A Travellerspoint blog

Vietnam Photos


semi-overcast 18 °C

See Vietnam photos on our flatmate Tom's site. Copy and paste link below:


Posted by Spearsy 22:18 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

South East Asia

Part One Photos - Singapore, Cambodia and Southern / Central Vietnam


The Mahout Memoirs

MONTH: December 2008

COUNTRIES: Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam

SIGHTS: Sentosa Island – Luge, 4 D Cinema, Red Dot Museum, Asian Civ Museum, The Khmer Temples – including Romulus, Wat, Thom and Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple), Tonle Sap Lake boat cruise and homestay, S21 - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, National Musuem (Phnom Penh), War Museum (HCMC), Mekong Delta, Chi Chi Tunnels Tiger Falls – Dalat and Hoi An Old Town.
Wildlife: Crocs, Catfish, Monkies, Pythons, Rats and lots of birds.

1. Boat trip in the Battenbang bird santary and climbing the 15 metre high viewing platform. Loads of birds including Asian Fish Eagle, Black Spotted Peligan, Egerts Cormorants.
2. Easy rider motorcycle tour from Dalat in the central highlands to Nga Trang on the beach.
3. Elephant ride in Lata lake.
4. Shooting AK47 – Chris Only
5. Price a round of 11 draft beers at Bai Hoi came to 55 dong = 1.80 pound

1. Rain on Christmas day.
2. See the evil things that happen in torture camps (Khmer Rouge) and in the Vietnam War (or the American War as they call it here).
3. Eaten alive on lake boat homestay – Lil had 19 bites in the space as big as your palm and 29 in total.

1. Underground in the Viet Con tunnels – Lil only
2. Crossing the insane traffic in HCMC – just following a local to stay alive.


Flame roasted Frog.
Roasted silk worm
Chicken head and neck
Raw sugar cane

Hot shower
Normal toilet

Hawking and spitting – grim.

‘Hey lady you wanna buy water...... hey lady you wanna buy baby’ – Cambodian lady outside Angkor Wat holding baby. (still not really sure how much she was joking).

‘Study is not important. Whats important is work and revolution’ - Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge.
'Its better to arrest ten people by mistake than to let one guilt person be free’- Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge.

‘Photo on passport here, you very handsome man.... today you not look so good’ – brutally honest reception girl to Tom (old ferndale house mate) first thing in the morning.

‘We are going to bomb them back into the Stone age’ – Curtis Lemay, Commander US Air Force, 1965.

‘I fall asleep in my Tuk Tuk, my boss have to wake me up’ – Driver an hour late to collect us at airport.

FISH CAUGHT: 14 including a large / tasty bream (Lil) / 2 small ones (Chris)

MOSI BITES: Lil = 30-40. Chris = 5-10.

TAN: Same same, no different.

NEXT ON THE AGENDA: Laos and Thailand














Posted by Spearsy 23:01 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

The Dias Diaries

MONTH: November 2008

View RTW on Spearsy's travel map.

COUNTRIES: South Africa
SIGHTS: Garden Route – Birds of Eden , Monkey World , Knysna Lagoon, Dias Museum / Cape Town – Table Mountain, Cape Point, Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens, Long St Bars, Camps Bay, V+A Waterfront / West Coast – Paternoster, Iziko Fossil Park, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. Wildlife: Pegiuns, seals, dassie, right whale, flamingo, yellow billed kite, rock kestral, marsh hare, vlei rats, puff adder (skin of), baboon, cow shark, franklin, camelion and fish eagle.
1. Catching loads of fish (including a large whitesteinbras) in the sunshine on the houseboat in Knysna Lagoon.
2. Taking a break in Cape St Francis and seeing our friends Paul and Taryn. Beating Paul at pool and fishing.
3. Wine tasting in the Cape Town area of Constancia.
4. Getting a great deal on our curios – exactly what we wanted for a cheap price with no hassle.
5. Seeing a large cow shark being caught and landed in Laangban lagoon.
1. Losing to Paul twice at golf.
2. Paul and Taryns car breaking down hlf way through the trip.
3. Getting stuck on sandbanks twice. The first in horizontal rain. The second time for about half an hour as we pushed off one onto another.
4. The England v SA rugby game.
5. My hangover after a Saturday night on Long St (the worst so far) - Chris

1. Drifting towards steel oyster beds whilst stuck in the Kysner Lagoon – Lil
2. A close encounter with a very large male baboon – what are you meant to do? Run (it followed), clap hands and shout ‘yah’ (it ran faster at us), scream and make your self look big with arms in the air in last minute panic (luckly this one worked when it was half a meter from us). Adrenaline and heart beat very high. We had no food, i think it fancied Lil.
3. The 200m high cable car up the side on table mountain – Chris only.

Fish selection – Caught by Chris: Spotted Grunter, White Steinbras / Other: Cob, Yellow tail, Pickled Snoek, Western Rock Lobster, Bokkoms (dried fish biltong ).
Oysters – Raw (farmed and natural) and cooked with cheese, bacon, breadcrumb or herbs.
Mealie maize, ham and beans.

MOSTLY MISSING: A good cuppa tea
MOSTLY HAD FILL OF: Overpriced accomodation

‘ White wine is not good for me, it does funny things’ Taryn whilst holding a large bottle of white wine.
‘You always tell me to do stupid things like this – just let it climb on you foot Paul – why do i listen to you’ Fella to Taryn at Birds of Eden, unable to remove a parrot that took a liking to his shoe lace.
‘Peaches and plums good for your gums’ - Africa fruit seller, Laangban
‘ I not speak very lakka english’ – 5 year old African girl, Paternoster.

FISH CAUGHT: 1 Steppie (Lil) / 1 White Steinbras and 2 Gully Sharks (Chris)
MOSI BITES: Lil = 0. Chris = 0. A pest free month.
TAN: Ovaltine – blending like a local.
NEXT ON THE AGENDA: SE Asia – Thailand TBC. Otherwise Veitnam 1st.

Posted by Spearsy 01:56 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Southern Africa


-17 °C
View RTW on Spearsy's travel map.


Posted by Spearsy 06:13 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Southern Africa


View RTW on Spearsy's travel map.


Posted by Spearsy 06:13 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Exploring the Wild Coast

MONTH October (bit late)

sunny 33 °C

South Africa – Zululand, Drakensberg, South Coast, Wild Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cape St Francis.

Cuddle puddle – hot springs
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – opens park with abundance of wildlife
Execution Rock – 3000 ft rock that Zulu leaders threw rivals.
The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park
Shaka’s Rock – a coastal rock that a Zulu leader threw off his rivals.
Sani cave paintings – one of the oldest and most preserved cave paintings in southern Africa
The Wide side, Cape St Francis – wild rocky coastline.
Wildlife: Eagle Owl, White lipped herald snake, moray eel, mongoose, tortoise, whales and dolphins.

Playing and drawing pictures with the kids at the orphanage.
Learning to surf.
Sharing the largest pile of braai-ed crayfish we have ever see with a bunch of Africaans bikers at Port St Johns.
Eventually catching some fish.

Losing to the village idiot (Fella) at golf by one point.
Being a golf and fishing widow (Lil)

Meeting a croc face to face on the edge of the estuary whilst fishing.
Getting caught in a lightening storm on top of a mountain.
Taking a ride in a taxi mini van at high speed whilst the driver listens to happy hardcore.

Poikkie – a SA stew, not an Irish gypsie
Bunny Chow – curry inside half a loaf.
Crayfish on mass
Spotted grunter

Pork pies and scotch eggs

Rain and wind – isn’t this supposed to be Africa.

Watch that salty - Mart, Ozzy bloke
Tea Addicts – Geoffery, Dutch bloke
Bloody fish catchers – Stoney, not happy Saffa local.

Spotted grunter (large 40cm)– Kromme River (Chris)
Spotted grunter (mini) – Kromme River (Lil)
Sand shark, 2 x Stingray (one large)– St Francis
Steinbras (small) – St Francis

About 20 odd each - Balito Bay – both got eaten.

Healthly glow (caramel) – restricted to farmers tan.

Graden route to Cape Town.

Posted by Spearsy 23:23 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

Africa 2

Swaziland and Kwazulu-Natal



Posted by Spearsy 08:44 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Africa part one

Sept 2008

sunny 30 °C


MONTH: September 2008

COUNTRIES: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

SIGHTS: Voktrekker Monument, Vic Falls, The Okavango Delta (from 300 meters in the air ), 100’s of different birds including; fish eagle, vulture, great egret. All the usual Safari animals including Lion, Rhino, Cheetah, Elephants and in the sea whale shark, humpback whales, devil ray and dolphins.

1. White water rafting the Zambezi.
2. Snorkling up close with whale sharks, Mozambique. (thanks to cash from Al.G, Ed, Sal and Al)
3. Sitting with the pilot in the light aircraft over the delta.
4. Body boarding the monster waves at Tofo beach.
5. Getting very close to a male lion in Kruger Park.

1. Not been able to Braii beacuse of crazy landlady (looking like Miss Marple) panicking about the wind setting the beach huts on fire.
2. Waves caused by 20 mph winds stopping deep sea fishing trip.

1. Sleeping (or not) in a tent whilst a bull elephant snacks on nuts in a tree above our tent.
2. Looking under the water and coming face to face (arms length) with a 20 meter whale shark.
3. Driving at night on potholed road surrounded by drunken locals not really sure where we are going in Mozambique.

1. Hunterpot Wilderbeast with sudza (mealie meal) – Vic Falls, Zim.
2. Kudu Boerwors sausage –My Bday, Botswana.
3. Crayfish – speared and cooked by locals.

MOSTLY MISSING: comfortable bed

MOSTLY HAD FILL OF: impala and elephants / local kids trying sell us shell bracelets.

QUOTES: ‘The mighty Zambizi... somebody stop me’ – Colgate, rafting guide. ‘Its running toward the tent’ – Chris, Gunns Camp. ‘I’m a beer smuggler’ Christopher, guy on Botswana ferry boarder crossing.

FISH CAUGHT: Zero – crocs, boat parts, wind / surf, competition dates and fat lazy Gary all working against me.

MOSI BITES: Lil = 6. Chris = 3.

TAN: Lost the pale glow, more the colour of weak latte now.

NEXT ON THE AGENDA: Swaziland and more of South Africa – Kwazulunatal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.


Posted by Spearsy 06:20 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

African Adventure Part 1

We departed Joburg early on a overland truck with 17 other people from Oz, US, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Finland – a real mixed bunch who turned out to be a fun crowd and we all got on great. After a back breaking long distance journey we arrived in Maun, Botswana for our four seater light aircraft trip over the delta to our bush camp. On the way back Chris confronted his fear and joined the pilot in the front seat, one of the highlights so far.
Camping on the edge of the delta we soon found out we shared our camp with a three tonne bull elephant name Bruno. Instilling fear into all of us with his midnight visits to stomp around a metre away from our tents, violently shaking trees to get the nuts, very sleepless nights. The next day was followed by an early morning game ride on Chiefs Island that we got to in traditional Mokoro dug out canoes that Chris also had a go on at poling the Mokoro. On the walk we spotted loads of wildlife such as zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, baboons, impala, elephant and many birds including fish eagles and great egrets.
The next section we moved to Chobe National Park in the north of Botswana. On the way we celebrated Chris's birthday in style, starting with Amarula ( thanks to Len and Kate), then champagne, springsboks, Kudu boerowors sausages and steaks the size of hubcaps. A really nice camp with swimming pool surrounded by ancient Baobab trees up to 2000 years old. The next morning was an early slightly jaded start. When we arrived to Chobe river and our camp. That afternoon we went on a game sunset cruise where we again spotted loads of animals including crocs and hippos.
We had to take a ferry across the Chobe river which divided Botswana and Zambia. We got onto one of the two ferries ( there was three until recently one sank, reassuring!) only to see a flip flop floating past us at high speed as the ferry moved off across to the Zambia border. Chris followed the flip flop to the end of the boat to help a local rescue his flip flop so he did not have to hop across the border. Chris's now new best mate ( also called Christopher) insisted on shaking his hand many times and chatting to him. When enquiring what Christopher did for a living, we interestingly found out that he and his friends were beer smugglers.
In Zambia we took in the falls and as there was low water we walked along the top lip and looked precariously over the edge. The following day our fixer named Active transported us across the Zimbabwean border to Vic Falls. This was the location of the best part of the Africa trip so far – white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi river. 24km, 21 grade 5 rapids, in a gorge 200m deep on a plastic boat with a mental guide called Colgate and five other people. As we went through rapid 5 – stairway to heaven the section with the 10ft drop lifted the boat practically vertical and twisted on the drop spitting us both out into the river for our first swim. A mental adrenaline filled experience, defiantly the best so far.
Quick flight back to Joburg and tomorrow we depart for Kruger National Park then Mozambique.

Posted by Spearsy 11:57 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Final Friend Farewell

The final farewell at the Falcon was great but sad.........becoming a bit more real now that we are off.


Posted by Spearsy 02:04 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)


Farewell number one!

We had our first farewell at the Bread and Roses Clapham and it was really great to see every one!! Still does not feel real that we are leaving !!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Farewell Do number 2 at the Falcon on photos/147417/]

Posted by Spearsy 07:31 Archived in England Comments (0)

Step 1

Buying RTW ticket and leaving Ferndale

The most money we ever spent was on our round the world ticket. We have plotted our adventure...

Leaving Ferndale...We packed up all our stuff, said good bye to the gang and moved out of the ferndale flat.


Posted by Spearsy 12:02 Comments (0)

i resign

step 2

I just resigned from my job as a Product Developer at Molton Brown.

4 weeks notice - last day 15th August.

3rd sept we fly to Joburg.


Posted by Spearsy 06:14 Comments (0)

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