Saturday, 20 November 2010

Some Stats

Working on a London to London basis, on our RTW tour, we will be travelling 27,650 Miles. That assumes a straight line journey between destinations on the ground like Christchurch to Auckland (470m) and LA to San Francisco (341m). Clearly it will be in excess of that as we are touring to see the sights.  Add to that 2,360 Miles to get us from home to Manchester and then to London to start the tour proper, and then the reverse at the end, our carbon footprint will be huge! We will be travelling through 8 different countries and be taking 12 Flights. We will be sleeping in 45 different beds and spend 3 overnighters in airplane seats. The Web informs me that the circumference of the earth is just under 25,000 miles, whichever way it is measured.  So clearly we will be doing some up and down as well as around.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Change of Plan

We were contacted a couple of days ago to tell us that our overnight flight from Delhi to Bangkok was now departing from Delhi at noon the next day. This means we have had to find an extra nights accommodation at Delhi. After some searching of the internet and in particular, we have found a hotel called IMPRESS and it appears that it does...... or at least so far, as it has only been going a month. The description of the restaurant left us giggling for some time..... "All types of snacks and delicacies are served so that the guests are hooked to it for a long time. From cold drinks and hot tea to crispy meals, everything is served to delight the guests for unlimited joy."....... Crispy meals? We wait and see if that is really so.......... perhaps read ...."burnt around the edges". Who knows? This really is a spitting distance from the airport runway and as we have an airport check-in at 10am the following morning it should be convienient. I hope they have good double glazing. They offer free WIFI which for a 3 star hotel is great and will enable me to update the blog after our first major stage of our RTW.  At the start of our India visit we are in the Ramada Plaza where they charge 10 US $ for one hour. I think they have something to learn from this little hotel.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Blog ?

Some Blog Followers have asked me... What is a Blog?  The word Blog comes from "Web Log", and means a log (or diary) of events published on the World Wide Web so that everyone can see. Indeed, if you know anyone who may be interested in following this Blog, then please feel free to distribute the link. This Blog was built using "Blogger" found by typing that into a Google search and following some instructions. Totally free and not that difficult.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

NZ North Island Itinerary

This was a difficult island to incorportate everything we wanted to do in a logical order. You will no doubt think.... "Why are they going there now"... when you follow the route on Google Maps. The simple answer is "Why not." We have two weeks only on North Island and we have several Gardens to see as well as the usual tourist attractions........ Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsular, Bay of Islands etc.

22nd Feb... arrive Wellington Ferry Treminal (ETA 16:20) and head to Paraparaumu for 2 nights with Ann's Brother. Pete to arrange nearby B&B.
24th Feb... Drive in convoy with Pete, Nadine and Ruben, to Hawkes Bay / Napier for 2 nights B&B accommodation arranged by Pete.
26th Feb... Drive to Wanganui where we have a night in the Paloma Garden. Yes in! ... This garden, open to the public, actually has a cottage accommodation. Once all the visitors leave, the gardens are ours for the night.
27th Feb... New Plymouth.  Famous for its parks and gardens, along with the stunning scenery of Mt Taranaki.
28th Feb ... Drive to Marotin, 20 mins north of  Lake Taupo. Farmstay.
1st and 2nd March ... Rotorua,  Motel. Day trips out and about the muddy bits.
3rd March Drive to Whangamata to get ready for the Coromandel Peninsular drive next day.
4th March... a busy day! Sure to "Fill our eyes" as Juli says. Finish late that day just north of Auckland at Waiwera on the Hibiscus Coast. (341 km the scenic route!) They have a hot tub to fall into.
5th and 6th ... Base ourselves at Whangerei to experience trips out to the corners of Northlands. To the very top to see where the Tasman Sea fights the Pacific, amongst other delights.
7th and 8th March to Auckland to get a bit of "city"..... Art Gallery, Theatre, Cinema, etc. before...........
9th March .. Drop car off at Auckland Airport for 12:50 flight to Fiji. (ETA Fiji 15:50)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Airport welcome ?

Thanks to a link from Bob on Facebook I brighten your day with this Heathrow Airport welcome. I wonder if we will get anything like this...............

Friday, 5 November 2010

Useful Web sites

On searching the Internet for information, now and then I come across really useful sites which may be of interest to other travellers. This posting will be added to as the tour progresses and any sites which you may find will also be appreciated.  Please leave a comment if you find an interesting site that could be useful and I will add it into this posting later.
On trying to find out what time it was in NZ, so that we could phone Peter, I found this site..... .... which has all sorts of interesting bits. It will tell you not only the time and date of anywhere in the world, but also under Tools it will measure how far places are apart. Our first RTW leg, London to Delhi is 6,724 Km for example. I will use this to see just how far we will have travelled by the time we have finished. Yes, I have packed the Anorak!!!
Came across this by accident. Should prove useful when on the road in NZ... the gkrt bit stands for "Great Kiwi Road Trips". It suggests detours off the beaten track to see bits otherwise possibly missed while out driving. One drive scheduled at just over three and a half hours, they suggest three days to take in the full glory of NZ.

More later.......... watch this space and please add any sites of interest into the comments option at the end of this posting by clicking on the word "Comments".

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

NZ South Island Itinerary

After a week of surfing the web, we have at last settled on a route around the South Island. The sites (tools) that I have used have been for the Hotel and Motel type accommodation. to see what everyone else thinks about possible venues. Many decisions changed or altered after refering to this, though some have been rather old postings and the management changed and /or accommodation updated recently. Worth viewing the postings in date order. There is always someone who has a gripe, and rates their stay as "terrible", often brought on by their own stupidity and they feel they need to get at someone. This is often a real lambasting for something quite trivial.  Occasionally you can find such gems as " no one mentioned the trainline 10 foot from the bedroom window". Homestay (B&B) type accommodation was found in the "Big Black Bed and Breakfast Book" sent for on our behalf by Marlene (ex Kiwi with whom we play Petanca).  Very useful Marlene, and many thanks. Your own copy from.....   Other very useful tools, Google Earth and Google Maps.  Both will show a bed symbol if you zoom in on a town and one or two overnights, were found this way.

1st Feb    Arrive Christchurch and have two nights in Pub B&B adjoining Brewery. Pub grub and real Ale! Oh Yes!!!
3rd Feb   Catch TranzAlpine train to Greymouth and pick up hire car after lunch drive up coast to Cape Foulwind for one night. Hope it does not live up to its name.
4th Feb  Drive inland via Bullers gorge and Springs Junction (the long way, but more scenic) to Reefton.
5th Feb Drive to Fox Glacier via Greymouth and Hokitika.
6th Feb Drive to Lake Wanaka via Haast and new road over the Southern Alps. ( previously impassable)
7th Feb Short drive to Queenstown for two nights.
9th Feb Day trip to Milford Sound stopping off at Te Anau on return journey.
10th Feb Invercargill for two nights. (Garden visits)
12th Feb To Dunedin via "Southern Scenic Route" which is more or less the coast road.
14th Feb Drive north to Oamaru (old architechture and strange boulders) then turn inland to stay overnight in Omarama. To view the lakes that reflect Mt Cook etc.
15th Via Geraldine to Christchurch (more on that venue later) for two nights.
17th To Nelson on smaller roads via Hanmer Springs and St Arnaud.  Three days here having day trips, here and there, but always returning to same accommodation. (Self Catering)  Must include the town of Collingwood to see if they have celebrated/commemorated the Admiral's death 200 years ago like we all did recently.
20th Blenheim for two nights. Vinyard tours and get ready for Picton Ferry on 22nd to North Island.

The only accommodation on this Island not yet booked, is the second visit to the Christchurch area (15th).
Two B&Bs investigated so far have been closed due to earthquake damage. Whilst one hopes to be up and running by January the other has been "red tagged" which means it is a no go area due to imminent collapse. (follow the Flickr  link to see images) Three enquiries for accommodation have not been replied to.  Are they still standing?   I continue to do research in this area. Update..... two nights now booked on coast south of Christchurch... north of rocky peninsular, where there are gardens to see.