Where is she?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Once again.. Hola :)

A last little message from La Gomera, before I fly home.. The passed four weeks flew by. I enjoyed the beauty of this island which is only 25 km wide and 23 km long. The colors and landscapes are wonderful. The pace of living is nice and slow. And the local people are very friendly.

Besides doing my work, I made a few wonderful hikes and runs. I enjoyed the mixture of dense forest and wide views. Of cold mountain winds and hot bare valleys. And of busy towns and quiet villages.

Another favorite moment was watering the garden in the evening while looking at the changing colors of the mountains and the sky. And shopping with an immense choice of local grown fruit and vegetables. And waking up and noticing the sunlight falling into the room.

Happiness is in such small moments.
One thing is for sure: this island has many stairs. No, not just a few.. But heaps..! Some of the walking trails consist mainly of stairs. I could not escape from them, because to reach the door of my cosy home I had to walk up 220 stairs. That meant 440 stairs just to put a garbage bag in the container… If you would like to visit La Gomera, and are looking for a little paradise to stay for while, take a look at this site: www.hetishierheerlijk.nl.

Hasta luego…

View from Arure at Tagaluche

The hill many hundred metres above the town of Valle Gran Rey. I met at least 10 people climbing uphill in the heat during the middle of the day. It was their own decision, but I felt sorry for them. After a day of climbing 1000 mtrs I learned the easy way of walking La Gomera: take a bus to the top, then walk down to the sea by one of the many different trails..

View at the valley of Valle Gran Rey (the valley of the Big King)

The harbour of Valle Gran Rey

The valley close to Hermigua

The town Hermigua

Love them

This plant looks like a nettle that stings... but someone created this piece of art to go with it. I am amazed..

Home sweet home

View from the bedroom window

The kitchen

In the valley on the right side is the town of La Laja.. The mountain at the horizon is El Teide at Tenerife, almost 4000 mtrs high. It is higher then any mountain in Spain which surprised me. It is possible to climb it. Apparantly you have to book in advance though for safety reasons.

Left is Rogue Agando. From La Laja it is a one houre uphill walk to this rock

The coasts of La Gomera are often bare and dry. The middle of the island has an altitude of 1000-1500 mtrs and gets lots of clouds and rain. For this reason this area is foggy most of the time. This day was an exception. Because of the rain and fog the higher parts of the island are covered with green forest.


Resting on the way to Valle Gran Rey


San Sebastiaan, the capital. Same population as Wanaka.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Hola amigos,

More than three months have passed since I left New Zealand. The memories I have of last year are still very vivid, and beautiful.

At the moment I am staying at the island of La gomera. La gomera is a small island off the coast of Marocco and part of the Canary islands. The whole island is in fact one old volcano. It is part of Spain, so spanish is spoken here. From the house where I am staying, the view is amazing.

Being here provides me the opportunity to do work activities and to discover the different landscapes and many hiking trails. Running is quite tiring, because a flat piece of road is hard to find. Some of you asked me to send some photos. I will post them here

Hasta luego J

The valley of La Laja

La Laja

View from the house


Mountains :)

A goat and sheep station at La Gomera (a bit smaller than the ones in New Zealand)



San Sebastiaan, the capital

Are the palmtrees and colourful houses not beautiful..?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

From countrygirl back to citygirl


Well, what can I say….
My bag has been packed, my car has been sold, and I am ready. Below you can read my little reflection on the past year.

I learned many wonderful things during my stay here: about life, about myself and about others, and about New Zealand...  It was a wonderful year. All of my questions that I left the Netherlands with have been answered, and even more..
I feel very grateful for the wonderful people I met. Thank you Joel, Kenyon, Gavin, Dave, Dafydd, Libby, Dave, Michael,  Mechy, Arthur, Willi, Vicky, Simon, Phil, David, Merijn, Maurus, Bert, Alexander, Marelize, Jess, Betty, Jim, Nick, Mary  and others for sharing, your  lives, wisdom and stories with me..

I also feel grateful for being offered a job which gave me the opportunity to give, and at the same time (unexpectedly) receive so much.
Last but not least I  feel grateful for the immense beauty of nature. And  for having the opportunity to experience this nature in so many ways. I feel deeply moved by the greatness.  I especially cherish the moments I spend with others and by myself in nature: hiking in it, drinking from it, showering in it, sleeping in it. To me it was magic. At the same time, it has been hard to see the devastation in some places, like the immense amount of trees being cut down. It makes me question my own lifestyle and wonder how awareness in the world could grow.

Some of you might be wondering about the answer to my big question..:  Do I want to emigrate to NZ..?

The answer is ‘yes’. I feel a connection with the country, the people and the lifestyle. I feel at home here and can see myself making the move. My feelings right now are very mixed. I feel very sad about leaving. On the other side I feel  drawn to going back to the Netherlands, to see my family and friends and to give shape to new ideas in the field of my work. And I am looking forward to appelstroop, firm dark bread and iceskating.

While being here I realised happiness is not determined by where one lives, but depends largely on the presence and intensity of passions in one’s life. During the past year I met many different people with many different passions:  hiking,  skating, drawing, rugby, gardening, christianity, buddhism, painting, making drums, singing, outdoor sports, composting, vegan living...  Personally I feel a true passion for my work, for nature and for a connection with God. These are things that make me smile when I open my eyes in the morning, wherever I am. I also learned that feeling and acting upon your passions is impossible when they are covered with fears. For example: one fear I had was to sleep all by myself in the bush. Not facing this fear would have kept me from longing to do any multidayhikes by myself. I trust that continuing the journey of facing and confronting fears will help me to choose for my passions.

In short: my passions might keep me in the Netherlands, or they might draw me back to New Zealand... The future will give the answers 
Thank you for reading my blog. I wish you all a wonderful christmas and a new year filled with all the ingredients that make you smile and feel alive.









Last night

While you are reading this

~The End~

Friday, 2 December 2011

Down the west coast

Less then 20 days left.. and I am 1500 km away from the airport and still driving further south. I quess it is not necessary to say that a (big) part of me really does not want to leave this country. My journey of the past week took me from Nelson lakes down south along the west coast with its glaciers.

View at mnt Tasman (3496 m) and mnt Cook (3754 m)
 from lake Matheson

Real mountains :)

Fox glacier. In the morning I went for a run to the look out.
Even though it was very cloudy I was still impressed by the huge glacier.

West coast between Hokatika and the Franz Joseph glacier

Haast river valley

Haast river valley

The road between Wanaka and Makarora

Yes, I am starting another hike: to Brewster hut

The first challenge: crossing Haast river which was not very hard. The water was knee deep.

View at the mountains inMnt aspiring national park. The trail followed a high ridge to Brewster hut.

Me tired, but almost there...

Brewster hut

View from the hut at the Brewster glacier.

Just me on my own in the hut. Except from the shrieks of kea's (mountain parrots) and the sound of the river, there was complete silence. It was quite cold in the hut (no logfire). I enjoyed the whole experience.

Fairytale forrest on the way to the hut

I am back in Wanaka now, which is great. Still as beautiful as before. I am visiting friends here in the next few days. It is very nice to see all of them again.

They say I haven't changed, except for the fact that my calfs have become twice as big ;) It's true that my legs have become very muscular. I don't even fit my dutch jeans :(

WHOOOAAAAAWWW!! Back in the Wanaka region :))

In winter...
In summer...

In winter...

In summer...
Within a few days I am driving back to Auckland in search for a buyer for my beloved car. If you know anyone in or coming to New Zealand who wants to buy a car (and guitar, pillows, bike, hairdryer, canopener.. etc :) Let me know..

And if you know anyone who can take my tears away about leaving this country.. Let me know as well..

Ps to all the dutch people: have a nice Sinterklaas.. :))