Friday, March 21, 2008

Adventure Touring Update

I know, I know, I have been having a little fun with the adventure-eco tour options. However a lot of people do enjoy this and there seemingly are some great adventure companies and the programs they offer. When on the TranzAlpine train I met Chris, a very nice guy from a suburb of Toronto who was on a four week jaunt around both islands. He seemed to be in his late 30’s and was experiencing his first trip out of North America. He had previously been a forester in Revelstoke, British Columbia and obviously had a lot of outdoor experience. He was also visiting some acquaintances (including a New Zealand Olympic sculler) in New Zealand, so had people to stay with to break up the trip.

Chris’ formula was to book with an adventure tour company who took you from camping, climbing, or eco event by van or bus dropping you off for the event and then you can hop on a similar bus a few days later. He said the groups he was in varied from 10 to 26. He now works in commercial refrigeration (maybe not as active as when he was foresting) and he was wondering when dirty, sore, and blistered exactly why he was doing this. He did hike, climb, crawl on rocks, sleep in tents, river raft, sand surf and generally have a good time.

When in the Queenstown area, he booked parasailing, skydiving, and helicoptering over the Milford Sound and glaciers. Unfortunately, after waiting for the weather, he never got to face these death defying pursuits. Bummer, but I’m sure his mother is happy. He will just have to return sometime for this type of extreme fun. I of course, gave Chris a lot of good advice about world traveling, and I’m pretty sure he is hooked. I don’t know whether any of the following are good or bad (you might check for the Qualmark New Zealand fern symbol which is an endorsement by the New Zealand tourist authority) but it is a sample of the companies for this type of traveling:

Quirky Living Note: Another option for traveling in New Zealand is the RV. Here the self drive traveling hotel room is called a caravan. It is very popular for people who want “some” out of doors, don’t want the hassle of hotels, but still want to drive the country. If I selected this travel alternative I would also be investing in a divorce. My intrepid navigator seems to think RV’s and motor homes were invented by men who think it is really cool for the little woman to cook, clean, and continue waiting on the man of the house, while he sits back and has a beer and enjoys sitting outdoors in a lawn chair. Now the mm (modest Mazda) isn’t much, but it also is not the campervan like shown above. I am still married to the same woman! If you want a similar campervan check out

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