Huw Parker


Huw Parker


Since Departure

"Smile at the man walking opposite you, perhaps it is the last time you will ever see him.”

My name is Huw, I'm 18 and about to embark on a solo 9 month trip to the far-flung places of the world.

I've just about got all my kit, had all my injections and completed most of the paperwork but nerves and anxieties are starting to creep in. "Have I got enough money?" is usually the biggest concern, especially with the ridiculously annoying state of the pound nowadays. I've also found the thought of 9 months without Scrubs intensely scary and I'm going to miss my guitar like crazy (....and I suppose I "should" miss friends and family a little bit too!)

I have never actually been away from my home for more than 2 weeks at a time and recent events (the Bangkok blockade and the Mumbai terrorist attack) haven't exactly inspired confidence in my parents. Nevertheless I'm unbelievably excited to be about to depart on what is to be my first trip of many and hopefully I'll be able to convey some of that excitement through my upcoming blogs!

By the way, if in the unlikely event that you'll actually want to read these blogs, click on the subscribe button below to get an email when I upload a new blog.

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Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar January 17th 2009

Sorry for the massive delay in updating my blog. Things have been pretty hectic recently (in a good way) and now I feel like a schoolboy who hasn't done his homework but I'm going to try and catch up as quickly as possible. Anyway, we boarded our train destined for Ulaan Baatar, the capital of Mongolia, and to our surprise, the trains actually turned out to be the closest thing to luxury we had experienced all trip. Soft beds, spacious cabin, air conditioning and even a TV! Of course, it was typical that this was going to be the shortest leg of our train journey but still we greatly appreciated it. Whilst standing in the corridor, I met Maddie and Martin, two Swedes traveling for 3 months. We had a great chat about random things like ... read more
Zaisan Memorial
Inside the ger
My Walk

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk January 14th 2009

After getting off the train and saying our goodbyes to Julia, we met Costa (21), our next honcho for Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. We immediately got a transfer to a small town by the lake called Listvyanka and pulled up outside our next accomodation - an amazing wooden chalet with a fantastic view of the lake. After a bite to eat we went on a hike through the Siberian hills and forests next to the lake. It was absolutely beautiful - the snow covered pine trees and the brilliant sunset over the lake were just stunning. Now this lake is big, veeeeeeery big. It contains more water than all of the North American Great Lakes combined. It is also the deepest lake in the world and contains 1/5 of the entire world's fresh water. It is ... read more
On a mountain overlooking Lake Baikal

Europe » Russia » Siberia January 13th 2009

So we had finally begun our journey on the Trans-Siberian railway. I was sharing a cabin with John, Adam R and Sarah. After a relatively uneventful afternoon and evening, we had our first of many pot noodles, made our beds, chatted a bit and went to bed. The sleep on the train was surprisingly comfortable and uninterrupted except that there was an inbuilt speaker system in our cabin which had been left on full volume and, unbeknown to us, it began playing music at 8am, meaning we woke up to the most awful sound of Russian pop butchering our much-needed sleep. Fortunately John was pretty quick to turn it off but nevertheless the damage had been done. Also by this time, the heat generated by 4 bodies in a 3x2m space was reaching dangerously high levels ... read more
Me in the toilet

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 8th 2009

The sleep on the train between St Petersburg and Moscow was surprisingly comfortable considering I was literally sleeping on a bench, which was only long enough for 5ft11 of my 6ft3 body. On the other hand, the constant rocking motions of the train's movements were actually very soothing and I even found myself struggling to sleep whilst stationary. On arrival at Moscow, we were greeted by our next honcho, Eugene, and a pair of twins Diana and Marina (22), who were training to become honchos themselves. Eugene instantly recognised the Welsh flag on my bag, having studied British Society at uni and we discussed the merits of Wales, which was obviously a very very lengthy conversation! We then had a minibus transfer to our hostel called 'Godzillas' - no idea why. After sorting our stuff out ... read more
Red Square
Lenin's Mausoleum
The Kremlin

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg January 5th 2009

Adam and I had reached the starting point for our trans-Siberian tour and were waiting for the other members of the group. Eventually everyone arrived and in total there were 7 of us: Other than Adam and I, there was: Rolf (29) - A Dutch management consultant on a 6 month sabbatical John (20) - An Australian student reading law and history Adam R (26) and Sarah (24) - A Mancunian couple just starting on an 18 month trip Nicola (26) - A graphic designer from London After saying our hello's and meeting our honcho (a local guide) called Masha, we went out for dinner in a Russian bar/restaurant to get to know each other. I had a long chat with John and Rolf and they seemed like top lads (which they are) and we had ... read more
Bear Cub
Fixing a car in the middle of the road
Ice Hockey

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg January 4th 2009

The first day of my trip was full of mixed emotions in the truest sense of the phrase. It was difficult to tell whether I was excited, nervous, sad (for leaving the family), apprehensive or honestly even whether I was happy. It had only been upon arrival at Heathrow when it truly sank in that I was actually going to be away from family, friends and, significantly, my comfort zone for over 9 months. Although waving goodbye to my family as I went through security at the airport was an extremely sad and unnerving moment, it was in some ways a real relief to be able to now focus on getting to my flight in time and to forget (as much as possible) the overwhelming feelings that had hit me the moment I woke up that ... read more
St Petersburg
Hostel Sabrina

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Croydon December 25th 2008

So it's Christmas day and only 9 days left until my departure! I've bought a truck-load of equipment, clothes and gadgets (and some fantastic socks!) My parents have also been brilliant and bought me an amazing camera for my birthday (which I'll be spending on the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia!) and I'll be uploading my favourite photos onto this blog. So to sum up these last few months of preparation, I've bought an RTW (Round-The-World) ticket which consists of about 12 flights for around £1,800 including all taxes (which seems amazing value). I've had about 15 injections covering everything from rabies to yellow fever to Japanese B encephalitis (whatever that might be). I've booked tours with Intrepid Travel and also with the Vodka Train (sounds promising). I've sent off for and received all the ... read more

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