Round the world x3. Done.
118,258km travelled (3x around the world), 5 continents, 17 countries, 7 months. The official end of my trip was Rio but after a few bonus trips to Ireland and New Zealand now is the official official end! The trip has been fantastic but already it is starting to feel like a distant memory. If I’ve learnt anything from it, it’s that I bloody love adventure activites and adventure travel and, being pushed mentally and physically. For example I have found a trip that involves a 80 mile hike to the south pole which, is something definitely to go on the to do list! I have also reconfirmed my love for England. I know you are laughing out loud now and yes I complain about the place lots as well but we are bloody lucky. We have access to everything. Our downfall is that we are crowded but the upside is that we are close to anything that we could possibly need. But all that tosh aside, lets have a best bits addition!
Vietnam was a glorious country and absolutely mental but in a really cute way, what with it’s mix of ancient culture and modern madness such as mopheds. It’s natural highlight is without doubt Halong bay which I failed to see in all its glory due to the rain but was still beautiful. I feel there is plenty more to see of the country, it would have been great to get into the jungle and spend more time on the coast away from the cities but overall it was a great experience. Cambodia was comletely different to Vietnam, so much poorer and appears to be suffering more from the past than its neighbours but it was still a fantastic country to visit and not just for Angkor Wat. I think both countries are great places to visit for people who havn’t travelled too much and want to try something different because both countries are so different to what we know yet are not too difficult or uncomfortable to travel. I didn’t see much of Thailand but Bangkok certainly lived up to its reputation!
I instantly fell in love with Nepal. Kathmandu is a mess of a city but rammed full of character and charm. What you see is what you get which I love. Its surroundings, the Himalayas are incredible and will definitely be somewhere I will return for some adventure and the people are wonderful, unthreatening and welcoming. Which leads neatly on to India which isn’t too welcoming and will try and get whatever they can off the jolly traveller. I did come to like India though, it’s so in your face thats it’s hardly bearable but that’s what makes it an experience. It’s loud, dirty, colourful and full of smells bad and good. There are cows averywhere and you drive with a hand firmly on the horn but the madness is it’s unique character. By no means my favourite country but I would go back and explore the south if given the chance.
West Africa. Africa. I’ve now visited every continent except Antarctica and I can say beyond doubt that Africa is the best, nowhere comes close. Its oozes romance, beauty and ironically, peace. West Africa is largely unkown to tourists and if you have a thirst for the outdoors and remote places then this is the place for you. There were no specific major highlights between Senegal and Sierra Leonne but every beach was picture perfect and empty, everywhere was peaceful except the cities which were chaotic and full of crazyness, everyone was welcoming, the lightning storms were huge, the sunsets magical, there were pools at the top of waterfalls to swim in over 100ft above the ground, and untouched views that went forever. I will be back very soon hopefully!
South America is an epic continent in it’s own right and this is largely down to the Amazon and the Andes. I spent a lot of my time in the Andes and it is incredible, there is probably nowhere more beautiful to hike than the Andes. It makes the Rockies look a bit tame in my opinion not that they should be ignored. One thing the Andes has are the glaciers which provide awesome views, big rivers to raft and ice to climb and hike. Peru has the mind blowing Inca trail and Machu Pichu, that is it. For the average person there are beautiful towns and lots of attractions and gift stores but it’s really not very exciting and the people just want you for every penny. Bolivia is beautiful, full of character, vast plains, mountain ranges and salt flats. The people are friendly and genuine and I wish we had spent a bit more time there. Chile I probably shouldn’t have liked but I did. It’s very developed and easy to get about but the one thing that makes it awesome is its geography and adventure. Rafting, Ice climbing, epic hiking, volcanoes, glaciers, peaks, whitewater, it has it all. I have to go back for the Atacama desert which we didn’t visit and to raft futelefu again when the rapids are at their best rammed full of grade 5s. Argentina got better and better sharing some of the Andes fun and then showcasing Patagonia which is vast and empty but it’s wild nature makes it pretty awesome. Argentina’s crown jewel is without doubt Buenos Aires much to my surprise. A super sexy, vibrant, partying, passionate city full of awesome food and wine and great people. Brazil is basically huge and I feel I’ve seen so little but have definitely got a comprehensive summary. Rio is everything you expect and more, visually stunning, great people and carnival is off the scale. Out in the wild it’s vast and beautiful but, there is so much more of the country to explore.
There is simply too much to be able to pick a highlight, even a top three. The last seven months has been a whirlwind spanning so many cultures, languages and backdrops. All of it has been epic! Cheers.