Follow Amanda & Rob around the world for a year. From 30 September 2005!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Travelling statistics, tips and 'Best and Worst of.....'

Days on the road: 330
Countries visited: 20
Nights spent apart: 9

Beds/places slept in: 139 (includes overnight buses, planes etc. and different places we stayed in our campervan!)

Nights spent free with friends/relatives/other random people: 55
(17% of the total, that's really not bad going is it!)

Hours spent travelling by:
Bus - 282 hours
Car - 238
Boat - 93
Plane - 78
Train - 31
Tuk tuk - 16
Bicycle - 12
Moped - 6
Rickshaw - 2
Hot air balloon - 1
Bamboo Raft - 0.5
Elephant - 0.5 (and a bloody long 0.5 at that)

Weight lost/gained: Amanda +/- 0 kg! Rob -6kg

Highlights and Lowlights:
Our highlights are always places where we stayed a little longer and did something more worthwhile than simply being a tourist - the week of living with a local family and learning Spanish in Guatemala, learning to dive in Belize, 12 days working on the sheep farm in New Zealand, trekking to the local village in Laos, and the cookery course we did in Thailand. Sleeping on the Great Wall was pretty amazing too! And getting all those clothes made in Vietnam was great fun. Could go on all day!

Honestly cannot think of any specific lowlights... coming home?

Top 3 Favourite places: Belize, New Zealand, Laos

Most disappointing place: Honduras

Most surprising place (in a good way): Nicaragua

Paradise: Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Best accomodation: Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang, Laos (it was posh but we needed a treat)

Worst accomodation: There was the place in Belize where we looked at a room, but bats flew out when he opened the door, so we opted against that. The worst place where we actually stayed, probably a windowless room in Malaysia.

Best cuisine: Indian in Laos, French in Vietnam, Cambodian (in Cambodia!)

Best drink: Amanda - Cappucino! Rob - Beer Lao (we couldn't agree on this one!)

Best walk: Tongariro Crossing, NZ

Best experience: Our 'perfect' day in Aitutaki - snorkelling in the amazing clear lagoon in the day time, and in the evening an island buffet followed by dancing and beautiful singing from the locals. Fantastic.
Loads more too -
skydiving, scuba diving, walking on glaciers, caving, trekking in Laos etc etc...

Scariest moments:
- The boat journey from Belize to Honduras when we thought we were going to drown
- Arriving home (!)
- and (for Amanda) whenever Rob let his facial hair grow for more than 3 days.

Person we saw most of: Our American friend Kevin, who we met in no less than 6 countries! Sinead comes a close second - we saw her in 3 different countries.

Tips and Pearls of Wisdom

  1. A head torch is a most useful thing
  2. Girls, pack a sports bra for those bumpy bus rides in eg. Central America & Asia. Trust me on this one!
  3. For travel in Asia, practise your squatting technique (yes, THAT squatting technique!)
  4. Get a raincover for your backpack. Not only does it keep your pack dry, but it protects it from all the dirt and scum in coach and aeroplane holds. Oh how I wish I had one, when my bag spent a long journey on a Greyhound bus swimming around in fishy smelling water. All my underwear stank of fish after this. Come to think of it, this may have been an improvement on the pre-journey smell. Another advantage of bag covers is that it makes you look like a tortoise.
  5. You will meet many Americans on your travels and they are a friendly bunch. However, feel free to slap them in the face every time they inappropriately use the word 'like'. Its the only way they'll learn and they will thank you for your efforts.
  6. Listen to an iPod sparingly. We witnessed so many backpackers get on to rickety old buses and put in their earphones for the entire journey. Part of the experience involves listening to arguments that you can't understand and hearing worrying clunking sounds from the rear of the bus. iPods do isolate backpackers from the locals in my opinion.
  7. If beer is laughably cheap, drink plenty of it. You will get home, got to the pub and regret every minute of the day when you weren't drinking the 8p a pint beer in Vietnam. It was good beer too.
  8. Eat at markets. We did, generally eating very tasty, very cheap food, most of the time not knowing exactly what it was. And ignore those scare stories about hygiene, we never once got the squirts. Well, not from market food anyway.
  9. Try to spend time living with locals - it is a much more rewarding experience.


Anonymous Skipper said...

Welcome back guys, was fun reading your rambles for the last year. I suspect the last 330 days seems a lot longer time to you than it does to us! I shall wear my new no.4 shirt with (pink) pride...

05 September, 2006 14:25

Anonymous ScruffyMoo cards said...

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01 July, 2007 17:10


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