One does NOT simply walk into Mordor… Or traverse the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

One does NOT simply walk into Mordor… Or traverse the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

On Wednesday, Ariel and I traversed the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Or in other words, we attempted to simply walk into Mordor. We had known this day was coming for months and even made some half-hearted attempts to “train” for it by doing a few hour-long hikes around New Jersey. We were unprepared. Our bus picked us up from the Park Hotel where we were staying at 7:30 am and dropped us off at the start of the trail around 8…

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Adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine

Adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine

Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine… –The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien So this isn’t a vacation. We knew this. You knew this. It’s an adventure. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, it’s simple really. Vacations are relaxing. Adventures are awesome. But occasionally adventures also suck. And like the word “awesome” sometimes it means amazing, sometimes it means intimidating. When you’re trying to cram an entire country into 13 days, you’re going to experience a lot…

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First days in Middle Earth… I mean New Zealand

First days in Middle Earth… I mean New Zealand

Well, it certainly has been a pretty nutty first few days for Ariel and I on our trip. Our goal has been to combine the Tolkien stuff with some of the, you know, actual real New Zealand. Renting a car (or taking buses) is a great way to see how the country really works. This is a major reason why we didn’t just book ourselves on a Lord of the Rings type of tour. Also, we want to see what…

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If you had to bring one book with you to New Zealand

If you had to bring one book with you to New Zealand

It would kind of have to be The Hobbit, right? Lord of the Rings is too long/big/bulky to bring the entire three-book volume. And anything not Tolkien-related would be silly. This is a trip to Middle Earth after all. Obviously, we’re not talking about a Kindle situation here (in which case bring whatever you want), but rather a scenario where you’re carrying everything you need for weeks on your back and have to make some hard choices. And if you’re…

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Here we go…

Here we go…

Hi, I’m Liran. This is me today. Getting ready to go on what is likely to be my last adventure for a while. Over the past few years I’ve been bitten by the travel bug in a big, big way. For most of my life I was content to live a pretty sedentary lifestyle, spending the vast majority of my time in New Jersey and the surrounding states. Outside of some regular travel to Israel to see relatives, I generally…

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