Now that the medevac has taken place safely, MidWinter is fading into a distant memory and all but one item on my Antarctic must-do list has been fulfilled, I can get back to focusing on what I do best: fretting about the future.
My plans remain unfixed, to put it mildly, and if you know me well you know how much I luuuuuuuv that. Not.
I am still waiting for my redeployment date, which will either be in late August, during WinFly or, more likely, early-to-mid October. Regardless of when it happens, my first stop will be New Zealand and my first order of business, after swimming in Lake Wakatipu again and spending a very, very long time exfoliating at the Hanmer Springs Spa, will be to get to Auckland and get my passport renewed.
Unfortunately, if I arrive in Auckland in October, it will be smack in the middle of events for the Rugby World Cup, emphasis on “smack.” I don’t like crowds to begin with, and I really hate drunken crowds, of which there are sure to be many. Nevermind accommodation will be at a premium.
So I’m looking at things to do outside Auckland but not all the way back on the South Island while I wait the one to two weeks it will take to process my new passport. And this is where you come in, gentle reader(s).
I’ve decided on three options… during the month of July, you can vote on the one you want me to do and, barring some freak change in plans, I’ll do it.
Presenting: the very first Stories That Are True poll! (Scroll past poll to read details of the potential activities.)
Option #1: Hike the Tongariro Northern Circuit. Yes, after living on ice planet Hoth for more than a year, I would return to my beloved Mordor and Mt. Doom, in the central plateau of the North Island, to do the multi-day Tongariro Northern Circuit. If I leave here in August, it would not be an option due to winter trekking conditions that would require the use of crampons and an ice axe. And I know my limits.
Option #2: Learn to surf in the Tasman Sea. There are surf schools in Muriwai and Piha, two of Karl Urban’s favorite places to surf. I’m jus’ sayin’. I’ve got a wetsuit and I know how to use it. And if I should run into the lovely and talented Mr. Urban, well. So be it.
Option #3: Hike, camp and generally chill on Great Barrier Island. The largest of the islands in Huaraki Gulf, a four-hour ferry ride from Auckland. It’s not quite as scenic in the bleak and inhospitable way I love that Tongariro is, but it is likely to be far enough from the maddening crowds to suit me.
There you have it… visit the links and cast your vote for what you would want to read about most on my blog!