Page 4 of Craig9563 Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel Peninsula » Tairua January 16th 2015

Episode 2 (17.01.15). There is much to admire about New Zealand society. The indigenous Maori and white people are well integrated. There is a great respect for indigenous culture and it is pervasive here. While there are still some sore issues, race relations here are well ahead of those in Australia. Of course, Kiwis are also ahead when it comes to the recognition of gay people, as same sex marriage is legal here. The Bay of Islands is historically important, being the first site of European colonization in NZ. We spent our last day in Paihia at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty was signed between Maori chiefs and Pakeha (Europeans) in 1840. We saw the meeting house, large and ornate Maori ceremonial canoes and also caught a cultural performance. We found it very interesting ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia January 12th 2015

Episode 1 (12.01.15) “Wipe your face, you have bits of pie in your whiskers,” said Ross, staring at my unshaken face. We were sitting having lunch in a café in downtown Auckland, at the beginning of a three-week trip focusing this time on the North Island of New Zealand. Ross ordered the beef, bacon and cheese pie, and found it riddled with bits of corn. I ordered a pepper steak pie and mine was riddled with peas. Odd, but tasty! We arrived to sunny skies last Thursday (January 8) and have so far explored Auckland, Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and the beautiful Bay of Islands, north of Auckland. We really enjoyed Auckland, walking around the waterfront area and going up the tall Sky Tower for dizzy 360 degree views. It has one of those ... read more

Africa August 17th 2014

East Africa postscript - photos shown below Craig... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Est July 22nd 2014

Episode 5: Rwanda: gorillas in our midst July 22, 2014. Greetings everyone from the charming country of Rwanda in central Africa. We have been here in Rwanda for about five days now and have visited the Mountain gorillas in the Northwest of the small country. More about them in a moment. In contrast to the dirty chaos of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kampala (Uganda), the Rwandan capital, Kigali, was a pleasant surprise. It is mostly very clean and orderly, with little rubbish, and with shiny new cars and smartly dressed people. Many of the women wear brightly coloured dresses with matching head garments – very pretty. Rwanda has banned plastic bags, which goes some way to explaining the tidy nature of its capital (plus, on the last Saturday of the month, everyone must take time ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Entebbe July 15th 2014

Episode 4: Goodbye Tanzania, hello Uganda July 15, 2014. Woke up this morning with a cold unfeeling reptilian eyeball staring back at me. No, it was not Ross, but a large brown gecko on my pillow. It promptly launched itself onto the wall and disappeared through a crevice. We are safe and well and are currently in Uganda. Our last few days in Tanzania were spent at Arusha National Park, where the aim was to see the beautiful black and white colobus monkeys and pink flamingos. We did a short tour with a great safari company called Wayo Africa. Arusha National park is largely cool and moist rainforest, with imposing Mt. Meru at its centre, quite unlike the other dry and hot Tanzanian parks such as the Serengeti. We again had an excellent guide, this time ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha July 8th 2014

Episode 3: The best time in Northern Tanzania (with a few photos added) Firstly, I apologise up-front for the length of this blog, but it has been several days since my last entry and there was a lot to document - and this ain’t the half of it. Anyway, we have been on safari in the middle of the Serengeti and elsewhere, where the internet is, well, superfluous. We have just spent eight days in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and the lesser known but equally spectacular Tarangire National Park. It has been utterly brilliant, with wonderful landscapes, superb wildlife, warm sunny weather, a great guide called Emmanuel, and wonderful lodges along the way. To get here, we flew from Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro Airport. Flying into Kilimanjaro airport, we spotted the eponymous mountain rising from the plains. ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi June 28th 2014

Episode 2: Dazzling Zanzibar. June 28, 2014. Hello to all, We have just spent an excellent five days on the African island of Zanzibar. Highly recommended if you are ever in this part of the world. Although most people have heard of Zanzibar, most would have trouble finding it on a map. It is part of Tanzania, about 2 hours by ferry from Dar es Salaam. It is well known for a few reasons: it was a major hub for the slave and spice trades of yesteryear, it has a wonderful old historic Muslim quarter called Stone Town, and it has sublime white sand beaches with aquamarine water (some of the best beach scenery we have ever seen, as it turned out). We caught the ferry across to the island, befriending a German girl and Italian ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East June 23rd 2014

Episode 1: Hello Tanzania – Dar es Salaam. 23 June, 2014 Hello to all. Our trip up to Tanzania started off well when we learned that we had been up-graded to business class on the three hour South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam. Excellent food and service. Anyway, Dar es Salaam (Dar) is the capital of Tanzania in everything but name, a large, bustling and rather chaotic city of some 3 million souls (local Swahili folks, Muslims and descendents from the German and British colonial days). The airport in Tanzania was organized chaos, with officials simply mingling with the arriving passengers in one big mess and snapping up the $50 required for on-the-spot visas. While waiting in the crowded mess, we encountered a group of teenagers from – of all places – ... read more

Africa » South Africa June 21st 2014

June 21, 2014 Hello to our family, friends and colleagues. We have arrived in Africa – landed in Johannesburg last night and leave soon for East Africa (Tanzania) tomorrow morning. The Qantas flight from Sydney – although delayed some 3 hours – passed along the edge of Antarctica. The views were amazing – a white patchwork of broken sea ice and icebergs as far as the eye could see. Another world. Well, we are quite jet-lagged , but now bound for Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania. More to follow. Love Craig and Ross... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Ipanema September 22nd 2013

September 22, 2013 Brazil Postscript: Photos Dear all, Below are pictures from our Brazil trip in August. It took great restraint on my part not to post heaps of animal photos (only a subset is shown here). Click on individual pictures to enlarge, then scroll thru. Best, Craig (and Ross)... read more

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