40 Countries

40 Countries

Last year I set a goal of visiting 40 countries by my 40th birthday. Less than 12 months later I find myself in Brazil, celebrating reaching that goal (and early too). I’d thought my 40th country might be somewhere exotic but I couldn’t have chosen a more festive atmosphere than the home of Carnival, especially during the 2016 Rio Olympics. I’m also happy that I got to share the trip with my brother, who loves the Olympics.  Continue reading “40 Countries”

Three Foggy Days in Hong Kong

On my way back home from a very fulfilling trip, I had a short stopover in Hong Kong. The weather was dreary. Not cold but not warm either and foggy enough to obscure most of the skyline for which the city is famous. The grey sky took nothing away from the fantastic food and colourful street scenes, however. I decided to leave my camera packed away while I snapped random photos with my smartphone. The results were rather mixed but I’m quite happy with the more candid perspective that it seemed to give me.
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What does $2 get you on the streets of Bali?

What does $2 get you on the streets of Bali?

Bali has a reputation for being a tourist trap packed with Australian holiday-makers. There are parts of the island (or group of islands, really) where that’s certainly true. If you take some time to dig a little deeper, you’ll discover there’s another, more authentic side to this tropical wonderland. Of course, I’m talking about the food. I sat down at an unassuming stall along a busy nondescript road and ordered the first dish you should try anywhere in Indonesia – Nasi Goreng. Literally “fried rice”, this is like ordering pad thai at a Thai restaurant or spaghetti in Italy. It’s a test of the cook and how well they do this dish will either whet your appetite for more or tell you it’s best to try somewhere else. It’s usually good, sometimes very good. It’s also fast and cheap.
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Headwind to Stanley

Headwind to Stanley

Cycling Tasmania – Day 28
Marrawah to Stanley (via Forest)

80km, 640m elevation

Tasmania is known for exceptionally strong winds. I’ve been very lucky on my cycling trip so far, having gotten only one day of really strong winds and much of that was either at my side or my back. Well, today my luck changed. I battled through a headwind for most of the day, still enjoying myself but working a lot harder than usual.
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Crazy Modern Art and a “Secret” Hut on Mount Wellington

Crazy Modern Art and a “Secret” Hut on Mount Wellington

Tasmania Cycle Tour – Day 11 – Tee Tree to MONA
40km, 530m elevation

I felt some mixed emotions when I woke up this morning, knowing that it was time to start cycling into Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart. The dark skies and light rain seemed to reflect how I felt. I’ve had such a wonderful time exploring this history-filled part of the island that I’m sad to leave it behind.
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Crashing Sea Cliffs and Peaceful Bays: the Tasman Peninsula

Crashing Sea Cliffs and Peaceful Bays: the Tasman Peninsula

Cycling Tasmania Day 7 – Murdunna to Port Arthur
51km, 850m

It’s my 7th day of cycling in Tasmania and I’ve reached the end of the Tasman Peninsula. Only a week into the trip and I feel like I’ve already hit a milestone. This is the furthest southeast that you can go in Tasmania. The next stop is Antarctica.
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Lavender Ice Cream and Sauvignon Blanc (Day 4 of Cycling Tasmania)

Lavender Ice Cream and Sauvignon Blanc (Day 4 of Cycling Tasmania)

Day 4 of my Tasmania Cycle Tour – Coles Bay to Triabunna
89km, 800m elevation

I really wanted to catch a boat across the narrow channel of water that splits the Freycinet peninsula from a place called Nine Mile Beach — who wouldn’t want to visit a place with a name like that! I stopped off at Kent’s house and inquired about catching a ride. He used to take cyclists across but it turns out that he sold his boat a few years ago. That’s too bad. Fortunately, Sil is driving, so we just put the bike in the car and she drove me up to the Coles Bay junction so that I wouldn’t have to repeat that section of road.
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Cycling Tasmania – Day 3

Cycling Tasmania – Day 3

Bicheno to Freycinet National Park
51km, 330m elevation

My first two days of cycling in Tasmania were hot and sunny. The sun is particularly intense this far south. When I woke up today, though, it was drizzling so I lazed around and got a leisurely start to the day. It’s actually nice to have some cooler weather and a bit of cloud for a change. As I heading south of Bicheno, I passed by lots of farmland and sheep pasture. It’s quite dry but also scenic and enjoyable riding.
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Cycling Tasmania – Day 2

Cycling Tasmania – Day 2

St Marys to Bicheno
46km, 530m elevation

I started my second day of cycling around Tasmania with pancakes! Mount Elephant Pancakes is a locally famous country restaurant at the top of Elephant Pass that serves up piles of sweet and savoury crepes to hungry visitors every morning. I went with the “Banberry” option – bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries with a generous dollop of cream and ice cream! What a way to start the day. Oh, the restaurant is for sale – for just $1.4 million, you could be the proud owner.
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Exploring Melbourne with Freddy’s Bike Tours

Exploring Melbourne with Freddy’s Bike Tours

Three of my favourite things: food, travel, and cycling. I’ve always wanted to visit Melbourne and now that I’m here I’m exploring every neighbourhood, street, and restaurant that I can. Joining a cycle tour is a great way to get oriented and see what a city has to offer. Freddy from Freddy’s Bike Tours knows all the quiet backstreets and some great places to get a good meal. Plus he rents comfy cruiser bikes that are easy on the backside.
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