now that we’ve safely returned to london, it is time to close this blog that has kept me busy for more than a year. busy in the nicest possible way as i have loved sharing my experiences and pix with so many people.

thanks to everyone for the lovely and constructive feedback and for taking the time to read. special thanks to james who has not only been my 24 hour technical support but also a rock during our trip.

who knows, i may return to this blog at some point in the future such is the desire to continue travelling the world. i have already made a list of where i would like to go next: bhutan, mongolia, lao, vietnam, thailand, nepal, ethiopia, eritrea, tanzania, burundi, rwanda, namibia and many more places…

in the meantime, here are 32 pix, in random sequence, summarising our journey or at least giving a little flavour of what we’ve seen. some of them were published before and others are new on here.

hasta luego amigos…

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our very last stop before london is hong kong and we made the most of our 7 hour stopover. there is no way we wanted to stay at the airport but instead felt like taking advantage of every minute we had left, prolonging the dream. so we got lost in the metro, went on a cruise in the harbour and walked for hours absorbing the unique atmosphere and then walked some more.

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hong kong by night is pretty amazing with its daily lightshow at victoria harbour and illuminated skyline. the verticality of the city and incessant flow of people are a clear indication that this is one of the most densely populated places on earth. this is only a taster for me. if and when i plan another trip, it will start with asia.

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this is it. after 366 days in 21 countries the time has come to go back to london and start afresh. I have a dentist appointment to look forward to…


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when we set off exactly a year ago on our grand voyage, a whole year felt like a lifetime. we were elated and curious to see and experience as much as possible, so much so that we never gave “the end” much thought until recently.

back to sydney for the 4th time in 3 months, i kept wondering what should one do on the last day of such a fabulous trip? i didn’t feel like seeing anything new or hit the shops in a big mall. instead, we returned to one of sydney’s most iconic sights, bondi beach, always an excellent spot for catching a bit of sun and a few waves, admiring graffiti and for people watching.

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as i write this down, we are watching from our balcony the massive cruise ship “radiance of the seas” passing the opera house and leaving the harbour. a search engine tells me it is going to new zealand. i know i said that cruises were not for me but i suddenly feel the urge to be on this ship…

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we spent our last day in perth meandering lazily through the botanical gardens overlooking the city and the confluence of the canning and swan rivers. for the early aboriginal inhabitants, the nyoongar people, the landscape was created by the gods with a clear purpose. standing on the hill i couldn’t help sparing a thought for the nyoongar people, who must have watched with apprehension and excitement european ships approach their land, not knowing that life would never be the same again.

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the gardens are magnificent and the time of year just right with many flowers still in bloom despite the early autumn. we managed to spot (and photograph) ringneck parrots, also called twenty-eight parrots due to the sound they make (28, 28).

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at night perth was again all green (or painted black as guinness marketers keep banging on). i would normally avoid the yearly drunken st patrick’s hoohah but james’s irishness keep cropping up at the most opportune moments, mostly where guinness is flowing and there is a singalong and a fiddle (“she was handsome, she was pretty, she was the belle of belfast city”). everywhere we’ve been, from guatemala to colombia, from ushuaia to perth, there would be the inevitable irish bar. and you have to give credit to the irish who have managed to be one of the most popular nations in the world.

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st patrick’s day in perth was predictably like other st patrick’s days all over the world: happy inebriated people dressed in green, wearing either oversized or minuscule top hats, trying to riverdance their heart out.┬áit’s always good entertainment value.

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back in sydney one last time. 3 days to go and it’ll be all over…


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prison break

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no we didn’t end up in an indonesian jail, although that would be one way to prolong our trip. back on australian soil, we visited the world heritage freemantle prison, not far from perth, in western australia. it no longer …

 

yumyum’s prophecy

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YAY! after several days confined in the hotel on a diet of small pieces of bread and rehydrating salts i am back on my own 2 feet. thank goodness for that. i was starting to feel at a club med …

 

day 356: bali belly in lombok

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with just 10 days to go before going home, what a time to be struck by the bali belly? i shall spare the details of my gastric problems but let’s just say that just the smell of food is proving …

 

photo dedication 27: election fever

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it is election time in indonesia as both legislative and presidential elections will take place in the coming months. this makes places like bali even more colourful than normal as various political parties have erected banners and flags all over …

 

bali 4ever?

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places are never as you remember them, are they? i have been to bali before, albeit a long time ago, but i remember it very differently: less crowded, less polluted, clean beaches, less garbage. people on the other hand are …

 

temples, temples and more bali temples

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there are 2 things that immediately catch the senses in bali. the first is the sheer number of people and vehicles trying to find a way through the hectic streets. indeed, at first glance, bali is a far cry from …