I love to travel but don't do anywhere near enough of it for pleasure. It seems I'm only ever travelling for work. So to begin with I'm taking time out to travel the Americas and Antarctica. I'll be going down to the Antarctic Circle and up to the Arctic Circle. Countries visited will include: Argentina, Chile, Antactica, Uraguay, Brazil, United States and Canada.
After that I'll join the current batch of exchange students doing "Safari" around my home country, Australia...
After this I will only have Europe left to tick off the list of continents (having already done a very small part of both Africa and Asia in the past). So I guess that will have to next....
Join me on my rambling recounts of my travels. Just don't demand 100% accuracy in my research or proof reading. I'm confident I've forgotten much and that I'll end up making numerous gaffs.
March 31st 2011
After all my travels in South America and Antarctica, I was finally got to the place / person that had inspired the whole trip. For those of you who don't know my family is heavily involved in Rotary Youth Exchange. As a result there have been a large number of exchange students who've shared our home and a special few who have found their way to be considered a permanant part of my family. My parents had been able to visit quite a few of these adopted family members in Europe 2 years ago when they escprted some outboand students there. But hadn't yet made it to visit one such student, Gabriela, who is these days studying in Sao Paulo. Originally when I decided that I wanted to spend a decent amount of time travelling the ... read more
March 29th 2011
Copacabana, Rio de Janiero. The name of the place just brings to mind images of scantily clad girls in bikinis and of course Carnivale.... so before anyone else asks, no I didn't go to Carnivale. I was there too late in the year by about 1 month. That means that Carnivale happened whilst I was traipsing around the Antarctic and I know which experience I'd prefer to have. Which is exactly why I organised things in the order that I did. This was also the end of the line for the Intrepid tour which meant that again I was having to say goodbye to friends. Some of whom I hope to continue my friendship with for years to come. But we still had some life in this tour yet. On the afternoon that we got there ... read more
March 27th 2011
I can think of few nicer ways to get to a holiday destination than by boat. To be able to enjoy a cool ocean breeze whilst whizzing to your next destination is pretty special. It would have been a little more special if we weren't travelling on a cargo ferry, but I wasn't going to suddenly get too picky. To make things even better, when we got there we had the option to have someone with a little cart taking our luggage to our pousada. Only 4 Reals! bargain! given how much my luggage weighed and the sticky sticky humidity, yes, that was definitely 4 reals well spent. Like Paraty before it, Ihla Grande was a place that I liked immediately. It was relaxed, small and really really cute. Fernando told us that there were no ... read more
March 24th 2011
Photo warning - I was feeling lazy and didn't take many. Paraty was the next stop on the long tourist trail for those of us on the tour. We arrived therein the afternoon after an overnight bus from Iguazu to Sao Paulo, a 3 hour wait in Sao Paulo bus station and another couple of hour bus from Sao Paulo to Paraty. It was a lazy little coastal town. Are you noticing a theme yet? Yes, it seems like a large proportion of these places are lazy towns. Which is just the way I like it. You feel like you really get to see a place when it's slow because there is a feeling of being included in the slow pace of life. In many ways Paraty is just like any Aussie costal town in summer ... read more
March 20th 2011
Salto, north Uraguay. That's where Juan Manuel dropped us off to wait for our bus to one of the biggest waterfalls on the planet. Iguazu. And Salto was where we had to say our goodbyes to a man who had made us laugh and been patient and improved our horse riding skills and just generally been an excellent host. I think all of us will miss Juan Manuel and will try to make our way back at some point in the future. And none of us were looking forward to the bus ride we had coming up. As much as we were all excited about the falls, none of us really wanted to have to sit through the overnight bus ride that we had to take to get there. At least in the mean time whilst ... read more
March 17th 2011
Colonia was nice as I mentioned and quiet. And that was what I expected of such a small little town. What I wasn't expecting was that Montevideo, the capital of Uraguay would also be to a large extent. Obvioulsy not to the same degree, but for what should be a major city it was rather small and quiet. Which I'm pretty sure was the reason why we spent such a short amount of time there. Only 1 day. But we enjoyed ourselves anyways. Lunch was at the old markets. It used to be a food market, but in more recent years it's turned into a series of restaurants. Fernando recommended that we try the big BBQ plates which had far too much meat or the paella. I chose the paella and it was incredible, but I ... read more
March 14th 2011
As terrible as I have been at keeping this blog updated I can assure you all that it was just because I was just having too much fun. Here's hoping I can remember enough of it to write something passingly interesting about it all. And most of that fun started in Buenos Aires. I flew in on the 12th and spent a large amount of time just resting, relaxing and recovering. This travelling business is really exhausting. But after catching up with Lillian for dinner and doing some shopping at the San Telmo Markets, I met up with my next tour group. There were 16 of us in all but two were missing. Omar who felt the need to sample the night life in BA for a few more days and James a British guy who ... read more
March 8th 2011
OUCH. That’s all I can say about the morning of the 8th of March. I was definitely hung over. Possibly still drunk. And amongst all the revelry of the night before I’d not gotten around to packing my bags. There wasn’t much to do, but I was supposed to have my bags packed, ready and waiting outside my door at 5am. And it was now 6am. But never fear. I still had my bags with me by the time I got to my hotel a couple of hours later. At which point we discovered that Hotel Ushuaia was NOT in a convenient location and I also wouldn't say it was particularly nice either. But that's what you get when you don't bother doing any research I guess. But at least Sara, Reid, Lillian and Terry were ... read more
March 6th 2011
All in all my tour of Patagonia and Antartctica involved an incredible amount of luck. We had warm, dry, still days in Patagonia. We had a smooth crossing of the Drake on the way over. We (well I) saw a leopard seal eating a penguin. We saw an Emperor Penguin. OK so we didn't have clear skies every day in Antarcica, but the weather wasn't too bad most of the time. All this good luck of course meant that our luck had to turn eventually. And oh my it definitely did. On the 5th March we had our last landing in the morning and were due to hit open seas at about 3pm. Since it was our last chance Sara, Lillian and I headed up to the bridge to have a bit of a look to ... read more
March 4th 2011
So far I haven't told you much about my fellow passengers on the ship except for the 5 that I joined the boat with and my kayak partner. Well it was an intersting mix of people ranging from the very old (over 70) down to mid 20s. A significant portion of whom were Aussie and Canadian. Whilst we were on the boat I did manage to make friend with quite a few. There was Terry the mid-30s Canadian "bridge" engineer. We had plenty of beers and long chats together. There was Warren and Betsy the 40-something couple who had sold their entire possessions and were spending as long as possible backpacking around the world. I think their aim is 5 years. There was Kevin the mid 20s Canadian Environmental Scientist who came to visit one of ... read more