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Sules & Jon’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 01 Jan 2006

Location: Islington, London, UK

MapWell that's probably about it for us. Only took us about 3 weeks to sort out all the pics (clearly been in SE Asia too long).

It didn't take very long for our tans to fade and for the pounds to start piling back on over Christmas; or for the rain to start and Sules to catch her first cold. We've got our warm clothes and bus passes now, and are quite used to the nearly six hours of daylight a day.

Final thoughts on our travels? Two themes really. The first is leaving Sydney. The reality still hasn't sunk in about no longer living there, particularly while we're camping with family until our tenants vacate our flat. What are we going to do without Camp Cove, amazing sushi, fishing in the harbour, the moonlight cinema, drinking far too much wine on balmy evenings with our mates, taking the ferry into work, long weekends camping, and being able to go diving at the drop of a hat, to name but a few things?? (David, you've got your list by default)

The second is, of course, the previous four months. It's been really, really good fun. It's been hard work too sometimes . . . [cue new list of Things We Won't Miss About Travelling:
- oppressive humidity
- mosquitoes and all sorts of bitey and stingy things
- traipsing around an average of 3 hostels or guesthouses in every location before finding somewhere to stay
- not being able to flush paper down the toliet
- being woken at all times of the night by roosters
- SE Asian attitudes to phlegm]

. . .but it's been very rewarding, and we also feel we've learned quite a lot. It's impossible to distill it all here (hoping we're not contradicting previous musings here), but Papua New Guinea still stands out as the most amazing place we visited, both for the friendliness of the people, the volcanoes and diving, and the simplicity of life there. We definitely want to return sometime. Cambodia was also a highlight, again for the warmth, gentleness and helpfulness of the people - and we wish we'd spent more time there. Laos was fun, and very laid back, as expected. While we had a great time in Vietnam, with hindsight, we'd have probably spent a week or so less there in favour of Cambodia, given our time constraints.

The diving? Well, we loved our trip on the Andaman Sea and our daily commute to the reefs, so while we'd be happy to do again, there are a lot of places to dive in the world (although a return to PNG is a must). Having said that, I don't know how many outfits there are like the guys we used at Worldwide Dive & Sail, and if the chance arises in the future to join them for one of their sailing adventures around dive sites in Burma, Malaysia, Micronesia and the South Pacific, we'll be right on to it.

Thanks for reading and for all the messages and p*ss-taking while we've been between homes. We're happy to answer any questions or to give our ideas on places to go and things to see/avoid if you fancy it. In response to the requests we've received we'll also write up some retrospective notes on Papua New Guinea over the next few weeks .

All that remains for us now is to don our suits and to slip quietly back into the glamour of the rat race next week ... until next time.

Let us know when you're in London next

Happy New Year and cheers,

Jon & Sules