Halong Amazes (but for how long?)

June 21, 2010 by

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth. So it is a shame it is ruined by tourists. Being two of those tourists we were both delighted to be there and sad to be contributing to the many problems in the area – mainly due to pollution from the boats and rubbish from the visitors.

Bays and boats

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Hanoi-ing

June 21, 2010 by

The best thing about Hanoi was our hotel room. It boasted two double beds, a large plasma screen TV, a Jacuzzi bath tub and a strong wifi signal (a rare commodity in Vietnamese hotels). We were served with delicious Pho soup and fresh mango juice every morning and the hotel owner, Mr Tung, was incredibly welcoming and helpful.

Outside our sanctuary lay chaos and confusion, which crawled across all corners of central Hanoi. The first thing you notice about Vietnam’s capital city is that there are no rules of the road. The streets swarm with motorbikes, buses, trucks, taxis, bicycles, cycle-rickshaws and the occasional horse-drawn cart, none of them obeying any consistent approach to driving.

Beware of the bikes!

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In the food for love

June 18, 2010 by

Hong Kong, what an extraordinary place!

Hong Kong night skyline

From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we got back on, we had nonstop fun in this feast to the senses, dazzled by the lights, soaking in the energy of the crowds, eating steaming dim sum, slurping oodles of noodles, awestruck by the buildings, getting soaked in a summer rain storm. Ten days in this incredibly energetic city left us wanting to stay for good, and pining over it over the next few weeks.

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A Kind of Magic

June 4, 2010 by

The main aim of our Australia trip was to visit the Great Barrier Reef. So we were more than a little alarmed when the day before we were due to arrive in Airlie Beach to begin our two-night tour of the Reef and the nearby Whitsunday Islands we were told that we had been double booked and there was no room for us on the boat.

A ropey situation on Airlie Beach

After a 10-hour bus from Cairns to Airlie we were no more certain of getting a place on our tour or any other. This was on a Thursday night and our original boat was due to leave on the Saturday morning. The next day we headed straight to the agency ready for battle with the inept girl that had wrecked our booking.

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It’s different Down Under

June 4, 2010 by

It was with a heavy heart that we bade farewell to Argentina to fly to Australia.  Our first three months travelling, spent in South America, had allowed us to experience people and places we would never forget.

South America, and Buenos Aires in particular, were very much starting to feel like home. Also, Marc’s Spanish was getting good enough that I didn’t have to do all the talking anymore.  But time was ticking and new horizons were calling. And so we boarded our Qantas flight, armed with books and valium to help us survive the 15-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Sydney.

Never seen that before, whatever could it be?

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Misiones Improbable

May 24, 2010 by

From Buenos Aires we headed north to the humid, subtropical climate of Misiones and its Iguazú Falls, where sunshine and warmth are virtually guaranteed throughout the year. It rained for the next seven days.

Its wet up north

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Buenos Aires mi amor

May 16, 2010 by

By the time we were heading to Buenos Aires Marc and I had been on the road for two months. Sixty days of seeing new places, eating new foods, meeting new people. All of this discovery had been exhilarating but we were both missing the presence of familiar faces and conversation not our own.

Specifically, we were very excited to see of our friends Zaheer, Alex, Jethro from Paris and Brian from Hong Kong who would be in Buenos Aires to attend the wedding of Felix and Agustina, also Paris friends. And we couldn’t ask for a better location for a reunion.

Le Crew reunited

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Big Ice

May 6, 2010 by

From Torres del Paine we headed north into Argentine Patagonia and the small tourist town of El Calafate. We went there with one mission – to walk on the Perito Moreno glacier. The mission was a massive (massif?) success.

Approaching the glacier

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No Paine No Gain

May 2, 2010 by

Torres del Paine

Marc: We hadn’t planned to go trekking for four days in a national park in Chilean Patagonia. But after meeting so many travellers who were singing the praises of Torres del Paine we felt compelled to go. It was the best decision we could have made.

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Warming to Chile

April 27, 2010 by

We loved Santiago from the first night we were there and we didn’t even leave my mate Patrice’s apartment.

We had arrived at the city’s airport dirty and drained from our tiring travels. Bolivia is an amazing country to visit but it is no walk in the park (more like a jostle in the jungle), so on arrival in Chile we were delighted when our airport shuttle-bus took us straight to our new ‘home’ for the next five days in the leafy neighbourhood of Providencia.

Sunny Santiago

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