August 2010: My cap band indicates my head has shrunk one whole inch, but I am unperturbed.
I managed to escape from China over the great wall, only to find it more uncomfortable on the other side; The transportation was painfully slow and bumpy,
Chengis Khan seemed to be worshiped more than Buddha, And the menu was mutton and tripe four times daily. Although they did have the best Beer in Asia.
Mongolians are fiercely proud of there traditional way of life. There society is based on nomadically herding livestock around the endless grasslands. So I spent a few weeks living with Nomadic families and learned how to survive the harsh Mongolian country side.
I toured the remote central west for two weeks in a Russian minivan with 5 others. It was festival session, and the "Naadam" festival was a colourful Olympic style mix of wrestling, archery and "Ankle bone flicking".
I spent a bit of time on horseback, helping out nomads and trekking on horses around lake Hovsgol.
I had a bit of bad luck, getting some stuff nicked in a hostel. So.. I lost some images from my time working at a camel farm. Apart from that, and my head shrinking, I'm great!
My return to the Philippines to continue my RTW journey was fruitful. After my long Diversion in Japan.
Subic bay hosted the China cup series and I secured passage to Hong Kong on a sailing vessel named Tipsy Frenz.
The crew were great and the passage was an incredible experience.
Hong Kong was a beautiful, vibrant, fun city.
I found China covered in a layer of smog, but it had some incredible things to see, if you could see them anyway..
I met Mr Panda and Attended the Sichuan Opera in Chengdu.
Traveling mainly by train, I made it up to the clear skies of the mountains and saw some of the most picturesque scenery imaginable. Namely Jiuzhaigou national park. However, the walkie talkie men in black prevented us from hanging out with our Tibetan friends.
Deeper, into the minority communities, I enjoyed horse trekking with nomadic Tibetans. Although I couldn't seem to get the right speed of horse.
I then explored one of the largest pilgrimage sites for yellow hat Buddhists: Labrang Monastery.
I was able to find my 20 yuan moment at Yangshuo, come face to face with the terracotta warriors and get further inspiration to train as a Shaolin kung fu master.
I'm on my way to Mongolia next, despite the drought!
June 2009: It seems I keep on spending far too much time on any one location.
Ive been loving the Philippines over the past 2 months.
Despite it being the last country in the whole of South East Asia I have visited, it has to rank as one of the best by far!
The people are friendly and honest, without being over the top.
After traveling through Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon, I visited Palawan and enjoyed the company of many cool travelers. I explored the islands, caves and beaches.
I then had the opportunity to crew for a large sailing vessel.
This was a great experience and It gave me a better insight into cruising.
I am however going to take time off of the RTW overland route due to; My brothers wedding
and lack of sailing boats. Thats right! I have spent too much time having fun and I have missed the weather window north. So I am going to take my first "Diversion" from this journey.
March 2009: Despite the long time between posting, I have done relatively little.
I made a journey across Sarawak, to spend Christmas in an Iban Diak Longhouse, which was a real blast.
People were super friendly and there was excessive drinking going on for days.
Another trip across Brunei, and I found myself in KK for new year. I then made a visit to a couple of national parks in Sabah before deciding it was time to sign up for a dive master course.
Semporna looked like the place to spend a couple of months, and the diving surly was out of this world.
After I completed my dive master I ventured to a couple more national parks in Sabah. Kinabatang river was particularly good, with plenty of animals round every corner.
The boat to Philippines was an interesting one, with no other tourists in sight I surely was off the trail again. On arrival the military were very friendly and gave me a "safe lift into town". I’m really enjoying Philippines so far. Its like a bit a Latin America in south east Asia.
I got the feature article image for Planet earth magazine Sep 2009 (Issue 8, P16+17)
December 2008: It was difficult to leave Indonesia behind in more ways than one. Firstly there was a large overland trail across Sulawesi that turned out to be a major undertaking as the photo to the left shows. Once in Kalimantan I made my way by boat across Borneo to Sabah.
Malaysian Borneo was a culture shock, and still I feel it now, one month later.
Malaysia is much more developed than Indonesia and much more setup for tourism.
This makes seeing attractions easy. Which is great for spotting wildlife. However the adventure component of Borneo has now gone. That’s not to say im not captivated by the country and people. Its just a different style of travel has started, that will continue until I reach Rural China, some considerable time away.
Its been nice to finally capture some of the images I have been seeing under the water with a new canon PowerShot A570 IS to complement my EOS 400D.
I am enjoying the Malaysian food and the nightlife and it should be a great Christmas and new year In Sarawak.
No surprises this year, promise!
After leaving a busy Bali, I ventured into Java and was shocked at the level of poverty, despite the islands sovereignty.
I took a motorbike to zip around the majestic volcanoes of Bromo, before taking another arduous Pelni journey to explore The Wallace Line.
East Kalimantan was my first stop. Where I had my first glimpse of wild Orangutan’s. Then on to the island of Sulawesi. Where the people are very friendly but seem to obsess over death.
It has been the month of fasting for Ramadan, so it had been a little difficult to obtain food during the day at times.
I have lost a bit of weight. But I ate lot of pig and buffalo at my friends grandfathers funeral. Which would have been great if you'd liked to have watched animals slowly bleed to death.
I then swung along to the Togian Islands for some diving and chill . Before Hitting "Dog and bat eating" Manado. Where I made some great friends.
September 2008:This month I have been through more traveled paths.
I left Dili without a scathe, despite Indonesian immigration, and headed for the islands to the North.
I met up with a paleontologist who was mad enough to try to reach the island with me by outrigger canoe (featured in the picture link). We failed and we got wet!
I have been climbing a lot of Volcanoes, the islands are literally scatted with them. When I went diving I found areas of sulfur effervescence coming from the sand.
I trekked up to Gunung Rinjani, in Lombok. At the base of this volcano there were some great hot springs close to the crater rim. This helped to ease the pain of my aching limbs.
I have done a lot of diving. But have few photos to show for it. I swam with a manta ray on one of my dive.
I have had many long bus trips traveling though Flores, Subawa Lombok and now Bali. I plan to travel to East Kalimantan and then on to Sulawesi next month. Although, the visa situation is an issue.
July 2008: This is my first photo set for this trip, two months after I departed Newcastle, Australia.
Its taken a long time to find a decent internet café. Timor is surprisingly undeveloped.
I sailed to Timor with Warrick Hill on the vessel "Olen". I then spent a relaxing week on the island of Roti. I was supposed to be studying Indonesian, but ended up drinking too much with the surfing community.
I spent a bit of time in the surprisingly exciting hole of Kupang. Then deep into the highlands of a small village called "Fatumnasi". Where the local houses had fires inside that kept things warm, if not asphyxiatingly smoky. I was lucky to stay with a family for a couple of days, learning the language and culture.
I traveled to the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi where I met up again with Chris Walsh from "Caritas".
I spent the next couple of days traveling around on field trips to small and remote villages in the area.
I ended up spending a lot of time in the UN compound drinking too much.
It has been quite an incredible start to this journey.
The aim was to travel round the world nomadically by
Land and Sea without the usage of air travel.
The route started in Australia in June 2008, and was to originally include the Philippines, Tibet, England, Canada and Chili.
I was intending to spend at least 5 years on this journey.
To prevent the journey from being "anti sociable" to friends and family, I took "Diversions" from the main route using air travel. Example; for my brothers wedding and Christmas with my family.
I decided to complete the journey in England in June 2012. As I felt satisfied from my adventures, and returned to settle in Australia.
Why did I travel so much and in this way? I wanted to follow my dreams!!
I wanted to see and experience the world in the best way possible, before the world changed for the worst, or before it became too difficult to travel in this way.
With increasing scarcity of the worlds natural resources, the imminent threat of climate change, population overgrowth, and now a world wide economic crisis, to quote Jim Morrison; “I wanna have my kicks before the whole house goes up in flames”!!
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