Asian Distraction

September 2011: 

So it is possible to get lost carrying two GPS's!
Started off with ambitious intentions, finished off where I was 2 years before.
How did this happen?
Was it another close shave with a blind Delhi barber?
Was it the lure of a Vietnamese dog meat barbecue?
Or was it the hazard appeal of a bamboo train ride in Battambang?
I don't know!
Its amazing what you notice the second time you go to a place that you didn't realise before;
I found the Indians all want to be British from the 1930's, the Cambodians wear their pajamas all day,  and the Vietnamese are so bonkers they already forgot about the war. And the Lao really are just stoned Thais.
Back to England, then Nepal for some more foot torture. Unless im pursued by irate locals.

The Andamans.... At last !

May 2011:

It wasn't until the crabs started jumping out of the bushes in the pitch blackness when I pondered, what the hell am I doing here?
But it was sand, sea and samosas that lured me to these Islands.

This Island group is populated by chilled out Indian loathing locals who were exceedingly generous in naming an Island after me. And "Neil Island" was the place to be. Although the "Holi Festival" pasted my camera parts with colored powder.
However, I don't want to sound like a travel website, so its still recovering from the 2008 tsunami and all the coral died last year due to climate change.
There! That's more realistic!
I also visited the old British capital on Ross Island. Seemingly forgotten for 150 years, it now stands entwined with the forest like a Colonial Angkor Wat.
Enjoy the cheesy sunsets!  There must have been more than crocs in the water over there!

North East India

March 2011: 

Land of  Thali, tea and Tank tops!
This forgotten corner of India is off the beaten track and barely in India at all!
Oh and there’s not much “track” either!  
Although, this is one of the only cultural hot pots of the world that isn't fighting with itself. No! These people are fighting India!
Well, there is a cease fire on now, anyway. 

Great people here and didn’t see any tourists in a month!
No rip offs and nothing to do!
Surfed around quite a bit and made some great friends.

Quite allot of dengue fever around here, but the only fever I contracted was that of the cricket world cup.
Still not sure if it's India that's unchanged in 15 years or if my destination choice was 15 years behind the rest of India.

Up’s and down’s in Nepal

December 2010: 
Baked beans are a dangerous food at altitude! -
The Annapurna trek taught me that.

My shoes started falling apart during the three passes trek. And I started falling apart after making the summit of Island peak at 6200 meters (without baked beans for breakfast!)

The Nepalese say there country is relatively flat, they have equal amount of uphill and downhill.
But really, Nepal is home to some of the most spectacular scenery AND the most expensive snickers bars in the world!

I’ve have experienced so many great places and rip-offs’, that I can only tell my story in pictures, not words.

But I think one thing that will stay with me forever, is the plantar fasciitis I seemed to have picked up.

Tibet

October 2010: 

Back to China and back to chopsticks and Chinglish! I suppose China's not that bad. But Tibet isn’t China!

The Tibetan plateau has meant 3 things; 1 High altitudes  2. Lots of temples, and  3. You eat a lot of yak!

Being "guided" through the mountain checkpoints wasn’t as bad as I thought, I had a great group and guide.  But the situation is still very tense here, with lots of “Militaries” on every street corner.
Despite the obvious suppression the Tibetans were friendly and welcoming. Although for Buddhists, they are more carnivore than veggie.
This journey has seen some of the most spectacular scenery, climbing up to the Himalaya, past Everest and over to Nepal.
Looking ahead-  I’ll be back in the UK for Christmas, promise!

Home and Japan

January 2010:

I spent June and July (2009) back in the UK. I visited family, friends and recharged my batteries.
I attended my brothers wedding, which i had the honor of being best man.

I did a bit of local sight seeing, visiting Bletchley park - an old British intelligence base during the second world war.

I then took the seemingly random direction of taking a teaching position in Japan.
Living in Japan was an awesome experience, if not a total culture sock. I found it was very difficult getting by with limited language ability.

But I struggled through, and managed to get a taste of Japanese life.
I toured Japan at the end of my contract, visiting Shinto temples and tasting plenty of sashimi. I particularly enjoyed the sights and flavors of Kyoto.

The images that I share here seem to be repetitively themed on hands and statues. I will have to work on that..

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