A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver

I'm writing this entry from an Apple Mac store, so it may be cut short when the shop assistant realises that no one can evaluate a keyboard for this long.

We took a car across the border to Canada, where we stayed in a very nice hotel suite for a few days. There’s a great mountain range just outside the city, so we took the cable car up and had a spot of lunch and did went ice skating on a frozen pond.

Vancouver also ‘boasts’ the worlds highest suspension bridge. It doesn’t seem quite as high as the one in the Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset, but we went over it none the less. Tabi’s mum collected all her stamps, and got a certificate from the gift shop for her efforts.

We also found an outlet centre, so we’ve been having fun spending money we don’t have. I did manage to find a leather jacket for 40quid, which seems a pretty good deal.

We’re all back in Seattle now, where we (Tabi and I) fly onto New York, and Tabi’s mum flies back to London.

Posted by roblist 18:09 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

America

Los Angeles

After another crummy flight with Air New Zealand we touched down in LA in the early afternoon, and set about finding our hostel. Although our hostel had a great location in the centre of Hollywood, it was a dirty ramshackle old place that we were pleased to leave.

Hollywood is probably the most over rated town on earth. Most people are either crack-whores or hookers, and those that aren’t are vain and stupid. We used to tell people that Tabi was from London, but I was from England, and people assumed that they were two different countries.

We spent the day trying to find the set of Scrubs, and in the evening we went to see a comedy show being filmed, after being accosted in the street by one of the crew who promised us free drinks if we showed up. In the end, the show was too full of ‘VIPs’ so they ended up paying us $10 each to go away.

The next few days were spent in Disneyland and Disney’s Californian Adventure parks, which was entertaining, but much what you’d expect. There were one or two rides that we hadn’t been on, including a vertical drop rollercoaster. When at the top, if you drop a penny just as the coaster falls, it’ll float in front of you for the entire ride.

San Francisco

We spent our few days in San Francisco with people Tabi (sort of) knows, Steve and Cindy. They were excellent hosts, which made for a very relaxing time.

We ate the local specialty, Dungeness Crab and visited the famous Pier as well as getting a look at the Golden Gate Bridge, on our second day went driving around the Napa Valley vineyards, quaffing back $100 bottles of wine as we went.

Steve has a huge collection of wine, so on our final day, we cracked a few more bottles open, smoked our cigars and got pleasantly drunk (again).

Seattle

Seattle is bloody freezing, as we got off the plane the only thing that stood between us and freezing to death in our summer clothes was the jumpers Steve and Cindy very kindly lent us. We had a hostel pre-booked for the first night, which was good as our flight was a few hours ‘re-scheduled’, which seems to be another word for ‘late’.

For our second night on Valentines Day we found an excellent package online, staying in a suite at the crown plaza with dinner, breakfast and champagne for $100. We spent most of the actual day shopping for warmer clothes.

Tabi’s mum has now arrived in town for a bit of a holiday and to drive us up to Vancouver.

I found the world's first Starbucks, which has a lot more character than any of the others.

There’s lots more to say, but we’ve only got an hour on these computers, so hopefully I’ll do a better update next time.

Posted by roblist 13:06 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Island Hopping in Fiji

After traveling around so much, we thought we’d find sitting in one town for a whole week rather boring, so we booked ourselves on an island hopping tour for a few days.

Our first island, Kuata, is only half an hour away from the mainland, but it seems a lot more remote as it has no electricity for most of the day, and broadly speaking if the local’s can’t acquire something they need from the island, then they make do without it.

We hopped on a little boat to visit a nearby village. In Fiji, it’s customary to ask permission to visit from the village chief before setting foot inside – though that’s easier said than done when there’s no phone. Permission granted, we went for a wander around the local school and church, before chatting with the locals and heading home.

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Fiji Villiage

In the evening we sat around drinking and talking long into the night. Cups of kava, a local drink that looks and tastes like muddy water, are passed around from a bowl in the middle of the floor. Kava contains some kind of sedative that puts your mouth to sleep before starting on the rest of your body.

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Sitting around the kava bowl. A very enjoyable evening.

Some time early in the morning, much worse for wear, we retired to our bure.

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Our bure

Next we headed to Naviti island, which apart from being slightly bigger and further north, is the place where Britney Spears had her honeymoon, and Tom Hanks filmed castaway. In reality, he wasn’t so much a castaway, as 15 minutes walk from the nearest village.

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Landing beach

Naviti is such a good place to relax, that we didn’t manage to do much else before heading back to the mainland. We did take a jungle walk to ‘Honeymoon beach’ but that was about as much physical execution as we could manage in the humidity.

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This little 'refugee boat' took us to the main catamaran that we took around the islands. Getting off one and onto the other was made no easier by the captain shouting at us 'this is very dangerous'

Some other photos

There's more in the gallery, but here are a few favourites:

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Welcome to Vietnam!

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Sandsledding in Vietnam

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Feeding a Kangaroo, Australia

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Parasailing, Malaysia

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Street in Cambodia

Posted by roblist 19:55 Archived in Fiji Comments (3)

Island Hopping

So much to say, but only 4 minutes until my internet time runs out.

We've spent the last few days island hopping, visiting Naviti and Kuata, up to the North West of the mainland. There's been no electricity for most of the time, but we had a fantastic time, probably the best of the trip so far.

I've got lots to say on Fijian history, and about our time on the islands, which will come later....stay tuned

We plan to get our photos copied to CD tomorrow before we head to the US as it'll be cheaper, so we'll probably put some photos online tomorrow too.

Posted by roblist 01:32 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Fiji

A land untouched by modern dentistry

After a heavily delayed flight with Air New Zealand, where their staff once again managed to make us feel very unwelcome, we arrived in Nadi (pronounced Nandi).

We've just got up and headed to an internet cafe to find out what there is to do on the island, so it's a little early to give anything more than first impressions.

The locals all seem extremely friendly, and everything's much cheaper than in Australia and New Zealand, so it's nice to not have to watch the pennies.

We're thinking of booking ourselves onto an island cruise where we'll get to see Robinson Crusoe island, and the island where they filmed Castaway.

Posted by roblist 19:31 Archived in Fiji Comments (2)

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