Page 9 of colvinyeates Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas December 22nd 2009

Is that what Vegas is? Perhaps, although the pleasure part can get lost amongst the innumerable elements that can grate on your nerves. It's a little like watching a movie where Rambo kills about a million people; subtle it aint and you walk out of the cinema knowing you should pan it remorselessly but somehow you end up guiltily extracting some enjoyment from it. I remember a guy at work once telling me I was wasting my money and time trying to travel the world. He reckoned he did Rome, Paris, New York, Venice and Cairo in 2 days. It's all in Vegas Baby! And I suppose that's true if you don't mind your landmarks faux. But it's not just the landmarks that are heavy on the pseudo and light on the panache. You can dine ... read more
Faux New York
Indoor outdoor piazza faux Rome.
Faux Sphynx

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Padang August 19th 2009

Five old farts on surfari. The mean age of 51 was only that low because our 45 year old puppy Jeff decided to tag along. The plan was simple, 5 days wallowing in Bali as an entree to the more serious surfing side of things on an island off the coast of Frank Sumatra. Stretching the memory strings back almost 30 years to my first jaunt to Bali, I began transposing the 1 dollar a night losmen against the 3 bedroom luxury villa in which we were now bunkered down. Were we going soft? Then the food. The "Bali Belly" syndrome is now but a distant memory as the quality and variety of restaurants would make the spruikers of the Parisian cuisine scene blush. Anything else? Well now you mention it, the traffic is manic, the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Central Plateau March 23rd 2009

So I did manage some really fun waves in Taranaki and like many parts of the New Zealand coastline, accessing these waves can be more of a mission than pulling up in the car directly in front of your favourite break. My own little hideaway point involved a minor adventure. It starts out with a jaunt across some private farming land, then: "Gary, I think these fences are electrified." "Yes, but these sections here are packing tape and you can't put an electric current through pack... OUCH! OOO that smarts." Remembering the incident at Fox Glacier, Penny was careful not to overdo the laughing but still couldn't completely contain herself. So once again the karma Gods were smiling down upon me and barely 2 minutes later.... It's amazing how old cow dung can look so innocuous ... read more
Stent Road
Mount Egmont/Taranaki.

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Akaroa March 15th 2009

God created the wetsuit. Neoprene is king if you intend surfing in NZ's South Island, perhaps even more essential than an actual surfboard. As for the surf itself, 1 day of fair to reasonable waves. While the surf hasn't been the stuff on magazine covers, uniqueness of the two sessions made up for it, at least partially. I've never surfed before with a backdrop of snow capped mountains as I did in Kaikoura and the water itself is a weird milky colour I assume has something to do with the black sand. Surfing in Hickory Bay also involved a beautiful 1 klm trudge through verdant farmland out onto a magnificent black sand beach backed by 700 metre cliffs and farmland dotted with sheep. Rather than look out to sea, my eyes kept wandering in reverse to ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound March 9th 2009

Fortunately for the Sounds in Fiordland, there's plenty of rain to like, something in the vicinity of 7-9 meters annually, about a third of which seemed to fall while we lolled about for a few days in the area. However, extreme rain in this neck of the woods isn't the grim reaper for holiday goers that it would be in other tourist hot spots. The large volumes of water create hundreds of waterfalls that only appear after/during such downpours and the low hanging clouds clinging to the mountains also provide an aura that some might describe as eerie, others romantic. The trade off for this eerie/romantic ambience is that most outdoor activities are put on hold. Plus, the dim, grey light makes for some tough photographic conditions. So don't come back complaining my images are heavy ... read more
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Wanaka March 4th 2009

A cheap shot but who can resist taking the puss out of the keewee accint? It's not so easy, in fact well nigh impossible, to be cynical concerning the South Island's environmental backdrops. For a bloke normally averse to sitting behind the wheel, I've taken quite a shine to slowly cruising amongst New Zealand's majestic alpine scenery. Every bend in the road leads to the requisite oohs and aahs from the front seat. One easy hour out of Christchurch and the full roll call of scenic boxes are being ticked off: . precipitous mountains - tick. . waterfalls that hang like strings of spaghetti from those mountains - tick. . babbling brooks/creeks/rivers - tick. . thick, verdant forests - tick. . deep blue mountain fringed lakes - tick. . craggy glaciers - tick. . Lord of ... read more
Glacier walk - Franz Josef
Fox glacier
Mt Aspiring National Park -

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake December 20th 2007

To go or not to go, THAT, was the question. Aung San Suu Kyi said "don't come" based on the theory that tourism only reinforces the ruling junta's behaviour. The troubles of a couple months back didn't make the decision any simpler. Why then, are we here? Selfishly because we wanted to. We can also justify it because there are plenty of arguments in favour of visiting, most notably, the rank and file people of Myanmar need the funds. Like the majority of independents we avoided wherever possible channelling our dollars into government coffers and rather into the pockets of those who really do need it. The overwhelming opinion we developed was that the people of Burma are desperate for tourists to visit. As a consequence of the incidents this year, tourist numbers are WAY down ... read more
Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 19th 2007

Is it the measles? Is it bed bugs? Nah, I think it's a simple heat rash. Bangkok is hot and humid and the poor body aint used to it. At least I'm better off than Penny who is flu ridden, the remnants of a bug she picked up way back in Dubai. Bangkok was always going to be difficult to enjoy when your health isn't all rosy. It is even more difficult to appreciate when a disordinate amount of time is spent running the beurocratic red tape that is the Myanmar visa merry-go-round. Any more complaints? Well while I'm on a roll, we were both due a hair appointment. The choice of venue was left in Penny's hands, she being a woman and all. Let's follow the script: Yeatesy - "How about this hairdresser?" Penny - ... read more
Floating market
Floating market.

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon December 14th 2007

Not happy again Jan. Hong Kong is part of China, according to the pundits, so how come when we do this blog, the entire map of China isn't filled in red. Just HK. I was hoping for the opposite to present the illusion we'd covered more territory than actual fact. Speaking of HK - chaotic, noisy, polluted and plenty of people speaking a language that sounds like a tin can being kicked down the street. Things didn't start off too well because my darling wife thought it would be a lovely idea to share her flu that she picked up in Dubai. Enough of the whinging because HK, despite its claustrophobic drawbacks, is exciting, particularly by night. After the sun sticks its head away, the skyline lights up and is a spectacle from all angles, particularly ... read more
Hong Kong

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai December 11th 2007

A couple of lightning blogs will be ripped out during the next week or so as we inch our way home to the land of milk and honey. First up, the UAE, or more specifically Dubai. Twoish nights here hardly justifies a blog but by including it we get to fill in another country in red on the blog's world map. What do you say about a place you only spent about 40 hours in? Plenty, because I'm a charlatan and don't need a lot of information to develop a whole bunch of uninformed opinions. I'll just fill in the gaps with whatever BS I can make up. Dubai is - steel, concrete, glass, contemporary cars in major traffic jams, clean, progressive, businesslike. ie. boring? Double ie. expensively boring? That's probably a tad harsh but while ... read more

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