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Las viajes de Nicolas

.. travel and live around the world until they finally stop letting me into places, or threaten to take away my Aussie citizenship. Maybe learn a language, meet lots of people, try all the food, explore all the wild places and experience life in other countries. Also a good way of avoiding getting married and starting a career and all that other stuff.
"And I walk the long road.... cannot stay"

Diary Entries

Friday, 30 January 2004

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Just got back from Fernie, in the Rockies. Actually was lucky to get back, as it dumped so much snow every day that the roads everywhere are covered and shut. But good snow means great skiing. That is once you learn to ski the legendery Fernie powder! Its a whole new technique. One day your flying down the groomed sloped looking pretty smooth, the next day your up to your knees in powder, struggling to make a turn without rolling down the hill in fluffy stuff. I hadn't stacked it once all the time skiing in Canada until the powder hit - then it was every 5 minutes. But once you get it, its beautiful! We stayed with our friend Mel, who we met on Transcanada. She's an instructor out there, and is living the life, skiing there everyday, and drinking every night. Pete of transcanada fame also came out to join us for a few days from Trail where he lives now. He took me down some runs, double black diamonds through tight trees in deep powder. He made it look easy, I struggled to turn before eating tree bark every time. But wicked fun! I made it through the week injury free, but Tim on his Snowboard (with which he was actually doing well) ate it bad on a hangover morning, and twisted his ankle badly so was on the couch for the rest of the time. We did manage to get out and see a local hockey match which was cool as well - lots of blews which we all love to watch. More aussies in the crowd than anybody, and more rowdy than anybody too. It was a wicked trip! Just before we headed out there we dropped down to Seattle in the US to visit Dana and Jim, friends we met in London, and visited us in Vancouver. Its a nice city, a good feel to it. We checked out the music musuem - which is very interactive and cool, and the museum of flight (boeing is based here) and got on one of the retired Concordes. Basically checked out all the sites, had some good dinners and stuff. Didn't see Eddie Vedder - sorry Kristen, I would have said hi for you.
Now, back in Vancouver (where its pissing rain - what a surprise). Packing down, and saying farewell to all our friends. Its funny, its a big exodus again for all the Aussies I know too - will have a bunch of them to catch up with back in Australia, Flint, Cam, Alastar who are all climbers, kayakers, skiers, bikers. We had an excellent dinner with our landlords and friends Claudio and Elana last night. He's Argentinian, she's Isreali, and they lived in Italy for years. So as usual, it was a beautiful dinner with restaurant quality food! We'll miss all our friends here, it's the worst part about leaving. Tim flies out on Sunday - via Malaysia, USA, and about 6 other countries, with two big bags and a bike in a box - have fun! I am off to explore Vancouver island, maybe walk the Juan de Fuca trail and explore Tofino, with Russell and his wife Morghan. The Canadian adventure is nearly over - but not quite. I'll be back in the sunshine on the 12th of Feb. So until then.... enjoy....

Tuesday, 30 December 2003

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Well Christmas is over - and New Years is on its way. But what a christmas! We skied - a true white christmas! Its been the best snow over here in 25 years or so. Who cares about beaches and 37 degrees in Sydney! Right now its about -3 outside - and Vancouver is covered in snow as well. Its meant to snow over night, and later in the week. A top temp of -17 is due for next week too which should be fun. No more riding to work with icy roads!
Before christmas Flint (another aussie) and I got out for a few snow trips. Snow shoeing, skiing, and camping in the mountains around Vancouver and Whistler. Its amazing to get out and stay in such wild landscapes. And building and sleeping in a snow cave is also a new experience. Its quite cosy - well relative to the outside of wind, snow and cold. Its quite nice to wake up to a dull blue glow all around, and sleep to silence. And to wake up and dig out the tunnel to emerge ina meter of new snow to jump and wade through is also pretty amazing - especially with wild mountains all around.
Well the final Canada month is going to be pretty busy. Tim and Brooke have left and are in New York for New Years. After Tim returns a bunch of us will head out for a 5 day backcountry ski trip thorugh the Pemberton icefields. Then off to Seattle for a few days to visit some friends. And then - straight to Fernie for 10 days or so of pure skiing, or snowboarding for Tim. Can't wait! Its so nice to ski here!

Its going to be a busy time, and sad to say goodbye to so many friends, and to Canada which I love. But at least its summer in Australia, and the beach is waiting!

Friday, 28 November 2003

Location: Vancouver, Canada

The ride is over... back in vancouver and getting into the winter sports. Have to enjoy the last months here and get out and do it all. I probably won't say too much here, but will post photos of whats going on. Hiking, snow shoeing, skiing, people visiting, all that.

Monday, 28 July 2003

Location: Trans Canada!, Canada

Currently Biking across Canada with Timbo.
See the trip at www.planetranger.com/transcanada
Canada rules!

Monday, 03 February 2003

Location: The Couver, Canada

So the decision has been made - we're starting a combined page for all three of us and our time in the couver. Its www.planetranger.com/ocanada
Ocanada is coming from the great national anthem of this country. Whenever you are inspired, or see one of the numerous Canada patches on backpacks you MUST break into O Canada (or a preety girl). And for all those who accused me of saying the girls are the prettiest where ever I happen to be well... here, they're just OK so ocanada isn't being used that much for the pretty girl purpose. They have American dating ideas though, which could be good. Anyway.... I'll probably put one more entry here.... and then this will be dormant until I solo out into the world again.

So until then.....

www.planetranger.com/ocanada

Tuesday, 28 January 2003

Location: Vancouver, Canada

OK say the place is not that bad. The emails and updates sound pretty down, but thats just because theres no jobs, and the hostel is in the lowest part of town there is. Well second lowest anyway. But - we are getting a place, have dropped CVs all over the place, although most jobs don't start until March as its all very seasonal. The local mountains around Vancouver have all shut as there is no snow too, which hasn't helped businesses here. Pretty much it feels like a big town. It does have a lot to offer in terms of outdoors though, and can't wait to get the bikes here and get into it. But for the time being its looking for a place, and looking for a job. Its just hard because they do things funny here - no centralised searching for either. But she'll be apples.

Friday, 24 January 2003

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Hey! So here we are.... Vancouver. Flights here were cool... Alaskan airlines not bad, Los Angeles experience pretty cruisy, even getting into the country dead easy and smiley. Met friendly people who came up and chatted on the bus on the way in to town, very welcoming, although it did rain all day, but basically a great welcome. Then theres hostel hell. FULL of aussies, ALL aussies, and our room mate, from that place that you drive through on the MWesty to the blue mountains, who has the personal hygene of a rodent and foot odour that could kill a moose, well he certainely put a dampener on things. That and the fact that there are NO jobs! It has rained a lot, and we haven't really been inspired by Vancouver - seems like a small place, and the mountains are covered non stop in cloud. But it does have potential I'm sure, we just have to see it. So to a house and jobs, well the reality is there are bugger all IT jobs (anywhere in Canada, maybe the world) and not many other jobs either, well, its just gonna take a bit of time to get sorted properly. So I may well be working in a gym, or a sony shop, or a computer shop, or hell, be a "Sandwich Technician" in a subway shop! But these are the challenges of moving to another country. And the trans Canada experience is only a few months away anyway. So I've got a mobile now... and I'm gonna broadcast it here because I don't care who calls me anyway. Apparently they're only half have their act together with international texting so it may not work all the time... great. +1 604 551 2702. So now I'm off to Maccas - that four and a half years and grillman of the year award could come in handy! Caio! "Would you like fries with that? What aboot a coke?"

Wednesday, 22 January 2003

Location: Sydney Airport, Australia

OK here we are at Sydney airport, on the way to Canada! Tim has gone - as all three of us are on different flights. I get the pleasure of LA for 2.5 hours before flying Alsaka Air to Vancouver. Anyone heard of them? Just what I need, another Eskimo experience. That would be a good mile high club entry.


Many of the last nights were spent catching up with everybody, which was great. A great last swim was had yesterday on a 30 degree day. Not as hot as 46 when we decided to go riding in the blue mountains. Tim had a dose of heat stroke so we ended up swimming in a swampy looking creek. But it helped. I crammed everything into my pack yesterday - the first backpacker with a suit with him. And I'm not proud of that. Hopefully I'll get to burn iot after I can't get a IT job in Vancouver, as I hate the bloody things. So the Australia 'holiday' was fantastic. I look forward to the next time I come home, especially since all the friendships and places stay the same.


Anyway - until we settle in Vancouver and get sorted out.... I'm aboot to go to Canada....

Saturday, 11 January 2003

Location: Scotts Head, Australia

Still bumming it on the beach. Only a week and a half to get sorted and then off to Vancouver. Timbo has booked his flight I think, as has Pip, so at least I won't be on my own! Going to miss Australia I think. On the cards for the last week... catch up with those I have not yet #1! Do another middle harbour kayak day - what other city in the world can you do this! Have a blue mountains ride day - the oaks fire trail. Another ride up on red hill.. and another ride up Scotts Head beach. A barbie or two more... (get good red meat while you can!)... and plenty more beach days.... yeah! I chucked a few photos up. But I've been spending more time sorting out a new computer, digital camera, and training dad on how to use it all. I'm a good son. Amazing what I will do for some anzac biscuits. Maybe I'll even chuck up a photo or two of the old family slides we've scanned.... good for a laugh.

Saturday, 28 December 2002

Location: Sydney, Australia

Okay a bloody update at last. Can't remember where I left you last, probably China somewhere.... woops. So I got a dirty flu in Ghangzhou - nothing top do with the farewell do we had for us all... a few bevvies. Well the flu kinda killed the pleasure out of the journey home, ended up at the doctors with minor pnuemonia and some dirty medicine that gives you heart flutters and the shakes. But it worked. So we ate dog in Ghangzhou - thats about all I did besides lying in bed with a fever (no it wasn't a bad mood timbo). Dog at a dog restaurant where all the locals were impersonating dogs to scare us. Well we ate it, and it tastes like... well, dog. No chance of getting served it and not knowing I think. The ferry trip to China was cool. Hong Kong is the most densly packed place on earth, sky scraper after skyscraper on island after island. So many people and so much money spent there. Jas and I parted company with him spending a few days there with a mate - and me flying home (coughing and feverish - lucky passengers on Qantas!). Since then I've caught up with all the old friends (nothing changes) and spent some time with my family. A very relaxing time up at Scotts Head for christmas. You know - beach, eat, drink, beach, eat, eat, fish, eat.... Now back in Sydney for new years and to continue catching up with all the crew. (Right now at Paul Brenners pad, sweet place!). So... thats it for now. Well unto three weeks when I fly to Canada!

Do I really have to get a job and find a place to live and make friends and all that again...... yep.

Friday, 29 November 2002

Location: Guilin, China

Here now at Guilin. Meant to be one of the most beautiful areas on earth. Probably is - if we could see it. China is one big smog pit to begin with, then throw in the first rain we've had since we set out - we can't see more than 50 metres if we're lucky. So tomorrow we set off down the river on a boat - about 120 aus dollars for the day - the most reknowned and unavoidable ripoff in China. But fingers crossed for clear weather. Then next day down to Ghangzhuo - over the water from Hong Kong - then home to the sun - but we have serious doubts if we can handle the heat. It was probably 10 degrees here today and we were complaining. Comfort levels are relative it seems.
The last day and night were spent on board the train. This time we were the only foriegners on board - and the locals were staring and laughing at our attempts to order food. But in fact it was some of the best food yet. Saying that after going out to a nice restaurant in Xian where we had chicken and pork. Well chicken the prepare by getting garden shears and basically chopping the whole thing up - I ended up pulling a chicken foot out of my mouth - yum yum. And the pork - well I don't know what they did to it, or how old it was, but geez it stunk, and tasted even worse. All part of the fun!
Xain city itself didn't have much to offer - VERY smoggy, which took a lot away from the city. Our hotel was perfect though - 4 star luxury - we no complain. Very nice city walls to stroll around though, and a few pagodas and gardens to see. The Terracotta army of course was amazing. The amount of work they have done and have still to do is phenominal. They just unearthed another 6 pits of statues this year - and have to painstakingly reconstruct them as they were all smashed hundreds of years ago.
The day of out train ride from Beijing down we visited a Lama temple (another huge 28m high Budha statue) and the Confuscious temple - it was interesting to learn the story of him and his followers. On the train we ended up in a carriage with a lawyer from Perth - bought us dinner and beers - cheers mate!
Overall have been thinking a lot about being home now that its so close - can't imagine body surfing, beach, sun, seeing everybody after two years - but it will be good. Anyway - back to it. Might visit the hotel gym tonight. try and get in shape before the beach, all this chinese food is fattening me up!

Sunday, 24 November 2002

Location: Beijing, China

See Jasons page for photos of Great Wall today.... no time for me to sort out...

Sunday, 24 November 2002

Location: Beijing, China

Last night we met up with everybody and headed out to sample more food delights. Started off with some Scorpion on a stick - just like crispy chicken skin. Then some of us (not me) tried starfish - it stunk and apprently tasted like it smelled. All of this was from street stalls around the main shopping street. For dinner was the obligatory Peking duck - nice but fatty. For dessert we found a fried icecream stall in the street - watched him fried it up. Different to the Aussie chinese version - eggwhite on the outside, bread underneath. Not bad though.
Today we headed out to a remote part of the Great wall to do a walk. We didn't want to go to the restored and touristy parts as we wanted to experience it in nature, without the people and see how it really is. It blew us away! No castle will ever impress me again after seeing this - and imagining that it runs for 6000km. It goes up and down the steepest slopes and highest peaks - thousands of metres - all the while at least 4 metres high and 3 metres wide. We wished we could have stayed and walked for days with the spectacular scenery and fell of it all. Photos will try and show how it was. After this we went off to the summer palace - nice parks and gardens with scatterings oif forbidden city type buildings in it. Was very serene, pretty, would be nicer in summer we think. A very nice way to finish the day. Tomorrow maybe we will ride some bikes - get amongst it, and also see some markets. Then we head off to Xian - to see the terracotta armies. Lots of trains happening - Guilin, then Ghangzhou - then Hong Kong - then home - all in the next 10 days or so. Bloody hell! But seeing a lot along the way. Hopefully get some more photos up today too. Until next time... Ni Hau


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Recent Messages

From Christine
Hey!
Hope that you made it back home okay and that you are sitting on the beach relaxing! I just got back from the sunshine myself (went to work on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for spring break week)! Woohooo!! :)
Hope that all is well with you and that your journey home was enjoyable! (AND that you grow out those curls again! Nice!)
- Christine the farm gal
Response: Cruise ship crew in the Caribbean - awesome! Home is great, sun is great, but no more curls! Take care and see you out here soon!
From lovelita
............AMAZING CURLS!!!
;-)
Response: Hola Lovelita!
Am in Tokyo, waiting for my plane to Australia... crazy japanese everywhere! Will call in BCN soon. No curls no more!
From
hey there! it´s Clara Carrasca Eli Guarrindonga and Ainhoa la Freskita here in Eli´s cosy flat (named from just now Can Travi, which means &%$/(@*@+++@, amazing eh?) Barcelona is 20 degrees...how a bout that! This is hunky dory guys!!! Chachi piruli John Weeballs!
so the above mentioned is just what we say cause it's natural from our inner feelings...Did you get it?You know what we mean mates? We don´t.
Cheerioooo!
Response: Hola locitas! Faltamos su crazziness! Y su cocinar! You obviously are being effected by the heat in Barcelona. Coming to visit us and get a tour of Aus? We'll be there soon! But first, skiing and boarding - yeah!! Ciao lovelies - we need a reunion!

PS El gato negro grande con los ojos verdes está persiguiendo ratones españoles!
From Dug
Hiya Jake, glad you had a good Xmas - and I'm sure your NYE was memorable. When are you heading home? We'll have to catch up if you go to Scott's Head - speaking of which I have become good friends with Cass (Perry?) that you grew up with - small world!

Send me an email sometime - I've lost your address.

Ciao
Dug
Response: Hey Dug! I'll drop you an email. Are you a cop? Whats with the new email... geez things have changed if you are! See you soon!
From Christine
Have a great Christmas! I hope that all is well with you!
Keep in touch!
- Christine
Response: Merry Christmas! Have fun in Ireland!
From Anja
Hi Nick and Tim
It was great to read about your trip and to see all the pictures, it made me really a bit jealous! I think it is amazing what you two have done! Congratulations!What are you doing now? What are your plans?
I wish you two a Merry X-Mas and a Happy New Year!A big hugh from an other snowing-country!
Response: Hi Anja! Thanks for your wishes! When will we see you guys again? We're skiing and enjoying winter Canada - then heading to Aus - for a little while at least. Take care and email you soon. Big hug back to you and the Heidis!
From amanda Brownrigg
Hi Nick,
Just having a look at your website! It is brilliant and I am so grateful that you are out there having a great time and keeping us informed about the beautiful places and people that you are seeing & meeting! It all looks wonderful. Have a great time.
Amanda
ps I am so envious! ciao
Response: Hey Amanda! Will see you shortly back in sunny Aus. Am sure you are enoying it! Take care - see you soon!
From LL
Merry Christmas! Hope you have a good one wherever you are. Look forward to having a celebratory drink when you are home. LL xx
Response: Thanks LL!
Hope you have a wicked New Years! We skied Christmas day - can you believe? See you soon!
From Justine
G'day mate. How are you going? The website is awesome. Thanks for that.Your photos are incredible, you've been to some very cool places. Well Im back to Checkouts and back to reality. I had such a good time in Canada, I left my heart there, that place rocks. Been thinking that I would love to live over there for a while sometime soon. Skiing, mountains & lifestyle there is very enticing. Was wicked to meet you and hope to hear from you soon. j
Response: Hey J! Was cool to meet you too. I'll send you the photos from the hike. I know what you mean about Canada, I can't believe my time is nearly over here! Have fun in London - send me some be good to yourself choc treats! Catch you again back in Aus I guess!
From Christine
Hey Nick,
Yes: I do believe that it would be warmer and much more fun to snowshoe in BC. ;) I would have to consult my bank account first though for flight $$... and it has been quite mean to me lately. :(
Maybe I could just snowshoe across Canada on the Trail! - That might save me money! Maybe we could just meet halfway or something?!
- The mighty hunter woman
Response: Come on mighty hunter! Its too cold to be in Ontario... Vancouver is sooo nice (except the rain!) Stay in touch!
From Alana
Dude, I'm checking out your site on Marty's recommendation. The wildest thing is that I also met Karen & Dean in Gros Morne. I quite possibly met you too if you came into the Visitor Centre near Rocky Harbour. Either way, funny we've crossed paths with three of the same people although we're a country apart. Small wonderful world, eh?
Al
Response: Thats amazing! Small world or fate? I didn't make it into the visitor centre - the headwinds and hills on that day made me just want to get to camp. You are so lucky to have worked there. Hopefully will catch you around - you should come for New Years before thailand. Go on!
From Christine
Just happened to look at your site today. - Fantastic photos! I love the "close-up view of a leaf" photos! Very nice!!!
I wish that we had enough snow here in Ontario for all those fun winter activities! My snowshoes are patiently waiting to make an appearance this winter!
Hope that all is well with you!
- Fairy-eyed hunter/farmer/twirler girl
Response: Get out there! You should come and join us here for a trip! Its warmer... or it can be!
From Bigsis
I want to go snow camping!!!That looks awesome!!Looks like christmas over there...
Response: You're too little, your head would be below the snow line!
From Tanya
This is the first time I have seen your site Nick but I just have to say, you have some amazing photos and your adventures look fantastic. I am glad I have had the chance to get to know you! Stay Free!!! --- Young Tanya
Response: Thanks Baby T.! Was great to share some adventures here with you! And I know you have many coming to you as well! See you in November!
From Kenny
Yo yo yooooo! How's it going? Do you remember who I am? It's great to be able to read up on all your news ... I feel like quite the little voyeur, especially since you don't know what the hell I'm up to.

Anyway I will catch up in a more substantial way soon. Miss you all. Please hug a tree for me. Oh and dribble some maple syrup down your chin for me. Lots of love, Kenny xxxxxxx
Response: who? What? Thats disgusting, I'm not dribbling anything down my chin for ANYBODY!
From Binoi
Hey i have just managed to get 7 films developed and also put onto CD. I've loaded some photos up onto the website but these are from Vietnam and Thailand. Have a look anyway let me know what you think. Tomorrow i'm off into Laos...
Response: Hey Binoi, still looks like a wicked trip... how long to go? Enjoy Laos, don't step on anythng that looks metalic.
From Emmsy
Choice Bro!!! Come on do another story/photo series!!I like them. So what was Hooters like??I'll email you now.....
Response: I am above Hooters - I did not participate in such sillyness!
From Dan
You don't know me and I don't know you but through 6 degrees of seperation Jason knows Jo so my recommendation is to get your ass over to Banff. You'll get work in Calgary (about 1 hr away) and Banff goes off. More trails than you can poke a crooked stick at. And when there go into a bar called "Thommy's" and ask Dave for Captain Dans' discount. After a bemused look you'll be entertained for hours!
Response: Thanks for the tips Dan. Say hello to Jas - he seems to have dissappeared of the radar...
From Jase
That's cool that you heard from Leonid and Larisa. London is cold. Wish I could have brought some aussie weather back with me. Sounds like you're on the path to getting yourself sorted over there, wish the job market was better over here. Have you got L&L's email address?
Response: So your back in lovely London! Don't have the Moldavians emails - its with my trans-sib stuff back home... damn. Was cool to hear from them. Give us an update from London!
From Leonid (your fellow-
Hi!
Nice to see you and me of couse :-) at fotos in your travel diary. I'm glad that your travel was very interesting an pleasant. I hope now you have right expression about Russia and Moldova so. May be you remember hand-made map, which I've drawn for you. ;-)
Bye!
Leonid&Larisa from Moldova
Response: Hi Leonid and Larisa! Its great to hear from you. Great to have some Moldavians leaving messages here! I hope the rest of your trip was as good as ours. I fel in love with Russia and will be back. And of course will come to Moldavia to try some of that wine you say is so good. Take care.....
From binoi
Good to see that you've reached safetly in Canada. In Thailand at the moment and have been stuck in Koh Phangang for the last 2 weeks. It is really hot and loads of fun. Just thought i'd let you know that.
Response: Enjoy Thailand. Don't touch those girls - we know what you are like. Glad to see your trip is still going well.
From Mike
Hey Mate, just keep out of the number one dodgy part of town and you'll be fine (I'm guessing it's near Gas Town). Maybe get Jase to send over the air freshener that we use to you on you at Mizuho. Got the urg to get out into the snow yet ?
Response: Hey Mike. Yep we've been warned off that area of the couver... downtown can be dodgy enough! Air freshner on me - that was Jas I think! Old trumpet bum! Snow is poor around vancouver - but we have friends here in two weeks - I hear whistler calling!
From Conchi
Hei guys, how are you doing, so exciting you´re in Canada now, sbd told me that Vancouver is amazing, so, you have much more to see.
Response: We'll get out there and see it! The snow is calling too... and I'm sure this place will shine in the sun in summer.
From Rika
Hello, Nick. I didn`t know u r already in canada..did u have good time at home? Well, Good luck finding a job in canada! Keep in touch.
Response: Hi Rika, thanks for your thoughts. Hope Mizuho isn't too bad. Say hello to the Mizuhoites and the girls at the house. Take care.
From hoooola!
ok...I will write "nipples" and not "niples"...if you write down "quiero" and not "queiro"....Deal???
My bike is alluminium made!!so light! and shinny! its name is: Suuuuuuuper Silver!!! And its got suspension too!!!
Am happy! Abrazos!
Response: Wow! A new bike, no longer the lovely bike? Angel will miss her a lot, come on! So now you will beat me on hills yeah? Abrazos bebe