I’ve not been up to a lot the last couple of days aside from finishing work on the Blue Dragon website, getting nasty blisters/swollen limbs from insect bites and watching DVDs (I heartily recommend the more recent Punisher film if you like violence).
However, I’ve also been plotting out my next moves once I get my replacement cashcard. The list on the right of the main page will give you an idea, but I have some detailed plans which I may as well let everyone know about as I keep mentioning them in emails to some people and not in others!
As things stand, I hope to be leaving Hanoi is maybe 10 days or so. I will make my way south, probably by bus to Hue, Hoian, Da Nang, Da Trang… or at least some of them. Time will be my main factor. I’ll be aiming to get to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with time to see the surrounding area – the Cu Chi tunnels (and chance to fire an AK-47), the Mekong Delta and so on.
From there, a flight to Singapore where I intend to spend one night just to say I’ve been somewhere other than the airport.
Then a big hop – though a cheap one flightwise – to Darwin in the Northern Territories. Maybe 4-5 days here and I’ll take another plane down to Melbourne where two lovely sets of people I’ve never met before have both offered me some accomodation. I’ll not be overstaying my welcome, so maybe 2 nights with each.
Next stop is Auckland again. My deadine for arrival here is the 13th of September as Louise has very kindly picked me up a ticket for Fear Factory – the band I missed in the UK as they shifted the tour dates from January to just after I left in March.
My next deadline date is the 15th of September, when I have to be in Brisbane to see Fear Factory again. Thanks to Belinda for getting me a ticket for that one!
Between my arrival and departure from Auckland, or perhaps after I’ve been round Brisbane and returned, I aim to head south and see the parts of that island that I didn’t see last time. Dunedin, Invercargill and Stewart Island. As part of my visit to Stewart Island, I will book an appointment to see the Kakapo. This is a very rare flightless parrot, and is only resident on two nature reserves, each on small islands off the coast of SI. They currently number 86 – before humankind introduced rats and the like to Stewart Island, there were hundreds of them.
For a very short period, one hand-reared Kakapo is being moved to a third island where people like me can pay $NZ80 to see him. I may be able to get pictures, but flash photography is not allowed and they are nocturnal… so no promises. The organisers have promised that they will see what they can do, however.
After Auckland, I’m really not sure what’s happening. I may try and get work in NZ for a year or so. Or I may just head back into Asia. I definitely want to see the Komodo Dragons in the wild in Indonesia.
Either way, I’ll keep you posted on here. Any other ideas, places and the like – please drop me a comment or a message using the Contact Form.
Also, if you had a problem viewing the photos at Fotopic the other day, please try again. I think they were doing some server maintenance and I know for a while the galleries weren’t working properly. I’ve just checked and things seem fine now.