Canal next to the Amsterdam Red Light District

Prostitution and sweet Mary Jane

First off, if you’re looking for a sordid exposé of all the dodgy things we got up to in Amsterdam, you better keep looking, cos you won’t find it here. By the time we got to Amsterdam and tracked down our hotel it was 1:30am and we were all ready for some shut eye. Knowing … Read more

Beach at Calais, France

A first view of the Continent

Unlike many of the other teams, we didn’t pre-book a ticket on the ferry as we didn’t really know how long it would take us to get to the port (about 5 hours, including lunch), or how many times we would get lost (none, thank you very much!). So when we pulled up at Dover, … Read more

Jersey Boys - West End Live 2014

So. Much. Musical. Theatre.

One of the down sides to arriving in London at the end of a year on the road is the inevitable lack of cash. In my case, a refusal to check just how much cash was not still in my bank account in the weeks leading up to the UK resulted in my lack of … Read more

Charlette and Jo - Covent Garden

Let’s meet tonight’s contestants

After a year of being on the road, meeting new people and making new friends everywhere I went (except for staying with Elea in France, and bumping into Sammyh in Morocco), it was nice to finally arrive in the UK. I got to see Sara, of course, and I also know some folks from home who … Read more

Cupcake Jemma from Crumbs and Doilies

A fine day for a spot of polo

When one finds oneself in England, there are certain activities that one is expected to undertake in order to be accepted into proper society. The Royal Ascot, the Queen’s official birthday celebrations, and the occasional polo match, of course. Unfortunately, I was too broke this year to dress up like Eliza Doolittle and make small … Read more

Jo and Saxon - London black taxi

Taking a ride on the wild side

Around the world, London’s taxi drivers are famous. The iconic black cabs, the notoriously difficult exam to become a cabbie, the cheerful friendly banter as they take you wherever you need to go. Saxon (a friend from the hostel) and I had all that to look forward to as we waved down a ride to … Read more

Ngati Ranana representative Ros at Hinemihi, Clandon Park

Slice of Heaven

Whilst reminiscing over old times (all of which were, of course, set in New Zealand), Sara mentioned that there is a Māori whare nui (meeting house) in England. In Clandon Park, to be exact. Looking it up online, we discovered that Ngāti Rānana, the London Māori Club, was scheduled to perform there that weekend. And … Read more

Wives' room, Volkonsky museum

Living in exile

Aside from its proximity to Lake Baikal, which draws the majority of its tourists, Irkutsk is a town of interest in its own right. Prior to the 1917 Revolution, in which the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, came to power and established what would go on to become the Soviet Union, Russia was an … Read more