A Travellerspoint blog

Pucon and climbing Villarrica Volcano

sunny 32 °C

´Life is just a precious minute baby, open up your eyes and see it baby, give yourself a better a chance because time wiill pass you, right on by´Time Will Pass You By by TobI Legend

Hola everyone

I can´t remember if I have used those lyrics to open a previous blog, but they are very apt and ´Time Will Pass You By´is a song I´ve been listening to a lot on our travels.

We´re in the lovely lakeside town of Pucon. Tomorrow we are heading further south to Puerto Montt and we then intend to try and get down to Torres Del Paine. Yesterday we climbed an active volcano, it´s not every day you can say that!

This is what we have been up to since I last wrote.

Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th January
We wandered around Santiago, visiting a museum containing some amazing Inca and pre-Columbian works of art, tools and artefacts. One of the exhibitions also had a series of inca statues in a series of sexual positions. The statues were used to symbolise the journey from life to death and back again. From looking at the statues and reading the descriptions I can only imagine that the Inca´s had a grand old time of it.

After that we hung around for the rest of the day at our hostel, our decision to keep our room on proved wise, meaning we could snooze and shower before our overnight bus journey. We caught a cab at 10pm with an Australian couple, James and Claire, to the bus station. We also met a Scottish couple over on holiday. The bus left promptly at 10.55pm. It was pretty comfy with plenty of leg space and reclining chairs. In fact I would say it was more comfy than a lot of planes we have been on.

We slept quite a bit of the way and blanked the rest of the journey out by using eyemasks and listening to our i-pods. We arrived in Pucon at 9am and headed to Hostal Pucon, booking in for 3 nights for a total cost of 60 quid. Pucon is pretty expensive for accomodation, especially just now as it is near peak time. Our hostal, like a lot of Pucon, is modelled on Swiss Challeys and is very nice.

We headed into town and bought some food for breakfast and then headed back for a bite to eat and a snooze. After that it was back into town to book on to a volcano tour for the next day. We booked on one at 35 pounds per person (there are no pound signs on these computers), with a 7am start.

At night we had a bite to eat sitting outside a little bar, gazing up at the 2,827 metre high volcano in the distance with smoke coming out of the top, wondering how on earth we were going to manage to climb it. Also managed to speak to my Mum on the phone, which is always good.

Saturday 5th January
The alarm went off at 6.05am, so technically we were not getting up at 6am, but pretty close to it. We had packed our gear the night before and after a light breakfast of yoghurt and banana we headed to the adventure companies office. We were kitted out in ski boots, waterproof jackets and trousers, as well as being given a rucksack with gloves, a hat, crampons (which were not required), a thing for putting on your bum (more about that later), an ice axe and a helmet.

Along with our 3 guides we had 2 Brazilian twins (female and blonde in case you wondered), a Chilean family of 4 and 3 Canadians. By the time we were kitted out and drove to the start it was 9am. The drive had climbed 1,400 metres to the ski lifts used in ski season. So we only had 1,427 metres to go.

We started off on rocky volcanic soil. The lead guide went at a nice steady pace, not fast at all. His experience shone throughout the whole day and his pace helped most people. After an hour we reached snow and it was time to out on our helmets as we continued to climb. By this stage the Mum and Dad of the Chilean family decided they were knackered and dropped out. Sadly the Brazilian twins did as well. One guide led the Chileans down while the Brazilians waited for him to return so they could join us later.

The snow was pretty soft and we followed our guide in single file, his footprints meant that we always knew where to walk. At times teh snow became hard and icey and we found that it was sometimes harder to get a good grip, but our ice axe meant that we always had something to lean on.

We climbed on with the sun beating down. Lynn and I had wisely bought some factor 50 (war paint) sunscreen teh previous day and we were glad of it. There was no shade at all. We rested for lunch at 12pm and admired the views out to Pucon, Lake Villarrica and beyond. The views rival anything in the South Island of New Zealand and that is saying something.

We soldiered on and scrambled over some volcanic soil and rocks just before the top and finally made it at 2pm. The smoke rose from the volcano and the smell of sulphur was overpowering at times. That didn´t stop us from walking around the rim of the volcano with the guide but we didn´t see any lava, just some red rocks that had been spat out.

The volcano last erupted in 1984 and is overdue an eruption by at least 4 years. The views from the top were amazing but the best part was yet to come. Our guide instructed us to strap on the things for our bums. Extra padding as we were going to slide back down the volcano!

We clambered back over the first rocky section down to the snow. In peak season around 200-300 people a day climb the volcano and there are slides cut into the snow all the way down. So we all proceeded to slide back down the volcano. It was the most fun we have had in ages. We were like kids. Some slides were pretty steep and if you didn´t use your ice axe to slow down you flew down them. I went too fast a couple of times and ended up spinning around and going backwards, but as it was snow you couldn´t hurt yourself.

It only took us 2 hours to get back down the volcano and it was absolutely magic fun. I can´t recommend it highly enough. We met the Brazilian twins halfway down and they slid down the rest of the way with us. Great fun. Unfortunately one of the Canadian girls lost her camera on one of the slides. Nightmare! We regularly upload photos and get cd´s burnt to send home as losing photos is just your worst nightmare.

We got back to Pucon after 5pm and went straight to our hostel for a shower, getting the volcanic dust out of our ears and nose was a relief and we felt brand new afterwards. Our room has a TV and ESPN had a replay of the United v Villa cup match so I caught the last 20 minutes of that. United won 2-0 with Ronaldo and Rooney scoring. United look to be in good form and Giggs looked fantastic. 34 and still going strong.

We had dinner around 8pm and then sat and watched a terrible film called ´Terminal´with Tom Hanks before sleeping soundly after our day on the volcano.

Sunday 6th January
We´ve had a quiet day today. Getting up late, doing a washing, booking bus tickets to Puerto Montt and finally booking flights from Brazil to Ecuador. We have been monitoring the price for ages but it´s not going down, so we have bitten the bullet and gone for it. It saves us backtracking if we go to Brazil-Ecuador-Peru-Bolivia-Argentina.

We may head down to the lake for a quick swim before dinner and packing our bags.

Take it easy
Murray and Lynn
xxx

Posted by murray2701 13:12 Archived in Chile Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Quick update - Chile

sunny 32 °C

´Sending signals to outer space, hoping sometime we´ll see your smiling face´Speak To Me by Futuristic Retro Champions

Hola everyone

Happy New Year.

Just a quick update to say that we have not been affected by the volcano that erupted in Southern Chile yesterday. Although that may affect our plans to head South. Everyone in Chile is keeping an eye on the situation. Tourists have been evacuated from the area and villages and towns are on standby.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7167639.stm

We are scheduled to get an overnight bus down to Pucon tonight, an area that shouldn't be affected, but we'll keep an eye on it.

We've had a pretty chilled time since I last wrote, with jetlag playing a part in that. We celebrated New Year with a BBQ on the rooftop of our hostel with some Australians, watching fireworks explode on the hills in the distance. It wasn't a late one though, we were in bed for 1.30am. We phoned our friend Martyn's house and it was good to speak to him and our other friends. It would have been nice to be there but we'll all be getting together on June 14th for Kenny and Marjorie's wedding. Only 6 months away!

On New Year's Day we walked around the deserted streets of the city centre, everything was closed, and discovered a nice park. We walked around the park in the blazing sunshine, a little different from the weather back home and headed back to the hostel for a chilled night.

Yesterday we had a relaxing morning, then got the metro to the main bus station to book overnight bus tickets to Pucon. The guy on the counter understood my Spanish, although it did cause him to smile. In the afternoon we met a nice Irish guy called Matthew at the hostel and headed up to an outdoor swimming pool perched high on a hill above Santiago. We walked 3 blocks from our hostel to the foot of the hill and then caught a taxi up to the pool. It was a huge outdoor pool, flanked by lush green grass and trees, with views across the city and to the Andes in the horizon. We tried taking some pictures but simply couldn't capture the view in one shot.

After a few hours at the pool Lynn and I said goodbye to Matthew who was heading for a 6pm bus ride - a 30 hour bus ride - and caught a cable car up to the very top of the hill where there is a huge statue of the Virgin Mary. We then went back down and had pizza on a rooftop restaurant across from our hostel. Two alcohol free nights in a row. We have set ourselves a target of a week!

Today we're going to visit Santiago's main museum and food market and then get our overnight bus to Pucon, unless the volcano decides otherwise. We've done quite a bit of reserahc into what we want to do in our 6 months in South America and the plan, for now anyway, is - Chile until 31st January - fly to Brazil for the carnival and another few weeks - head to Ecuador around 22nd Feb - Peru around 20th March, with a Machu Picchu hike booked for 28th March - Bolivia around the end of April for a couple of weeks and then 5 weeks in Argentina.

So adios for now amigos.

Love
Murray and Lynn
xxx

Posted by murray2701 07:06 Archived in Chile Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Fiji, time travel and arrival in Chile

sunny 30 °C

´Maybe I just wanna fly, wanna live but don´t wanna die´ Live Forever by Oasis

Hello from Santiago in Chile. I´ve just logged on to update the blog and I went to check the football scores to find that Motherwell captain Phil O´Donnell has past away suddenly through a seizure. O´Donnell was only 35. It´s sad news. O´Donnell was instrumental in helping Motherwell win the Scottish Cup in 1991 when he burst on to the scene. I remember standing on the old terraces at Hampden that day. The game was named the ´friendly final´as the McLean brothers Tommy and Jim managed Motherwell and Dundee United respectedly. Motherwell won an outstanding game 4-3 in extra time. Ally Maxwell made several outstanding saves and O´Donnell scored one of the goals. Motherwell are flying high this season and O´Donnell´s experience has been essential in helping the younger players. My thoughts are with his family and Motherwell FC.

On to some more positive news. We are now in South America for 6 months of adventure. We haven´t been up to too much since I last wrote as Fiji was very chilled.

Friday 21st December
We got up at 8am, had a shower and said goodbye to Jennifer who was the perfect hostess. The night before we had Christmas dinner in the garden in beautiful sunshine. I wonder what we´ll be doing next year in Scotland!

We finished packing and stopped off at my Great Aunt Betty´s for one last hug and kiss goodbye. I was quite emotional and had a tear in my eye as we drove away. At 92 Betty is the last link to a generation of old in my family. It was fantastic to spend so much time with her and hear stories of years gone by. Lynn and I promised we would be back for her 100th birthday.

We flew out to Fiji and arrived at 4pm. We checked into the Aquarius Hotel for the night and had a few drinks with a well travelled Irishman called`Paul. We went to watch a fire dance show at the hotel next door and it was pretty spectacular. We all ended up dancing with the locals.

Saturday 22nd December
Alarm went off at 6am and we got picked up to go to our ferry at 7.15am. As we only had a week in Fiji we decided to pick a nice resort on one of the furthest away islands and stay there for 5 nights. Most people travel from island to island but we were in the mood to chill for a week. Our resort was called Coral View and it took 4 hours to get there by boat.

We checked in to a nice ´bure´, a funky hut near the beach. After lunch we sat in hammocks and swam in the warm ocean. The staff sang a Fiji welcome song at dinner and we chatted to a nice Irish guy called Keith who told us a few good storis all strangely involving alcohol.

Sunday 23rd December
Bit of a washout. It chucked it down all day!

Monday 24th December
Ah sunshine. Lots of it! After breakfast we booked to go on a boat trip to some caves. It took around an hour to get there and we passed by some remote islands on the way. I don´t think we will ever be so far away from home again. We beached up at an island and climbed into a cave and jumped into a lovely pool. It wasn´t cold at all. We had the option of swimming underwater to another cave that was in complete darkness. You only had to go under for 5 seconds but it was quite nerve wracking. We followed the guides torch and it was a relief to feel his hand on my head - the signal to come up.

Two of the guides climbed the inside of the first cave and jumped in from around 10 metres, holding their breath for ages underwater to make people think something had happened to them. When we got back top the boat Lynn realised she had lost her snorkel from her mask and a guide went back into the cave and found it on th bottom, about 7 metres deep!

On the way back we stopped at a fish market, all the fishermen came back with their catched and dumped them into a pool created by their wives and locals bought from the widest variety of fish you could ever imagine.

We had a very lazy afternoon on the hammocks reading - pretty much what we did for the rest of the time in Fiji. Met a nice couple from Finland called Nina and Mikal and had dinner with them. Had drinks after with Rose and Sam from England and Greg and Tess from Oz.

Tuesday December 25th
Blazing sunshine on Christmas Day. Brilliant! We went on a snorkelling trip afer breakfast to the Blue Lagoon. There was some nice coral and some very colourful fish and one big one that swam right at me and caused me to panic and Lynn to laugh underwater.

After a post lunch siesta we hung out on the hammocks and went for the occassional dip in the sea. Dinner was a traditional Fijian dish, cooked underground - chicken, pork, fish, veg.....lovely.

All the staff and their families sang a song and Rose´s Mum got up to lead us in a rendition of the 12 days of Christmas, which we murdered.

The staff built a bonfire on the beach and a few of us sat out for a bit to finish our beer before heading to bed.

Wednesday Dec 26th
We had a very lazy morning reading on the hammocks and then booked a fishing trip for 2pm. One of the locals called Simon took us out on a small boat. I thought it would be easy to catch fish in Fiji. I was wrong.

There is a real knack to getting them on the hook when they bite. Simon had no problems and caught 8, while Lynn caught 1. I caught a big fat zero. There is always next time.

It was Rose´s 21st birthday so we all got up to play a balloon game after dinner. You picked a partner, danced in a circle and whoever ended up holding the balloon being passed around had to burst a balloon and do the challenge inside. It was all good natured and I had a lovely Fijian girl as my partner and Lynn had a big Fijian guy as her partner. Two nights previously Lynn had won musical statues with this guy. He was so big he was a statue most of the time!

Thursday 27th December
Had a lazy morning on the hammocks and left Coral View after lunch. The staff sang their farewell song to us and we were quite sad to leave. The staff were so friendly, always smiling and singing. So would I if I lived and worked there!

We went back to the main island and checked into a nice hotel called Grand West Villas, had dinner, watched some rubbish American sitcoms and went to sleep.

Friday 28th December
Alarm went a 6am and we got a taxi to the airport at 6.30am. Our flight at 8.45am was on time and we arrived in Auckland at 1pm. Our bags were checked right through to Fiji so we chilled out for a few hours before hopping on board our flight at 5.30pm. The flight was pretty smooth. I watched ´Hairspray´and I surprised myself be enjoying it. I also watched Rush Hour 3, pretty predictable but still funny at times. Lynn watched Hairspray and the December Boys.

We slept a bit but not properly and arrived in Santiago at 12.10pm, while it was 4.10am on the 29th in Auckland. We had travelled back in time. Marty McFly eat yur heart out.

We jumped a cab to our hostel and went straight to sleep. Our hostel is called Bella Vista and is in a really cool part of Santiago, about 20 minutes walk from the centre and in the Bella Vista district. It´s full of tree lined streets, cafes, bars and independent shops. It reminds me a bit of Glasgow´s West End.

We went out and had a couple of beers outside a wee pub. Escudo beers are pretty good if you cAn track them down in the UK. We went a walk and I bought a cool Santiago t-shirt and ice cream and then we wnt back to bed.

Saturday 29th December
Woke around 10am and were pretty tired. It may take a couple of days to recover from our time travel. We did some washing and enquired about a Spanish course only to find it was full. So we´ll need to practice from our phrase book!

We got a bite to eat in a cool square just round from our hostel and walked into the centre. We bought some essentials and wandered round the National Museum of Fine Art before heading back for a siesta.

We had dinner at a lovely Mexican just round from our hostel and went back to read and chill out. Couldn´t get to sleep due to jet lag. The siesta from earlier probably didn´t help.

Sunday 30th December
We slept till 11am as we didn´t get to sleep until late. We´ve had brunch and I´ve updated the blog and flickr while Lynn searches for flights from Rio to Quito, unfortunately it doesn´t look like there are any cheap flights.

Our proposed route for South America is - Chile, fly to Brazil for the carnival, fly to Ecuador, then travel overland to Peru, Bolivia and on to our final country, Argentina.

The trickiest part is going to be getting out of Brazil as it is such a vast country. We could go overland into Peru and then ino Ecuador, but that would take ages so we might just bite the bullet and fly. We´ll see.

We plan to wander around town and chill ahead of New Year´s Eve tomorrow. It should be good in Bella Vista. We might also book a bus to head down to the Lake District after New Year before gong on to the Torres Del Plaine National Park for week of hiking.

Have a great New Year and speak to you in 2008.

Love
Murray and Lynn
xxx

Posted by murray2701 09:00 Archived in Chile Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Waitomo Caves, Tongariro National Park & Auckland

sunny 22 °C

'Happy Christmas, war is over, if you want it' John & Yoko and Murray & Lynn

Hello everyone

Well it's been 6 months since we started our round the world trip and we have 6 more to go. Tomorrow (Dec 21st) we fly to Fiji and then on December 28th it's on to Chile for the start of our South American adventure.

This is what we have been up to since I last wrote.

Sunday 16th December
We woke at 8.30am to the sound of our alarm and it took us a while to waken properly. We had breakfast and made our way to the Black Water Rafting Co to take part in their Black Abyss adventure!

We were in a group of 8 and the other 6 people were on holiday from Australia. We got kitted out in wet suits, boots, helmet, head torch and a harness and drove to the cave entrance. We were then taught how to abseil and then it was time for the real deal. We started off with a 35 metre abseil into the cave, straight down. At the bottom we then walked through to another drop. This time we tackled it by sliding down a flying fox in complete darkness as the guides asked us all to turn our torches off.

After another short walk we came to a dead end. The only way was down, into a freezing cold underwater river. The guides had brought flasks of tea and we dangled our legs over the edge and drank some nice warm tea. The guides then told us to take our harnesses off and then grab a rubber ring and jump off into the river. I thought he was kidding but this was no joke. One of the Aussies went first, holding his ring to his bum and jumping off, landing with a splash. I was third in and the force of my jump took me under before the ring brought me back to the surface. Lynn soon followed and we then paddled our way up stream. After 5 minutes or so the guide told us to turn our head torches off and there were gasps of amazement at the glow worms that lit up above our heads. Clubs in Ibiza would pay a fortune to have a lighting display like this. It was absolutely beautiful. The guide told us all to make a chain, turn our torches off and he would lead us back down stream. We floated down marvelling at the natural light display the glow worms put on for us.

After a while we ditched our rings and had to swim, scramble and climb our way down stream. To get out we had to climb up 3 waterfalls, the first was about 3 metres high and the two guides made sure everyone got up OK. The second one was slightly smaller and the third was easy to manage on our own.

It was nice to get outside into the sunshine after 2.5 hours underground. The caving experience was excellent and Lynn and I would both thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting NZ.

After soup and a bagel we drove 2 hours to Ohakune and booked into a camp site for 2 nights so we could attempt the Tongariro Crossing the following day - weather permitting.

Monday 17th November
We got up at 7am as the shuttle bus was picking us up at 7.30am. The weather forecast was not good and we were told we would not be able to attempt the crossing due to winds and low lying cloud up the volcano. The good news was that there was an alternative lower level walk that we could do. We decided to go for it and we jumped in the mini bus. We arrived at the start around 9am and discovered that there was a fellow Scot on the bus - Jim from Paisley with his partner (from Surrey) Candy. There was also a Yorkshireman called Paul who now lives in Bearsden.

We all walked together for most of the trip and Paul in particular was excellent company and a good laugh. The sun was shining but the clouds were hanging over the volcano (Mount Doom in Lord Of The Rings). We walked until after 4pm, stopping at springs, streams and waterfalls on route. It was a good walk and our feet were aching at the end of it.

Jim invited us to his hotel for dinner as it was Candy's birthday the following day. Paul, his wife Gwen and son Neil were also staying there and we all agreed to meet up. We went back to our camp site for a shower and spa bath before heading to 'The Powder Keg' for a lovely dinner in the hotel where many of the Lord Of The Rings characters had stayed when they filmed.

Tuesday 18th December
Woke at 8am as it had been raining overnight. We decided to head up to Lake Taupo on the way back to Auckland with a possible stop at Orakei Korako. We stopped at the info centre at Lake Taupo and discovered that Orakei was rather like Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland we had visited and as it was raining slightly we just headed on back to Auckland, with a 45 minute stop over to see 'the craters of the moon'.

Traffic was terrible and the rain was pounding down as we arrived back in Auckland. Jennifer made a nice stir fry and I stayed up late to watch the replay of the Manchester United v Liverpool match, with United winning 1-0 courtesy of a Carlos Tevez goal. Nice one Tevez!

Wednesday 19th December
We had a very lazy morning. I sent a load of Christmas e-mails, Lynn did 3 loads of washing, we chilled out and then headed into town to meet Peter, Andrew and their Dad Mark. Peter has moved into a room in a grand old house in the cool Grey Lynn area of Auckland. It's a cracking house and with a spare room it meant Lynn and I could crash over after dinner and drinks. We went out to Ponsonby Road, the hi and happening street in Auckland. We had dinner and drinks and sang along to some guy playing guitar. It was weird seeing so many people on Christmas nights out in the sunshine!

Thursday 20th December
Ooh we were slightly rough this morning. We're getting too old for big nights out! We left Peters around 10am and went for a nice fry up in Ponsonby Road - Turkish bread with bacon, sausages, scarmbled egg and mushrooms, washed down with a cup of tea and a fruit juice.

Feeling slightly better we headed into town and picked up a few things for South America and sorted out some stuff for Christmas.

We're now back in Jennifers and Peter and Andrew are coming for dinner along with my Great Aunt Betty. Tomorrow we fly to Fiji after 6 fantastic weeks in New Zealand. If you have a list of countries you want to visit and New Zealand isn;t on the list, it's time to reassess the list!

Have a great Christmas wherever you are

Love
Murray and Lynn
xxx

Posted by murray2701 18:48 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

6 month down, 6 to go

sunny 25 °C

Hey all

Well Lynn and I are 6 months into our year around the world, or as much of it as possible. We've had a fantastic time so far, we've seen some amazing places, met some great people, tasted a variety of beers, ate some outstanding food and spent quality time together.

We fly to Fiji on December 21st and then on to South America on Dec 28th. After 3 months in New Zealand and Australia it will probably be quite a culture shock. At the same time, it will be very good for our budget! South East Asia was remarkably cheap and we lived well on only 50 pounds a day (for the 2 of us). That included a number of internal flights.

Australia is much more expensive. On a par with the UK and in the case of Sydney, more expensive! New Zealand is cheaper though and both countries have provided us with fond memories. Here is a little list of some of my highlights. I'm sure they are some of Lynn's as well.

Thailand
Chiang Mai night market
Feeding, walking with and washing elephants at www.elephantnaturepark.org
Haad Yao beach
Falling down a waterfall in Pai

Laos
The slow boat ride down the Mekong Delta
Hanging out in Luang Prabang, a gorgeous city.
Luang Prabang waterfalls and pools
Tubing and caving in Viang Viene

Vietnam
The junk boat cruise and overnight stay in Halong Bay
The gorgeous old town of Hoi An
A 4 day motorbike tour
Cu Chi tunnels
Saigon and the War Museum

Cambodia
Visiting an orphange for kids with Aids and taking them rice, fruit and footballs
The Killing Fields and the S21 museum - unbelievable to contemplate what went on here
Siem Reap
The Angkor Watt Temples - truly beautiful and awe inspiring

Malaysia
Trekking in the Cameron Highlands and Teman Negara Rainforest
A top night out in Melaka with Frank and Kate - singing on stage with the band
Kuala Lumpar

Philippines
Hanging out with Ken and Gwen
Swimming with a dolphin and false killer whale
Boracay Beach

Singapore
The zoo and night safari

Australia
The Great Barrier Reef
Fraser Island - we'll be back
The Whitsundays - we may be back
Sydney - gorgeous city
South West Australia - green and fresh, chilled and relaxed
Ayers Rock - camping out under the stars
Chill Island Music Festival
Hanging with friends Amy and Simon in Perth, Maureen and Innes and Julie, Andrew and Andrew in Adelaide.
Hanging with Ian, Felicity and Meg in Melbourne.
Enjoying home comforts with all of the above!

New Zealand
Hanging out with my 92 year old Great Aunt Betty, her daughter Jennifer and grandsons Peter and Andrew
Lynn's folks coming out
Lynn's folks paying for a few things!
The South Island - jaw dropping, lip smacking, tongue wagging scenery
Canyon Swing and River Boarding in Queenstown
My first ever game of golf with Lynn's Mum
Milford Sound plane trip and cruise
Helicopter ride and walk on the top of Franz Josef Glacier
Hike up Franz Josef Glacier
Meeting old friend Chris Chung and going caving in Clifden
The Waitomo Caves
Our hike in Tongariro National Park
Auckland - a cool city and somewhat under-rated

Fave beers
1. Monteiths Zesty (New Zealand)
2. Chang Beer (Thailand)
3. Beer Laos (Laos)

Fave food - Thai
Fave meal - Silver Elephant Restaurant in Saigon for Lynn's birthday

WOW - we've experienced quite a bit and I could easily add to that list. I have to thank the friends and family we've hung out with and stayed with in Oz and NZ for their hospitality. We're also delighted to hear that our friends Fraser and Craig are coming out to see us in Brazil and Peru. It will be great to catch up with them in person.

Our rough plan for South America is - Chile for January, Brazil for February and then the only other thing we know is that we'll be in Peru at the end of March if not before. Bolivia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are also on our wish list and we hope to end with 3 or 4 weeks in Argentina. Our flight back is booked for June 10th, hopefully our money wil last. We return to two weddings, our friends Kenny and Marjorie on June 14th and Lynn's brothers on the 19th. So it will be great to catch up with so many friends when we get back.

Oh, and if anyone knows of any good jobs going around that time, please get in touch!

Not sure when we'll next be online, probably after Fiji so have a fab Christmas and all the very best for 2008.

Love
Murray and Lynn
xxx

Posted by murray2701 17:31 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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