Published: August 8th 2007June 9th 2007
Highly sought after you know.
You can't have a trip like ours and not mentally note things that deserve recognition, and sadly some things that deserve to be highlighted for their not so good qualities. These awards are representative of the good and bad things of our trip. So here in a blaze of smoke and lazers are the 2007 Trip Awards!
"Cue Strobes!" "Lighting in five, four, three...." " You're on guys- just follow the autocue on camera three"
"Here, broadcast live from a secret location in the Buckinghamshore countryside are the two thousand and seven TRIP AWARDS!!! Please give a warm welcome to our hosts, Max and Clare!!
* Rapturous applause from the audience
Max: "Thank you, thank you. Oh stop, thank you! Welcome to the inaugural awards and thank you for being here to celebrate this momentous occasion with us. Erm...Clare, over to you. I must say you are looking a vision this evening. Is that dress D&G?"
Clare: "Thank you, Max. Yes D&G it is. What's your suit, C&A?"
Max: " Right first time, Man at C&A. What was that guy on about autocye? There isn't one. He didn't have a clue
Congratulations LAN on exceeding expectation.
what he was talking about- he must work for British Airways in his real job."
Clare: "Lovely. Right, now for the serious business. You may or may not be aware, but there was a real scrap between the major networks for broadcast rights to this evening. The battle in the UK was won by ITV, who for the first time in history has cancelled Coronation Street in order to fit us into the prime time slot. In Australia channels Seven and Ten both put forward major packages and went head to head over a period of three months, the battle eventually being won by Channel Seven for fifty one Australian Dollars!"
Max: "So...let us press on. These awards have been voted for by us, and independently verified by us. The original parchment they were created on - specifically a British Airways sick bag torn and turned inside out- has been lost forever in suspicious and unforseen circumstances. We are however looking to overcome this tradgedy and remember as many awards as we possibly can. I have just had our guest director for the evening, Martin Scorsese, tell me to hurry the flip up, so without further hesitiation I
Do not use if you can avoid it!
give you our first category!" Best Airline- LAN. The voting public sited reasons such as the uniforms, general professionalism, new aircraft, Jennifer Lopez lookalike cabin crew, and the ability to speak English better than British Airways, as the qualities that clinched this prestigious award. Worst Airline- British Airways. A terrible performance from our national airline. Awarded this wooden spoon ahead of all its rivals (even low cost carrier Jetstar) for outrageous £80 phone calls, seats that would have Dr Evil from Austin Powers struggling for leg room, not advising of a schedule change of more than four hours, not feeding its passengers for almost four hours and generally having useless call centre staff.
Clare: "Can you believe they even have the front to call themselves the 'World's Favourite Airline'?"
Max: "Lets face it, Clare, when you can make such phrases as 'BA was shit' and 'shit was BA air' from the name of the airline, it's bound to be a laughing stock!"
Clare: "Sure it is. Without wasting anymore time on them, it's time to reveal the winner of a very special award, the country with the best and worst wine!!"
Best Wine- Australia. A fabulous selection, easily available. Not content with just a shelf of red and white wine, supermarkets had shelves for each different variety of grape. Otherwise known as wine heaven.
Australian Wine Regions
Worst wine- China. A not so fabulous selection, hardly available at all, and if it was you could only buy it by the bottle for about a months wages.
Max: "Lets not forget the award for the best and worst beer. This category have been voted for in terms of specific brands." Best Beer- Brahma. The beer of Brazil sneaks this award for its fantastic cheapness and great invigorating properties, and convenient screw top. No faffing around with a luggage padlock if you can't find the bottle opener you bought in Thailand and shoved to the bottom of your bag.
Worst Beer- Yanjing. China's national brew. Cheap at 20p a can, but in China, you must get exactly what you pay for. In this cse, yellow snow in a can.
Clare: "You weren't saying that about Yanjing at the time. I seem to remember you complimenting it for cheapness?"
Max: " I was young, naiive. I still can't believe
you made us buy food from an 'out of date megastore'- how cheap is that? Hey audience, wake up!!"
Clare: " IT WAS NOT OUT OF DATE!!!!"
Max: "Uh-oh, now we are in trouble. She's using the death ray stare!!
Clare: "Yes. Now for this evening's next award we literally spent hundreds of pounds on research. Yes that's right..."
Max: "It's the award for Best Currency!" Best Currency- Australia. Waterproof, colourful and it even fits nicely in your wallet or purse. No creased edges here. Although it does need to be said that any country with a smaller coin for two dollars than for one is a little odd.
Worst Currency- China. Disgusting notes, and the fact we couldn't work out how much they were for did not help one bit. Close call between China and Thailand but China edges it because Thailand is nice. China isn't....
Clare: "Congratulations to Australia currently leading the awards table with two whole awards! No time to waste, our producer is actually yelling at me as we speak- so onwards to our next category, Best Airport." Best Airport- London Heathrow. Our
very busy airport takes this by miles. No airport offers such an array of check-in desks, clear signs, or more importantly shops and bars. In fact all the others were poor in comparison.
The Australian Dollar
Worst Airport- Krabi. As you would expect, basic. No real rivals apart from Auckland which for an international airport was shocking.
Max: "Yes, Auckland putting in a particularly bad performance there. Over a pound for a Snickers, and no crisps in 97% of the shops- what's that all about?!"
Clare: "Not to mention the inflated price of water and lack of available internet kiosks. Oh and the cleaning of the ladies loo in the middle of the busiest time of the day."
Max: "That's very bad isn't it? We are coming to the end of our time here folks, and only have a few more awards to announce. Beginning the remainder with Best Car Hire." Best Car Hire- Nissan Sunny (manual), New Zealand, South Island. Comfortable, economical, four wheels, windows, gears. Perfect!
Worst Car Hire- Nissan Sunny (automatic), New Zealand, South Island.
Clare: "The original car was an automatic until we kangaroo shifted it to the airport and exchanged
The Chinese something-or-other
it for our eventual winner, the manual version. Apparently skidmarks have been reported as the longest in New Zealand the first time Max tried to use the brake as the non-existent clutch."
Max: "Yes, thank you Clare. Please don't tell the story about the Inca Trail toilets and the porters foot wash basins. Ahem."
Clare: "Oh, I would never tell that story. Next, we have best native food!" Best native Food- Thailand. Only one real winner here. Amazing. Pad Thai, Green, Red and Yellow curries, and the not so native Club Sandwiches!
Worst Native Food- Brazil. There wasn't any.
Max: "Now, my personal favourite- Best McDonalds!" Best McDonalds- New Zealand. Home to the KiwiBurger, and you can even order it in English and get what you asked for.
Worst McDonalds- China. Spicy BigMac sauce? Just leave it alone will you? Original is best.
Clare: "As we draw to a close here, we reach the big awards, the ones they all wanted to win, the height of fame. The penultimate award is for Best Trip. The contenders in this category included: Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier Hike, Waitomo Glow Worm Caves,
The Inca Trail and the Neighbours Tour." Best trip- Inca Trail. How could it not be? Despite at times being the hardest and most testing thing we had ever done, it was at the same time the most brilliant and best thing we had ever done. Add to that great people and amazing scenery and you have a very worthy winner.
Worst Trip- Milford Sound. Probably very nice if it wasn't raining all day. But it was. Also a special mention for the whale trip in Kaikoura, which was very overpriced for what was essentially a severe dose of sea sickness to see a faint outline of the top of a whale and some water spurting out from its hole. Thankfully some dolphins came along to save the day and the trip.
Max: "For the final award, we have invited a celebrity guest along to present the award. Please give a warm welcome to Doctor Karl Kennedy!"
Dr K: "Thanks everyone. The award I have been asked to present is prestigious. I am honoured to be involved. Please put your hands together for the winner of Best Hostel 2007!!" Best Hostel- Apollo bay, Great Ocean Road, Australia. Great management, wonderful location, modern, giant kitchen, a lounge Clare wanted to take home with her, comfortable seating and ample car parking. Altogether superb! This was a two horse race and Jailhouse in Christchurch deserves a special mention for novelty value.
Worst Hostel- Wedgwood House, Picton, New Zealand. Awful. Smelt like cabbage, dirty, no TV or internet (unthinkable in a YHA hostel), tiny grubby kitchen, no car parking, although they do not charge for the musty air they circulate. This was the undisputed winner.
Max:"I can't belive we had to pay money for that hell hole. I'd rather have slept on the pavement."
Clare: "Well I seem to remember that it was pouring with rain, so maybe not. Also it did give us an excuse to go to that nice Scottish pub down the road for the evening."
Max: "Which leads us nicely into the next category. A very important category indeed! It's time to announce the winner of the best pub or bar!!"
Clare: "This was a very hotly contested award, with so many contenders from so many backgrounds, but we do have a winner." Best Bar- The Reggae Bar, Phi Phi. A winner for having a massive TV screen, outdoor setting, table service and even live Thai Boxing every night with professionals and volunteers. Second place goes to 'Jacksons on George' in Sydney, providing over 70 types of beer, excellent wine list and food and generally nice location and staff. Unfortunatley they lost out because Thai Boxing is not so popular in Sydney!!"
Worst Bar- Walkabout Creek in Port Fairy. Well that wasn't really the name but it should have been. A cross between Walkabout Creek and The Woolpack. The wine was cheap. But minging. The great variety of lager was of particular note too, VB or nothing.
Max: "Yes, that certainly was an experience. Thankfully it was a one off occasion!"
Clare: "Although we did manage to stay in there all evening, as the hostel was even less appealing!"
Max: "Yes it was, but do you remember we did enjoy an alfresco dinner on the 'terrace' outside out room when we got home. Of soup and bread."
Clare: "How could I forget?! Nice link to the next award by the way.....you are very smooth tonight Mr Jones!"
Max: "I try my best! It just comes naturally. It's the award for Best Soup!" Best Soup- Tomato and Spicy Sausage. Having tested virtually every type of soup possible whilst travelling around Australia and New Zealand there could only be one winner.
Worst Soup- Thai Green Curry. Pea and Ham shares this award as they were both as disgusting as each other.
Clare: "The final and probably least interesting award of the evening is for Best Water. Something that we used for the whole way around the world." Best Water- San Luis, Peru. You couldn't live without it. Dead cheap too. 13p a bottle and made by Coca-Cola
Worst Water- Inca Trail Boiled Water. Yuk. Essential though, unfortunately.
Max: "Well, that's it from us, thank you for your attention this evening and the previous three months."
Clare: "A special thank you to everyone for keeping us updated with events along the way, I am sure we are both looking foward to getting to see you all again and catching up properly. Goodnight!!"