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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

36:19 Slovakia: High Tatras, Solisco Peak, an earlier hike, a fabulous day.

The target, hidden for a few moments. (Good thing because I was able to convince the editor it was much lower than it looked.)

Nearly home as we approach Lake Strbske pleso, the surrounding trees gave it a distinctive look.

While we come
across tough youngsters on the trails in America, Europeans seem to have an ingrained love and desire to be in the mountains and on the trails. No one matches the Germans on an international scale—they are the most prolific hikers and travelers of all. The French are the next big group that one can spot on the mountains of the world. However, regarding the young, and mainly during the school holidays, what we observed in Eastern Europe and particularly Slovakia, was simply amazing. Kids of all ages, ranging from 6 years, some even less, hiking steep and rough trails.

We have mentioned from time-to-time how rugged and hardy we thought the people of this region are. We certainly still have that same opinion but even more so. When you see how the kids are brought up with regard to outdoor life, it tends to reinforce our view of the toughness of the inhabitants around the Carpathian Mountains. Of course, the real cherry on the top is the bonding taking place within families, and from an early age, as they struggle and sweat together.

The day’s hike was much over 2,000 feet but truth be told, we can’t remember and information is sketchy. However, it had a long first section which began at the lake and reached the top of the cable station. Thereafter, it was a little less than an hour climb up a steep mountain to reach a small peak with terrific views. The sights were outstanding and we can imagine a winter covering, of snow and/or sunrise/sunsets, would make the place heavenly.

Loved the scene as we commence the very steep section.

How green are the valleys.

Look of incredulity on his face. Does he think you reach peaks by walking on level ground? At least the rain ceased.

Jenni passes 3 women who called their 'own peak' and turned.

Remarkable scenery viewed from the peak.

Curtain opens...

"I can't seem to find my bag, Jen. Did you happen to notice it?"

More scenes from Andorra...we mean Slovakia.

Jenni reaches the peak.

Contemplating...a lot more relaxing than the trip down.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Borders in Europe.

Right leg in Andora, left leg in France, head in the clouds on Pic Tristaina above Estany Fourcat (lake).

On the border between Spain and France, crossing the Pyrenees, on the way to Gavarnie.

Gibraltar, Great Britain, after walking across from Spain.

Slovenia, Austria and Italy after a sharp climb from the former.

Approaching Switzerland from Chamonix, France.

Approaching Italy, a few hundred feet away, from Slovenia.

Standing on Koprovsky Peak, Slovakia - Poland down on the other side.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

36.18: Hungary: Budapest, 'Night and Day', walking the City.

The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue is a monument on the Gellért Hill. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary.

Hungary proved to be an interesting country to visit although we were not expecting great hiking venues. Our aim was to pass through from Croatia on our way to Slovakia via Austria, a bit out of the way but for a good reason. We spent a day resting following a tough period of hiking in Croatia, and another two walking the region surrounding Lake Balaton. We then moved off to a fascinating city, Budapest, where we spent a few days exploring the city on foot as well as enduring a tough hike, an hour north of the capital. We suppose one could spend years in the city and still only see a fraction of it.

Driving in Budapest is a bit tough as it is busy, has many narrow streets and most of the time does not allow motorists to make left turns across the traffic flow. We see the logic in it but it takes getting used to. The drivers, as in many East European countries, are aggressive. Italy was a good training ground for us. We mentioned our various parking experiences in an earlier blog so we'll skip ahead. We stayed in an apartment which gave us a good feel for city life. It proved once again why we prefer country life or small town living, by a wide margin. One evening, after parking the car in a side-street, we headed for our apartment. As the sun sets at about 9:30pm in summer, it was already dark and so the time was closer to 10pm, probably later. Each apartment has a door with a few locks while the building has a single central door with an electronic lock.

We arrived at the door and immediately sensed trouble. The screen of the lock was flashing, never a good thing with computers. Even worse was the assortment of letters stating 'Error message'. This meant we could not gain access to the interior of the building and take the equivalent of a 6-storey walk. What to do? Our back-up plan was to sleep in the car. It was a plan but not a very attractive one. Meantime, we tried calling to tenants whose windows were open. The first person we noticed peering from her room immediately closed the window. This did not instill much confidence or comfort. I never realized the effect Jenni has on people. Long story short. After about twenty minutes, a young man returned home and we walked in with him. It was indeed a good feeling. I'm not one to kiss males but in his case, I would have made an exception.

The border crossing from Croatia into Hungary was interesting, Slovenia to Croatia, too. For us, it re-lived in our imagination, what it might have been like in the Communist days. The border police officer approached our car, looking exactly like a character depicted in older movies. His uniform, especially the flattened grey cap, was almost clown like. We've noticed that traveling within western Europe, border crossings that is, are quite informal. Although many countries in the east are within the EEC, there's still much formality. As an aside, last year, we went hiking in Slovenia. On our return, we found the major pass closed, ten minutes from our apartment. The alternative route was via Italy, nearly a two-hour trip. We did not have passports with us but because the border was 'unmanned', it was not a problem. I fear to think what would have occurred in different border-control circumstances.

Back at the post, we sat waiting in the car for about ten minutes. The officer returned without our passports. When we pointed this out to him, he went back to the booth. Upon returning, with a slight smile, he said, "Ah! You are Jeffrrrey!" Now what. "And you are Jenniferrr". Now what again. He handed over our passports and displaying his 'American influence' prominently, bid us, "Have a nice day!"

Along the Danube River, which flows through ten countries.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

Early evening as we witness a high-occupancy region.

"Big wheel keep on turning...proud Buda keep on burning..."

The place where the 'inmates' (as in all countries) think they are 'big wheels', parliament, a magnificent structure.

More density.

Buda Castle.

A region outside the city, we prefer...'strangely, enough'. Not a 'Stairway to Heaven' but a start.

After all, this is a hiking blog.

Old steeples in the front, modern towers at rear.

Largest synagogue in Europe. Jenni could not capture much of it on her small camera. Would have stepped in but it was 'full'.

Parliament on the Danube. Now that's the Blue Danube. (Fascinating scene.)



Jenni and Jeffrey

Friday, July 20, 2018

Slovakia, High Tatras and surround: Why we find the land so beautiful.

Part-way up a mountain, full beauty all the way.

On a mountain slope.

Just a regular field or farmland, so typical of the north.

The countryside always seem manicured and some of the 'people' are also beautiful.

Never under-estimating the harsher side of nature as we climb to the tiny peak.

Some of the world's finest African-American waiters can be found at the High Tatras. Funnily enough, this was the only restaurant/dom that did not serve using porcelain and yet, was the most expensive.

We first noticed this field from a peak and then sought it when we got back to the car.

Probably the most memorable climbing position of the trip, Koprovsky Peak. Illustrating the rugged and challenging mountains alongside pristine landscapes. I should admit there were some nervous moments on the climb.

No 'dirty water' excuses for not swimming...I suppose freezing water could be an acceptable one. Although, having a thick sweater like Jen's would keep a person warm, I'd think.

One of the few days we could see the mountains from our garden. The cut-out area is where we hiked a couple of times.

We enjoyed the chamois although we gave this 'gal' a black eye when she barked rudely at Jen. Then she sought sympathy...we could see right through her antics.

Spis Castle, the land is covered in castles.

Talk about a 'lake district'.

Approaching Green Lake, an original sight, not name.

Returning to the lower peak. Indicating the size of the fish 'that got away' or was it a bird or rabbit? You have to love summer weather in the Tatras...really?

An hotel on Strbske pleso.


Jenni and Jeffrey

Grand Canyon, Plateau Point in our 'youth'. Lest we ever take ourselves too seriously.

Jenni's first tantrum ever.

At least, not a donkey,...I think.