Page 5 of Forget 9 to 5 Travel Blog Posts

Africa May 18th 2010

beep, beep beep, Beep Beep BEEP, BEEEEPPPPP, BBBBBEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPP! With dexterity and courage, challenge the worst drivers in East Africa to a life or death race across the jammed streets of Nairobi or take on the Big 5 as you bounce through the pothole ridden savanna. 10 characters and 5 different race tracks to choose from. Aim of the game: to arrive at your destination alive and with your horn still blaring. Characters Minibus Driver - Matatu or Dala Dala versions available depending on your location. The master of overtaking, what they lack in start up speed (you must wait for your vehicle to be full before starting the race) they make up for in manoeuvrability and daring. Clink clink a handful of coins to collect your passengers' fares and earn a turbo boost. Watch out for ... read more
The Matatu character
Naming your character
Choosing your football team to display in the windscreen

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi May 18th 2010

Being the lazy bums we are we had booked ourselves on an overland truck tour for the last part of our trip round East Africa. We thought it would make safaris and gorilla permits and all that palava easier to organise and cheaper because of group rates etc. It probably was an OK idea and I had been looking forward to my only worries being having to concentrate on looking out the window and remembering to wave at small children on the side of the road...but then we got the worst trip leader in Africa and it all became hard work again! Not only could he not communicate, count or think logically, he was also a pathalogical liar who would tie himself in knots to get out of apologising for his incompetencies. But enough of that, ... read more
Our first camp in Lake Nakuru
First glimpse of Flamingos!

I'm not sure there are words enough to describe just how absolutely mind-blowingly amazing an experience it was to see Mountain Gorillas in the wild last week. Even now thinking about it my chest is tightening as I remember how close I got to these magnificent creatures that really do look like humans dressed up in hairy suits. We visited the Hirwa group in Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. Hirwa is the Silverback and his name means Lucky in the local language. It is a relatively new group, formed just a few years ago when this hotty of a gorilla stole himself a harem of lovely gorilla ladies and made them all pregnant within 2 years. The group has now got 12 members including 5 babies, each of which are incredibly fluffy, playful and adorable. ... read more
Our trekking group
Eating eucalyptus bark

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Kendwa April 30th 2010

It's a hard life I tell you when you have to walk a whole 100m across the soft white sand from your hut to your hammock in order to continue your snooze. Having endured a total of 31 hours of bus journeys over only 3 days while travelling around East Africa (more on the joys of African transport to come in another blog) we felt we thoroughly deserved a week of sun, sea and disgustingly self indulgent lazing around on Zanzibar to cope with the trauma and let our bums recover from the bumpy roads and craterous potholes (the African Massage local drivers take great delight in calling it). Instead I burnt my bum to a crisp through the clouds while lounging in my hammock, but hey I had to live up to the Brit stereotype ... read more
Sundowners at the Africa House Hotel, Stone Town
Nutmeg and mace

Africa » Tanzania April 17th 2010

Heelloo, how are you? Jambo, you want to look in my shop? Looking is free my friend. Pole pole, take your time sister. Look necklaces, look earrings, look like my friend? I give you good price, best price, student price. You volunteer, I give you volunteer price? Good price for you. Where you from? Ahh Eeeenglaand, very nice, Karibu. London? No! Where from? You are very welcome. Look look, slowly, no rush, akuna mata. Look elephant, look Tingatinga painting, look here hippo, here flamingo, this one crocodile, you like? Just buy small thing, maybe t-tshirt for your brother? Take two! I give you good price for two. Just one then, I need to feed my family, sad eyes. What's your name? My name is Mr Cheap! Jambo, how are you? Just looking, looking is free. ... read more
souvenier stall

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal April 11th 2010

After the Wild Coast we took a lot less eventful journey up to the Southern Drakensberg and stayed at Khotso Horse Trails...possibly an unusual choice given that neither myself or Hannah are particularly horse-obsessed individuals. Stuff the horses though, as far as I'm concerned the star attraction was the scenery outside the back door. Craggy mountains rising up to the clouds and the fairytale mountain kingdom of Lesotho up on the plateau. Me and my imagination seeing castles and dragons and huge protective sphinxes in the rocky outcrops . Despite not being horsey people we did venture out for a 2 hour ride across the farm. We had been tempted by a 2 day ride into Lesotho but were very glad we hadn't gone for it when we felt the state of our bum muscles after ... read more
'genuine fake' Basotho homestead
Lesotho plateau
Looking down to South Africa

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Mthatha April 6th 2010

It's one hell of a journey but boy was it all worth it when through the dark I spotted the lonely light of Bulungula Lodge shining like a beacon guiding us across the rolling hills of the Transkei. Having taken most forms of transport known to man, and endured 4hr delays at possibly the worst airport ever, then flown in a tempestuous thunderstorm, the final 100km from Umtata to the coast were a delight. As the road disintegrated further the smile on my face grew bigger as I knew we were getting ever closer to paradise. With each gravity defying roll of the ancient 4x4, with every bounce in and out of the craterous potholes, the rest of the passengers winced and wondered if it was really all worth it, thankfully I knew it was, and ... read more
The road to the Wild Coast
From Umtata to the Wild Coast
Bulungula Lodge

Africa March 30th 2010

"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." They say that Africa gets under your skin - and I'm not just talking about the freaky parasites you have to dig out of your toe with a safety pin - the drums of Africa are beating loud and true in my heart and drawing me back to this exotic continent... ...There will be the wonder of seeing the school at Nqileni built and full of children happily being educated while their parents have the chance of a reliable income thanks to the amazing work of the Bulungula Incubator . ...There will be encounters with wild beasts and birds galore, those David Attenborough DVD highlights will play out in real time before my very eyes - maybe it will ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Caithness County » John O'Groats August 26th 2008

Just in case I haven't already text you or screamed down a phone at you...I've reached John o'Groats! Yes that's right folks, I've completed my marathon bike ride across Great Britain and Ireland, and the grand total mileage is 1228 miles for all you crazy people who sponsored me by the mile. In Wick now waiting for my marathon train journey back down south. I'll be back tomorrow and ready to hassle all of you who haven't paid up yet! Will update blog with photos and descriptions of glorious Bonnie Scotland in a day or two when I'm home and recovered! fxx... read more
Lands End to John o'Groats - DONE!
Off peak at JOG

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands August 25th 2008

I'm back home and ready for the final installment...week three and the Scotland leg. Day 17, Tuesday 19th August: Belfast - Larne - Troon 28.81 miles Average speed 10.8 mph Time spent peddaling away: 2 hours, 38 mins The 3 Aussie women I'm sharing a dorm with are all up at 8am preening themsleves, I can't imagine travelling with a second change of clothes anymore, let alone a hairdryer and full make-up bag!! Great cafe in the hostel so get myself a full irish in a soda roll for breakfast, just what I needed for a hard morning on the internet! Taking it easy today after my fall yesterday, especially as my ribs are achig rather worryingly this morning. Discover I have ripped my lovely, expensive, waterproof panniers during my fall so try patching them up ... read more
Caledonian canal tow path
Foothills of Ben Nevis
Loch Ness from my bedroom window

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