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About This Site
IntroductionNovember 1997 spelled the end of my days at University and I had decided I would take some time off before committing to a full-time career in Engineering.
I had planned on going overseas though it was unclear where I would be going, I originally planned on starting in Mexico or South America and travelling up the West coast of the USA through to Canada and spend some time skiing in Whistler. When I looked at the prices to do this, however, I discovered it would cost more than I had to spend. Then I found that Joe and Brad, two friends from University, were planning on travelling around the world, visiting the US, Europe and Africa, so I hitched up with them.
I decided there was a few good rules for travelling:
Meet the Gang
Mark (Your Author)As if I'm going to write anything bad about myself here. Here is my homepage with stuff about me.
JoeJoe has an unusual affinity with his hat, which he regularly talks to and addresses affectionately as 'Stimpy' (it is a pale blue Ren and Stimpy baseball hat). Brad and I could not believe it when Joe bought an exact replica of the hat in Florence as some kind of 'backup' for if the original ever went missing.
Joe also thinks he's black, which is somewhat inaccurate since he is (originally) from India. If you want to annoy him just tell him he's asian.
BradA man's man who also somehow does alright with the girls, Brad is the quintessential Aussie Bloke. I think Brad was somewhat stifled travelling with Joe and I who were not big drinkers and didn't believe his the majority of his 'war stories'.
USAWe planned on spending two weeks in the Bay Area of California (San Francisco and surrounding areas) where we would buy all the equipment we needed to complete the rest of our journey including sleeping bags and backpacks.
We also spent time seeing the city of SF and a couple of the Universities in the surrounding area and we went skiing in Heavenly at Lake Tahoe and visited the Yosamite National Park.
In the US we stayed with some of Joe's cousins in San Mateo which turned out to have its good and bad points.
EuropeOur timetable specified 6 weeks to see all of Europe, which was quite ambitious. We would start in Paris, and catch the Channel Tunnel train across to England for Christmas where we would go our separate ways and catch up with old friends and family.
After Christmas we headed back to Paris, where we caught a flight to Portugal to see Porto and Lisbon. From Portugal we went to Spain, Southern France, Italy, Austria, Germany and I split up with Joe and Brad to go back to Paris while they went to Switzerland for a day or so.
AfricaWe flew from Paris to Nairobi to start our scheduled 4 weeks in Africa. Soon after landing we were booked into two weeks of Safaris including a '5 park' wildlife safari featuring the Massai Mara National Park and then a 7-day trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
After our Safaris we travelled pretty much non-stop to Mombassa in Kenya, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Livingstone in Zambia and then through to Harare in Zimbabwe for our flight home.
At the end of it all I, at least, was extremely tired, broke and homesick, but still wishing it wasn't the end of the trip.
Some TipsThis is a very large site. There is something like 25,000 words and 200 photos, so I don't expect people to come here and read every word on every page. A good course of action would be to look at where I've been and check out those areas you consider interesting. Look at the pictures and if you want to find out what they're all about; read the text that goes with them.
The text is practically straight out of my travel journal, so don't expect an epic story of scandal and intrigue, but I tried to keep the tone conversational so it's pretty light reading. I was going to add some information about the countries I visited, but I figured there's plenty of other sites that would offer the same information. This site was big enough already!
Happy browsing, and e-mail me if you liked the site, I always like positive feedback :-)