Well.... What an adventure, after 15 months I couldn't have imagined a better trip. The places we'd seen, half of which I never even knew existed before we began. Making great friends from far flung places around the world and experiencing more things in this period of time that I didn't think most people would experience in a life time....
A sorry heart saying goodbye to the adventure but always more to look forward to. Quite easily the best decision I have ever made was to go on this trip and doing it together with Gemma made it even better. I will be telling anyone I meet to the future, if they even have a slight idea to go travelling, do not even think twice and get on the road!
As a little snippet of the trip....
4 of the 7 Wonders of the World visited
Border Crossings (by foot): 20
Transport Coaches: 116
Transport Boats: 40
Transport Trains: 22
(4 of 7 Wonders of the World)
- Paragliding over bay in Montenegro
- Birthday spent on Thailand beach with 20,000 other backpackers for full moon party
- 2 day slow boat along the Thai border and into Laos
- Seeing kingdom of Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Sailing around World Natural Wonder of Halong Bay, Vietnam
- Road trip around Bornean jungles and orangutan habitats
- Seeing Gemma again after 3 months to start the next leg of the trip together!
- Jungle treks and camping through Amazon rainforest, Peru
- Sailing down the Amazon river for 3 days, sleeping in hammocks and aboard a local cargo ship.
- Partying, views & hang gliding in Rio de Janero, Brazil
- Witnessed the power and size of Iguazu Falls, Argentina
- Hiked across Brazilian Pantanal wetlands, Brazil
- Went deep inside one of the World's most dangerous mines in Potosi, Bolivia. Buying TNT dynamite from the local store with a minor setting it off inside the mine.
- Driven across the ginormous Salt Flats from Bolivia and into Chile
- Trekked to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, Peru
- Explored & scuba dived the natural wonder of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
- Spent a day touring one of Pablo Eacobar's mansion complexes outside his city of Medillin and then paint balled in the mansion grounds!
- 6 days sailing through the tropical San Blas islands from Colombia to Panama.
- Witnessed boats crossing the Panama Canal.
- Seeing a leopard cat (Margay) in the wild of the Costa Rican jungle!
- Hiking to volcano Telica on the outskirts of Leon, Nicaragua. Part of a group of 5 volcanoes and one which is still active today. First time seeing molten larva inside an active volcano!
- Hiking up the lower flank of volcano Fuego on the outskirts of Antigua/ Guatemala. Setting up camp (1700m height and 3.5km away from peek) and then watching the massive eruption of volcano Fuego (3763m) all night!!
- Spending a week on the Caribbean island of Utila, Honduras. First time hearing locals speaking (some dialect) of English in around 8 months.
- Trip to Tikal, one of the largest Mayan ruins in Latin America. Based in Guatemala, used to house nearly 100,000 and made up of over 16,000 structures and temples. Most not yet uncovered!
- Snorkelling on the second largest reef in the World off the island of Caye Caulker, Belize (180 mile reef second only to the Great Barrier Reef). Snorkelled with schools of large nurse sharks, sting rays, turtles and barracuda!
- Partied in one of the craziest clubs in the work, Coco Bongo, Cancun Mexico
- Strolling the streets of Havana and Cuba, where time seems to have forgot! 1950's cars everywhere, no major brands advertised anywhere, old streets, shops, buildings all with no major modern refurb so all in old school style and local neighbourhoods that remind you of the east end of London! Small tobacco farms with old women hand rolling cigars on their lap, c*** fighting dens in local fields. All so very different to anything we'd experienced travelling so far!
- Riding the Indian Railway, sleeper class, from Goa to Hampi. Crossing amazing countryside, organised carnage in the carriage. Should have been 6 in our section, probably 12 but the same as all the documentaries you've seen the railway on!
- Riding camels and camping in the desert of Pushkar. Seeing two huge fireball comets start off as shooting stars then break up in the atmosphere leaving a huge ball of different coloured fire in their wake.
- Jeep safari through Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Spotted two wild Bengal tigers!
- Visited the amazing Taj Mahal, Agra city, India.
- Seeing the Holy city of Varanasi. Not because it was nice to see, or loads of things to do (it was actually a bit of a nightmare!), but just to see how the Hindu people use the place as a Mecca for their religion. Witnessing the open cremations of people on the banks of the River Ganges, the washing in the river and the mass ceremonies held on the banks. Very intense but quite a sight not seen in any country before.
- Boating/ Hiking and 'scootering' around the region of Yangshuo. Firstly taking a bamboo boat down the meandering river and then staying in the town of Yangshuo. Both of which are nestled in between huge rolling tropical green mountains. Similar to Phong Nha in Vietnam but on a much grander scale. Hiking to the top and getting a birds eye view and boating through the bottom was incredible!
- Hiking through the Stone Forest near Kunming city. Literally a forest of tree height stones and rocks that used to be the sea bed millions of years ago. Amazing sight and like nothing we'd seen before.
- Trekking the 'Tiger Leaping Gorge' for 3 days. One of the deepest canyons in the World and which the mighty Yangtze River flows through, far under the hiking path.
- Visiting the Giant Panda breeding and research centre in Chengdhu.
- Saw the Terra-Cotta Warriors, Xian. An army of 8000 terracotta warriors buried with the emperor 2200 years ago! He had generals, archers, officers, soldiers and chariots for the afterlife.
- Hiked the Great Wall of China. Over 21,000km long we visited the Beijing section of the wall.
- Visited all of the ancient ruins around Athens, some over 2000 years old including the Parthenon overlooking Athens city.
- Visited Gaudi's ongoing architectural dream of the cathedral, Segrada Familiar, Barcelona
- Visiting the fairytale town of Sintra, Portugal.
White water rafting
Scuba diving (snorkelling)
Bungee bridge jump/
Mountain/ volcano hiking
Camping (Amazon rainforest/ Guatemala volcano)
Cliff jumping (water)
Countries visited this trip: