32. The Numbers Game

July 15, 2011 - Los Angeles, California, United States


As we head home to the UK we thought we would share with you some interesting facts and highlights of our trip.

Number of flights taken -31

Miles travelled – over 65,000

Number of countries visited – 20

Number of different modes of transport used – 38

Number of times bags misplaced – 2 (Santiago & L.A.)

Highest temperature experienced – Aswan, Egypt 50C

Lowest temperature experienced – Uyuni, Bolivia -5C

Highest altitude reached – 5,020 metres above sea level (Altiplano, Bolivia)

Lowest altitude reached – 286 metres below sea level (Dead Sea, Jordan)

Nationals we got to know on our travels (not including locals) – Americans, Australians, Belgians, Canadians, Chinese, Danes, Dominicans, Dutch, English, Germans, Hong Kongese, Irish, Israelis, Italians, New Zealanders, Norwegians, Palestinians, Russians, Scottish, South Africans, Spanish and Swiss.

It’s a small world – Zoe our group leader in South America lives next door to where we held our wedding reception. Ant our driver in South America lives in Ewhurst (we used to drink in the local there). A guy we met in Vietnam lives in Bishops Waltham (local to Pauls home town in Hampshire).

Disasters avoided (we got out just in time) – political unrest in Jordan & Egypt, the earthquake & tsunami in Japan, flooding in Australia, earthquake in New Zealand, dead sardines in LA, volcano in Hawaii, volcano in Chile, riots in Peru & the attempted assassination of the president of Ecuador (any one fancy coming travelling with us!). 

Top three things missed most about home:

1.       Family & friends

2.       Watching live football

3.       A nice cup of tea!

Top three things not missed about home:

1.       Commuting

2.       Household chores

3.       Work

Top three things that bought back fond memories of home:

1.       Emails

2.       Skype calls

3.       Comments on the blog


Top three most helpful people met on our travels:

1.       The Kenyan taxi driver in the airport when our tour company forgot about us at 5am in the morning and he let us use his mobile phone for free.

2.       The Brazilian guy in the queue for Sugar Loaf Mountain in the sweltering heat who bought us water.

3.       The Chinese lady on the train to Shanghai who told us lots of useful things and gave us her telephone number just in case we needed help.

Top three hotels:

1.       The Payne Hotel, Brisbane

2.       Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi

3.       Reef Resort, Sihanoukville.

Top three airlines:

1.       Thai Air

2.       Air New Zealand

3.       British Midlands

Worst three airlines:

1.       Continental/United

2.       Tam

3.       Air China

Top three most annoying airport practices:

1.       Removal of water right at the gate with no opportunity to purchase some before boarding

2.       Gift shops galore but no coffee shops

3.       US immigration queuing system, it is so slow to get through.

Top three noisiest places:

1.       Cairo, Egypt

2.       Delhi, India

3.       Amman, Jordan

Top three best new wines tasted:

1.       Sutter Home, Californian

2.       Rosemount, Australian

3.       Elderflower, Australian.

Top three countries for best new beer tasted:

1.       USA - excellent micro-breweries

2.       Australia - great choice

3.       Japan - both the Asashi and Sapporo are good tasting beers

Top three views (sorry, three just wasn’t enough) – Not in any particular order:

1.        The Grand Canyon – USA

2.       Petra – Jordan

3.       Salt Flats – Uyuni, Bolivia

4.       Death Valley from Dantes Point – USA

5.       Canyonlands National Park – USA

6.       Dead Womans Pass, Inca Trail – Peru

7.       Machu Picchu – Peru

8.       Wilder beast Migration – Kenya

9.       The early morning sun glinting off the Taj Mahal – Agra, India

10.   The Great Wall of China – China

Top three caves:

1.       Jenolan Caves, Australia

2.       Carlsbad Caves, United States

3.       Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Top three unusual landscapes:

1.       Rainforest in Australia

2.       Volcanic Rock – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

3.       Salt Flats - Uyuni, Bolivia

Top three most surreal moments

1.       Skyping our friends Tabs and Stu from a bar in Kyoto, Japan

2.       Paul having his toes nibbled by playful sea lions in Galapagos Islands

3.       Enjoying Christmas Day wearing t-shirt and shorts at Tabs and Stu’s in Brisbane, Australia

Top three white knuckle experiences:

1.       Abseiling down a fast flowing waterfall in a cave – New Zealand

2.       Going across a 580 metre wide valley on a zip-wire, 120 metres high – Argentina

3.       Going on the X2 rollercoaster – Magic Mountain Six Flags Theme Park, USA

Top three adrenalin experiences:

1.       White water rafting – Rio Verde, Ecuador

2.       Zip wire – Salta, Argentina

3.       Bike riding down the most dangerous road in the world – Bolivia

Top three rollercoasters:

1.       Tatsu - Magic Mountain Six Flags Theme Park, USA

2.       New York, New York – New York Casino, Las Vegas

3.       Scooby Doo Ride – Universal Studios, Singapore

Top three weirdest sensations:

1.       The Mystery Spot – USA

2.       Puzzleworld – New Zealand

3.       Dead Sea – Jordan

Top three scariest moments on the trip:

1.       Clare finding a large snake sitting on a beam at a public toilet – Australia

2.       A tyre exploding on a 40 foot truck which we were travelling behind at the time – Jordan

3.       Spotting a six foot shark whilst snorkelling – Galapagos Islands

Top three best breakfasts:

1.       The Payne Hotel, Brisbane, Australia

2.       The Crowne Plaza, Nairobi, Egypt

3.       Jacks, Cusco, Peru

Top three places for having the worst driving:

1.       Delhi, India

2.       Cairo, Egypt

3.       Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Top three worst hotel lifts:

1.       Hotel Carlton, Cairo

2.       Ritz Milner Hotel, Los Angeles

3.       Espana Hotel, Santiago

Top three most strenuous days:

1.       Inca Trail hiking, Machu Picchu

2.        Zion National Park walk, Utah

3.       Kayaking, The Whit Sundays

Top three countries for having the best thunderstorms:

1.       Cambodia

2.       Vietnam

3.       Australia

Top three places for the worst weather:

1.       Hoi Chi Minh, Vietnam

2.       Whitsundays, Australia

3.       North Coast, Peru

Our three worst days:

1.       The day we were lost on the truck

2.       The day we drove from Delhi to Agra

3.       Pauls birthday

Best animal moments (not in any particular order):

1.       Seeing a Cheetah which sat on a rock just a short distance away from us. (Kenya)

2.       Paul spotting a well camouflaged Leopards up a tree. (Kenya)

3.       Seeing Fizzy & Kiwi again! (Australia)

4.       Seeing wild Koalas at our campsite. (Australia)

5.       Horse Riding on an Estancia. (Argentina)

6.       Feeding Jock the Giraffe. (Kenya)

Best sea life moments (not in any particular order):                  

1.       Swimming with the playful Sea Lions. (Galapagos Islands)

2.       Swimming with Turtles whilst they fed on algae on the seabed. (Galapagos Islands)

3.       Swimming with Penguins. (Galapagos Islands)

4.       Snorkelling with Sharks swimming below us. (Galapagos Islands)

5.       Seeing hundreds of amazing tropical fish, plants and coral. (Fiji, Whitsundays, Vietnam & Galapagos Islands)

Funniest animal moments (not in any particular order):

1.       Blue Footed Boobies courting (Galapagos Islands)

2.       Albatrosses fighting (Galapagos Islands)

3.       Fizzy tentatively getting on the lilo (Australia)

4.       Penguin nibbling Pauls toe (Galapagos Islands)

Now we have one more flight to catch from LA to Heathrow on the final leg of our amazing journey.     



1 Comment

Shrinking Stu:
July 20, 2011
I feel quite sad for you guys after reading your lists but what an amazing trip. Your trip is probably over now and back to reality, boo! When are you coming back?! See you next Christmas in Oz? Take care Stu
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