A Travellerspoint blog

The final blog: Wednesday 22nd may 2013

Happy memories, epic adventure

all seasons in one day 14 °C

We are sat on the plane and writing the last blog. But where to start the end, at the beginning. There are so many highlights it would be very difficult to list them all. But for a few these spring to mind.

India stick out in our minds, for many reasons. The first place we travelled, the most dangerous and by far the one with the most funny tales. It was a brave or foolish step to jump in at India, notoriously not for the feint hearted. Dodging rabid dogs, kicking rats, sterilising everything and a few bouts of Delhi belly to top it off. The rags the riches, it was a cultural experience like no other. Finally who can forget the trains, the castles and of course the people.

Then there was Thailand: Thai boxing, zip lining, elephant riding, white water rafting, bridge over the river quay, hells pass railway, coconut curries and pad Thai... And that was just the first tour.

A tour down the Mekong and it was Loas, the land where fine French baking fuses with Asian cuisine, beautiful scenery, cycling, mahout (elephant) training, caving and of course who could forget tubing the 18-30 death race downstream.

Thailand a second time, when my lovely wife to be said yes at sunset on the beach. A few days of luxury in a wonderful hotel, sandwiched in between the many hellish 'budget' beds. The snorkelling, the beach feast, canoeing to a deserted island.

Then to Cambodia, a small battle to get in, hiding in shihankouville till the budget grew, the half marathon, the Wats, the bus journeys, the tragic killing fields, the cooking lesson. The two currencies.

Vietnam, with it stunning scenery. It's industrious people, the cu chi tunnels, the war museums, hay long bay, the Jungle walk, the scooters, buying hand made suits, Han oi, the north, the scams, the food. Diving in Nha trang, the water park. Not to mention the distinctive coffee.

Thailand for the third and last time. The beaches, the rotis, the boats, the blue sea, kho phi phi (the beach), diving in kho Tao and the sea turtle. Choosing the engagement ring together, flip flops and a boat ride to Malaysia.

In Malaysia there was the jet ski trip, fighting with monkeys, seeing the sea eagles, exploring the cultural diversity if George Town, the steep gondola, the giant lizards. And Singapore for its clean streets, clockwork timetables and the nighttime half marathon.

Then came the next part, Australia, the first sight of the opera house and harbour bridge. Work in Melbourne feeding the horses on the quad in the morning sun...and pouring rain, the stable cleaning and the horses themselves. Training for the marathon, the sprained ankle and the shift to nsw.

In nsw the horses, the lessons, the hard falls and the knocks, the jumps and the life lessons. More training and then finally the marathon, the elation the time and the experience.

The move to manly, the unit, learning to surf, the grill, the coffee, the culture and saving. Christmas, Shelly beach, a visit from my cousin, bondi beach, the sea swim, new year, the fireworks, the zoo, stepping over the brown snake. The cakes, the bbqs, the champagne and our thirtieth birthdays, the night vision tour, Aida at the opera house, the cooking school, the tattoo, the blue mountains and huntervalley, the beach, the ferry, the bridge climb and opera house tour. So much to be happy about.

Then came the final tour, and wow what an epic way to go.... The surfing, the tough guy run, the tough mudda, the giant cod, the riding on the beach, sunset and sunrise at uluru, throwing spears and boomerangs, playing the didgeridoo. Tasmania and the Tasmanian devil, the giant huntsman, Hobart.

The barrier reef, the sharks, rays and turtles, nemo and scar, the night dives the day dives, the 30m dive. The dive at pinnacle, bigger sharks, colder water. The beach and vibe at Byron, the miles covered, fraiser island, the flat tyre. And back to Sydney, the fair wells to the friends that made it possible.

New Zealand, the hills, the Maori dances and hangi food, the geiser, the hot rocks and mud pools. The half marathon, the hot sands, the scenery, the wineries in Marlborough. The stunning walks, the unbelievable scenery and snow capped mountains, Milford sounds, walking on foxes glacier, the skydive, the white water rafting, the dark water rafting, the mountain biking, the luge and auckland; an old reunion.

All of the above are the exciting experiences we had. But it doesn't detail the wonderful scenes and circumstances. the people, good or bad, who all added to our experience and made it a richer one. Then there were the animals, which kept us caring, and provided characters of their own. There were the life lessons, the doubts and fears, the trials and tribulations. The triumphs, the smiles, the jokes and the song, the hardwork and lucky escapes.

That is my brain dump, I'm sure there are many thing we haven't covered and missed, but we have kept it all written down in this blog. At times it's been a chore, and if it wasn't for my wonderful fiancee it probably would have been lost somewhere in the excitement.

Finally to all those amazing people back home, who despite the worries gave us unconditional support and love, enabling us to share this amazing trip and life changing experience. For learning to use computers and for staying up late to chat on Skype, for emailing and for just being there, reading the blog and keep us in touch with the world outside our little bubble. We are and will always be eternally grateful, thank you.

With that we sign off to start the next chapter, it might not be blog worthy, but I have a feeling to will be an exciting crazy story of its own.

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 05:06 Archived in New Zealand

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