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
|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)|
|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
|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