Donavin Wick

Call 2 Adventure

Donavin Wick

I wish I had discovered this blog years ago. I did the mass email update for my previous adventures (United States and Europe) and now have no online documentation to share with fellow travelers.

To the chagrin of some friends and family wanderlust has struck again. I managed to stay focused for nearly a year and a half in a job related to my college education, however the desire to travel has grown strong again and can no longer be suppressed.

I have secured a 12 month Visa for New Zealand and hope to document this adventure for posterity, or at least the life of the TravelBlog.

Enjoy and safe travels.

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế December 22nd 2016

Day 6 Early departure from Hanoi Airport to Hue, Vietnam: Before we depart for our next stop Hue, I must capture a couple anecdotes of naïve Julia and I getting ‘scammed’ at various times while in Hanoi (we did learn our lessons and didn’t have much of a problem the rest of the trip). While in Hanoi Julia discovered she is a terrible haggler of street vendors. We’d seen 3-d pop up Thank You cards with envelopes being sold at every street corner in town. Julia was dead keen to get one, but was not 100% about approaching a vendor to negotiate the purchase of one. Finally, she got up the nerve and asked a ‘kind and generous’ old woman how much as was told the equivalent of one card for NZ$10; which Julia quickly produced ... read more
Leaving Hue Airport
On the Road to Hue - less traffic than Hanoi
On the way to Hue - we were told these fish ponds were the result of bombing runs during the war.

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 20th 2016

Day 4 Afternoon in Hanoi: We arrived early evening back in Hanoi Old Quarter after our long, but much less uneventful drive back from Halong Bay. We stayed at Golden Moon hotel and were pleasantly surprised with a room upgrade to the top floor and less street noise; along with flowers and yet again more swan towels. Dinner was a recommendation – New World Restaurant. We arrived to find a busy ground floor section of the restaurant and were told to go upstairs and seat ourselves. We made our way up a winding and narrow staircase to a landing with a windowless room that appeared to be occupied by the restaurant’s owners eating there dinner, a short flight of steps up was the upper most landing with a few tables and an even smaller outdoor balcony ... read more
exploring old quarter
exploring old quarter
exploring old quarter

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hai Phong December 19th 2016

Day 3 Halong Bay We woke early to pack and eat breakfast at the hotel prior to an early pick-up for the 4 hour drive to Halong Bay for our two day / one night cruise. I wish I could say the drive to Halong was uneventful, but it wasn’t. We had the driver from hell… he spoke very little English, which in normal circumstances would have been OK, but this wasn’t a normal drive. Early on it was easy to see this guy was suffering from a hard night of drinking and partying, the way he kept guzzling bottles of water, stretching his arms and propping his head and eyes up were comical – if it was not for the fact that I was in the van with this guy. The situation was further complicated ... read more
more scooters
tour bus tourist trap....

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 16th 2016

Julia and I set off on our 30 day honeymoon around 11pm on 16 December 2017; first stop the ancient city of Hanoi, Vietnam. The night time flight saw me taking the middle seat and Julia getting the spacious aisle seat. I contorted my legs into place for the 10 hour flight to Hong Kong and somehow managed to stay in that position for nearly the whole flight... I think the seating arrangements were Julia’s strategy to convince me to fly premium on future long haul flights – she is still to learn my love of budgeting will win out over leg comfort 9 times out of 10 J Hong Kong we had just enough time to watch a sunrise over the tarmac and Hong Kong’s beautiful mountainous backdrop while we sipped our Starbucks gingerbread lattes. ... read more
Auckland Airport
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The final leg of our trip saw us in San Francisco.Our San Francisco itinerary included: 21 Aug - evening arrived in SF. It was amazing coming down the 101 under a perfect blue sky and 90F degree weather to crest a rolling hill and see off in the distance the famous August fog bank of SF. The drive over the Golden Gate Bridge behind us we valeted the car and checked into our hotel. After a long day of driving and car charging we had a lovely Indian dinner and then called it a night.22 Aug - We started off with a walk down to the old ferry building for breakfast and the market stalls. After a worrying ... read more
Golden Gate - the first sight
Golden Gate
Golden Gate

North America » United States » Oregon » Otter Rock August 18th 2015

This leg of the trip was less about cities and more about the wild scenery of the west coast and redwood forests. 18 Aug - Vancouver,was to Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Newport (including the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Mo's Clam Chowder) and spent the night in Florence. 19 Aug - Darlingtonia St Park and the fly trap like plants, Hineyman Memorial State Park and Oregon Dunes, Coos Bay, Bookings and spent the night in Crescent City with the barking sea lions. 20 Aug - Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, Trees of Mystery (including Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan), Eureka and its historic town centre and spent the night in Ferndale. 21 Aug - Humbolt Redwood State Park, to San Fransico. Highlights: 1. No homeless people to be seen. 2. Driving and riding in a ... read more
Depoe Bay
Otter Rock - Devils Punchbowl
Otter Rock

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 14th 2015

This leg of our trip saw us traveling from Seattle to Vancouver, Washington (Portland).Our Portland itinerary included: 13 Aug - Afternoon Amtrak train to Vancouver, Washington. Walked from the station to the Red Lion hotel on the Columbia River. A celebration dinner in Portland with Mom, Bill, Ben, Bren and Kirsten.14 Aug - Grandmother passed away in the morning before we could see her. We changed our plans for the weekend to allow people to mourn. Ju and I rented a car and drove up the Columbia River Gorge - celebration drinks in Teresia and John's backyard. ... read more
Columbia River - View from Red Lion Hotel
Vancouver Grafitti
Vancouver red necks keeping it real with a confederate flag... dumb.

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle August 10th 2015

This leg of our trip saw us traveling from Vancouver BC, to Bellingham (by Greyhound Bus) and then on to Seattle.Our itinerary Bellingham / Seattle included: 10 Aug - early morning Greyhound Bus to Bellingham, via the commercial customs entrance, afternoon in Bellingham (Fairhave) with aunt and cousins. Late afternoon bus into Seattle and dinner at Antony's Pier 66.11 Aug - Space Needle, Dale Chihuly Glass Museum, Monorail, public bus transport to University of Washington, tour around UW campus, walk from UW to Dicks Burger then down to Gas Works park and over to Fremont for some beer and shopping. Wrapping up the day with a M... read more
Bellingham (Fairhaven town square)
Pizza with Aunt and Cousins
Fairhaven Olive Oil Shop

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver August 7th 2015

After much wait our trip to North America for a road trip from Vancouver BC to San Francisco - and Ju's first time in the States. Our itinerary in Vancouver included: 7 Aug 6pm - depart Auckland 7 Aug 2pm - arrive in Vancouver BC, train into town, lugged baggage to accommodation, hit the old skytower in Vancouver for the panoramic views, a walk around the harbour, dinner and drinks. 8 Aug - shuttle bus to suspension bridge park in the morning, bus tour of Vancouver in the afternoon - including Granville Island 9 Aug - bike ride around Stanley Park (20+Km) 10 Aug - early morning bus to Bellingham Highlights included: 1. very few homeless people. 2. Ju's first sampling of various American foods - 7/11 Big Slurpee, Dairy Queen Blizzard, deep fried pickles, micro ... read more
Auckland airport - leaving dead of winter for summer!
View from our accommodation... and summer
Vancouver's Sky Tower

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Port Campbell April 3rd 2015

This post finds me in Melbourne, Australia for Easter weekend; but the story begins some months before in Roos, England over the Christmas holiday. Julia and I were vising her family in Roos for Christmas, and one of my gifts was a Xmas card requesting that she set aside the Easter weekend for a surprise holiday (combined xmas and birthday gift). Not much more was said about Easter Weekend until two weeks prior to departure, when I sent her an email outlining what she needed to pack – but still gave no clue as to where we were headed (in fact I stipulated that I would not discuss the trip/destination and that it would be cancelled if the topic was raised)… All along I’d given hints and clues that suggested a weekend in New Zealand – ... read more
31 March - Merry Birthday and Happey Xmas
2 April - AKL airport
Day 1(D1) - Geelong waterfront

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