Visits

Location Date Transport Notes
Melbourne 01 March, 2014 Flight
Bangkok 19 February, 2014 Flight Delta, so so airline. Not budget, costs a lot more but doesn't deliver a hell of a lot.
Tokyo 15 February, 2014 Train Shinkansen is awesome. Convenient, comfortable, fast. Not super cheap, but worth it.
Kyoto 11 February, 2014 Train Hooray, shinkansen.
Tokyo 07 February, 2014 Flight Jetstar. They're everywhere. Inconveniently flying into Narita instead of Haneda though.
Sapporo 07 February, 2014 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc.
Niseko 04 February, 2014 Car (Private) Horribly hungover, but stopped off at a lovely onsen along the way which aided in the recovery process. Lots of snow and beautiful scenery.
Sapporo 03 February, 2014 Flight Decent budget flight, clean and friendly. Accidentally left my kindle on the flight... but eventually (after much struggle) managed to collect it again about a week later.
Tokyo 02 February, 2014 Flight
Bangkok 25 January, 2014 Flight
Melbourne 29 December, 2013 Flight
Newcastle 24 December, 2013 Flight
Melbourne 14 October, 2013 Flight
Newcastle 11 October, 2013 Flight
Melbourne 02 July, 2013 Flight
Christchurch 01 July, 2013 Car (Private)
Cheviot 01 July, 2013 Car (Private) Up to visit Kate.
Christchurch 26 June, 2013 Flight Late flight with little sleep.
Melbourne 15 June, 2013 Flight Late flight, got to the airport too early to even check my luggage in which was a bit of a waste of time.
Brisbane 10 June, 2013 Car (Private) Crappy weather, but a pretty short drive.
Byron Bay 06 June, 2013 Flight An early start, but a pleasantly short flight.
Melbourne 31 December, 2012 Flight
Newcastle 24 December, 2012 Train
Sydney 23 December, 2012 Flight
Christchurch 20 December, 2012 Car (Private)
Arthur's Pass 18 December, 2012 Car (Private)
Christchurch 16 December, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc.
Dunedin 14 December, 2012 Flight
Auckland 12 December, 2012 Flight
Dunedin 11 December, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc.
Christchurch 09 December, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Got a cheap as promo fare from Intercity by booking very early (I had to book the flights anyway...). Decent enough, but buses in NZ just aren't up to international standards when it comes to comfort; I suppose because most Kiwis have cars so there's not the demand. Sunny and clear down the coast, saw a lot of seals and surfers.
Blenheim 07 December, 2012 Boat A busy crossing, filled with school children. Headphones and music solved that problem to a large extend. Got a bit of work done and enjoyed the view from a seat right up by the windows at the front; turn up early to get the best seats. First time crossing with Bluebridge and all was well.
Wellington 04 December, 2012 Flight
Auckland 01 December, 2012 Flight Decent flight, got a bit of work done. No scenery to speak of (ocean all the way), but I lucked out and had a seat free next to me so it was more comfortable than normal. Flight was overpriced; they went on sale a couple of weeks before departure, selling for as little as US$630.
San Francisco 25 November, 2012 Flight Decent enough flight, reasonably comfortable. In flight entertainment was mainly pay per view, so just read/used laptop the whole way. Departed and arrived early. Flew with Delta, had to pay US$25/checked in bag extra, but carry on was very loosely enforced and the weight limit was 40lbs anyway!
New York City 06 November, 2012 Flight Somewhat painful because of the incredibly slow immigration line; we flew via Dulles in DC, the queue was so long that we missed our connection and had to hang out in the airport for an additional five hours (seven in total including immigration) before continuing onward to NYC. Luckily it was election night and there was free wifi, so we could entertain ourselves.
Mexico City 31 October, 2012 Flight Reasonably comfortable and on time flight with LAN. Unfortunately someone/something seems to have peed on June's bag...
Lima 29 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Overnight bus on Cruz del Sur, great trip aside from arriving too early (4.30AM, damnit) rather than the 6AM we were expecting. Downstairs, "full" cama, very comfortable.
Huaraz 25 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Left on time, but that was about the best of the trip. Aircon not working, limited airflow and a slow bus, plus a tyre blowout that they didn't really seem to know what to do about ensured that the six to eight hour trip ended up being nine. I'd avoid Movil Tours in the future.
Lima 23 October, 2012 Flight Departed and arrived on time, night time flight so no scenery. Much more pleasant than a 16 hour bus trip!
Arequipa 21 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Back on the tourist "bus" (van) for a higher price, but greater comfort, speed and stops at various points to admire the view and eat, so definitely better value overall.
Cabanaconde 19 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Late to depart, then held up by a flat tire. Views pretty cool of El Misti and Chachani from front and back as we went around them, but due to the lateness our views along the canyon weren't so great.
Arequipa 16 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. First a collectivo from Arica to Tacna, over the Peruvian border (10,000 pesos split between three). Then a bus that was 40 minutes late to depart, but essentially arrived on time. More desert terrain, I'm really craving some trees and greenery...
Arica 13 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. A steep ascent out of Iquique then mainly flat along the desert like landscape. Occasional descents into large valleys which have been carved into the otherwise featureless terrain.
Iquique 10 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. More dry, scenic terrain. It seems like most of the descent is made along endless roads driving straight down a gradual incline for hours; you don't notice the terrain dropping away until suddenly, bang, you're there at the sea. From there it was another couple of hours along a thin strip of road wedged between the sea and the mountains, probably nice but we were on the wrong side of the bus and it was dark, so couldn't really see.
Calama 09 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Great ride in the front seats on the second floor of the bus. Incredibly wide desert valleys that seem to take forever to cross with small, snow capped mountains peering over the top. Unfortunately ruined by one of our bags, complete with cameras, phones, hard discs and passport being stolen in Calama when we arrived.
San Pedro de Atacama 06 October, 2012 Car (Private) Tour over the Salar de Uyuni and through nearby regions. Very stark and beautiful terrain, including the Salar itself and the nearby lakes, mountains and volcanic areas. Three days, two nights, but a total time of about 48 hours (departing midday, arriving midday two days later). Travelled with Red Planet, the most expensive option, which was good but probably not worth the increased cost (other tours were as cheap as 700 B/s).
Uyuni 02 October, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. A boring start, but the terrain got more and more interesting the closer we got to Uyuni. Wide open valleys, bordered by sandy dunes, but lush in the middle with hundreds of grazing alpacas, llamas, sheep and cattle. Snow capped mountains in the distance. Tortured rock formations. And then views over the Salar de Uyuni on the final descent to town.
Potosí 30 September, 2012 Public Bus, Minivan, Truck etc. Vaguely frightening trip in a shared taxi from Sucre. The balding tires and the driving technique (fast, with squealing tires on corners and suicidal overtaking) didn't inspire confidence, but here we are...
Sucre 27 September, 2012 Flight Flew with TAM, decent enough, basic drinks and a snack served. Scenery pleasant all the way, lower altitude mountains mostly.

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