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Asia » Singapore » Singapore Harbour January 26th 2014

Well, Singapore’s a strange place isn’t it? There are lots of things to like and lots to dislike but almost all of them are in some way strange. As per usual I knew very little the country before arriving. I know a lot of people who have spent time in Singapore so naturally assumed that it must be some sort of reasonable sized place…it’s not. It’s one major island that is like 40x20km and a few other small islands. I suspect that makes it smaller than Calgary by footprint (I only suspect it cuz I’m too lazy to look it up and confirm it – besides, I don’t have wifi in the lovely café I’m currently spending the afternoon in while you are all at work!) but with approx 6 million people. Singapore is an amazing ... read more
Singapore beat Gordon Ramsay

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Milne Bay January 23rd 2014

We knew when arriving in PNG that it had a number of cultural groups and over 800 languages. It really took us our whole visit to understand what that means. Each of the places we visited has an entirely different way of living meaning that anything we learned in one area is not necessarily true in the other areas, it was really like visiting 3 different countries. It also means that there is virtually no national identity (except when it comes to the national Rugby League team of course) and loyalties and allegiances are to the tribe and not the country as a whole. This makes the national political situation particularly challenging because for the most part no ones primary concern is the country as a whole. The Trobriand Islands (or “Trobs” as the locals and ... read more
Yam House
Yam plants
Carvings in the hotel

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Milne Bay » Logia Island December 30th 2013

Well readers when we left off Shelagh and Heather were “stranded” at their resort in Tufi after their plane to Port Moresby didn’t arrive. Let’s tune back in too see what happened… The plane to Port Moresby was scheduled to arrive in Tufi at 7:45am and depart again at 8:15am. When we asked the Air PNG rep at the hotel what time we needed to have our bags ready in the morning he did some careful calculations and informed us that we should have our bags ready at 5:45 am. Let me remind you that the airstrip is a 2 minute drive from the hotel and there is literally no building, luggage cart, airport infrastructure of any sort (oh, that’s a lie, there’s a wind sock) at the airport. Really, we need to check in and ... read more
Bathroom in Alatou airport
Our view view of Nuli Sapi and our bungalow
Nuli Sapi resort

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Oro » Tufi December 20th 2013

We have to admit that we did minimal research before embarking on this trip. We did know that it would be bloody hot and humid and that we would probably get dirty and smelly. To deal with this we headed to Kmart and bought cheap tshirts and shorts. You can actually buy cute tshirts in Kmart for as low as $3 (although we largely splashed out on the $6 and $8 ones). I suspect these are not made in Australian factories paying Australian minimum wage. Reluctantly I also decided not to bring my down jacket (how can I possibly travel without my down jacket???). We also knew that there was Malaria risk in PNG and did procure malaria tablets. A few days before departing we thought “hmmm, I wonder if we need visas?” and learned that ... read more
Water hazard
Flying into the fiords of Tufi
Tufi gravel runway

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD December 5th 2013

So this blog covers a bunch of random things Shelagh and I have been up to since our Darwin Blog. We plan to do a fair bit of diving while we are here so we signed up to do our Advanced Course. The course was held in Manly. It didn’t get off to a great start. We were told to arrive at 8 am. Some others were told 8:30. It was 10 am before we did anything other than fill out a form. 10:30 before we left the shop…to go to another location to get our gear. Around 11 when we reached the beach to start the course. Not so impressed. We had to do 5 dives. The first 3 were on day one just in shallow water at Little Manly. We did a dive to ... read more
Lighthouse at South Head looking at North Head
Bronte beach
Adam Scott

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Lennox Head December 4th 2013

Ok, we haven’t written a blog for over a month so there will be two in rapid fire succession. One covering the things Shelagh and I have been up to on our own and one covering the exciting two weeks that our friends Katrina and Simon came to visit. And by exciting, I mean drinking. It was a sign of things to come when I picked them up at the airport at 10 am and took them home to shower, unpack etc. Within an hour Kat had opened the bottle of nice white Shelagh bought in a vineyard near Canberra and Simon had begun his investigation of Australian Craft beer. It happened to be the day of the Melbourne Cup – The race that stops a nation – so we headed out to meet Shelagh at ... read more
After 12 tastes of wine...
Lennox head beach
Windy swimming flags

There are more things we want to do in Australia/New Zealand/South East Asia than we can possibly fit into 6 months so we know we wont get to do them all. However, a priority for both of us is to go “Up Top” to the Northern Territory. We realized that we are heading into the Wet Season and that if we don’t go now, we may not be able to see Kakadu so…we went. Booked a trip and flights one day and left the next. There are really only two proper seasons in the North, the Dry and the Wet, however there is an unofficial season as the Dry turns into the Wet and it’s called the Buildup. Basically it means the heat is increasing, the humidity is increasing but the rain hasn’t come yet to ... read more
Rock paintings
I have my eye on you...

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Glebe October 23rd 2013

After much planning, anticipation and general pandemonium the time had finally come for us to depart for our 6 month adventure in Sydney. Houses rented out, cars stored, phones put on hold, job quit (ok, that happened a while ago – wouldn’t want to leave everything to the last minute!). Sherpa was settling into her new home with a former colleague of mine. She is likely to receive more love and attention there than in her regular life. Maverick was deposited with our friends Blair and Aleks for what will likely be the most fun and active 6 months he’ll ever have. Ready. As for the flight itself you won't be surprised to learn that Shelagh was booked business class and I had an upgradeable economy fare. We went to all the trouble of staying up ... read more
Heather making fish tacos
bug killer

Asia » Bhutan November 13th 2012

Day 1 So we headed to Bhutan – a small land locked country sandwiched between Tibet and India. Our flight from Kathmandu to Paro was incredible including a view of the Himalayas out of the left side of the plane the whole way. This included a fantastic view of Mount Everest and many of the other tallest mountains in the world. Bhutan had resisted modernization for a long time and was the last country on the planet to get TV (in 1999!). They believe in low volume high quality (and expensive) tourism. What this means is that you pay a standardized daily rate per person and for this you get your hotels, 3 meals a day, a guide and a driver. In 2006 the King just announced one day that the country would become a democracy. ... read more
The Tigers nest Monastery
Tigers Nest Monastery
Our guide and driver

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara November 8th 2012

Day 8 We got up really early this morning so we could see sunrise over the mountains. It was beautiful as the sunlight slowly illuminated the mountains. We then started a really long day. We knew if was going to be a long day of riding – we were told 29km. It turned out to be 55km…not sure of the difference between Nepali and Canadian kilometers!! Most of today was on jeep roads. This involved pot holes, rocks, big puddles and much poo. If I get Giardia on this trip it will be from the flying poo and muck today I imaging. It’s a bad sign when you say…”oh I know that taste. Its Yak poo!” We dropped 3000m over the course of today and climbed 1000m so a big day. The crazy drop in altitude ... read more
Climbing onto the broken bridge
Another suspension bridge
Tired and dirty

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