JAPAN (Pt. 1)

At various times over the years my wife Agnes has suggested we take a trip to Japan.  I was always indifferent to these overtures as I had been to Tokyo on a solo trip in 1985 and found the city to be too clean and ordered and, therefore, uninteresting.  By extension, I also assumed cleanliness…

Vietnam Cycling Tour

In March 2015 my wife and I participated in a 17 day cycling tour from Saigon to Hanoi with Spice Roads Bicycle Tours. We were in a troupe of 16 riders (6 other Australians, 7 Canadians and 1 American). As we are comfortable being self-sustaining travelling partners, this trip marked our first time on an organised…

Hawaii

Hawaii is geographically similar to the other Pacific islands I have written about but as it is also an American outpost it has special appeal for those of us who like a fix of American culture every now and then. In the case of Hawaii, the American fix is also served with a dollop of Polynesian…

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a piece of Australia lying some 800 km east of Sydney. The island was unknown to any civilisation until it was discovered by British seaman Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball in 1788 and was not permanently inhabited until 1834. Apart from a climate similar to Sydney’s, Lord Howe has few other similarities…

New Zealand

New Zealand differs from other Pacific island destinations in that its north/south orientation means a vacation encompassing the whole island is likely to immerse you in weather which ranges from semi-tropical breezy to winter-chilled. This makes NZ unique as a Pacific Island because as a general rule, the other islands’ climates don’t venture outside the…