Saturday, October 01, 2005

Summer travel

Time passed at times quickly and at times fast before it came time for the Summer break, and now I will tell you about it the Summer trip. I left London on the 22nd June to go to Bangkok first. I stayed with an old colleague of mine (Paul) who had emigrated there after my first year at my school, so he knew the city area well after his first year of exploring. I liked it quite a lot as the sights, sounds and smells are quite different to anything I have experienced to date. The food is amazing and now I try and avoid “Thai” food anywhere else in the world. Even if the chef is Thai, the ingredients are almost definitely not from Thailand. They make the difference, fresh herbs and all that.

I met some locals in Bangkok and did some
travel East with my friend to an “old man” resort and to an island escape with the usual shack bars along the beach front. I hired a little motorbike to cruise the island and find some beautiful quite remote places.

I also travelled South of Bangkok to another beachy area. Stunning. I was there for 2 weeks and didn’t even get that far away from Bangkok itself. Certainly a country to return to soon to explore in more depth.

I left and went to Tasmania, skipping a stay in Melbourne so that I could see my Mum as soon as possible. It had been 2 and a half years! She had her hair cut really short only the 2nd time I have seen it that short), but it looks good. It wasn’t long before I was enjoying “home cooked” meals and seeing their life. Their house was 85 km South of Hobart, down quite a beautiful long river valley – there are a lot of waterways in Tasmania… But it was so cold initially, a cold front that lasted for 4 or 5 days that made me want to leave. It was made harder from spending two very warm weeks in Thailand. Quite a shock to the system. I was in Tasmania for 4 weeks in total. We did some travel West and North of Hobart, some absolutely stunning scenery and by then the weather wasn’t too bad. 4 weeks was probably a little too long as I found my time in NZ sooo rushed.

Sunset when we travelled West of Hobart

Wineglass Bay in a National Park, N West Tasmania

Salamanca St (home of famous Sat morning market) at night

My 2 and a half weeks in NZ started with Ryan picking me up at the airport in Auckland and staying with him a couple of days before I headed down to Cambridge to see Dad and some friends in Hamilton. It was great to see them all again, although it seems everyone is buying houses, getting married and having kids!!! I felt like my life was so different. Of course this is good, but at times I do wish I was more settled in one place although I know I would probably get too bored. Ryan’s graduation and travel for the week before with Dad from Dunedin to Milford Sound put me back in touch with the real beauty NZ has on offer – I do miss that as well.

Huge snow-capped mountains, rivers, lakes, etc that are world class. Otherwise NZ doesn’t give me a huge calling to come back “home”. I feel reasonably at home there, but not that it IS my home. Probably just continue this more nomadic lifestyle – I do want to go and live in Asia next year depending on where I can get a job offer – Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, China, anywhere that I can explore the area from will be great. I do of course still miss Argentina a huge amount.

Stunning NZ coastline

Rare Yellow-eyed Penguins, in the Caitlins area, South East South Island

Ryan and I, Treble Cone, near Wanaka

After NZ I had a 5 day stop in Brisbane. I found Brisbane a very nice city – the weather was sooo nice for Winter, long warm days with beautiful blue skies. Apparently the norm. Could be a prospective future place to settle (if it doesn’t become tooo unaffordable). An old family and school friend lives there and I spent some time with her. Strangely enough when I travelled up North of Brisbane a couple of hours I was able to catch up with Mum and David who had just driven up. They left Tasmania because of the lack of work in the area where they worked. So, it was nice to spend a couple more days with them. (Went to the world’s largest ginger factory (80%) in the small town where they are staying.)

Brisbane city in the background (about 20 Aug)

A couple of exciting days in Singapore (meeting up with the friend from Berlin) on the way back to London completed a long, but great Summer trip. I had jetlag for a good week with quite strange sleeping hours, but some really good sleeps. No bother really. I visited a really nice school while there and hopefully that effort and time to arrange a visit will pay off if a job position comes up there.


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