A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Reece Sanford

End of Travels

rain 8 °C

Well just in case you didnt know Hawaii was the end of my travels and i would like to thank everyone for reading my blog and hope i didnt bore you to much.
You dont actually realise how it starts taking over your life and your travels until its to late.Then it gets to a time when you have to say 'No thats it.Its time to spend more time enjoying your travels rather than trying to make others happy by keeping your blog up to date'.
Anyway im now in the middle of planning my next trip which will probably start in Mexico in march 2006 and then head down to central and south america.

Thanks
Reece

Posted by Reece Sanford 04:49 Archived in England Tagged armchair_travel

Day 184-Day 194 Waikiki, Hawaii

Friday 9th December 2005-Monday 19th December 2005

sunny 30 °C

10 days spent in Hawaii and the highlight of the trip was meeting the beautiful Evangeline Lilly from the TV series LOST.Weird thing is shes been on my laptop screensaver for the last 6 months and then for some reason when i get to Hawaii i decide to check the Honolulu Marathon website page which is also being run on sunday and i notice shes doing an autograph signing session.
The rest of the time in Hawaii was spent relaxing on the beach or by the pool or swimming in the sea.Also we visited Pearl Harbour and walked up the dormant volcano at Diamond Head and hired a car for the day and drove around the island.

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Evangeline Lilly photo from my laptop

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Me and Evangeline Lilly

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Evangeline Lilly

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Evangeline Lilly autograph signing session

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Sun setting on Waikiki Beach

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Sun setting on Waikiki Beach

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Diamond Head

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Jill and Me drinking in Dukes

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Dragon boats on Waikiki Beach

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Waikiki Beach

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Sunrise on Waikiki Beach

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View from Diamond Head

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View from Diamond Head

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Hanauma Bay

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Coastline at Makapuu Bay

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Mokuleia Beach

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Pearl Harbour

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Gun turret still visible on USS Arizona

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Oil still seeping from USS Arizona

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Pearl Harbour

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USS Arizona Memorial

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USS Arizona Memorial

Posted by Reece Sanford 13:31 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking

Day 183 Sydney, Australia-Waikiki, Hawaii

Thursday 8th December 2005

sunny 30 °C

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Freek,Alex,Me,Remcon and Matthew at the front on Bondi Beach

A very very long day today.
Our flight wasn’t leaving till 8.30pm and we had to check out of the hostel at 10am so we put our backs into storage and the plan was to just hang around till about 5pm until our shuttle bus turned up. Alex and the rest of the guys though twisted my arm and dragged me off to Bondi Beach again although I was very grateful of this as it was better than sitting around all day, so I left Simon and Jill and went off to have some more fun with the rest of the guys at the beach. Unfortunatly it was soon time to go and I said my goodbyes to Alex, Freek, Remcon and Matthew (4 fantastic people who made my stay in Sydney a fantastic time and great laugh).
So then it was time to head to the airport and after to many hours to remember and crossing the date line yet again we made it to Hawaii where the next 10 days would be spent.

Posted by Reece Sanford 10:54 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 182 Sydney, Australia

Wednesday 7th December 2005

sunny 35 °C

The alarm goes off at 6am and all I want to do is stay in bed although we have to get up as we have paid for our trip to the Blue Mountains today.
The coach driver picks us up at 7.30am and he turns out to be a great laugh although after talking to him along the way I think hes glad to see us as the rest of the party is full of people that hardly speak or understand English. First we head over to Sydney Olympic Park for a look around and it feels like a ghost town. Theres this massive park with all these stadiums around which was built especially for the Olympics and theres no one around at all, it all seems like a total waste of money and space to me.
After that we then drive down to Blue Mountains National Park where we get to see wild kangaroos and their babies running around which was something I wasn’t expecting to see although it was a great feeling. Next up we then went over to see the Blue Mountains although they isn’t actually any mountains but what you see instead is still worthwhile. Basically it’s abit of a rocky area but mainly forestry and with the heat and eucalyptus this is where you get a blue coloured haze from in the distance. After lunch we then drove over to a different area of the park where we got to see the 3 sisters and then went out on a fairly strenuous walk around the park where at the bottom of this steep hill we got to see the Worlds Steepest Train Ride. You had 3 options to get back to the top which were either, via the train, via a cable car or walking back. Alex and myself decided to walk back and even though it only took around 30 minutes it was still one hell of a steep climb to get back up.
At the top of the climb we had to wait around for about 40 minutes while we tried to locate some guy who managed to get lost along the way, the stupid thing being this imbecile was actually pissing about while the coach driver gave us directions on the correct way to go, typical of him to be the one to get lost. Eventually we tracked him down and then it was time to head back to the hostel and the long trip was actually a good laugh as Alex and myself spent it having a good laugh and joke with the 2 Italian woman on the bus.

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Kangaroo at Blue Mountains National Park

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Kangaroo at Blue Mountains National Park

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Blue Mountains

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Blue Mountains

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Waterfall at Blue Mountains National Park

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Three Sisters at Blue Mountains

Posted by Reece Sanford 10:52 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 181 Sydney, Australia

Tuesday 6th December 2005

sunny 40 °C

The weather today is unreal and it gets as high as 40 degrees celsuis in the city centre.
Still not fully recovered from drinking to much the other night and a few late nights I just hang around the hostel and relax all day although Alex and myself book a trip to visit the Blue Mountains tomorrow.

Posted by Reece Sanford 10:50 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 180 Sydney, Australia

Monday 5th December 2005

sunny 34 °C

Ouch my head. Hangover time and I still feel as sick as a pig and I haven’t got a clue what time we got in last night although I think it was around 3am. The worse thing is the plan today is to go to Bondi Beach and I really don’t feel like it at all although Alex and the rest of the guys wont take no for an answer.
Eventually around 1pm and another visit to the toilet for some reason I decide to join the others Alex, Freek, Remcon (2 dutch guys in our hostel) and Matthew (a german guy staying in our dorm) and head to the beach and im surprised I make it in one piece. After relaxing on the beach for awhile to recover from my hangover I eventually feel abit better and head into the sea for a swim which was fantastic.
Around 4pm we then all decide to head back and after a heavy night last night we just spend tonight relaxing around the hostel having a laugh and joke with the rest of the guys.

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Bondi Beach

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Me on Bondi Beach

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Alex on Bondi Beach

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Remcon and Freek

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Matthew the big gentle german

Posted by Reece Sanford 10:46 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 179 Sydney, Australia

Sunday 4th December 2005

sunny 32 °C

Usual first day in a new city where its spent walking around to see what it has to offer and doing some sightseeing. After visiting the information centre and getting some leaflets on places to see and do we then walked down to the harbour and eventually then over the Sydney Harbour Bridge where we also got fantastic views of Sydney Opera House. Simon and Jill then decided to visit an Art Gallery so I made my way over to the Australian Museum although to be honest there wasn’t much to see there.
That night myself, Alex and Patrick a Canadian guy all went out to the pub for a few drinks and had a wild night and a great laugh although by the end it turned into a night where I had a few to many drinks and yet again had my head down the toilet for awhile and also crashed out on the hostel toilet floor again. When will I ever learn hahaha.

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Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Opera House

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Sydney City Centre

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Sydney City Centre

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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St Marys Cathedral

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Sydney Tower

Posted by Reece Sanford 10:40 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 178 Christchurch, New Zealand-Sydney, Australia

Saturday 3rd December 2005

sunny 30 °C

Yet another different country to fly to today although having said that we nearly didn’t make it. The flight wasn’t meant to be till 6.30pm so we booked a shuttle bus for 3pm so we would arrive with plenty of time to spare. Before that though to waste away a few hours we sat in the pub and played pool and had a few drinks and then had one last walk around before heading back to the hostel. The driver of the bus turned up around 2.30pm so seeings as we had nothing to do except hang around the hostel we got to the airport earlier than planned and within minutes we were damn glad we had arrived early because as we tried to check in they told us our flight had been cancelled 3 months ago. Now the strange thing is we actually went into a Quantas office 2 days ago to change Jill’s meal to vegetarian and they hadn’t told us anything about the cancelled flight at that time.
Then it was panic stations as there was a flight to Sydney (the last one of the day) that had room on it for us and was leaving in the next 15 minutes so we got our bags checked in and then had to run to the gate to catch our flight. Luckily for the Quantas staff things actually worked out for us because before that I was at boiling point and ready to give somebody a few stern words.
Anyway around 3 hours later we landed in Australia and got a bus to the hostel we were staying in for the next 5 days which was Eva’s Backpackers Hostel in Kings Cross. Within minutes of me dumping my bags in my room I met Alex a guy from Amsterdam who said he was then off to a football match to see Sydney play Melbourne. So without any hesitation when he asked me if I fancied joining him we found out where the game was being played and walked down to the stadium.
The tickets for the game were $18/£8.50 which compared to the matches in England is dirt cheap as it usually costs me £37 and once in the stadium I was pretty impressed with it. As the match kicked off I guess there must have been around 10,000 people in the stadium and it has a capacity of 40,000 people, however once we started talking to an Aussie guy he actually said there only used to be around 150-200 people watch them play and what happened was they merged several teams from Sydney together and then built a new stadium. As the game went on you could certainly tell the standard of football was pretty poor and you could also say that about the referee who seemed to forget what yellow cards were for especially when one player proceeded to virtually take someones head off with his boot. However you couldn’t say the fans were not passionate as even though there were not many here they certainly knew how to enjoy themselves, although im not sure why they have to proceed in throwing there beers cups full of beer up in the air when either someone scores or comes close to scoring, definitely a waste of good alcohol.
Into the second half and the game really exploded and the referee actually managed to find his yellow cards and I couldn’t believe the amount of dirty tackles that were going on, but then I managed to recognize a player I knew and wasn’t surprised at all to see him in the book and the supporters hurling abuse at him. That player is Kevin Muscat an Aussie who used to play English football and who also put an end to a few footballers playing career thanks to his suicidal/leg breaking tackles. In the end the game finished Sydney 2 Melbourne 1 and we made our way back to the hostel after a very entertaining day.
What i didnt actually realise till i got back home was Dwight Yorke the ex Manchester United and Aston Villa player also played for Sydney that night.

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Sydney Football Staduim

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Sydney fans celebrating their win

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A crazy Sydney fan

Posted by Reece Sanford 13:01 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

Day 177 Christchurch, New Zealand

Friday 2nd December 2005

sunny 17 °C

Caught the bus down to the Antarctic Centre and arrived there around 1pm and spent around 3 and a half hours looking around and also go the chance to ride in a Hagglund which was a good laugh. It’s a vehicle that they use in the Antarctic which is capable of climbing up fairly steep hills and also able to drive through water around 2.5 metres deep.
Probably the best part for me today though was going into a room where they take the temperature down to -18 degrees celsuis although afterwards it did take several minutes before I did manage to warm up again. There was also a video showing you what life is like actually living in the Antarctic and how people actually cope with it which was something else that was very interesting although the idea of cutting a hole in the ice and then diving in the freezing water with no clothes on certainly doesn’t appeal to me.
So finally after spending some time here I had finally found something worth doing in this area and my recommendations are if you ever come to Christchurch only spend one day here.

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A Hagglund

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A nice cool temperature of -18 degrees celsuis

Posted by Reece Sanford 13:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 176 Christchurch, New Zealand

Thursday 1st December 2005

sunny 18 °C

Pretty much the same as yesterday except in the afternoon Simon and I spent 5 hours playing golf. Tomorrow im going to the Antarctic Centre and thankfully I don’t have much longer to spend here in Christchurch.

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:58 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 175 Christchurch, New Zealand

Wednesday 30th November 2005

sunny 20 °C

Well my initial thoughts on Christchurch were right. This is the worse place I have visited on the whole trip to New Zealand and the only place I can say I don’t like. For a city its terrible and theres nothing of any interest worth seeing at all (Oh besides going to the Antarctic Centre which I will be doing in the next few days). As for today it was spent having a look around the city just to make sure there wasn’t something I had missed. THERE WASN’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:57 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 174 Mount Cook-Christchurch, New Zealand

Tuesday 29th November 2005

sunny 20 °C

Once again it was another one of those days spent driving but certainly the first half of it was very scenic as we left Mount Cook and then drove past Lake Tekapo. Once arriving in Christchurch though I suddenly got the feeling we were ending our trip to New Zealand in possibly the worse place to visit, maybe that’s why they liken Christchurch to a city in England so much. I guess the next few days I would either wish I was still in Mount Cook or somewhere else or maybe a small miracle would happen and this place would appeal to me but it wasn’t looking promising.

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Lake Tekapo

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 173 Mount Cook, New Zealand

Monday 28th November 2005

sunny 25 °C

Another day where I was looking to set off early but again thanks to all the noise and moving about in the room last night I didn’t sleep very well. Eventually I was ready to leave and once outside I soon noticed how warm it was and knew it was going to be a hard days walking. The first part of the track is reasonably flat but once you get to the Sealy Tarns turnoff it soon rises up and pretty drastically and some of the track is fairly dangerous in areas and you wouldn’t want to lose your footing or it would be a long fall to the bottom, but the views you soon got were pretty amazing and well worth the hard work. But then a major disaster occurred, I had already used up one bottle of drink to get me to Sealy Tarns and still had a fair distance to go and when I went for my second bottle I realized I hadn’t filled it up the night before. A dilemma occurred now did I push on for the top knowing the views would be awesome or was it safer to make my way down with no water left. I initially continued up to a point where I reached the snow but still had some distance to go and the snow was pretty deep and I wasn’t prepared to get wet feet in the process so I made the decision to walk back down the track. At first I was a bit pissed off but once back at the information centre and on flat land I knew I had made the right choice seeings as the sun was still very hot and I was already feeling dehydrated.
After a quick visit to the café and gulping down an orange juice and lemonade I then got back to the hostel and was feeling exhausted but happy I had at least got out for a good long walk.
That night I was quite looking forward to having an early night but an English woman who had just checked in said would I like to go to the pub for a beer or two so the early night soon went out of the window and I enjoyed a few beers before stumbling back to my bed.

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View from Mueller Hut track

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View from Mueller Hut track

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View from Mueller Hut track

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 172 Mount Cook, New Zealand

Sunday 27th November 2005

sunny 23 °C

Another bright and sunny day today and perfect for walking. Hoping at first to get an early start I didn’t actually get going till 11am mainly due to not getting much sleep, mainly thanks to a man in the bunk bed beneath me waking me up every half hour as he would make the bed shake like there was an earthquake every time he moved. I chose to walk over to Hooker Lake today which would give me the closest view possible of Mount Cook without actually getting on the mountain itself and seeings as im not an experienced mountaineer that wasn’t possible. The walk there was amazing and took me over 2 swingbridges before coming to the end of the track by the lake where I sat for awhile and tried to take in the amazing scenery. I then got talking to an elderly Kiwi couple who only live a short distance from here and I tried to imagine how nice it would be to have the opportunity to visit this place whenever the chance was available. They also told me about how in 1991 a substantial piece of Mount Cook’s east face around 14 million cubic metres fell away in a massive landslide and also that there son had climbed it on 3 occasions. Also seeings as they had done most of the walks in the area I asked if they could recommend a walk worth doing and they told me a walk up to Mueller Hut is definitely worth the visit and it goes up to a height of 1922 metres, and from Mount Cook Village it would mean you would gain a height of 1162 metres. So that would be my plan for tomorrow and I thanked them as they went on their way back along the track.
By then time I got back to the hostel myself it was around 4pm and the rest of the day was spent relaxing and sorting my bag out for the walk tomorrow.

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Mt Sefton

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Mt Sefton

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Climbers Memorial with the tip of Mt Cook just in view on the right

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Giant daisys with Mt Cook in the distance

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Mt Cook from Hooker Valley

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Sir Edmund Hilary Statue looking towards Mt Cook

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:52 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

Day 171 Dunedin-Mount Cook, New Zealand

Saturday 26th November 2005

sunny 24 °C

At last somewhere I was really looking forward to visiting and the best thing was the weather forecast for the next few days was fantastic so hopefully it would give me a chance to get some good photos of Mount Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand).
The first part of the drive was pretty boring but then we turned a corner and all of a sudden all you could see were snow capped mountains all around and further down the road we came to a lake which had the most amazing colour and it was really hard to believe it could actually be this colour although how it got that way I really haven’t a clue. We stopped in a small town called Twizel to stock up on food and petrol before we got to Mount Cook as they are no shops or garages within a 45 minute drive of the hostel.
Once we got checked in I was eager to get straight back out for a walk seeings the sun was still shining and there was no telling how long it would actually stay like this.
After a quick bite to eat I got my walking gear on and decided to head to Kea Point which would give me an amazing view of Mount Cook and I could of easily sat here till it got dark but once the sun went down behind the mountains it soon turned cold and after looking at the fantastic view for half an hour I headed back.

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Lake Pukaki

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Mt Sefton

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Mt Cook

Posted by Reece Sanford 12:51 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

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