New Zealand: Along the Ben Lomond Trail.


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.

Monday, November 27, 2023

60:52 Bulgaria: Devin Color: An Eco trail with 3 finishes which included the 'finish' of our trip. 60.53 A hike from Devin toward the other flank of Grebenetz.

Tunnel of leaves. 

As we close in on the last few days in Bulgaria, the thought of departing from the country is not a pleasant one. It would not be exaggerating in stating that spending a few months in this country each year, or longer, would be ideal. Jenni may not concur but I doubt whether I would have to twist her arm or offer a more than modest bribe as an incentive. I think the 'kicker' might be that she does not have to hike to the peak of Kutelo and thereafter along the narrow ridge. 

  I would state without exaggeration that being in the mountains over the autumn period is nothing short of spectacular. What I will concede, in fact I have always mentioned it, is that we would not wish to visit the country during winter. In each forest we frequented, the preparations for winter, especially during the last couple of weeks, sent the shivers down our spines. As we are not skiers, the only reason to be here during winter would be to witness the snow-capped mountains. We did attain views of mountains with snow in places, therefore, that issue is solved. So winter means back to the deserts, another incredible place to locate ourselves for the season. 

  Heck, nature has it all worked out for 'bangbroeke'. I trust any reader who followed our recent Nepal trip retained the meaning of that Afrikaans word and concept. Sums it up succinctly.

A little house below on the Bulgarian 'prairie'.
A peek through the forest down to Devin.
A colorful view of Grebenetz Peak as we continue to ascend.
Lovers' leafy tunnel
As we commence our hike, beginning from our apartment, we turn around and look at the backdrop. 
A view of the Gazebo, frequently mentioned, from the town.
Reminds us of Manhattan (not). Actually, we find the lifestyle of calm and tranquility balanced with adventure so attractive and satisfying. At the risk of being bombarded about this small-town mentality, we think we lost our way until we rekindled the inherent bush mentality, in a manner of speaking. I might skip the horse-and-buggy, though.
Finding our own way (off-trail) up a steep incline, the price of the short-cut. Jenni often has good reasons not to be enamored with her 'mate'.
If there's one natural element I never tire of, it's surely autumn coloring. 

Jenni and Jeffrey

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

60.49 Bulgaria: Devin: A bright spot along the Vacha many of them.

A little color, a little mountain, a little water and a lot of pleasure.
A lot of color.  
  When we were growing up, (some might say it never occurred), we enjoyed a visit to the movies. During those periods, advertising dominated the preliminary features. This was followed by an interval and immediately before the main attraction eventually took to the screen, it was preceded by a major advert: 'Rothmans of Pall Mall', a cigarette. The advert was often more exciting and certainly more informative than some of the movies we watched. The theme of the advert was that 'Should a person not have visited London then that person had not lived'. 

  Currently, I would express doubt as to the statement, particularly in recent years. However, my point is simply this: 'Should a person not be mesmerized by nature's process of creating autumn coloring and of course, enjoying much pleasure from the flora, then one is surely not living'. Okay, an opinion but a strong one...and perhaps, a colorful one, too.

Early morning view from our apartment in Devin. It was difficult to leave but we did depart and returned two weeks later. Then we faced the same dilemma once more. Still struggling to find a solution. 
 Jenni saunters down to the river.
Certainly worth it and then we walked and climbed along it.
Countryside scene...peace, tranquility and harmony.

A certain richness of color...superb.

Calm day at the river.
A rough part of the river hike but that's what creates the challenges and excitement.
Nature colors our rather bleak world. Correction: The world is anything but bleak. The bleakness emanates from the gray people of the world.

Jenni and Jeffrey

58.29 Nepal: Sarangkot Hike: The second trip to the top with a different peak view and some perspective of the Pokhara region.

We left Nepal at the end of May and still have quite a few hikes that we never posted. Whether one is impressed with mountains or not, the sheer altitude of the Himalayas dwarfs most other ranges. The Annapurna's highest peak is no less than 26,545 feet. There are high mountains in the contiguous United States, none however, reaching above 14,505 feet. 

From our peak, we look down to the other side of Pokhara.
Bring the camera up a little and there's the Annapurna range including a favorite, Fishtail. 
  Facing the other side, the place from which we commenced, we view the lake and city. 
A view from a different position. 
Shanti Stupa, The 'Peace Temple' on the range across the way.
The Stupa, city of Pokhara and lake viewed from a different hike at a much lower altitude. In addition, The Shiva Temple can be seen to the right of the Shanti Stupa, the high point.
For perspective, an approach to the Shiva Temple via the stupa.
Jen beyond the Shiva Temple, apparently a 'brake failure'.

Jenni and Jeffrey

Friday, November 17, 2023

60.46 Bulgaria, Outskirts of Devin, an Eco-farm...what's that? 60.47 A new route to Grebenetz Peak, not the smartest of moves.

Jen thinks I'm dumb to consider making an offer on this 'fixer-up' but the view of the river is irresistible from it.
I also like the coloring surrounding our new 'home'.
The 'woolies' will keep us warm in winter, yet another advantage.
Getting closer to the beginning point.
When we go for a walk down the mountain, we get even better views of the Vacha River.
Should we go for a really long walk, we could even reach the Vacha Reservoir.
We even get sitting facilities for brunch with beautiful views. This is called 'living'.
We have fresh milk on tap plus great views while dealing with teats. Of course, if that's a bull than I've made an error. Anyway, life these days can amount to a lot of bull, hence this beautiful place in which to settle.
Follow the water and we'll never thirst for much.
At times, the water seeks privacy, too.
Jenni, too, as she seeks shade on a path to the unknown.
The trick is never to take the beauty for granted.

On another day, we tried a different approach to reach Grebenetz Peak. The hike turned out enjoyable but someone had moved the trail in our absence. Therefore, we ended up at a different destination. Well, they tell us that change is like a holiday and thus we found ourselves on vacation. Could have been worse. 

Not too bad a beginning of the day.
Some color in and of the wilderness.
'House on the Hill'...better than a 'fool' with beatle infestation. 
"I talk to the trees," so I won't be bored or bug Jenni...well, that's the theory, anyway.

Jenni and Jeffrey