The adventure continues: New Zealand

Coastline on the Coromandel Peninsula in New ZealandCoastline on the Coromandel Peninsula (photo courtesy of Jacobo Junior)
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[This is the second in a series by Jacobo Junior, a Mableton resident and a cook at The Cenacle, who went on a two-year adventure around the Pacific, starting in New Zealand, and took many photos as he and a companion traveled.  This series includes summaries of blog posts he wrote about his travels.  At the bottom of each article in the series, we’ll include a link to his blog where you can read the longer version, and see all the photographs]

>> Read the first installment of this series by following this link

The month was March and we couldn’t believe how quick time went. It started off with Ben and I buying a van. By the end of the week, we were on a road trip to Sundaise Festival gathering in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. This was such an eye-opening experience. Being in a different country across the world, driving on the opposite side of the road with the steering wheel on the passenger side of our van, and having to sleep in a van. This became LIFE, a life of adventure.Ben (L) and Jacobo (R) (photo courtesy of Jacobo Junior)Ben (L) and Jacobo (R) (photo courtesy of Jacobo Junior)

On our return, we found ourselves at a Hare Krishna color festival. A week later at the farm in Hellensville, Ben and I knew it was our time to explore the rest of the country. We packed all of our stuff into the van and headed to Auckland for a couple of days. Most tourists we met talked about the South Island being pristine, beautiful, and overall a must see. June is when winter begins down in the Southern Hemisphere, so it became our mission to head as far south as possible and beat the winter.

There wasn’t much to enjoy about Auckland and after a day of driving, we were halfway down the North Island. In Waitomo, a small town known for their caves, we chose to do a Glowworm tour that required us going deep underground to reach a small wooden boat. We stood there in what appeared to be complete darkness, until we looked up to see what resembled the Milky Way. These glowworms have larva that attracts insects with a luminescent glow.

We continued our exploration southward. The spectacular views included waterfalls, ferns, greenery, lakes and clear rivers. It was almost as if we were in a movie. Not to mention, the numerous one way bridges. Being a small country with hardly any traffic, most bridges are only wide enough for one-way traffic. It’s not a life for everyone, but it was definitely a life for us.

To read more about this part of the journey, and see more photographs, visit the following link:

https://thephotosynthesize.com/2016/06/26/march-2015/

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Jacobo Junior
I was born to an immigrant father from El Salvador and a Chicana mother from California. My family never talked about going on vacation or traveling to any other country besides El Salvador. We traveled to El Salvador a few times when I was a kid, but I did not visit again until I was 20. It was refreshing to experience life outside of the US as an adult and I found myself wanting to explore more. The goal was Australia and it took years to actually do it. The year was 2015 and a friend joined for the trip, but with a twist: we were going to New Zealand first. My name is Nelson Jacobo Junior and this is how I used my US passport to its full potential.

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