New Zealand 2017: Tongariro Crossing and Mount Ngauruhoe.


Hike-about is an adventure that commenced June 2010. After storing our household movables, ridding ourselves of a house but retaining our 'home' together, we set off with the purpose of hiking in different parts of the world, not forgetting the home country, the USA.

Our primary focus is hiking to mountain peaks but any challenging hike will do just fine. Extended stays enable us to enjoy and experience living in various places amongst differing cultures. Hike-about has evolved into a way of life. It's also a process of discovery, both the world and ourselves.

We work and live 'on the road' but return to the city in which our grandchildren reside, every couple of months. This provides us the wonderful opportunity to be with them as well as a child or two, even three and of course, friends.

By the end of 2022, the blog contained over 1,470 hikes, each a set of pictures with stories and anecdotes from the trails. An index to the right allows the viewer to identify earlier experiences.

Finally, we are often asked about the journey's end.
ur reply, as accurate as we can state, is: "When we are either forced to cease through health issues or the enjoyment level no longer reaches our aspirations, we will hang up the boots."

"A Life Experience As No Other: Dare to Seize the Day Together", published by Fulton Books, depicts our life on the road and mountains until the beginning of 2017. It has developed 'exponentially' since then.

Jenni and Jeffrey Lazarow

Whereas we continue to update the blog regularly, we no longer circulate email notifications often.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

11.01 Robberg Peninsula, Plettenberg Bay--a complete perimeter hike.

Peering over cliff at school of barking seals

A view as we approach the last part of the trail before climbing again

Editor pops up as she gets away from iron-oxide rocks (I think). One of the many ups before going down again

At last, we finally got to a trail after leaving Mom and heading towards Port Elizabeth, the windy city of South Africa. We are through with flying for a while, especially after having our hips felt by a number of groping males, at airports. We have an idea what some women have to deal with when males misbehave. Funnily enough, when we walked through the metal detector at Johannesburg International Airport, it did not buzz. We know not what to make of it. There was a woman security officer on duty; perhaps when she saw us coming through she may well have decided against a search for the funny looking guy with the editor. Who knows? Nevertheless, this lapse in security did not stop us enjoying another good flight with British Airways. The pilot put that plane down superbly in a strong wind. By the way, on an hour-and-half flight, a complimentary lunch was served. For those that smoke, put that in your pipes.

An incredible background, foreground...hmm! to put it gently: Not so incredible

'Lean on me before you climb'

Although we landed in the Eastern Cape, we are now on the western side. However, this does not make a big difference—it just corrects our earlier pre-announcements. We are just across the artificial border. The landscapes are wonderful—there are many beautiful parts to this country. Our editor selected well for an opening hike. It seems we ate too much ‘pap and wors’ on our break in La Costa. (Interpretation—we got a bit lazy and thus sweated on a rather steep and tough trail today). The hike has a number of ups-and-downs along the cliffs of the peninsula. They say it is 6 miles although it felt a lot longer. We had a wonderful experience as we climbed, descended, and ascended again and again; we spent time on the cliffs, the rocks, crossed the beach, dunes, watched the seals having far too much fun for a weekday including some imitating dolphins.

Never too late for a new vocation: Lighthouse keeper. (We thought they advertised 'vacation')

Editor enters the dunes on all-types-of-terrain hike

The setting is exquisite with a rugged coastline, the bay, white sands, blue and turquoise water and a hint of malice as those breakers pound the rocks. We were fortunate to choose low tide for crossing the rocks as we understand at higher tides, people end up being washed out to sea. Good thinking because we forgot our bathing suits.

From the peninsula, the view of the Beacon Isle Hotel is terrific. The hotel looks like its foundation rests in the ocean, from that distance. We know of many people who enjoyed their honeymoons in that idyllic setting. Fortunately for the editor, she married a guy who is happy to take her away and put her up in a three-star tent or even under the stars on a warm night. Lucky woman!

Beacon Isle Hotel from the peninsula

As we reach this attractive high point, down we go...again

Perched above it all

Maude and Theo are in our thoughts as they were due to visit Plettenberg Bay next month but for health reasons, have had to postpone the trip. Many friends and family have suffered from less than satisfactory health recently; we wish them all full and quick recoveries.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Finally, getting down to the point (for a change)

Editor keeps her cool but not her hat

Sunday, January 27, 2013

11.00 The Initial Journey, South Africa

Sun setting off the coast of England


On a wing and a prayer

Something is odd when one finds there is more adventure lately on the plane than climbing the mountains (Heaven forbid). Nevertheless, it seems to be the case. We set off together with British Airways (formerly the world’s favorite airline), just beating Zimbabwe National in a tight race. The pilot, again showing the spirit of a past era when the British were colonizing much of the world, found new land on Thursday morning. It was an interesting discovery because we were on a non-stop flight to London. Yet we landed in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.

The reason for popping in unexpectedly is that after we reached the Atlantic Ocean, one of the passengers developed a fear of either flying or being above so much water. The pilot turned the plane around and put it down on a partly covered tarmac of snow and ice with strong winds prevailing. Fortunately, the passenger looked reasonably well when they wheeled him off the plane. In the meantime, to make it an enjoyable experience, we turned to watch the ground staff searching for the ex-passenger’s baggage in harsh conditions, from the warmth of the interior.

Sunrise somewhere above Equatorial Africa

Trying to capture as much direct sun as the lens can bare

We landed at Heathrow by the time our connecting flight to Johannesburg should have been on the runway. Fortunately, there was another plane leaving 3 hours later—lucky us. We proceeded to board but there was a further delay because the plane developed engine problems. Who could blame it in such cold conditions? Fortunately, these jumbo jets don’t need four engines to fly. As people were getting rather testy by that stage, on a show of hands, a unanimous poll commissioned by the captain, we took off feeling confident that three engines rather than four should do it. We explained to our nervous editor that when you look at the globe, the south is way down below the north so it amounts to downhill all the way—the engines have it easy—the return trip’s the killer. Sometimes we worry about our editor.

Rough weather on St. Johns as we head for runway

Breaking through and above clouds covering St. Johns, Newfoundland

We blame the hiking for making us very interested in photography. We look forward to the day when we understand how to use the camera properly because it is wonderful to capture the world’s beauty, if only a fraction. “It’s your own fault you’re so tired,” our editor admonished us. We suppose she’s right…again. We set our internal clock to wake early on Friday to catch the sunrise from 35,000 feet. Unfortunately, the system is not working too well; the alarm 'buzzed' every few minutes. It was worth it, of course, but we are feeling a little zombie-ish. Watching the horizon light up in multi-colors, gazing at the magnificent cloud formations and so much more is what Julie Andrews once sang: ‘These are a few of my favorite things’. Whereas we always prefer to sweat to reach our target, the sights from altitudes higher than Everest are nevertheless breathtaking.

A continent of black and white below multi-colors

A calming and serene sunset as we approach Heathrow

We thank Hil and Ernie for the ride from the airport—what a treat to see friendly faces when arriving at a destination—no longer a common occurrence—although the TSA in the United States can be a hoot. Seeing Mom, looking younger than ever was a treat. We hope while visiting she goes easy on must always remain optimistic. Reminds us of her recent visit to San Diego. Ellie and her grandparents had just come out of the swimming pool and sat for five minutes to catch our breath. In a manner no different from childhood days, Mom piped up, “Jeffrey, don’t you think you should change out of your wet costume (swimsuit). We thought for a second and gently reminded her that we are now a boy of sixty.


Jenni and Jeffrey

PS British Airways did a fine job

Looks like a 'bloody' hangover after a rough night for the sun

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hike-about 11: Time for one more sunset hike in La Costa, SD County

Batiquitos Lagoon from Denk Mountain peak, again

Another sunset over the Pacific

Catalina Island holding on to the sun a little longer

“We can’t leave for South Africa until Wednesday,” our editor mentioned in passing.
“And why’s that?” We inquired, taken by surprise.
“I need to view another sunset,” her curt reply. Well, that bowled us over. This is the same person who said she was bored with the sun’s action in the early morning and late afternoon, a mere ten days ago. We never asked of her feelings during the rest of the day, we admit.

We, being a person not wishing to create a scene nor unwilling to partake in the odd hike or two, for the sake of peace in the home, concurred. Off we went to hike up Denk Tank Mountain again (What an attractive name.) This time we took the direct route, not a trail, avoiding the switchbacks—it goes through the bush and is steep.

The time just before the sun takes the final dip

Neglecting the other side for a moment or two, our favorite

The city lights at dusk

We’re still trying to gauge the change in attitude of our dear editor. However, we decided not to over think her position—the heart seems to be in the right place… at last. We remember when we were just a lad—our memory is that good—we would go to the cinema and watch, inter alia, the cigarette adverts. They failed in the sense that we never saw the point in smoking. Besides, our father smoked enough for at least three people. Anyway, there was this spectacular advert by Rothmans of Pall Mall stating that when one tires of London, one is tired of life. We thought it a rather biased opinion although we were too young to have tested it. The point of this is to give you our own advert: Sunrise or sunset. To tire of them is to miss the point of being alive. Strong stuff, you might say. We suppose so.

The lagoon, a little later

Once again, we were fortunate to meet another interesting couple. The wife was charming and Doug, a former professional volley ball player, wasn't bad himself. We often think of chance meetings on the trails such as with Michael D, Jonna and Tim, many others, too—really special occasions.

Finally, our walk down the mountain was in near-dark but the horizon was aglow in hues of orange and red. It was delightful.

Now we’ll return to packing. “Should we take our floral boots or the pink one’s, dear editor?”


Jenni and Jeffrey

PS Truth be told: We were always intending to leave Wednesday; we needed and wanted a hike, this being the place at which our camera setting failed previously (with our help, of course.)

The sky in contrast

The rainbow sun

Sunset over North County

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hike-About 11.0: South Africa, the preparation at Double Peak Mountain

Batiquitos Lagoon entering the Pacific Ocean

Click on photo to enlarge, leave as is for text and captions

We discovered the concept of solar energy. Just join those cables to the sun. Simple. They don't call us 'bright sparks' for nothing.

Dawn breaks, reflects off Discovery Lake

“Have you hidden our socks?” We asked our editor as life’s steady pace began to pick up quite smartly while preparing for a long distance trip to the wilds of Africa du Sud. The French name tickles us, so we took the opportunity to use it. Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Back to the socks. Seems like a silly question to have asked our editor particularly because when we look in her closet, there never seems to be a shortage of clothing. Knowing she has a full wardrobe provides us with comfort—we know the family money (limited) is well spent. At this rate, she may even need another backpack to accommodate the overflow. Why would she need our socks? A good question, thank you for asking.

The sun lights up the morning

Editor weighs up sleeping-in against having so much fun as climb really begins

We have lived for the last 6 weeks in a condo in La Costa, an area we find very attractive. The accommodation was terrific and we hope to return. However, in winter even in mild San Diego, a corner of the bedroom is like an icebox, hence, her need for thick woolies. Our editor, in another of moment of lucid thinking, suggested we do our talking from that cold spot—something about ‘hot air’. If not offended by her insinuation, she did come close. Sad to say, out of pettiness, we reclaimed our hiking socks.

As most people know, the southern hemisphere is now experiencing warm weather; for those that don’t, we believe it to be true—it could be something to do with ‘global warming’—ask Al. Our mantra is: Follow the warm weather even though we had an incredible autumn in the Sierras where the temperature, at times, dropped below freezing.

Multi-ranges show off the area's diversity

Reflections in a small body of water

We look forward to visiting Ellie and Ben’s paternal great-grandmother accompanied by their maternal grandmother (we hope that’s correct). Talking of the boss, Ellie, we always have wonderful experiences with her; we shall miss her and young Ben, as always. There is no one, including our army drill instructors, who have ordered us around as much as this young girl, not yet 4 years old. The difference being that taking orders from her is a delight. It was difficult to keep a straight-face last week when in a process of negotiation of how many flips we should do, she looked up at us and said, “How about we do a deal?” She actually was not asking though—she was telling. She has perfected the art of the one-way negotiation.

This morning we left at 6pm to capture a sunrise on Double Peaks in San Marcos. The more than 5-mile hike with very steep sections is a great workout. Our editor is becoming quite a trail runner. We are going to suggest that she tries running uphill next time.

The boss takes 'Gaga' for a ride; 'Papa' has collapsed

We head off to virgin territory as we intend exploring parts of the Eastern Cape and the Drakensberg, in our former homeland. We look forward to seeing you from the ‘old country’.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Morning has broken...

Gone Mount Woodson

Late fall in Poway, San Diego County

Some exciting cloud movements to the south-east. Is that 'Captain Dudley' in his plane?

A perspective from the peak as weather improves, facing west

Our editor is pleased to be in San Diego for a rest. Good for her. Then tell us why, when we hiked to the peak of Mount Woodson this morning, she decided to run down the mountain. It was impressive but not restful. When one of the young hikers climbing the great-workout-Woodson shouted, "Stand back: Trail runners coming down," we were rather impressed when we realized she was referring to us. It had a nice ring to it. Of course, our knees and some muscles are not going to be as impressed as we.

Rock-spider goes climbing, takes the gap

Quiet calm at the surface

After reaching the top, checking out storm clouds and wondering how to climb down

Although winter has arrived officially, there are still autumn colors remaining in Poway. We noticed some beautiful scenes while walking half-way round Lake Poway, keeping an eye on the many fisherman sleeping in their boats or standing on the shore drinking beer. Clearly, fishing is a very stimulating hobby, something we think we'll have to try should we make it to eighty.From lake level, the climb becomes sharp until reaching the summit some 2,300 feet up, an 8.5 mile round-trip.

The rain arrives, capping a wonderful performance over the mountains

Gone fishing amongst beautiful coloring and calm waters or bored fishermen, smart fish

Jenni reaches peak, thinking about a storm

We have hiked this trail in the high 90's but today the weather was 40 degrees lower. We began in light rain and then enjoyed all four seasons within the next three hours. It was a most enjoyable hike with sights that once again differed because of nature's prolific array of scenes. Who cannot but be impressed with the choreography taking place around us?


Jenni and Jeffrey

Back to inland surfing

We need to get back to the 'country', this area is overcrowded and for 'the birds'