Young and Wild

Matt Y

Young and Wild

Keep up to date with where we are currently adventuring.
Matt & Viv

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Tefé September 6th 2009

We should have first met the Amazon rainforest from the window of our bus on the way from Cuaba the Porto Velho but all we saw was cows! Miles and miles of cows. The road we were travelling along was only paved in the 1980s, the improved access led 350,000 people to flood into the area grabbing land and clearing 20% of the forest in Rondonia state. Next hop was a flight to Manaus - the city at the centre of the Amazon basin. From the plane the enormity of the forest becomes more real: 600km of trees and that’s just a corner. It also show up the way that the forest is being nibbled from the inside out and losing chunks round the edges. We were pretty much flying along the line of a unsurfaced ... read more
Rainforest from the sky
Matt relaxing

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal August 25th 2009

From Brazilia we took an overnight bus to Cuiaba hoping to organise a tour into the Pantanal. The Pantanal is a huge wetland area - the biggest wetlands in the world. Its rich in wildlife particularly birds. For about 4 months of the year the land is flooded. This has preserved the area from too much human settlement. The long distance buses are excellent (they need to be with a country this big). Comfy seats that recline right back, toilets, air con and frequent stops for meals. The food that we have met so far is interesting even the bus stops have “per kilo” buffets where you load your plate up then have it weighed at the till. There is always a good selection to chose from with salads, vegetable dishes as well as plenty of ... read more
Hyacinth macaw
Ringed Kingfisher
Caiman - just stopping for lunch

South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal » Brasília August 20th 2009

I jumped off the plane and made my way into Rio to meet Viv (still in work mode after the IAU conference that presented our holiday destination by taking place in Rio this time round). Sunrise over the favellas on the way into town was a very atmospheric welcome. We spent most of the first day wandering along Copacabana and Ipanema, taking a dip in the sea and baking in the sun. 40 minutes was enough to lightly roast all sides (or turn Viv quite pink)! The beaches were packed full and very active - the Brazilians don't take the beach lying down but play games, jog or swim. Bronzed bums of all shapes and sizes hang out from the "dental floss" bikinis. In the evening we went to admire the view of Rio from the ... read more
Viv Paddeling at Copacabana

Europe » United Kingdom July 2nd 2008

Having been back in the UK for a few weeks now its all feeling very normal. Most things are sort of the same as they were a couple of years ago but there are a few changes: • Some of the high street shops are using fatter mannequins (and people in general are looking bigger having got used to the smaller stature Asians), • 20 pound notes are different, • Petrol costs loads! (but in comparison to wages its still less than in the Philippines), Two things that I have been a bit disappointed by are a lack of choice in the international section in Tesco and rubbish customer service from the garage that is doing the MOT for the mini. (But it does now have a MOT and the mini is back on the road!) ... read more
more family
Where they make the rules
More London from the eye

Asia » Uzbekistan » Tashkent June 5th 2008

A week inside a living museum. Uzbekistan has a perfect tourist trail with three fantastic cities to visit. Each has its own style but they fit together well. The tourist sites have been very well looked after (you could argue too well) with lots of restoration and re-building work having been done. Even the notorious police have been warned off from troubling foreigners - the one time I was stopped on the Tashkent underground the police man asked where I was from and demanded my passport, when I said I was from England and he waved me away before I even started to get my passport out. A year or two ago this encounter would have probably ended up with a demand for a "fine" of some sort. I say a living museum because in the ... read more
Edge of town

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty May 31st 2008

Kazakhstan got the shortest visit of my trip, despite being a huge country. It serves as more of a gateway to other places than a destination in itself. for me it was the place to collect my visa for Uzbekistan and is also the departure point for the last country on this trip - the strange and foreign UK! Arriving in Almaty I wasn't quite sure what to expect, a taste of the USSR, little change from western China? In the event it is a very European feeling city, wide streets filled with posh cars. People dress well to stroll past cafes and top end brand name shops. At least in the centre of the city it looks - rich. Step outside the city and its back to donkey carts and dust. The source of the ... read more
Man and his bird
Wads of cash

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar May 18th 2008

The second half of my trip through China has been so different from the first part that Its hard to believe its all one country. Just about everything is different except the money - which goes further the further west you go. After posting the last blog I settled down to some serious travel covering a couple of thousand Km by sleeper train, bus and jeep. The route took me round Tibet (not allowed in!) crossing the lower part of the plateau at around 3000m. Its all desert, not big sand dunes but miles and miles of dusty gravel with ridges of hills that look like they would just turn to mud if it rained. Vegetation is very sparse with some tough grass in small clumps meters apart. I was following the southern silk road route ... read more
Hotel on Mt Muztagh Ata
Matt on ice
Marmots watching us watching them

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an May 7th 2008

This is a "half way through China" blog. It marks the part of my trip where I change from being a tourist to being a traveler. Expect tails of heroic buss journeys, desert and dust storms in the next instalment. The first part of my trip through China has been a bit of a tourist fest. I started in Shanghai (the Bund) then moved on to Beijing (Forbidden city, great wall, summer palace, Tienanmen Sq) and after that Xian (Terracotta warriors). All very very impressive places to visit. Many of the great sights in China have been created by emperors lavishing the countries wealth on themselves so it seems fitting that the sights now provide a flow of tourist dollars. I should say tourist Yuan as the majority of tourists seem to be from within China. ... read more
Shanghai new town from the Bund
To prove I was there
Great wall

Asia » Japan April 22nd 2008

Japan gets a thumbs up from me! The cities are clean and easy to get around, very pretty countryside and helpful people. There is loads of history and loads of new stuff as well. Toilets even in the railway station all have heated seats - that must be the hight of civilisation!! When I arrived my friend Taka (who has been on this blog before) met me at the airport and took me back to his place for the first couple of nights. I didnft know what to expect at all but still I was surprised. Within a couple of hours of Tokyo center they live in wonderful hills covered in bamboo, maples, pine and willows making a beautiful patchwork of fresh spring greens. The "house" is actually an old tour bus with a kitchen and ... read more
Sushi party
A - Bomb Dome
Big Pagoda

Asia » Philippines » Manila April 15th 2008

It’s a sad but happy moment. Leaving the Philippines and VSO and going on to the next adventure. In Lanuza I have been busily packing all my things ready for shipping to the UK so that I can travel light - after all a 8foot surfboard would have been right out of place as I travel through Urumqi in western China its the city that is farthest from any ocean! To make the packing boxes and crates I got a tree cut up which was good fun. The chainsaw operator was crazy, bare feet, no protective gear and a 70cc saw! With my colleagues from work I made an exit presentation what went well, achievements, what needs more work that sort of thing. Then some very touching speeches and finally a good lunch with kinilaw (raw ... read more
Plaque of appreciation
Martyred pig
Boxes for shipping

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