Monday, July 22, 2013

About to depart on the morning of the 2nd day on the bikes.

Mike and Steve in sand dunes of northern Gobi

Swapping bikes for camels - but only for a short time.

Countryside family at Erdene Zuu monastery in Kharkhorin 

Mongolian contorsionist

Break at the top of a pass looking back over Naiman Nuur

Riverside stop with some ger families while Rachael's puncture fixed

Baby yak in the river

We arrived back in New Zealand on Sunday 21 July after a very successful Mongolia Tour for 2013.  Everything went quite smoothly this year, amazing!  No drowned or rolled support vehicles - not knowing what has happened to our crew.  There were still a few self-inflicted rider injuries, broken bones among the list.  Fortunately none of it was life-threatening just a few weeks of healing required.
Rather than write a whole lot about the tour I'm just going to put up a few photos today and a few more in the following days.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Just over a week ago Mike and I returned from a 20 day tour in Vietnam.  We had five clients on the tour and we all had a fantastic trip.  All of the clients on the group really got into the Vietnamese food and we had some very memorable meals.  Even Mike and I who have been to Vietnam many times were impressed with the standard of the cuisine on this tour.
Pics below show the food we were served at the house of the White Thai hill tribe family we stay with in Mai Chau...and the one below that shows the same serving about 15-20 minutes later!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hmmm, yes, well it has been a very loooong time since I posted on this blog!  More than two years in fact.  Why? Well I kind of forgot about it, and then  I couldn't remember my password, then time dragged on and I became too embarrassed to post.  But I decided it was high time to resurrect this blog.
We have had many adventures in Asia since my last post way back in October 2010.  And now we are also organising adventures in Bolivia, South America.  So I'm back in the saddle so to watch this space...more posts to come very soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vientiane to Vang Vieng - Laos PDR

Great to see a smoke free temple (Wat) in Vientiane

Gates to a Wat in Vientiane

Satay, streetside, Vientiane

Mekong and waterfront in Vientiane, looking across to Thailand.  Note the major earthworks in foreground - the riverbank is being developed to celebrate 450 years of Vientiane as the capital, at the moment it is a dusty mess

Large catfish from the Mekong River

The bikes for the tour lined up and waiting for riders!
Day 1 on the bikes - The group leaving Vientiane heading for Vang Vieng
First night in Laos for the intrepid travellers.  Dinner beside the Mekong, Vientiane (down river a couple of kms from all the development)

Waiting at Wattay airport in Vientiane, Laos, on Saturday 9 October Mike and I began to wonder if our group had all missed the flight.  People trickled through the arrival door, but none were familiar faces.  Finally we saw Weeksie with a broad grin on his face (and this meant I had won the bet of who would be first out!).  He was laughing because despite forgetting his passport photos for the Visa on Arrival he was still first out.  It transpired that he was not the only one to forget these photos, quite a few of the guys had but no problem US$1 and a photo from ypour passport was taken. Finally everyone was through, had met our Lao guides, Thongkhoon and Yee, changed money and then it was onto the bus heading for the hotel.
Dinner that night was at the Kong View restaurant on the banks of the Mekong (away from the earthworks).  This was an opportunity for those in the group  to get to know their travelling companions better.  

Next morning Mike and I went out to the bikes prior to breakfast to observe that most had already been 'baggsed', this evident by the helmets hanging on mirrors.   A bit of tweaking of levers and other things was required before we set off and then it was into the traffic - 16 bikes weaving through busy Vientiane roads.  13 clients riding, our two Lao guides, and Mike with me riding pillion.  Jolie was the other pillion at this stage with the rest of the women in one of our two backup/luggage vehicles - except for intrepid Jan R who was the only woman riding her own motorbike.

The road out of Vientiane is not the most interesting, but riders were focused on the local traffic and the fact that we were on the other side of the road to what the New Zealandders were accustomed.
 A drink stop, many photo stops and a cushion buying expedition for Joile and I  (the back of the seat of an XR is very hard, and the carrier tray even more so!). We had another drink stop and then it was a slight detour to get to our lunch stop a few kilometres away on the side of a lake.  And there was Sue on the back of Dave's bike, she had had enough of the car and wanted to feel the wind in her hair.  Hmm, riding pillion is fine Sue but let's get you a helmet in Vang Vieng aye.

A simple but delicious lunch of Laos food and then back on the bikes to complete the journey to Vang Vieng.  Sue was back in the car with Tina and Jan W...but only until she could find herself a snazzy helmet!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Off to Laos today

 Mike enjoying a laksa on the waterfront at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on the island formally known as Borneo.
 A young lad with a mohawk we saw at a hiphop dance competition.
Green Tea bread!

 We have had a few days stopover in Malaysia exploring the possibilities of running a tour here at a later date.  It has been an interesting few days as Malaysia is a real melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.  Mike and I speak a little Indonesian from all our years of travelling to Bali, and as Malaysian is an almost identical language it has been great to get back into the swing of speaking another language.

Today we fly to Vientiane, Laos to finalise and check things for the upcoming tour.  First up will be to check all the bikes are in good working order!  And tonight we will probably have a dinner of grilled river fish on the banks of the Mekong River.  Our guests arrive in Laos on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Days To Go

Despite the fact that I am very fortunate to travel overseas at least once a year, I still get excited when the time to depart draws near.  While I still have quite a few things to do before we leave on Friday, I am slowly ticking jobs off the list. 
One of the things I enjoy most about our overseas tours is that you get to know people quite well when you are on the road with them for two or more weeks.  With a group of 18 joining us on the Laos and Angkor Wat Tour I know we are in for lots of laughs during our travels.
Mike and I are stopping over in Malaysia on the way with the hope of setting up a tour there in the future.  I will blog about our stay there prior to the Laos Tour.  I will try and update the Blog daily, but there may be days when I do not have internet access and so am unable to do so.  Mike also hope to get some clips on You Tube of the journey, we'll keep you posted here and on our web page