Off on an old-school, round the world adventure with one of my best mates and this is where you can follow what I'm doing and where I'm doing it!
I want to keep this updated as often as possible and try to have an entry at least twice a week if not more, depending on how things go, but my procrastinating track record dictates that I probably won't!
Bear with me as well because I've never done this blogging thing before so forgive any naive revelations or rubbish entries....rough with the smooth I guess!!
Here we go...!
Dont forget gang, you can follow Andrew as well at www.travelblog.org/BLOGGERS/IOANRICH !!
May 15th 2009
The plane touched down in Lima International Airport yesterday at about 3pm, and stumbling into the sunshine, missing about 12 hours sleep and with the United States thousands of miles (and two flights) behind us, AJ and I hopped into a taxi and headed into town, surrounded by honking horns and gridlocked traffic, the sound of Peruvian traditional music pummeling our ears through the speakers of the taxi, the mumblings of Latin American Spanish all around us. Peru is a monster in itself, an alien country hinted at by the immigrant culture in California and Texas but presented there in a diluted form. We realised the phrasebook we´d brought with us would be a useful commodity when it became clear on the plane that without it we couldn´t complete the immigration form. There has been no ... read more
May 1st 2009
"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." More on that later. The Empire Builder rolled into Seattle after 48 hours of travel across 5 states, with the scenery changing from industrial wasteland to grassy farmland to cold, harsh, snow covered mountains to turquoise valleys. It was incredible just sitting in the observation car and watching the land change. Seattle was much better than I expected it to be - so much so that I ended up with an extra couple of days there. My original plan had been to spend a day prowling the Pike St Market, a day in Snoqualmie and then leave the next day. In Chicago I added an extra day and then when I reached Seattle I added one more, giving me a bit more time to explore. My arrival was somewhat more relaxed ... read more
April 24th 2009
"We're coming in, sir, you have to wake up. You got everything you brought with you? We'll be at the station in five minutes. You're still sleepy, huh?" There were streaks of rain against the window pane and a numbing ache in my neck but after 17 hours of running along the edge of the waters of the Hudson, then plunging into darkness as we sped through Indiana, I was finally in Chicago. There were dark clouds overhead and the industrial wasteland that was scarred with the blackened, overused freight train lines gave the Windy City a foreboding appearance. Through some small miracle I'd managed to salvage some sleep in the journey, despite the constant wingeing and moaning of the two small kids on the seat across from me, whose mother's best effort at consoling them ... read more
April 18th 2009
After spending a long day checking out the monuments in DC and doing a bit of admin it was up at the crack of dawn to catch my 7:10 train to the Big Apple. With the sounds of Sinatra crooning about the city that never sleeps I wandered through the streets to the Metro station as the sun rose about the capital of the United States. It had been a nice few days, and I was wary of what New York was going to be like. The hostel had mixed reviews, and after the safe bet of a YHA it was like a jump into the darkness going for the Continental Hostel on W96th and Broadway. I got to the station at 6.15 and settled in to wait. I could tell that this train journey was ... read more
April 11th 2009
Once again I rolled into town in a daze and without a clue where to go. This time, however, there were no family to greet me from the train and no-one to cook me a home cooked dinner, take me to a parade, place a beer in my hand or go to the baseball with me, or to drop me at their house then offer to buy me lunch before we went to the store. Here I was, a stranger in a foreign land, finally all on my todd. Well, at least I had a map of Washington DC and an idea of where there was a pharmacy for my lethal headache. I had an AWESOME time in Hammond. My last couple of weeks were spent throwing in the first pitch at a baseball game, hanging ... read more
March 18th 2009
Now, where was I? Hello all! Now as you may recall my last update was about a month and a half ago...but sadly I haven't died! No, instead I'm very much alive, tearing up the United States as my world tour continues in North America, and I update now from comfy quarters in my great-Aunt Avril's house in the South of the Country - the home of SoCo and Southern Hospitality, Louisiana. Now when you left me I was in Auckland, still with Mr Andrew Richards, enjoying the last few days of our time together. The morning we left the country was cool but tinged with sadness, like the trooper he is, and despite us both having raging hangovers, AJ cooked us all brekkie (all being a third party, Matt, who we met at the hostel) ... read more
February 10th 2009
So here we are, back in Rotovegas and another belated update later. It seems that not only is it difficult to find internet in the South Island but it is impossible to find any form of communication past letters on the East Cape! As such I'll have to try and carry on from where I left off...so lets see... Now I think you left us in Christchurch all those days ago, and after the disappointment of not seeing Bumley and Meatyard (the former having crashed his car and the latter turning out to be in Dunedin...) we headed north to Kaikoura with our new driver Murray, who was a bit crazy and a bit out there and raced us into the overcast and dull Kaikoura much earlier than we'd expected. Now while it is a nice ... read more
February 1st 2009
The only problems that I can really complain about as far as Kiwi Experience goes (apart from the office admin muck-ups) is that the pick-up times are NEVER very clear. To the point where after 2 hours sleep, we packed our things, headed down to the pick up point and waited for half an hour before growing suspicious. The time was 7.45, so Andrew called the office and was told in no uncertain terms that the Bottom Bus would be picking us up between 9 and 9.30. Fab. Once again the advertised time had been a load of old cobblers, so we mosied on into town to do some admin! Arriving at Base, we found that opposite us the YHA had been evacuated and Joel was standing outside in his underwear, looking extremely uncomfortable and confused. ... read more
January 29th 2009
Another belated update! ARGH! As you may have gathered now the South Island often seems completely desolate in comparison to the North, with total lack of reception anywhere other than the 'hub' towns (think Te Anau, Invercargill, Queenstown etc) which are seperated by mass expanses of beautifully empty, dramatic bushland. 1/3 of the entire population of NZ live in the South Island, which is almost twice as big as the North. When you consider that more people live in Auckland than they do in the South Island, you can understand how 'frontierland' this stage of the adventure is! Anyway - time to continue from where I left off and hopefully update without boring you to death, dear readers! We left for the Franz Josef Glacier early in the morning, giving ourselves enough time to have a ... read more
January 22nd 2009
Finally able to update after another HECTIC week of non-stop travelling and lack of internet!! We left Wellington in good spirits after being looked after by Anton - a top bloke who we met in the Welsh Bar, who proceeded to buy us drinks, invite us to his flat the next day to play some rugby with his mates, cook us a killer spag bol, take us back to the Welsh Bar and buy us even more drinks!! Who said there's no such thing as a free meal? The guy was an absolute ledge and DEFINATELY plan to swing by his on the way back North to buy HIM a few drinks!! We jumped on the bus South EARLY EARLY EARLY to catch the ferry to Picton, and met our new driver, Spud...time will have to ... read more