A Travellerspoint blog

San Diego & San Francisco

So the superstar was Lionel Ritchie ..... least to say I didn't bother waiting around to see him.

I travelled to San Diego by Greyhound and realised that bus travel here is kind of scary!

San Diego is a beautiful city and I wish I could have stayed there longer than 2 nights but I had a flight booked to San Francisco.

SF is so nice, the poverty is evident, but the sights are unreal. SF houses some of the steepest streets in the World so getting around is quite an effort! So far I have visited Union Square, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fort Mason, the giant shopping centre (Westfield) and many other parks and squares!

Alcatraz was an interesting place.... I can't say that it was "nice" because it wasn't, but it was eye-opening. The prison is just over a mile away from land so it must have been touture for the convicts to look out of there windows to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the city just out of reach.

The bridge is beautiful - it's a long walk from the city - it took us 5 hours to get there from the city centre, where we are staying. The walk over the bridge was tiring but totally worth it.

Yesterday I went to Yosemite National Park which was absolutely amazing. I met an Australian Pilot, Pete, who is only 24!!! Then Boris the Slovianian who was sooo funny. We hung out together and had a wonderful time. Yosemite Falls had dried up in September which was a shame, but the hike to the Giant Sequoias involved an hour hike in SNOW!!! It was about 5 inches deep in places which people hadn't already walked over. It was such an incredible experience.

Today I am going on another walking tour of the city to see some of the older buildings which weren't destroyed in the great quake. I don't know when I will be able to put more photos on the web as the internet is soooo expensive here. This hostel lets you on the web for free for 15 minutes at a time, which is a big help!

That's all for now!

Posted by jacqui1981 11:38 Comments (2)

Los Angeles

Hi there folks!

I have arrived in Hollywood! The flight was very long and uncomfortable due to a fat American (aren't they all) who had his elbow dug in my ribcage for the entire flight. I didn't sleep for the whole 12 hours, but managed to watch 4 movies.

So we arrived and every American I have met so far has asked where I am going, when I tell them the first few places they ask if I have friends there, I say no, I am just travelling and they say, "what, by yourself?!" The US is clearly not set up for backpackers.

I took the airport shuttle and accidentally gave the driver the name of the wrong hostel, who as it happens did not have any rooms available. It was a 30 minute walk to the real hostel but there was no way I was doing that, so I wandered down Hollywood Blvd with my backpack and went to the nearest hostel. Oh. My. God. It is such a dump. It is the most expensive backpackers I have stayed in since leaving the UK, it is 14GBP per night. For my 14GBP per night I get a matress with all the springs sprung, a shower which points higher than my head so I have to use my hand to direct the flow of water and well the kitchen.... don't get me started. (This, Nan, is why I have nearly cried twice since arriving!!)

Hollywood is full of deadbeat dropouts and wannabees. Today I visited the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art and saw the Magritte exhibition, which was amazing. I got to see The Lovers again - it was the painting from Canberra just in a different frame.

I have taken photos of the LA skyline from Hollywood but the smog makes it look very gross. In fact if you look just 2 blocks down the street everything is hazy from the smog - it's so disgusting.

I haven't seen any famous people yet, but there was a photographer hovering near where the road was cordoned off - I am going to go back and wait for the super star to emerge!!

Y'all have a Good Day now, y'hear!

Posted by jacqui1981 18:45 Comments (1)

Back To The Future

Well now I am very confused.

It is 11.30am on 23rd November and I am in an internet cafe in Auckland (why, because I am bored and my flight is not til 7.30)

Why is she confused then, I hear you ask ..... well, my flight lands in LA at 10.30am on 23rd November .... that's 1 hour ago ..... but I am still in New Zealand.

Michael J Fox is coming to collect me I presume to take me in that super funky time travel car.

So I don't lose a day, I actually gain a day - weird hey!!

Posted by jacqui1981 14:36 Comments (2)

Rotorua, Waitomo Caves & Auckland

22nd November

Good morning kids!

Well don't get too excited for me, but I am off to LA tomorrow - wooooooohoooooooo.

I'm glad that I was only in New Zealand for 2 weeks as I have managed to see everything I wanted and have not spent too much money, as I feared that I would.

Rotorua was awesome, it was stinky, but only if you were standing within 10 feet of a mud pool or some kind of thermal area. They actually have volcanic areas within 2 minutes walk from the CBD. It's incredibly scary to think that one day a big explosion will wipe out the entire city. The last eruption was in 2001... not so long ago!

I saw Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu thermal parks and saw the Lady Knox Geyser erupt - it was all pretty exciting!

The weather was pretty awful in Rotorua - the plane was diverted to Auckland as the cloud was so low. But that was ok, at least we were safe!

Onto Waitomo Caves .... the village itself is tiny! There was one shop, one internet cafe and one visitor centre. As soon as we arrived i booked onto a tour of one of the caves, it was the longest tour you could take without getting wet (by going rafting!) It was a wonderful tour, the guide was very knowledgable. Well, there's not much more to say about that. There is a photo or two on photobucket, but as you can imagine the pictures didn't turn out well, so I am not uploading them!

Auckland is a nice city, but as it is built on a volcanic area everyting, and I really mean everything is uphill!! It's really annoying at times as the walk from the bus stop to the hostel only seemed like a 10 minute walk on the map.... in realisty it took me 40 minutes and I nearly died from exhaustion!

That's all for now readers, I only have 9 minutes left til i explode..... hahaha - nah not really!!

Posted by jacqui1981 13:53 Comments (1)

Fox & Franz Glacier

16/11/2006

Hello people!

More pictures on the web today - all sorts of weird and wacky ones this time!

I am also uploading some videos onto youtube - I will send you the link when I figure out how to do it!

So ..... I happily left Queenstown behind me - It's ok to go there for 1 or 2 days but if you have no plans to attempt certain death or back injury with all the extreme sports, it's not a place for a holiday!!

I did a couple of walks and a trip to the Deer Park to see (suprisingly) Deer! Oh, and heaps of LOTR scenery .... I even managed to get a picture of Gollum - on no wait, that was me....

Onto Fox - I stayed in the only backpackers in town and met the most wonderful Spanish girl, Elsa and another girl from Argentina who's name we never found out! Elsa had enough money for the whole day walk on the ice so off she went. Me, I had enough money to do just about nothing .... so I took a shuttle to the other side of the Glacier and decided to attempt a couple of demanding walks for good views of the ice and eventually I would end up on the road to the terminal (that's where the glacier comes to a rest)

I set off on the Moraine walk and saw not one sole! I got scared half to death by a possum and didn't see the ice.... I made it back to the road and walked to the next viewpoint and got such a good view of the Glacier I was amazed that there was no-one around.

You have to understand that this place I was at was further away than the normal accessible view points. I have become highly aware of the large amounts of Japanese tourists snappy snapping at everything they see and getting incredibly excited - to say the least I avoid these people like the Plague - I would rather become Prime Minister of the World and take their passports of them forever!

Sorry about that, so the next hike was 4km to another walk which involved crossing streams - I was warned that due to heavy rainfall that it may be unsafe - believe me, it was really unsafe!!

I walked onto the next track, again got some amazing views of the Glacier and had to cross one of those scary rope bridges... only this time there was a raging torrent of ice water underneath it and not a sole in sight. I was the only person on this side of the water! I crossed it eventually (obviously otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog!) Beyond the bridge was the main road with bus after bus of tourists packed in.

Next to the main road was the Fox River which was surrounded both sides with hundreds and hundreds of rocks - I decided to go cross country to the Glacier along the rocks - it was sooo pretty, and everyone else was missing out - hahaha. It turned out that the joke was on me when the rocks ended.

Hmmmm... rather than walk ALL the way back, I did what us frogs do best and waded across minus my shoes and socks .... Jeeeeezuz - I think my body temperature briefly dropped to 10 below, but it was sooooo brilliant to go back to the hostel and say "Yeah, I walked in the water"

After my brief paddle I walked up to the Glacier, it was ok, but there were too many people there and it spoilt it! Fox is the less touristy glacier, what would Franz be like?!? I was later informed that Franz was closed due to rainfall, so that explained that influx of people (the Glaciers are only 30 minutes apart)

Later that afternoon Elsa and I drove down to Lake Matheson but the weather was so bad that we decided to go back the next day (today) which we did and we did a little walk before going onto Franz and Greymouth, where I caught the Tranz Scenic train back to Christchurch. It wasn't so scenic as it was raining and there was tons of cloud around!!

I am now back in Christchurch and am flying up to Rotorua tomorrow, which is where all the geo-thermal and volcanic activity takes places. Apparently Rotorua smells like sulphur all the time!! I do hope that there are no eruptions there when I am visiting as that would really spoil things ...... hahaha

That's all for now - next report will be from Auckland! byebye

Posted by jacqui1981 23:36 Comments (0)

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