Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

New project

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Hey there uncles, aunts and cousins,

I’m happy to now be able to tell you about a new project I am managing. As you know I partnered with a developer (Tania McBeth) late last year and we’ve just passed the alpha stage with Version 2. Now that we’re in beta I can announce it publicly and start sharing screen shots (attached). It’s a self-funded start-up venture with an expected ROI of approximately 30 years. The central processing unit is up and running with basic motor control established. If everything goes to plan we’ll have a release candidate in autumn and will be going gold master on April 20th 2012.

~Craig, and Tania, and version 2.0

P.S. Right now I’m under sedation from a wisdom teeth operation so I’m explicitly forbidden from driving and “making important decisions” so the talk about product branding will have to wait a few days.

Otago Tandem Rail Trail

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

A week ago Tania and I rode the Otago Central Rail Trail, and since it was a first proper holiday since our wedding 3+ months ago I think it counts as a honeymoon. The rail trail is 150km of old railway track that has been converted for use by bicycles and pedestrians. Because it was built for trains it never gets steeper than 1:50 and that’s quite achievable on a bike. We opted to work together on the long inclines and thus on Monday morning my aunt Janice drove us to Clyde and Altitude Adventures dropped off our rented tandem.

We’ve rented a tandem before and found it was a lot of fun. That time we were riding around a beach suburb in San Diego having to deal with pedestrians, “side walks” and occasionally traffic. This time was lot simpler. Most of the people we saw were heading our way and only one was on foot. Much like the PCT when everyone is on a trail with the same goal and similar traveling style there’s an easy camaraderie between strangers. We all have to deal with the same hills and are all getting sore bottoms (though some to a greater degree, do hardly riding a bike more than 5km for the last 15 years).

We were very lucky with the weather in what has been an unusually wet season. The fields were much greener than normal but we were late enough that the trees has started to change and it wasn’t the still dry air that can sit over the Canterbury plains. I’ve put a selection of photos in a MobileMe gallery page, but you really have to experience in person. I’ll gladly do it again and definitely encourage more people to go by tandem. It’s just so nice to have your other half within arms reach the entire time, a very sweet way to spend a few days in New Zealand.

It’s for charity

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

In a little over 10 days I, along with 3 guys I hardly know (one of which I haven’t even met yet) will start the Oxfam Trailwalker. We’ll have 36 hours to complete the 100km course on foot but we’re hoping to do it in less than 30. The track itself is not particularly grueling, consisting mostly of rolling farmland and a few forest roads, its the time on the feet that causes the most problems. The last time I was in 2008 after training 12 hours per day every day for nearly three months whilst walking across Japan. I’ve not done much on that scale since getting back to New Zealand but I did try to do the Round The Mountain in one day, and only managed 60 of the 74km. Still, not bad for what is pitched as a “4-6 day hike”.

Hiker tan

Simon, Kirk, mystery man and I are the last of what has been a constantly shifting team landscape. Just last week our last remaining female member had to withdraw after serious warnings from her doctor about the need for toe surgery if she continued. Hence the last minute ring-in. Still, everyone’s heart is in the right place. The whole reason for the hike is to raise money for the good people at Oxfam. We’ve already stumped up the entrance fee so every cent we raise via sponsorship goes straight towards Oxfam’s fight against poverty around the world. If you’re not away of what Oxfam do then check out their website and if you are aware, or are just prepared to take my word for it, head over to our sponsorship page and make a donation. During the event I’ll be keep you up to date via dedicated site which will feature photos and tweets as well as a little figure tracking our progress along the course profile. I’ll try to get some form of comment system attached to the website, because you can be sure by 4am on day 2 we’re really going to need some encouragement, but if you’re a Twitter user the easiest way to get through to us is by following us @teamhappyfeet.

IslandReefJob

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

My video has been up on the site for a little while now but those of us not lucky enough to ever get listed as the most-recent applicants are struggling to get anywhere near the number of views those lucky few are receiving. Two days on the front page can bring in thousands of votes. So, I’m putting out a second post to encourage you to watch my video and give me a vote. I’ve heard that one New Zealander is guaranteed through to the next round and if you’re here to thank me for my software or after follwoing any of my travel blogs, the best thing you can do for me right now is a 5 star rating, and telling your friends about it too.

To try to drum up publicity I’ve created a page here on my site that I’ll keep up to date and voting progresses and a Facebook group that you’re welcome to join.

Here are those links again

Video: http://islandreefjob.com/applicants/watch/dF_InB2rFvY

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48534483691

The Best Job In The World?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I was pleased to hear from a few friends of mine that I was the first (only?) person they thought of when news of the island reef job broke. It’s a simple gig: Sit on Hamilton Island, which sits above the incredible Great Barrier Reef, for six months and file regular reports on the amazing life you’re living thanks to Quuensland Tourism. Having done a fair bit of travel blogging in my time I think I’m pretty well suited to the job. So please check out my application video and pass it around to your friends.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my current desk-job. And nothing else is tempting me away, but those six months would hone my writing/adventuring skills just that bit more while also making a substantial payment towards getting a house. If you’ve been using my software and not donating, consider giving me a favourable review and we’ll call it even :-)

A reader writes

Monday, October 6th, 2008

I got an email last week from “an aspiring traveller” and it’s a question I’ve been asked a few times so I thought I’d share it.

Dear sir,
I am just curios as to how do you continue your travels and have ample budgets for your expeditions. I aspire to do just what you are doing now. I would like to know how do you earn your expenses along your journey.

and my response

Hi James,

If there’s a secret to my travels it’s being careful with my money and being prepared to be very uncomfortable. I take it you’ve seen both my American and Japanese walking sites. For those adventures I had almost no accommodation costs by sleeping in a tent, in temples in the occasional abandoned tunnel. The last 6 weeks of OneManWalking was traveling in a different style. Having a girlfriend along changes things because I wouldn’t want to put her in the position of sleeping in public toilets (a big fancy disabled one with my tent’s ground sheet below). So expenses went up dramatically. When I’m back home I try not to spend too much on things I can do free. I eat in as much as possible and rarely see movies at the cinema. I was really lucky to get cheap rent about 4km from my job so I walked that every day. It was good exercise and it saved me money.

In neither case did I deliberately earn expenses along the way. Once in America I was given a free room for helping spread wood chips at an inn-keeper’s prayer park and in Japan the locals were incredibly generous. Some people stopped and gave me fruit, some bought food from convenience stores and handed it straight to me and some even handed me cash. I never asked for it but they felt like doing a good thing for someone taking the time to see their country in a different way. There’s a similar phenomenon on the PCT called “trail magic”, people leaving chilli-bins (coolers) in the forest full of drinks and snacks, or doing other good deeds just because they like to. You should never get to a point where you rely on these things, be self sufficient, but be open to the idea that things usually work out pretty well.

If you do go traveling and write about it, let me know, I’ll be needing some good travelblogs for next year.

~Craig

I’m settling back in pretty well. On the job/house hunting circuits. I haven’t yet dug back into my code, I haven’t even gotten the latest version of Google Earth. But I will, and I’ll post updates to both projects when I can.

On the move

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Hello to everyone looking for tech support on GeoTagger or iPhotoToGoogleEarth.  I’m in Japan at the moment and don’t have access to my source code or even a decent computer. It’ll be a few months before I set myself up again so if there are any problems during that time I won’t be able to fix them. I’ve heard that Google Earth 4.3 is having trouble rendering the KMZ files produced by iPhotoToGoogleEarth that worked fine with 4.2, but I can’t test it until I’m at a desk again. Watch this space for announcements and hold tight until then.
Thanks for your patience.

Still walking

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I thought I had made a post about this but there’s nothing here so I guess it slipped my mind. As of April 2008 I’m in Japan walking from the southern tip (Cape Sata) to the northern tip (Cape Soya). Originally I’d hoped for a mountain route and upto 6 months of walking, but I got impatient and missed my girlfriend. Now the plan is to finish on my birthday (and hers as it happens) which will mean a 98 day trek and as far as I know that’s the fastest yet. It’s all documented on OneManWalking.com. While on the move I’m sending home photos and videos which my dad is geotagging and uploading. The videos have been nominated for a prize on Seero.com, so please pop along and vote for me (free registration required) because I need a break from walking 25 miles per day :)

I’ve gone for a walk

Monday, April 16th, 2007

and I may be some time. I am now in America, walking north from the Mexican border to the Canadian border via the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ll be back in October, you can follow the adventure here.

Arriving in Cairo

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

So here I am in Cairo, where the road markings are just suggestions, and car indicators are aural rather than visual. The are does seem a little smoggy, hoopefully that’ll clear outside the big city. I’m already checked into the hotel and no one else is arriving for several hours, so I have the day to wander around and find a nice park to read a book. Here I go.