My International Expedition...

I'm currently taking a break from regular work to explore different places around the World. Kicking off August 26th, 2011, my trip will take me to Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City.

This page of my blog has nothing much to do with exercise. It's all about me and what I'm up to...

***ALL WRITTEN VIA MY LITTLE NETBOOK WHILE ON MY TRAVELS SO PLEASE FORGIVE POOR SPELLING AS A RESULT OF LAZINESS OR MY FAT FINGERS!!***


Said "Bye" to my parents and "Tiny T" and headed off on my travels...


THAILAND...
Landed in Bangkok. I'll be re-visiting Bangkok properly at the end of my Thailand trip so I got on a plane straight to Koh Samui... Once I figured out how...

Koh Samui...
Really poor area and a real mixture. Pretty beaches, poverty areas, lady boy bars and religious temples. People are really friendly and generally go the extra mile to help you out with advice or information. 

Either way, an interesting start; managed to find my first hotel, step one, complete! AND create my first staged/camera on timer picture...

Went for a Thai massage. Is she? Isn't she? I don't care, either way that chick/dude was strong!...

Discovered where the "S.S.S" routine was invented...

Went to a Muay Thai fight...






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And ate my first genuine Thai food by the side of the road (with a spoon and fork of course!) Total for food and beer £1.60 odd...

Next stop, Koh Phangan. Expecting prettier beaches, beach parties and less hustle and bustle. To the boat...

Koh Phangan...

Well... hotel was nice enough. Stayed in a little hut thing (which only had a fan!!)...

Pool was decent and had a good beach view...

All in all, very pretty... very Thai!..

Went for drinks at Amsterdam Bar with some familiar faces...

Where you climb a load of steps to a bar and some of the BEST sun sets ever!

Went to beach party....

Drank buckets....

Got drunk and got rained on...

Sharon singed her hair ("our hair") a little...
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Lost at Connect 4...

Had drills...

Lost drills...

Got Slapped in the stomach by a Polish man (maybe Russian?..)...

Made friends withe same man...

Picked up two Thai boys (not like that!)...

Then taught them to "Swan!"...

Then fell asleep in the back of an open truck/taxi...

On to Koh tao...

Koh Tao...
Quick day visit for a snorkelling trip. Booked this up as a) I had a free day to fill.b) Hadn't been to this island and c) It finished in Koh Samui where I needed to get to in order to catch my flight to Bangkok.

Basically, very pretty!...

Wikid mini islands with secluded huts planted on the hill side...

Plenty of fish...

And a funky ass water taxi!...

On to Bangkok...

Bangkok...

So headed to bangkok. First impressions.. bit grubby. Dirty, homeless people, shit houses and got approached by a prostitute as I got out of my taxi - could be an interesting few days. Stayed at "Fortville" which claims to be "Styled like a fort" or in other words, undecorated. Either way, did the job and landed me near the Koahsan Road. picked up some fake Haviana fliflops (£2 a pair) and some dodgy sunglasses and watches - game on!!!

So the Koahsan Road is mental. Bars, shopping and food combined untill 5am ish!

Sampled local delicacies...

Local nightlife...

and local transport system...

My final day was odd. Had 3 hours to kill before heading to the airport, some guy informed me that for 10 baht (20p odd), a can get a TukTuk driver to take me on a 2 hour tour of Bangkok and its temples. It was in conjunction with the Queen's birthday or something? the government had subsidised the drivers for tourism purposes... something or other. I didn't care, off I went in the TukTuk...


Saw some gross pictures of the royal family all over the place...

Saw a 50ft "Waiting Monk"...

Saw a "Black Monk" (Basically a monk in a black room with 300 year old painted walls)...
A "Smiling Monk" (names are fairly self explanatory!)...

Went up "Golden Mountain" (wasn't Golden!)...
Banged a gong (not sure why, everyone seemed to be at it... good luck maybe?)...

Rang some bells (more good luck maybe?)...

Learned that even monks love a holiday snap...
And a cheeky pair of Bangkok Raybans...

Off to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup - OOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!! 1st stop, Christchurch (could be interesting!)...
Christchurch...
A lot more devastation than I expected. I knew from the news that the earthquakes had hit Christchurch but it turns out that, even after a year or more since the first quake, the majority of the city centre is still closed off! The "Red Zone" as it's known locally consists of the majority of bars, restaurant and tourist sights. Saying that, you can still see that Christchurch is a beautiful town. I'd describe it in a similar way to Windsor, "pretty, but not loads to do."

Arrived under amazing sunrise...
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Spots of beauty: Found Christchurch's answer to Alexandra Gardens' (Windsor)

But continuing reminders of the earthquakes everywhere you looked...

There was a horrible, spray painting on each building after it had been inspected verifying whether or or not it was safe. This was a little dark and a constant reminder of the earthquake each way you looked...

In memory of the earthquake was a really smart memorial bridge which I took endless pics off. here's a few...

Manage to pick myself up and away from the centre of Christchurch and headed to a little place called Riccerton. Went to a cheeky Les Mills gym for free!?.. People in NZ seem unnecessarily friendly. The guy said "If you only want to use it a few times, why not just use it for free?.." Why not indeed? nice little set up...

Followed by an old friend! (they're EVERYWHERE!)

Though I think I need them both as I seem to be getting more and more lanky by the day. Thailand's diet was not kind to me! ESPECIALLY the chicken legs!!..

Just the one day in Christchurch (think that's probably enough in its current state). Heading off to Dunedin  next for rugby and all that falls in with that... Could be a long old post next...

Dunedin...
So, Dunedin was brilliant. COLD AS!! But brilliant! So cold it made my joints hurt so, after a few days I headed to the charity shop and purchased an AMAZING 80's style "Sailing" (according to the badge) shell suit, which would be known as "Shelly". So warm, so awesome!!! We would spend little time apart...





Went to my first hostel "Manor House" (with what seemed to be the steepest driveway in the world!)...

...got involved in a table tennis tournament where I met Jack, Theo, Jimmy (who it turns out, shares mutual friends) and Tom (who I've met briefly and also has mutual friends) small world. The guys were all really cool and had a similar New Zealand trip planned to me so we soon scheduled in a second meet up in Queenstown.

Went for a wonder around Dunedin, which in parts was like home from home...

Went and collected my tickets...

Time for some going out and some rugby.
With the rugby world cup having a number of games in Dunedin they were heavily geared up to it. Every shop had some kind of rugby promotion on, every lampost was advertising the World Cup and the bars all seemed to be showing the games...

We opted for the "Fan Zone" (a theatre in this case I think?) one of the designated massive screens, where we watched the opening game. Great atmosphere...

Saw the opening Haka...
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Saw the first try of the RWC, 2011...
Stacked some cans...

Soon enough it was England's turn to kick off their campaign with a game against Argentina. the new stadium in Dunedin was awesome!! Closed roof, great views wherever you sat and a wikid atmosphere. The rugby from England however didn't match up. Still, good evening all round...

After the game I met a MASSIVE man! Huge Maori doorman...

And visited the narrowest bar in the world (self titled - not sure it's official!)...

Managed to find another Les Mills in Dunedin and get the TRX out in the park too...

to the steepest street in the world with my pal Jack...


And a blustery beach...

Inbetween this and the next England game we decided to venture elsewhere. Murray (a scottish lad that Jack had met in Christchurch) was heading to Invercargill (the bottom of the south island) for the Scotland vs Georgia game with his pal. We decided to tag along, where an ace road trip persued. Great lads, great time, poor game but as far as they were concerned, "A WIN'S A WIN!!!"...


After the overnight trip to Invercargillo, we headed back to Dunedin as we had tickets to the 2nd England game Vs Georgia. Same stadium, same atmosphere, SLIGHTLY better performance but not a world beating performance by any standard (and of course another good night out!)...

Before we left, Murray got really in to the NZ way of life and got fully inked up..



Then, becuase it looked so cool, Jack and I jumped on board (not really mum, they're transfers!)...


Off to Queenstwon the day after the Engand game on a long ass bus drive - grim! Good times ahead, I've heard nothing but good things about Queenstown - here goes!..





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Now off to see my old pal, Gary Peacham in Hamilton near Auckland...

Hamilton/Auckland...






















Australia...