Simon Burrell & Deborah Blakemore


Simon Burrell & Deborah Blakemore

Deborah and I are planning to go on a world trip from December 2010 to March 2011. We are visiting Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, and Los Angeles. We want to keep our family and friends in touch with our adventures, although blogs will be brief!

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

North America » United States » California » Santa Ana March 18th 2011

Monday 14th March – First Taste of Los Angeles All packed in Waikiki and a trip to Honolulu airport to fly out to mainland USA and see our very good friends in LA: Brian and Tanya – How wonderful to see our old friends again, with whom we shared many happy times, in London, Bournemouth, Chicago and LA. Norms Diner – Despite a late arrival, a great old US diner beckoned and we eat at the institution that is Norms. Tuesday 15th March – Kicking Back in California The start of a relaxed end to our travels with no real plans, plenty of good food and excellent company: The Back Bay – Just a stone’s throw from the apartment and we were walking alongside one of the many waterways that spill out to the Pacific Coast ... read more
Laguna Beach
From Russia with Love
LA Bug

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki March 13th 2011

Thursday 10th March – Tsunami Watch After a flight from Hilo to Honolulu, we head to our hotel in Waikiki and settle in before realising that a huge wave is heading our way: Coconut Waikiki –Checking into our hotel suite and unpacking, booking a few trips for Friday and Sunday, all seems well in island paradise. Hawaii 5-0 – Running along the Ala Wai canal, trying to keep pace with two 6 man Hawaiian canoes in the late evening sun, humming the theme tune to Hawaii 5-0 – it really doesn’t get much better than this! Tsunami Watch (full story at bottom) – Hearing the news of the earthquake in Japan, we decide what to do for the best as we wait for the effects to hit Hawaii and more specifically Waikiki. Luckily the eventual impact ... read more
Hawaii 5-0
Got the T Shirt
Mai Tai in Paradise

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Hilo March 9th 2011

Sunday 6th March (again) – Mustangs and Treehouses Crossed the international date line on our overnight flight to Hawaii, so we get to do Sunday all over again as we head to the Big Island: Ford Mustang – Have always wanted to drive a Mustang, so we picked up a 4.0L V6 black convertible from Hilo airport – no immediate need to get the top down due to precipitation. Volcano Village – A small but perfectly formed residential area and local shops on the edge of the national park. Maile Treehouse – Our home in the trees is a stunningly beautiful open plan 1 bed apartment with shower and Jacuzzi! Furniture, fittings and little extra touches make it a memorable place and set in fabulous, secluded jungle garden. Monday 7th March – Major Eruptions To continue ... read more
The Mustang
Volcanic Plume
Bit Steamy Down There

Oceania » Fiji » Mamanuca Islands » Malolo Lailai March 6th 2011

Saturday 26th February – Fiji Bound Packed up the van and left it in Auckland, to fly out to the beautiful Fiji islands: Fiji Time – As we fly into Fiji, we realise that time starts to warp in a strange island way. The bus to the village might be here some time, or maybe we’ve missed the last one – who knows! Express Bus – A crowded two hour bus trip in pitch black with rain lashing down is only partially lifted by the film (Universal Soldier) with soundtrack reverberating throughout the bus. Homestay – Finally the bus stops and disgorges us into the hands of our host, Sake and then the wonderful Fijian feast prepared by his lovely wife Toupoe. Sunday 27th February – Quiet Village Sunday There are no cafes or restaurants in ... read more
Bright Lights, Village Style
Ready for it This Time
Before the Motion Sickness Sets In

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Orewa » Orewa Beach February 25th 2011

Sunday 20th February – Water Theme Developing A water based day, as we travel from Whangerei up a little further north to Kerikeri: Whangerei Run – A quick run down stream and up hill to get the day started and try to stop the onset of obesity (Simon only!). Rainbow Falls – Picnic lunch and well-earned snooze by Rainbow Falls (see pic) near Whangerei. Water Garden – Freedom camping(ish) at the Taraire Water Garden, after a tour of said garden and connected bush walk – 85 year old owner (Aubrey) emigrated from Eastbourne in 1952! Monday 21st February – Go North Young Man Having talked to the locals we abandoned plans to return south, to the Coromandel peninsular, and decided to strike out for the far north tip of North Island: Beautiful Bays – A slow ... read more
Surfers in Matauri Bay
No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
On Top of the World

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Whangarei February 19th 2011

Monday 14th February – Camper Van to Taupo A long driving day to head to the centre of North Island, with all good exploring happening between there and the top: Maui Pick Up – A strange sense of deja vu descends as we collect the Maui mark II - no need for training DVDs this time! Pit Stops – More going on than we expected after the sparsely populated South Island, with refreshment stops at Foxton, Taihape and Turangi. Thermal Pool – Would seem rude not to sample the thermal pool at the campsite – just the ticket after a 5 hour drive. Tuesday 15th February – Time Out in Taupo A day spent on a leisurely wander around some Taupo sites: Huka Falls – A walk out from the campsite to the start of a ... read more
Back a Bit, Back a Bit...
This Looks like a bit of fun...
...but getting a bit sticky now.....

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington February 13th 2011

Thursday 10th February – South Island to North Island Goodbye to Deb and Ted in Kaikoura and off to see our good friends Julie and Pauline in Wellington: TranzScenic & InterIslander – Stunning rail journey along the coast from Kaikoura to Picton and then equally scenic ferry from Picton to Wellington. Beautiful Wellington – Quick view of the city; close up and from a vantage point in the hills – there is no shortage of hills to find a view from. Chinese Malay Cooking – Fabulous feast of authentic Malay curry and Chinese noodles with our Malay/Chinese/Kiwi friends. Friday 11th February – Exploring Wellington A day to sample some of the delights of the windy (and hilly) capital of New Zealand: Weta Cave – A fascinating visit to the team that created many of the visual ... read more
Wellington Views
Deborah on the Pull
Seperated at Birth?

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura February 9th 2011

Saturday 5th February– Fox Glacier to Christchurch Early start to catch the train through the Southern Alps and into that small part of England in New Zealand: Mount Cook – Watched Mount Cook appear and disappear into the clouds several times as we eat breakfast in Fox Glacier – never did get a photo though. TranzAlpine – Travelled through the mountains from west to east coast (4 hours), watching the mountain scenery unfold. Christchurch – Reminders everywhere (street names, buildings, gardens) of the early English settlers in Christchurch – a pretty little city with relaxed vibe. Sunday 6th February – Christchurch in the Heat A day exploring Christchurch slowly as we deal with the extreme heat: More Weather – The tail end of the cyclone that hit Cairns earlier caused record high temperatures in NZ, including ... read more
Christchurch Cathedral
Arts Centre
River Avon

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef February 4th 2011

Friday 28th January – NZ Here We Come / Welcome to Sussex The next stage of the adventure with an early flight, 3 hour time difference and the first leg of a long drive from Christchurch to Dunedin: Brisbane – Remarkably, limited evidence of the recent floods and a hugely impressive effort – with local riverside bars and restaurants having been refitted and reopened within two weeks of being half under water. Countryside – Felt like we had been sold a bit of a dummy after picking up a car in Christchurch and driving south towards Dunedin – scenery was rural and seriously lacking in mountains, gorges, lakes etc. We could have sworn we had just arrived in Sussex! Wicker Man – Dropped into a bar in the back of beyond to grab a bite to ... read more
Fur Seals at Otago Peninsular
Queen of Hearts
Get That View!

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Byron Bay January 27th 2011

By popular request for the van-addicted among you, some piccies and 10 things we learnt about camper-vanning: 1. When going to the amenities block (especially at night), maintain a keen sense of direction and remember what your van looks like (for obvious reasons). 2. Empty any spare fluids before you set off, unless you want to be reminded of them on your journey ('nuff said). 3. Choose campsites near public pools, not with pools. This means: a) you get to swim rather than splash and b) your campsite is significantly less likely to be populated by hordes of screaming kiddies. 4. Never (repeat never) book into a campsite with an inflatable/bouncy anything (in our case 20M x 10M pillow) - as per previous point, many small people. In fact, avoid playgrounds and games rooms. 5. Wedge ... read more
Relaxed Mode
Front and Side
Back to Front

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