S: My Year of Travel 2010
BC: home again home again jiggety jig
1: 30/12/09 Thailand 5/1/10 Vietnam 20/1/10 Japan 28/3/10 Malaysia, Singapore 10/4/10 Holland Belgium France Italy Croatia, Montenegro Austria Greece Turkey Spain England Ireland Germany 23/9/10 USA 3/10/10 Mexico 10/10/10 Peru Bolivia 10/11/10 Chile 18/11/10 Home | Megan Dortmans 60 Munckton Rd Jeeralang North
2: one girl, two backpacks, five continents, 23 flights, 24 countries, 292 days, 1,000,000 photographs one year- 2010.
4: Thailand We got a massage in Phuket we will NEVER forget, made some friends at Thai boxing, ferried across to Phi Phi Island where we hung out with fire eaters and tattoo artists, smoked some shi-sha, Ash tried to stick a banana up an elephant's nose at the River Kwai and we bartered black and blue at the markets in Bangkok!
7: ...didn't get much sleep in the "sleeper train", had the funniest karaoke session on a boat in Halong Bay (the Captain was begging us to stop!) and then I nearly killed myself on a moped at Cat Ba Island. EXTREME! | VIETNAM Things started to go wrong... from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi, the Vietnamese people repeatedly ripped us off, discriminated against us and tried to run us over. We walked halfway acorss the city trying to find a game called Trungle, went crazy at the tailors in Hoi An, drank cobra blood...
8: In Tokyo I got "lost in translation" but Nikko was beautiful with a frozen waterfall. Kyoto was full of old temples hiding amongst the hills and bamboo forests, while Hiroshima captured the devastation of the world's first atomic bomb attack with the Peace Memorial. I sampled the huge variety of delicious foods that Japan had to offer, from the Hiroshima specialty okonomi-yaki to tempura udon. Like the raw fish, it took a while to grow on me, but in the end, I fell in love with Japan. | JAPAN
10: Kyoto Hiroshima Miyajima Tokyo...
12: SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW | SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW
13: PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY ARTY PARTY ARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY | Sachi's famous Long Island Ice Tea > |
14: TRACKS BAR
15: BEAR'S DEN
16: FRIENDS FOREVER
18: This is the wonderfully hospitable Tsujimura family who looked after us for a week! This awesome feast was just a taste of what was to come spending a week in a Japanese home, including a tea ceremony, followed by lunch at a sushi train restaurant, a visit to the stone spa, karaoke with Mayumi's dad, tequila and enchiladas in Nagoya, and a glimpse of the first cherry blossoms of Spring!
19: Sayonara, Nippon!
20: Family Reunion in Malaysia
21: Jacq being electrocuted | TIOMAN ISLAND | Cute local kids | Beth finds her thongs! | Towel Head | Local flora | Monitor lizard | Our secret beach... deserted and with the best snorkeling ever!
22: View of Johor Bahru from Sam's balcony | Sam with his home- made satellite dish (otherwise known as a wok covered in foil) | Singapore | Another gorgeous Malaysian sunset | Is that what we think it is?? | From the streets of JB and Singapore... | Beth's bok choy fail
23: ...into the wild jungles of Borneo... | My favourite, the Proboscis Monkey | Cruisin' down the Kinabatangan River | With our tour guide | Western Tarsier | Cute little orang utan | Beautiful sunset at Kota Kinibalu
24: Off to Europe, first stop... AMSTERDAM! | Canals... | ...tulips... | ... and a hot dog from a vending machine! Mmm...
25: Cube houses in Rotterdam | Cube houses, Rotterdam | Girl with the pearl earring Rijks Museum, Amsterdam | Escher Museum, Den Haag | Den Haag (The Hague)
26: DINTHER | I did the official Dortmans tour of Dinther, the little town where my dad and his family are from. Top attractions included the Dinther windmill, Heeswijk Castle, the old farmhouse, a tulip farm, the Dinther church, cemetery and war memorial.
27: I had a fantastic day out in Den Bosch with my two lovely tour guides Mieke and Ilse. We did a tour of the city, then cruised underneath it in the canals and went to Jan de Groot for the famous Bosche Bol... lekker! | Eefje's beautiful baby girl, Guusje.
28: QUEEN'S DAY is Queen Beatrice's birthday, but it is really just an excuse to drink lots and lots of beer in the streets of all the main cities. It is mandatory to wear as much orange as possible, display the Dutch flag somewhere on your person and to leave your rubbish wherever it falls.
31: je t'aime
33: and rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous (and weird and wacky) at the Cannes Film Festival
34: ITALY After my whirlwind journey through France, I hurried on to Italy where I was to meet Beth in a little town put on the map because years ago the architects stuffed up and built a tower that leans just a little more each year... and every year the tourists come and get dorky photos like this ----------------> Then on to Florence where we tried on many masks and fell in love with Michelangelo's David. We also fell in love with the city.
36: My House In Umbria | Outdoor shower | Assisi | Hot pools
37: Almost at the halfway point in my trip, I was feeling rather tired. I decided two weeks of relaxing in the Umbrian countryside would help me to recuperate. So I spent two weeks with the Cadell family, Alex, Thomasina and Isolde, gardening, telling stories and swimming in the outdoor pool. It was exactly the rest I needed. The homemade meals, a room to myself, warm nights watching the fireflies, a free weekend trip to Assisi and spending time with two imaginative little girls was simply a bonus. | Hot pools | Thomasina | Isolde
38: Reunited with Beth again, we ventured through the two big V's, each with a Shakespearean play to its name and each giving the feeling of stepping back in time to ancient Italy. | Venice and Verona
40: "You never know" said Beth, "This could be a highlight!" And she was right. Croatia was a highlight in deed, with its beautiful sunsets, friendly people and bright pebbly beaches. So we kicked back to get some sun, sand (okay, well not sand) and sailing. From Pula down the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik, Croatia surprised us at every turn. | CROATIA
41: Beth and I made friends with Leeanne and Greg in Pula and we all decided to venture to Rovinj, a nice little fishing town with great calamari, ice cream masterpieces, many nudists and a nice sailor named Sergio. | Best ice cream ever... prepare to be eaten, amigo! | Just hanging out in a boat... literally! | Anyone seen that movie The Birds...? | Lee and Greg
42: Plitvice National Park | blew us away. Crystal clear turquoise waters, gushing waterfalls, green jungle... if only we were allowed to swim in it. And to top it all off, a concert that night involving accordion players, miming bimbos and wedding dress modeling. I love Croatia! | It's official... accordions just got sexy!
43: Sailing around Hvar Island What do you get when you put 7 people in a boat who have only just met each other and have never driven a boat before? A fantastic day out! | Despite his inexperience, Alex performed admirably as our Captain, only taking out a few moored boats in the harbour on the way out. The owner was pretty relieved when we brought it back in one piece...
44: Dubrovnik | & | Montenegro
45: Chillin' in the Alps of AUSTRIA "the hills are aliiiiive, with the sound of tractors..."
47: High on a hill... | was a lonely goatherd.. | lay odelay odelay... | hee hoo! | INNSBRUCK
48: ..you must get a photo with a gladiator.. | ..visit the Pope at Vatican City.. | ..pose on the Spanish Steps.. | When in Rome... | ..at the Colosseum.. | ..and throw a coin into the Trevi fountain! | Italy, Part II, featuring Fi and Shelley!
50: from NAPLES to ...the ruins of POMPEII
51: Riding on scooters with boys... The only thing better than a midnight ride along the Amalfi coast on a scooter with a tall dark Italian you only just met? A sunny daylight ride along the Amalfi coast with a friendly Australian you just met. Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Capri Island... life doesn't get any better.
52: Capri Island & Sorrento
53: Time to party in the Greek Islands, off to... MYKONOS!
54: The best way to see Santorini? On four wheels of course! From lazing on the red hot lava rock beaches, to eating delicious souvlakis to shooing donkeys out of our way when running late for the ferry (seems mules really are stubborn) to exploring rocky volcanoes in thongs, Santorini proved to be more than just the most romantic location on earth!
56: istanbul | turkey
57: In Istanbul we shopped 'til we dropped in the Grand Bazaar (watch out for the crotch rubbers and bum pinchers!), modelled beautiful cashmere scarves, saw a belly dancing show (and some of us even joined the Sultan's harem), visited an ancient underground cistern, dressed up like Muslims to visit a few mosques, ate some very meaty kebabs, found ourselves in the middle of "the napkin dance" with the locals in a bar, drank some sweet apple tea, struggled valiantly to say "Thank you" in Turkish ("sorry, I don't speak English"), watched a whirling dervish show, then after it all relaxed in a Turkish bath.
59: "Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives - you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us, where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well" Ataturk, first President of Turkey, 1934
60: SPAIN barcelona and madrid | I flew into Barcelona where I took a stroll down La Rambla, an avenue overlooked by Christopher Colombus on his tall pedestal and lined with colourful street performers and stalls. I bought a strawberry and coconut juice from La Boqueria with the most bright fruit displays I've ever seen. Then I took a rather expensive train to Madrid where I had a night on the town, joined in dancing at the Fiesta then met Leah, a fellow Aussie solo female traveller who helped me to vote in the Federal election.
63: La Tomatina!! featuring Jade and Sophie | waiting for hours squished into a narrow street with hundreds of sweaty bodies... all for the pleasure of throwing a bunch of rotten tomatoes at each other after someone climbs a greasy pole to get a ham. Sounds like a totally rational thing to do! But it was truckloads of fun, and we were hosed down afterwards as we danced in the streets with tomato cooked to our bodies by the hot Spanish sun.
64: Westminster Abbey | Goodge Street Ghetto | The Tate Modern | Notting Hill Carnival | Big Ben | The Globe Theatre | LONDON | just touched down in | town | Natural History Museum
66: IRELAND dublin and galway
68: ich bin ein BERLINer | The Brandenberg Gate, East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, | Holocaust museum, a sperm pipeline (??) and loads of history!
70: DORTMANS OKTOBERFEST Day 1 The Dortmans cousins came from far and wide, across the lands to congregate in a German town called Munich, all in the name of the sacred amber liquid gold: beer. What else would we Dortmans travel thousands of miles for? We rose early in the morn and nabbed a seat outside the Hoftbrau tent. Unfortunately we still had 4 hours to wait until the kegs started flowing, so we found other ways to entertain ourselves, playing games such as "How many things can you do with a pretzel?" (and what a big pretzel it was), shotted mini bottles of Jager, communicated via kazoo and generally made everyone around us want to be us. Then with great fanfare the parade came through and the keg was officially tapped. Beer wenches poured out the doors holding not one, not two, but up to ten steins at a time!! Unfortunately many litres of beer = many litres of pee, so we had an emergency toilet situation where some of us had to scuttle across the road to the Chinese restaurant, while others decided to make use of the many empty beer steins. All in all, a rather successful day of drinking and a good time was had by all. Ready for round two...
71: Parlez vous kazoo? | beer as big as your head! | pretzel necklace | Deutsch ist cool!
72: gotta catch zzz's wherever you can... on a beer glass, in a guy's crotch... | Lowenbrau | The infamous "Meat Platter" | Pork knuckle = Amazing!! | Open wide... | "You look much more attractive through the bottom of my beer glass..."
73: Day Two We kicked off proceedings by nabbing a table in the Lowenbrau tent. First beers at 10am, we struggled to get over the first hurdle. When hunger hit, we made an ill-fated decision to order a "Meat Platter" which will go down in history as the least satisfying, but most entertaining food we have ever ordered. The only identifiable item on the platter was ham, the rest a mixture of sausages and cold meats that looked like they had seen better days, perhaps in a dog food can. Thus began the game "Close your eyes and open your mouth". Things started to get loose as people fell off tables whilst dancing and we ordered a pork knuckle that we would never forget if we could remember it. Tiredness hit as some had quick nana naps, improvising in the absence of pillows by grabbing the nearest beer stein or male crotch. All in all, Oktoberfest was rated a big success by all!
74: Road Tripping! From Munich to Dinther at 180km/h on the Autobahn for a final farewell to Europe! Highlights: self cleaning toilets and fairytale castles.
75: Welcome to Miami!
76: NEW YORK concrete jungle where dreams are made of...
79: The city that never sleeps, the Big Apple, The Empire State, whatever you've heard about this city, it does not disappoint. Staying in the arty district of Brooklyn, (a la the Humphreys from Gossip Girl), I strolled down Bedford Avenue before hopping on the Subway to Times Square. I mosied up Broadway, 5th Avenue and on up to Central Park. Back in Brooklyn I went to a Gospel church with a 150+ choir before taking a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. I shop shop shopped, including a spree in Tiffany's, Lego World and Pop Tarts World before going to see the Sharks battle it out with the Jets in West Side Story. I rode the elevator 102 storeys up the Empire State Building to watch the sun set and watched Wagner's opera The Ring for free in the rain on a big screen in Times Square. I caught the FREE Staten Island Ferry to get a glimpse of the lovely Statue of Liberty (who says New York is expensive?) and even had a night on the town with a local, skipping the queues to exclusive clubs and finishing the night with a slice of New York pizza.
84: PERU | SOUTH AMERICA
88: COLCA CANYON HIKE
91: Lake Titicaca | Copacabana | Isla del Sol
92: Salt plains, Uyuni
94: geysers volcanoes flamingoes Salvador Dali landscape vicuña chinchillin salt lakes hot springs vicuña
97: INCA TRAIL | Llamas have right of way | Our team | The "Red Army", our amazing porters | Getting high at 4200m