Saturday, October 08, 2005

They think its all over... it is now...

If there's still an audience out there for our musings even when we're not globetrotting, drop on by Bansey.com.

Until then... adieu, ciao, goodbye, etc...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And now, the end is near...

Great news for fans of meaningless facts and figures as the final stats have been collated.

Visit the Stats Main Page for the overview and the following pages for the specifics.

- Cycling average and top speeds in "Banz Vs The Cheetah"
- Hill climbing fun in "Sherpa Vic's Altitude Sickness"
- Previous poll results in "The Burning Question"
- If you have advice on how to calculate the energy we expended cycling look here and contact us
- See how my physiology changed (until I got sick of doing it) in Boro Bear's Changes page
- How many books we read and what we thought of them in the Book stats page

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hyper Super Mega Gallery update

The settled computing environment here has meant we've been able to upload all the pictures that we had stored offline on the portable harddisk. I have been working night and day to get these done but I reckon it's worth it.

We've got...

- the olde worlde town of Pingyao
- Buddhist caves and the birthplace of kung fu at Luoyang
- Terracotta Warriors at Xi'an
- Our slpendid four-day cruise up the Yangtze river
- Large Chinese mammals, Pandas and the odd Ailuropoda melanoleuca at Chengdu
- New and improved Tibet: The Road To Everest shots
- Tweaked Tibet Part II galleries with fewer Everest shots

EXTRA! EXTRA! Now with expanded India galleries.

- Our return to the "cricket playing, drive on the left" world is celebrated in the Kathmandu gallery
- India 1 is from Delhi to Fatehpur Sikri
- Fatehpur Sikri to Udaipur is seen in India 2
- Our road trip is completed in the Udaipur to Delhi India 3 gallery

Get 'em while they're hot.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Straggling Galleries

The second Thailand gallery, from Phuket
and the Malaysia one are now ready to be viewed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Penultimate

When we headed out from Stockton Town Hall all those months ago we really didn't envision what our homecoming would be like.

We are soon going to find out. We are now in Singapore and tonight is our last night abroad as we catch our flight back to Brisbane tomorrow night at 21:20.

Its only a 7 hour flight which will hopefully pass in a blur of great first release movies, delicious food and quiet rest. Generally our flights pass with a straight-to-video film (why is it that the films are always fantastic on the flights going the opposite direction than we are??), inedible food and screaming children kicking the back of our chair. I think we're due one of the former.

Singapore is an island that has a lot of rules. Fined if you don't flush a public toilet, no chewing gum and no urinating in the lift (do you really need to spell that rule out?). As a result it is a very safe destination, but one can't help feeling that they've regulated all the fun out. As a government minister mentioned when trying to dissuade visitors that Singapore was "boring" - "we need to think seriously about the issue of having fun". I think he's missed the point really....

Do we sound jaded? Well, we certainly feel it. We've had a great time, but we've definitely got the back-to-school vibe. The trip back to reality is complete as I may even have a phone interview on Friday afternoon. Oh well, it could be double Maths....

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

See our India Galleries

Take a whistle-stop tour of Rajasthan at our India 1 and India 2 galleries.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Assam Enchanted Evening

The Cameron Highlands is the tea caddy of Malaysia so we were naturally drawn there. The bus ride is just over 6 hours with the last couple along winding hairpin roads that take you up a couple of thousand metres above sea level and down about 10 degrees centigrade. The temperature change was especially welcome until I realised I had left my jumper with the 2 bags of non-essential items back at the hostel in Kuala Lumpur. Silly me.

We mostly spent our time soaking up the atmosphere but on Thursday we went on a full day trip which took us to the best spots in the area. We started at the (proper) Boh plantation and had an informative lecture on all thing tea related. The tea bushes cling to the side of the rolling hills and make the landscape look like it's wall to wall carpeted in lush green. From here we had a walk through the mossy forest, a magical place dripping with soft green mosses and lichens; a place where you could easily imagine bumping into a goblin or, terrifyingly, a Lord of the Rings fan. It was here we learned some Malaysian bushcraft, notably how to use the native plants to kill, cure, make things smell nice, make things taste nice and make things look nice. The springy path underfoot was a delight and well worth the 1-3 million years it took to produce - thanks trees! (I was going to say I never met a tree I didn't like but then remembered the time I had to dig up a rose bush.)

After our exertions we were in need of a cuppa so we went to a place that produces 4 million cups of tea a day. That seems like a lot until you remeber that our mate Spencer can easily account for 800,000 of them in an afternoon. We saw grinders grinding the green leaves, belts rolling the ground up bits to the heaters, mechanical sieves sorting and grading, and trolleys, well, just standing around but they were still fairly exciting. In the grand scheme of things. Tea things that is. After feigning interest in the finer points of the process we were allowed to get a cup of the good stuff in the cafeteria and, to give Boh its dues, it was right up there with the Tetleys and PG Tipses of this world.

The afternoon was spent visiting an aborigne village, strolling to and bathing in a waterfall and then having a blow dart demonstration. After the chief showed his undoubted ability to hit a flip-flop from 10 paces we were given a go. I hit the side of the house with my first effort and then took out a bit of Malaysia about a meter from the end of the pipe with my second. Woodlouse for tea for me then. Vic was much better and would have been dining royally that evening, even if it meant that the chief had to hop to the shops for the Vienetta. We then had a short drive home past more tea plantations, orchid farms and veggie patches.

When we returned we saw everyone clustered around the TV watching the terrible news from London. Our thoughts with all those who are there.