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.

Friday, October 28, 2022

55.36 Andorra: Bridge and towns as we discover a link to nowhere. We thought the Tibetan Bridge was in...

We reach the first milestone, maybe more stones than miles, on our way to the bridge. Looking back at the town of El Tartar.
We came across the Tibetan Bridge by chance as the formal entrance is on the other (far) side.
The ever-mountainous Andorra. 
  I don’t get a lot correct these days, but I think I scored on this one. We were hiking in Els Plans, Andorra. After cresting a mountain, I headed down the other side. Without expecting too much excitement, I continued toward the valley, besides mountains and forests of trees. I walked at a leisurely pace with the intention of turning around soon thereafter. We were coming off some tough hikes, both suffering from illness and injury, respectively. Suddenly, I did a double-take. Across from me, in fact, a matter of a hundred yards was the beginning of a suspension bridge. We later ascertained that it is 2,000 yards in extent and the second longest in the world. It really is a wow. One could not help but gaze in wonder at this engineering marvel. 

  The part that baffled me at the time was I could not understand its purpose. I do realize the function of bridges but this one was puzzling. Below it flows a river, more a stream really, one in which we hiked to its source two days later. On each side of it, there’s no ‘civilization’, that is, no property developments of any kind. So, a massive suspension bridge allows a person to cross a valley and a large stream to nowhere in particular. 

 Jenni did some research when we returned home. By the way, she was not feeling strong, so she hiked until a little before the crest. I said I’d turn at the peak. However, I went on to satisfy my curiosity. Once I discovered the bridge, I had to walk along it. (A few days later, we returned to complete a longer hike in that area, including crossing over the bridge).  

 Jenni’s research, besides the statistics mentioned earlier, proved the point. The structure is one that is nothing more than “A Bridge to Nowhere.” It was built for the purposes of tourism. A person takes a shuttle from ground-level, pays a fee of E12 and obtains the right to walk across the bridge and return the same route or hike back along a mountain path. We walked from another trailhead, arrived per chance at this incredible structure which has little practical value and proceeded across it. We then returned. Had we come from the other side, the tourist entry, we would have had to pay for the pleasure. 

  On another day, we undertook this hike again but added to it which was quite strenuous but not that long. I wanted Jenni to experience the magnificence of this engineering marvel. In addition, Jen’s not that comfortable on open bridges. It reminded me of our time in Sedona, about twenty years ago, well before we embarked upon 'Hike-About'. At the time, I suffered from a touch (or more) of acrophobia. She laughed at me and teased as I developed fear on Cathedral Rock. She then called be a ‘wimp’ at which moment I decided to flee and run down the mountain. “Wait for me,” she shouted. Instead, the ‘wimp’ turned around and made his way up to the peak leaving her in the dust. She cured me, inadvertently. 

  Since that day, I seldom have fear of heights. Of course, there are some extremely dangerous positions in which I do fear and deal with but it’s no longer a phobia. The tough girl is still working through her phobia on bridges and some edges but at least, she tries hard. In fact, very seldom does she turn from a challenge. That’s courage! I know this comment will embarrass her but unfortunately, I've uttered worse.

  Weather was superb, complementing the sights.
The main road through the country with Spain and France on either end.
Various sights as we ascend and face toward where we commenced.
Jenni heads down and back to the commencement point.
Another perspective. 
Tibetan Bridge from above on a much tougher, higher hike.
Jen, el tour guide, leads the mob which commenced from the other side, after taking a shuttle up to the entrance. 


Jenni and Jeffrey

Friday, October 14, 2022

Hike-About Pictorial: Focus: Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona.

Some people follow the money. Others follow the Colorado. Why? Follow the Colorado River and a person will enjoy heavenly rewards. What is perhaps paradoxical is that the river is used to supply many dams and lakes with water along its journey from Colorado through six other states before reaching Mexico. Why paradoxical? In so many places, the large bodies of water are situate in dry areas such as at Boulder city where Lake Mead lies between Nevada and Arizona, two large desert regions. 

  What's striking is that wherever this river flows, it creates a majestic air to whatever it touches, influences or to observers of its visual beauty. We are fortunate that we have hiked along it extensively, above it and paddled a little in it. Each time we feel we have been touched by the magic of the river including its lakes and dams. 

  Just when we thought Lake Mead might be the most beautiful receptacle of its flows, Lake Powell seemed to usurp the pole position in our ever-changing opinion. Then there are many other exciting, tranquil and attractive spots along this extensive river, too. We'll include others over the coming months. 

  In conclusion, before letting you go with the flow, we would like to state that one of our many blessings has been spending much time in the vicinity of this amazing river. Who could believe a person could love a river? 

 All pictures that follow, including those without a water scene, are in the vicinity of Lake Mead but may be facing away from it.
The following couple of photographs are about 20 miles from Hoover Dam, up on the peak of Hamblin. 
Hot Springs, beyond Hoover Dam, Lake Mead.
Back to Hamblin on another occasion. 
A unique experience to reach Lava Butte without a trail.

Yes, snow on Mount Charleston.
Las Vegas in early evening viewed from Black Mountain, Boulder City, close to the lake.

Above the lake looking into Arizona at dawn.
Facing Nevada from Fortification Hill, Arizona.

Jenni and Jeffrey

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Central European Scenes which we never wish to forget: Three trips during 2018 through 2019.

Not an easy life. The completion of the Chairski hike, Bulgaria...and we meet these women.
Jen returns from a peak as we head down to Balea Lake, Romania.
Image has stuck in our minds since the day. (See text below).

As much as we don't wish to acknowledge it, often when things are relegated to the back of the mind, one tends to forget them. While it's unlikely we'll forget experiences, usually because they required much effort, often with risk, to accomplish, on many occasions, places visited are superseded with fresh ones. Thereafter, they can easily be forgotten. From time-to-time, we'll explore a region via photographs on file and are usually amazed at seeing stunning places visited. How did we forget about that and what about this one? 

  I have been known to think every place visited is fantastic. While that might be a little exaggerated, it's probably close to the truth. I have no hesitation in stating that Central Europe is one such region. Growing up while it was hidden from us behind this big, ol' Iron Curtain' created a mystique. Having visited many countries in that locale (more than once) and wishing to return, emphasizes our positive attitude to the region. Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria for starters are magnificent places to visit for the mountain climbs, hiking and feel of the countries. Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Poland and Romania provided much joy, too. 

  We met a number of people who emigrated after the curtain was raised and were on vacation visiting family. A little like we have done with regard to South African visits except someone stole the country's curtains. In fact, we met a woman who had fled and crossed over from East Berlin. She now spends time in Romania when not in her adopted country, Canada. It was a privilege. 

  Anyway, it's impossible to select the best pictures in a short while so we put together a few that hopefully, give a reasonable indication of the scenes of only a few Central European countries. 

 I think the opening and third photographs epitomize the old Eastern Bloc, certainly as my imagination envisages it.

Bystra ski resort above the village, Slovakia.
Chopok Peak trail, Slovakia.
Koprovsky Peak, Slovakia with Poland behind. (One of us stands to the right of 'show-off' on the peak.)
A view from near the peak on Koprovsky.
Jen on way to Matterhorn, Bulgaria.
7 Rila Lakes, Bulgaria. All 7 lakes can only be viewed in their entirety from this position.
Gela, Bulgaria
En route to Dumbier Peak, Slovakia.
Bezbog, Bulgaria.

Krakow, Poland.
Kutelo Ridge, Bulgaria.
Soko Banja, Serbia.
Lake Oso, Poland.
Sedlo Ostravo Popranska, Slovakia.
Czarny Falls, Poland.
Polejan Peak.
Jen goes vertical on via ferrata, Bulgaria.
Rhodope, Bulgaria. 
  A single Rila Lake.
Approaching Mount Vihren Peak.
Joining Jen on via ferrata.
Cabana Asa, Romania.
A tough hike somewhere in Croatia.
Plitvika, Croatia.

Jenni and Jeffrey