Jun 172014
 

]On our last trip around the earth we decided to take a picture of what was most important to us-Beer- along with a local motif. In each country we found what we recognize as the most popular beer in the country, and took pictures together with a monument

beer AND CITZEN Itza,Yucatan,Mexico

beer AND CITZEN Itza,Yucatan,Mexico

bEER ON THE BEACH IN Cancun,Mexico

bEER ON THE BEACH IN Cancun,Mexico

Beer in Caye Caulker, Belize

Beer in Caye Caulker, Belize

Budweiser on Miami Beach,USA

Budweiser on Miami Beach,USA

Beer and Jerk Chicken in Negril, Jamaica

Beer and Jerk Chicken in Negril, Jamaica

Beer in Christiansted,St.Croix

Beer in Christiansted,St.Croix

Beer in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beer in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Skol beer at Brimstone Hill Fortress ,St.Kitts

Skol beer at Brimstone Hill Fortress ,St.Kitts

Carib beer in St Kitts and Nevis

Carib beer in St Kitts and Nevis

Øl on the Scaramouche, Carricaou,Grenada

Øl on the Scaramouche, Carricaou,Grenada

Beer in Sosua, the Dominican Republic

Beer in Sosua, the Dominican Republic

Beer at Trafalgar Falls,Dominica

Beer at Trafalgar Falls,Dominica

Beer on a lovely beach in Bequia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Beer on a lovely beach in Bequia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Beer in Willemstad på Curacao

Beer in Willemstad på Curacao

Beer at carnival in Barranquilla,Colombia

Beer at carnival in Barranquilla,Colombia

Beer in Otavalo, Ecuador

Beer in Otavalo, Ecuador

Beer in Huacachina,Peru

Beer in Huacachina,Peru

Beer in the Atacama desert in Chile

Beer in the Atacama desert in Chile

Beer in San Pedro de Atacama,Chile

Beer in San Pedro de Atacama,Chile

Beer in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Beer in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Beer and Jesus in Rio De Janeiro,Brazil

Beer and Jesus in Rio De Janeiro,Brazil

Beer on Ipanema beach, Rio

Beer on Ipanema beach, Rio[/.

[caption id="attachment_4636" align="aligncenter" width="765"]Torunn resting on a large beer bottle,salt flats, Bolivia Torunn resting on a large beer bottle,salt flats, Bolivia

 

Stig and a Coca-leaf beer in Bolivia

Stig and a Coca-leaf beer in Bolivia

Torunn plunges into beer, Bolivia

Torunn plunges into beer, Bolivia

Torunn lifting a big  beer, Bolivia

Torunn lifting a big beer, Bolivia

Beer on Santa Monica beach, USA

Beer on Santa Monica beach, USA

Local beer on Rarotonga, Cook island

Local beer on Rarotonga, Cook island

Beer ini New Plymouth, New Zealand

Beer ini New Plymouth, New Zealand

Beer in Sydney,Australia

Beer in Sydney,Australia

Beer in Sydney,Australia

Beer in Sydney,Australia

Beer in singapore by Bay harbour marina hotell

Beer in singapore by Bay harbour marina hotell

Beer in Halong bay,Vietnam

Beer in Halong bay,Vietnam

Beer by the great stupa Vientiane, Laos

Beer by the great stupa Vientiane, Laos

Beer outside Ho chi minh,Vietnam

Beer outside Ho chi minh,Vietnam

Beer and Buddha in Thailand

Beer and Buddha in Thailand

Water bottle in Brunei (they do not sell beer there!)

Water bottle in Brunei (they do not sell beer there!)

Beer in Malapascua,filipinene , Tresher shark in the background!

Beer in Malapascua,filipinene , Tresher shark in the background!

Beer In Laos by the Mekong river

Beer In Laos by the Mekong river

Beer in Helsinki,Finland by the Cathedral

Beer in Helsinki,Finland by the Cathedral

Beer by the river in Riga,Latvia

Beer by the river in Riga,Latvia

Beer in Tallinn,Estonia

Beer in Tallinn,Estonia

This is a map of the journey and all the articles from all these beer-drinking countries !

 

 Posted by at 7:02 pm
Jun 152014
 
Gater i Pnomh Penh

Gater i Pnomh Penh

Pnom Penh was one of the last major cities on our long journey. After 15 months of travelling and hundreds of cities, our lust for sightseeing was not quite the same as before. We had simply become lazy. We spent a few days in Cambodia's capital, but we did not do much. We had planned to go to the "killing fields" but skipped it since it rained that day and we were simply too lazy. We met a nice American/Australian couple (Ashlee og Locke)

Royal Palace inngangen

Royal Palace inngangen

and ended up spending much of our time in Pnom Penh drinking margaritas and beer with them. A little later we regretted that we did not go to the "killing fields" as we met several other travellers later in our trip who said it was a great and emotional experience. Cambodia has a traumatic past with the Khmer Rouge Massacres in which thousands of people were killed in the 70s. At the "killing fields" you can see a lot of skulls, tombs and monuments to remind us of all those who were killed.

Pnom Penh is probably the city with the highest number of "Wat"'s in the world. You can not walk 100 meters without stumbling across a Wat. Many of these were pretty cool, and much more decorative than an average church. Pnom Penh also has a nice promenade along the river, but generally, we think that there was too much pollution and traffic. We visited a market where we got to sample various Cambodian delicacies straight from local merchants. I had the pleasure of trying my first chicken anus soup.

pnom penh large market

pnom penh large market

The market in Cambodia was generally more comfortable than in Vietnam or Thailand in that few people tried to scam us. Most of the stuff was ridiculously cheap. A t-shirt cost less than 15kr ($3US).
There were some souvenir shopping there...certainly....

Torunn on the market

Torunn on the market

Food and beer prices in Cambodia are better than any other country we have traveled to. You can reach incredibly far with 50 Norwegian kroner(14$) ". There was much indulgence to be had in our few days in Pnomh Penh, but not much sightseeing. We did not even enter the Royal Palace because it cost 6$ per person. As we were acclimatized with the local prices that seemed like a to steep price to pay. 6$ (35 Norwegian kroner(14$) ") is ,After all, 12 pints of beer !

Pastime in Pnomh Penh

Pastime in Pnomh Penh

After Pnomh Penh we continued the trip by bus to Siam Reap. We were supposed to travel to one of the cities by the large lake in Cambodia, but dropped it when we could`nt find the right bus at the world's most confusing bus station. Siam Reap bus was there, so we jumped at the opportunity…and it spent about twice as long to the destination that it was supposed to...welcome to Asia.

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Nov 092013
 

It was 4 in the morning when, tired and exhausted, we put our feet on the New Zealand soil. The custom officers were friendly, and spoke to us as if we were ordinary people, highly unusual! They are obsessed with avoiding any kind of food being introduced to the country, so we were a bit nervous that they would find the jar of Nutella that we did not have the heart to throw away. Once through security we were had a shock from the cold after the good hot days in Rarotonga. We had no idea how to get to Auckland City, or where we were to stay, but when I accidentally checked my email at McDonalds in the airport, I found out that we had a couchsurfing host in town.

Auckland town centre

Auckland town centre

I called him, and one hour later we were in Hamish` kitchen drinking fresh New Zealand "flat white" which is a very good luxury coffee. Although it was around 5 C outside, there was no heating in his house. In New Zealand there are very few that actually heat their houses, they just wear more clothes instead. Us Norwegians are accustomed to comfortable warm houses, and being able to walk around inside with a T-shirt mid-winter, which is preferable to having to wear a bubble jacket indoors, and yet constantly feel cold. We put on all the warm clothes we could find, and went out to "do" Auckland. Auckland is a very modern and clean city, and the people looked really well groomed. We almost felt a bit left out not wearing a suit and tie. One of the most special things about Auckland was the way the pedestrian crossing worked. The big intersection in the town centre had a system that had a green man in all directions! When this happened the road filled up with pedestrian walking in all sorts of directions, also diagonally. I have never seen that in any other country, but it should be like this everywhere. Many countries only consider making life easy for cars.

Pink bald lady on the pier

Pink bald lady on the pier

Most restaurants we passed were very expensive, so we ended up going to an Asian food market with many different stalls that sold everything from Japanese to Indonesian and Thai food. My favorite food is sushi, whic was very reasonable at most places in Auckland. P1020381 We walked along the pier and got our first glimpse of the skyline of Auckland. It definitely has a very special skyline, that can not be confused with any other city. “ The sky tower” is the pride of the town. It is one of New Zealand's tallest building with its more than 200 meters , and looks like it is straight out of a science fiction movie. It is possible to pay to walk around the big ring on top of the tower, and if you have enough money then you can also pay to jump off the tower. I would definitely have jumped from the tower if it was a bit cheaper…I promise… Those that do are secured to a line which goes all the way to the ground,, so it is in a way like rappelling into thin air, only with much higher speed. We walked along the pier and looked at the fish market and did some people watching before we went back to Hamish and the other couchsurfers living at his place. Together with another couple, who was from Switzerland, we made a pizza that we shared with Hamish.

 

The following day we got an even better chance to study the skyline of Auckland when we went out to a small volcanic island called Rangitoto. It is the youngest island I have ever been on, only 500 years old, which is like a potty-baby in geologic time.
After a short and very very expensive boat ride we were on the volcanic island,ready to mount our fifth volcano. The island was formerly used as a getaway for the rich Auckland people, but is now closed of as a nature reserve. A major problem there is all the critters that eat the eggs of some rare endemic birds. For years, conservationists put out traps for rats and hedgehogs, and after much work finally eradicated them from the island. We saw lots of traps on the way up to the top of the volcano. At the top we found out that it did`nt really feel like a volcano as there were lots of trees, and it was hardly possible to see that there was a crater,and not just a random valley.
The view was very good. We could see far up to the beautiful island regions north of Auckland, and then toward the green landscape that rippled out towards the coast
On the way down we climbed through some caves, something that Torunn was`nt too thrilled with considering her spider phobia kicking in again.

The next day we headed back to Auckland city and rented a car to drive around the south island 2 weeks. We decided to skip the South Island, even though everyone says it is so amazingly beautiful there. 2,5 weeks is just not enough time to do both islands, and in addition, it sounds like the nature on the south island is quite similar to Norway. It was also much colder there, even snow in places.

Whangarei promenade

Whangarei promenade

The first day we drove North towards the tip of New Zealand to a village called Whangarei. We drove a scenic route with evergreen valleys and occasional forests. There was no longer any doubt where the Lord of the Rings was filmed! We went past Whangarei and onto the tip of a peninsula called Whangarei Heads. We were staying there with a lady called Donna. We arrived at a converted boathouse and were greeted by a really fat cat who was afraid of his own shadow. We went into the cold boathouse and were served lovely Pad Thai that Donna had prepared up for us. She was an interesting lady who shared our interest in atheism and travel. In the morning, me and Torunn had a walk around the area.

Paddler in Whangarei

Paddler in Whangarei

It was very nice and peaceful on the stone beach. The water was silent except for a young New Zealander who was paddling standing on a surfboard, which apparently is the trend in the country. After breakfast Donna took us to see some of Whangarei. Torunn learned to weave at the local art center while I ate sushi on the street. We had planned to dive on a very nice reef outside the city, but gave up the idea when we saw the poster outside the dive center "ready to freeze, come on in!"We stopped by a local cave on the way back to our boathouse.

Stig in cave

Stig in cave

It was actually pretty cool to find a cave without any entry fee or tours which was always the case in South America. There was only a small sign there that said “enter at your own risk”. I do everything on my own risk, so I was ok with that. I and Torunn had headlamps, and walked into the darkness while Donna was waiting outside.

Glowworm threads

Glowworm threads

It was exciting to walk into the dark cave while it got tighter and tighter. After we had been walking a few hundred meters into the cave, we saw that the roof and wall reflected our lights. Minerals in the rock created a stunning effect and atmosphere. When we turned off the lights we saw a starry sky of hundreds of small lights. These were the so-called "glow-worms" that live only in New Zealand. They are bio luminescent larvae that glow in the dark to attract insects. They are really bizarre organisms. They live their adult stage as a fly for 3 days, just enough to reproduce and lay lots of eggs. Their life is so short that they do not even have a mouth or an intestinal system. The eggs hatch into larvae that live for 9 months before they hatch into flies. They drop down several long slimy threads that catch insects in the caves. The insects are attracted by the droppings of the larvae that glow in the dark! I continued deeper into the cave and jumped when I felt something moving in the icy water I waded through, but it was just a small cave crayfish. I tried as hard as I could not think of the movie "The Descent". It was an exciting experience, and I found out that I'm not quite as claustrophobic as previously suspected.

Torunn and Donna under the tree

Torunn and Donna under the tree

The area around the cave was also quite magical. Everything reminded me of Lord of the Rings. We even found a little magic forest. I climbed a giant pine needle tree, while Torunn and Donna waited patiently on the ground. In the evening we ate pasta and discussed religion with Donna, who also proved to be a dedicated atheist. We watched a documentary called "Jesus Camp" which was pretty crazy, and quite terrifying. It is mostly about indoctrination, and aboutt incomprehensibly unintelligent people.

 Posted by at 4:12 in the morning