Ho Chi Minh City

As the cheapest city to fly into, we use HCMC as our gateway to Vietnam. Two nights is all we stay, wanting to have more time in the mountains. The city is chaotic and noisy. I love it immediately, being something of a fan of the cities everyone loves to hate. Shortly after we arrive…

Raglan

Raglan is a popular surfing town on the west coast. It is buzzing with backpackers and is similar to many backpacker towns around the world. Advertisements abound for surfing classes, diving, caving and boat trips just as they do in most beachfront tourist towns and backpackers can be heard phoning ahead to hostels further along their journeys…

Waihi

We stop in Waihi to see the open cut gold mine. It’s ugly but impressive and worth a look. The north wall has collapsed under a land slip, which emphasised the scale of the project. I wouldn’t say it is picturesque because mining is part of the earth destroying greed that is causing so many…

Oaonui to Whanganui

Our stay with Andrew amd Suzie has been so relaxing. The past two nights have felt like we were staying with relatives, not strangers who opened their home and lives to us. We’ve played with their big boofy dog, petted their cats, shared meals, swapped storied and watched some tele.  I’m almost sad our stay…

New Plymouth

The artsy town of New Plymouth is the only large town on the west coast of the Taranaki region. It’s little more than a village but the distinction between city, town and village is broad here in New Zealand with its tiny national population. Len Lye Gallery Len Lys was a post modern artist from New…

Rotterdam

We’ve come to Rotterdam to visit Mum’s cousin P and her family, including my great aunt and great uncle. We stay with P and her husband M, who have given up their room for us. My great aunt E and great uncle C prepare feasts for us to eat at their house near P’s home.…