Jeff Coombe

el Jefe

Jeff Coombe

Canuck who was bitten by the travel bug, enjoy the pics/stories...

So as the Canadian winter has decided to go on and on and on and on with no sign of Spring other than the date on the calendar it was high time we got out of the chilly climes for a week, and so it was back to Belize...debated hard on whether to return to Placencia (as we loved it there) or to try somewhere new, and at the 11th hour we decided on something new: Caye Caulker! Just a week getaway to relax, get some sun, catch up on some reading and more importantly to get back to the Belikin beer and burritos, giddy up! It's a bit of a hike for one week but well worth it; again as in Placencia there were no big resorts, very laid back atmosphere, great food and the ... read more
View from our perch...
Nurse Sharks behind our boat...
Greetings from Caye Caulker

Oceania » Fiji May 5th 2018

Bula! When planning our trip this year and having decided on New Zealand, we figured as it was such a long way to travel to that we had better include Fiji in our plans, having wanted to see this country as well and not knowing if we would ever be back in this part of the as we always like to end on a beach it seemed the perfect combo; three weeks of on-the-move travel and finishing with butt-in-hammock relaxation....oh yeah... Made the three hour flight from Christchurch to Nadi, but as the flights and ferries are not well sync'd we had to stay on the main island for a night at both the beginning and end, no big deal we arrived at our backpacker hotel around 8 pm it wasn't going to be ... read more
Leaving Nadi
Yasawa Flyer Selfie

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island April 30th 2018

As in the previous blog this leg started out with what would turn out to be our last hump day; a rip straight from Milford Sound to Dunedin, west coast to east...again a pleasant drive but not a lot to report on, so we'll start the show in Dunedin... After nine straight days in the camper, and no discernible camp sites near the city centre, we decided to splurge and a get a room for a couple of nights...came across this funky backpacker hostel called Hogwartz, used to be a Bishop's residence back in the late 1800's, and with it being a ten minute walk to the downtown area known as the Octagon it was perfect...we stayed in the carriage house, really cool with a well equipped kitchen and more importantly a real bed and private ... read more
Tunnel at Larnach Castle

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 25th 2018

For continuity's sake the title of the blog should read Abel Tasman to Milford Sound, however the rip from AT to Westport was simply a nice but uneventful day of driving and not a lot to report on...this was one of a couple of what I referred to as "hump" days where all we did was drive, again necessary due to the times/distances and the things we wanted to see...even Westport itself was really just a stopping point; not much there other than a pretty cool beach where we camped (Carters Beach) and a colony of fur seals which we managed to was kind of the trail head to the West Coast track, and as it was about 6 hours of driving from Abel Tasman that was more than plenty for the day... I was ... read more
Falls at Milford Sound
Rockin' it on Franz Josef Glacier
Campsite at Milford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island April 21st 2018

Another early start but fortunately not a lot of driving today, the inter-island ferry was going to do most of the heavy lifting and then it was only 20 kms or so to our first stop on the South Island, the town of Blenheim...we were heading for the wine region of Marlborough, was looking forward to checking out some vineyards and sampling some vinos! The plan for the South was to do a counter-clockwise tour, starting in Picton and finishing in Christchurch in a little under two weeks...would prove to be a lot of miles and driving but that's the price we had to pay for what we wanted to see and do, and frankly the driving was a big part of the experience...fortunately the South Island provided tons of beautiful scenery, and it didn't take ... read more
Beach at Totaranui Campground, Abel Tasman National Park
Bye-bye Wellington...
Terns in Abel Tasman

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island April 16th 2018

So New Zealand, again a destination that wasn't very high on my list, but after hearing multiple testimonials from fellow travelers, family and friends on how awesome it was we had a serious look and decided, why not? Also discovered this country is absolutely set up for motor-home discovery, and having fallen in love with that concept in Iceland it pretty much sealed the it is pretty far to get to, we decided to add both a week to our usual three weeks and the country of Fiji as well, always like to end on a beach! So the plan was a week on the North Island, two in the South and the final week in Fiji...and with that we arrived in Auckland to see the sun rise, then promptly to the hotel for a ... read more
Pint at the Green Dragon

Asia » China » Tibet » Everest May 8th 2017

Our stay in Lhasa had come to an end and it was now time to get in the van and explore the Friendship Highway and even more importantly Everest Base Camp...while in Nepal we had toyed with the idea of doing the trek to that base camp, but with it clocking in at around two weeks round trip we just didn't want to devote that much of our vacation to it...we did however take a plane tour out of Kathmandu to try and get a peek at the peak, and while we did see it in the distance the tour abruptly came to a halt halfway through as we turned around and headed back to idea why, but with the safety of Nepali airlines being somewhat dubious we were glad to be back on Terra ... read more
Prayer Wheels
Everest and Prayer Flags

Asia » China » Tibet » Lhasa May 6th 2017

Great start to Tibet and also starting to get a little more acclimated to the altitude, in hindsight I think the tour was designed in such a way as to do some lighter touring in the first couple of days (with some stairs at the monasteries) before tackling the many steps at the Potala Palace and later on in the week Everest Base Camp... This day was all about the two major sites here in Lhasa: the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple...neither really needs an introduction, but for the sake of sake the Potala Palace was first built in the 7th century and then rebuilt/added on to by the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century, and became the official residence of each successive Dalai Lama and the center of Tibetan government...the palace consists of two ... read more
Decor at Jokhang Temple
Selfie at Potala

Asia » China » Tibet » Lhasa May 4th 2017

And away we go! Now that we mostly had our legs beneath us in China, it was time to get on to the main event: Tibet! After a final day of touring Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing we made our way in the evening to the train station, next stop Lhasa... We received our tickets and prepared to board the 8pm train, only to discover we were not all together for this portion of the trip...we were all in "hard sleepers", meaning 6 bunks in a "room" with no door, fortunately K and I were in the same berth along with Alex and Kevin, Maria and Jinba were in another car and unfortunately Erin was all by herself in yet another car...her first time to Asia, talk about cultural immersion! A real trooper ... read more
Watching the World Go By
Deprung Monastery

Asia » China » Beijing April 29th 2017

The beginning of a another great adventure.... This trip would prove to be a bit different from our previous excursions; a sizable chunk of it would be with an organized tour which we typically don't do, and geographically this would be all over the proverbial map and returning to a couple of previous destinations...starting here in Beijing, then taking a 40 hour train ride west to Tibet (okay, still technically China but I cannot call it other than Tibet), finishing the tour in Kathmandu Nepal, hopping over to Bangkok Thailand and finally some R&R on the tiny island of Ko Samet three hours or so south of Bangkok...yep, a little bit of everything... The focus of this trip was really Tibet, a land both K and I had long had a desire to visit...but with the ... read more
Lovely K at Tiananmen Square
Shrubbery at Tiananmen Square
Moi at Great Leap Brewery

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