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steaming out of Shanghai


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Saturday 20th April
The food isn’t very special. Porridge and toast for breakfast. No jam. Lounge around, middle-aged Canadian couple amuse me with their dry wit. She is built like a battleship and they take vitamins and zinc with every meal. Have a pint of Tsing Tao beer.

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in bed on a boat


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Sunday 21st April
Much the same as Saturday.

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recuperation in Hong Kong


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Monday 22nd April
The autobiography of Aisin Gioro “From Emperor to Citizen” was a fascinating account of a lost lifestyle.
Dock at 10 am., bus stop, and cabbies refused to say which bus to the star ferry. Get on one to Nathan Road, buy razor, toothbrush and paste. Star ferry and home. Post paintings and calligraphy. Meet up with Louise, ex-Middlesex hospital physiotherapist, who is staying at Deborah and Steve’s too. Pop out to an Italian restaurant in the evening. Have an enormous pizza, delicious luxury. Sleep very well on the living-room floor.

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windsurfing in Hong Kong

sort of

sunny 25 °C
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Tuesday 23rd of April
day 132
Spend the day with Louise, Nicky and Lucy. Nicky and Lucy ( aged 1) live out here with Andrew. Nicky is a physiotherapist and Andrew is a civil engineer. Enjoy a Chinese meal at which Lucy makes a great mess, but no one takes any notice of the explosion of rice and squid that surrounds a. It’s great eating out in the East, you can really make a mess. Lucy’s blonde hair and blue eyes are great attraction.
Spend the afternoon on the beach, the sea studded with exotic islands as far as the horizon. Mess around on a wind surfer. Lucy paddles and plays with the seaweed. Andrew is an A1 wind surfer, they are off to China soon as honoured guests for windsurfing meet.

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The Jockey Club


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Wednesday 24th of April
Write letters. Visit bank etc.
The Matilda hospital have a club room of the racecourse. We are invited, slap up dinner, as the flat races go on outside. Very special evening, floodlit in happy Valley in the middle of Kowloon. Lose tend Hong Kong dollars, Steve bets on 3:1 to win in most races and breaks even at the end of the evening. Horse racing is the only legal form of gambling available to the Chinese in Hong Kong. The nearest casinos are in Macao. £5 million are placed by the punters this evening. The jockey club is one of the largest benefactors in Hong Kong. Sing rugby songs at the soccer club afterwards.

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day trip to Macao

sunny 26 °C
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Thursday the 25th of April
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Up early and off with Louise to Macao. Miss the early ferry and takes the jet foil. This fairly small craft re-as it prow out of the water on fins, but keeps its stern in, makes for a bumpy ride. Despite the insistent advice of the taxi touts, and a pedi-cabbies exhortations that there is no bus into town, we catch the number three a to the city centre. It’s like Chinatown with Hispanic street names giving it all the catholic flavour. The front of St Paul’s rises above the souvenir stores in the centre of town. Trudge out to the Bishops Palace which was hardly worth the effort. Nearby Ah Maa’s Temple was curious, winding paths around boulders, with Chinese characters carved on them. A few beggars in the nooks and crannies. As always a lovely sense of peace when you enter the Temple.
Bus to the north of town to a bigger Temple. This is a lovely affair a courtyards and rooms. Dark golden Buddhas, fortune sticks, vast incense coils smoking in the gloom, several feet across. Snooze in the Temple garden and get bitten to death by the mosquitos. Lunch on steamed tasty morsels rice and tea 50 P. each.
Catch the ferry home, 2 ½ hour trip, sleep most the way and/or late getting off as we were unaware a that the boat had docked 20 minutes before.
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Popeye bar


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Friday 26 of April
Spend the day shopping for Walkman, shirts, present for mine hosts, and Australian dollars. By a small Toshiba Walkman for £48 a couple of shirts and a coffee table book about India. We had plans to go to Ocean Park in the evening but find it closed at 6 p.m. go to smart Korean restaurant instead, hot Korean barbecue in the centre of the table, very tasty. Visit the infamous Popeye bar afterwards to satisfy my and Louise’s curiosity. Sullen and disinterested staff, some topless. Leave for work in Australia soon.

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pack for Sydney


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Saturday 27th April
Pack my bag.

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arrive in Sydney

sunny 20 °C
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Sunday 28th of April

Day 137

Land in Sydney at 7:15 a.m.

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Brisbane locum service

May

sunny 27 °C
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spend the next 12 weeks working for John Ward’s Brisbane locus service and misery Midge’s memos. Stayed in a shared queenslander house near Greenslopes, other names from that time were: Paul, Nigel, Patricia, Wendy, Niall, Julie, Shirley, John and John, Pat, Elisabeth.
DSC0000275.jpgWe would work nights and weekends from radio cars providing out of hours GP cover.
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Brisbane locum service

June

sunny 26 °C
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Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella


Particularly enjoyed two nights at O'Reilly's Guest House in Lamington National Park on Queensland’s southern border with Paul, Ted, Gary, crimson rosellas, eructating scrub turkeys, delicate sugar gliders, assorted blossoms, and a greater glider. Dramatic and precipitous views of the lost world.
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Paul making out with a brush turkey

Paul making out with a brush turkey

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leave Australia

for Tahiti

sunny
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Friday 9th of August 1985
It’s 5:30 p.m. at Sydney’s international airport, flight UT 594 has all its passengers on board including me, and as 265 tonnes of DC 10 lifts of the runway for Noumea, Papeete and Los Angeles.
I do my sums.
 (1 A$ = 71.9 US$
 1 A$ = 110 Central Pacific Francs
)

I have:
106 US$

13,000 CPF

2,950 US$ Travellers Cheques

10 £
 and 21 Ozzie cents, which represents my net gains after 12 weeks with John Ward’s Brisbane locum service, misery Midge’s memos, Nigel, Patricia, Wendy, Niall, Julie, Shirley, John and John, Pat, Elisabeth.

Ahh what a pleasure to feel that tropical warmth again. Timeless Tahiti, it’s Friday again! Arrive early in the morning, a smiling girl places a frangipani flower in my hair, this sweetens the wait for customs. Board 'Le Truck' into town for 90 cents, this funky bus has the biggest set of speakers ever to grace an automobile. Walk half way back to the airport again trying to find the youth hostel, no one seems to know where it is. Tired and fed up by the time I find it, Get a 3 bedded room to myself, 1500 francs per night, even with YHA card! Expensive. My own shower sink and balcony are a little bit of luxury, and I overlook the squalid tent site.

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preparing for south america


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Slept a lot, did running repairs to pockets etc make antitheft devices ready for South America. Open up seams for $ notes, poke a fine chain using a coat hangar down the strap of my shoulder bag, and thread a metal guitar string through the belt of my money bag. I’m now impenetrable! Must leave the hostel tomorrow, there is a big group coming. Taihiti is very mountainous and populated by rich French yacht owners, it’s the sort of place where you own an island or two, prices as a consequence are sky high, street van pizza 500 francs.

Posted by 1985 trip 08:44 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

off to Moorea

by boat

sunny 30 °C
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Vacate room early and hang around the tourist office for an hour hoping it will open ( thinking its Monday) and entertained by a large pack of excited and fornicating street dogs. Wander down to the quay and onto the Moorea ferry just prior to departure, 1000 francs one-way 40 minute ride.


Very picturesque Captain Cook Bay, turquoise blue sea, thatched cottages, vertical jaded peaks, clacking yachts, and the remote boom of the surf on the reef. Catch Le Truck 14 km to Chez Pauline’s 200 francs. A large one story veranda-ed wooden house, dark and musty inside, attendant outbuildings of thatch and woven cane provide kitchen and dining-room. There is a sitting out area over a stream. Madame Pauline has a haughty style and barely utters a word as she shows me my room and departs. Long grey hair and flowing bright cotton print smock. There is an eternal game of Boules in the yard. The children, one blonde, never go to school, I think Madame Pauline is granny.
I turn up for dinner after dusk, all very sang froid, excellent steak with prawns French bread and some starchy vegetable as chips. Read novel by the warm glow of a paraffin lamp with decorative shells in the paraffin.

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walk 16 km

sunny 30 °C
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Hitch back to Pao Pao in Cooks Bay this morning to find a bank, hitch a lift in a van full of pineapples, very prickly ride.

After picnic lunch spend the rest of the day strolling home, 16 km. One lift for two km, two buses, but don’t stop. Arrive exhausted and have a beer. Dine on pork and cabbage with cold wild Taihitian spinach in vinaigrette and rice. The spinach tasted like artichokes. The whole island is very verdant.

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