Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How to see my blogs?

NB – Many of my blogs are not yet indexed...
If you want to discover my trip, you need to rewind time/my blogs.

Important: in order to see next story, at end of a page, 
in the bottom left corner, click on “Newer Posts”.

April 2020 - Coronavirus strikes is here
March 2020 - New Zealand is here
February 2020 - Shipping my Land Roamer to Australia is here
December 2019 - Short trip to Sri Lanka is here
November 2019 - Indonesia 2 (Lombok, Bali, Java) is here
Sept - Oct 2019 - Indonesia 1 (Sulawesi, Flores, Sumbawa) is here
June-August 2019 - Borneo is here
May 2019 - Vietnam is here
March 2019 - Singapore is here
February 2019 - Malaysia Peninsular is here
December 2018 - Thailand is here
November 2018 - Laos is here
October 2018 - China is here
September 2018 - Mongolia is here 
August 2018 - Kazakhstan and Russian Federation are here
July 2018 – Pamir highway 2 (Kyrgyzstan) is here
July 2018 – Pamir highway 1 (Tajikistan) is here
July 2018 – Tajikistan is here
June 2018 – Turkmenistan is here and Uzbekistan is here
May 2108 - Iran (second trip) is here
April 2018 - UAE is here and Oman is here 
March 2018 - Iran (first trip) is here
February 2018 - Departure, Eastern Europe & Turkey is here

Enjoy without moderation!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Welcome to the Land Roamer's blog!

I created this blog to keep my family and friends informed about the Land Roamer’s 
preparation, planning for the trip and later to keep in touch during my overland adventures.

Having had both a Land Rover and a Land Cruiser, I decided that I would call my 
4x4 camper-truck, a Brimont Brutt (more info here) "Land Roamer".

To roam: "To travel purposefully unhindered through a wide area. It suggests wandering freely
 and often far afield."  Etymology: Middle English, 14th century, Merriam-Webster.  

"Live for the JOURNEY, not the Destination!"

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Coronavirus strikes - Flying back to Switzerland

Australia’s tourism is in “lockdown” mode : CLOSED! 
I shall return for some months to Switzerland...

After dropping my Land Roamer at Jakarta harbour on 20 February 2020, I flew to New Zealand to visit parts of the 2 islands with a small rented campervan. I kept monitoring the Corona situation and when I read that many borders were closing, I dashed to Auckland, returned early my rented camper, bought a ticket and flew to Melbourne on 19 March, 24 hours later Australia’s borders were closed to all foreigners!

I had to do a mandatory 14 days of “self-isolation”, I stayed in an Airbnb room during that period.
When my quarantine was over, via Couchsurfing, I was able to stay in a nice house.

The ship carrying my Land Roamer arrived in Melbourne on 13 April, my truck (and it’s contents) passed successfully the rigorous “bio-security” inspection and was delivered to me on 22 April.

Because winter was coming to Southern Australia and because tourism was completely banned for many months to come, there was absolutely no reason for me to stay any longer in Australia. Much wiser to fly home to Switzerland and enjoy summer in Europe with family and friends. I would like to return to Melbourne mid-September and start my discovery of Australia later this year.

I rented a parking space in a big shed for long term storage (with boats and campers), drove my Roamer there on the 23rd and flew out of Melbourne to Zurich on the 24 April. From Doha, there were no more direct flights to Geneva, so I flew to Zurich and took the train to Nyon and back home.

Due to the worldwide Corona pandemic, air traffic almost came to a standstill. 
The trip back home was REAL strange, in DESERTED airports and aircrafts… 

A BIG thank you to Qatar Airways, which was one of the very few airlines
 still flying to and from Australia under the motto: We will get you home!











Doha hub: ONLY 13 flights for the WHOLE day!









Monday, March 30, 2020

New Zealand

February-March 2020

I flew to Auckland while my Land Roamer was being shipped from Jakarta to Melbourne.

Auckland (Māori: Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, it  has an urban population of about 1,470,100 (June 2020). The isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled c. 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans.

Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. 

The city's varied cultural institutions—such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Museum of Transport and Technology, and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki—and national historic sites, festivals, performing arts, and sports activities are significant tourist attractions. 

Auckland's Central Business district is New Zealand's leading economic hub.




Being a boat lover, I really enjoyed the Wynyard Quarter and it's lively pubs.



I was surprised by its many ethnic groups: Maori, Western, Chinese and Indian.


A "vibrant" city, nicely nested on hills around a harbour area.


Mixing Victorian style buildings with modern daring architural skyscrappers.


Here is "Noah", a VERY small camper that I rented!
It has the "Self contained" certificte which enables me to camp in most places.



A self-contained vehicle must meet the NZS Self containment of motor caravans and caravans standard. You need to be able to live in it for 3 days without getting more water or dumping waste. The self-contained vehicle must have: a toilet, fresh water storage, waste water storage, and a a rubbish bin with a lid. A plumber or gasfitter needs to check if your vehicle meets the requirements. If it passes they’ll give you a warrant and sticker certification.



Pohutu Geyser is in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua, in the North Island of New Zealand. Pohutu means "big splash" or "explosion".
The main geyser of the area, and the largest in New Zealand, it spurts up to twenty times per day and can reach heights of up to 30 metres (100 feet).





Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located at the south-western tip of the
 North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. 

It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. 
Wellington features a temperate maritime climate. 

It is the world's windiest city by average wind speed!








Memories of the Past...



... Mixing with the Present!




Taking the ferry from Wellington to Picton, on the South island






On the road to visit South island, first destination: 
Northern most point of the island.




































Bus and boat ride to Milford Sound
.
The road to Milford was under repairs, private cars were not allowed to drive there, 
I had to take a tour by coach.

Milford Sound/Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World!










To the Southern most point of the South island!













Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.

Archaeological evidence has indicated that people first settled in the Christchurch area in about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. Christchurch is one of five 'gateway cities' for Antarctic exploration, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations.

The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and January 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. 















Back on the North island, dark clouds of Covid are getting darker, borders are being closed...
Wisely, I decide to abort my stay in New-Zealand, drive long days back to Auckland, return the camper early (loosing paid for days!) and fly to Melbourne on 19 March 2020. 

The day after my arrival, Australia closses it's borders!
Wow... that was close...



Those few weeks in New Zealand where awesome!
.
Not too tired?
.
Do you want to see MORE pictures of my trip?
=> Click here to see them. 
.
They are organized by topics. 
Enjoy without moderation!