Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Well Sir Roger as you know I've hooked up with the sultry Transylvanian agent and we're in the top end - Far North Queensland, FnQ, as they like to say. First it was a physics conference in Cairns for the week - subatomic matter, had some good chats with the Algerian at Pittsburgh U and another from the University of Indiana. Took a day off too, grabbed a car and wound through the hills - Fishery Falls, Babinda, Millaa Millaa; apparently Fishery Falls off limits. Mission accomplished though at Ellinjaa Falls and then popped into the pub at Fishery Falls for nosh on the way home. Then a quick change of hotel the next day, a bit of Thai massage for the two of us, a night on the town with a rather delicious Risotto Funghi before a flight the next day via Air North to Gove, also known as Nhulunbuy in East Arnhem Land staying at the Walkabout Lodge. Aptly named as without a car all we could do was walk about, and not very far then between the restricted permit areas and the crocodile infested swamps. Had to content ourselves with a bit of R&R, couldn't even go and visit the Bauxite mine. As we've become fond of saying though, "Wanna Gove? Don't". Didn't take a single photo there and the trips to the Woolworths were the highlight. There is a big festival there starting this week - Gama Festival but needed a car, not even a single tour we could find. Anyway, back into Cairns today and civilisation for the night. I grabbed a chopper out to the reef as soon as I landed whilst the sultry Transylvanian agent checked out the jewelry stores for wedding rings only to find out those liked are made in Adelaide! Tomorrow it's back on a jet to Horn Island for the both of us. You might have heard of that - Horn Island - secret base during World War II. Next door to Thursday Island, good thing given we land on Thursday. We've got ferry tickets and a few days to reconnoiter. We've been discussing the next trips too. Kiribati for Christmas, or maybe Christmas Island and then Cocos and Keeling. But the big trip back to Transylvania in about September will probably be followed by a bit of a Norwegian sojourn. Was to be Greece, but, not sure if it is Drachma or Euros, so, looks like Norway's getting the gig. Sorry missed a post on this blog - Lord Howe last Christmas. Magnificent place. All full or bicycles and birds. Knowing full well you're a bit of a fan of birds. Oh and apparently there are 13 new spiders up here. Maybe Q can send me some bug spray :-) Speak soon Sir Roger.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

No Balkan on this one.

Well Mr Bond, it has been a while. I took a sojourn to Norfolk Island and then to Robe, even to New Zealand last week and Indonesia a while back too. But now it is time to get back to business with an exploration of the Balkans almost upon us. Starting in Honkers, I know you love Honkers, then to Amsterdam taking care with the dykes, before it's time to dust off the old Tuxedo in Vienna where the journey really begins. Ahh Vienna, I'm sure it won't fade to grey, and then across Slovenia to Kumrovec, Zagreb, Plitvice and Split in Croatia; staying with President there. Then Mostar and Sarajevo - I'm sure you know that well. No archdukes around these days but maybe you were there in the 90's was it? Then Dubrovnik, a bit of Adriatic cruise before traveling on to Kotor in Montenegro and finally Tirana. A short stop in Ohrid, Macedonia, Skopje and then Sofia. Didn't you know a girl Sofia? Probably many knowing you. And finally Istanbul. Well then a short stop in Dubai and another in Tokyo on the way home. Not long now Bond. I'll be sure and keep the briefings up on this trip, even if I do run into Sofia :-) Ahh and the new wheels are proving quite good, shame I can't take it on the trip with me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Alphabet Quest and X.

As they say X marks the spot but there is no country starting with X and only two that contain the letter X, so in the interests of the Alphabet Quest it is time to visit one of those two countries. Yes Luxembourg, in the middle of Europe, this will colour in a very small but important bit of the map. Oh and on the way to get there I'll stop in Singapore, change planes in Helsinki, do some work in Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden, and then fly to Luxembourg via Copenhagen in Denmark and finally home via Hong Kong. I wonder if there'll be treasure in the land of X, or perhaps the treasure is the riches of the old and beautiful city. Only two more letters to go after this.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Continuing on with the Pacific theme, this time it's Tonga. The first humpback whale of the season has arrived. On the day of arrival it will be a beautiful 25 degrees and sunny. A few days at a resort then city exploration.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Solomon Islands

Ahhh, a new destination nears - the beautiful Solomon Islands, full of interesting history and culture. A very significant place in the Pacific battles of World War II, I'm looking forward to learning more. Plus after the rush of the Middle Kingdom, time for a bit of rest and relaxation under a palm tree and by the pool. With the incidence of Malaria high, I'll be off to collect some anti-malarials for my journey tomorrow night and I've already got the reef shoes, so now maybe, just an underwater camera. Can't ever have enough cameras can you?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Middle Kingdom

Only two letters now remain for the Alphabet Travel quest in Y and Z - no simple task to accomplish so instead a deviation to visit the Middle Kingdom of China. Shanghai, Beijing, Zhengzhou, Shaolin and Xian. A cold time to visit with temperatures expected to be around -1C but potentially to -9C here's hoping for some snow but not too much. A bullet train ride and the Longmen Grottos look to be the highlights.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

P's and Q's

For those following along with the Alphabet Quest only four letters remain - P, Q, Y and Z. Countries with the letters P and Q will soon be visited - namely Poland and Qatar. Poland has a long and interesting history and many people when asked to name a country that starts with the letter Q struggle to identify that Qatar is the only one. But this trip will also visit many other countries: - Denmark (again); - Sweden (for the first time); - Finland (for the third time but the first to properly explore Helsinki); - Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Poland (all for the first time); - Germany (first time to Berlin, having made many prior trips to Germany); and - Czech Republic and Hungary (both for the first time). The many different currencies is a step back in time to my very first trips around Western Europe, now most countries of which all use the Euro - Zlotys (means gold), Korunas, Kronas, Krones, Rubles, and Forints - will be fascinating to see all the different currencies. Ahh and the Riyals of Qatar. And then there are the many languages. That's the great thing about travel - opens the mind.