Iqon's New Zealand Blog

Archive for 28 September 2009

My studies

by on 28 September 2009, under New Zealand, UoA

I will try to see if I can’t make my blog posts a bit more manageable in the future, i.e. shorter, not necessarily less filled with boring nonsense, as this post is probably a good example of. Except that this post is also way too long, which means its actually the opposite of what I want to achieve. Well, next time, maybe…

So far my blog might have given the (wrong) impression that the only things I do down here is climb through caves, go on hiking trips, go to the beach, make horrible attempts at climbing, go to quiz nights and go to the movies. While I certainly have done that stuff a lot, I actually also study down here which is lucky since it is one of the primary reasons for my trip to New Zealand.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have been so lucky/good/studious (the last word my dictionary just taught me) that I have received scholarships from Otte Mønsteds Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond and Oticon Fonden which I am certainly very grateful for. Most of that money has already been spend on accommodation, the trip down here and the usual costs of living. Therefore I was certainly not sad when I a couple of times the past weeks was told that I had received yet another couple of scholarships:

Frk. Marie Månssons Legat (10,000 DKK = 2,750 NZD)
Civilingeniør Frants Allings Legat (10,000 DKK = 2,750 NZD)

Of course I also want to thank these foundations (although nobody associated with those read my blog – especially not in English) since they make my stay and my studies so much easier down here. As I said, I do study also, and therefore I thought it would be a good idea to give a small description of my classes down here. This way, people might get a better idea of what I am actually studying.

Applied Modelling in Simulation and Optimization
This class (or “paper” as they for some reason call them here) is actually an undergraduate course but we (Skott and I – we are taking all the same classes down here) chose to take it anyway since it among other subjects contained an introduction to simulation which we thought sounded pretty interesting. The focus is put on application and we therefore only have one hour of lecture week, while we spend three hours in labs doing exercises and assignments.

The course started out with some basic mathematical modelling on computers which Skott and I both have a good deal of experience with. It is basically concerned about taking some kind of problem which needs optimization after some performance measure and constrained by some parameters, put it into a computer and get the optimal solution. In the project we are going to hand in at the end of the semester, we are supposed to formulate a model which can set up a network using hubs and switches so that each component can send the correct amount of data to another component in the network. The task is to create this network at the lowest cost, i.e. using the cheapest possible cables, and fewest number of hubs and switches which can still support the required data flow. It has actually proven to be a bit harder problem than we first thought but in the end we did create a model which seems to take everything into account and also seems to work.

As mentioned, the course also contains an introduction to simulation which was our main reason for taking it. Simulation can be used to, yeah, simulate situations which do not necessarily have a specific, deterministic outcome but is instead dependent on stochasticity (randomness). In our project, for example, we are going to test our created network by simulating computers which send random amounts of data to each other in random time intervals in order to see if our network can actually support this.

Advanced Simulation and Stochastic Modelling
This class is actually the successor to the class mentioned above since it contains advanced simulation. In the beginning it didn’t seem like the smartest idea to have chosen to jump directly to the “advanced” class but now that it is over and we have had the short introduction to simulation in the other course, most of it actually makes a lot of sense. A lot of the first part of the course have been about how to generate random numbers on a computer which can be done in a lot of different ways depending on the “type” of randomness is connected to the number. It is actually not as easy to create a random number as one could be fooled to think.

We have handed in a single assignment in the class where we were supposed to calculate the probability of being dealt a full hand in computer. This was done by simulating the dealing of cards a lot of times and then seeing how many times the first person was dealt a full house. We were also asked to explain how to create a random number with a certain probability distribution. The last part of the assignment was to explain how one could estimate how much water there would be in an entire region if it was known that tests in small areas showed that there on average could be found two water tables with depth and size connected. While the first two questions seemed straightforward, the last part was a bit tricky since it was very vaguely formulated. We were also told that it did not have a specific “right” answer. I did give a suggestion for a solution so now I’ll just have to wait and see how it is received.

The second part of the course is about stochastic modelling. It is mathematical modelling where you work with probability distributions instead of fixed numbers. The classical example is the Newsvendor problem where a newsvendor can buy newspapers early in the morning for a certain price, sell them with a profit during the day and sell the leftovers (if any) at a loss in the end of the day. The problem is to find out how many newspapers the newsvendor should invest in in the beginning of the day in order to maximize the expected profit. It is not easy, though, since the profit depends on how many newspapers can be sold (i.e. the demand) which is not known for certain – it is instead a “random” number with a certain probability distribution. This should be taken into consideration during the solution process.

Research Topics in Operations Research 1
This class is divided into three parts. The first part was about non-linear optimization, mostly without any constraints. This means that the most of this part of the course was about how to find out where a complex mathematical function has its maximum or minimum value. I have had a couple of courses like that at DTU but the approach here was a bit more theoretic than what I have been used to. I must have understood some of it anyway, though – at least if you are going to take the assignment in that part of the course as any kind of indication. I received 25 out of 20 marks for the assignment! The lecturer sent out an e-mail where he told us that some students had made an outstanding report and he wanted to reward that with some bonus points. I was apparently one of those students.

The second part of the course, which we have just finished this week, was about advanced linear optimization. A lot of the optimization problems you encounter in the real world can be formulated linearly and therefore there have been done a lot of research on how to solve this problems to optimality as fast as possible. This part of the course introduced a lot of different methods which can be used to solve those problems. Some of them I knew already, others were completely new to me. I feel I have really learned a lot in this part of the course.

The last part of the course will be about game theory (among other things). It does not have anything to do with video games, however but is instead concerned with finding solutions to problems with several interest groups. A classical game theoretical problem (Prisoner’s Dilemma) goes like this: Two suspects are taken in for questions by the police. The two suspects are put in separate interrogation rooms and offered a deal by the police: If one cooperates while the other remains silent, the former will be released while the other has to serve the full sentence, 10 years. If both of them talks they will each get 5 years. Do they both remain silent they will receive a sentence of six months.

Clearly the two suspects will get the least amount of time behind bars (collectively) if both remain silent – this will result in a total of one year in prison compared to the 10 years in total for any other solution. The dilemma is that if each prisoner is only concerned about himself, he will co-operate with the police: No matter what the other guy chooses to do, this tactic will result in less jail time for the first person – either from 10 years to 5 (if the other talks), or from six months to no time at all (if the other remains silent). Both prisoners will however think like this, and thereby end up in the so called Nash equilibrium (it is John Forbes Nash who is portrayed in the movie, A Beautiful Mind – he had a big influence on the development of game theory) where they will each be put behind bars for five years.

This is one kind of the problems game theory deals with. As far as I know it is mainly used in economics but can also be used in other fields.

Research Topics in Operations Research 2
This class was originally supposed to be cancelled but “unfortunately” they didn’t get to take it down before people had already signed up for it (including Skott and me). Since so students had signed up (six in total) the course was changed to function more like a seminar type course. The first part of the semester we didn’t have any lectures and we were just given a paper each. They are all about multi objective linear programming – optimization of problems where you try to look at several (conflicting) goals at once, e.g. a factory which wants to minimize cost and maximize CO2 emissions. We were told that we would get an introduction to the subject after the mid-semester break so we didn’t really think much about it before last week where we had our first lecture. Here we got a bit of a shock when we told to begin the presentation of our paper the next week. It so happened that I was the first to get the honor to hold a 40-minute presentation about 16 pages of hardcore math which I had had for several weeks and not understood much of. Luckily it was postponed for a week the day after so this weekend has been spend on trying to understand the article so I can make a presentation for the rest of the class and be prepared for questions which the lecturer has promised there will be lots of.

That is basically all my courses but I would also like to make some general notes about studying here. There are a few points where it is completely different from DTU. For instance are all my classes pretty small, from 6 to approximately 25 students but of course I have also encountered a few classes like that at DTU, especially the last couple of years when I have taken more specialized courses. I am, however, not used to having all my courses in the same two small class rooms instead of lecture halls.

Things seem a bit less structured here than what I am used to from DTU. We were pretty surprised the first day when one of our lectures was suddenly moved to another time slot without warning and that almost all our lectures tried to reschedule the classes in the first days. We had spend lots of time trying to figure out which courses we could take which would not have any time clashes. We had even had to ignore some really interesting courses since they clashed with others. Therefore it was pretty frustrating that it was suggested that the times were changed already from day one. It all worked out in the end, though.

I am not used to the idea about changing lecturers during a course but almost all my courses are split into smaller sections with different lecturers. I don’t really know what I prefer; on one hand it seems like you can get through more stuff in this way but on the other hand we don’t really get to go into as much depth with a single subject as we do at DTU.

I also know the days of my exams now: 9th, 11th and 14th of November. It is going to be interesting since none of them allows any books or other types of aid. I don’t think I have ever had an examination like that at DTU but I have gotten the impression that this just makes the exams a bit easier since they cannot ask us questions about stuff we are not supposed to be able to memorize. But of course that is impossible to say until the exams are over. The lectures end the October 23 which gives us about two weeks of study period before the exams. There is a possibility that one of those weeks will be spend on Fiji for instance – but I don’t know that for sure yet :)

And that’s it for now. As usual it ended up being way too long but I’ll try make it shorter next time.

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Mid-semester break – part 2

by on 23 September 2009, under New Zealand

Now it is finally time for the rest of my tale about my unbelievably exciting mid-semester break. Let us get it over with so people around the world can go on with their various doings which are probably much more important than actually caring about anything I write on my blog. Once again it is going to be a looooong post, now you are warned:

Saturday
Saturday was supposed to be all about relaxation after our five day trip around Northland. Therefore we went to Hot Water Beach which Chris, Skott and I had already visited once before but of course Malene and Benjamin hadn’t had a chance to experience this phenomena yet. The plan was to go there two hours before low tide since this was supposed to be the time where it should be possible to start digging pools. When we arrived at 11 o’clock (low tide was supposed to be around 1 o’clock that day) the water was still way to high – it completely covered the small spot where the hot springs are hidden below the ground. Therefore we laid down on the beach for a couple of hours (luckily the sun was shining brightly) and waited for a couple of hours for the waves to start acting nicely. At last we had to go down to the hot springs in order to secure a spot for ourselves since a lot of people has started to show up. They were trying to dig pools for themselves but the waves kept coming and destroyed their work over and over.

We stepped in: We were going to show them how to dig a hole in the ground! How hard could it be? Apparently “pretty hard”. We tried in more than half an hour to dig a hole and pile sand up in front of it to protect against the dangerous waves. The people around us began to stop their work (can you “begin to stop” something?) and instead they stood and admired our beautiful work. Some even offered us their shovels if they could just get a place in the pool when we were done digging. It seemed like a pretty good deal – at least for them… We were quite close to something that might have worked at some points – but every time some freakishly large waves came and destroyed it all. In the end we had to leave, feeling pretty beaten, and having only felt the hot water around our feet. Chris and Skott punished the sea by running into it for a couple of seconds while the rest of us felt cold enough, just standing on the beach.

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Nobody can say we didn’t try!

We went on to Cathedral Cove, a cove with a distinct look which has gotten its name from its form’s similarities with a cathedral. The cove has among other things been featured in the movie Narnia because of its special structure.

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Cathedral Cove.

Sunday
Sunday it was time to play tourists in Auckland with Benjamin. The day started out with us watching Denmark getting a 1-1 draw against Portugal in football (soccer) which was a pretty good result. Afterwards Benjamin and I drove to Auckland Bridge. Benjamin had planned to jump off it with a bit of robe around his legs and that was exactly what he ended up doing. I went up with him as a spectator and although he didn’t exactly look extremely happy when he was about to jump he did pretty good, without any big, scared complaints. I will probably need to perform a bungy jump myself later on.

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Benjamin just before he jumps.

Afterwards we went to Auckland Zoo which had a pretty impressive selection of animals including two kiwi birds. The price of the tickets was the same as the price for entering the Kiwi Hous in Otorohanga to see a couple of kiwi birds and a LOT of ducks walking and swimming around in the rain. I liked the zoo better.

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Such a cute cat.

In the evening we went up in Sky Tower, the tall tower which has become a trade mark for Auckland since it was built in 1997. It is the tallest free-standing structure in the Souther Hemisphere. Benjamin and I had tried to plan it so we would see the sundown from there (thereby catching Auckland both “by day” and “by night) and we had almost timed it perfectly. We still got to see the city in 220 m’s hight in something that reminded us of daylight and in complete darkness. Of course we got a pretty good view of Auckland from there, however the view couldn’t really compare to the one you get from Empire State Building.

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The view from Sky Tower was pretty, but not as nice as the one from Empire State Building.

Monday
Monday we went on another trip outside of Auckland – this time without Chris. We started by going to Matamata, also known as Hobbiton since the scenes from the Shire in The Lord of The Rings was shot at a farm near the town. That was of course the reason we had gone there since some of the set still remains at that farm to attract tourists (like ourselves) to the area. Our guide books had warned us not to expect a lot so we were prepared. With that in mind it was a pretty good experience and it wasn’t hard to recognize some of the landscape from the movies. Of course it helped that the guide pointed out every scene for us. The giant fields are normally used for sheep and they were running around happily, proudly showing their cute lambs. The tourist tour ended with a guy showing us how to shear a sheep. Afterwards we were given a couple of bottles with milk to feed a couple of lambs which seemed pretty eager to get to even the smallest drop of milk.

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Skott seemed very excited.

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Benjamin got to hug the “The Party Tree”.

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The guide was very proud that she was able to pictures where – according to her – people looked like hobbits.

On our way to our final destination, Rotorua, we went through Te Puke, “Kiwifruit capital of the world”. In the town they had a tourist trap called “Kiwi 360” where you could be told everything you wanted to know (and probably a lot more you didn’t want to know) about the kiwi fruit. You could also get a ride through a kiwi orchard in a kiwi formed train. “Unfortunately” we arrived too late to get the ride but we did go into the souvenir shop which contained sick amounts of stuff created from or looking like kiwi fruits.

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The beautiful kiwi “train”.

As already mentioned we ended up in Rotorua which is (among other things) known as a city which smells like farts. Not since people there are disgusting but because of the geothermal activities in the area which sends sulphor up from the underground. I do have a theory, however, that a lot of people are quite disgusting in that city, since they probably go around farting all the time due to the fact that nobody would ever notice. It was not only the smell of farts we wanted to enjoy in Rotorua, however. We had barely arrived before we were told about a Māori culture show we could go to if we left immediately, which we did.

The Māoris is the Polynesian people who has inhabited New Zealand since the 14th century. They were therefore the people the British encountered when they arrived in the end of the 18th century. In the last couple of years there have been a lot of focus on trying to keep the old traditions and language of the Māoris intact. For example, the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, performs a special haka, a traditional Māori dance, before each game. The culture night we went to in Rotorua was held by a number of people from different Māori tribes. During the evening we were presented with torch-lit canoe sailing, haka dance, Māori games amongst other things before we were led back to a tent in order to enjoy a Hāngi, a buffet with chicken, lamb, potatoes and a lot of other things cooked in real Māori fashion: Cooked in a covered hole in the ground for several hours, heated by hot rocks. It was a fantastic experience and gave good insight into a lot of the tribes old traditions.

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It is important to try to look scary during the haka dance.

Tuesday
Tuesday it was time to experience some of Rotorua’s famous hot springs. We started by going to Wai-O-Tapu, a geothermal active area where you can see water and rocks in all kinds of colors and a big geyser, Lady Knox, which we got to see erupt.

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Lady Knox.

Afterwards we went to Rotorua Museum, an old bath house with a characteristic look. It wasn’t a very exhilarating experience, I must admit.

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Roturua Museum.-

After the museum we went to The Polynesian Spa where we sat in some hot pools for a couple of hours. We finished the day with a nice dinner and took the long drive back to Auckland.

Wednesday
Wednesday was Benjamin’s last day in Auckland and it was spent on some shopping in Newmarket, a shopping area close to Parnell, and a small barbeque back in PSV.

After I had sent Benjamin home Thursday, the rest of the break was spent on relaxing, sort photos, cleaning, see and hear podcasts etc.. The last week haven’t been filled with great excitement since I have spent some time on finishing some assignments (yeah, I do study a bit down here). I have seen Up, however, Pixar’s newest movie. It is a nice, cute movie, but it definitely does not compare with Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL·E or any of their other great movies. The beginning of the movie is very good, though – very moving and sad at some points while the last two thirds is more focused on “cartoony adventure fun” which I didn’t really care much about.

And that’s it for now. Now I want some sleep!

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Mid-semester break

by on 18 September 2009, under New Zealand, Caves

As the loyal reader of my blog might have noticed it has been quite scarce with updates recently. This is because I haven’t been home much but instead have been enjoying my two weeks of break from the university by traveling a bit around the northern part of New Zealand.

Before I tell you more about my break I have a couple of loose ends I need to tie up first.

First of all: I have gotten my stolen money back so that has luckily been completely sorted after a couple of weeks where I had to borrow money, mostly from Skott and my brother, Benjamin. But now I do have the money back and more importantly (and the reason why I had to borrow money), I have access to them via my new Visa card which my brother, Rune, was so kind to send to me. But that’s enough talk about money for now…

As far as I recall (I’m apparently too lazy to read through my own blog) I have mentioned that Skott and I have invested in a car but not told much more about that. Not that there is much more to tell. The Sunday before the break began we went to the weekly car fair approximately five kilometers from PSV. There we found a Subaru Legacy ’91 which seemed to be in pretty good condition and it could even drive! The couple who had it needed to sell it since they were moving to Australia where the husband was originally from. They started out by saying the price was negotiable so we ended up paying $1460 instead of the $1650 the car was originally priced at. That seems like a fair price, especially if we can get some of the money back in the end by selling the car again.

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My first (shared) car!

I have also mentioned that I was going to watch Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino’s newest movie. It definitely met my expectations. It was pretty easy to see that it was a Tarantino movie but in my book that only counts as a big plus. The guy is excellent at writing compelling dialog and it did not hurt the movie that most of it consisted of scenes based around conversations while the amount of action was kept at a pretty manageable level (even though the trailers had insinuated something else). It is incredible how intense scenes that man can create just by intelligently written dialog (and excellent acting) – definitely a movie that is worth watching. At the same time it was interesting to see an American produced movie which contains so much dialog in languages which are not English. Very risky, but of course something I appreciate in a movie about nazi occupied France.

I have also seen District 9, a movie which surprised me positively. It is sci-fi as I have never really seen it before, made on a fairly low budget compared to this summer’s (or winter’s, as it is down here) other big movies, even though it contains excellent CGI effect throughout the whole movie. It tells the story about how aliens got to earth and were kept in concentration camps. Parts of it is filmed like a documentary and seems pretty realistic – at least as realistic as it can be when it is a story involving life and weapons from outer space. The movie never loses momentum and is extremely hectic throughout which just helps to keep you emerged in it.

While I saw Inglorious Basters with a number of people from the usual PSV gang, District 9 was enjoyed together with Skott and my brother, Benjamin, who had arrived in New Zealand the same Friday my break started. Thus he travelled with us on our trip around Northland, the northern most part of New Zealand, in our first week of the break. Besides him and me the group included the Chris the German, Skott and his girlfriend, Malene, who had also taken the long trip to New Zealand for two weeks to travel with us. I will try to make it short (you know that’s not true, though, if you have ever read any other parts of my blog):

Monday:
Vi started off by trying to get an insurance on our car. Both Friday and Saturday we had tried to get a third party insurance, but both times in vain. Friday because we, due to rush hour, didn’t get there before they closed. Saturday because they wanted us to pay a lot of money (I think it was about $560) for a four month insurance while we knew a couple of other international students who had gotten a similar insurance for a year for less than $200. Apparently we had made the mistake to tell them that we were only going to stay here for a few months which made us tourists who apparently travels much more than students who live here for a year and have a three months break in the summer… Monday we went to a different store (same franchise); they had stored our information from our first visit but we told them that there must have been some kind of misunderstanding and that we were actually going to study in New Zealand for a year. Suddenly we could get the insurance for about $170 which seemed pretty fair. Skott also became a member of AA at the same time (in NZ AA is apparently not Anonymous Alcoholics but Automobile Association or something like that) so we can get a bit of help if our car should break down.

We continued to Goat Island which should be filled with animal life – at least in the summer where a lot of people enjoy snorkeling in the area. We had thought about taking a trip on a boat with a glass bottom to see some of the fish, but it didn’t seem to be sailing that day, either because the season hadn’t really begun yet or because it was too windy. Instead we spend the time on looking at waves hitting the rocks and to point fingers (you can do that in English as well, right) at the birds which had troubles flying because of the wind.

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Benjamin makes fun of the poor birds.

Next stop was Whangarei Falls, which is described as the water fall in New Zealand that is probably the most photographed even though it’s not the most impressive. It still seemed pretty nice, though, and of course we did take a couple of photographs of it, just to help it keep its status.

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One of the many photos that apparently exists of the Whangarei Falls

Next stop: Abbey Caves Abbey Caves, “the poor man’s Waitomo Caves” where it should be possible to see glow worms and so forth without paying to go down in the caves. Unfortunately we couldn’t enter them, either because we did not find the right place or because the water was too high. In other words: No glow worms for us (that day).

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The most exciting part about the caves was probably the walk to them which was quite muddy. Some people came pretty close to falling.

We had timed our trip to Whangarei perfectly. Apparently some big soccer tournament was taking place while we were there which meant that almost every camp site and hostel was booked by the 36 soccer teams residing in the city. We ended up at a motel where we shared two rooms with another group (the Norwegians Caroline and Kristian and the Dane Søren) who had also ended up in Whangarei after a couple of days of surfing further south.

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The two groups at the motel.

Tuesday
Tuesday we went to Mermaid Pools, a rock formation which creates a small pool at low tide. We sat at the rocks for a while and enjoyed the sound of the waves while we dried in the sun after some cold winter bathing in the sea.

Tuesday we succeeded in seeing Glow Worms in a half hour guided tour through Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. The cave was placed just outside Kawakawa which we passed through in order to see Hundertwasser Public Toilets, created by the famous Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The toilets are said to be “The Worlds Most Photographed Public Toilets” which is probably true – I know I haven’t photographed that many public toilets in my life but it might be a hobby one could take up.

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The famous public toilets from the inside!

We ended up in Russell, a historical town which has previously been the capital of New Zealand. It was a very quiet town, probably because the tourists hadn’t arrived yet since it is technically still winter. We saw an old church with bullet wholes from previous wars and went to a flagstaff at the top of a hill (Flagstaff Hill) where Union Jack is supposed to have been raised for the first time during the negotiations between the British and the Maori. At last we took a ferry to Paihia where we spent the night.

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Some people were more fascinated by the church than others.

Wednesday
Wednesday we took a boat trip around Bay of Islands. We were the only ones at the boat and the guy who was in charge of the trip, Mike, was a really nice guy. It was his first tour of the season and he told us that he had seen dolphins on his way out to get us. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins or whales on our trip but it was a pretty good trip regardless. We went to one of the islands at the Bay of Islands where we climbed to the top of a hill from where we had a fantastic view.

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We were allowed to help steer the boat.

After the boat trip we went to Haruru Falls, some water falls which are shaped like a horse shoe. However, they were not as impressive as Whangarei Falls.

Thursday
Thursday we took the long trip to Cape Reinga, where the Tasmanian Sea and the Pacific Sea meet. It is not the most northern point of New Zealand but it is pretty close and a lot more accessible than the “real” northernmost point. It was a long drive on shitty roads to see a lighthouse and some signs showing how far away different big cities in the world are, but it is still something you have to see when you are in the northern part of New Zealand.

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The light house at Cape Reinga.

We drove south again to get to Ahipara which is placed in the beginning of the Ninety Mile Beach, a beach which is approximately 55 miles long. Here we rented a couple of boards to do some sand surfing on the big sand dunes which was quite entertaining even though it was a long walk up the sand for a couple of seconds ride down, only to do the whole thing over afterwards. It was a trip filled with exhilarating crashes and we were all covered in sand in the end.

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Benjamin had some pretty spectacular crashes.

Friday
There wasn’t much to see on our way back to Auckland along the west coast and therefore Friday didn’t offer many adventures. We had a short stop in Waipoua Forest where we saw some impressive Kauri trees. Among other trees, the forest contains Tane Mahuta, 51.2 m in height and 13.77 m in girth which makes it the biggest Kauri tree in the world. It was really impressive sight, especially because the (up to) 2500 year old tree stood in the middle of the forest surrounded by other trees, making them seem completely insignificant by comparison.

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This photo might give some idea of the size of the tree – we are even placed some meters in front of the tree on this photo.

Also the next biggest tree, Te Matua Ngahere, could be found in the forest. It wasn’t as tall (“only” 29.9 m) but it was wider since it had a girth of a whopping 16.41 m.

I will tell about the weekend and the following week at a later point since this post is already faaaaar too long.

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The Internet is slow in New Zealand

by on 14 September 2009, under New Zealand, Other blogs

I know a lot of people out there are just sitting and waiting for a new blog post from me – they’ll need to wait a bit longer. My two weeks of vacation from the university are about to end. During those two weeks I have been traveling around which of course have resulted in a lot of photos. Right now I’m trying to upload them to Flickr and I really don’t want to put my posts about my trips up before I have some photos online to make them just a bit more interesting to skip through. Of course I could just begin by uploading the couple of photos I intend to post directly on the blog, but that would be more cumbersome than just waiting for iPhoto to finish its uploads.

It will probably take a couple of days for all the photos to be uploaded since my internet is extremely slow. The Internet in New Zealand is extremely slow. I know it’s an extremely nerdy thing to say but having proper internet is actually one of the things I miss most about Denmark. I’m really looking forward to go back home and once again be able to download my video podcasts in HD without having to wait several days and be worried about some bizarre limit on data use.

And NO, it is not causing me to spend my time on something more sensible. On the contrary, the slow internet makes me so much more inefficient since it is not possible to quickly look something up and afterwards continue with something else. I have never spend so much time looking at a “Loading” message in the address bar of a browser as I have been doing down here.

I could continue complaining (e.g. Skype and Slingplayer are almost useless down here) but I think you’ve got my point: Exciting news about my mid-semester break will follow in a couple of days. And now you also know why the title of Josh’ blog is so perfect.

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