We watched with sour faces as multiple low pressure fronts hit Sydney over the course of a week. Our winter long weekend ride was fast becoming both wet and cold, with overnight temperatures below 5 degrees. So naturally we loaded up five different weather resources, studied charts, rainfall and wind direction. We may as well have been fully-fledged weather forecasters. Friday night rolled around and only on the bus home from work did we 100% agree to do this ride. Rain, hail, snow or shine…we had the magical ingredient: optimism.
The west coast of Australia is like a dream. Covering around 3000km in our trusty campervan, we ran around white sand dunes, visited a micronation, floated in ultra salty lagoons, walked along beaches made of shells, fed dolphins, swam with 5 meter wide manta rays, and were woken up by finches tapping on our windows in the morning. Sunsets, sunrises, wide-open roads punctuated by termite mounds, grass trees, fruit towns and nighttime skies full of falling stars. Blowholes, red sand, pink lakes, coral reefs and one elusive whale shark.
But the best part?
Hanging out of a 5 seater airplane with the doors removed, taking some aerials over incredibly abstract and mindblowing landscapes. This world sure can be an insanely beautiful and inspiring place.
Click here to read all about it.
Emma was asked to present on the topic of "Where Have You Been" last week. It was PechaKucha style night, where anyone with some travel photos can add them to the slide show for the night.
She was pretty happy to cull her shots down to around 100 for the whole trip, but was then asked to get it down further to 25...which is basically one shot for each country of our entire trip! It wasn't an easy task, with so many stories to tell, but here's her 25 favourite shots from 12 months of travel.
1. Block 61, New Belgrade, Serbia. We went there to experience the severity of socialist architecture in Serbia, a recipe that you'd expect would be bound for disaster. But somehow despite the crumbling neglected public domain, it still felt vibrant with people of all ages out and about, playing sports, going for walks and socialising with neighbours. And it makes for a pretty epic, Blade Runner-esque landscape.
Click below to see the rest!
UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal holds a special place in the Russian psyche. Described as the 'Pearl of Siberia', Lake Baikal is not only the largest fresh water lake in the world, but with a low point of over 1600m’s, it is also the deepest. It also contains contains around 20% of the world’s unfrozen water and has the same surface area as Belgium! Click through to read all about this pristine paradise, and if you're thinking of visiting, we have plenty of practical questions to help you out.
Oh and if you're wondering about the picture, the tale goes that if you choose to walk to the left, your first child will be a girl and if you walk to the right, it will be a boy. Or was it the other way around...?
To loosely paraphrase Chekhov, "...there is beauty in the monotony of Russia", and if ever there is monotony, it's in the days-long journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Click through to read all about our adventure!
As we stumbled across the border and made a mad dash to Volgograd, we came to learn one of the most valuable lessons of our trip: Just Turn Up. Despite the scarcity of information available, if we Just Turn Up, we always found a way, and always found a bed to sleep in. Read on for our journey across the Southern States, to Volgograd and Moscow.
We decided to skip ahead a few countries to our final destination of the trip... Australia! After 56 000km and 11 months of travel, we were blown away by the beauty of our own country. Every Australian needs to make a trip to the Red Centre at least once in their lives.
We'll be adding more stories in the future, but for now we've put a bunch of tips on the Australia destination page. Click here to read all about it.
So it turns out we travelled for over 60,000km which is 3.5 times the direct distance between London and Sydney. And took on average one photo every 1.29km. Read on to find out more fun travel statistics from the last year.
We received a sad email yesterday. The owner of the guest house we stayed at in the beautiful village of Nongriat is asking for support to help stop the building of a road which will ruin his beautiful, peaceful village.
Nongriat was one of our favourite destinations in our year of travel, and definitely one of the most unique and pristine places we had the privilege to visit. It's also home to the spectacular Living Root Bridges, built and maintained by the people of his community.
The construction of a new road into this ecologically fragile community would have devastating effects on the area. Currently it's pretty difficult to get there (which only makes the journey all the more rewarding), and with the new road the increase in tourism numbers will lead to higher levels of pollution and problems with waste management.
Byron and his community are fully in support for visitors to come and share their magical home, but they also realise that there is a fine balance in numbers that allow this to be sustainable. At the moment, most visitors stay in one of the only two guest houses in the valley, arrive on foot, and spend time within the community learning and living in the same way they do.
If you've never heard of Nongriat of the Living Root Bridges, click here to read a previous post we wrote on the area.
And if you've ever visited, every intend to visit, or just want to help keep this bit of the world special for all locals and visitors in the future, please click here to sign the petition to stop the construction of the new road.
We get a lot of questions about our time in this lesser-known country, so we're happy to have published our destination guide for Georgia. We filled this one with more practical information than usual, to help with getting around the spectacular landscapes and unique sightseeing that only a Caucasus country can lay claim to.
And for those stopping past capital Tbilisi, we gave it its own dedicated article too.
EMMA & PETE
We're just two Aussie's who met in London, married in Prague and travelled overland back to Australia.