.  I stopped to put on my rain jacket.
I meet a German cyclist going the other way.  What a 'giant' man this was, who couldn't speak very good English.  We tried to exchange information about conditions, etc.  I told him going north, east, he explained going south 'difficult!'
Up ahead I noticed a warning sound, and sure enough a soft tire in the rear.  'Oh, f___,' I said out loud, as I knew what this would entail.
I got off and pushed when it became evident this was for real.
I pushed for maybe a kilometer, hoping Glentunnel was near, but no, so I found a good spot, and stopped to deal with the now completely deflated tire.
Changing a tube, is a bitch for me, as have never perfected the 'drill,' but getting better (as this the 4th in N.Z.).  In the past, I had Richard, or another Chinese helper do it for me.
Additionally, as my mind thinks, I have a better understanding of what's causing all of this, an unusual number of 'flats'.  The tubes, made in whatever rubber-growing country aren't strong enough for what I'm doing, inflating them to 80lbs, and then carrying so much weight.   Any little thing that gets into wheel, causes a slow leak.  All of these last four have been slow leakers (not a puncture, 'bang!').  I surmise that little bits of gravel have been getting in via the value hole (in the wheel).    I need stronger tubes (Melvin), from whatever country?  Or, I need a smaller hole in the wheel.
Worse, I discover a lesion on the interior of the tire itself!  How could this be with Schwalbe, Marathon, 'Extremes?'  I haven't done any 'extreme' riding, and have only gone 4K KM.  I took a picture of the lesion, as I'm going to confront the 'boys' in Melbourne, Australia (Schwalbe distributors) that sold me these tires (for less).  I now suspect they are 'seconds,' and the reason for the reduced price.  Think about it, my first set of semi-slick Marathons, from Melvin, went 20,000, 10,000 WITHOUT ONE FLAT AND THROUGH 'EXTREME' CONDITIONS!   New Zealand, the highways, roads and streets can't be labeled 'extreme.'
While I'm in the midst of dealing with the change, an automobile pulls up and a German couple offers assistance.  I'm fortunate about this having people offer assistance.  Maybe they feel for the old man 'out there,' my gray beard coming in handy.  Whatever works I say!
Additionally, as I'm about to head out, having changed the tube, a woman (with children) slows pulling into her driveway, and asks if I need help.  That's two separate offers for help (in 90 minutes).  
Note, the people I've met cycling in N.Z., either foreigners or local, friendly, kind and helpful.
I ride down to 'the Gorge,' the Rakaia River  (Gorge), a big River (picture at  It's down and down to the bottom, and I know what that means…I discover too, that I've lost my sun glasses, they must have come out when I turned Mr. Fetes upside down to take the tire off.  That's #2, losing my glasses.
You may or not believe in the 'Law of Threes,' but certainly it's a part of my consciousness.  Simply put, if one thing happens, not necessarily two of the same kind, but if two, you can count on a third (of a kind). 
I get down to the bridge where there's a small parking area for motor vehicles, and there were two parked.  I stop to think about what to do, as needing a toilet.
I've made the mistake of stopping behind the wrong vehicle, because without warning it's backing up and suddenly over me!  I scream, start yelling as I watch Mr. Fetes disappearing until near out of sight.  He stops, thank God!  I'm shocked, as for sure nothing like this has ever happened to me on a bicycle.  He gets out and I yell 'F___!' at him, and if I hadn't been caught, I might have jumped right on his ass I was so angry! 'Don't you look out behind you!' I yell at him!  He says he did look, and asks if I'm injured.  
Miraculously, neither me or Mr. Fetes are much damaged, it's only minor!  One of the rear panniers has come off and he, this young man around 35-year, wearing glasses, helps me get it back on the rear rack.  His questions and solicitousness mitigating my anger.  When he summarizes the situation to his satisfaction (we were both wrong) he's outta there, 'lickity split!'  I ride Mr. Fetes around to see if, in fact, there is any damage, and doesn't appear to be!  My 'guarding angels' counteracting my Demons.
But, it was the THIRD INCIDENT (of a kind:  not so good), but I knew there wouldn't be any more now.  This day, an example, of the 'Law of Threes!' 
I crank up the hill to investigate the Mt. Hutt Lodge, first for toilet and secondly to ask about the room rates.
The sign on the door, said gone until closing time, so I look for a toilet.  Noticing the view,' I take some pictures.  Note, always this runs though on my mind… I need to take some pictures.
I cross the bridge, and am at the camping site, I'd seen back up from the vantage point of the Lodge.
I pull in to rest and eat a banana, the hill going up and out of the Gorge, steep.
I meet a couple from Australia (from Victoria), and take pictures of them (with their camera).
Discarding the banana peel, I notice a blue fleece blanket in the bin.  I examine it.  It's neither very dirty or used.  I take it with me, as having been wanting something like this.  Some misfortune, some fortune -- such is our Dual existence.
I crank up the steep hill out of the Gorge without stopping.  It's a bitch as my feet are beginning to 'talk to me!'  All the time I've decided to divert to Methven, as thinking with no patch kit, and no extra tube, I'm f_____ if the tube/tire doesn't hold.
Then at the junction, I see a sign that says 'Farmstay 5KM.'  I opt for that, as going to Methven and that direction takes me down, what I'm going to have to come back up eventually.
But, I never find it, this 'farmstay.'  Note, 'farmstay,' is a farm / place to stay, either a room in a private house, or pitching a tent.  There's 'homestead' and 'farmstead' in N.Z.
I go on, now thinking I should have diverted to Methven.  Ah, hindsight…
Up ahead, so many kilometers, I notice a sign with the caravan icons.  I decide to investigate, as the road is 'sealed' (hard surface).  But, all too soon it turns to dirt.  I decide to continue, and through much gravel.  N.Z. (and Australian) road constructors love gravel!
I get to the end and hear someone constructing a fence.  This is private property, but unlike Texas, people are friendly.  The man stopped what he was doing to explain, no caravan site out here.  'Camping,' I ask?  Up at 'Tailor's Stream.'  I finally get it, as a combination of my right ear, and 'brain damage,' I can't always understand New Zealanders.  It isn't the volume so much with my ears, but deciphering the meaning of the words.
Tailor's Stream comes much quicker than expected, as he had said 3KM.  People don't know distance, only time by motor vehicle.  What does that tell you?
I check out Tailor's Stream, but it's low and wet, closed in by trees.  Not a good place to camp even 'por nada!'  
I continue on, now thinking I must continue all the way to Mt. Somers (something like 16KM more).
But, at Stavely's I see another 'farmstay' sign.  At this point I'm beyond wanting to stop for the night.
I check this 'farmstead,' out, but nobody home (with the front door unlocked).  I sit for a minute, hoping someone will return while I'm there.  They don't, 'we' decide to go on to Mt. Somers.
By now, my feet are sore, I'm tired and dirty, hungry as well!
Can you possibly understand, that not only is 'Mercury in Retrograde,' in a Water Dragon Year (and I'm a metal Dragon)?  Can you understand the significance?  Maybe not and would prefer to label me a candidate for 'Crazy man on a bicycle!'
I am renewed however, when I see a 'Holiday Park Caravan Park' sign for Mt. Somers.
Mt. Somer, slightly off the highway, is what I'd been hoping for, now 5P.M. in the afternoon.  It has a 'General Store,' and also a motor garage (repair).  I stop to ask two locals where the Caravan Park is (no more signs).  It's right in front of me.
Here I ponder camping or a cabin, some $30NZD difference.  I vacillate but, wisely opt for a cabin.  Note, I like tent/camping/sleeping, but more work up and down and too late this day.
This turns out to be a wonderful situation, and I'm 'rewarded' for our perseverance!
I'm having tea in the cabin by 6P.M.  But, what a too long, with two many things, cycling day.   I've been on the road for 8 hours.  Note, in the 'old days,' this would have been nothing, but now at 72-years of age, I don't like anymore than six (6)!  That day I did 7 including a steep hill, and with little help from the wind.
After some E.P., however, I'm renewed, and end up doing an incredible number of tasks, from laundry, to shower, to cooking dinner.   Note again, if I were a millionaire, I'd hire Xuni or Fei, or someone, to come along as 'assistant.'  It' isn't so much the cycling anymore, it's all of it together (too much)!  
I never thought I'd look forward to stopping, but Bolivia is looking better and better all the time.  Bolivia may be where I stop, at least for a while.  You can 'burn out' doing this, day after day, week after week, month after, and for years!
In the meantime, Queenstown my current short-term goal (another 400KM).
I'm hoping for better weather as I get into the interior of Otago, New Zealand's driest terrain.

The Honeymoon continues…

P.S.  I slept on my new (and washed) blue blanket and it was wonderful.  The bed, however, like a trampoline!  New Zealanders definitely prefer soft beds (compared to other cultures).  They don't know 'futon' here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

190212 BLOK

190212 BLOK

The Sky and Earth are ph______; conceiving, giving birth to something new!
Something Blue, something White,
A bargain in the night!
Wouldn't you?

Friday, February 17, 2012

180212 BLOK, Spreydon, Christchurch, N.Z.

180212 BLOK, Spreydon, Christchurch, N.Z.

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day!
I've got a beautiful feeling 
Everything's going our way!'

The sun is shinning into my ivy-covered cottage (at John's) on an absolutely glorious morning (18 February 2012, the 'Year of the Water Dragon'.  Note, the water 'rusts' my metal, so I seek dried climes this year).  And now finally, summer in N.Z., after a 'non-summer' start..  Ultimately, Mr. Fetes and me heading for the driest place in the world, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

In the meantime, two wonderful things discovered in the Christchurch area, courtesy of John Lieswyn, my host here:

Something called 'Gap Filler,' an innovative way to show movies outdoors, getting the electricity for the AV equipment from generators spun by bicycles, or 'Bicycle powered Movies!'   Very cool, coffee off a Vespa, and popcorn via a smiling face. Before 'de Sica's, 'Bicycle Thieves,' a short about bicycle safety, an absolute 'charmer,' having chimpanzees 'act out,' riding, etc.  Don't tell me we aren't close to monkeys, and vice versa.

Secondly, at John' suggestion I rode up Dyer Pass Road to the summit, then off on, and to a wonderful place ('Kennedy's something..)  All of this way up and easy down, on a perfect weather day (slightly cool with a stiff breeze off the Pacific).  Gad, the air quality here, maybe the best in the world (plenty of trees).  This on a day I could see forever!

seeing forever cycling the world!

180212 BLOK



Thursday, February 16, 2012

150212 BLOK, and T.T. (ultimately)

150212 BLOK, and T.T. (ultimately)
'Free Will' is an illusion!' 
We 'co-create' the Universe (with our 'wor(l)ds').
There's something else going on, greater!  
We are a part of 'IT,' a 'hole,' -- we go through in Tantric Taoism.
The task is to become more conscious, becoming aware of the energy, and co-operating with it.  
On the other hand, 'pain,' is a great teacher and some much learn the hard way!   Note, you cannot get to 'heaven,' without going through 'hell' (the message of Jesus).
Generally speaking, pain, the opposite of what we seek.
Read the following quotes from a book entitled, 'The Intention Experiment,' by Lynne Taggart:
'…that all matter in the Universe (known existence) is connected on a sub-atomic level through a constant 'dance' of energy exchange.'  Note, Gary Zukov's 'The Dancing Wu-Li Masters,' courtesy of friend Dick.  This is the 'Quan Yin,' (in Chinese mythology), this, a 'sound' in your mind (no not Tintinitus).  It's inaudible to the ear, but not the mind ('Sounds' like an electrical current.).  We 'here' it all the time.  This is 'simultaneity,' or our 'Renoyin!'  This is the 'dance' of the 'sub-atomic particles!'  But, the 'dance' you call the 'dance,' is 'knot' the 'dance!' 
'The well-designed experiments conducted by scientists suggest that consciousness is a substance outside the confines of our bodies -- a highly ordered energy with the capacity to change physical matter.  Note, Uri Geller, bending spoons, comes to mind.
'Simply, thought affects reality:
That consciousness affects matter:
Consciousness somehow is the influence that 'fuels' the possibility of something into something 'real!'  Note, we would call this, Tao.
The most essential ingredient in creating our Universe is the consciousness that observes it (us)!
That consciousness is somehow central to the process of transforming the unconstructed quantum world into something resembling every day reality.
It suggests, not only that the observer brings the observed into being, but also that nothing in the Universe exists as an actual 'thing' independently of our perception of it.  Note, as we've been writing, 'There's no such thing as objectivity!  We create our 'wor(l)ds' from our minds.
Other quotes from Lynne Taggart's book, 'The Intention Experiment:'
'A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe.'  This part limited in time and space (Duality).  S/he experiences itself, the thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.'  Albert Einstein
'Every atom belonging to me, as good, belongs to you as well!'  Walt Whitman
'Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical!'  Yogi Berra


Monday, February 13, 2012



Abrupt curbs,
Soft beds,
Friendly people,
Steep hills and narrow bridges!

Beautiful beaches,
All Black
About rugby; 'crouch rockets,'
And 220, 3-pronged.
I need an adaptor!

I remember the day
Four 'seasons' in one
Running naked, hey,
I saw the sun
Coming out behind that
'...Long Gray Cloud!'

Boats and bets,
Pies and muffins,
'No worry' here, best
Carrot cake in the world!

If you're into 'bying' a rug
We'll chug, and be
Champions again someday!'

Friday, February 10, 2012

11a0212 BLOK (Dedicated to Stephanie!)

11a0212 BLOK

The Western symbol (Unicorn), suggests what…? 'Tis the Western way of identifying with the 'Third Eye' (center, above the two visual eyes).  The 'Third Eye' suggests intuition, the energy that can 'guide' you, if you allow…

It's all about allowing,
Giving up,
Letting go,
To be loved,

Jesus brought the first concept of love into the world.  Our idea (not new), Unconditional love!

'…Going back and forth…'

Tantric Taoism,
the intimacy of getting 'their!'

P.S.  Yes, Stephanie, you are correct when you say it has to do with intimacy, but not the physical kind!  Thus, we say, 'The intimacy, you name as intimacy or think is intimacy, is 'knot' intimacy.

110212 BLOK

110212 BLOK

Quan Yin Renoyin!
'To' become 'won!'
Duality becomes Singularity!
Unconditional love!
But, the unconditional love, you think is unconditional love, is NOT unconditional love!
'Freedom's just another 'wor(l)d' for nothing left to lose!'  (K.K.)
Tantric Taoism, just 'won' way of getting 'their!'  A way of getting beyond Duality.
So, relax, let go!  Surrender!  Submit!  Commit! to something greater, you choose!
Living in the present, the NOW,
…'where 'it's located at!'
Information about the Goddess Quan Yin (courtesy of
"One of the deities most frequently seen on altars in China's temples is Quan Yin (also spelled Kwan Yin, Kuanyin; in pinyin,  Guanyin). In Sanskrit, her name is Padma-pâni, or "Born of the Lotus." Quan Yin, alone among Buddhist gods, is loved rather than feared and is the model of Chinese beauty. Regarded by the Chinese as the goddess of mercy, she was originally male until the early part of the 12th century and has evolved since that time from her prototype, Avalokiteshvara, "the merciful lord of utter enlightment," an Indian bodhisattva who chose to remain on earth to bring relief to the suffering rather than enjoy for himself the ecstasies of Nirvana. 
One of the several stories surrounding Quan Yin is that she was a Buddhist who through great love and sacrifice during life, had earned the right to enter Nirvana after death. However, like Avlokiteshvara, while standing before the gates of Paradise she heard a cry of anguish from the earth below. Turning back to earth, she renounced her reward of bliss eternal but in its place found immortality in the hearts of the suffering. In China she has many names and is also known as "great mercy, great pity; salvation from misery, salvation from woe; self-existent; thousand arms and thousand eyes," etc. In addition she is often referred to as the Goddess of the Southern Sea -- or Indian Archipelago -- and has been compared to the Virgin Mary. She is one of the San Ta Shih, or the Three Great Beings, renowned for their power over the animal kingdom or the forces of nature. These three Bodhisattvas or P'u Sa as they are know in China, are namely Manjusri (Skt.) or Wên Shu, Samantabhadra or P'u Hsien, and Avalokitesvara or Quan Yin. 
Quan Yin is a shortened form of a name that means One Who Sees and Hears the Cry from the Human World. Her Chinese title signifies, "She who always observes or pays attention to sounds," i.e., she who hears prayers. Sometimes possessing eleven heads, she is surnamed Sung-Tzu-Niang-Niang, "lady who brings children." She is goddess of fecundity as well as of mercy. Worshipped especially by women, this goddess comforts the troubled, the sick, the lost, the senile and the unfortunate. Her popularity has grown such through the centuries that she is now also regarded as the protector of seafarers, farmers and travelers. She cares for souls in the underworld, and is invoked during post-burial rituals to free the soul of the deceased from the torments of purgatory. 

There are temples all over China dedicated to this goddess, and she is worshipped by women in South China more than in the North, on the 19th day of the 2nd, 6th and 9th moons. (For example, it is a prevalent birth custom in Foochow that when a family has a daughter married since the 15th day of the previous year, who has not yet given birth to a male infant, a present of several articles is sent to her by her relatives on a lucky day between the 5th and 14th of the first month. The articles sent are as follows: a paper lantern bearing a picture of the Goddess of Mercy, Quan Yin, with a child in her arms, and the inscription, "May Quan Yin present you with a son"; oysters in an earthenware vessel; rice-cakes; oranges; and garlic.) Worshippers ask for sons, wealth, and protection. She can bring children (generally sons, but if the mother asks for a daughter she will be beautiful), protect in sorrow, guide seamen and fishermen (thus we see her "crossing the waves" in many poses), and render harmless the spears of an enemy in battle. 
Her principal temple on the island of Putuoshan, in the Chusan Archipelago off the Zhejiang coast near Ningbo, is a major pilgrimage site sacred to the Buddhists, the worship of Quan Yin being its most prominent feature on account of the fact that the Goddess is said to have resided there for nine years, reigning as the Queen of the Southern Seas. The full name of the island is P'u t'o lo ka, from Mount Pataloka, whence the Goddess, in her transformation as Avalokiteshvara, looks down upon mankind. Miao Feng Shan (Mount of the Wondrous Peak) attracts large numbers of pilgrims, who use rattles and fireworks to emphasize their prayers and attract her attention. In 847, the first temple of Quan Yin was built on this island. By 1702, P'u Tuo had four hundred temples and three thousand monks, and was the destination of countless pilgrims. (By 1949, however, P'u Tuo was home to only 140 monasteries and temples.) 
No other figure in the Chinese pantheon appears in a greater variety of images, of which there are said to be thousands of different incarnations or manifestations. Quan Yin is usually depicted as a barefoot, gracious woman dressed in beautiful, white flowing robes, with a white hood gracefully draped over the top of the head and carrying a small upturned vase of holy dew. (However, in the Lamaistic form, common in bronze from eighteenth-century China and Tibet, she is often entirely naked.) She stands tall and slender, a figure of infinite grace, her gently composed features conveying the sublime selflessness and compassion that have made her the favorite of  all deities. She may be seated on an elephant, standing on a fish, nursing a baby, holding a basket, having six arms or a thousand, and one head or eight, one atop the next, and four, eighteen, or forty hands, which which she strives to alleviate the sufferings of the unhappy. 
She is frequently depicted as riding a mythological animal known as the Hou, which somewhat resembles a Buddhist lion, and symbolises the divine supremacy exercised by Quan Yin over the forces of nature. Her bare feet are the consistent quality. On public altars, Quan Yin is frequently flanked by two acolytes, to her right a barefoot, shirtless youth with his hands clasped in prayer known as Shan-ts'ai (Golden Youth), and on her left a maid demurely holding her hands together inside her sleeves known as Lung-nü (Jade Maiden). 
Her principal feast occurs yearly on the nineteenth day of the second lunar month. However, she is fortunate in having three birthdays, the nineteenth of the second, sixth and ninth months. There are many metamorphoses of this goddess. She is the model of Chinese beauty, and to say a lady or a little girl is a Kwan Yin is the highest compliment that can be paid to grace and loveliness. 
According to one ancient legend her name was Miao Shan, and she was the daughter of an Indian Prince. Youthful and serene, she chose to follow a path of self-sacrifice and virtue, and became a pious follower of Buddha, herself attaining the right to budddhahood but remaining on earth to help mankind. In order to convert her blind father, she visited him transfigured as a stranger, and informed him that were he to swallow an eyeball of one of his children, his sight would be restored. His children would not consent to the necessary sacrifice, whereupon the future goddess created an eye which her parent swallowed and he regained his sight. She then persuaded her father to join the Buddhist priesthood by pointing out the folly and vanity of a world in which children would not even sacrifice an eye for the sake of a parent. 
Another Miao Shan legend was that the son of the dragon king had taken the form of a carp and was caught by a fisherman and displayed for sale in the market place. Miao Shan sent her servant to buy the fish and released it. 
As related in yet another legend Quan Yin was said to be the daughter of a sovereign of the Chou dynasty, who strenously opposed her wish to be a nun, and was so irritated by her refusal to marry that he put her to humiliating tasks in the convent. 
This means of coercion failed, and her father then ordered her to be executed for disobedience to his wishes. But the executioner, a man of tender heart and some forethought, brought it about that the sword which was to descend upon her should break into a thousand pieces. Her father thereupon ordered her to be stifled. As the story goes, she forthwith went to Hell, but on her arrival the flames were quenched and flowers burst into bloom. Yama, the presiding officer, looked on in dismay at what seemed to be the summary abolition of his post, and in order to keep his position he sent her back to life again. Carried in the fragrant heart of a lotus flower she went to the island of Putuo, near Ningbo. One day her father fell ill and according to a Chinese custom, she cut the flesh from her arms that it might be made into medicine. A cure was effected, and in his gratitude her father ordered her statue to be made "with completely-formed arms and eyes." Owing to a misunderstanding of the orders the sculptor carved the statue with many heads and many arms, and so it remains to this day. 
The image of this divinity is generally placed on a special altar at the back of the great Shakyamuni Buddha behind a screen, and facing the north door, in the second half of the Buddhist monastery. 
Quan Yin is also worshipped by the Taoists, and they imitate the Buddhists in their descriptions of this deity, speaking in the same manner of her various metamorphoses, her disposition to save the lost, her purity, wisdom, and marvel-working power. 
From early Ch'ing times to the present, many thousands of statues of Quan Yin have been carved in jade. The Maternal Goddess, the Protectress of Children, the Observer of All Sounds, Quan Yin is a favorite figure in domestic shrines. As well, her image is carved on small jades which Chinese women offer faithfully at the temples dedicated to her. She also is the single most important figure crafted in blanc de Chine ware, with approximately nine out of every ten figures from Dehua representing that divinity in one or other of her manifestations. (The Quan Yins often were described to European purchasers as "white Santa Marias," so as to make them more desirable to a Christian market.)"

Thursday, February 09, 2012

100212 BLOK (2nd 90KM day)

100212 BLOK (2nd 90KM day)

I have a pretty good night in my tent, this after dueling with hundreds of sand flies.  I must have killed many, but got bitten many times -- we did 'battle!'  If this is 'outdoor,' New Zealand in the summer, no thanks.

I'm up at 0700 (0802, Thursday), make coffee and breakfast, get organized to break camp and load before more 'little black buggers'  get more of my blood.

I take a picture of Bob and Robin, the two New Zealanders parked next door.  Bob gives me their card, and I make a note to print and send the pictures (as they don't do email).

I push out to the highway, none too daunted by the challenge of Lewis Pass.  It's easy at first, but then the up part.  

I finally get to the top, but no big deal as only one sign (announcing) coming up from the south.  Worse, after all that work, they don't even tell you the elevation.  Note, I find via Google and it's 864 M / 2,800 ft. ASL.  I rest for a few minutes, taking some pictures (all now at

Then it's down and down, sometimes having to stop for highway construction.  So, organized are New Zealand are, including a traffic light (stop/go) for one-way traffic.

Way down, and where the highway turns east, I stop at a 'picnic table' / rest stop and eat a banana.  Now, I'm 'only' 52 KM from the turn off to Hanmer Springs.  Luckily, the wind is from the west and helping!

But, after crossing the River (name confusing on the map), the ups and downs become extreme.  I have to motivate myself thinking about some 'Puha Puja' when I get there.   50KM / 30 miles in the afternoon, is a long way for me!  I'm getting too old, carrying too much weight, these N.Z. hills too steep.  But, the one great thing I have, maybe over others, is I can persevere!   But, the traffic on this Highway #7, much!  Many trucks, one coming within one meter of me, blasting past!  I remember cursing, or exclaiming and realizing, once again, you can get killed 'out there!'  

I finally get to the junction for Hanmer Springs about 4P.M.  It's says another 10KM (on 7A)… After a couple of small hills I cross another river on a ' Bungie Jumping' Bridge.  I pass one Holiday Park (for camping), but I like going all the way into Center City to see what's available, and I'm still 8KM from such.  Onward, even though my feet are now 'screaming' at me, STOP!

Up ahead, another so many kilometers I see Bob and Robin's motorhome parked in a 'secure' Caravan Park Club are.  In fact, here they come walking back to their motorhome.  I yell and catch Bob's attention, who informs me 'no room at the inn' there, to go on to Hanmer Springs.  Good advice it turns out to be.

Now, however, I'm reaching the end up my endurance, and looking eagerly for any sign of 'life.'  Coming into Hanmer Springs I notice a sign that says something about 'sharing dorm beds.'  I pull in and park, and it turns out to be the YHA Hostel.  I've just done 90KM in 7 hours, almost 13KMPH, and I can barely walk to the lobby/reception.  'Stove up,' pappy Jack used to say!  'You just heal up and go on!' 

The young man I saw walking up the hill has engaged the operator, a guy named 'Phil.'  Seems this guest asked out of a dorm room because someone kept him awake snoring.  Now in a six-bedded room, with no snorer he wants a four-bedded room with no snorer.  He's from Israel.  We lament together, about how people, some people are wanting… 

I plead for no snorer in the common room I get!  But, something causes me to ask about a room, the rate…? When he says, $50NZD per, I jump on it!  These small overly-crowded dorm rooms, with snorers no less, not for me.  I would pitch my tent, except for the energy it takes (up and down).

A ginger beer revives me and and I talk with Phil, me explaining cycling the world, etc.  I like him immediately, one of those.

After securing 'Mr. Fetes,' I do 'puja' in room #13 (used to be my old H.S. basketball #).  Exhausted, I fall asleep for an hour.

When I awake, I'm revived enough to walk into the commercial area (500M).  

Phil has told me about the 'Spa,' the healing waters of Hanmer Springs (the reason for the town nee resort area).  But, when I walk past it looks too commercial for me, costing $18NZD for a dip.  

Up ahead a 'cabin business' advertises a $20-dollar massage.  It mentions the body parts, but no 'feet.'  I might have stopped to get a foot massage, as now very sore (after 7 hours pushing a heavy bicycle).  I shouldn't be walking but sitting.

I happen to discover a Cafe named 'The Log Cabin' still open.  A large, jolly, young woman takes my order:  a piece of carrot cake to eat here, and two muffins to take with me.  I sit outside waiting until this happy apparition appears, and I order black tea.  

I watch people eating, and moving about late afternoon, Hanmer Springs.   I'm impressed with the tall 'pine' trees.  My young happy apparition 'comps.' my tea, and I'm slightly aghast, as this happens rarely!   Later, upon departing, I hand her two extra dollars as a tip, complimenting her on her demeanor.  She's ever the more grateful, reminding me of Rucha.

'Spreading joy wherever s/he goes…
S/he gives the kids free samples 
Because s/he knows so well,
That today's young innocent faces,
Will be tomorrow's clientele!'
(every heard of Tom Lehrer?).

Some people, most people, are so kind to me, an old man!  There's an advantage being old, people are more likely to stop and ask if they can help.  I've been offered things by passing motorists in all countries!

I walk back to the Hostel, few people on the street (how I like it).  I stop an admire one of the trees, so tall, so straight, I marvel.  I touch it and ask that it might gives me some of its strength (and wisdom).  And guess what?  Later, Phil explains that these are Redwoods (not pine), and that they'd been planted long ago.  I want to get a good picture, but it's been overcast and raining all day.

Thank God the 'Honeymoon' continues!

My New Zealand, I've discovered starts here at Hanmer Springs and goes south (on South Island).  This is where the terrain/fauna/flora begins to change from green into brown, and there are Redwoods, no less!

Puha Puja
Puddin' pie,
Wouldn't you like to try?

'…Going back and forth,
Until we are 
Lost in each other,
'Knot noing' 
Which is which,
'Butt knot' really caring!'


Puha Puja!

The Magic Dragon,
Who doesn't like living near any 'see,'
at the Kakapo Lodge,
in Hanmer Springs, N.Z.

06a0212 Blok

06a0212 Blok

Amazing!  Today, the cycling was much easier and enjoyable as downhill and with help from the wind!  I managed, for a new 'speed record' in N.Z., 60KM in just three hours, or an average of 20KMPH!  Not bad for a 'worn out' old man with sore feet (pushing 117KG / 300 lbs. through the air)!  Of course, I was fatigued afterwards, but 'fell in the arms' of a funky 'Backpacker' place in Murchison -- thus, sat in a comfortable chair in their backyard and took a nap in the sun!  The sun was shinning for a change!  Note, picture of this backyard at

The young woman, Niki, 'operating' (John the owner, out of town for several days.), showed me the options:  Inside dorm room bed, $23NZD per, tent $15, and the 'shack' in the back (with 'Francesco' from Chile), $20 per.  I opted to bunk with Francesco, as needing connections in Chile (next country in May).  Who would have ever thought,  Chileans living in N.Z.?  Where else would you meet a young man from Chile, but in Murchison, N.Z. (he says there are many Chileans living around Murchison (as in Clint of, 'You'll come back now, you here!' nee Ft. Worth, Tejas)?

Francesco, 27-years of age came to N.Z. ( from Valdivia City, Chile) wanting to improve his English (and looking for adventure).  He said it's relatively easy for Chileans to get a 'Holliday Work Visa,' as Chile on 'the List of approved countries.'   He picked apples for a time up in Motueka, but had to quite as 'not strong enough.'  Now, he's 'hanging out' in Murchison studying English.  We discussed Chile, and I was happy to learn, it's much less expensive than N.Z., and/or Australia, and/or any western (1st or 2nd world) country.  He said the average good hotel room per night (in Santiago) only $10 USD per (500 pesos to a USD.).  This is good news, as I'm tired of scrimping and saving in these over 'hyped' and overly expensive countries (no extra charge for the sand flies).

I did a load of laundry (no charge), and hung it on the line in the bright sun (have to take advantage to dry when the sun shines in N.Z.).

I organized my gear, examined 'Mr. Fetes' (making a sound when moving I don't like), and played with John's dogs.  

Since this Backpacker place's 'credit card' device inoperable I had to pay cash, but I'm running out of cash.  Nobody told me that in the smaller towns there are no International ATMs (so prevalent around No. Island) -- so what to do?  Of course, you can pay everything by bank card, but then once in awhile you come across a situation like this where they can't take.

Nika told me there are two 'ATMs' in town, one in the 4-Square food market, and one at the little NZB bank.  So, I walked into town to check out, but not very optimistic about it, as local people don't usually know about such things.  

Like the John in Christchurch who recommended I take the 'inland route' to Christchurch (from Blenheim) assuming I'd know what that was… It turned out to be different than the route I'm on now (thinking it was John's 'inland route').  But, I 'go with the flow!' 

Local people (in any country) assume too much when mentioning whatever, as they don't understand a traveller's ignorance.  When John wrote 'Cantebury,' (in an email message) he assumed I knew what that meant… I only had an idea of such (it turns out to be the 'district,' 'Province,' 'State,' or 'Shire,' one of six in the South Island, N.Z.).  

Note, I want to produce a video, wherein I only ask people for directions (to get somewhere).  It's amazing how they explain, having to think first…  But, I must complement 'Kiwis' for the being so friendly and kind to stop what they're going to give me directions!  New Zealanders, better than most other countries for this courtesy.

In Murchison 'town' I discovered an interesting old-fashion/rural N.Z. community, and a wonderful store ('Treasure House'), full of antiques and 'nicknacks' (haven't used that wor(l)d for so long I don't know how to spell it).  I saw things in this store that my grandparents had in their house in Springfield, Missouri, U.S.A. (60 years ago)! 

I had an idea to cook spaghetti for dinner, as haven't had any pasta for a long time.  I'm particularly fond of parmesan cheese and ended up 'splurging' as spent $15NZD on a small amount of fresh (no Kraft in the container).  Every once in awhile you have to indulge yourself, especially when older.

i returned to my 'Goldshack Backpacker' house taking pictures of many flowers, along the way.  Additionally, of a house for sale (see at  This the first really warm, sunny summer day on the South Island.  Note, N.Z. like the Northwestern part of the U.S.  

Of course, it's frigid winter where you are, at least most of you (friends).

I returned to partake of some Puha, and then cooked dinner.  I offered spaghetti to all, but only 'Jurgen,' a young man from The Netherlands, and Francesco joined me.  The girls somewhere else (?).   Jurgen, traveling around N.Z., met a German girl, and now a 'couple.'

This place, my kind of 'funk,' I may stay for another night.  The Internet connection 'no extra charge.'  And all of this 'down scale,' better than St. Arnaud's 'upscale.'  I need to rest my feet, plus work on Mr. Fetes (solving the 'sound' problem).

Stay tuned!

in 'Clint Murchison' town, N.Z. 

For Bob:

For Bob:

Read, Chang Zi (Tzu):

"He (Chuang Zi) takes up the question of 'good' in a meditation called, 'Perfect Joy!'  In it he decries that happiness cannot be found in material ways (the 'profit motive' of Mo Ti).  The life of riches, he writes, ambition, pleasure, is in reality, an intolerable servitude in which one lives for what is always out of reach, thirsting for survival in the future."

Most people are 'whisked' out their bodies without really knowing where they were!

Try to multiply 40 million X 6 trillion, and see what you get…?  A Constellation!  Can't you 'sea' how we create our 'wor(l)ds' from the concepts our own brains conger!   There is no object 'wor(l)d!'

You're already 'insiide' the girl of your dreams!

Tantric Taoism

Monday, February 06, 2012

060212 Blok (If it's Monday it must be Murchison, where I meet a man from Chile!)

060212 Blok (If it's Monday it must be Murchison, where I meet a man from Chile!)

I warn flies, when they come buzzing around, I warn them, don't motivate me to kill you!
But, what if we turn the little fly into a human being, how does this 'threat' work?  What if we turn this 'threat' into a different analogy, metaphor, or symbol, for what causes something to end the worldly existence of another living thing (nee violence, war, killing, etc.).  Life and death is a cycle that can't be avoided.  So, no death, no life!  If no, war, no peace, etc., ad infinitum!
In Duality if there's a beginning, there's an ending.  So,
Embrace it!
Connect with it.
Supreme Bliss!
Mankind has proliferated beyond what Mother Earth can cope with (by 2012).  And that's now going to be corrected;  in the process of rebalancing.

Tantric Taoism

Saturday, February 04, 2012

03a0212 BLOK

03a0212 BLOK

We've been seduced by material convenience, having Governments think for us!  We can't even find a toilet without help!  We're losing the ability to think for ourselves!
If Neil Young is concerned about the loss of sound quality in digital music, I'm more concerned about how life squeezes us into a small box -- and all about money/power of course!  It's group think time! 
Oh, how I curse them (the 01%) beyond cursing:  Oh woe be unto you, all the 7 depredations, for 7 generations!
 Who would have ever thought that 'Fascism' (in the U.S.) would become 'Communism,' and vice versa (in China)!  Don't think so, study the premise more carefully!  Dick will understand, possibly Julianne?  Eric, nearing 80-years of age, for sure!  Others, either 'don't want to go down that road,' or clueless!
Next, controllable Androids that few control, nee Fascism.  Then, 'group think,' nee Communism.
Watch, 'Blade Runner,' and 'A Clockwork Orange.'   No, you're too busy being distracted (controlled)!
I rest my case!   A world of sheep (predators) being 'eaten' by the wolves (predators)!  
'More sheep than people!'

030212 BLOK, Friday

030212 BLOK, Friday

I was out of the Koanui Hostel by 0900, having many tasks to accomplish in the City (across from Highway #1), this before heading down the Wairua Valley on #63.  For one, my new hard-soled cycling shoes had come apart at the seam, at least one, on the left shoe.  I had tried to glue it in Havelock, but it didn't work.  I also needed to purchase some others things. 

Note, the riding part of what I do not so difficult, it's doing everything else combined that makes it so challenging for someone my age. 

Most people my age in a rocking chair.  Me, rocking along still!  But, every year it gets a little more difficult.  Yes, there will come a time when I 'hang up,' my cycling shoes, and put Mr. Fetes 'out to pasture!'   I remember ole Pappy Jack, when they knew he was dying (of Pancreatic Cancer).  He got on his old horse one more time for a picture.  Here's a man who grew up on a horse.  I wonder how he felt…?  There will be one last ride for me, as inevitable!  Somebody will want to take pictures of me riding.  I wonder how we will feel…?

In the meantime, life, love, and pursuit of enlightenment!   I now know what it is!  In the meantime, back to the mundane!   You have to go through 'hell,' to get to 'heaven!'   Most, hypnotized by Duality!  Wake up before you die!  Is that an oxymoron, or a 'nom de stupid?'  Wake up!  Worse, you gotta to do this on your own, religion only penultimate!

Note, prepare for your death now, don't wait!  If you wait you will miss one of the greatest events of your life, 'graduation!'  It's when there's no more 'i,' you so named.  It's union with the Divine!  Our way, the Tantra.  When you 'let go' life becomes easier!

By the way, this total tome should  be entitled, 'Zen and the art of Cycling the World!'   And then 70 publishers will reject it.  Then somehow published.  Then somehow becomes a 'classic.'  It took 800 years for Rumi to be discovered!  Have 'patients!

So, where was I in the mundane of cycling the world, now in New Zealand, now in the South Island, now in a place called St. Arnaud, I'm curious why.  I shall ask, 'stay tuned!'

I was out of Blenheim by 1000.

It was slow going, slightly up hill, but with a compensating helping wind. 

But, the wind in N.Z., it's most capricious!  We're never quite sure which direction it's coming from….  There's supposed to be some 'prevailing,' by other 'currents,' weave a different 'story.'   I can only feel it helping or making it harder, but I'm never quite sure, as confused (too) about compass directions in the Southern Hemisphere.  Maybe this is good…?

Thinking differently, to us it's a combination of 'Mercury in Retrograde,' combined with a rising moon.  Most people don't even notice! 

Enlightenment is being super aware of existence.  There's more than Duality!

I began to think of what 'Mercury' symbolizes?  I always remember a male in crazy helmet, in a pose of fleetingness.  He might symbolize 'fleet of foot.'  So, when in 'retrograde,' he slows down, as more challenging.  Could 'fleet of foot,' relate to what I'm going through. sore feet?  Feet, fiets, fetes, feats, fetes.  Could this relate to 'Mr. Fetes,' my bicycle.  Is there a connection?

I started to hear a noise up front, and knew 'Mr Fetes' was talking to me, warning me about something a miss. I stopped and looked, but couldn't tell what it was.

I thought maybe the brake shoes rubbing up against the tire rim.  I went on, it got louder.  I stopped again to discover a soft front tire.  I went ahead to a bridge (good railings to lean against).
I changed the tube, but not without difficultly!  Whoa, sometimes this can be a bitch because either the Chinese wheel rim to large, or the tire too small, or a combination of both!  But, it took some time.   Note, the whole damn deal ended up taking almost two hours!  I examined the tire, and with extra care, turning it inside out.  I could find nothing!


Then a problem with the front V-brake.  You change one thing, you change everything (an old homily).  I wrestled with it.


SO, DON'T WE CREATE OUR 'WOR(L)DS FROM OUR MINDS, overlapping in dictionaries?
I went on but not with great confidence, as the sound is still there…

When Wairoa Tavern, as in Valley, loomed.  i slowed down, knowing that this might be the last until St. Arnauds.  Then when I read 'camping ground, inquiry within,' I stopped.  We'd only gone 35KM, but sometimes 'discretion is the better part of valor.'  I've learned, cycling at my age, that 'one in the bush is worth two out there!'   I didn't think it wise to connect with the sound, and another 70+ KM before any sign of distopea.

Stopping at the WairoaiTavern, camping there… This turned out to be a very interesting time, nee TV series.  Few could perceive this old Tavern (1886) begetting a commercial television series.  Only, Dick would understand, maybe Eric…?

It said, 'inquire within,' so I did, and discovered, on a Friday afternoon, the locals having a beer.  The woman bartendaress, in her bleached blond long hair seemingly eager to please.  When I asked, she asked a man having a beer, and he said, $10NZD.  She repeated it and I opted for to spend the night.  It's these little 'out of the limelight' places are the most interesting!  She explained, and I left, thinking I would return to have a beer.

I walked around, and investigated places to pitch my tent, now after so many times, somewhat of an expert at getting it situated correcting, depending on many factors, the weather and ground for one.  You want a tent on level ground, if possible.  The place I picked, however, near the sheltered picnic table (desirable) turned out to be a 'no,' as in Friday night crowd parking.

I finally pitched it in a nook near the wood shed (see at

After getting organized, I made a late lunch meal in the sheltered picnic table 'kiosk' (don't know what else to call it).
I then walked around the area taking pictures.

Then looking for an electrical receptacle to recharge my batteries.  I discovered this in their 'breakfast nook,' and plugged into, thinking to tell the bartender ('Bert') about it.  But, then at the height of his business, 5P.M., I just left.

Then, something like a 'nap.'

Then, to check on my 'hatching' battery in the bar.  By now, however, the local gabfest (much laughter) had begun, and I decided to observe.  When I ordered a glass of wine, this stopped all conversations.  They only drink beer, cold beer thank you.

A black man came in and without much English obtained a pack of cigarettes.  They kidded him on the way out.  This is the 'Kidding Rung.'

I retreated to the nook, with my wine, like a hen sitting on a nest.  Both the newspaper and eavesdropping became interesting.  I thought to myself, listening to their constant laugher, these people are happy!  They don't know about a larger their world, and they don't really care abut the larger one (except how it affects the price of agri-products).  This is where you come to study authenticity, little guile here, except in their playful banter.

I said to myself, these lives, in and out of this place would make a television series, a la Duffy's Tavern, and that TV  series I never watched (took place in a N.Y.C. bar).

I order 'hot' chips, our 'French Fries.'

The battery charger light finally turned 'green,' and I retrieved.

When my 'hot' chips seemed too long in the preparing I went to ask and, of course, they're coming.
They did, and I ate, feeding my mind, not my body.  I had the tomato sauce ready!

Nobody engaged me in conversation, except for politeness.

When it came time to go, I asked it I could charge my other batter, leaving it in the bar overnight?  She asked hubby, Bert, who said, 'No worry!'  I asked what time they opened in the morning and a woman interpreted, 'Half past 8, or 9.  Would I still be there?'  Yes, 'No worry,' I said, dissipating 'worry' all the way around!  I thanked them and went outside to my tent.  The day had been a 'trying' (two hours fixing flat and dealing with brake), nee an interesting twist!

I covered Mr. Fetes with my larger rain coat, took several more pictures with recharged battery and called it 'a day!'

It turned out I'd picked a good place (level) for my tent, dry as well.

I was down 'for the count' around 2100 hours.

Life on the road less travelled…

Cowboy Glib (for Larry MacMurtry)

Cowboy Glib (for Larry MacMurtry)

Cowboy glib,
Clever this
Lonesome peace,
Just a 'poke in a piece,'
I get confused
My feet cranking
Around New Zealand?

But, I'm still going,
Too warm,
So wet,
What a debt to pay!

Pain, just weakness leaving the body.
Stupidity, just consciousness being born!
Yet, all just wor(l)ds,
How we create our wor(l)ds!

'You'all, come back now, you hear!
Bring the wife and the kids,
I'm fiixin' to barbecue!'

Cowboy glib!

020212 BLOK, Thursday

020212 BLOK, Thursday

I was up at 0645, not feeling rested, but having to depart for Blenheim.

Off by 1000, it was relatively easy, mostly downhill, but with a slight wind in my face.
Uneventful, except for much commercial traffic, I was happy to be moving again.

I did come across something interesting… Some one had ties old shoes to a fence, and this went on for 100 meters.  Note, see at

After two hours we crossed a river, a big one, over a long bridge, the Waitau River.  Then into Renwick and back into distopea again.  Here we turned left, and directly into a nice southeast breeze.

Blenheim valley is a wine growing area, and many vineyards.  It produces a 'world class' Sangvinon Blanc I sampled, and good.

I made a mental note as I passed highway #63, splitting off from #6 to the right (west).  This is the highway I would be taking west, north and south to get to Christchurch.  This the inland route, somewhat circuitous, suggested by John (from Christchurch) to avoid Highway #1.

As I headed into Blenheim, on the right the Blenheim Airport combined with the RNZAF ('Where the Air Force Begins!').  I wonder about the N.Z. Air Force…

Into Blenheim, a town of some 30,000, I first got cash from an ATM and then asked where the 'i' (tourist information) was located.  Turns out it's located next to the RR station.  I bought a KIWI map of South Island for $9NZD, hoping it was better than the one I had.

I don't know how many Backpacker Hostels there are in Blenheim, but I went where directed as easier (Koanui).  After cycling all day, you don't want to spend hours looking for the 'perfect' place.  Sometimes you luck out, some times it turns out not so good.

It's interesting what the word 'backpackers,' has come to mean.  Now, a place, a facility for travelers, who on a budget seek to share a room with others.  This mostly for 'young' people like me!  And these Hostels are all over New Zealand, in Auckland there are maybe a dozen, in smaller tourist towns at least one.  For example here in St. Arnaud, there are two.   Note, St. Arnaud the gateway to the 'Nelson Lakes National Park.'

If touring cyclists don't want to deal with hosts, there are plenty of places to stay (for a price), in N.Z. and especially on South Island.  There are also DOC campgrounds where you pay only $7.50NZD per night.

South Island, with only 1/3rd the total population of New Zealand, is all about tourism in the summer -- I've seen more tour cyclists (generally from Europe), than any other country I've ever cycled.  

Of course, in N.Z. you have to share 'the road' with the sand flies -- be forewarned, bring your choice of repellent, antidote, and mosquito net, etc.

So, many flies in N.Z. (everywhere in the summer).  And the sand flies, a predatory fly, whose bite stings/itches.  So, when people tell you there are no 'predatory' animals in N.Z., bring up the subject of sand flies.  The 'fly problem' is caused by all the cows and sheep nee cow/sheep shit, nee flies.  If I had to do it over again, I'd cycle N.Z. in the winter, as I'm not a flying-insect kind of guy!

N.Z. isn't the country I'd choose for permanent residency.  To partake of yes, on a temporary basis, on a long-term basis, not me.