Around the World in 90 Days

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Life moves on…

So I am sure you all have been wondering where on earth are the rest of our posts.  Well we got weighed down…by stuff.  So look for more posts as we sort through pictures.

Also we would like to announce a new blog that will be our “permanent” blog:  Wheeler Wanderings

This will hopefully stay updated to let you know of our comings and goings.

Best,

Tompaul & Lisa

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Things we miss…and love

Top 5 things we miss about America:

1. Taco Bell

2. Free Refills

3. Free WiFi

4. Good Mexican Food

5. Dr. Pepper

 

Top 5 things we have loved on our trip:

1. The people in New Zealand are wonderful.

2. Good Cheese

3. Sunshine and Warmth

4. Beaches Everywhere We Go

5. Getting Stamps in Our Passports

Half Way!

Half way through!  One thing that has surprised me on this trip is the trouble with internet.  Everywhere we go there is working internet before we arrive, and is troublesome once we are there.  We are camping at Uluru and the internet was down until NOW and we have to be at the airport in 1 hour.  Brilliant.

So quick post.  I have been keeping statistics on what we have been up to.  Here it goes:

The Tallies of our Round the World Trip

Postcards sent 28 (but 8 more go out today).

Books Bought: 58  (yes we are biliophiles!)

Books Read: 13 by Lisa and 5 by Tompaul

Movies watched: 10 (most recently True Grit, again brilliant)

Nights camping: 10

Customs Cleared: 8

Countries: 6

Inflight meals eaten: 12 each

Flights: 9

Hours in Jo’burg airport: about 15

Taxies Hired: 10

Cars Rented: 2 (total of 3556 km driven)

Train Rides: 6 each

Mass transit : 30 each (7 London Tube Rides, 6 Melbourne trams, 17 Sydney trains)

Favorite Australian words: Heaps, Yeh?,  How’s the economy in the States?

Today we head to Cairns. Maybe we can get all of the Botswana blogs up by then?

Cheers!

 

Service Interrupted

Well folks we are about a full week behind in our blogging.  I blame slow internet connection and a bit of relaxation.  We are about to go on a 4-day road trip in Kenya with Tompaul’s sister and brother-in-law (Robyn and Lari) and our niece and nephew Larissa and Alexander (Xander).

When we return I promise more blogging on Cape Town and updates on our Kenya excursion!

Cheers!
Lisa and Tompaul

More coming

Internet has been slow, especially with pictures.  We should have one more Bruges and a Cardiff post coming.  We are headed to S. Africa tonight!

Change of plans is part of the fun, right?

Our itinerary has shifted a little bit. Initially we planned for Ethiopia to be our first stop on the continent of Africa. Since then we have realized that Cape Town will be a better choice.  There are many reasons for this

1.  We have a remaining segment of our trip that we had not used.
2.  To go to Ethiopia we needed to buy at least one ticket out of the RTW segments.
3.  Ethiopia seems so vast and there is so much we want to see and do in Ethiopia it just doesn’t seem to fit into this trip.  We will just have to come back some other time.

So our new itinerary is as follows (until we change it again):
December 28-January 4 London/Bruges with the Houses
January 4-9 Cape Town, South Africa
January 10-17 Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya with the Rusenescus
January 17-18 possibly a side trip to Victoria Falls
January 19-26 Gaborone, Botswana and possibly Namibia with the Koonses

Then it is off to the land of Oz!

Lisa

“Our” countries in the news: Ecuador declares state of emergency

One of the places I’m most looking forward to on this trip is a country I’ve already visited twice (on mission trips): Ecuador. Its capital city, Quito, is the most underrated place I’ve ever visited. I had no idea what it was like before I got there, and discovered it’s absolutely incredible. Straddling the equator, it enjoys perpetual springtime thanks to its elevation–a whopping 10,000 feet. The Old Town is beautiful, the people are incredibly friendly, and there’s plenty to see and do. Take the cable car to 12,000 feet and you’ll get an amazing view of the city (if a little less oxygen to enjoy it with). My video UW19: Ecuador opens with shots of planes landing in Quito (though I replaced the original bits of city-life I’d added as well with images of teens at work).

Ecuador has a typically tumultuous history for a South American country. One nice quirk that’s resulted from it is their adoption of U.S. currency as their official tender (yep, that’s where all the Sacajawea coins went). When I visited in July 2009, I took a taxi from downtown back to my hotel, and the driver had to turn around when we encountered this scene (double-click to see just what they’re apparently protesting):

I still have no idea what they were protesting with regard to the Pink Panther, unless they just really take mediocre sequels to remakes of classic movies seriously (Pink Panther Returns was opening in Ecuador that week). Today, though, the news out of Ecuador is even more dramatic. In response to word of reduced employment perks, police are rioting and refusing to work:

Ecuador’s government appeared teetering on the verge of collapse Thursday, as national police took to the streets of Quito, the capital, and physically attacked the president over what police said was the cancellation of bonuses and promotions.

The minister of security, Miguel Carvajal, said one person was killed and several were wounded, but did not offer details.

The government declared a one-week state of emergency Thursday afternoon and put the military in charge of security. The military said it will support the president and the nation’s democratic institutions.

“This is a coup attempt,” President Rafael Correa said in a TV interview from the hospital, where he had been taken after police lobbed tear gas at him.

Correa, 47, said police were trying to get at him there. “They’re trying to get into my room, maybe to attack me. I don’t know,” he said in a telephone interview with state-run Ecuador TV, referring to his attackers as “cowards.” . . .

But Doris Solis, the coordinating minister of politics, disagreed with his characterization of events. “This is not a coup,” Solis told CNN en Espanol. She said Correa was speaking with police representatives inside the hospital. Solis also said Correa would return to his office within a few hours to meet with his cabinet members.

Correa said a law passed Wednesday by the National Assembly does not cut compensation bonuses of police, as some have asserted, and he accused the news media and his political opponents of misinforming the public about the legislation. . . .

I expect Ecuador will sort out these issues in due time.

Decisions, Decisions

Six continents (sorry, One World doesn’t fly to Antartica). Scores of countries. A maximum of sixteen flight segments. Just three months. However do we choose? Consider the options:

Europe. We’re paying for the stopover, so we’re including a quick look at London and Belgium, but Europe’s always close enough that we can visit it some other time (even though this will be my first time to set foot on the actual continent in my 34 years).

Asia. Never been there, and would love to visit, but we’ve gotta prioritize, so–another time.

Africa. My sister and family live in Kenya, and we have friends in Botswana this year, so it’s a definite inclusion. We seem to get there fairly often, though, so we’re only planning on about three weeks.

Australia. Life-long dream, that. Wish we could spend three months there, but I expect we’ll visit again before too many years.

Papua New Guinea. It’s the haziest part of our trip, given its social instability and limited infrastructure, but I’m looking into options.

South America. I’ve spent about three months there, and Lisa’s never been, so there’s a lot I’m looking forward to sharing with her (Iquitos, Banos, Quito, Santiago) and a lot I can’t wait to discover with her (Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Bolivia, and more).

The world is vast and the opportunities limitless. This trip has taken a decade to find the time for, and I don’t foresee us having another full three months to spare any time soon, so we’re going to make the most of it, while keeping our eyes open for things to come back to.

And so it begins…

Tompaul and I have always dreamed of going around the world.  Our adventure will begin this next year January 2011!  Three months, five continents, one bag each!

Please stay tuned for more info and updates.