We try to post about once a week talking about where we have been, impressions we have gained and some photos. Our aim is to keep a record of our travels that will sustain us as the memories fade. We also want to keep those at home, and anyone else around, as informed as they wish to be.
We have been on the move now since late 2008 and plan to continue for a while yet. A pair of old-ish Australians who plan to see the places we have missed in the past before the backs, hips and knees make it all too hard. We intend to be on the road, sea or in the air for as long as it takes. We have to stay within a budget. If we fail to do that we have to go home earlier so we will continue to keep things reasonable.
So far we have travelled around New Zealand - to say hello to the neighbours first - and then off to Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain and Africa. This year we have been in southern Africa, western Europe and the UK. We are now travelling through the Americas and should be there for about a year.
We have assured our families that we will return for births, deaths and marriages. So far there has been one return and the next scheduled event will be late in 2011.
There is, of course, a Comeback List being developed so, even after we do return to Australia, it wont necessarily be for very long stretches.
Our biggest challenge, and we will do our best to meet it, is to take our time, move slowly and give ourselves time to experience places. We are not always good at this but we are giving it a go.
We hope to see you along the way.Visited Countries Map
March 19th 2012
We have been back a few months now and it is time to try to sum up. I warn you now that this is a longer post than usual. Apologies for that but I have added sub-headings so that you can flick through to the interesting bits as you wish. If you are planning a trip around the world there is a mass of information available. Blogs were a great source of information for us. Profiles of countries, regions, cities and attractions provided by all sorts of organisations are available on the net. Travel sites can provide some useful advice. There are sites that can find the cheapest air/train/bus option in a lot of countries and there are many useful sites that can assist with the booking, and review, of the variety of accommodation options. The ... read more
January 25th 2012
An amazing, surprising, complex country! Scenery that gives you a look at every landform and landscape that provides constant spectacle. A road system, built to facilitate military movements during the Eisenhower days, that now carries Americans up and down, back and forward, constantly. An excellent road system that, in large part, could handle more maintenance. Wonderful national parks in the country where the idea began. Hog and cattle factories across the plains that make you feel guilty tucking into a typically tender US steak. A country where many people travel, lots of them in very large RVs and perhaps not too far from home. Iconic world cities that seem just a little disconnected from the surrounding lands. A great country to travel through with people who are welcoming, polite and surprisingly different, from each other and ... read more
November 21st 2011
We will put up another couple of posts about this trip. We need to do our normal thing and provide a wrap of the USA and we want to provide the trip statistics so that anyone who is interested can see what it cost, how far we travelled and how many countries we visited. That sort of thing. We have also developed some 'rules' for travellers and we will put them up as a bit of fun and maybe even some value for others. But this post is the last one we will publish while we are actually on the trip as such. And it is not easy to write. We are going back to Australia today. A nice little trip across the Pacific to New Zealand and then a jump across the ditch to Sydney. ... read more
November 13th 2011
There are competitors for the title of the world's greatest canyon. Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet is said to be considerably deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon. Colca Canyon in Peru is also deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon. Tara in Montenegro touts itself as second to the Grand Canyon but, alas, it looks like Tara is number 4 at least. We haven't seen Yarlung Tsangpo – yet – but we have seen the others and, for us, there is no argument. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in Arizona is the most spectacular canyon in the world that we have seen. The debate of course is all pretty silly as, in our opinion, it should be. There doesn't seems to be any real agreement on what constitutes a canyon as such. There is ... read more
November 4th 2011
Our return visit to Colorado was mainly about catching up with people we had missed on our first run through. On that occasion we had scuttled pretty quickly out of Denver up to the Rocky Mountains National Park and points north. This time we wanted to give Denver more of a go and work south and west. We had vague plans of ending up in Utah at Zion National Park or in Arizona at Monument Valley and quite specific plans of not being too caught up with the snow they tend to receive in this part of the world. Apart from our kids, we have seen little of relations on this trip – oh, and of course, Janet who travelled through Africa with us. Catching up with Jeanne in Denver was a special treat. The city ... read more
October 28th 2011
Tell people here that you are going to take a run through Texas and they tend to smile a little, nod, mention San Antonio, and perhaps Austin, but, other than that, well ... I didn't believe them. After all, discerning people on both sides of our family have lived in Texas. New Mexico gets slightly better reviews but then you mention Kansas and your credibility as a discerning traveller is shot. The trouble is that Texas is the second largest state in the USA and there really is a lot to it so we decided that it deserved a bit of a look. I will explain about Kansas a little later. There isn't a lot of interest between Louisiana and San Antonio, except the 4th largest city in the US. We had seen a little of ... read more
October 20th 2011
Louisiana doesn't always get such a good rap . True, over the years it has probably earned its reputation for corruption in governments, hot steamy weather, a shambolic approach to reconstruction of its principle city and high crime levels. None of these factors did anything, as far as we were concerned, to outweigh the allure of possibly of catching some good blues, cajun and zydeco music, and getting some creole and cajun food at the source. We were also keen to have a little look at Dave Robicheaux's stamping ground and check out Treme. The state has always been high on our list of 'must sees' for the USA. At Natchez we decided that it would be good to drive down the Louisiana side which is closer to the river. It is just possible that we ... read more
October 15th 2011
Some very nice time in the Great Smoky Mountains meant that we needed a decent drive to make Charleston that night. As a drive it doesn't really rate against many we have done previously but we did leave ourselves with a trip of a little over 350 miles late in the day. The rain that turned up after we came through the mountains into North Carolina developed into a substantial downpour as we moved south. We decided to stay on the inter-States. Less interesting but, with the weather as it was and darkness upon us for a lot of the trip, it really didn't matter. There may be more of these sorts of trips over the next month as the need to set priorities and keep more closely to a timetable hots up. Just a month ... read more
October 10th 2011
The Museum of Appalachia's Tennessee Fall Homecoming is a bit of a mouthful for the title of a Festival but it promised to have over 20 different mountain music and bluegrass bands playing so we decided it was worth a look. We weren't too sure what a 'homecoming' might involve but it was pretty clear it had something to do with a gathering and probably of people who were coming 'home'. Wiki told us that it was normally something that schools or colleges engage in to bring alumni back for a celebration. We figured that the definition wasn't all that precise and, anyway, they probably wouldn't mind if a couple of stray Australians turned up. Now before we go on let us get one thing straight you don't pronounce Appalachia 'appa-lay-sha' as I am prepared to ... read more
October 7th 2011
A visit to the South was always high on the list of places we needed to get to in our trip around the USA. The history is interesting, the people are said to be different but most of all the music that comes out of this part of the world is very much to our taste. We wanted very much to get to see and hear some Appalachian mountain music. A bit of bluegrass would be acceptable if we could find some, some good country would be good too and, of course, if halfway reasonable blues is about, then that is where we'll end up. So we needed to get to where the 'South' is. The Mason Dixon line was where it started when I was at school but the internet informed us that the 'other ... read more