Chasing Sky Forever

     My first ever hike down to Queenstown - it could be another name for this post. Started this morning with a swim in the Pacific. I clearly have forgotten how salty the water is. Nevertheless this is a photo story about me hiking down South. 
I wish I had this car and a driver like this one. 
I took me 6 hours to get down to Queenstown, which is pretty good considering the distance and the roads that go winding up and down the mountains. 
I thought you could get such view back in 1987 in the territory of Soviet Union.
My vision. 
Piece of paradise. You see it only when looking at the photo in reasonably romantic atmosphere. There, with all the tourists and young kids from England getting pissed and otherwise behaving like animals, the view is not that much enjoyable. 
Dee picked me up on Sunday afternoon not too far from Queenstown. She was the only one who stopped in hours and she was going to Wanaka and so was I, I discovered. 
My sign. 
I was picked up by Nate from this spot below. He had moved down south from Christchurch and was bringing his stuff to the new place over the weekend. Anyway, it was a very good and refreshing ride with Steppenwolf playing Born to be wild etc. Epic shit. 
Had to spend night sleeping on the roadside, which was probably the best part of that little trip. Well, I didn't know by then that no one would pick me up until 1 am. I walked 19 km that morning and stopped by the lake to have a little break, wash my face and have sandwich and banana. Later on I discovered that ducks are very loyal listeners. I played a nice nylon string guitar for a crowd of 30 maybe. 
Walking that distance almost took my shoes - "a good copy of Timberlands" - as the guy put it in Chinese market in KualaLumpur. This is the view from where I stayed over night. Full moon was so bright that I was able to take notes as you know the conditions were perfect to write down some of the craziest ideas. 
Walking empty roads for miles with a huge backpack and a guitar is a very good work out. Woken up by sunrise, walking surrounded by turquoise lakes and most beautiful mountains for hours with no one around - can you feel more better than that? Probably, but that prolonged moment just blew my mind away. Wheew!


Spark Your Dream. Dead Sheep in Trees. First gig at Penguin's Club Across Seven Seas.

       The highlight of the week definitely was meeting the most incredible family from Argentina. I went to see Jeremy the other day at Backpackers as well as use internet and generally just spend another beautiful day in Oamaru. Just as I met him, he pointed to a car that looked like it had been in a time machine and travelled all the way from 1930's. On top of that he informed that this crazy family was staying in backpackers and that I should definitely see them. I had no idea so far what was he talking about but I spotted a book in the window of a car - Spark Your Dream! You gonna read all the details on their website but in short; they've been on the way for 9 years, have 4 children which were born on different continents and they've driven their amazing vehicle from Patagonia up to Alaska, crossing rivers and mountain ranges, measuring unbelievable distances at the speed that doesn't go higher than 50/60 km/h. Now at this point I couldn't be more intrigued in meeting them. 

Well, we'll get to the rest of the story but to make things more contemporary we have to split story and squeeze in something from in between. I didn't know sheep could fly and it turned out they can't! this is what happens if they try though!
Try #1
Try # 1 too, but for another sheep. You know you only try once, don't you?
This is where all the magic happens - Earthquakes. They all come here to die or in other words to fly. Poor animals, they land on top of trees and rot there. Is it some sort of sky burial? Similar to one you can find in Tibetan culture where the human body is being chopped and fed to the vultures. 
I spot the date of 1888 and think - those souls came all this way here on ships. They didn't have flying sheep back in those days. They wouldn't discover a sheep potential of this country yet. 
Earthquakes. Why? Because of the huge cracks in the ground that first were thought to be caused by earthquakes. Later this idea was replaced by idea that the cracks in the ground were created by a Sheep God Denis and it was known as a place where you could go to hell by falling into one of the cracks in the ground or you could fall and get stuck in a tree where it's supposed to be a heaven, but it's not. Anyway, Denis keeps it in secret because sheep has a brain in size of a walnut and haven't really questioned anything. 
I spotted this pale skin sheep above Vietnamese jungle. It had only two legs and couldn't perform a maneuver required for taking off. 
The valley is endowed with different animal shapes. This reminded me of an animal I haven't seen before and don't know a name of. 
It really is late. I am off to sleep. Being faster than the world can be exhausting. 
Octagon is one of the main squares in Dunedin and the name reminded me of old 411 video magazine that had Dr. Octagon song 3000 in there. I clearly forgot who's part that was, but I definitely spent my teenage years watching Lance Mountain introducing another issue. There is a crazy amount of mongo pushers here in Dunedin, it's crazy! I think they've never realized how awful it looks. Mongo should be banned. 
Apart of guys pushing mongo down the busy streets of Dunedin, the city itself is very attractive with plenty of galleries, cafes and shops on the map. University fills the city with young men and women, sometimes very good looking and many artsy events taking place. Hearing Television in one of the coffee shops really surprised me.
I spotted a music instrument shop right across the street from where I was having cappuccino in a whisky glass. While still being still into the article in New Yorker about Marina Abramovic's life and performances that are quite hard to detach one from another, I thought that's where I'm going when I'm finished with the article and listening to a lot of Pearl Jam on the speakers. I guess someone loved it there to death. 
I talked to the owner (on the left) about what brought him down to Dunedin when two guys rolled in and were asking for this one specific ukulele. Anyway, owner and one of the older men seemed to know each other. Suddenly I got caught up in the ultimate ukulele's and whistle action. Couldn't love it more really and would you believe me if told that this man's name ir - Mike Jackson? He has published a couple books about uke's and going around gigging schools and teaching kids how to play all these lovely instruments. 
If me and Kat had a band, it was named after one of the new-names-in-consideration for hipsters - "Shwazzies" .
My jaw dropped to the floor  when I accidently entered this huge and most perfect room I've ever been to. Temple Galleries owners live there and I was absolutely shocked seeing how much of a style one could have. Honestly, it was the best room so far I've seen in my life. 
These suckas can scare the thing out of you if you forgot about their existence and taking a leak somewhere in the bushes. They make noises as someone being tortured to death. Possums they call them and this one was chillin up in the tree near our house. 
Herman enters the kitchen accompanies by a beam of light. He radiates it and shares with everyone on the way, everything he touches and sees. He makes breakfast for his adorable family, white bread dipped in milk and eggs and fries it on the pan. "You want some?", he asks and neither me, nor a german guy at the table refuses. They are something special and you can absolutely see that. Anyway, I will transcribe an interview for you shortly, which is very inspiring, then you'll get all the why's. 

Victoriena Oamaru: "I love this town". Malkovich's style
Me rolling to the gig at Penguin's club. I got on stage right after a band that sounded like The Smiths at some point. Right after I plugged in a guitar that I borrowed from a very kind man I turned around and was surrounded by a band who wanted to play along. I told them I played original songs and playing will require a lot of improvisation. They all nodded and off we went! First song, Craving Images, sounded like we were playing together for ages. Everyone in the club was shocked and said they didn't believe that we hadn't rehearsed before. Well, magic happens. After playing 4 songs, all of them in most extended versions ever, cause every song required an improvised ending and usually the lead guitarist would go on forever and ever not noticing that other 4 people are staring at him trying to get in eye contact to give a hint of an end.
Can you get enough of this color? This is where I restrung an polished an old Japanese version of Hummingbird guitar and spent my weekend wondering around the lakes and trying to get an interview with Herman off my camera. No success so far, gonna go to find someone with a card reader today. 
These lakes are located here on the map - have a look! 
Enjoy the lakes. I am about to enjoy my breakfast and get back to writing an article for a magazine. 


Where Do Bad Folks Go When They Die?

      Traveling in time is not a big thing anymore. I was having Skype conversation this morning with my friends back in Riga. I was calling from Tuesday to Monday. So think, eventually they can claim having spoken to me on monday while I can say I talked to them on tuesday. Who's right and who's wrong? Ah, forget it, there's no such thing whatsoever.
Time doesn't matter for some in Southern Hemisphere too. Well, I've noticed it even before in India when people thought Latvia was still part of Russia and I felt very lucky to be the one to declare that those were nineteen year old news and that they may soon miss out on the fact of independence because we might want to sell our country back to Russia... Or it seems as though... Anyhow, we're in Auckland now where you can explore authentic gym culture at its fullest. The picture below is a rare gem because it has nothing to do with the rest of it. 

On the opposite not so rare GYM is right on the left on Victoria street in the direction from the city center to Summer street, where I was staying for six nights or so. Right when you pass Pastis cafe where you can get not so milky cappuccino if you're lucky, you begin to hear screams of joyous agony and a very loud german dance music. It seems that whole bunch of Arnie type of men or Arnie wannabies, women with sweatbands and wristbands, meters attached to their belts with different sensors attached to their bodies to measure growth of their muscle - are having orgasm. Then they run out of the paranormal black building and run across the whole block on top of their daily work out doze. 
Franklin Road looks like alley and has a good view on a pretty decent Auckland's skyline. 
Hi to all the friends in Texas right now. SXSW is about to begin and I honestly wouldn't  want to be there and so I'm not. Having everything built around music with loads of musicians, snobby and cool industry people, melomaniacs, crazy parties etc it's just very exhausting. I really do enjoy your posts though while listening Neil Young with my housemate Andy here in Enfield, South Island, New Zealand. 
This is fully documented my way home from the city. Second Hand Treasures, mostly because of the font. I don't know if this particular place was good but I liked the attitude, or I thought I like it if I knew it. 
Amy and Fleur turned out to be an amazing company for my only night in Christchurch. Hold on a sec, one photo is missing with maps on my bed. Anyway, the whole idea was that I had to go to New Plymouth and begin my surf trip on the day I had to move out from the room in Auckland. It was a little bit stressful, because I couldn't really get a cheap bus and had no place to stay yet, but my mind was set so I went to bed shortly after creating couchsurfing account and sending two requests to people in New Plymouth. I woke up at six and realised that I've just seen a beautiful dream of going South and what the hell I was even thinking - I have friends there! At exact moment I felt an enormous sense of relief flowing into my veins. When conditions are just right, everything happens with a little effort and so it did this time too - crazy cheap tickets to Christchurch, Nakedbus to Oamaru and I was ready to go. Katrina, a girl that I gave out to a husband (not kidding) there five years ago hooked me up with Amy and Fleur. Custom made Hell Pizza on top of my random stomach bacteria felt very filling. Definitely more filling than any thukpas, tenthuks, momos or anything. Even if tofu and egg included. This was a real thing leaving me with almost full pizza on a bus the next morning! 
Fleur on the left, Amy on the right. Wine in the back. 
I slept in veranda. Always wanted, never did. Verandas are amazing places, but they tend to have similar destinies as garages - they are stuffed with useless stuff. Well, not this one. Pure beauty. 
Heck Yes. Jeremy Bokser is the first person I met upon my arrival in Oamaru. Wouldn't it be great if people were this excited about meeting people they don't know. Obviously this is not the case and I probably have the same expression on my face.
Actually, we took our excitement to completely another level and heelclicked over Friendly bay. 
Just so you know how far away you are. 
Oamaru. According to locals it's a first port they shipped sheep meat over to to England. Another great thing about Oamaru among numerous great things here is that they have very famous Cheese factory. Suddenly this fact painfully struck not only my heart but my stomach as well because I haven't tried any of those cheeses yet! 
Oamaru's Penguin Club. You know every town has a good bar and shit places. This is a good bar. If you've been to Oamaru and been to a bar which wasn't Penguin Club - I am sorry. 
I don't look up facts in wikipedia and rely only on the knowledge of my friends here. The best quality limestone comes from this area and it is heavily used in the architecture of this town. Many galleries, retro shops, crazy characters, this town is truly funky, I love it. 
Brothas from different mothas. Friends that keep and secure me here. 
Ginger beer goes along with my intention to quit smoking which I have successfully realized so far. We had a discussion later on whether this beer could cause headaches which I had for three days after. Probably I'll blame it on possible parasite in my guts. 
Penguin club in action. Kerryn Fields was a headliner on friday and she's a local so you can imagine all the rest. Certainly there were some gems beside her. 
"What do you play?", "Accoustic hiphop", that was the answer I got from Amber, Australian singer. She stole a show, in my opinion. Well, Kerryn got on later and did some covers and that was rad. 
Legends never die... and they refuse to finish every single song. This guy would just start playing something and stop after first verse making a sarcastic comment nobody could understand anyway. 
Pacific ocean crabs having a party at midnight. 
Stacking wood never been this fun!
Blackberries. Not the phone you fools. 
St Macca and St. Rai will wash your sins away. 
Where do bad folks go when they die
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
Go to a lake of fire and fry
See them again 'till the Fourth of July
I knew a lady who came from Duluth
Bitten by a dog with a rabid tooth
She went to her grave just a little too soon
flew away howling on the yellow moon
Where do bad folks go when they die
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
Go to a lake of fire and fry
See them again 'till the Fourth of July
People cry and people moan
Look for a dry place to call their home
Try to find some place to rest their bones
Of an angels and the devils try to make 'em their own
Where do bad folks go when they die
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
Go to a lake of fire and fry
See them again 'till the Fourth of July
Lake Of Fire - Meat Puppets or/and Nirvana
Ps. If any metal band want to use any of these photos for a cover, a poster or something. Let me know!
With Neil Young still on I've come to conclusions that I have to make posts more often or I can't keep up with all the events happening here, 'nah mean?