David Muir

David on tour

David Muir

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka March 14th 2014

After my 5 days in Kyoto I was off to stay at the Eko-in temple in Koyasan, Mount Koya is nearly 3000 feet above sea level and is the headquarters of the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism. I had to catch 4 trains a cable car and a bus to get there but that is all part of the fun. Due to its height it was below zero most of the time and snowing. Many of the temples open up their doors as lodging for visitors and although it’s not cheap when you take into the fact that you get an amazing vegetarian meal and a breakfast it is quite reasonable (around £60 a night. I chose Eko-in as it is the only temple that doesn’t charge a single supplement. Included in the visit is a ... read more
Prayers at the Oko-in temple
It's a long time since I've done this
Fire Ceremony

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Akasaka March 5th 2014

My next trip finds me to the land of the rising sun, when it wasn't snowing that is! It is very easy to find information on how to travel in Japan so I will just restrict this blog to the highlights. Tokyo Tokyo was everything I hoped it would be, a futuristic, clean, polite and yet the promise of wild nightlife was a pleasant supplement to the order of the place. Over the next 2 days visited I visited various sites outlined in the pics including the Tokyo Metropolitan building which afforded great views and was free! This is Tokyo's City Hall, and with its 243m, it is the 7th tallest building in Japan. Built to resemble a computer chip and also a Gothic cathedral, it makes for one of the best observation decks in Tokyo. ... read more
Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town October 23rd 2013

On arrival I was shown to my room and was slightly surprised to find it in the dark and fully occupied by 4 blokes all asleep, it was only 16:00!! They must have had one hell of a night!! After dumping my gear I had a wander round Long St which seems to be the main drag of Cape Town, where many of the bars, restaurants and shops could be found. The next morning I was up and out straight away to climb Table Mountain, the Hostel is one of the nearest to it but it would still take well over an hour to get to the start so I flagged down a taxi. The cable car wasn’t running due to the strong winds but the driver dropped me off there anyway, so I had to ... read more
Cape Fur seals
A bull
Duiker Island

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Hermanus October 21st 2013

Yet again I had another early start, this time it was 04:50 to get ready before being picked up for the cage diving in Gansbaii with the great white sharks. I had booked the diving with Hermanus Backpackers who were extremely helpful in organising the whole thing for me. The backpackers deal with Great White Shark Diving company ( http://www.greatwhitesharkdiving.co.za/). The guy leading it was brilliant, he was very knowledgeable and extremely patient, far more than I’d ever be, throughout the day he had to listen to moronic questions from several members of the group in addition to being asked the same question 2,3 and 4 times during the day. The added bonus with this company was that they were the cheapest – nice! Most of the packages involve them picking you up from your hostel ... read more
Southern Right whale and her calf
Southern Right whale and her calf
Southern Right whale and her calf

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park October 17th 2013

The day started for me at 03:30 when I had to pack my things and get ready for the journey to Maputo, 10 mins later I was out the door for my 2km walk to Fatima’s for the so-called shuttle to Maputo, it didn’t get off to a good start as the driver didn’t turn up until 04:30, throughout the journey I was imagining how fab that extra 30 mins in bed would have been! So at 04:30 when we were finally on the road to Maputo, gradually as of course we had to make sure that the chappa was full. This meant slowing down every 5 mins with the “conductor” shouting Maput, Maput at every person standing by the road that he saw. The chappa doesn’t stop for food which is surprising at it stops ... read more

Africa » Mozambique » Southern » Tofo October 13th 2013

I was going to spend the whole of the next day and night and the following day on the road and so I wanted an early night but due to the heat and the mozzies I got around an hour’s kip!. The next day I caught the Pathfinder bus to Bulawayo at 07:00 which arrived at 13:00. The journey commenced with a prayer and then a song about God!! It seems religion is a big thing over here and they are intent on ramming it down the throats of everyone else!! I couldn’t complain too much though as Chris Brown followed at full blast. I then had a wander round Bulawayo for a couple of hours and I never saw another whitey and everybody was staring at me, it was interesting! After lunch I headed off ... read more
At the border to enter South Africa
Downtown Maputo

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls October 10th 2013

Having my alarm wake me at 05:30 is never something that makes a good start to the day, it got worse soon after as I had to climb over the fence of the hostel as they had locked the gates. It was just like prison break:-) Then I had an argument with the taxi driver when he dropped me off at the bus station as he didn’t have any change. At one point he even tried to include the 20 pula note that I had given him in the change, he obviously didn’t realise who he was dealing with. Instead of the 40 pula I ended up giving him 25 – just over £2.00 Then followed a 3 and a half hour bus journey to Nata, where I enjoyed a brunch of veggie soup and rice ... read more
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun October 4th 2013

Back on the road again and back to Africa again, this time further south than previously. Another whistle-stop tour encompassing some of the highlights (to me at least) of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The main aim of this trip was to tick 3 things off my bucket list, swimming with Manta Rays (and hopefully whale sharks), going on safari to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and to go Cage Diving with Great White Sharks, the rest of the trip is a bit of an adventure getting between these places. I could have taken the easy route and caught flights, but the cost would have been extortionate ( there are very few bargain air routes in southern Africa) and it would be too easy, the other option would be to go on Overland Tour, but ... read more
In the mokoro

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang February 5th 2013

I was back in another airport waiting for another flight, this time to Medan in Indonesia, to go back in the rainforest again. The flight only took an hour and caught a taxi to Kampang Lalang which could loosely be described as a bus station. From there I caught a minibus to Bukit Lawang, on arrival a guy came up to be and offered me a lift to my hostel for 5000rp. There are 14,000rp to £1 so when I went to the ATM to withdraw £100 I instantly became a millionaire – woohoo. What the guy didn’t say was that he was going to give me a lift to the hostel on his scooter which made for a very cramped journey with my backpack and daypack! It was no surprise at all to me that ... read more
A visitor
Bukit Lawang
In the bat cave

Asia » Singapore » Singapore Zoo February 4th 2013

I was off to the famous Singapore zoo today but I totally messed up with my travel arrangements to get there, I made a cursory glance at my itinerary and remember it said to get to Woodlands MRT station from where you get a bus. However when I got there after 50 mins to the tube I couldn’t find any bus to be seen, after walking round looking like a complete numpty for 10 mins a lovely old lady took pity on me and asked if she could help. After a little laugh when I told her my destination she explained that you only got off at Woodlands on Sundays the rest of the week it was Ang Mo Kio station – Doh! So I then had to buy another ticket to take me there and ... read more
White Tiger
Amarous Roos
More monkeys

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