Tag Archives: New Zealand


If they say they're Irish, they're Irish.

If they say they’re Irish, they’re Irish. Don’t argue with the sousaphone player!

My path along Auckland’s Queen St was blocked today by a lot of people wearing green.

Not all of them looked Irish, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The craic was foin! Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized

CYCLING BY PROXY – other people’s fun

I’ve just ridden across France, up the Alps and then the whole length of New Zealand. It only took me a couple of weeks and I hardly raised a sweat. Because I did it by reading.

My own cycling recently has been limited to gentle rides to the rehearsal room.

I’ve been pleasantly tied up working on a couple of new theatre shows. You’ll doubtless hear more about them on this blog as the time to buy tickets approaches.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying reading about two other people’s cycling feats and had the pleasure of meeting the writers. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Writing


It's all happening on de Koog Beach, Texel Island, Netherlands.

Travel writers hate beaches, according to British columnist A.A.Gill. It’s not the beaches themselves they hate, it’s trying to find something interesting and original to say about them.

I understand the problem. Nothing ever happens at the beach, except on Baywatch , so where’s the story? Continue reading


Filed under Travel

THE YEAR THAT WAS 2011 – our travel highlights

Getting there sometimes required some effort. That's why they call them highlights. This hump is Mt Hvitserkur, Iceland.

I’ll be taking a short break from writing, blogging and nearly everything else (except collecting material for new posts) until the New Year. So it’s time for a look back at highlights of the year that’s oh so nearly passed. Continue reading


Filed under Travel

TE ARAROA – New Zealand’s new super tramp opens

A trail like this, 3000km long. Sounds good? Sweet as!

Are you up for a challenge? Able to take a year off work? A new Kiwi tramp, Te Araroa (the Long Pathway), opens in December 2011. Continue reading


Filed under Hiking, New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND – world’s best for cycle touring?

Undulations down beside Lake Hawea

Few of us look our best in Lycra in the early-morning light. I kept this in mind as I checked out my fellow riders in the Adventure South minivan, rolling out of Queenstown to the start of our guided ride, hoping they would make allowances for my appearance, too.

Nine of us would be spending six days cycling together, taking in the hills, the food, the beverages and the sights of New Zealand’s South Island. It helps to get on with everybody in a small group. And when the cycling starts, you want to be able to keep up. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

WAITOMO, NEW ZEALAND – my life in their hands

Guide Jimmy promised me I wouldn't die.

It seemed so ridiculously life-threatening, I wasn’t even scared. There I was, a man who gets vertigo if his bike saddle is too high, dangling from a single rope a hundred metres above the rocky bottom of a limestone cave.

The publicity for the Lost World Adventure told me Tom Cruise had done this three times. Well, we’ve seen him do all kinds of weird stuff, and we know he has special effects people to make it look death-defying.

I was doing all my own stunts here, with only guide Anna above me giving instructions and guide Jimmy attached to me by a bit of blue ribbon which he promised would break my fall if necessary. Continue reading


Filed under New Zealand