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John's Travel page

Welcome to John's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Location: England

Back home - holiday over - photos up.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Location: Singapore

At the airport on my way home. M&C just about to leave Auckland for a 2 night stopover here.
Yesterday I went out on an America's Cup boat for a little sail. Very big sails and very fast despite not a lot of wind.
M&C went to Whangeti Island on the ferry, had a coach trip around and then M went swimming.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Went to Kauri musuem where they had lots of displays of Gum and Gum trees - lots of old furniture; old saw mills; an old school and post office.

Then we went to Whangeri for lunch - bought sandwiches and watched the boats in the harbour while we eat them.

Then on to Paihia - for 3 nights. We were going to go dolphin siaghting on first day - but too wet for us - so postponed till next day.
Instead we went ot the Waitangi site - where the treaty was signed. Had a good look around - they had a 113' 'canoe' (kana) which weighed 12 tons and was made from 3 trees.
In ther afternoon we went swimming - in the sea - and then back to the pool - and in the evening went on Daryall's Dinner cruise - up the river to the local falls. Twas very good. Saw the sunset and had a nice dinner.

The next day we went dolphin watching - but couldn't swim with them as they had their babies with them.
Were dropped off at Russell where we had lunch - a wander and then uyp to flagstaff hill - with good views all around the bay (of islands).
In the evening saw a 111kg Marlin landed - very big - but not the biggest they have caught. Then on to fish and chips and a beer.

Today in Auckland - found hotel, returned car and check flights home.

Friday, 08 February 2008

Location: Orewa, New Zealand

Tried updating yesterday - but couldn't as planet ranger had an outage.
Yesterday we went on a walk with Kiwi Dundee - looking at lots of trees and gold mines, and the remains of the gold presses. Aos went into a cave and saw gloworms.
In the afteroon we went to Captain Cook's beach - but he had left. It was a lovely diserted cove and we went for a swim.
Today we have driven to North of Auckland (where they have motorways with other cars - which is a bit of a suprise!).
We are staying on a lovely bay and have just been for a swim.

Tuesday, 05 February 2008

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand

Left Christchurch on the trans-alpine express travelling to Picton - all l\along the East coast. There were many good views and we saw even more fur seals sleeping on the rocks.

The train was a bit late - about an hour and they held the ferry for us. A very good trip through the sounds above Picton and then a crosswing over the Cook Straights to Wellington.

There were many people in fancy dress because of the rugby sevens.
We went on the Wellington tramway and walked around the Botanical gardens again - and then to the Te Papu museum which was very good. We then walked to the top of a big famous hill (I've temporarily forgotten its name) where we got views across Wellington harbour - and saw our boat returning from its next crossing. This boat used to be called the Pride of Cherborg and sail out of Portsmouth.

We then had a long drive to Taupo - stopping a few times on the way where we saw a windmill, a horse drawn tram, people trying to fly into the river, a ride in a lift and the a 176 step climb to the top of a tower we\here we got a good view of Wanganui.
In Taupo we had a thermal bath outside of the room, and a wander around.

We then drove here, visiting some falls (Hula?), and several thermal areas with gysers, mud pools etc.

Today we have been round a wildlife park, and up in the Gondola for another luge ride.

We are now waiting to go out for a Mauri dinner.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Now back in Christchurch prior to travelling by train and boat to Wellington in the North Island.

From Te Anau we travelled across the country to Dunedin - where there were several other cars - not what we've been used to.

On arrival, most things were closed - but we walked to the top of Baldwin Street, and back down again. We got a certificate for doing this as it's the steepest street in the world - 1:286 at its steepest. The pavement had steeps.

We then wandered around, through the botanical gardens and through the university and down to the station where we saw the Tia Gorge railway. The station was beautiful. We also saw the Cadbury's factory - but were too late for a tour - as also for the brewery!.

We then went back into the mountains to Lake Tekapo, where we had the most beautiful view from our cottage - that's what they called it!.

We drove to the top of St. John's hill where there is an observatory - with views across the lakes in all directions. The water was a lovely bright blue due to the rock flour disolved in it as it has run down from the glaciers. It was, however, too cold to swim in 8 - 10 degrees.

Today, we have driven to Christchurch, and continued our sight-seeing and shopping.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Location: Te Anau, New Zealand

Arrived here yesterday.

On the way we stopped and saw the Kingston Flyer - an old steam railway. We didn't go on it.

We then went for a walk around Te Anau along the shore and saw some rare birds in a nature reserve. It was very hot.

Today we have been on a coach trip to Milford Sound - and then a cruise up Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. This was supurb - with cliffs 2 km high.

Bit wet and windy.

We saw lots of waterfalls, and snow and went through a 1.2 km tunnel on the way there - right through the middle of the mountain.

Tomorrow off to Dunedin.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

Have been on a cruise (in a 40 kmn launch) to the famous Island in the middle of Lake Wanaka - Mou Wahou. This has a lake in the middle with an island - so it's an island in a lake on an island on a lake on an island in the sea!.

Then we hired bikes and cycled around the shore to Albert Town and back by road - very hot. Met people from Midsomer Norton.

Then went swimming in lake - very cold.Netx we went flying to Mt. Cook Francs Josef and Fox glaciers. Very spectacular - but didn't land.

Then we went to Queens town - went up in the gondola down in the luge. Good views. Then wandered around the town and lake.

Today we have been to Glenorchy where we went on another jet boat ride up the river. We were then given our funyaks to blow up and then paddle down river. We stopped half way and had a picnic lunch; then continued down river and had a lift the final 10 kms back to Glenorchy.

Off to Te Anau tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Location: Wanaka, New Zealand

Been out of internet and mobile phone contact for a bit.

Since last entry, on Monday took trans-alpine express across the Southern Alps to Greymouth.

There we picked up a car and went North to Punakaiti where we saw the pancake rocks and blow holes - a very unusual rock formation in the sea.

We then travelled south to Fox Glacier - they have their own mints!.

We were due to go on a Helihike (Tuesday) to Fox Glacier - but the weather was very bad and everything was cancelled. We did everything we could in FOz Glacier - nothing - and went back to the motel where we watched the funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary - the full 2 hours - and very moving it was.

We booked the heli-hike for the afternoon - but this was cancelled again. We drove to the Fox Glacier viewpoint - and just about saw it.

We then went for a 1.5 hour walk around Lake Matheson - very rain forresty - and the rivers were in spate - although it had mostly stopped raining by then.

On getting back to the motel, we were told the road to Wanaka was closed due to a landslide - so were trying to work out what to do - the only way to Wanaka was a 1000 km diversion through Christchurch. Luckily it was open later in the evening.

We got up today - to try the heli-hike again - but cancelled again so drove down to Wanaka overy the Haast Pass alongside lakes Wanaka and Hawea - with lots of photos taken of this and waterfalls.

We have just been for a walk along the beach an had dinner sitting outside. It is very warm - despite being just after 8 p.m.

Wanaka is also a ski resort - but no snow so no runs open!.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Today we went to Hamner Springs.

On the way we stopped at a sheep station and saw the dogs rounding up the sheep, and then one was sheared.

We then went to the river and went on a 45 minute Jet boat trip. This was really good - very blowey and we must have been going 25 - 30 knots - sometimes with minimal clearance at the sides and bottom of the boat.

We watched some bungee jumping - it looks really good. We turned down the offer to try!

Then into the village for lunch and a bathe in the thermal pools. These are just like a swimming pool - but the temperature is about 40. SOme were sulphur - witch smelt a bit.

It was then back to Christchurch - stopping on the way to try some local wine. We didn't buy any.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Yesterday we just wandered around Christchurch centre. There is a busking festival going on so we saw lots of that.

We also climber 134 stepts to the top of the cathedral tower and looked out over the city.

Today we did the big 5

We went to the Antartic centre whichy was very good. We went into a blizzard at about -40 C with the wind chill factor.
We then went to a wil life centre with lots of animals - pigs, horses, donkeys, sheel and no cows. There were lots of other rarer animals including the famous kiwi with its long nose.

Then we went throug the wall of a volcano and went on a cruise and saw some dolphins swimming.

Then it was onto the gondalo up to the top of the volcano and then back down for a tram trip around Christchurch - 2.8 km but we can also do it all day tomorrow - but we have something better lined up!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Arrived at hotel at 12 noon on Friday - really 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Flights OK - but long - managed 1 hour switch in Singapore OK - temp there 28 - temp here 15 and drizzly.

Going to have a shower and then wander - before doing the big 5 sights tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Location: UK

Starting to look forward to (and pack for) my forthcoming trip to New Zealand.

Watch here for further information

Thursday, 27 April 2006

Location: UK

Now safely home - photos loaded - back at work - see you soon!

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Location: Singapore

We are at the airport here waiting for our plane to arrive.

Singapore has been like England all the time - thunderstorms every afternoon for 1 hour - but all the time temperatures of 30+, sunny and humid.

We had one day sightseeing in Singapore - went on a bum-boat trip around the river - drinks on the water front - then on to Raffles for a Singapore Sling - and a look around thir shops.

We then went to the Botanic Gardens - had lunch - then sheltered from the thunderstorm before taking a taxi to the shops.

Every day we have been lazing around the pool and exploring Sentosa Island - where we were staying in a luxury hotel.

Today we went to the Southernmost part of the continent of Asia - 136 km north of the Equator.

Saturday, 15 April 2006

Location: Sydney, Australia

On our last day in Oz.

Just before leaviing Melbourne, we went for a walk around the Grand Prix circuit - it took about an hour.

Got to Sydney and the temperature returned to normal - 30.

We went up the Observation tower and had good views of the city and harbour.

The first day we went to Manly beach and went swimming in the surf.

The next day we had a tour of the Opera house - very good and over budget - just like Wembley.

Then we had the bridge climb - which was excellent even though exposed - we tried to avoid the rain - and we did - those coming off were soaked. Fantistic sunset and two rainbows from the bridge - and a cheer from the cruise ship passing underneath.

We then went on a long coach trip to the Blue mountains and wildlife park.

We stroked a Wombat and a Koala - and had photos taken.

Today we have been on a harbour cruise - more of a rush - but good.

Then we climbed the bridge tower. This time we could take cameras so we have some photos.

Then by bus to Bondi beach - and swam in the surf with the posers. Sea 22 - warmer in the water than out - 27 - with the wind chill.

Off to Singapore tomorrow to start the journey home.

Monday, 10 April 2006

Location: Melbourne, Australia

We have now left the warmth of Perth, and are in Melbourne - 19 degress and less (10 when we landed). Are off to Sydney tomorrow - forcast 25 for today.

We went on the Puffin Billy train,through the Dandenong hills to a wild life park - we saw Koalas in the trees - they don't move much.

We went to Phillip island and saw the penguins coming out of the water for a nights sleep - having fed at sea all day. Prior to that we went to a santurary and saw Koalas again - still in the trees. We had tea in Cowes - just along the road from Ventnor.

We then visited Shiela for the day and they took us to the Dandenong Hills - but a different bit.

Yesterday we went to Mebourne market - then on to he museum which was very good - especially the Neighbours set!

Then we went to the Observation deck - 55 floor up an office tower. Had a good view all around - even although a little overcast.

Today we have walked along the prom - to Brighton and had chips on the pier.

Monday, 03 April 2006

Location: Perth, Australia

Now we are in Perth - via

Ayres Rock - better known at Uluru - we saw the sunset - went to bed for a bit and saw the sunrise. We walked around the base and had many Aboriginal stories. Walked up the gorge at the Olgas. Had a supurb hotel out in the bush - but not a lot of time to enjoy it.

We then went on a long coach journey - along a straight road turn left and we got to Alice Springs - about 440 Km.

Lot's to see on the way - all the same - desert with bushes - and the odd camel.

The hotel was a bit of a come down- Butlins with no facilities - but a pool which was cold. So we had camel to eat for our eveining meal.

Went to the Flying Doctors and the School of the AIr - both very good. Had an evening out with Aboriginal dancing - which we were forced to take part in - Good fun.

Now we are in Perth (a very good hotel) - went to Fremantle on a cruise - back on the train. Walked around the harbour and it is a very nice place (voted 2 out of 3). We passed some cheap houses ($55m) or maybe more.

One more day here - going cycling to King's Park - then to cold Melbourne. (temp today 24 here 19 in Melbourne). Sarah and Andy have said it's cold.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Location: Port Douglas, Australia

Well Hello again. We are about to leave Port Douglas to go to Alice Springs via Ayres Rock.

Our time here has been good. We met up with Sarah and Andy and went to the Great Barrier Reef with them. The snorkling was good and the Coral Reef was colourful and amazing with lots of fish - no chips.

Yesterday we went to Karandu Rain Forrest - via sky train (cable car) and down on the train.

We saw lots of trees, creepers, vegitation too numerousto mention by name. There were also kangaroos, kaolas snakes and birds.

We threw boomerangs which almost came back. Didn't get a chance to play a didgeridoo - but had a lesson. Saw the tree that its made from - and the termites what make it.

Weather has been hot fairly humid. Toiday a couple of quick heavy showers.

Friday, 24 March 2006

Location: Hong Kong

We got here - it was raining.

We went out for an exploration and saw the festival of lights - which were lots of lights on the buildings on Hong Kong Island dancing to music.
We are staying at the YMCA which is oposite Hong Kong Island.

Today we went ona coach trip of Hong Kong ISland. We went sam-thing boat around the harbour.

We then went to a jewellers where they had lots of gold and diamond things - and free coffee. That's all we bought!

We then went to Standley Market where everthing was cheap - and bought some presents.

We then went to the peak - where it was too misty to see anything - so we went shopping. Then we cam down in the 100 year old tram.

This afternoon we have been wandering in Kowloon, and have just had our evening meal.

Had lots of offers for fake Rolex watch and suits.

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Am getting excited about our trip

Am still at work; still have to clean the car and cut the grass.

Next entry likely to be Hong Kong.


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Recent Messages

From karen
had lovely weekend away with all ellie's friends. girls night on fri was great although adelin didn't stay as amelie ill/ did photo album as goodbye present for sonia and made her cry ! was sad saying goodbye to her and boys today. had fantastic weather so spent hours at farm on sat then beach today. work quite busy at moment which is good. working next fri and sat night so tell mum not to phone during day when you get back as i'll be asleep ! enjoy your last week
Response: We've been on the beach - and swimming
Will phone Sunday night - from home
From swidders
Em loved her ballet lesson, she is going to start properly after half term! I need your help when you return to get our home and contents insurance cheaper1 Not really sure what we need! Only 1 week left in new zealand now!!
Response: Peased she enjoyed the ballet.

I'll tell your mum and dad about the insurance.
From Ian and Mairi
Hi there

Glad you're still having a great time. We're tired just reading what you've been up to!

Just booked for Alonissos and Skiathos in June. Fancy another holiday then?

Take care.

Love Ian and Mairixx
Response: Tis really good here - just going to update blog.
From swidders
Got postcards today,thank you! Dropped em off quite happily at school today so think we must have cracked it! She brought home yet another painting, not sure what we are ment to with them all! Got form to decide what sessions want her to do after easter and thankfully we wont have to pay for any! Had really nice pm with sarah and andy on sun, went up to woods and then had tea with them. You can blame them for the mud in your car!! Will let you know how ballet goes tomorrow! xxxxx
Response: Got this 3 times. Couldn't get into planet ranger last night - but ok today!
Lucky you didn't have my car.
From swidders
Andy has kindly sent us a copy of there copy of your agenda so we are back to following you again!Midwife check up was fine, bump a week bigger than it should be but they all measure different anyway. Midwife thinks its a boy going by the heartbeat! Em not impressed that the rest of her room may not get painted pink! Em is going to a trial ballet lesson next week! Starts extra session at preschool tomorrow. When I spoke to them thay said she is always fine once I leave and paints a lot! V.windy here at mo, car service was cheaper than expected so that was good, hope north island is as good as south! xxxxxx
Response: Glad all is ok - it's time there was a boy around!
From karen
glad you're all having fun.

skiing was great - weather bit too hot !!! knees achy, very tired cos ellie didn't sleep but she enjoyed creche and swimming pool. skiing improved quite a bit - doing sums to see if we can go again this year !! (don't think so !)

ellie in big bed now - enjoys it a night but not keen for afternoon nap, slept in my bed yesterday afternoon so i had to watch neighbours whilst she slept !!

take care,

karen xxx
Response: Glad you enjoyed it - and looking forward to going to France when I'm back from NZ - but not so much that I'm not going to enjoy this.

Have you put in a bid for Liverpool?
From swidders
Still no sighn of the photos from dart river safaris, can you get them up?! Em seems to have hidden your agenda somewhere so cant follow you anymore! All is well here, have midwife check up and anti d tomorrow, bedroom is much better now and paul has put some shelves up today so we are getting there! Em sends big kisses and cuddles. We have upgraded our accomodation at butlins to an appartment with kitchen and widescreen tv etc as decided it would be cheaper than eating lunch out everyday and the boys can stay up as late as they like without disturbing us! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Good - we cann't get the photos up either.

Have just updated diary - off to North Island tomorrow.
From swidders
Hope the weather improves for your next destination, sounds like your having fun though! Had tears from em when I dropped her off at preschool yesterday but she had been really excited about going and was full of beans when I picked her up so think tears are just for show! Think am going to start her on a friday aswell as there is too long between each session going just weekly. Sarah and Andy are coming this weekend, both Paul and I off so andy is going to help Paul move our wardrobe as i can only just fit through door! Our bathroom ceiling and fan is being fixed on saturday and its a good job we have your car as brake pads have gone on ours! Being fixed plus mot and service next week, luckily paul isnt at work although he has been cycling and enjoys having his millage counter so he can moan about how far it is! Off swimming today, have had gp check up and everything fine, bump is right size, lots of love xxxxx
Response: Have a good time with Sarah and Andy. Updating website in a minute. Thought you would get too big for gap.
From Ian and Mairi
Glad to hear you arrived safely. Sounds as though you're having a great time. Phoning Aunt Jean soon and will pass on your news. Will keep checking your blog.
Have fun and take care.
Love Ian and Mairi xx
Response: Thanks for for message - just going to update.
From emma!
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#/';..;.l,;
/;';'.l;..;./.n/#/

xxxxxxxxxxz
Response: Very well done Emma - for those who don't know she said rwetgklbt4 redfhcvlkreetg grt tdfgrt4 tfdgrt tyfdg fd!
From The Swidders
Hope you all have fun! Miss you lots already xxxx
Response: Hope PAul had a good birthday - 'Dad' got a text before we left.
From anne
We enjoyed seeing the photos.Will need to see some more.
Response: I'll bring more up at the end of June
From Anne
Welcome home to the sunny u.k.You have had a great trip.The temperatures ,not quite 30+
Response: Thanks - I'll put some photos up on Monday
From sw
you seem to quite like stroking the furry little bush dwellers!

I bet you fitted right in on Manly beach.

...and then you went for a cruise.
From sw
didn't know you were a neighbours fan? is that why you rush off at 5 o'clock?

are you sure the koalas were real if they didn't move?

did Shiela exceed your expectations?
Response: Yea yea yea!
From Anne
Quite a home from home except the weather!! Hope Sydney is up to expectations.
Lookingf forward to seeing your photos.
Response: I'll put some on a website and let you know where.
From Ally
Ally here - that's Alison (daughter of Alastair & Dorothy Kerr!)

Sounds fantastic - very jealous!

Mark and I hope to get to some of these places one day so you'll have to give us lots of tips!

Hope it's truly a trip of a lifetime! xx
Response: We are enjoying it - will fill you in when we see you.
From neil
where are the pictures? I seem to recall that you maoaned about my lack of picutres.
Response: I'll put them up when I get home - too difficult from an internet cafe.
From Anne
A very busy trip but sounds great.You would enjoy the dancing John!!Perth sounds fabulous.19 degrees!!!It is 10degrees here today!!!Hope you all enjoy Melbourne.
From Alby
What is the directory [BASE16DB.START] for on SSIAL8. Logical PORIG points to it.
Fulham 1 Portsmouth 3 (If you didn't know already).
Response: I kneww thanks - and Fulham had snow on sat!
From Marylyn
Hi John

Could please update your calls.

Thanks

Marylyn
Response: Yes - just done it - choose responses at random.
From Anne
great to hear the update.I am sure marian must have needed some gold.!!! Glad to hear you are getting plenty of shopping.
Response: Thanks
From sw
please stop sending me emails to tell me that tropanal is running.

thanks
Response: You wanted to know every day - and it goes on even if I'm not there
From anne
Have a great trip .look forward to hearing your news.
From Mike
Clean the car? Are you driving to Hong Kong?