I spent the final 2 weeks of my trip in the ninth country, Thailand. We headed up over the border on the south eastern corner and onwards to Hat Yai. We weren’t really sure once we made it past the border where we’d end up that evening. Having eventually decided on a train out of the border town we were flagged down leaving the station for a bus to Phuket. We ended up arriving at like 1am and were bundled into a hotel by the minibus driver which I’m sure he made handsome commission from.
Singapore and Malaysia served as a good introduction so far for Asia. Singapore is a huge spectacularly clean and modern city with lavish air conditioned malls all over the place. Even on the shuttle from the airport to my hostel it made an impact after coming from a rather autumnal Australia. Firstly the humidity, even arriving at 11pm it was almost suffocating in the humidity, especially in the jeans I was wearing! Then you have the sky scrappers, so many and so many more being built all the time, and many are rather oddly shapped, including one which has a building that looked like a boat spanning the top of 3 skyscrapers!
I’m writing up about my final 4 weeks in Australia in just the one entry and from 11km high up in the sky on my flight to Singapore. Things slowed down a bit for me at the end in Australia and I must admit my desire, enthusiasm and drive for it all waned a lot. I’d seen the things I really wanted too and in truth I was waiting for Asia a lot. Anyway here’s a recap before Asia’s events happen and push what did happen further from my mind and I forget the little details.
Below is an itinerary of all the places I managed to visit on my trip to the Southern Hemisphere in 2010/2011.
Long before I actually booked anything on this trip I’d read about places to go in Australia and the one most raved about was Tasmania. So I put it at the top of my priority list of things to do in Australia along with driving through the outback. I’d managed to meet up with a Canadian girl Marisa who was going at the same time as me and we’d agreed to hire a car together and find other people once we got to Tasmania to fill up the car and cut down the costs. We had put an ad on gumtree whilst in Melbourne and had already arranged to meet with a couple of people about an hour after we arrived in Hobart!
Once I arrived in Adelaide I had an empty car, so up to 4 spots to try and fill with only around 24 hours to do so. I was a little stressed at first that I wouldn’t find anyone to go. Fortunately things worked out quite well. I’d posted an advertisement on Gumtree whilst in Alice Springs. Gumtree is a website where you can advertise pretty much anything – and finding people who want to head to places on here is often easier than finding people with similar plans in the hostels on such short notice. I had quite a lot of people show interest, but as I was out of reception for so long, most had made other plans by the time I got to Adelaide. I only had 1 person firmly interested. I met up with a German chap but he had about $150 left and was never going to blow most of it on getting to Melbourne – he needed to find a job really! I followed up on some other postings online and found two German girls (Alex & Roxy) who were interested and arranged to meet them and Emma a Scottish girl the following day.
After Fiji I made my way upto the Northern Territory in Australia. An overnight stop on the way was enforced after Qantas changed my flights about – luckily they switched them to the day after my flight from Fiji rather than the morning of my flight from Fiji when I’d still be in Fiji! After making it to Darwin I didn’t know how, but I knew what I wanted to do – Go straight down the middle of Australia. I’d done some research into some tours and looked up the cost of buses etc, but none of it made much sense. The cost was high – like £1000 for 2 weeks, if not more. And the ability to do exactly what you wanted was somewhat limited.
Ten nights, nine days in Fiji. I booked it as a holiday from travelling, time to recharge my batteries, not have to think and just chill. Whilst booking I was aware that it’d be towards the tail end of the rainy season in Fiji and was hoping for the best with the weather. However I left a sunny New Zealand to go to a rainy Fiji. When I arrived I was greeted by a great rush of humidity and quite a rainstorm. I spent my first night in a hotel/hostel close to the airport. It was just a stop before going to a resort the next day. I was pretty tired and I was sweating whilst sitting around doing nothing when outside of the sanctuary of an air conditioned room. Read the rest of this entry »
I had less than two weeks to get myself back up to Auckland on the north island of New Zealand in time for my flight to Fiji. This trip started with two days travelling from Dunedin to Christchurch. On the first day we made our way up the coast stopping at a few nice spots including the picturesque Moeraki Boulders before heading inland for a lunch stop and then onto our night stop at the base of Mt Cook. After the previous night in Dunedin and limited sleep I was feeling rather rough that day and spent most of my time with my eyes shut in the bus, but not actually managing to sleep. Add into the fact that it was scorching hot outside meant the hangover took a while longer to clear than normal. As we made our way towards Mt Cook the weather changed to really overcast and wet. Slightly annoying as the area would have made for some great pictures, but really I wasn’t so bothered and used it as an opportunity to get an early night and some much needed eye shutter. Read the rest of this entry »
So the past week I’ve made it just about as far as you can make it before hitting Antarctica, at least whilst your in Oceania anyhow. This meant visiting the party hotspot of Queenstown, the stunning scenery in Milford Sounds and the Catlin Shoreline, the remote Stewart Island and the town of Dunedin. Read the rest of this entry »