Location: Merimbula, Australia
Hi everyone or to those who are still checking out our now sorry excuse for a blog!
we have squashed the travel bug into our back packs and have them hidden at the back of the shed. soon they will be transferred, very quickly so there is no chance of an escape, into a deep dark closet of our new home, to be resurected at some time in the future....we already are planning a 2 week dog sledding adventure on svalbard in march 2010...anyone wanna come?
19 imlay st
merimbula NSW 2548
no phone as yet just our ancient mobile phone numbers
we will put up some pics of the new house with the hopes of enticing a few of you to come and visit and offer to work your butts off for nothing over summer in our new shop. come on...it'll be fun!! groan!!! now you can see why we are already planning our next holiday, gotta have something to look forward too!!!
i sent off a bulk email to everyone i could think of so if i missed you i am sorry and for those of you who still read our page you will get the same info twice!
anyhow we are off now to shuffle stuff in the shed in eden to hopefully make moving a little easier.
we will be in melbourne during some of september, jon's sister anne and her hubby are having a combined 60th and then there is gordon's birthday a bit later so we might just have to hang around for a week or so again. hopefully we will be able to see our friends we havent caught up with since being home.
we do hope you are all well and happy
marion and jon
we are home!!!
we flew in on the 1st of july, and are spending a couple of weeks in eden to catch our breath and decide what to do next.
i dont know when we get to see you all but our old mobile numbers are working again, though be warned, there is really poor reception in eden.
i cant wait to catch up with you in person.
its great to be home and thank you thank you thank you for all the messages on the blog. it was great for us. thankyou
cya all soon
love marion and jon
hi to all at home
for those of you who are concerned about us visiting somewhere warm for a change, we have been touring the british isles with martin and alice, where it is warmer by comparison....
and we have discovered it only has to be a little bit warmer for it to rain...constantly!!
give me freezing any day!!!
but we have had so many laughs with martin and alice, we have ended up with tears in our eyes and our bellies hurting!!
we all kissed the blarney stone in the pouring rain, we walked around the giants causeway in a light shower of rain, we discovered skara brae in a sun shower, we made the standing stones of strenness resonate to our voices in a light mist, we put up tents in a downpour, and watched brilliant sunsets from the west coasts of both scotland and ireland because of the storm clouds on the horizon...the colours were spectacular.
the green of both countries is extraordinary because of the rain, you come to the british isles you expect to get wet!
southern island is much like the rest of the british isles, but belfast was another world. the city is cosmopolitan now but the areas where the conflict went on still hold the tension and both the streets and the people carry the scars of their version of a holy war.
i had a hard time walking around the walled suburbs with their razor wire and 5m high walls, and though most of those have murals supporting peace, there are a fair few that honour those who were lost and quite a number that suggest that the war was ok.
england, ireland, scotland and wales have all had their own character and its been an interesting journey showing that even though these countries have been lumped together as the british isles, they are separate identites (and they definitely dont like you to forget it!!)
we are off today to check out st andrews golf course and then back to blair castle near martin and alices workplace. we have a pub meal planned for tonight and then i dare say it will be a teary farewell as we leave the kids to their lives and plans once again.
jon and i will be heading off to see some more of the west coast of scotland and then drive a bit through the english country side to see what we can see...maybe even catch up with hadrians wall somewhere along the way.
love and hugs to you all
we miss you
m and j
Location: Orkney Islands, UK
hi to all at home
we are on orkney island having a ball with martin and alice. it was so good to see them again, i didnt want to stop hugging them.
we landed in scotland a bit late thanks to bloody george bush! so we didnt have much time between arriving in bruar where they live and work and heading off at 3am the next morning to the very north of scotland to catch a ferry to orkney.
the crossing was a piece of cake and we landed at saint margrets and headed straight to holm, prounounced ham, and did over the cemetary for where some of the gibson relatives may have been burried. the caretaker pointed us in the direction of both the living and the dead and we ended up dropping in on grandfather gibson's first cousin, billy gorn.
later the next day we bumped into his oldest son, allen. orkney is not very big!!!
we camped out at stromness and had a meal at the pub...we spent the next day touring some of the oldest known archeological sites in the world. the standing stones of strennes, and and ancient village uncovered by a storm in 1850, a stone ring that has amazing acoustics and a ring of originally 60 stones that was incredibly peaceful on the inside of it.
we are off to ireland tomoro and cant wait to see what we can see
love to you all
marion and jon
Location: Crickhowell, Wales, UK
we saw polar bear and walrus in svalbard!!! it was worth the scary ride through the pack ice to the shore to get some close ups...it was amazing!!
wales is good so far...we are in crickhowell near tretower looking for jon's roots...now be nice!!
wish us luck
love to you all
marion and jon
Location: Malmo, Sweden
i just wanted to say happy birthday to all those of you who have a birthday in june.
Ethan and Nikita i know for sure i think Peter Christopher and mabye Sally Christopher.... and of course my mum and dad´s 49th wedding aniversary. let me know who i have missed. happy birthday to you all.
we have some time to kill waiting for our train so i thought i would share yet another travel experience with you.
on our last day in canada, we caught up with the guys from GAP, you know, the ones who sunk us in antarctica. we were to catch up with them at about 1pm and we were flying out at about 7pm so we needed to be in the airport by about 4.30 or 5pm......
to start with after we made our lunch date with them, i had this sudden rush of anger and decided i didnt want to go to lunch with the people who had almost killed us! it took a bit of time to get past that feeling but by lunch time i was ok again.
we went to their toronto office for a quick chat that became a bit of a reliving of the whole experience because the office staff wanted to know what happened...they only have the offical version. so we chatted quite a bit and found out how they all coped as well and how much this has affected their lives and the companies ethics and the industry in general.
we realised time was getting on so we ducked off for some lunch with lyndon file, the guy who listened to our issues after the sinking...he is a good listener! anyhow chat chat chat and at 3.50pm i say "shit!!!!...what time is it...we have to get on a plane!!!!"...and then it was the bolt to the airport.
"dont worry" lyndon says, its freeway all the way, you'll make it in no time".
peak hour traffic was in full swing.
it took us half and hour to go 2 blocks! we had to return the rental and get through customs...we were going to be pushing it...we didnt know the half of it!!!
we decided to split up, jon would drop me and the bags at the terminal, i would do the booking in stuff while he returned the car. sounds like a plan....
you know, best laid plans and all...
these are our experiences....
find a luggage trolley and manuver 5 pieces of luggage to the line that zigzags...so much fun! and then wait
dodge the traffic while looking for the rental return lane
"sorry you dont have seats on this plane, you missed your flight on the 2nd, your tickets have been cancelled."
shit...this road is taking me back to the city, where can i turn around....the road i think i want is just down there, can i drive down the grass embankment?
but we changed this flight ages ago, i have this piece of paper from american airlines.
yóu will have to go to ticketing to see what they can do for you.
cool fun the grass wasnt too slippery and the oncoming traffic didnt blink an eye at me joining them in such an unorthodox manner!! not a horn honked or anything!!! now where is that exit to the rental returns...
oh shit...i just went past it!
hmmm the flight you want is full, these changes werent sent through to us, do you need to rebook any of your other flights?
"yes all of them!!" i said through gritted teeth. "i would like to get home evntually." smile smile
they really should have sent this stuff through to us....
ok you are on a later flight to london, you cant go straight to copenhagen there is nothing available, you might try standby.
there you go all the other flights are re-booked and re-confirmed now go back to the other line and book your luggage through...have a good flight!"
ummm if i go really really slow, the other cars will get round me as i cross 5 lanes of traffic and almost do a u turn to get into the right exit...no probs!
"oh, we will put your luggage through as oversize because of all the straps and things, i will give you your boarding passes but you need to take your luggage to another place to drop it off"
found the right lane to return the car...hand over the keys, they scan the bar code, and he walks over to the terminal...easy!
drop the luggage at the oversize desk, meet up with jon and waltz through customs...didnt have to take our shoes off or anything here, hardly even looked at us...
and we were in, and made it to the gate with enough time to buy some duty free and a snack before we boarded!!
travelling is soooo much fun!!!
Location: copenhagen, Sweden
hi one and all
we have toured denmark norway and sweeden and are now off on another trip of a lifetime.
we are going to spitsbergen....just about as far north as you can get....we are hoping to see polar bear and wallrus! i cant wait!!!
not a bad way to spend our second aniversary together
we are not going by boat, because the one that usually goes there sunk last november with us on it....and they havent got a replacement boat yet...thank goodness. flying is just fine with me.
we have spent alot of time in cars over the last 2.5months and covered alot of territory. the east coast of canada was so polite, not a blade of grass out of place, very pretty in a bland sort of way. the most exciting thing we did was stake out the tip hoping to see black bear. and the other exciting thing was the sounds of the canadian night...we eventually found out the main mating call we were hearing was that of the loon. a quite large water bird. it kept us awake at nite guessing what it was.
scandinavia has been just as pretty and even its really really old history hasnt been enough to stir us much. the place is one big forrest and where its not forrest its water or farm land. there are alot of small interesting things but nothing stunning. even the coastline is not as dramatic as that of south america. but we have had a pleasant time. it would be an easy place to live except for the horrendous cost of everything. i will never complain about the price of petrol again.....we just paid 250 dollars for 68litres of desiel. ouch big time. everyone rides bikes here...now we know why!!!
anyhow we are off now for an all day train ride from copenhagen to oslo to fly out tomoro nite for longyerbeyn. find that one on the map!!!
we hope you are all well and happy
love to you all
marion and jon
Location: near stockholm, Sweden
hi to everyone
we are in sweeden and have travelled into norway as well...we are trying to figure out how to get to spitsbergen and aland for a look see. we will let you know how we are get on.
all good here and only a few days away from catching up with martin and alice.
we are thinking of you all.
contact is soooo difficult in the western world....i am longing for south america with an internet cafe on every corner!!
we miss you all and hope you are all well and happy
marion and jon
Location: Utah, USA
hi to you all at home
sorry its been so long
there is almost no internet access in the states because everyone has their own.....
since deadhorse alaska we
saw lynx, moose, elk, cyote, reindeer, caribou and fox in denali national park
flew to seattle washington and hired a car to see yellowstone national park...we were going to head back to vancouver and travel north along the rockies but tossed a coin and south won.
we went to mt rainer for a look and saw 225inches of snow so we didnt go to mt st helens because there was alot of snow there too
yellowstone was fantastic with all its hot springs...old faithful being the biggest and the best, we saw bison, pronghorn deer, elk, and heaps of snow
we headed south via oregon, idaho and are now in utah checking out the national parks here.
it still amazes me that there can be snow in the desert
we are heading for colarado to see monument valley
then into arizona and the grand canyon and the redwood national park
we might get on a plane then and head to the east coast of canada cause we will be a bit tired of driving driving driving!!!
sorry this is so rushed and we do have a heap of photos to share, but getting somewhere to do it is a problem.
we hope you are all really well and happy
keep the news coming from home...its a bit like christmas when we get a chance to open all our emails.... we love it
love to you all
marion and jon
california and death valley and yosemite
death valley was a bit like death...the polution from all the major cities in a radius of several hundred kms collects here. we could barely see the road in front of us...it was very disapointing and very hot. we found out a week after we had left there that the temperatures were already into the 100's, we were very glad to be away from there.
yosemite access was closed on our side of the mountains due to the vast amount of snow. we would have had to travel a few hundred kms to get around to the other side so we gave it a miss. there is no moving the national parks people on their opening dates in summer. all the locals said the pass was open but they wouldnt open the park until the following week. we will have to plan better next time. it will be on our places to visit if we go back to the states.
we were very pleased that we visited the states after all. it was diverse and interesting and every hill and ben presented us with a different landscape. in australia you can go for miles without any noticeable changes, so we had a very interesting time in the western part of the country.
Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay Alaska
where the road stops and the arctic ocean begins!
almost the top of the world!
we left behine latidude of arctic cirlce many frozen miles ago.
tundra, ice, oil rigs and pipelines. frozen ocean and polar bears. truck after truck after truck. moose, reindeer, ptartrigman and squirrels. spruce, willow and silver birch. mounds of ice bulging out of what should be a flat expanse of water.
accomodation $200 a night with all meals included because there is no where to buy any food at all.
reached by 480 miles(not kilometers, but miles) of road from hell (or so the locals and the guide books say) but we thought it was pretty spectacular.
hi to you all at home from one of the most amazing landscapes we have seen so far. we were filling a water bottle from our store of water and it was freezing as we were pouring it!
deadhorse is about as attractive as its name suggests....it is a company town based around the northern oil fields. there are men here from all over the world and slowly the trickle of women is increasing. there is zero alcohol tolerance and you will be tossed out of your lodging and the town if you are caugth with any.
there is no where to go here if you dont work
during summer 'the company' has organised tours of the oil fields and that is it. you can fly to Barrow, an isolated community, an hour west, or fly over some of the outer islands, but during winter all we would see is white. a pilot spotted a single polar bear over a month ago and that has been it on the polar bear stakes. boohoohoo!
the clostest habitation is 225 miles south through the Agitun pass where the overturned trucks and missing guard rails remind you to be very very careful in this part of the world.
on our way north, we got a flat tyre and chose to drive back for over an hour to coldfoot to get it repaired rather than push on without a spare...we may be crazy but we are careful!
and in the words of many of the souvineers you can buy here
'dalton highway, alaska - mission completed!'
love to you all
m n j