September 25th 2005
A four week pre-trip trip. A testing ground for the technology and a country we both wanted to see but couldn't quite squeeze it into the one year limit we have on the RTW air ticket. We also have a new family member hopefully arriving at the end of October on Pip's side of the family.  We'll be starting on the west side of Canada at Vancouver and working our way slowly eastwards before heading back home from Montreal.

We stuck to our original plan as much as the train delays would let us and added in going up to Churchill on Hudson Bay to see Polar Bears in the wild. Highly Recommended Trip. We may consider a second visit in future to see the Eastern side of the country and would revisit the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

October 23rd 2005

Return to the UK to greet a new family addition to the world that is due on the 24th. We'll stick around for about three weeks. But the ticket out is booked for November 9th so that's when we're off on the major leg of the trip.

We welcomed Xander Edward Masters to the world on November 1st 2005. Congratulations to Rachel and Doz.

November 9th 2005
The plan in the USA is to use a combination of trains, buses and automobiles and make our way around the country taking in various sights over the space of about three months. Starting in Washington DC we plan to make a loop up via New York and Boston, across to Chicago and then head back down via Nashville and Memphis and across to Las Vegas roughly in time for Christmas and Pip's birthday. Then we head over to LA and San Francisco before making our way up and over via Seattle to Yellowstone and Denver where we catch an internal flight to Miami from where we fly on to Mexico.

Plans changed slightly as we rented a car in Washington DC and returned it on the 6th Feb, 3 months later. This meant that we will drove across the north and then headed back across the south in time to get it back to Washington. We also have an engagement in Jacksonville, Florida on the 10th January and so will take a detour back to Memphis / Nashville area before heading up to Washington DC.

In addition to the above change we re-routed up to Detroit to see Tommy Longmate - a friend from University.

February 6th 2006
In Mexico we take some time out after 3 months of solid travelling. Whilst Pip is fully qualified, I want to take the opportunity to learn SCUBA diving and obtain a PADI certificate. Mexico is also the host to some fantastic pyramids and history so whilst we're there we'll check out some of the local sights and sounds.

Mexico was more of a relaxation point for us. We took in the incredible ruins of Chichen Itza and as I had qualified as a NAUI diver in Florida, USA, we took the opportunity to do some diving in Cozumel.

February 14th 2006
An essential addition to the itinerary. We plan to spend about a week taking in the smells, sights and the sounds of Cuba.
February 23rd 2006
We will be hitting Rio in time for Carnival and enjoy four days before setting out on an organised tour from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, overland across South America, to Quito in Ecuador. Along the way we'll take in Iguassu Falls, the Inca Trail, Maccu Piccu, and no doubt a few bouts of Altitude Sickness. The tour takes 64 days and there will probably be a group of between 12 and 18 of us.
May 3rd 2006
A ten day cruise around the wildlife haven that is the Galapagos islands. We've booked in a couple of SCUBA dives so as long as I manage to get my PADI certification in Mexico then all should be well. From here we fly via Ecuador to Chile and then to our next destination.

Due to what GAP Adventures referred to as 'Legal Issues', and due to the fact that we discovered half way across South America it was not possible to dive whilst on our malaria tablets, we never had the opportunity to dive. The snorkelling was superb though, and the overall experience was fantastic.

May 13th 2006

A return to the UK for several reasons. 1) I was very ill in South America with Salmonella poisoning or similar, and we needed a rest. 2) It was my dad's 60th birthday. 3) We were a tiny bit homesick. So we spent a wonderful month at home catching up with people before setting on our way again on June 12th. The itinerary below has been updated to reflect changes made to the flights etc.

June 12th 2006

Due to flight availability we have to return to Ecuador for 4 days before moving on to Easter Island.
June 17th 2006
Just five nights on an island that has intrigued me since I was a small child. Although that has more to do with the Moai heads inclusion in a few video games that were around in my more formative years. Due to our restrictions on flights we have to fly back to Santiago in Chile before making our way over to Auckland, which is the longest of our flights.

June 22nd 2006


A brief rest stop in Santiago before our long haul to New Zealand - We leave on the 24th and arrive on the 26th. The date line is confusing like that.
June 26th 2006
We fly into the North Island and will make our way to the South Island by camper van taking in the sights and sounds of NZ. Billy Connelly has done a couple of driving tours of NZ so we may just take some of his tips on what to see and do.

We found that we liked New Zealand so much, and there is so much to see and do, that we only just covered the North Island in the month with the campervan. We changed the dates of our flights, moving them all back a month so we can spend another month exploring the South Island by car.

August 20th 2006
From Christchurch we fly to Hobart via Melbourne and have a short time on Tasmania.

Tasmania was switched to after Sydney as when we changed the flight date she let us have a few days stopover.

August 30th 2006
From Sydney we are planning on making our way up the East Coast of Australia and then take a short internal flight from Cairns to Darwin. From here we will make our way down through the centre of the country passing by Alice Springs and Uluru. From here we will make our way across to Perth where we will catch our next flight to Japan. As like America, Australia will be navigated using a variety of different means of transportation including trains, buses, boats, flights and automobiles.

Australia was greatly shortened by a desire to get home within the 12 month limit of our flights. We flew to Japan on the 8th September 2006. We covered - Sydney, Tasmania, Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, Uluru, Adelaide, and then flew out of Sydney.

September 9th 2006
The plan to visit Japan before the rest of Asia is mainly due to fitting all of our flights within the 12 month period, as our route is set but the dates are flexible. We will fly into Tokyo via Hong Kong and then after approximately 10 days we will fly out of Fukuoka. Another reason for doing this at this point in the trip is that it is more expensive than a lot of Asia and so if funds are running slightly tight, we will not have to compromise on anything.

Two things completely changed the rest of the trip. 1) On leaving Sydney the check in lady told us we'd need a visa for India - we didn't know that and getting one could take a couple of weeks. 2) A military coup in Thailand made using it as a base to jump into Cambodia a lot less enticing. So, we decided to save our money and flew home on the 23rd September 2006 with a plan to return and finish the bits we missed. For part 2 plans - see below.




Flying into Delhi via Hong Kong will mean that we have a short amount of time to explore northern India and make our way to Nepal and China from here. As the Taj Mahal is open at night now, it will be wonderful to see and may remind us of the Pavilion in Brighton where we got married.
Overland Travel
We are planning on looping from Kathmandu up to the Tibetan plateau in China.
As we are restricted by our RTW ticket to fit all flights into 12 months, this will be our last flight. At this point we will have spent at least 4.5 days in an aeroplane since starting the trip. All of the rest will be overland form this point. 
Overland Travel
Whilst in Malaysia we plan to "pop" to the Sabah region of Borneo to see the Orang-utan Sanctuary. We also have it on good recommendation that there are some great walks in the region so we plan to see some of the area on foot. Once we return to Malaysia we'll travel up through the country and into Cambodia.
Overland Travel
We'll make our way through Cambodia and see the magnificent historical and spiritual monuments of Angkor Wat.
Overland Travel
We'll head up north through Vietnam by train through Ho Chi Minh city and north into China.
 Overland Travel
In China we plan to head across the south of the country to Hong Kong. There we hope to join a tour that will take us across the country and see the best of the sights. We'll end the tour in Beijing.
 Overland Travel
From Beijing we hope to take the Trans-Mongolian railway on a 20 day journey across Mongolia and Russia, ending up in Moscow. Then we'll head up to St. Petersburg and head home from there.
Back home.

All dates except * are approximate