Page 8 of thetravelbugtribe Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Cambridge March 25th 2008

One night back at home after our four day dash then we took off again, this time in the split. Poor dogs, couldnt come with us this time either, and they love camping. We stopped off at Franks place in Auckland (Eurofix) to talk to him about the wedge, then carried on just past Cambridge. We met three Auckland kombis on their way down, but didnt hang with them for long as they were going straight to Karapiro, and we werent. We found a great little free camp spot between Cambridge and Tirau, on a council reserve, Little Waipa Reserve. There were three other vans already there, and we all spread out amongst the trees, out of sight of each other but close enough to hear of any trouble. Not that we expected anything. The next ... read more
Three beautiful Auckland kombis
Colin putting in his new spark plugs and the fuel filter
Lining up for the convoy

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island March 19th 2008

Why four days? Why not four months? Not an especially long story. Just frustrating. Still, having an adventure is what its all about. And this was an adventure, but just a mild one. First some background as to why we only had four days... We had gone down to Christchurch to buy a van. Not just any van, but another VW kombi. This time a 1980 “wedge” pop-top camper. Not to replace the split, but to complement it. Something we can abuse without feeling so bad! The split needs a bit of time off, some TLC, and we dont want to stop camping. So along came the wedge. Or so we thought. The lady selling it was less than honest, and a good all round van turned into a good body and interior with a stuffed ... read more
Christchurch Catherdral
River Avon, Christchurch
Woodend Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Northland February 10th 2008

Ngawha Springs - somewhere we'd been intending to go for a while, but never quite getting around to it. We'd heard various stories about the pools and the area. So Saturday morning after work we packed up the kombi and trundled off northwards. We took a few back roads, ones we'd not driven yet, and possibly wont drive again. Sure, usually we love taking the back roads, the roads less travelled, but ... these just got a bit boring and monotonous. No-where to pull off and let the dogs have a run or a swim, it was just forest and houses, and not nice houses at that. The only excitement was meeting a farmer herding his cows up the road, and his dog was more interested in barking at the van - and the dogs in ... read more
Camping by Lake Tuwhakino
Soaking in the bubbling muddy water of Ngawha
Waimate North mission house

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh November 16th 2007

The bus from Sen Monorum to Phnom Penh was a bit better than the one to Sen Monorum. Not more comfortable or anything, it just went quicker, and so was wilder and bumpier. Phnom Penh is a great city, as far as cities go. Big, noisy, dusty...all the things we dont like! But we still had five days there, and managed to pack all but the last one (had to pack our gear sometime!) Everywhere we stayed, either in a hostel or with Couch Surfing friends, we were woken up early by the noise of traffic or building work. The sun comes up around 6am, and work starts not long after. Due to the unreliability of electricity (and the cost), you have to get as much done in daylight hours as possible. We saw most of ... read more
Royal Palace
Silver pagoda, with parts of the Royal Palace compound behind
Interrogation room at Tuol Sleng

Asia » Cambodia » East » Senmonorom November 10th 2007

In memory of my Grandma, an inspiration when it came to dealing with my travel-bug. She would have loved hearing about this trip. Sorry this entry has taken a while to add. We've been in the jungle for a few days, and there was barely any power, let alone an internet connection. Well, our hostel, Nature Lodge had power most of the time only because the guy running it had set up a couple of small turbines in the river at the bottom of his property and was generating his own. Not much though, about 400W, but as most of his light bulbs were 15W energy savers, and there was no fridge etc, 400W was just enough. All the lights dimmed whenever they turned the blender on for a shake or juice, but we could live ... read more
Upper Bou Sra Falls
Lower Bou Sra Falls
Traditional Hill Tribe hut, and our elephant for the day

Asia » Cambodia » East » Kratié November 6th 2007

We made it to Kratie (Krah-cheh) much quicker than we planned. We thought (been told) that we'd have to take a bus from Siem Reap to Kampong Cham, stay overnight, then take another bus the following morning. But...we took the bus to Kampong Cham ok, but when we got there we found three other backpackers wanting to get to Kratie in a hurry (even less time in Cambodia than we do) so we all piled into a taxi to Kratie. This was a couple of dollars more than the bus, but way faster. The driver took us the old, unpaved route, but we still beat the bus that had left a couple of hours before us. And saw some neat countryside at the same time. Kratie is a small town on the banks of the Mekong, ... read more
Food stalls and the river from our room

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor November 5th 2007

More Wats. Our third day at Angkor, and finally we went to Angkor Wat. We got up early and headed off with hundreds (thousands??) of other people, mainly Japanese and Korean tourists, to see sunrise. Bit of a disappointment though. Angkor Wat was impressive, but the sunrise was a bit pathetic! Colin stayed outside the wat while I went inside so we could get two different views of the sunrise. So I got lumbered with the crowds, but still managed to find myself a decent enough place to wait. After sunrise we wandered round the outer galleries looking at the major bas reliefs / murals showing religious historical events, impressive. By this time, most of the people had headed off elsewhere so we could get into the temple and look around easier. This is a hard ... read more
West (main) gate at Angkor Wat
Bas Relief, Angkor Wat
Inner Temple (central structure) of Angkor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 4th 2007

It will be hard to find words to describe the temples of Angkor Archaeological Park. So I'll start with the boat ride from Battambang to here. Long. But also great, some awesome scenery along the Sunghai River and across the Tonle Sap Lake. The river started out wide enough, lined with houses and shacks, people travelling up and down the river, or sitting there fishing. The boat didnt go all that fast, and slowed right down when the river got crowded, or we passed people fishing / drift netting. After a while the river widened right out into huge flood plains. All we could see in any direction was channels through the reeds and other plants / trees. There were a lot of people living on boats out there too, small communities made up from between ... read more
A boat on the Sunghai out of Battambang
A "village" of boats on the river
About to squeeze past another boat

Asia » Cambodia » North » Battambang November 1st 2007

What a difference a more honest tour "operator" makes to a day out. We actually got to see what we wanted, plus more. We are now in Battambang, having put ourselves through another day of bus rides. Remember what we the ride down to Kampot was like - the ride from PP to Battambang was worse. The bus was better - much more space, air-con worked - but the about aggressive...and arrogant...he sat on the horn most of the way there, and the trip was about 5 hours. Not a nice little toot toot to let someone know we were coming, but long loud blasts, even when there wasnt any reason. Still, we made it. After dark unfortunately, which gives driving here a new edge - head / tail lights seem to be optional. All ... read more
Rice Paddy
Part of procession around the market
The Killing Caves - the hole people fell through after being shot

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot October 31st 2007

It took us a long time but we finally made it to Kampot. For whatever insane reason we decided not to stay in Phnom Penh just yet and head straight out of the city for the coast. So after an 11 hour flight to Bangkok, a night sleeping at the airport (great transit lounge, nice chairs to spread right out flat on, but why buff the floor at 4am when we are sleeping?!?!), a short hop to PP, a taxi ride to the bus station, we had a few hours waiting for the bus. Hot, tired, but mercifully not bothered by the people selling things as we expected, and have experienced elsewhere. Sure, kids came up a few times trying to sell us a paper, dvd, bread...but once we said no thanks, they wandered off. The ... read more
"Road" up to Bokor Hill Station
Hotel Kiri with Bokor Palace behind
Colin in the Hotel Kiri

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