Mike Allen

mike allen

Mike Allen

Here you can read my blogs sent from Brasil (2008) and Australia and New Zealand (2010). Also, check out my trip to West Africa (2006) with my friend Eric Paci at travelblog.org/bloggers/ontheroad.

I used to think this site was great. Now I'm finding it grossly irritating and stupid. It's as clunky as a clockwork chicken. Nagging about 'location not listed'. Who cares? Just publish the stuff will ya? Gosh. If I needed the Spanish Inquisition, I'd watch Monty Python... ... read more

Some more pictures for you from Queenstown, Milford Sound and Mount Cook. Hope you like 'em!... read more
Queenstown -Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown -Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown -Lake Wakatipu

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Milford Sound August 17th 2010

As most of you know, I’ve travelled to quite a few places in my life. I’ve been all over the show: from the magical Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda and Congo to the fantastic Pantanal and Amazon river in Brasil, from the lovely islands of Indonesia to the ancient cities of Europe, from the spectacular South of Chile to the grandiose North of Iceland. On all these journeys, of course, I have seen some pretty marvelous spots, some of them on my own face. I have a particular fondness for mountain landscapes. There’s just something endlessly mysterious about them for me. Some of the most memorable moments in my life have been staring up at some distant peak and seeing some landscape there that conjured up a feeling of belonging and mythical memory inside me. It’s more ... read more
Milford Sound
Waterfall at Milford Sound
Seals at Milford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka August 14th 2010

It’s two days since my last haunted little missive and things have radically altered. Actually, that’s not true at all. After the latest camera debacle at Greymouth on the West Coast, I boarded the bus for Fox Glacier. I spent the whole journey chatting with the driver. This was because I wanted to sit in the best viewing seat. This is, naturally enough, the seat next to the driver at the front of the bus. The bus is a fifty-seater luxury bus. There are a total of nine passengers on board. Over the course of the next few days I am going to get this same seat three more times, and consequently find myself engaging in conversation with a total of four different drivers. The driver’s names were Dave, Maurice, Paul, and Ed. Dave told me ... read more
Mirror Lake Fox Glacier
Mount Cook
In a Glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier August 12th 2010

I wonder if it’s possible that when I changed my plan and took such a large and radical right turn that I splintered a hole through the known Universe, slipped through the slit that appeared vagina-like in the ether and slid in-between into some sort of place just slightly out of sync with the rest of reality. I know this might strike you as slightly far-fetched, hardly the stuff of a plain old travel blog (although if you saw where I was currently sitting writing this, the surreal quality I’m asking for might be far simpler and more plausible for you to entertain) but ever since I’ve arrived in New Zealand I’ve had this same bizarre feeling, as if everything is going on one realm away from wherever I am, as if I’ve fallen into some ... read more
Christchurch Park
Christchurch street
Christchurch sunset

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central August 9th 2010

First day in New Zealand draws to a close. Nomad Backpackers turned out to be a giant party place on Saturday night - but the party didn’t even start until midnight. I arrived at 6:30pm local time. By the time I had dealt with arrival procedures, including having my shoes removed and disinfected for twenty minutes - not because my feet are smelly, silly, but because of my previous day’s visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the possibility of importing vile kanga and other assorted biological shite on the bottom of my shoe, it was 7:30pm. By the time I was settled in to the new room - far more ‘cozy’ than the splendor of my Brisbane palace, it was 8:30pm. It was rainy but not cold by the time I went out for ... read more
Tree in Auckland park
View from Sky Tower
Don't look down...

What a strange, even downright bizarre, few days. I’ve become practically a native of Brisbane. After three days here, I know my way around like a local. The city has a huge river weaving and meandering through its heart like a thick, brown snake, and there are fantastic catamaran and other river taxis plowing their way up and down this river. I spent yesterday riding these ferries as the weather slowly deteriorated and the day deepened, thickening clouds adding a layer of gloom to my speculations about the rest of the trip. I was due to leave for South East Asia’s sweaty climes, but a number of factors were interfering with the normal enthusiasm that would normally greet such a plan for me. I asked Antony what he thought I should do since he is not ... read more
the Cat
Fellow Cat passenger
Wombat at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

So here it is - my last day in Oz. I've had a pleasant three days in Brisbane. Yesterday, I spent out at the Australia Zoo, seventy km out of the city near the oddball Glasshouse mountains. This was Steve Irwin's famous Zoo. It's a great zoo, and, for me, it's the perfect way to say goodbye to Oz. I had a perfect day out there, the highlight of which was discovering that kangaroo and wallaby fur is softer than the fur on a soft cat. Who would have thought it? So, anyway, thanks for everything Oz - gotta love this place!... read more
Red Panda
Hello Kitty!

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Adelaide August 2nd 2010

The Ghan - part 2 Back in Alice Springs from the Uluru tour, I made the decision to go to the ‘Inception’ movie even though I was a little tired. Nat had warned me that the movie was a little dense - but I was unprepared for exactly what that added up to until about two hours into the film when the dream within a dream within a dream within a dream finally put me to sleep. Maybe I should see it again, but somehow I don’t think it’s going to help. ‘Inception’ might just be a big, doughy, ugly pile of nonsense masquerading as something thoughtful and intense. With disappointment my unexpected companion, filled up with the ludicrously expensive barramundi from the neighboring restaurant, and picking my way gingerly through the isolated but menacing packs ... read more
Ghan logo
rainbow from the train
Rhodda and Grant

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Potts Point August 2nd 2010

Sydney I’ve just said goodbye to my brother, Antony at Kings Cross station and I’m feeling very sad to say goodbye to him. We always feel sad when we leave each other but this one feels especially poignant to me because we’ve spent so much time together over the last five weeks, and it’s going to be quite a while until we see each other again. That’s the problem with being spread out all over the World, and while you don’t worry about it during the normal course of regular communications, when we have this extended close contact, it makes you realize what you’re missing by not having your brother close by, and what you’ve already missed without even realizing it was missing. I almost feel ashamed to have not really known my own brother’s story ... read more
Antony Allira, Maureen
Opera and Tony

Tot: 2.229s; Tpl: 0.038s; cc: 24; qc: 106; dbt: 0.0688s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.6mb