John Hambleton


John Hambleton

Backpacker, photographer, adventurer, IT specialist, citizen of the world. I never leave home without inviting these fellow travellers: Hugh Cree, William James, Keith Klarer .

I am way behind in blogging my trips. Missing from here are Egypt, Jordan, Israel, the Mekong River, Sri Lanka, Oman, Dubai, Qatar, Greece, Madrid, Barcelona, Vancouver Island, Hong Kong, Cuba, etc.

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora January 24th 2018

Getting There Flew from Tijuana, Mexico through Mexico City and Quito, Equador. Got into Quito around 6:30 EST and was totally knackered. Grabbed a cab to a guest house, Quinta Natura Hotel** (where I thought I was the only guest), in a tiny town called Checa -- I chose the location because its supposed to be 5km from the airport since I am only staying 1 night but it turns out its 20km by road but i could clearly hear the revving jet engines in the distance from my hotel room. I booked it on and I'll have to check that listing to find out how I got so misinformed but what do you expect for $25 a night incl breakfast (and it turned out a great dinner). Upon arrival immediately went into sleep mode. ... read more

Asia » Singapore » Raffles Marina October 24th 2013

Left San Diego at 4:40PM on Amtrack to Union Station then shuttle to LAX and 17 1/2 flight to Canton, China. 7 hour layover in Guangchou (ie. Canton). 4 hours to Singapore Changi International. Tweet 2 hr's 20 min to union station + 10 min wait for airport express & 3 hours to spare. $38 total. The only way to get from San Diego to LAX. at Changi airport in Singapore grabbed a taxi to Elizabeth's Guesthouse at Newton Circus. Amazing flight over the city. Pilot had to take a south to north approach so got a great view of the narrow Strait that separates the citystate from the Indonesian island of Sumatra -- and the hundreds of big boats going thru and waiting their turn. If it wasn't so hazy I,d consider taking a chopper ... read more
Little India just before Dewali 2013

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur » Chomu April 1st 2011

Jaipur -- #3 on our North Indian Adventure We flew on Kingfisher Airlines from Amritsar to Jaipur (via Delhi). Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, a state in North Western region of India. Rajasthan is the biggest state in the country and the name means the Land of Kings (Raja = King & Sthan = Place). Jaipur was the first of 3 cities we visited in Rajasthan. Jaipur is named after the King Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of the city. It is famous as a tourist destination for its palaces and forts. There are other specialties like handicraft, jewelry, garments, precious & colored stones, furnishings and other craft items, which make Jaipur a shopping haven. Jaipur is among the first planned cities in modern Asia, with straight roads cutting each other at right angles, wide ... read more

Asia » India » Punjab » Amritsar March 31st 2011

Amritsar We traveled on the Shatabdi Express(3) to Amritsar in the Punjab state. Two reasons for visiting Amritsar are the incredible Golden Temple(1) -- the spiritual center of the Sikh religion -- and the daily Wagah border ceremony (2). OK, a 3rd reason to possibly visit Amritsar is for the sweet shops. OK, another reason is if you are a Sikh. Amritsar meaning “The Pool Of The Nectar Of Immortality is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion, and they are very proud of the city and their unique Gurdwara (place of worship) which is now a major pilgrimage and tourism center. (1)Golden Temple The Golden Temple is considered holy by Sikhs because the eternal guru of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside it and its construction was mainly intended ... read more
Throngs of Indians
Sign at Pakistan Border Crossing

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai February 5th 2006

The trip is over but the memories are many. I spent the last few hours on the subcontinent in Mumbai with my guide, Amin. Anyone vaguely interested in Mumbai (Bombay) should check out this novel and also use the services of Amin who loves the city to take you on a memorable tour -- check Amin out at: . Heres some pictures of the travellers, the faces and inanimates that will stay in the memory bank for a long time. Here is an excerpt from Jan's diary re: the trip (I could not be as eloquent): "India is more than just a foreign country with different customs. It's an ancient land. People talk about its timeless quality. That's more than poetic description. I could not have experienced a greater range of contrasts on my ... read more
Conclusion -- the Travellers
Conclusion -- the Travellers
Conclusion -- the Travellers

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai » Elliot's Beach February 3rd 2006

Finally reached Chennai where I visited the Christian Missions Charitable Trust which runs a school for kids from the slums and an orphanage. Also,visited the tomb of St. Thomas (doubting Thomas) who brought Christianity to Madras in 52 AD and viewed the world's largest Banyan tree. Since Jan has a wonderful way with words here is her diary entry for her last few days in India: "I left off with our afternoon in Pondicherry. Hugh and I went shopping -- I for a new pair of sandals that would make blisters in a different place than the ones I brought, and Hugh for sari silk for Suzanne, his wife. I was very taken aback at the civility of all the street stalls. They allowed us to browse unmolested, and thanked us for stopping by as we ... read more
CMCT -- Saving the slum kids
CMCT -- Saving the slum kids
Chennai -- streets

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram February 1st 2006

Pondicherry and Mamallapuram. Setting up for spending the weekend in Chennai. Since I am word-deficient, here is what Jan had to say: I'm woefully behind at this, but it's been a jam packed trip. We were still in Madurai when I sent my last. Forgot to mention we were all blessed by the temple elephant there. For Rs. 10, she rests the end of her trunk on the top of your head, sometimes patting and sometimes slightly rocking. We had many encounters and conversations with pilgrims and tourists alike. Will add specific comments to photos when I get that together. John -- I mean Hambone (he says only his mother and I call him John) -- and I have made several valiant attempts to transfer my photos to his portable hard drive, but it won't talk ... read more
Raveshwaran -- 1 Room School
Indian Trains
Pondicherry -- biking

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 30th 2006

From Ooty on the "toy train" (narrow gauge stream train) and headed down to the plains to Mettupalayam, Coimbatore and finally a 7 hr day liner on the Indian Train network to Madurai. In Madurai we tripped around the palace of 1000 pillars (actually 986) and this incredible bunch of temples in Madurai -- There were thousands of pilgrims in town chanting, praying and providing gifts to their gods. From there we headed to Rameshwaram . It has a huge temple with the worlds longest corridor (1 Km) where you can get your sins washed away by going thru 22 water stations including #22 in the Bay of Bengal. Then we hired a Jeep and headed out to Adams Bridge where we could see (actually not) Sri Lanka 18 km away. So, we s ... read more
temples == detail
temples == detail
temples -- Madurai

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Coimbatore January 27th 2006

William, Hugh, Jan and Bone have been in Ooty -- a hill station -- for 2 days. We are all taking the famous steam train on the narrow gauge tracks down to the plains this afternoon. Here are some photos from our time in Ooty: ... read more
Ooty -- hill station
Ooty -- hill station
Ooty -- hill station

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Coimbatore January 23rd 2006

we hired a driver to take William and bone to Coimbatore in the state of Tamil Nadu from Kochi in Kerala. We need to be in Coimbatore to pickup Jan (friend of Williams from Albuquerque who should be in great shape since that trip takes 55 hours via Atlanta, Paris and Chennai) and Hugh (from Singapore via Chennai) before we head up into the Nigiri hills town of Ooty. Heres a flowery tourism description of Coimbatore but it appears to me to be a spawling, noisy, indian city -- All the pix below are from the 5 hr trip up into the hills from the coastal waterways. Heres a nice writeup on Fort Cochin (which is also called Kochi) : read more
Kochi to Coimbatore

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