Sunday, 24 March 2013
So I writing this update from Dublin so I made it back here safely.
Apologies in advance for the lack of photos here, I will do a number of posts when I fully finish my travels with photos, I simply haven't had time to sort through everything.
When I last left off the blog I was in Thailand, so I guess it is easiest to take it up from that point.
From Thailand I flew to Cambodia specifically Siem Reip which is the city nearest to the famous Angkor Wat. I decided to relatively splurge while I was there and stayed in a decent hotel and to take a private tour of the temple complexes. I had an excellent tour guide a Mr Son who proved to be very knowledgeable and one aspect I enjoyed was the ability to avoid some of the big tours, most of them for example visited Angkor Wat in the morning so we were able to visit in the afternoon, this avoided the total tourist squash.
Even though Angkor Wat may be the most famous of the temples it is in fact on one of a very large number in the area, I think I visited over 12 different temple complexes in the 4 days along with a visit to the floating village, if you are going to Cambodia look up this tour guide he can be found with a quick google.
From Cambodia I headed to New Zealand, I flew into Auckland (via Kuala Lumpur and Sydney) from there I rented a car and started driving (If you read about the drives in America you may be surprised that Hertz hasn't banned me). From Auckland I first headed north to Cape Reinga which is the most northerly point of the North Island, from there I headed South to the Bay of Islands which I have to say is quite stunning, it is internationally famous (but the name may not be known) as the final resting place of the Rainbow Warrior (the Greenpeace flagship that was sunk by the French in Auckland harbour), The ship was sunk here after the police investigation and can now be dove by recreational divers, this was an excellent dive for me as I love wreck diving in general and especially if there is some known history attached to a wreck.
After my days diving I bounced around the North Island for another 4 days just seeing as much as I could, some of the other highlights included thermal springs which were lovely for relaxing in, I would have liked more time to visit more of them. After the general tourist drives and such I headed to Wellington to drop of the rental car and to get the ferry over to the South Island.
Once I arrived in Picton on the South Island I picked up another car of my ten remaining days in New Zealand.
One difference I noticed very quickly between the two islands was the number of hitch hikers on the South Island compared to the North Island, the majority of these were tourists like myself but some were Kiwis, most days I picked up at least one set of hitch hikers and sometimes multiple sets, this was my way of paying back Karma for the hitches I got when I was hiking in the US and to be honest they were just some interesting people.
I really bounced around the South Island, I'll cover my approximate route and mention some of the highlights.
From Picton I headed towards Christchurch but didn't actually go down quite that far, I then headed across the mountain range and back up towards Golden Bay (I had originally decided to skip going up here but from talking to a hitch hiker it sounded nice and I detoured)
From Golden Bay I headed to the West Coast specifically Westport, I got very lucky when I visited the west coast as I saw very little rain, two weeks before I was there there was bridges and roads washed out form the rain, the average yearly rainfall is somewhere in the region of 3000mm in the area (according to one of the informaiton signs I read)
I then headed down the west coast to see Franz Josef Glacier, this is an impressive coastal drive and you start to see the Southern Alps. The Glaciers have retreated significantly in the last hundred years, it is interesting to pass signposts listing where the glacier was over different times, from the 1940s marker it is another 10 minutes drive and then a 30 minute walk to the current viewing point.
Then I headed uo into the mountains towards Queenstown then on to Te Anau and I drove up to Milford Sound which is an interesting drive on quite a small road in places at the bottom of quite small valleys, there is a significant tunnel to pass through as well to actually get down to Milford Sound, Milford Sound itself is a fjord, to be honest it is beautiful but the beauty would not justify the road and tunnel construction to, I asked a local and he explained it was a combination of a war project and a depression project that built the road and tunnel it was originally envisioned that that it would be a new port being one of the only deep water anchorages on the west coast of the South island (i.e. the nearest side to Australia) but with improved shipping and better ports on the south of the island it was easier to bring goods into other ports than transport them over a small road that would have been prone to being closed due to snow and other weather events.
From there I headed to Bluff which is the most southern point of the South island at this stage I realised I was ahea dof schedule so I decided to see some of the centre of the island so I headed back up towards Christchurch via the middle of the island and back down to Dunedin via the East coast.
In total I managed to drive 6000Km in New Zealand.
From Dunedin I flew direct to Sydney.
Once in Sydney I rented another car (Hertz still hadn't learned), From Sydney I headed north to Cairns I had to divert inland a couple of hundred kilometres due to sever flooding in the coastal areas I would have been passing through, the areas I passed through is one of the major farming areas of Australia especially growing crops and it was actually a lot greener than I was expecting.
I got one days diving in Cairns but I have to say I was very disappointed with the general conditions of the reef, the boat I was on was not the largest but there was still maybe 40 plus divers, there is a lot of signs and such dealing with rubbish i.e. don't near the reef, but as an example I collected 5 snorkels and a mask during my three dives alone, along with these dive specific pieces of rubbish I noticed additional pieces of rubbish, along with this there was significant amounts of broken coral, along with very significant bleaching.
I have heard that the health of the reef and the diving is a lot better if you can go to the more remote sections of the reef.
From Cairns I headed West to Darwin, this was my first real experience of driving in the more outback areas (the east coast is relatively densely populated, i.e. a town at least every 50Km or so), while driving to Darwin it was normal for it to be five or six hundred kilometres between towns for these larger stretches it was normal to find a roadhouse every two to three hundred kilometres, a roadhouse usually consisted of a petrol station with an attached restaurant and maybe a bar and usually a motel out back along with some accommodation for the staff and that is it!!
Once I hit Darwin my original plan had been to go directly south through the middle of Australia but I realised I had under estimated the distances I would cover each day (in the outback it was normal to cover between 700 and 1000Km if not more) so I decided to head for Perth, my one regret here was that I didn't stick to the coast road but swung inland at one stage, the coast road is meant to be a lot more scenic.
At this point I have to mention the Road trains and road kill (they both go hand in hand), the sizes of the road trains varied but were shorter than I had originally feared, the biggest ones allowed were I think 56m, still impressive, think of a big truck pulling 3 normal trailers and this is approximately what you get, these things cant stop too easily so you end up with road kill! One of the biggest road trains I saw was in the mining areas where I saw a number of trains with I think 7 trailers and I think 25 axles (98 wheels!) these were basically a string of dump trucks so were still only about the same length as the other trucks but due to the loads each trailer was smaller with more axles to take the weight.
On the front of road kill I probably say a couple of hundred dead kangaroos and another hundred plus dead cows, the biggest road kill I saw was a camel, I didn't have any issues myself with only one kangaroo getting within maybe two meters of being hit by me.
From Perth I headed along the south coast but took a little diversion up to see Uluru (~1200Km detour), from there I headed down to Melbourne then up back to Sydney with one stop on Parkes to visit the Observatory that was made famous by the file "The Dish" this 60+ meter radio dish was used to relay pictures of the first moon landing.
From Sydney I headed back to Dublin. Your probably wondering what I up to now, well I am flying to France tomorrow to start walking the Camino de Santiago walk in the north of Spain, the 780Km section I'm hoping to finish starts in St Jean Pied de Port just on the French side of the border.
I'm hoping to complete the walk in about six weeks but have almost 8 weeks available if needed, I won't give too many details of the walk for now but if you are interested in the trail a quick google will provide plenty of information.
I hope to get some updates posted but considering my recent update frequency please don't hold your breath between updates as I don't want to be responsible for people passing out :)
Sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors in this post but I am rushing it out a bit as I finish packing and getting ready for tomorrow.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Okay firstly apologies for being so late with updates to this blog.
I just realized I was at the half way point for my Asia trip and I haven't posted any updates here.
Apologies for the lack of photos with this posting but I'm having trouble with uploading to blogger.
I guess I'll start with a summary and then go into some specific details on what I've been up to.
Firstly what countries have I been to so far Japan, Philippians, Hong Kong and Thailand have been on the list so far also with a day trip to Macau thrown in for good measure.
So far on the trip I've taken 8 separate flights, other transport options have included cars, buses, trains, scooters, tuktuks, ferries, jeepnies,cable cars, foot etc
What are my current plans, the current plans involve Cambodia next week followed by New Zealand for two weeks and then Australia for one month.
Okay so now for some details on the individual spots
I started my trip by flying into Tokyo, I was actually staying on the outskirts of Tokyo maybe a 30 minute train ride away, this was mainly to get a reasonably priced hotel, central Tokyo prices were just too expensive.
Before going to Japan a lot of people had advise me that a large number of people there spoke English, i have to say outside of the classical high tourist areas I found limited English, obviously anybody that did speak English was a lot more fluent with it than I was with Japanese, but I did feel that I was missing a lot by not being able to read signs and such, i know that I missed a lot of restaurants for example this way.
If you are visiting Japan and have the option of touring with a Japanese speaker this would be an excellent option.
For me I would summarize Tokyo as torture in one sense, imagine a geek in the middle of lots of electronic shops but with no space to bring anything home :-)
If you can imagine anything electronic you can probably find it and the components to build or repair it in Tokyo, and probably not in only a single shop but in multiple.
Now don't get me wrong the prices are retail prices i.e. you can find them cheaper online but if you are in the middle of an electronics project and suddenly find yourself short of that one critical component you can simply stop by the electronics market and pick it up.
There are also of course lots of temples and other cultural items to see as you wander around, one thing that did surprise me was that the trains were never quite as full as I expected, having said this maybe I missed the really bad rush hours.
After Tokyo I took the bullet train to Hiroshima, this visit was one of the most moving of the trip so far, i have of course visited other cities and areas in Europe that have been devastated by war but when you are in Hiroshima you realize destruction on a different scale. If you arrived in Hiroshima today having never heard the history of the city there is very little evidence of the destruction outside of a few specific monuments mostly in the peace park, however arriving with some knowledge of the city is a totally different experience, it is very hard not to dwell the destruction that occurred here, as i wandered around the city I was struck on one level by the lack of older buildings, with urban renewal this is being more common in major cities but usually there is still some level of older buildings nestled amongst the newer buildings, the few buildings that appear older have the hard to identify aspects that indicate they are in the large part reconstructions.
One thing I spotted was an old tree with a sign saying "A bomb tree" it's only with a second look that I realize that I had missed a crucial hyphen the sign read "A-bomb tree" which has wholly different meanings, this is a tree that survived the bomb, when this tree and others like it showed signs of life after the explosion they became symbols of hope for the survivors.
The real cost and devastation is really brought home by a visit to the peace memorial park and the museum, a few of the most memorable exhibits include the before and after models of the city and an overlay of the destruction on the modern city map, the hotel I was staying in was just on the edge of the almost total destruction zone ( with over 90% casualties) it had taken me about 30 minutes to walk to the memorial park with is adjacent to the epicenter of the blast. A number of the exhibits speak to the individual impact on the day items including watches that are forever stopped at the time of the blast, peoples lunch boxes containing the cremated remains of a lunch they will never get to eat. A set of steps from an Hiroshima bank where you can still see a darkened area that is the only evidence that somebody was sitting there when the bomb exploded.
From Hiroshima I took a day trip to Miyajima Island, this is a UNESCO site that near to Hiroshima and is best described as what I expected non urban Japan to be ( but probably doesn't exist anymore) there are a number of temples on the island and more shrines than you can count. There is a lovely cable car that goes most of the way to the summit of the island (~500m) but me being me I decided to walk it, not normally I hard walk but I didn't quite coming on the number of steps which I hate when walking, i much prefer a nice slope to steps.
Having reached the summit and enjoyed the view along with lots of shrines along the way I decided to stay hiking on the way down, there were even more steps on the route down :-(
The only downside to the walking was I tweaked something in my back but that didn't become an issue till the next day.
After Hiroshima I was again off on the bullet train this time to Osaka.
I mainly did some general sightseeing in Osaka and used it as a base to see Kyoto and Kobe.
From Osaka I flew to the Philippines with my first actual destination being the small island of Malapascua for a week of diving, the main attraction here is the chance of diving with Thresher sharks which come to a pinnacle near the island in the mornings for cleaning, these sharks are known for their extremely large tails as you can see in one of the pictures below, there are also quite a lot of macro life here including nudibranches, seahorses and other small animals.
After Malapascua I was off to Coron which is on Bushanga island, still in the Philippians for a week of wreck diving. I don't have too many pictures from underwater of this week as we were doing a lot of wreck penetration and I didn't want a camera with me, as I didn't have suitable strobes with me so the camera would have been mostly useless inside the wrecks and I didn't want another item dangling off we as I tried to squeeze through a narrow opening.
The wrecks of Coron are all Japanese merchant ships that were so by the Americans in world war 2, the merchant first was moved to Coron for the precieved safely but they were discovered by American planes and subsequently sunk for more information check out www.coronwrecks.com which has information on the individual ships and the overall battle.
From the Philippians I flew to Hong Kong for a few days I was actually staying in Kowloon and not on Hong Kong island itself, prices are much cheaper in Kowloon than on Hong Kong island itself so a lot of tourists stay there, but it is only a short subway ride to Hong Kong proper.
Some of the highlights that stand out from my visit to Hong Kong include visiting the giant Buddha which has been featured in plenty of films, one of the best ways to get there is to take the subway from Hong Kong and then a cable car to the Buddha itself, this is one of the longest cable car rides I've been on with the trip each way taking 20 to 30 minutes, the actual trip is broken into three main parts with the gondola being handed off automatically between different cables at intermediate stations.
Other highlights included visiting Victoria peak at night and seeing the Hong Kong skyline lit up at night, this was actually my second trip to the peak but the first day I visited the peak was covered in low lying cloud so I could see very little. I also took a day trip to Macau from Hong Kong, Macau is a strange place, it is a former Portuguese colony and retains a lot of the architectural influences from this period, it can also be called the Los Vegas of Asia, for a long time people from Hong Kong came to Macau to gamble, at one point there was only the one casino there but now it features a lot of the same names you would see in Vegas.
From Hong Kong I flew to Thailand specifically to Bangkok, to be honest not really my sort of city I found it too over crowded, one aspect that I found really annoying was trying to simply walk down the street and having tuktuk drivers constantly stopping and trying to convince you to take them.
From Bangkok I got a bus and ferry to Koh Tao for some more diving, i ended up spending Christmas here including a Christmas day dive, but the best days diving was the 26th where we had not one but two whale shark encounters.
The first was on the first dive but was very fleeting I didn't manage to get my camera up before it was gone.
The second dive was at a different site that was much closer to shore so we weren't expecting much on this basis and due to the relatively bad visibility I decided to leave my camera on the boat as did my dive buddy. The two of us and our dive guide decided to dive at a site that was maybe 150m from the site the rest of the boat was diving at so we jumped first and then the boat motored on to the site, we would swim over one we had seen the site we wanted.
Maybe 10 minutes into the dive I heard some excited noises from the guide and looked around to see him pointing above us, maybe 5 meters above us was cruising a 6m whale shark ( most of the whale sharks in this area are juveniles, the adults reach about 16m) it stayed near us for maybe 40 minutes swimming as close as one meter from us at times, all around us, the encounter lasted until a large group of drivers from another dive boat arrived and at this point the three of us were starting to run low on air so it was time to surface and finish a totally amazing dive.Unfortunately no pictures but the memories will last a life time.
I'm sure the divers and crew on the dive boats near us were sure something was wrong at first from the amount of shouting we were doing when we surfaced.
From Koh Tao which is on the east side of Thailand I headed to Khao Lak which is on the west side about an hour north of Phuket. The plan for here was a small bit more diving and some general relaxation. I managed to get in a one day dive trip but also a three day two night live aboard to the Similan islands, some of the highlights of the diving there included a massive manta ray, octopuses and some just massive schools of fish.
I'm writing this update from khao Lak now.
Well I'll try get a few more updates as I go along.
Apologies for any spelling mistakes above the gesture input on my tablet gets some wrong and I don't always spot the mistakes.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
No I've just been very lazy about posing any updates since I got back to Ireland.
Okay in my last post I was still in the USA, well from the above comment I did get back to Ireland.
So a quick summary of my last bit of America.
I finally drove the poor car into the ground!! It made it as far as Vegas but really needed to be swapped out 18,664 miles added to the poor car in under two months, not sure if Hertz has black listed me or not (guess I will see next time I go to rent a car)
In total I estimate I did ~ 23,000 miles in just over two months.
|Car just before I returned it.|
What have I been doing in Ireland for the last few months.
Well other than sleeping much more than I should have been :) some of the highlights include attending the EME 2012 conference in Cambridge (the original Cambridge in the UK not Massachusetts)
Some hiking in Ireland including sections of the Royal Canal in Ireland which is a lovely picturesque walk, also nice and level (just what my body needed to get over America)
Also I have just completed my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors course in Ireland with Dive Inn Scuba I have to say this was a tiring experience both from the view of mental and physical, but the exams are now complete, jut waiting for the paperwork to be processed.
Well I fly out of Ireland tomorrow for 3 and a half months, destination Asia.
Current planned destinations include Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Australia with maybe one or tow more stops included if they take my fancy.
I promise some more updates (Yea Yea I know you have heard that before but I will try)
Well to close some pictures from my the end of the America trip.
|Hoover Dam from the new Inter State bridge|
|Don't think I actually need to caption this!|
|Crater Lake in Yellow Stone National Park|
|Old Faithful letting go|
|Yellowstone buffalo with calf|
|Working Babbage Engine|
|Early Beowulf Cluster|
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Well last time I was in Massachusetts heading south so how did that section of the trip go.
Well from Massachusetts I headed down the coast, firstly to Rhode Island where I met up with some old fiends for a lovely dinner which was a nice change.
From there I stayed heading southish through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and into the District of Columbia and Washington DC.
I had a lovely day wandering around Washington, I could have spent multiple days just in the Smithsonian but I decided to head on after a single day as I had seen most of what I wanted to, getting back to the car I noticed a nice crack in the windscreen (I was parked maybe a hundred meters from an interstate so I think a stone flew from the road and got the windscreen, well the rental company said it was up to me if I swapped the car out or if it was safe to drive, I decide to stay going (it has now grown to maybe 3 foot but I couldn't be bothered to swap it out ))
From Washington I headed down through Virginia and into North Caroline where I met up with some of my friends from RenRe for a lovely lunch and some time catching up.
From there it was on down through South Caroline where the weather conspired to stop me from seeing some of the sights I had wanted to see, just one of those days where it was raining on and off a lot and I just wasn't bothered getting soaked through to see some of the sights.
Then down through Georgia and on down to Key West with a stop in Key Largo.
Key west was filled with tourists so after seeing the most southerly point (which was my main reason for going that far down) I got out of there.
I visited the museum of diving near Key Largo which was spectacular, I fully recommend it if you are in the area and even have a slight interest in diving. (I had to resist buying the Mark IV helmet they had for sale!!)
The plan in Key Largo had been for a few days of diving but unfortunately I seem to be suffering from some sort of sinus issues at the moment so that was out which is a pity as the one dive I did (well tried to do) was lovely and there was a number of dives I really wanted to do there (I'll just have to come back again)
I skipped Disney and such in Orlando and the Kennedy space centre as I had done these on a previous trip (but I would recommend them anyway)
From Florida it was west to Alabama, Mississippi and into Louisiana.
I had a lovely day in New Orleans especially in the French quarter.
From New Orleans I headed Northish to get a corner of Texas and Oklahoma and to get Arkansas.
From there it was back east again to Get Tennessee and up into Kentucky, I skipped Graceland as I was shocked with the price of visiting and I'm not a big enough Elvis fan to pay that price :)
From there I added in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and then up to South Dakota (year I was already there) to take in Mt Rushmore, the faces are a little smaller than I was expecting (not sure why!) but well worth seeing anyway, fairly crowded but not too bad, admittedly I had to resist barging past some old people (Why is it when you have an old couple walking along a boardwalk that is wide enough for two people they insist on walking side by side so no body can pass )
From Mount Rushmore it was west into Wyoming and off to see Yellowstone National park, I could have spent a week there and still not seen a fraction of the park, I mainly took the time to take in the geysers and such (unfortunately I was having issues with the altitude again so only spend the one day)
From there it was on into Idaho and Utah where I am at the moment.
Only three states to go Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, also I want to get to San Francisco to spend a day and see a few things including some of a day in Las Vegas (to include a helicopter trip to the grand canyon)
I estimate I have about 3000 miles to go to hit all these spots and get back to San Diego by the morning of the 29th, so nine days really and a day or two of sight seeing along the way (just about practical!) The actual millage may be a little lower as I was basing it on getting to Roswell in New Mexico but I may not go quite that far!
After that what are my plans, I'm actually looking at coming back to Ireland for a month or so to do a number of things around Ireland and Europe, the plan is to base myself out of Dublin (thanks Mam), this may actually work out a cheaper way of getting to Australia! and give me a chance to do some stuff I want in Ireland and Europe.
Pictures will follow in a week or so (probably after I get back to Ireland!)
Okay a very quick update and I have to rush off to get checked out and to head on.
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Lots of places I have stayed have offered "Continental Breakfast" I have yet to come across a single one that I would actually consider a continental breakfast at least by European standards, a couple of bagels and tea/coffee does not equal a continental breakfast.
Well enough ranting, what else have I been up to lately.
Well I'm currently sitting in Wellfleet which is on Cape Cod, Had a lovely time at the drive in last night http://www.wellfleetdrivein.com/ if you are ever on Cape Cod make sure you go and visit, it is one of the few left in existence (Okay that sounded a bit too like an advertisement, but I'm biased as I worked there for an excellent summer 13 or 14 years ago)
I also made a stop at the Dayton hamvention for a few days (geek heaven) www.hamvention.org
I have uploaded a few more photos to picasa https://picasaweb.google.com/104859470393475914260/MarksWalkAbout?authuser=0&feat=directlink
I have done a quick count of what states I have visited so far and this is the basic list (roughly in order)
British Columbia (Canada)
New Brunswick (Canada)
Nova Scotia (Canada)
So 22 US states and 6 Canadian Provinces/Territories, so not quite have way on seeing visiting all 50 US states (not necessarily part of this trip, actually the number is higher as I have visited 7 others on previous trips.
So what is the plan for the coming few weeks.
Today is driving to Providence Rhode Island, then on to Philadelphia for a day then Washington DC for a couple of days to see the sights and visit some of the museums there. Then on to Raleigh North Carolina to catch up with a few of my ex-colleagues, then down to Florida. Of course likes lots of other parts of this trip I'm not likely to take the direct routes so I can try to take in some extra spots.
Okay well I think that is a good summary of my adventures over the last week or so.
Sunday, 13 May 2012
I had hoped to get some more photos uploaded but the computer in the hotel I'm using does not seem to be cooperating.
So what have I been up to since leaving the trail?
Basically driving and lots of it.
I have now covered four US states and three Canadian provinces, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon and Alberta.
I have to say the drive over the Alaska highway was spectacular but I should probably have waited a few weeks longer as a lot of the attractions and even motels are not yet open for the season.
Some of the highlights along the way included Fairbanks, the Liard hot springs and all the animals along the way some of which included Grizzly bears, black bears (including cubs), Caribou, Moose, rain dear, elk,duck, geese and lots of different birds including some birds of prey, some of the small birds seem to like playing chicken with the car by seeing how close they can get to hitting it before veering off.
Other interesting points along the way included Crater lake (again not really open for another few weeks), unfortunately there was only one open road up to the lake with snow drifts of 10+ feet still in places.
I'll attempt to get photos posted in the next few days but please don't hold your breath :)
So what are my plans from here?
Well the next few weeks basically shape up like this.
From Edmonton I will head to Dayton Ohio to attend the Dayton Hamvention next weekend (4 days to cover 3000km) with some likely detours to take in some extra states along the way, basically there are places where I;m maybe 100Km from another state I haven't been in before so it would be a shame not to make a small detour :)
After Dayton I intend to wind my way towards Maine to take in the North West corner of my trip.
After that it will be down to Boston and along the east coast.
Well that is all for now.
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Firstly apologies for the lack of updates lately but I have had limited access.
So what had been going on with me.
Well firstly the issues I had been having seem to have been confirmed as being related to altitude, my symptoms cleared up very quickly once I returned down to San Diego but returned just as fast everytime I returned to altitude.
So I have decided to abandon the hike as I had planned it, if I had stayed on the trail I would have been heading into higher altitudes fairly quickly also I did not feel comfortable considering heading into the desert sections if I was not feeling 100%
So what are my plans now, well I have rented a car for the next two months and I am heading out on an epic road trip instead, at a minimum I plan to visit the four corners of the US (Washington state, Maine, the Florida keys and back to San Diego) with a possible side trip up to Alaska (if I do I will basically go up far enough to be able to say I was there before turning back) also along the way I want to visit as many different states as possible.
So any friends and ex colleagues on the east coast you may see me in the coming weeks.
So what else have I been up to in the last weeks.
Well I had a few days in San Diego so one thing I did was visit sea world which was a fun day out.
I also rented a car and tried out a little trail angeling, I provided some lifts from paradise valley cafe up to idyllwild, I also collected a few other hikers and provided them a lift back down to the kickoff which I was attending anyway.
Kickoff was interesting, I was good to meet some of the other hikers, but to be honest at the same time was a little sad for me, I'm quite happy with my decision to come off the trail but seeing a few presentations which included videos made me a little disappointed at the same time.
I couldn't actually camp up at the kickoff as I was starting to feel bad from the altitude (I did stay one night but that was enough)
Well after kickoff I dropped the same hikers back to where I had collected them, then back down to San Diego to swap out the rental car with the new one for the two months.
My plan was to get through California as fast as possible (I plan to spend some more time on my way back) that took a day and a half on its own, so I'm now in Oregon, I visited Crater Lake park today, unfortunately a lot of the roads there are still closed due to snow (12 foot plus in places)
Tomorrow I will probably see some.more of Oregon and head into Washington.