A Travellerspoint blog


South East Asia Revisited

sunny 18 °C

Real Balinese flags fluttered overhead and a genuine gamelin orchestra played on the stereo as close to thirty faithful blog followers joined us for our Asian Experience evening on Saturday.
Gary brought his motorbike to provide authentic ambience (but we made him switch the stinking thing off).
The weather co-operated to a degree. We had asked for the thirty degree temperatures of the previous few weeks, but, despite our offerings to the Hindu gods, there was a nip in the air as the evening progressed.

Here are a few of the flags we brought back from Bali ...

The guest list was a Who's-Who of truly delightful people

Roy brought a case of real Thai beer and Catherine donated a bottle of Asian brandy (which tastes like it should be fuelling Gary's motorbike).
Thanks to Gary, Barrie and Sumiko, who eagerly took up spatulas to help with the cooking, we turned out enough authentic food to satisfy the throng. We had all the local favourites: Spring Rolls, Satay, Pad Thai, Green and Red Curry and various forms of rice , followed by Sticky Rice and Mango.

Thanks to everyone who came - sorry to those who missed it.
If only we had thought to take a group photo! No matter - here are just a few of the happy diners learning what it is like to eat in the backstreets of Bangkok...


Posted by Hawkson 15:58 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Around the World in 150 Days

sunny 13 °C

A school of dolphins greeted us playfully as we took the ferry home, while Camilla, our cat, gave us a lukewarm welcome that said, "I actually preferred the new people." Thanks to Tony and Janet, the "new people," everything at home is just purrfect ... although spring is certainly late this year and the daffodils are only just bursting.
The past five months have been so exciting and thought-provoking that returning to our serene house on a tranquil island has left us feeling disorientated. Where are the teeming throngs, the persistant touts, and the noisome vehicles? Silence is broken only by barking sea-lions and screeching eagles, and no one has tried to sell us anything from the moment we arrived in London three weeks ago. (In fact, we felt bad about interrupting gossipy shop assistants in England).
The mountains of British Columbia are still deep in winter, but the sun is shining and both sea and sky are blue; not quite as blue as the Mediterannean but close. Here is Sheila pretending to be the owner of a multi-million dollar yacht in Cannes...
...and here is the view from our front window this morning.
O.K. We know very well that we are incredibly fortunate and our time in South East Asia has re-enforced that view.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the fund that enabled us to make contributions to worthy causes during our trip, and we would especially like to thank everyone who took the time to read our blog.
As a reward to readers we will be holding a "South East Asia Experience" in May at which we will attempt to recreate the ambience and foods we encountered on our travels. Everyone is invited, (airfare not included - although accommodation will be provided). For an invite, just email us at Fishkisser20@hotmail.com. We would love you to come.
Now, it is time to say goodbye. We've loved taking you along with us on our Blissful Adventure and hope that you will come with us the next time we go a'travellin'.
So ... Goodbye from us and from Rebecca - the chipper Aussie whose wayward backpack gave us so much fun.

Posted by Hawkson 06:28 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Goodbye to friends

sunny 5 °C


Goodbye to friends

I have been spoilt the last four weeks and made to feel special by my friends and colleagues as I move into retirement. Last Saturday my dear friend Joyce organized a party for my outside of work friends - friends I worked with in Nigeria 37 years ago; friends from the time I spent in China; and long time Gabriola friends. There was a wonderful feeling of community and celebration. Graham and Mike played music and there was a poignant moment when we all sang “those were the days!”
One of the goals of our trip will be to connect with people, to learn about their lives and make new friends.

Posted by Hawkson 06:51 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Packing Our Bags

overcast 9 °C

With only a week to go we are making final preparations for take-off. The house and garden are shipshape and spotless, (so spotless that we considered cancelling the whole trip and spending the next five months relaxing at home). All we have to do is finalize the packing.

Surrounded, as we are, with all the “stuff” essential for life it seems inconceivable that we could survive for five months on the road within the airline’s baggage allowance. But we’re not novices. We’ve both struggled across continents with giant suitcases full of outfits for every eventuality, only to find that a pair of shorts and a couple of T shirts would have been overkill. So, this time, we considered travelling with little more than a toothbrush and the clothes on our backs and buy native as required. However, we know that we are like Gulliver and his wife to the Lilliputians of S.E.Asia. While buying XXL in Canada might induce disdainful sniggers from a skinny store-clerk, shirts marked XXL in Bangkok wouldn’t decently cover us. So we’ve decided to compromise and take whatever we can cram into our backpacks.

Along with our clothes we’ve got passports, money and credit cards. The other essentials are: a compass for the jungles of Borneo, sunscreen for the beaches of Bali, mosquito repellant for everywhere, and a tin of talcum powder for the sore bits between Jim’s thighs.

So, with the addition of the Lonely Planet’s backpacker’s guide to S.E. Asia, and a giant pair of giraffe earrings, we are starting our countdown.

Posted by Hawkson 09:46 Archived in Canada Tagged postcards Comments (0)

Getting Ready

overcast 10 °C


This is the view from our windows. We treasure these days as we know that it will be awhile before we see this wonderful vista again.

Jim and I are preparing for our 5 month trip to south-east Asia. We have lists of things to do before we depart on October 29th. We have bought tickets to Bangkok and have booked a hotel for our first three nights there. After that we only have a rough itinerary in mind as we want to be free to go to places not considered and to stay in places for as long we like. This trip has happened rather quickly. I retired September 30th and we decided that it would be great to go away for a few months. I told Jim that I was going to put the word out that we were looking for someone to look after our house for the winter while we travelled. It was only a week later that a friend referred a couple who were considering moving to Gabriola and wanted to see what winter was like here before they made the move. Janet and Tony have now spent time with us, met Camilla the cat, and are looking forward to getting to know the Island and all the wonderful people who live here.

I hope through this blog to stay in touch with friends as we travel. The postings in the next few weeks are intended to give us practice in the art of blogging before we leave.

Posted by Hawkson 11:48 Archived in Canada Tagged postcards Comments (1)

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