It is OctoberAuckland, Fall 2009

Good Morning, World! Today is October 5th at 11:25 am and I have already accomplished so much. On the international front, I lost four straight games of squash to a Danish guy at 8 am. At 10 am, I purchased a few plane tickets to Christchurch, the South Island. It will be my first and only trip to that southern half of these two islands, and indeed I am excited. No matter what I've heard of the beauty of the North, the South is supposed to be awesomely beautiful. Further, I think they have more whales and sea lions and penguins down there, which is quite exciting. But I need not waste this blog post on something I only think I know about, when indeed I will have much more information for when I return. This past weekend I returned to the Waitakere Ranges, a reunion of sorts with the first trip I ever made in New Zealand. The Waitakare Ranges are only 45 minutes west of Auckland, and represent some of the best tramping I've done in the North Island. There are many tracks, many with coastal views of deserted black sandy beachs and magnificent rock outcrops in the water. And I know they are beautiful, despite the fact that it was so cloudy this weekend (Saturday), that we really couldn't see anything. In order to tell how far we were, we flung rocks into the ocean somewhere below and counter the length of their descent. Indeed, the extree cloudiness and bit of rain made the tramp exciting, dangerous-feeling, and spooky, and was well worth the small bit of fear of death that I think we all held in our stomachs (or perhaps only me). Indeed, it was the first tramp we had been on that wasn't that well marked, and at one point we had to turn back to find the original trail. After tramping, we returned to Auckland to devour some very delicious pizzas, which at Sal's NY Pizza, rivals the taste and quality that you can expect at any state-side pizzeria. Not too cheap, but very delicious, a few slices of that and a hot shower was all we needed to relax into the rainy Saturday evening, watch Revenge of the Sith on T.V. and get an early start on sleep. Today is the third from last week of classes, and indeed the semester is winding down. I've got a few finals in about a month, but other than that, little school work to do. Despite this, I will commit myself to a few hours in the library each few week so I don't get taken by surprise. So that's my plan for the next few weeks, with perhaps a weekend tramping jaunt of too, and then my final adventure to Christchurch, and my sad but sweet journey back to the United States on November 20. But don't worry, you will hear much more from me until then. Thanks for reading! Josh
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