Keith Medhurst

Keith50

Keith Medhurst

The travel plan is to travel round the world to celebrate my half century. Leg 1 is Amsterdam to London on 26th December 2009, then on to New Zealand via LA and the Cook Islands, arriving January 1st 2010.



Asia » Singapore January 28th 2010

Today, the plan is to see as much variety as possible. Starting at Raffles hotel, where rooms start at $375 and all staff are incredibly polite to guests (and visitors), then moving on to a river cruise on a so-called bumboat, my morning seems quite full. Some of the more spectacular sights are the very tall skyscrapers, the Meerlion statue, and the Esplanade Theatres. Lunch is then in the Great Wall shopping centre. Singapore's mix of European and Chinese influences is so clear here with Chinese lanterns hanging above the Laura Ashley outlet. The food again is incredible, with lotus root in lemon as one of the best ever starters I've ever tried. My main course was noodles in a mild peanut source - a memorable mixture. The main goal for the afternoon is the orchid ... read more
Raffles hotel
The First Generation
Bum boat

Oceania » Australia January 27th 2010

Getting ready to leave Christchurch, the contrast between my starting and finishing points today was so clear. 'Have a good trip Keith' said the New Zealand airport official as he scanned my boarding card, then 'Seat 46F, on the right sir' added the Singapore Airlines hostess. Absolutely different worlds, and only 11 hours apart. And on this flight, inbetween eating, drinking and watching films, I took the occaisional look out of the window and for around 4 of the 11 hours, a big dry red land mass that is Australia lay below. I hear many good things about Australia, but have to confess that from 40,000 feet, it looked far too hot to be much fun. Talking of heat, Singapore is located near to the equator, so the temperature is always in the high twenties year ... read more
The view of Australia after 6 hours
Finally arrived at Singapore airport
St Andrews Church, Singapore

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch January 26th 2010

I will leave New Zealand tomorrow morning, so today is my last full day here. I stayed in a quiet camp site at Kairakiri last night, spending my last night in the van. This site was just a short walk through a pine forest to the Waimakariri river estuary and 95% of the plots were used by permenent caravans and convertables. This is the kind of peace and simple life I appreciate in this country - no complications, no tension, no competition to be seen as anything other than human. It's hard not to feel sad in the knowledge I'll soon be leaving. I decided to look at Akaroa, a town south of Christchurch that was initially settled by the French in 1840. Today, the French influence is still very obvious with place names, street names ... read more
Art in Akaroa
Ou se trouve Akaroa?
Flying the flag

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura January 25th 2010

There's no breakfast for the wicked. If you want to swim with the dolphins in Kaikoura, you can either start at 05:30 or 08:30 in the morning. After this, they have a sleep (they sleep in the daytime to save energy), and after that, they are left alone. So, as this is one of my lifetime goals, I’ll make an exception and will get up before 8 o’clock so that I can jump into the cold Pacific Ocean for a swim with these amazing creatures. With just seconds to spare, I park my home near the pick-up point and join the group. Interestingly, the vast majority of swimmers are North European - Danes, Germans and Swedes being the largest groups. There’s a limit to the number of bodies in the water near to the dolphins, so ... read more
Hold tight please
A D-Pod
Full sea

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island January 24th 2010

Another long drive today from Lake Tekapo to Kaikoura via Geraldine, Ashburton, Rakala and Chrsitchurch. Again, I'll just upload a few photos.... read more
Turquoise water
Church of the Good Shepherd
Mistake Peak

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound January 23rd 2010

Not so much time to write here, so I'll just upload pictures with brief captions. The drive is over 500km on narrow country roads - very pretty drive, but a long day at the wheel.... read more
Sailing on the Tasman Sea
Vollendam at Milford
Time for a shower

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound January 22nd 2010

Today is a bit of a race. Starting off in a luxurious hotel (hard not to pamper myself for just 10 more minutes), I need to drive to Milford Sound which is about 50km away, and arrive by 15:30. Sounds easy I know, but in between Queenstown and Milford Sound, there's just a great big mountain, and to date, the good people of NZ have not yet paid for a 50km tunnel to be bored through thr rock so that I can drive dirctly there. As a consequence of this, the only road to Milford Sound goes round the mountains for 300km and takes 4 hours to drive. If I want time to stop off on the way, that means no hot tubbing this morning. The drive starts along Lake Wakatipu with the road hugging the ... read more
Half way to Milford
Water flowing south
Moving up

Oceania January 21st 2010

Today, I am celebrating my half century and have invited the sun the shine all day to make it an unusually warm 21st of January. I’m in Queenstown, and woke in the mobile home to no sound at all. No rain drops on the roof, no winds buffeting the side of the van, and no drunken tourists tripping over my power cable. The showers on the site are 8 minutes for a dollar, so it was a quickie before a cooked breakfast in the open - literally bright enough to sunbathe at 08:00 in the morning. I’d booked into the St Moritz hotel for tonight, so went along to see what time I could check in. As luck would have it, the room was ready, so I took my stuff in and was impressed with the ... read more
LOTR location
Which LOTR character am I here?
I felt so much taller in this publicity shot

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast January 20th 2010

With the rain pouring down, I had two showers (one hot, and one one on the run) then managed to make toast one a gas ring, and enjoyed a cup of caramel coffee to round off breakfast. It is possible to view the Franz Joseph Glacier by driving 5km south of the town to a car park, then walking just half an hour up a gentle track. That's what the guide book says anyway. I confess, I got as far as the car park, and even though I had full waterproof gear with me, I chickened out of the walk as the rain was quite heavy, and the cloud so low that visibility was extremely poor. There seemed no point in taking on this expedition when I could move on to maybe drier locations of equal ... read more
Pebble and driftwood art
Mirror mirror on the wall
Driftwood on the sand

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast January 19th 2010

Having enjoyed my last power shower, spa bath, and sauna for what could be some time, it's off to Auckland's domestic airport terminal for the internal flight to Christchurch. Again, I am amazed by the smooth and hassle free operation of NZ internal flight check-in procedures. The self service machines scan your passport, give you your boarding card and baggage label, and within 10 minutes and no queues, you are ready to board. I had been warned that the South Island is far wetter than the North, so was not surprised when Auckland's bright 26 degree sunshine was replacved by Christchurch's 16 degrees of complete cloud cover with drizzle. Not to worry - the rain is good for the waterfalls. Ian met me at the airport and took me back to the Affordable Motor Homes depot ... read more
Man with a van
Freight train at Arthurs Pass
Challenge 2 - narrow bridges




Tot: 0.054s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 14; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0152s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb