To the uninitiated, (i.e. those of you who've never had one of my travel blogs foisted upon them before), a quick explanation.
These are always long winded, self indulgent and overly involved tomes. Partly cos that's just the person I am, and partly cos I'm out by myself on the other side of the planet and as much as I'm now getting fairly experienced at doing this, I do find it kind of comforting to think that maybe I'm still keeping in contact with folk, and kind of sharing the experience.
What I quickly discovered when I did my solo round the world stint in 2000 was that after a day of doing fantastic stuff, and seeing amazing sights on my own, it was greatly therapeutic to spend an hour in the early evening having a coffee in a cyber caff and sharing it all with folk I think might be interested, so... (no matter how sad this may sound), look upon these emails as the thing I do to stop me feeling isolated or totally lost.... AND TAKE THE FACT YOU'RE GETTING NOTIFIED OF THESE BLOGS AT ALL AS A COMPLEMENT!!!!!!
Please note the addition of the odd cut and paste for extra information when I feel it necessary.
Excuse the spelling and punctuation, (Rarely have time to get it spellchecked, and rarely give a toss anyway).
Also accept a little bit of dramatic license here and there as well, (Sometimes I just can't help myself).
May 16th 2006
From my last entry I reckon it was pretty clear I was quite bushed from my day in Beijing and on the whole it was unlikely there would be many things I'd be willing to get out of bed for the next day. Unfortunately however The Great Wall of China was on that list, we were setting off at 6am, so had to make the effort to drag myself down to the bus that morning. There was talk of a picnic so had stopped off the night before at a local conveniance store to buy provisions but found it not that conveniant at all. In my tiredness, (I'm never at my best when lacking sleep), I became quite frustrated that the shop sold bread but not butter, (scotching my hopes for Marmite sandwiches... was carrying a ... read more
May 13th 2006
Very tired tonight! Batteries at a serious low ebb so gonna blog as fast as I can and then bugger off to bed. On our last night in Xian we went out for a night at a spot that does an all you can eat hotpot buffet dinner. For hotpot don't read that thing that Betty Turpin makes on Coronation street, this is sort of a steaming hot barrel of water on your table which you then add you choice of ingredients to, which included on the buffet bar a container of LIVE EALS! Yup, just pick them up, drop them in the boiling water and they're ready to eat in no time. I decided that was one experience I could live without, but Colin and Chris opted for it and reported they were ok, but ... read more
May 11th 2006
So! Picture the scene, having only just escaped almost certain death trying to cross the Yangste on foot we were now all taking shelter in our bus on the edge of the harbour, the inclement weather buffeting our vehicle and Stu spurting blood all over the spot. (See earlier blog if you dont know what the heck I'm on about). Over the last week I've spent a fair bit of time with Stu and Rich, and though I think there is still stuff to realise, have had time to kind of suss their characters. Rich is the more rumbustious of the two, (sure that's a word), little bit more adventurous, outgoing, a bit more boystrous shall we say, where I'd be inclined to suspect Stu might be a tad more sensitive in a crisis. So there's ... read more
May 11th 2006
To fully get across stuff in this latest tome I probably have to aquaint you better with the rest of my travelling companions. As you might recall I wasn't that enamoured with them on first encounter which just goes to show what a judgemental git I can be, cos as time has gone on familiarity has certainly not bred contempt. On the whole, though we may be a large group we are a happy little band of wanderers. Firstly you have Richard and Stu. Richard, (sometimes goes by first name Neil), having been made redundant last year, (worked at Albright and Wilson for a while after college), took himself off for a 6 month stint around the world and is nearing the end of that now and is soon to return to the UK to look ... read more
May 10th 2006
Hello! Did you think I'd dropped off the end of the world? (There are times when it's felt like I have)! I've been in distant territories, had lots of adventures, lots of experience, but sod all internet access!!!! After leaving Yangshou last week we set off, (via three bus transfers), to Longsheng, still very rural, but very different in landscape. Here the countryside is mountainous and forrested, with deep valleys, gorges and fast flowing rivers, where the local inhabitants live a mountain existance in villages hard to reach in any other form than on foot, and where the hillsides have been cut into to form terraces for rice growing. I had no idea what kind of treat we were in for, as I said we had to change busses a number of times, our final one, ... read more
May 4th 2006
Hello, and welcome from China, (Would have been more impressive if I could have said that in Chinese I know, but I can't so there)! Done a lot of travelling since my last entry and it's been a hard slog I can tell you. I'm lugging a lot of stuff, (damn the pursuasive techniques of those market sellers in Temple street), and the temperature here is around 27 degrees. We finally all came together completely as a group on Tuesday Morning. I still hold that we're a funny assortment of folk, some of whom I just can't suss, but it aint as bad as I first feared and I am developing my own little clique. We have a Journalist! She's Canadian... BUT SHES STILL A BLOODY JOURNALIST! (I'm meant to be on holiday away from such ... read more
May 1st 2006
Did another jaunt to the Islands first thing this morning. Hopped on the fast boat to Lamma Island, a small pleasant community half way between Hong Kong and Cheang Chau, (where I was the other day). I prefered this spot to Cheang Chau, it was a lot more chilled and relaxed, and is all in all very scenic, (except for the annoying power plant that always at the last minute manages to detract from the views). There are two towns on the Island, both of whose names I've forgotten, (bugger... I swore I'd bring my literature with me), but basically this morning I landed at one, and then walked across the island to the other, (took about an hour with little stops along the way). There's possibly the best beach I've seen so far on the ... read more
April 30th 2006
Right, listen up folks, if your ever in Hong Kong the best excursion you can do is the 'go racing' trip! I know what your thinking, we're not really into racing, we're not gamblers, WELL NEITHER AM I, but just trust me, this was such good value for money. To be honest when I woke up this morning I wasn't overly in the mood for it, I was still not firing on full thrusters after yesterdays over exhursion excursion, and just wasnt sure if a day spent doing something I normally wouldn't be seen dead at would help, especially as it required me to get dressed up more formally. But it proved just the ticket! I'd organised this via the internet before I went, and had pondered it for a number of days as the offer ... read more
April 29th 2006
Thankfully today turned out considerably brighter than yesterday, which was fortunate cos I had plans to go further afield. Packed up some gear and ventured down into town, crossed the harbour on the top deck of the Star ferry then jaunted round to pier 5 of the Outer islands ferry terminals to buy myself an island hopping pass. With that I boarded the ferry to Cheng Chau and set out for a days discovery. Cheng Chau, (meaning Long Island), is a good 50 minutes away through the busy harbour, giving you a good backwards glance at Hong Kong, much the way you imagine former British Governor Chris Patten probably watched it from the stern of Britannia back in 97 when the then colony reverted back to Chinese rule. It's a dumbell shaped island, with two rocky ... read more
April 28th 2006
Had to change my plans today! Was planning a days hiking to Lamma island but when it rains in Hong Kong IT POURS! Gotta say I was half expecting it, had been keeping an eye on the long range forcast for the past week and today was down for thunderstorms, (which would have been exciting), but instead the only thundering was the deluge of water coming out of the sky on to the vast assortment of umbrellas that have been running about the city. BUT AM I DOWNHEARTED? Not a bit of it! All I did was swap my Lamma plans with the thing I was intending to do on my last day. I went to Ocean Park! There are two amusement parks of merit in Hong Kong, the very new, (and much hyped), Disneyland, and ... read more