Dee and Lorna

Dee and Lorna

Dee and Lorna

After years of planning and saving, we finally quit our jobs, packed up our stuff and headed off on our Round The World trip on January 31st 2009.

Our itinerary for the trip looked like this:
Feb 2009 - Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam
March - April 2009: Australia
May - June 2009: New Zealand
July - Aug 2009: Chile & Argentina

After 7 months travelling, we've now returned home. But we still have a few blogs left to write, so keep an eye out for updates! We hope that you enjoy sharing our travel adventures with us and please feel free to leave some comments!

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu August 10th 2009

While staying in Puerto Iguazu, we decided to take advantage of its location on the Triple Frontier by visiting the neighbouring countries of Brazil and Paraguay. The three countries are so close that it's possible to drive between them in less than an hour. So, we hired a driver for a day to explore the sights, starting with a "shopping trip" to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Ciudad del Este, Paraguay Although it may sound like a glamorous and perhaps appealing prospect to some, this was going to be no ordinary shopping trip! Ciudad del Este is reputed to be one of South America's most corrupt cities. As Paraguay's second largest city, it's had a repuation as a smuggler's paradise for decades. But in more recent times, it's also been identified as a centre for drug ... read more
Rainbow over the canyon
Dee at the Triple Frontier landmark
The Triple Frontier

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Puerto Iguazú August 6th 2009

Though not quite the end of our trip yet, there was one last place on our must-see list before leaving this incredible country. However, getting there would involve another long distance journey on another bus (this one would take 17 hours). So, with the scars of our recent experience getting to El Calafate still fresh in our minds (see blog entry ), we decided to make it as painless as possible by treating ourselves to a pair of Cama Suite bus tickets. The bus left Buenos Aires shortly after 7pm on Monday evening and as we rolled north, we enjoyed all the comforts of 1st class bus travel. Our seats were fully reclining (to 180 degrees), we had our own personal DVD screen and we enjoyed canapes before dinner, wine with dinner and champagne after dinner. ... read more
Chestnut-eared Aracari Toucan
Salto Bossetti
Plush-crested Jay

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires August 2nd 2009

After leaving the wilderness of the Los Glaciares national park behind, we arrived 3 hours later in one of the most populated cities in the world. Buenos Aires is home to more than 12 million people and is the financial and political centre of Argentina. Our first glimpse of the city was from our taxi window as we drove down the massive Av 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world with no less than 14 lanes of traffic! Along the avenue, we passed the famous Teatro Colón (unfortunately closed for refurbishment at the time of our visit) and the symbol of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk. We were staying in San Telmo, the city's oldest neighbourhood, full of cobbled streets, antique shops and beautiful old colonial mansions. This barrio is home to writers, artists, poets ... read more
Che Guevara mural in San Telmo
An unconventional tango couple!
Colourful tin houses on Calle Caminito

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate July 27th 2009

Tuesday 21st July We looked out the window of our hostel in Puerto Madryn. The weather was starting to change for the worse, the wind was picking up and the rain was getting heavier. We were starting to panic - our taxi had still not arrived. It was now 6.25pm, the bus station was 10 minutes away and our bus was due to leave at 6.40pm. "C'mon, we can't wait any longer" yelled Gaston, as he ran to the door with Ryan in his arms, "I'll drive you". We grabbed our backpacks and chased after them down the driveway. Just as we were getting into the car, our taxi pulled up to the kerb. On reaching the bus station, we jumped out of the taxi, threw the driver 10 pesos and ran into the terminal praying ... read more
Lorna and Dee at Perito Moreno glacier
Blue Ice
Close-up of Spegazzini glacier

South America » Argentina » Chubut » Puerto Madryn July 21st 2009

After leaving Bariloche, we had been hoping to continue our journey south along the legendary Route 40 (the road that Che Guevara famously travelled in his book the Motorcycle Diaries). Unfortunately though, it turned out to be closed for the winter, so we decided to head east to the Atlantic coast instead. After a 14-hour bus trip from Bariloche, we arrived bright and early at our hostel in Puerto Madryn. Peninsula Valdes Puerto Madryn is situated in the central Patagonian province of Chubut and is the gateway to Peninsula Valdes, one of the most valuable wildlife areas in the world. The peninsula was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1999 and is home to important breeding populations of elephant seals, penguins, sea lions and orcas (aka “killer whales”). From June to December though, the stars ... read more
Sealion at Rawson harbour
Welsh and Argentinean flags

From Valparaiso, we decided to head east into Argentina in the hopes of experiencing Independence Day on the 9th of July, so we booked some tickets for the 8 hour bus journey to Mendoza. This turned out to be an incredible journey right through the heart of the Andes and was a great introduction to long-distance bus travel in South America. We got to the bus station in Valparaiso ahead of schedule and waited eagerly for our bus to arrive. To our delight, a huge double-decker coach rolled up to the platform right on queue! The buses here are modern and fast and come kitted out with bathrooms, tv screens and comfortable reclining seats. There are leather headrests, plenty of legroom and even a bus attendant to serve food & drinks onboard - by far more ... read more
Our boat, the Modesta Victoria, on Lake Nahuel Huapi
Familia Cecchin
Horse riding in Mendoza

We left Auckland shortly after 6pm on Saturday June 27th and after 11.5 hours on the plane, we touched down in Santiago just after 1pm on Saturday June 27th. Magic! Crossing the international date line would wreak havoc on our body clocks for the next week and a half though. During the flight, we were amused by the "map" of the plane's route which consisted of nothing but a blue square labelled "South Pacific Ocean" most of the time. At one point, we did see a recognisable land mass in the shape of Tahiti which popped up briefly on the map as a tiny white speck! After landing in Santiago, we made our way to our hostel and decided to stay awake for another few hours in the belief that sleeping at night time in Santiago ... read more
Colourful cobbled streets
Cueca Dancing
Bellavista bar

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland June 27th 2009

After enjoying a 3-hour cruise through the stunning scenery of the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait, we arrived in Wellington on the North Island. Windy Welly certainly lived up to its name when we were there, treating us to a mixture of rain, hail, snow & strong gales. Despite the weather though, we managed to catch the cable car from Lambton Quay up to the Botanic Gardens where we had some great views of the city. We also strolled around some of the trendy downtown shopping areas such as the beautiful Edwardian Old Bank shopping arcade and the pedestrianised shops and cafes on Cuba Street. It was definitely weather to be indoors and fortunately for us, New Zealand's best museum (Te Papa) is located right in the heart of the city. And better still, it's ... read more
Lady Knox geyser
Maori carving at Te Puia
The Devils Bath

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island May 30th 2009

Our first glimpse of New Zealand was the spectacular sight of the Southern Alps from the airplane window as we flew over the South Island. It was like flying over a frozen world and, considering we were going to be driving around it, the views both frightened and excited us at the same time! We touched down in Christchurch on 2nd May and began our Kiwi adventure. Christchurch Christchurch is New Zealand's most English city and this influence can be clearly felt in the city centre with trams running down the streets, punts meandering down the Avon river and a large cathedral in the main sqaure. We were staying on Hereford Street, just across the road from the Arts Centre and our first introduction to New Zealand was the Sunday market held there. There were all ... read more
Pioneer Cottage in Hari Hari
Fur seal
Dee climbing through an ice tunnel

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns April 28th 2009

Our first port of call after Townsville was Mission Beach on the coast, which is a cassowary conservation habitat. Cassowaries are an endangered species in Australia now and it's believed there are only 1200-1500 of them left in the rainforests of north Queensland. Unfortunately for us though, we saw neither cassowary nor beach in Mission Beach as we were drenched in over 12 hours non-stop tropical rain! It got so bad even the road was sinking and the emergency services were called!! So, we decided to cut our losses and head straight to Cairns for a few days instead. On the way, we made a quick stop at Murray Falls between Cardwell and Tully which is one of north Queensland's prettiest waterfalls. A rainforest boardwalk leads to the top of the falls where there are great ... read more
The Great Barrier Reef
Our ride back to Cairns!

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