It’s so easy to let things slip when you are having fun, it’s now early July and over 15,000 miles since our blog was last updated in April! So get ready for some compressed details.
It seems like a lifetime ago that we were in South East Asia and although we had a great time there, by the end of it we were ready to move on to new pastures and cooler weather.
Rather than doing “the overland thing” from Laos we all voted for a quick two hour flight to Cambodia rather than spending a week of bumpy and dusty “overlanding” by bus. Trust me, you would understand our decision if you saw the state of the Laotian roads.
The temples in the Cambodian jungle are magical beyond description in both, beauty, workmanship and location. You really have to see them for yourselves! Given the location and the size of the undertaking it is almost impossible to imagine how the original builders achieved this. It is truly one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Many people have seen photos of the most famous temple, Angkhor Wat, but our favorite experience was an early morning visit to Angkhor Thom, with it’s hundreds of giant Bhudda faces carved into the walls
After sweating it our in Cambodia we travelled back to Thailand to stay with Graeme Orr, an old friend of ours who now lives on the island of Koh Tao.
We spent a lovely week diving, swimming and relaxing at his palatal home in a location which strangely reminded me of Jeff Tracey’s paradise island, home of the Thunderbirds.
From there we took a bus followed by an overnight boat with “scum class” accommodation to the west coast island of Koh Lanta for a final week of island life before we returned to Bangkok and flew to New Zealand.
What can I say about New Zealand except that it exceeded our expectations by hundred times.
Over the two months that we were there we travelled from Auckland to tiny Stewart Island in the far south and back again http://goo.gl/maps/Vrd5
We bathed in hot pools that we dug in the sand on unspoiled beaches, we hiked across glaciers, we mountain biked through temperate rain forests, we sailed down fjords, we learned to fish (and had many successful catches I might add) and thanks to the amazing New Zealand wines I finally got a taste for alcohol.
All I can say is don’t let the distance put you off visiting, you won’t be disappointed as it’s one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places on earth (and they make great fish ‘n chips).
Finally we did a quick hop over the Tasman Sea to Australia to spend six weeks “chillaxing” with our extended family in Australia. The Cooper family were instrumental in the process of my wife and I meeting, so we couldn’t turn down a rare chance to visit them at their home in Brisbane.
It was more a chance to regroup and catch up with years and years of news, then it was to explore the vast continent of Oz. We got to discover Brisbane, spend a week at the beach in beautiful Byron Bay, visit my cousins in Noosa and celebrate two birthdays. After almost year on the road it was fantastic to see old friends, put the slippers on and relax in a home from home.
Almost a year to the day since we left New York, we finished our Australia leg with a few days in the wonderful city of Sydney, and to celebrate our time there we spent our last night at the Sydney Opera House watching a performance of “The Pearl Fishers”