Page 6 of RJT Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central September 9th 2011

The last time the Rugby World Cup came to New Zealand I was at school, and was completely caught up in the excitement. I became a walking encyclopedia of all things rugby, and was even lucky enough to go to one of the games with my father and brothers. This time, the build up seemed to go on for ever, and about three weeks ago I thought I was over it before it began. But then finally it was game week, and the atmosphere and excitement in Auckland was catching. By Friday I was completely caught up in it again. Auckland welcomed the world with a stunningly beautiful day - no clouds, no wind, just a gorgeous sunny spring day. There was real buzz in the city which had been building all week. This party was ... read more
Waiting for the waka
A view
The welcoming committee

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Canggu April 29th 2011

After a particularly busy time at work, and the weather in Auckland starting to cool down, I was very excited about my trip to Bali. A group of eight of us had booked a luxury villa in Canggu. It promised a pool, four large double bedrooms, a chef and a pool boy. It did not disappoint - heaven! It soon became very hard to leave Baraka Villa . Our flights were delayed two hours, and then arrived without my luggage, so we spent a further hour at the airport while I filled in forms and tried to get some sensible information. We bumped our way through the narrow lanes, navigating around the potholes on the truly dreadful road, and had countless calls to the villa trying to find the house, so when we finally arrived at ... read more
The gorgeous villa
Massage at home
The "Bridge of Terror"

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago May 28th 2010

It was a beautiful morning yesterday, so I headed off to the Coast, specifically to the port city of Valparaiso. On the way there however, I stumbled across the Changing of the Guard, at La Moneda, the Presidential Palace. I had forgotten that this happens every other day at 10.00 am, and as I was heading towards the Metro station at La Moneda I heard a brass band and followed the noise. Considering that this happens every other day it's quite a spectacle, and lasts for at least half an hour. Or put another way, after half an hour it was still going on, when I realised that I'd better get cracking and headed off to the Metro for my connection to Valparaiso. Valparaiso, also known as Valpo, seemed to me to be the flip side ... read more
Changing of the Guard at La Moneda
Guards & Musicians
Outside La Moneda, evening

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago May 26th 2010

I landed in Santiago on Sunday morning at the ungodly hour of 5.15 am and the first thing I noticed was that it is BLOODY COLD. Much colder than I was expecting. I don't know what I was complaining about in Bogota. I was told when I got here that electricity is super expensive and to be careful not to leave the heater on in my room. This explains why no-one seems to have cottoned on to indoor heating here and I am freezing wherever I go. It definitely has an influence on fashion, as people wear layers of blankets, ponchos, and scarves in order to stay warm. However all that said I have been enjoying my time in Santiago so far. I arrived in the B&B, Casa Moro and went straight to bed for a ... read more
Cajon del Maipo
Cajon del Maipo
Cajon del Maipo

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito May 22nd 2010

It has been a very rushed visit to Ecuador, and it feels like I only got to nibble on the peanuts while everyone else enjoyed the fillet steak. I want to come back for the main meal! From the brief glimpse I have had, it is a stunningly beautiful country and I would love to see more of it. After getting back to Quito from the rainforest yesterday afternoon, I met up with Jackie who had been in my group in the rainforest, and we did a whirlwind tour of Quito Old Town. Unfortunately the weather was not great and not long into our excursion it started to rain. The irony of having been in a rainforest fully prepared for rain, which never truly eventuated and what short bursts of rain we had never lasted for ... read more
Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
Calle de la Ronda
La Ronda

South America » Ecuador » East » El Coca May 19th 2010

My journey into the Amazon rainforest only got better. After the piranha fishing (very unsuccessfully I might add, tricky little buggers can nibble around the hook), we went on another short hike through the forest. To our delight, just near the lodge, we saw some small black monkeys called Black-Mantle Tamarin. They had been hanging out in the area for a couple of days. Then a short while later we came across the Pygmy Marmoset Monkey, apparently the smallest monkey in the world. Not long after that we saw some Squirrel monkeys, and later we saw more Squirrel Monkeys who had joined up with a troop of Capuchin monkeys. As we getting in our canoe and heading up the canal towards the lake that leads back to the Lodge we had to stop and make way ... read more
Beautiful tropical flower
Another tropical flower, and check out the ants

South America » Ecuador » East » El Coca May 18th 2010

I arrived in Quito on Sunday afternoon, checked into my gorgeous little hotel, La Rabida and decided to go for a short walk. I asked the friendly guy at reception where to wander and he gave me a little map and pointed me in the right direction. Then I asked if it was safe - I had heard that Quito was in parts quite dangerous. He responded that it was perfectly safe, but as an afterthought added that I shouldn't take my camera or more money than I think I would need. So not really then! Anyhow Sunday afternoons in most Latin American countries from what I can tell is completely dead, however I wandered around the neighbourhood in the area that I am staying, Mariscal. It was only on my return that found a guidebook ... read more
Final canoe ride to Sacha Lodge

South America » Colombia » Bogota May 15th 2010

I can't believe that a month has slipped by so quickly, but already my time in Colombia is up. And it feels like I've barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do here. My last two days in Armenia were awesome. Thursday was a walk in the Peñas Blancas, although "walk" was not quite the word for it! Luis and I drove up a very steep, narrow little laneway until we finally reached the ecopark and Finca Buena Vista . And it certainly does have one of the best views in the region. First up was a 20 minute walk up the hill until we reached the Finca, and then after a refreshing drink of Agua Panuela , my guide and I set off to the summit, through dense forest, thick with ... read more
Another nice view!
Finca Buena Vista
Lunch at Finca Buena Vista!

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Armenia May 11th 2010

I arrived in Armenia on Sunday, one of the three main towns in Colombia's coffee region and was immediately enveloped in the famous Colombian hospitality. I had arranged a trip to the region through an agency, so basically I didn't have to think too much in the coming days....except in Spanish. I was too cheap to spring for an English speaking guide and I thought it would be better for my Spanish practice. Well that's my story anyhow. I was picked up by Yicel, the local agent here who had organised my time in the region. She whisked me off to have lunch with her parents to celebrate Mother's Day. Like most Colombians I have met they were fascinated that I was travelling alone. Colombians usually travel with their families, which was proven true when I ... read more
Luis at the Rio Verde
My lovely Bogota family!

South America » Colombia » Bogota May 8th 2010

I saw a lot of the historical area in my first couple of days, but only yesterday did I make it to the Museo del Oro (the Gold Museum), which is one of the most famous museums in Bogota. A relatively small entrance fee gets you in the door, and I also splashed out on an audio guide, spending the grand total of about $5US for both. The audio guide was very informative, but I must confess that after about an hour of the man droning on and on I was bored witless! It's more than just a museum about gold, it goes through much of the pre-colombian history and the different cultures and tribes that lived there, as well as their religious beliefs and the role that gold played in their society. The two seemed ... read more
Another gold thing
Funeral mask

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