Joe Walton


Joe Walton

Having a punt at dark-tourism and eco-tourism. So far so good.

I can't seem to write a short blog... tips are welcome

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 20th 2014

Loss for Words. How do you summarise the greatest thing you've ever experienced? When discussed with my brother after we were safely back in England he knew exactly how I felt about this part of our trip without me being able to put into words that were good enough. I could only tell him that I was unable to keep the corners of my mouth from touching the lobes of my ears in some ridiculous child-on-Christmas-day grin fashion. I simply cannot put into words how awesome Sunday 20/07/2014 was, but I'll try... Which way to Steveston We'd arrived at our hotel in Vancouver the afternoon before having passed through the strait of Georgia aboard a massive ferry from Swartz bay to Tsawwassen. A Harbour Seal was swimming around the ferry seeing us safely out of Swartz ... read more
Wearing this summer's must have survival suit
Steller's Sea Lions
The Blackfish arrives

Fire and destruction. There is something unsettling about flying over a mountain that is on fire. especially when you know that fire is one of about 160 in the greater area. While in Toronto Gemma and I had caught snippets of the weather for all of North America and we saw that British Columbia (BC) was in the grip of a ferocious heatwave. Some areas hitting 43 centigrade. The BC wilderness is typified by pine forests. Pine trees produce a lot of resin, it's that which you can smell on nice warm days and what gives them such a distinctive smell. It is also what puts Pine trees at a significant disadvantage during droughts and heatwaves. The resin is highly flammable, and in some trees known to take a spark even when wet. Due to the ... read more
The fires of mount doom
Fan Tan alley in chinatown

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto July 16th 2014

Taking it easy By this point my lag was starting to ease. I'd never been out of Europe prior to Canada and therefore I'd never had jetlag. It's strange because I was so pumped to do stuff I didn't really notice it, however each morning I woke up I felt run down and haggard. This would soon pass when I got into my stride, but it just made getting out of bed a bit of a chore. We had an easy morning and ambled up to China town. We enjoy a good Chinatown to be fair, always something fun to look at, including my favourite ever shop sign "Jewellery, Antiques, Swords". You know, because when you're fighting fighting back hordes of medieval invaders you need to look your most bling next to your collection of fine ... read more
part of Kensington market
Well that escalated quickly
Steam Whistle Brewery tour

North America » Canada » Ontario » Niagara Falls July 15th 2014

Confession I'm going to start this blog with a confession... I wasn't particularly bothered about visiting the Falls when Gemma first mentioned it to me. During our initial planning for our trip many places were mentioned such as Montreal and Quebec and I wouldn't have been too concerned had Niagara Falls been overlooked as the aforementioned had. My mental image of the falls prior to visiting was one of a slightly impressive waterfall surrounded by Mickey Mouse-esque mascots selling crap and trying to pry your money from your wallet, in some grotesque horror show of capitalism based eco-tourism. Now lets not be under any illusion, there is still the fanfare and such but not on half the scale I imagined. In hindsight, I'm quite ashamed of how I initially felt about visiting but in my defence ... read more
Along the White Water Walk
The Whirlpool Aerocar
Looking up the Niagara rapids

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto July 14th 2014

A long time coming Back in December, with no travel planned I was sat in the lounge watching some inane program on TV when I was struck down with a super idea. Let's go to Canada. I ran it by Gemma, who for the most part is that voice of reason and the limit switch on my impulsiveness. I didn't anticipate for one minute she'd agree, but she did and after several weeks of planning and deciding on locations, activities, budget etc we booked flights to Toronto, an internal flight to Victoria and a flight back from Vancouver. It was 7 long months before we finally turned my absurd and flippant idea into a reality, but man what a trip it turned out to be! Toronto goes Gerry-atric We arrived in Toronto and made our way ... read more
Proud Germanians
The photographic exhibition in the ROM

Time for something completely different For most of my life the concept of caving has been an intriguing yet terrifying prospect. Earlier in the year I purchased a voucher for an outdoor activities day for Gemma and I for £50 instead of £260, among the activities listed was caving, climbing, gorge walking and abseiling. Gemma was keen to try the climbing and I the caving. We'd completely forgotten that we had booked onto it until I received an email earlier this week with consent forms and injury waivers to sign. We arrived at the predetermined meeting point in Calver and I waited for everyone else, we then drove up to Grindleford to a natural rock wall. I was pleasantly surprised as I thought we'd be at a climbing centre. This was just a wall a short ... read more
Terrific fashion sense

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest October 28th 2013

Hungary for more... After Kiev we had nothing to look forward to (in a travelling capacity anyway), however in September we found an awesome deal for 4 days in Budapest. Early flight out, 3 nights, late flight back for £160 in a fancy hotel. So without further ado we booked and began our research into things to do. I'm melting I am definitely a Winter person. I wear shorts well into November and put them back on in January, so imagine my surprise when we landed and it was 23 degrees C. Bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, time to take that waterproof and hoody off. We caught the Airport bus to Kobanya Kispest and I was pleasantly surprised that this bus was not like the one in Kiev which was about 40 D/C ... read more
Behind the Iron Curtain
Heroes square

Europe » United Kingdom » England July 27th 2013

Respite So my long anticipated week off work rolled around, don't get me wrong I enjoy my job but sometimes you just got to have a rest. God knows my body needed it, the week before I had suffered a 5-day migraine. Which, as you can imagine, was about as pleasant as having your teeth pulled with a rusty pair of pliers and no anaesthetic. Gemma and I had a busy week ahead. Now normally I'd say holidaying in your own country isn't TravelBlog worthy. However it was an awesome week. (South-)Westward Ho! I hadn't seen my Nan for nearly two years, and she has recently had major surgery. Given she was mostly recovered we thought we'd grace her with our presence. We didn't want to stay too long so planned to stay Monday to Thursday, ... read more
We're on a boat...

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl May 10th 2013

Dan's movie trailer he made... worth a few yucks Igor It was here, finally. A journey over a year in the making. An idea born out of a flippant comment and in less than 12 hours, it would be done and dusted. We hoped it would be worth it. Breakfast was an early affair and we then regrouped in the hotel lobby. We were being picked up at 08:10 by our tour guide. We found him outside sat in a very clean looking mini-van... almost too clean for Kyiv, where everything was a lada or worse. The driver jumped out and introduced himself. Igor. One of the few people we'd met in Ukraine who's English was not limited to 3 words and a grunt. He opened the van up and warned us not to sit on ... read more
Heading into the village
The Village Shop
Nature is reclaiming the area one building at a time...

Europe » Ukraine » Kyiv May 7th 2013

My knowledge of Kyiv Before going to Kyiv and even Ukraine I had little knowledge of the area, similarly to Copenhagen which turned out to be quite the adventure. what limited insight I possessed could not have prepared me for the short stay we had in store. So you can imagine my lack of knowledge I shall list what I thought I knew. Ukraine was part of the USSR There was a horrendous famine in the early part of the 20th century Independence was gained following the dissolution of the Soviet Union Ukraine has historically been crapped on by the German's and the Russians Kyiv was sacked by the Mongol's in 1240 resulting in a Mongol victory The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Lenin Reactor #4 exploded during tests on April 26th 1986 releasing 400 ... read more
The main station
Window cleaning Kyiv style
Health & Safety Kyiv style

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