Travelling to New Zealand in September 2011 for a trip to watch the Rugby Union World Cup 2011.

Having enjoyed this blogging lark I'm extending my recording of my trips to include holidays too. It's also a great way to remember where you've been and what you did which,with my memory, is a good thing!

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Buckinghamshire » Aylesbury March 26th 2014

All packed and one last look at the check list before we depart. We're meeting at the Royal Oak, Aston Abbotts (where else!) and the taxi picks us up @ 13:45. Terminal 5, Heathrow is our initial destination for the 18:35 flight to Hong Kong. We'll be flying on the new Airbus A380 so the trip has something new right from the start. "The Aston Abbotts and outlying areas formation drinking team" as we've been christened, consists of the following: Simon Guy Mike Bush Karl 'Karlos' Bickell Adrian 'Adie' Bystra Bob Chapman John 'Burgy' Burgin Due to land in Hong Kong at 14:10 local time. Let the tour begin!... read more

Asia March 3rd 2013

We arrived in Bangkok just before 19:00. Took us a while to find the shuttle bus to the hotel and once we were on it discovered that we were going to a different hotel than we thought (memo to Trailfinders, don't ever book this hotel again !) Actually it wasn't that bad just not as good as expected especially as the spa didn't open on Sunday until after we left (yes I know, its a tough life) So here I sit in airside waiting for the gate to open. Now is when you want time to go quickly! luckily I'm not working tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time to get used to the idea. Enough of my musings, it's been a great holiday and I would certainly go back to Pimalai. Lovely hotel, great diving ... read more
From the balcony
Thai Restaurant

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta March 2nd 2013

Well, the last two days have been excellent. Great weather and more good diving. The food has been very good and last night I had the the incredibly hot/spicy 'Tom Yam Goong' soup the lips have yet to lose some of the numbness but it was excellent. I'll post some more pictures on here when we get to Bangkok of sunsets, (more) fish! etc Today is our last day at Pimalai. We leave at 13:30 on the speedboat then minbus limo to Krabi airport then it's a 1 hour flight to Bangkok. We're staying there for 1 night then its a 13 hour flight home :-(... read more
Anemone Fish
Coral Outcrop
Koh Haa

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta February 28th 2013

Today was the all day dive. We were going to Hin Daeng & Hin Muang - a 2 and a half hour boat ride away! We met at the jetty at 7:45 and after a slight delay we set sail at 08:15. There were only 11 divers so we had the run of the large boat . The weather was excellent (i.e. flat sea) so armed with a good book I settled in for the 70km trip. This was a 3 tank dive (we didn't get back till 19:00). I won't go into the details of the dive's, I'll let the pictures do the talking. The dive shop 'Scubafish' were excellent - recommended should you ever dive this way. Suffice to say it lived up to it's reputation of being one of the best dive sites ... read more
Lion Fish
Clarke's Anemone Fish
Soft Coral

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta February 26th 2013

Having sluiced away all the salt water I'd accumulated we made or way up to the Sea View at the top of the resort. We wanted to have scout out this restaurant for another night so it was a good excuse to sit at the bar and sip a Negroni. We made our way back to the seafood restaurant on the beach where we shared some excellent barbequed prawns and a whole silver snapper. The next day was a 'no dive day' so up at a reasonable time and off to the restaurant for breakfast. I won't bore you with the details, the only difference from Sunday was more sunshine and a lot hotter! In the evening we were eating at the Sea View restaurant - a change from seafood and Thai - but first we ... read more
Large yacht anchored in the bay
The walk to/from the Lobby Bar

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta February 26th 2013

I'd packed all my gear the night before so I'd set the alarm for 07:15 giving me enough time to get ready and then walk along the beach to the jetty where our boat was moored. We were soon joined by the other divers, the dive guides and the crew. It was an hour to the dive site so we settled in with chocolate croissans, bananas and hot coffee - this is the life. Because of the unseasonal weather we all stayed inside as the rain kept sweeping in at regular intervals. Not that I minded because as soon as we were under the water it didn't really matter. As soon as we arrived we were ready to go. Rmembering to take the camera and put the mask on (!) in I went. We descended without ... read more
Wary Cuttlefish
Hungry Moray eel
Coming out of Cathedral cave

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta February 25th 2013

We awoke on our first morning at Pimalai to a sound that brought fear into my heart... it was raining! This was not good, though at least we could still walk about in shorts and a t-shirt once it had stopped, which it did after 30 minutes. Sunday was the lazy day, after breakfast (excellent) we headed for the beach and despite the fact it was a little cloudy you still needed sun tan lotion to avoid being burnt (as I learnt to my cost!) The only other thing on the agenda was to seek out the dive centre. This was duly done in the afternoon and after the ever present form filling was complete I'd booked myself for 3 dives starting tomorrow. Later on it started to rain so we headed back to the room ... read more
Entrance to the room
Bougainvillea outside the Thai Restaurant

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Krabi » Koh Lanta February 24th 2013

(Before I start I've now loaded some photos with previous blogs) A lazy morning spent having a late (ish) breakfast and then a lie down by the pool at the hotel. We were picked up for the transfer to the airport at mid day and made our way through the customary heavy traffic to the airport. The flight took of on time and we landed at Krabi at 16:15. The hotel staff metb us at the airport and we were whisked off in our own minibus the the Pimalai Jetty where a speedboat was waiting to take us to the resort. Luckily the sea was very calm and it only took us 45 minutes to get there. By this time dusk was ascending so we alighted from the boat , walked along the jetty and were ... read more
Garden of Hotel
Bird of paradise
I'll look these up!

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 24th 2013

Having consumed lunch we made our way back to the car and then it was off to the Elephant Sanctuary. This took about 30 minutes and the journey took us ever deeper into the rural backwaters of Thailand. We were now climbing above the plains and into the mountains that border Thailand & Myanmar (Burma) which made it so difficult to build the railway and cause so much suffering. When we arrived we were the only tourists there so without any waiting (apart from the opportunity to purchase some ripe Thai bananas - 20 Baht - approx 50p) the Mahout arrived atop the Elephant we were to ride. On her back was, what can only be described as, a garden seat sitting precariously on her shoulders. Luckily the park had provided platforms which we climbed so ... read more
The Mensahib and I
Mahout Guy
The Intrepid Explorer

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 23rd 2013

After the sober reflection of the war cemetery it was back to the car and a short drive to the Bridge over the River Kwai. The driver dropped us of and with the guide we made our way to the site of the bridge. The guide explained how the the Thai government allowed the japanese to build th railway as they felt indebted to them for helping get rid of the French before WW2. Not all Thais felt the same way and some acted as spies sending intelligence back to the Allies. We walked the length of the bridge and it was only at the end that I remembered that I was going to whistle 'Colonel Bogey' as I marched along (See the film if you don't know why!) I was reminded by a local man ... read more
Temple Statue
View from the Lunch table

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