365 days…

Well today officially marks 12 months since we left Australia on our midliferadventure. We flew out on 13 October and here we are a year on… Both of us fitter, skinnier, more tanned, better travelled…and yes more broke. Some of you think that we have been on a long holiday which in part is right but the counter point to this is the fact that this sort of trip transcends a holiday and becomes hard work.

I got into a Facebook drama with my sister Karin about this point as she seems to think that this has been one very big, very easy jolly…which it has not been…she seemed to be further supported by my other sister and KAT. Perhaps some of you will never be convinced of such a fact but this has been hard work. We have gone past the holiday and are firmly into traveling…a nuanced distinction many of you will probably not make but trust me it is a very real distinction. Especially when you are married to a slave driving, mountain goat such as my wife.

Don’t get me wrong…I would not trade this experience in for the world and we have done some incredible things along the way…we have ticked off some major bucket list items… Including some that were never even on the list. So a year into the trip it is time to take stock and see what it is that we have actually done. Needless to say at times Jill and I have had different views on the best and worst bits of the trip thus far.

So this post will be a snappy recap of the best and worst bits and some basic stats on just what it is we have done over the period away from friends and family.

Number (#) of days – 365

# of countries – 8

Actually a bit dirty on this number…Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet in my mind are all different countries but officially they all only count as China.

# of cities – 101

This obviously does not include the transits.

# of photos taken – 18,682

We had previously done a 9 week honeymoon through Europe and Egypt and came back with 36 photographs. So this number represents a major shift in philosophy on our part.

# of different beers – 135

This only includes those that I have sampled on this tour…but it seems like a worthwhile thing to continue.

# of plane flights – 48

Wow…even I had not thought that the number had gotten that high. We are frequent fliers on almost every airline group that exists these days.

# of airlines – 17

# of train rides – 52

This is only the long hall transit type train journeys and does not include the metro rides within a city. The shortest was one hour long (excluding the maglev) and the longest was 26 hours. The fastest hit 431kph on the maglev in Shanghai while the slowest was under 10kph on the Ooty train.

# of bus rides – 20

Once again this does not include airport transfers, local busses or the various short journey chicken busses.

Highest point – 5248 metres above sea level

Best and Worst

Category Jill Richard
 
Best Day Taj Mahal and Fort Halong Bay
Worst Day Sick in Jaipur Climbing Tai Shan
Best Experience Cant split between Hampi, Everest or Jiuzhaigou Food glorious food
Worst Experience Bhubaneswar Mt Everest – nearly killed me
Best Country China China – variety won
Worst Country India India (also had some of the best bits)
Best City Hampi Penang
Worst City New Delhi Bhubaneswar
Best Airline Indigo Air Asia X
Worst Airline Spice Jet Spice Jet
Best Hotel Garden Hotel Datong Garden Hotel Datong
Worst Hotel Sri Shyam Calcutta Sri Shyam Calcutta
Best Driver/Guide Tappa (Hampi) Tappa
Worst Driver/Guide New Delhi driver Most Indian Tuk Tuks
Best Toilet Xiamen Airport KL Airport
Worst Toilet Mt Everest Base camp Mt Everest Base camp
Best Meal Crab in Mangalore or feasts ordered by Frank in Beijing Too many to narrow down
Worst Meal Anything Tibetan Yak meat in Tibet
Best Sunrise Sri Lankan Beach The ones I sleep through
Worst Sunrise Kanyakumari The ones spent transiting
Best Sunset Sri Lankan Beach Alleppy houseboat
Worst Sunset Kanyakumari Beijing Smog

Most expensive / cheapest

Category Expensive Cheapest
 
Country Australia Vietnam
City Hong Kong Hanoi
Tourist Attractions Sri Lanka (Government run) China free museums for foreign passport holders
Coffee Urumqi airport $20 for nescafe instant Indian Railways 13c a cup
Beer Korea – Aussie nightclub prices Hanoi – beer hoi 40c for a big glass
Meal Hohhot (Lamb leg worth every penny) Hanoi $2 a head including beers

Most Overrated attractions or events

Couldn’t decide between the terracotta warriors or Yangtze River cruise.

Notable friends made along the way

Ruwan and his wife in Sri Lanka

Heath – Our real estate selling mate that we found lost in Shangrila and who showed us all around Jinan.

Emily and Simon – the Brit couple we met in Urumqi and caught up with again in Kyrgyzstan. Got to share good times, meals and drinks.

Foons – The two Aussie Paramedics cycling from Melbourne to Edinburgh. A familiar accent and sense of humour when we were furthest from home.

Cindy – The Canadarian / Chinese, rock climbing Mt Everest dynamo

Jills Favourite Pics

 

Floating markets Can Tho Vietnam
Floating markets Can Tho Vietnam
View from top of Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka
View from top of Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka
St Sophia's in Harbin
St Sophia’s in Harbin
Mount Everest plus prayer flags
Mount Everest plus prayer flags
View from the train to Lhasa
View from the train to Lhasa
Camel in Kashgar square
Camel in Kashgar square
Sunset on the beach at Phu Quoc Vietnam
Sunset on the beach at Phu Quoc Vietnam
Fat bottom sheep at the Kashgar Sunday Market
Fat bottom sheep at the Kashgar Sunday Market
Snowcapped mountains from the plane
Snowcapped mountains from the plane
Jiuzhaigou blue lakes
Jiuzhaigou blue lakes
Jiuzhaigou snow capped mountains
Jiuzhaigou snow capped mountains
Jiuzhaigou stream
Jiuzhaigou stream
Chinese pond with stone bridge
Chinese pond with stone bridge
Prayer Wheel and burnt remains of Shangri-La Old Town
Prayer Wheel and burnt remains of Shangri-La Old Town
Stone Forest Kunming
Stone Forest Kunming
Pagoda in Hangzhou
Pagoda in Hangzhou
Feeding the Koi
Feeding the Koi
Varanasi by the river
Varanasi by the river
Jodhpur the Blue City
Jodhpur the Blue City
Fat Man of Datong
Fat Man of Datong
Mt Everest plus Yaks
Mt Everest plus Yaks
Ruins in Hampi
Ruins in Hampi
Camels plus Driver in the Jaisalmer Desert
Camels plus Driver in the Jaisalmer Desert
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Lighthouse in Galle Sri Lanka
Lighthouse in Galle Sri Lanka

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