Having grown up in Australia, I had no idea that when I left in December, 1998, I wouldn't go back. After working and travelling in the northern hemisphere for over 13 years, I then quit everything to travel through Africa in 2012. Since then I have also travelled the Silk Route and in 2015 moved to Bangkok, Thailand.

The more I travel, the longer the lists of places to go grows, not shrinks.

Thanks to all those who read and wrote. it's the first time I've attempted blogging and feedback was definitely the motivation to keep me going!

A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world ~ John le Carre

Asia » East Timor » Dili November 13th 2016

This is just a quick note for coeliacs and possibly people with some other food intolerances to hopefully enable them to feel comfortable enough to travel in Timor Leste. I'm not sure how searches work but I hope that this will come up on Google if someone looks for it. I brought my own gluten free soy sauce, stock cubes, muesli bars (they went quick) and a few cup of soups as an emergency. In the supermarkets in Dili I found rice or mung bean vermicelli, gluten free spaghetti, soy custard desserts (I don't like soy but they are GF), banana 'chips' for snacking during road trips and of course there's fresh fruit and vegetables available as well as rice everywhere. I've found that some of the fried chicken isn't battered, only seasoned and fried in ... read more

Asia » East Timor » Baucau September 21st 2016

The bus dropped the four of us off on the main corner in Baucau, called out for new passengers and then noisily made its way off to Dili. Two of us sat with the bags while the other two crossed the road to look at the pink coloured Pousada de Baucau, the flashest hotel outside Dili or possibly in the whole country. The $75 per room (sleeps two, including air con and WiFi) was far beyond what we wanted to pay so we got a room for four at Hotel Tato (the colourful place on the corner, next to Posada de Baucau) for $15 a night each, including breakfast on their rooftop. It was a quiet day and then we had dinner at the Pousada. Highly recommended for a splurge (food is still cheap with steak ... read more
Open air church
View over Baucau towards the coastline
For some reason there's pool tables all over Timor Leste

Asia » East Timor » Dili September 21st 2016

As usual, I composed various parts of a blog in my head and when it actually comes to putting it down in words, I can't remember it. I've been missing on here for some time for which I apologise to all the people who took the time to follow, write, inspire and encourage me. I do like writing but it usually feels a chore. I need to sort that bit out. Let's move on. Currently, I'm sitting at a marketplace at 05:18 in Lautem. A solitary light bulb hanging from the wooden beams provides enough light to see the goods for sale on the concrete tables whilst the wares laid out on sheets of plastic over the gravel surface are lit with torches or phone screens. Teens who collect the fares from bus travellers are the ... read more
Christo Rei himself
New friends

Asia » East Timor » Maubisse September 19th 2016

All adventures seem to start from Dili. I'm not sure how easy it is to get a bus from say, out east to go south without going via Dili. It wasn't too much of an issue as we could come back, switch out things with our main backpacks stored at Casa Minha and then head off again when we were ready. This time we were hoping to climb Timor Leste's highest mountain, Mt. Ramelau for sunrise. The small town of Hautebailico is one of two starting points. Instead of a bus to Maubisse, we were on a truck that had no sun protection. Upon arrival at the bus station (aka, a roundabout south of town), we found out that the bus directly to Hautebailico had left hours ago (we were unable to ascertain what time and ... read more
Unpacking the produce in the marketplace, Maubisse
A little bit of colour never hurt anyone
Trimming chillis

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran May 27th 2014

23rd May The train came to a shuddering halt at a station around 05:30 which pulled me from my sleep. Dozing until each station wasn't a viable option and I gave up around 8am. Looking across to Steph and Quinn, they had found the bizarre but inventive 'cappuccino in a can' which was self heating. They followed the instructions while everyone else stood around, fascinated. It was definitely hot and for the price, I think they wished they'd bought more. We arrived in Astana not long before 9am and were met by taxi drivers ready to whisk our luggage into their cars and be on their way. But Suse needed to get across that we wanted to go to Customs, not the border and to do that she rang the apartment owner in Baku to translate. ... read more
Signs are conveniently written in english as well
A ridiculous amount of ice cream for a ridiculously low price
Welcome to Tehran!

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 22nd 2014

18th May Whilst we cleaned up after breakfast, the guys hauled the rest of the large firewood up onto the roof and secured it with tarps and ropes. We'll definitely need to watch the wires with the added height and rolled the sides up in anticipation of the slow drive back to the main road. Just after 8 we were on the truck and left the park gates, waving goodbye to the park rangers. Only 100 metres or so down the road was a freshwater tap so we attached a hose and filled up the drinking water container under the truck, much to the amusement of the local men who stopped working to watch us. It was a slow and tense drive under the wires but event free and we eventually breathed sighs of relief when ... read more
Our first night camping with the Greater Caucasus mountains as the backdrop
Relaxing in the last of the day's light

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Telavi May 17th 2014

14th May We're on the move again, out of Tbilisi. Out into the countryside, across the dammed Lori river and into the tree laden mountains with cattle grazing amongst the wildflowers below. In the villages we pass through, houses are built with bits of this and bits of that but are well maintained. Neat rows of greens can be seen in vegetable patches and unripe stone fruit fill the trees in the front gardens. We try to pronounce the names of towns that could use a few more vowels and a few less consonants for our English tongues to even have a chance of saying them correctly. Under canopies of overhanging trees and through the dappled sunlight, one can glimpse a ruined fortress on a hilltop or an abandoned solitary house or a distant road that ... read more
Climbing trees older than our country!
Freshly minced meat for lunch
Preparing lunch, Georgian style

Asia » Georgia » Southern Georgia » Gori May 13th 2014

9 May. Gori, the town where Stalin was born. And we were here on Georgia's Victory day, a public holiday. The truck was parked across from Stalin's museum which we made our first stop, waiting for an English guide to take us through. She spoke fast with a heavy accent and in a voice that brooked no questions. It was very one-sided which was surprising to me but shouldn't have been: the town was very much still pro-Stalin. When the tour finished we walked through again at a slower pace but I don't feel like I learnt much that I didn't already know. Another church, then the fortress. I was hot and flustered and having to shop for dinner and getting ripped off didn't help matters. Back on the truck I slept and after a few ... read more
Adding some sparkle to Stalin's house
Stalin's train carriage
His death mask

Asia » Georgia » Northern Georgia May 8th 2014

6 May Last night wasn't as bad as the night before but I think everyone was glad to be leaving Turtle Park. We'd be back in Tbilisi in a few days to pick up our passports and stay in a hostel for a couple nights which sounded MUCH more appealing. Leaving the city and heading back out into the countryside, we climbed high into the mountains en route to Kazbegi. Crossing one of the many bridges, we came across the stunning Ananuri monastery which is the cover photo for Lonely Planet's Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While I stopped to pat the dogs (whose ears have sadly been clipped and sometimes even tails docked), most made for the stall selling felt and fur hats. I took some photos from the bridge and then we walked down the ... read more
Much more scenic once out of the city!
Gas pipes, the bane of truck life!
Ananuri church

Asia » Georgia » Western Georgia » Kutaisi May 3rd 2014

3rd May Leaving the Black Sea coast we're heading inland and stopped at the amazing Prometheus Caves, only discovered in 1984. Requiring a guide, we were ushered down the stairs and into the mouth of the cave. Over 1400m long and with 17 chambers, the cave was impressive from the start with huge stalagmites and stalactites, some still growing. I saw our guide for a few minutes in the first chamber but he set such a speed that I didn't bother trying to keep up, preferring to take photos and actually look at the surroundings. A few others trailed along at various speeds also and I thoroughly the peace and quiet that came with being on my own. Our arrival into Kutaisi today didn't go unnoticed, especially on the side streets we had to take to ... read more
Stalactites and stalagmites still growing after all this time
Prometheus Cave

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