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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

33.22 Worcester, Western Cape: Tierkloof Kop, a little beaut tucked away in a corner. 33.23 The same hike with additions on a different day. 33.24 A walk at Gariep Dam, Free State.

Did you hear the one about the Irishman stuck out in the 'platteland', in the sticks? Sounds like a joke coming. We try not to be that transparent so instead, we'll tell you how surprised we were to meet Victor, the proprietor of accommodation in the town of Rawsonville, a town formerly unknown to us. Yes, Victor is an Irishmen that can understand and speak a little of the local lingo. It's amusing hearing Afrikaans spoken with an Irish lilt. Nice, too. The important thing was that Victor was most pleasant including his staff members. We also met a woman friend who charmed us with her philosophy of life and how it should be led.

We arrived in this strange town to be reasonably close to a hike that we wished to undertake. Alas, because of high winds and driving rain, we were forced to forego it. Instead we undertook a little gem that gave us good views of Brandvlei Dam and the town of Worcester, nestled below the mountains. Unfortunately the high winds persisted throughout the afternoon even after the rain had ended. Truth be told, we should not have hiked to the peak as the winds were so strong that it was impossible to remain stable without holding onto something for traction. Nevertheless, we did it and while full of fear as we approached the top, felt full of delight after leaving the small but tricky peak in good health.

It was impossible to take meaningful pictures under those conditions, although for our own satisfaction, we snapped a couple which proved to be meaningless. But one is not always rational when attempting to meet certain challenges which, in a way, is a good thing...isn't it?

An editor struggles up a rather steep incline. What's new!

As we move up, we look down and gaze at the grey background and wonder what it is. The editor wonders, too (bottom of photo.)

It's water. Brandvlei Dam comes into view.

Making my own trail, off-trail, to reach a minor peak.

Clouds cause shadows over rough water.

Returning from the peak under vicious wind conditions. We question why we went the whole way.

Light ripples and shadows on the water.

The town of Worcester in the distance.

A few images of Gariep Dam, the largest in the country. We left Beaufort West in the Cape, heading for Ficksburg in the Free State. We spent the night in this town situate along the Orange River. The town is small but boasts of activities and some luxury accommodation around and near the dam. It also appears to be one of those places that remain in an earlier century, or maybe even before that.

Once again our ignorance was in full bloom as we admit not knowing of this place. Fortunately, during this trip we spent most days in new places to us and undertaking fresh hikes but for one.


Jenni and Jeffrey

33.21 Montagu, Western Cape: A hidden gem exposed.

We had a fine experience at this nature reserve in the Western Cape. In addition to the wonderful coincidence we mentioned in an earlier blog that took place here, we tried something different, which actually is not different from our typical behavior. The only downside to this hike, besides the descent, occurred on the way back from the peak when we decided there might be a better route to follow to reach the commencement point. After adding at least 2 miles to the hike and a number of steep inclines, we learned we were wrong.

Jen arrives at a peak, with the town of Montagu behind...and I suppose, below. Fortunately, that's not a growth
from her head.

Some think it’s a little dangerous living high in the mountains; others, like ourselves, worry more about traffic or muggers or both; while many don’t realize, if not dangerous, what might strike a person at ground level in rather modest and ordinary towns. Often, when traveling along highways, we decide to take a break, fill the car with gas or enjoy tea or a snack break. On our way from Gariep Dam, the largest in South Africa, heading toward Ficksburg, we decided to take a break and search for both relief and a refill. What’s the use of not keeping the body in balance, we say. The name Edenberg beckoned us from off the highway and we decided to give it a try. We had not heard anything about the place, ever, but thought from the signage displayed, it offered what we expected, perhaps even more—often the optimists...(continues at end)

On our return, an awfully steep section.

We enter into some serious negotiation although I was put in my place forthrightly.

Point made and taken.

A nice perspective of our position in relation to the town.

Off-trail but a rather difficult section although it may not appear as such.

A wonderful perspective of the track cut into the mountain.

Time for a quick peek until Mom shouts.

The editor carries a big stick...I wonder why.

The climbing was wonderful.

Dramatic landscapes.

A full frontal: Montagu.

We drove into the town and noticed a few low buildings, the usual type of gas-station and tearoom although they did look a little past their best. We decided to press on because often, the best of the town is deeper in, further from the highway. After traveling a while, it appeared we had misjudged a few things—the best was past in both time and place. The town went from decrepit to worse and then downright depressing. Nevertheless, we saw a sign advertising ‘coffeehouse’ and headed for it. If it wasn’t for the smile of the woman working the counter, well, standing behind the counter, I would have hit rock-bottom. I ordered a couple of hot beverages, watched as she wrote the order to herself, went into the back, did a few things because it does not take that long to pour from the urn into a cup and finally returned to re-enter on paper what she served—a rather sophisticated system of balances and checks and mostly, slow service.

While I held onto the hot cups, this was not the only liquid I had to worry about. Various pressures that had begun to build a while earlier took an impatient turn. I handed the cups to Jen, cranked the engine or it was probably me feeling cranky and sought a bathroom. Very often a bathroom is not available to a passerby but we are very comfortable in the outdoors—you could say we have gone completely green or should that be yellow or a truly healthy silver-white. Whatever the situation, we drove along the gravel pot-holed road slowly while balancing the hot cups. We noticed a building that seemed to offer the facility we sought, on its outskirts—I was becoming desperate. Unfortunately, as we rounded the corner, we realized it was a church. We knew we would need to hold back and show the proper respect.

On the other side of the building where we expected to find toilets, we were sorry to see that a funeral was in progress. Things were becoming most uncomfortable. Worse, there did not appear to be any sign of a little outhouse or building or sheltered spot, we sought. Meantime, I could not resist, either because I was thirsty or nervous, taking a few sips of coffee. While it was completely irrational, tending to exacerbate the issue, I was becoming rather erratic in my behavior. Wherever we spotted a seemingly available position (we are experienced in this art form), some person would come ambling down the road and cast his or her eyes upon us. We must have looked out of place; we certainly felt it. Finally, in desperation, we moved a bit away from the church property, did our double door open routine and I positioned myself between the doors, seizing relief before suffering possible seizures from within.

Having obtained the necessary relief, we took to the road and worked out where to stop to re-charge the phone with data. We planned a new route toward a large store in a city, part of a chain, which would add additional mileage to the journey. As we passed the ‘downtown area’ on our way back to the highway, we noticed a sign indicating the sale of data. It surprised us. We wondered if the invention of the telephone had arrived in the little town, nevermind the fact that they were selling data for the next generation of devices. We topped up the phone, felt a little foolish in asking the woman behind the counter to enter the necessary information and took off for Ficksburg, our next stop in the Free State. You never know where your needs may be satisfied.

Some days, we live under abnormal pressure, both internally and from the greater society.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

33.20 Flora of 3 countries: While we don't understand much, we appreciate and admire the wondrous, natural beauty surrounding us.

The photographs that follow, all but three, are taken on trail. Most are from the Western Cape, South Africa, some from Reunion and only one or two from Chamonix, France, the three countries we visited during a memorable trip. While we should have attached names to the various flowers, we decided against it as our resources of information are limited and our guesses would prove to be misleading. As a US Justice once remarked about pornography, to paraphrase: 'I may not be able to define it but I'll recognize it when I see it'. In a similar vein, the beauty and coloring of the flora is outstanding and we recognize and appreciate it although cannot identify many species.

'Slow down'! Baby under-board. (Is that an upload or download...we often get confused.)

From Mom's garden...


Jenni and Jeffrey