Oslo to Bergen

The first few days of our trip were spent exploring Oslo and then heading to Bergen. Due to join the National Geographic Explorer on 20 May to explore the Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Svalbard these few days were more about overcoming jetlag and adjusting to the time zone while exploring some of the beauty of these two Norwegian cities.

To read more click the link below:

Norway 2015

Norway – We’ve arrived


Saturday 16 May
Landing in Sydney around 10 am I took the opportunity to go and see an old karate mate. Joe now runs “Joe’s Boxing” at Five Dock.
Sylvia flies in from Wodonga around 3pm. After checking in we head to the lounge to await our 9 pm flight to Dubai.

On board the A380 it is all pretty flash. We are in first class. It is made up of capsules of about 1.5 m wide and 3m long.
Our capsules are side by side with a wall that drops down between us. The seat which turns into a bed also has a massage function. Large TV, pop up drinks bar, make-up mirror and products to name a few. We are handed PJ’s and head off to the bathroom to get changed. The bathrooms are huge with shower included. In spite of the size “one person at a time”  the hosty who is always stationed outside tells us. What are they thinking we might get up to in there ?!!!!!
The flight under way, Dom Perignon is served and dinner order taken. Couldn’t resist the Caviar entrée. A piece of baramundi was cooked to perfection for a main. Sylvia had a thai prawn salad, rack of lamb and a chocolate caramel bombe.

The bed is made, the electric doors close for the best aeroplane sleep ever.
2 hours out from Dubai we are called individually for our shower –  “what ever happened to saving water?”
A great breakfast is served prior to us arriving feeling fresh and ready for the flight to Oslo.
A bus with large leather armchairs takes us on a long drive around this massive, busy airport. Planes are stacked in all over the tarmacs – know anyone who has lost an aeroplane its probably here.

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Sunday 17 May

We had a very short stopover in Dubai – really only time to buy a few cigars and find the lounge before we had to board – right from the lounge. This time a 777-200 but first class configuration with the same – eight seats but we were the only two passengers with three crew to look after us! A pretty straight-forward 7-hour flight, some movies, more Dom Perignon for Roger (the crew were very attentive and kept his glass well-filled), a delicious lunch and we landed in Oslo.

We caught the express train into the city and walked out of the station into crowds of happy people, many in traditional dress, celebrating Norway’s national day. There was a huge parade with lots of bands and we could even hear cannons firing in the distance. It was quite interesting hauling our cases over the cobblestones and trying to navigate our way to the hotel through the crowds – we even had to dash across the road in a gap in the parade at one stage.

A quick rest at the hotel and then we headed out to wander the streets, enjoying the crowds and the sites. We wandered up to the palace to where the obligatory guards were being photographed, then through some beautiful parkland  – displaying wonderful spring greenery and some gorgeous tulips – and around the city before heading back to the hotel. I was quite taken with the national costumes. Women in their dresses with lace up bodices, aprons and bucked shoes and men in “lederhosen” style pants, long socks and velvet jackets, some with tails. Those not in national costume were generally smartly dressed with many of the men in suits and ties. The dresses and suits are in different colours depending on where people are from.

We retired very early as we were both feeling the effects of jet lag.

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Click here to see video of parade


Three Rough Blokes on the Amazon January – February 2015

Three rough blokes were having a beer one day and Roger was saying how he’d like to do the other half of the Amazon from Manaus to the coast. The other two didn’t take much persuading so in January 2015 we met in Manaus, Cam flying in from a week in Guatemala, AJ arriving after a few days in Panama and Roger after the shot show in Vegas and a few days in Panama.

Check out the full story below.

Amazon 2015

Screen Capture by Snagit

Training in Europe – Oct/Nov 2014

Somewhere I heard about a Eurail Pass… After a bit of investigation I found that for NZ$1600 I could travel first class all around Europe. This turned out to be not quite true. After having read the fine print which said I would have to pay a small amount for booking seats it turned out their definition of small and mine were quite different, especially when it came to travelling between France and London on the Eurostar. Small for that trip alone was about 170 euros!!!

Apart from a few train strikes in Germany this was a great way to see Europe.

To read more, click on the link below:

Training in Europe 2

Botswana – April 2014

Botswana has long been one of my absolute favourite places to visit. In April 2014 it was great to be able to take my sister Debbie, her fiancé, Dave, my Mum, Rosie, and her partner, Lardy to experience the place I love so much. We were able to spend 14 days in some fantastic camps seeing a wide variety of amazing wildlife.

To read the full trip account click on the link below:

Botswana Trip – April 2014

Antarctica and Iguacu Falls – December 2013/January 2014

I managed to do all seven continents in one year, twice in a row, making it to Antarctica in both 2013 and 2014 (same trip). It is such a stunning continent with it’s huge ice-caps and glaciers as well as lots of interesting wildlife. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and finished off in the much warmer area around Iguacu Falls.

To read the full trip report click the link below:

Antarctica Trip – Dec 2013 Jan 2014