Stewart Bartlett


Stewart Bartlett

Hello! You have successfully found the blog for my adventure. Passing through Central America, South America, New Zealand, Australia and finishing in South East Asia. Well actually it finishes back in England, but you get my drift.

Currently back at home. Boo Hoo.

Visited Countries Map

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba August 27th 2009

So from Bukit Lawang, it was time to head to Lake Toba. Unfortunately this meant going back through Medan. Which meant being a celebrity again. You see, what I didn't mention last time is that because hardly any tourists stop in Medan, those that are around are a great attraction to locals, and everyone gets taught the phrase "Hello Mister" and isn't afraid to use it. It's quite a nice feeling for a short while, and it does seem like everyone is happy to see you there. I think I gave out more high fives in 10 minutes than I would in a regular week back at home. Then again, 1 high five would probably do that. Anyway, I decided to leave the celebrity lifestyle and carry on to Lake Toba, just about arriving in the ... read more
Batak Houses and Paddy Fields
Bagus Bay at dusk
Born to be Wild!

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang August 15th 2009

Yet again I start with an apology. This time, its that the highlight of Bukit Lawang undoubtedly was trekking in the jungle with orangutans. However, my camera had packed up by then, and thus no orangutan photos. I'm still hoping that one of the folk I trekked with will get round to sending me them one day, but until then, you'll have to make do with the residue of my photos Im afraid. See the monkeys see the birds, see orangutan. Sing that to the tune of Jingle Bells, and you've got the hottest song around the place. But I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. From Penang, I flew to Medan, the largest city in Sumatra, which happens to be a little bit rubbish. From there I got a bus to Bukit Lawang. Right, ... read more
Independence Day
Bukit Lawang

Asia » Malaysia » Penang » George Town August 13th 2009

OK, so lets start with a confession. I'm home. So all the remaining blogs will be written with a wistful air, and might possibly make places sound better than they really were, simply because they aren't England. But I'll try and remain objective. And so lets start with Penang. Which quite frankly, was a little bit rubbish. I better clarify that, for 2 main reasons. One is that to just give a sweeping statement like that without any supporting information is not a good thing to do. And secondly, my friend Asnida is from Penang, and it'd be a bit rude to bash her home island without good reason. She had promised to show me round, but unfortunately the 2 weekends I spent in Penang, preceeding and following my Sumatran adventures, she was out of town. ... read more
Khoo Khangsi
A big Buddha
Lazy Buddha

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Cameron Highlands August 12th 2009

Avid readers of this blog might have realised by now that I quite like a cup of tea. So when the opportunity to visit a tea plantation presented itself, I would quite literally get an overnight bus then sit for 7 hours in a bus station starting from 3am to get there. Fun times folks, real fun times. The things I do for a brew. Suffice to say, I was pretty shattered when I got to Tanah Rata, the main tourist town in the Cameron Highlands, and spent the remainder of the day napping. I awoke just long enough to have a bit of a natter with a few of my fellow inmates at the hostel I'd chosen, and found some folks that also wanted to bit of a hike to a tea plantation the next ... read more
Tea and scones (minus cream)
Blair Witch
Tea and temples

Asia » Malaysia » Terengganu » Perhentian Kecil August 9th 2009

You know, usually I like to go for a clever pun for these titles. But this time, I just decided to go straight for the jealousy button. And you already feel pretty jealous don't you? Don't lie, I know you are. As Lionel Ritchie once said, I can see it in your eyes. Hello. We made an early start from Kota Bharu, and as such were relaxing on Coral Bay on Pulau Perhentian Kecil by 11am. I'd rented out some snorkelling gear, and went for a bit of an explore into the water, to see some of the most bizarre rainbow coloured fish I've ever seen. There was also one cheeky chappy that challenged me to a duel, by repeatedly swimming right into my face, then backing off. We faced off for half an hour or ... read more
Perhentian Kecil
Myra Beach
Perhentian Kecil

Asia » Malaysia » Pahang » Taman Negara National Park August 5th 2009

It seems the Malaysian government/tourist board/whoever had an off day when naming Taman Negara National Park. You see, Taman Negara is Malaysian for... yup, you guessed it, National Park. Very uninventive. If this was in Singapore, you can guarantee it would have been called the Tigelephant National Park (with Tigers and Elephants apparently roaming around, not that I saw hide nor hair of them). Basically, Taman Negara is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, and people come here to go for a bit of wandering around in it. I'm a person, so was coming here for some wandering around. I was to do said wandering with a chap called Chris, whom I met when our bus there broke down. The driver of this bus then buggered off and hitched himself a lift on the ... read more
Canopy walk
On the river boat
Tarzan eat your heart out

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur August 1st 2009

I just love it when a bus pulls up in the middle of a hot sweaty bustling city, without any indication of whereabouts in this city you actually are. All I knew is I wanted to go to Chinatown, and the drivers finger pointed the general direction I should walk in. Fortunately it wasn't too far, and the sight of a big backpack and a sweaty face meant I got a nice crowd of touts telling me their hostel was the best. I followed one at random, and found a place to crash. Now, I'm fortunate enough to have some friends in Kuala Lumpur, and so I got on the tube to the Petronas Towers to meet Asnida and Aisyah. I was lucky, as they were both heading out of town just after, so if I'd ... read more
Petronas Towers
KL from Petronas Towers
KL Train station

Asia » Singapore July 29th 2009

And so the Stewart bandwagon hits its final leg (or as its a wagon, should that be wheel?) After a thoroughly enjoyable flight with Qantas from Brisbane to Singapore, I emerged into the sort of intense humidity that I really hadn't encountered since Central America. And this was at 9pm. I sweated my way to a hostel on Singapore's tube system, having a good chuckle at the "rap" that was used to encourage people to be polite to fellow passengers on the train. Bags dropped, and water drunk, I sneaked out to the night market for my first meal. Ive long suspected that the cuisine is going to be one of my favourite bits of this section of my journey, and the dirt cheap prawn fried rice I picked up tonight was a good start. After ... read more
Singapore by night
Hindu temple
Chinese Pagoda

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Gold Coast July 28th 2009

Australia. Possibly the worlds biggest gap year destination, with backpackers coming in their droves to travel the East Coast. I was going to the East Coast too, but my itinerary was slightly different. You see, after 10 months on the road, I'm a bit tired. I got through New Zealand running on fumes, I suspect if at that time I was in a place where I had to haggle, and constantly getting hassled I might have self combusted. Luckily, New Zealand isn't like that, but I'm heading to SE Asia, and that certainly is. I needed a pitstop. That pitstop was awaiting me on the Gold Coast courtesy of Oliver and Shelley. For those of you that don't know them, Oliver is a friend of mine I've known practically since I could walk, and Shelley is ... read more
From Burleigh Heads
Some falling water

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch July 15th 2009

Yup, thats right folks, arriving in Christchurch meant that it was the end of my time in another country of my trip. Which signals that England is drawing inexorably closer. But lets not dwell on annoying things like that, lets talk about my time in the South Island's largest city. I arrived late after a day long bus ride from Invercargill, so had just enough time to find a nice hostel then hit the hay. This left me one proper day to explore. I spent the morning walking round the city centre, which wasn't very interesting to tell you the truth. The cathedral was... a cathedral and the city was all citylike. The only semi-interesting thing I can tell you is that the river running through the city is the Avon, sharing its name with the ... read more
I think this is technically a sound
Christchurch from The Port Hills

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