Monthly Archives: December 2015

Energetic Eddie – Talk’s to the Animals

Hi!  My name is Eddie, I’m 10 years old and I’m very energetic!  I live in Piccadilly, which is near Adelaide in South Australia.

My Dad is called Shane and his sister is Sarah, who is travelling around the World with Mark.

This is me!

This is me!

I’ve got a pet Bearded Dragon called Arthur.  Arthur is always on the hunt for crickets.  He stalks his prey which is often a cricket or a cockroach.  He’s got a pretty long tongue. Arthur likes the heat and is always asleep. Have a look at the photo and the video below to see Arthur in action.

This is my pet lizard his name is Arthur

This is my pet lizard his name is Arthur

Arthur cannot look forward

Arthur cannot look forward

PLEASE press the button or click on the link to see the video.

I also like mammals.  Last week we went to Cleland National Park and saw Emu’s and Kangaroos.  I used my “mind powers” and talked to a ‘Roo!

Talking to the 'roo

Talking to the ‘roo

When I am not talking to animals, I play soccer and go in the pool where I do back flips.  I like driving quad bikes and motorbikes.

Me in my Adelaide soccer top

Me in my Adelaide soccer top

I believe I can I fly

I believe I can I fly

Just about to crash. Riding a Quad Bike at Sincair's

Just about to crash. Riding a Quad Bike at Sincair’s

We went to the Beach House, which is an indoor water park with Louisa and Mark, in Glenelg.  It was heaps good and we went on waterslides, played on arcade games, went on bumper boats and bumper cars.

At the end of the main water slide

At the end of the main water slide

Lewis Hamilton II

Lewis Hamilton II

A Beetle

A Beetle

Squirting my sister Louisa

Squirting my sister Louisa

I hope you have enjoyed my first blog, you can comment if you want or send me a message.  It would be good to hear from you.

See ya

See ya!

MARK/SARAH:  Hope you enjoyed Eddie’s blog.  Have a very Happy New Year and join us in 2016 as we head through Australia, New Zealand and then in to South America.

Categories: Australia Blog

No place I’d rather be….

MARK/SARAH:  We just love surprises!

And we were so pleased to wake up this morning and discover in our “in-box” a superb video montage of the “stills” taken during the first four months of our travels, produced by Russ Baker (Bros’-in-Law) the MASTERS web supremo.

Many of the photos we remember.   A lot we do not, as a few images for one reason or another did not make the final respective “blog cut”.

The shots, words/music – brought back many happy memories. Thanks Russ!

So if you have 11 minutes 41 seconds “spare” during this holiday period, checkout the video by clicking on the link below:

https://web.cloud.virginmedia.com/?shareObject=4866a694-4437-8a22-a861-2bb453be081d

Coming up soon a blog about Energetic Eddie!

Now back to the 38C heat!

Categories: Australia Blog

Season’s Greetings – Travel Changes Everything!

Please click on the video below for a Seasonal Message from the “MASTERS” Team.

 

 

TRAVEL CHANGES EVERYTHING

A few photos you may have seen already and many you won’t.  These are just some of our thoughts following four months on the road.

Meeting people from all over the World enhances your understanding and broadens your mind.

Friendships can be fleeting…

Friendships can be fleeting…

…Some a little longer….

…Some a little longer….

…Others can be safe in the knowledge that you will meet again one day - $5 Canadian Dollars says so!

…Others can be safe in the knowledge that you will meet again one day – $5 Canadian Dollars says so!

You do things that you never thought you could… or would!

Abseiling down sheer rock faces…

Abseiling down sheer rock faces…

…Getting down and dirty…

…Getting down and dirty…

…Fast and furious - well it was for me!

…Fast and furious – well it was for me!

Appreciating every single moment is so important…

…As you may not be coming back this way anytime soon

…As you may not be coming back this way anytime soon

It doesn’t take long to realise you can’t say everything you really think everywhere in the World.

Always be on guard in the Big C

Always be on guard in the Big C

You realise that a relationship that survives travelling, is a pretty special one.

Fishing for compliments – nice line Mark!

Fishing for compliments – nice line Mark!

You can act out fantasies without fear and nobody will laugh…

Baywatch Bailey

Baywatch Bailey

If you have a roof over your head, you are a lucky person!

Homelessness – a problem the World over

Homelessness – a problem the World over

It’s the simple things that matter most.

Boy do you appreciate the things you take for granted at home (flushing toilets)…

Boy do you appreciate the things you take for granted at home (flushing toilets)…

…When water is not on tap

…When water is not on tap

Chatting to people you would never normally meet gives you an understanding and perspective you simply can’t get in everyday life.

Skinny Hai, we won’t forget…

Skinny Hai, we won’t forget…

…And clear realisation that there is always light even at the end of the darkest tunnel

…And clear realisation that there is always light even at the end of the darkest tunnel

You soon realise there are two sides to most stories…

Everest, as rarely seen from the “Chinese side”

Everest, as rarely seen from the “Chinese side”

When you get up close and personal with amazing wildlife, you suddenly discover new found respect for nature.

There are little monkeys wherever you are in the World…

There are little monkeys wherever you are in the World…

…If we don’t look after endangered species, there’ll be little left

…If we don’t look after endangered species, there’ll be little left

Travel helps you understand that life is not about the past or the future, it’s the present that really matters.

Time to reflect

Time to reflect

More often than you think, people are not always quite what they seem!

The fun comes from digging a little deeper to find out what really makes people tick

The fun comes from digging a little deeper to find out what really makes people tick

Sadly some countries are better than others when it comes to caring for the environment.

Carry on like this and there will be problems!

Carry on like this and there will be problems!

You soon realise how few pocessions you really need.

Travelling light

Travelling light

There’s more to fast food than a Big Mac – sometimes you just need to put it in your mouth and chew!

Tourist treats – but in Cambodia a staple diet to survive, not long ago

Tourist treats – but in Cambodia a staple diet to survive, not long ago

We think in the so called “modern world” we have problems.

No! The people of Nepal have problems – first the earthquake…

No! The people of Nepal have problems – first the earthquake…

…Now the lack of fuel

…Now the lack of fuel!

There’s always something that makes you smile!

This still does three months later

This still does three months later

Scary spiders in the bathroom at home aren’t really scary.

Now that’s scary!

Now that’s scary!

The more you travel, the more you want to travel.

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

We wish all our friends and family seasonal greetings and a very happy 2016!

Best wishes

Mark and Sarah x

Happy New Year - see you in 2016!

Happy New Year – see you in 2016!

 

Categories: Singapore Blog

Dancing on the Ceiling…. I said upside down you’re turning me!

MARK: I’ve never started off writing a blog without knowing what the subject matter is.

It’s a bit like getting in a car and setting off up the M3 without knowing where you are going.  Arriving at a football ground undecided as to which side to support.  Or finding yourself at a self service check-in kiosk in an international airport without having a clue which country to fly to.

Just where are we going?

Just where are we going?

But I haven’t written much in the past few days and the urge to start tapping away on the old laptop hasn’t gone away.  I suppose because we’ve been “chilling” – whatever that is – there doesn’t seem to have been anything of any real consequence to write about.

Indeed since we left the fascinating country of Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia just seem so sanitised in comparison.  They are essentially western style countries with a slight twist.

Tourists abound.  There seems little obvious “hardship” to the naked eye.  We have not encountered any really interesting people, other than the taxi driver earlier today who liked his “happy American music from the 1960s”.  The busses run on time and are more modern than those in Camberley.  The hotel in George Town (Penang), was clean, efficient, well run and offered free flowing tea, coffee and ice cream.  I could have been back working at De Vere Venues, except they don’t offer free ice-cream – yet…

The view over the island from Penang Hill was interesting enough.  But the 70 minute queue to go up the funicular railway and 45 minutes to come back down just reminded me of being stuck on the M25.

Grey outlook, grey mood - the view over George Town from Penang Hill

Grey outlook, grey mood – the view over George Town from Penang Hill

Reality has therefore hit home a little.  Or perhaps not reality, more perhaps that this is not really travel that excites.  We are now tourists and I hate being a tourist.  Hate’s a strong word, but it’s all so “same same” but not different.  I take my hat off to anybody who can lie on a beach for two weeks, get brown, have a few drinks and read books”.  Double points if you do that two years on the bounce.  Can’t do that, won’t do that.

I sound like a miserable, ungrateful little kid.  But that’s what I feel like.  Airport departure lounges simply ram home a notion of modern day hamster wheel mentality. A WH Smith store is directly in front of me as I type at Penang International Airport.  Snickers, Mars Bars or Pringle’s anyone?

Home from home

Home from home

Yawn

Yawn

Sarah has taken me to task more than once during the past few days and told me to “get a grip”.  She has a point, but get a grip of what?  Can I so soon have forgotten the pain experienced by people in Cambodia and Vietnam, that I forget how lucky I am?  Have I have entered into some sort of parallel universe where Donald Trump is revered as some sort of modern day saint?  Or is my head finding it strange looking at Christmas decorations, when it is 35C+ outside and no black, cold wet weather to speak of?

News from home and abroad continues to make me sad.

The terrible floods in Carlisle.  Thousands of people hit again by what must be a familiar pattern of destruction, despite the millions spent on flood defence in recent years.  And then you see the floods in Chennai where double, yes double the rain hit this Indian City.  600mm in 48 hours, hundreds killed.  The floods claimed a couple of people’s lives in the UK – major news on the BBC.  India – what’s a few hundred between friends…?

Indian water - but does anybody really care?

Indian water – but does anybody really care?

People, politicians and countries have short memories.  If it doesn’t directly affect you, then out of sight, out of mind is the mantra which seems to fit best.

This World of ours literally feels upside down to me at the moment, which is perhaps just as well because in two weeks time, we’ll be in Australia.  We both felt it important therefore to get in a little bit of “practice” before enjoying Christmas with Sarah’s brother Shane and his wife George’, plus Sarah’s parents, who at this precise moment are boarding an Emirates Business Class flight to Adelaide via Dubai.

The chance to turn our lives “upside down” was grabbed with both hands when we visited a bizarre “Museum” in central George Town.  We had enormous fun, posing in different rooms.  Our fav shots were the ones in the toilet and the bedroom – which are yours…?

Sandwich please

Sandwich please

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Hasn't forgotten...

Hasn’t forgotten…

Playing "Men at Work"

Playing “Men at Work”

not much room

Not much room

A little flushed

A little flushed

weird

Weird!

A bit of shopping

A bit of shopping

So flight Number 17 on our RTW Trip is about to be called.  Penang to Langkawi.  Probably one of the shortest scheduled flights I will ever take.  An Air Asia A320 200 sits outside ready to leave.  The flight is scheduled to take 35 minutes.  The reality is that the flight is just 80 miles to a “paradise” island.  I watched some “saddos” You Tube video last night, the flight was in the air for only 17 minutes.  But the flight was a bargain at just £17 including taxes and baggage charge.  “Now Everyone Can Fly” is the airline’s strapline – well they can at the moment, but the financials for Air Asia look decidedly dodgy since the tragic crash a year ago.  So, got to fly – the flight has been called.  See you later…

Ready for a long flight, not

Ready for a long flight, not

Nearly time to go..

Nearly time to go..

LATER THAT DAY AS THE PALM TREES GENTLY SWAYED IN THE TROPICAL BREEZE….

Wow that was quick.  18 minutes 27 seconds from the time the front wheel left the runway in Penang to the bang of the rear two wheels as the concrete runway announced its arrival in Langkawi.  At first glance as we came in to land, the island is a cross between the lush green of St Lucia, the golden sandy beaches of West Barbados, all mixed with a little olde-worlde Grenadean charm.

So we did what I said I wouldn’t do and that was to hire a car.  But at £42 for four days it would be daft not to plus the island is only 40km x 25km and the roads are quiet.

As the sun goes down, my mood has changed to one of excitement.  There aren’t many tourists here.  We can escape on four wheels if we need to and above all, this is a truly beautiful island as recently voted in the Top 10 scenic Asia escapes, 2015.

It seems a natural place to stop.  I’ve said enough, let the pictures of Sarah on our own private beach tell the story.

Langkawi 1

Langkawi 1

Our plane coming back with another load of punters

Our plane coming back with another load of punters

Sarah relaxing on our "private beach"

Sarah relaxing on our “private beach”

Categories: Malaysia Blog

Busy doing NOTHING!

MARK:  “You’ll need a break after a few weeks of travelling – a little holiday!”

I remember the You Tube video very clearly.  Some grey haired 50 year olds spouting forth about their World Travels.  It was one of many videos we watched, from how to maximise space in a back pack, through to how to have a wee on a bus, without being seen!  All in the name of research.

I remember thinking at the time “you’re on bxxxxy holiday for Godsake, get a grip, you don’t need a break….”

WRONG.  We do, we’re tired, we need a break.

It’s a bit like a teacher working hard for a term and then needing a holiday to re-group.  A hotel salesman giving it his all in the pursuit of business.  A TRL Communications Manager, constantly on the phone to members of the press 12 hours a day.

Sarah – as recently reported – has been really ill.  I now have my third cold in three months.

Ahhhhhh!!!

We’re not complaining, we chose this gig and it is amazing.  But it is knackering.  And to try and illustrate why we feel like we do, check out the latest stats below, 95 days in to our 254 day trip.

It seems to add up....

It seems to add up….

Yes, we’re sad arses.  In Sarah’s little black book, kindly given to us by Lois and Keith Pope, we record all sorts of things from modes of travel to how much we spend on laundry.  The stats above are 100% correct.

So this blog is not about another war, people we have met or deep philosophical issues.

This is about us “chilling” (to use that “current word”) in southern Thailand.  Sarah is better at it than me.  She can sunbathe for at least two hours – my best is 13 minutes, 22 seconds.  I have been swimming though.  My fat white body has shocked and scared a number of local people as I have rarely taken my shirt off ever since getting severely burnt in Anglesey back in August 1970.  Once burnt never forgotten!

So a few postcard shots from a couple of days “island hopping” near Krabi, followed by two photos of the Emerald Pool we visited this morning.  We got there early and had the place to ourselves for over 45 minutes.  Bliss, nearly as nice as Whitby….. I said nearly!

Life's a beach!

Life’s a beach!

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Categories: Thailand Blog

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