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New Zealand: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth
February 19, 2007
Hello to all the friends of DownTheRoad.org
We have been very busy lately with hiring various professionals to complete the final tasks and rap up our second book. This time around it is truly an international project with our American editor living as an expatiate in France, cover art and layout design done by experts in India and Asia, and printing and distribution on several continents. All this is taking place while we are riding in the South Island (New Zealand) and free camping in the rainforest or on deserted beaches. Our work flow is limited by our 8 hour computer battery and the very expensive about US$8/hour, slow, and scarce internet access in this area. We are getting the work done and our second book will be on the virtual shelves soon. One snag that is holding us up is the creation of a set of black and white maps showing our route through the various countries in South America. If any of you have skills in this area (beyond suggesting Google Maps) please let me know.
On top of the enormous book project we have been getting other things done. Most of you are regular readers of DownTheRoad.org and have probably noticed some changes in the borders and navigational structure to the web site. Navigation is no easy task to organize because our web site is huge and continually growing. During the last 6 years of our travels DownTheRoad.org has grown to 1,927 pages, over 20,000 pictures (hand selected from the camera and labeled with captions), Cindie has written about 2,000 daily journal entries, I have written dozens of RoadNews newsletters, a few videos, and much more. To help visitors find their way through the site I have created three new pages.
1. PICTURE INDEX - A new central location or at least a
starting point to organize those 20,000 pictures in our photo journal can be
2. JOURNAL INDEX - An index of 6+ years of Cindie's daily
journal with some excerpts can be found at:
3. BLOG - The biggest addition to our web site is a "Latest News" blog complete with RSS feed and a place to add your comments. This is the place where the newest pictures, videos, journal entries, and news about us and our trip can be found at:
RSS - If you are using RSS subscription capabilities our new blog section has an address that you can subscribe to:
YOU SHOULD COMMENT - If you have something to say to us or the other readers of our web site you can now post your comments on our new blog. This is by far a better way to reach us than email because it ensures we will see it and not be blocked by our spam filter. We also prefer answering questions in a public place so others can read our answers too.
All of this new stuff is still evolving slowly in the face of finishing the book and the day to day work involved in keeping the web site up with our New Zealand pictures and journals.
In closing I would like to say that New Zealand has been one of my favorite countries to travel through. The deep green hills, snow capped mountains and friendly locals make it a paradise on a bicycle. Cindie and I have a saying that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth when the sun is shinning. The green landscape comes at the cost of frequent rain but so far we have worked around it. Looking on the positive side the long wet days has given us time to pound away on the computer and get our mountains of work done.
Cindie would like to add that we experience not one but two earthquakes while traveling on the North Island, two events we will never forget. As a geologist she was fascinated like a scientist on a field trip and as a traveler in a foreign land it scared her to death.
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