Tom Hodge & Kat Hodge


Tom Hodge & Kat Hodge

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Waiheke Island October 26th 2011

We were planning to head back to New Zealand one last time to see a few things we’d missed, to catch up with some friends and also to meet up with Colin and Roberta, Kat’s Dad and Stepmother. We flew into Christchurch and picked up the rental car and found a place to spend the night, as it was already rather late. Christchurch is still badly affected by the February earthquake with the CBD still closed and lots of derelict buildings and empty plots where houses once stood. That night the earth moved again when another earthquake, this time a 4.9 shook our hostel. There was no damage and it only lasted a few seconds but it was a rather eerie experience and we were rather relieved to be leaving the following morning. We next found ... read more
Lake Tekapo
Mount Cook
Glacier at Mount Cook

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory August 31st 2011

When we arrived in Darwin we met up with friends that we had met on the road who were to quickly become our adopted parents on our trip. Mal and Kay were spending 3 weeks in Darwin for the Darwin Cup and had secured us a pitch in the caravan park next to them. Meeting Mal and Kay meant that our Darwin experience was very different from what we expected. Aside from the usual tourist things we did, we also got introduced to the world of horse racing. Mal and Kay follow the horse racing round Australia and we found it very interesting finding out how the races are run, how the horses and jockeys are trained and how to place a bet. On one occasion they took us to breakfast at the racecourse where we ... read more
Croc jumping
Croc Jumping
Kakadu - Ubirr

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia August 31st 2011

Seeing the skyscrapers of Perth was rather a shock after seeing so few people or large settlements for several weeks. We were planning to stay with some more of Tom’s relatives who live there in a suburb of Perth so the thought of some home comforts for a few days was very appealing. We met up with Drew and Pauline and were made to feel very welcome into their home, somewhere we could relax and easily get to and from the city for some sightseeing for a few days. We checked out the sights of Freemantle, which is the cultural and historic area of the city, and also of course becoming rather trendy nowadays. The huge indoor market was good to browse around and the prison, which amazingly was in use for well over 100 hundred ... read more
Little Creatures Brewery
Perth skyline

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 31st 2011

Our plan once we got back to Australia was to go to Melbourne and buy a car to head off on a road trip west towards Perth, up the West Coast to Broome , back east towards Darwin and back down the centre through Alice Springs to Melbourne. A mere 15000kms or so over the next three months. So step number one was to find a car that we could afford, that we could sell again in a few months and most importantly wouldn’t break down in the middle of nowhere. We trawled all the free papers and all the car yards and we were surprised how expensive they all were for what you get. Eventually after a tip off from another car yard we found ourselves in the back streets in yard with a few ... read more
Typical Aussie sign
Great Southern Bight
Our lovely car

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown May 12th 2011

Our time in Queenstown after we had found a house to live in began with trying to find jobs. We had both come here thinking that we would be able to pick up jobs fairly easily. Unfortunately that was not the case. We started off going round town handing out CVs wherever we could but had little or no interest from anyone with no one even giving us an interview. We both joined all the job agencies in town which provided us with a few interesting and random jobs. At one point Tom was employed as a Traffic Control Person aka human traffic light. This involved him standing on the road for 12 hours a day turning a Stop/Go sign controlling the traffic for the road works. I got some work working on a vineyard. I ... read more
Key summit, Routeburn

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown March 1st 2011

Our flight out of South America entailed a long flight to Auckland and then a little overnight stay in an airport hotel before an early morning flight to Melbourne the next day. Well that was the plan before we got to Buenos Aires airport to check in. When we got to the check in desk I was processed through fine but there seemed to be a little problem with Kat's. They kept saying there was a problem but not what it was. The check in staff asked whether we had a flight home, which we do not as we don't quite know the date we'll want to go back to the UK yet. The staff then went away to confer to each other. When they returned we were beginning to get a little worried. I happened ... read more
Pimps and hos party
Dorothy and Aiden
Susanna and Kat

South America » Argentina January 10th 2011

We weren´t sure of our route from Iguazu but after a little debate we thought we would just head to Buenos Aires (BA) early for Christmas so we hoped on another bus south and arrived the next day. After a little difficulty getting across the city (none of the public transport systems seem to be connected or want anything to do with each other) we found our hostel for Christmas. It was set right in the middle of the city in an old colonial building with high ceilings and lots of character so we thought we would be happy there. We settled in an set about exploring the city. BA already seemed less chaotic than a lot of the capital cities we had been to before, especially with its wide avenues and tall old buildings. It ... read more
Recoleta Cemetery
Our room at Christmas
Obelisk in BA

We left Rio and headed to Paraty, a small beach resort with nice old cobbled streets and buildings. Unfortunately our hostel wasn´t great (rude British owners who passed the attitude on to their staff) and nor was the weather (rain but still fairly warm) but we managed to entertain ourselves walking down the badly cobbled streets, cobbled so badly that you had to watch your step all the time. It wasn´t beach weather either so we did our usual and headed to a bar. Fortunately we found one of our favourites so far that had a huge beer menu with beers from all over the world. We resisted the urge to drink ales from home (at huge expense of course) and settled for some decent Brazilian beers rather than the usual Brahma rubbish. Our next plan ... read more
Paraty Town
Muscle beach!
Crazy Laura with Enrique

South America » Brazil December 16th 2010

So the plan was to head to Leticia right in the southern tip of Colombia at a point where Brazil, Colombia and Peru all meet together and right on the banks of what would become the Amazon some 1500kms downstream. Our flights were delayed and involved an overnight stop in Bogota but we eventually made it to Leticia. The heat hit us as soon as we stepped off the plane, much more humid and hot then we had experienced so far. After getting stamped out of Colombia, so we were now illegal aliens becuase we hadn´t yet been stamped into Brazil but were planning to spend the night in Colombia we headed into town (a 5 minute walk according to a helpful local). We arrived in town about 20 mins later soaked in sweat and tempers ... read more
Even this doesn´t show how cramped it was
Relaxing in our hammocks
The view from bed

South America » Colombia » Taganga November 27th 2010

We came to South America without Colombia particularly in our sights, although we were planning to come here. All the stories over the years of kidnapping and the drug war had made us a little apprehensive of Colombia like most of us in the west. However, the more people we spoke to who had been through Colombia, the more we were looking forward to it. So we got to the border of Colombia with Ecuador, again all ready for the bag searches for drugs and weapons that we had been told to expect. However, this turned out to be the simplest crossing we had done so far. We literally strolled into Colombia and were in the country before we knew it. Only becuase of experience of previous crossings we knew that we would have to go ... read more
Proper Colombian coffee!
Coffee tour

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