Mariann und die Informatiker

13.02.2008 um 05:52 Uhr

einen kurzen gruss aus nz

von: breuma

hallo allerseits

hier ein kurzdurchlauf. die suedinsel war genial, viele tiere, traumhafte landschaft.  hier ein paar highlights:

- delphine und yellowed eyed penguins ganz nah und gratis (in neuseeland eine seltenheit, den hier ist alles sau teuer)

- scenic flight ueber die southern alps nach milford sound und zurueck. yeah cessna fliegen, direkt im cockpit

- jetboat dart river

- fahrt ueber arthurs pass an die westkueste. gleichzeitig fand so irgendeine ironman veranstaltung statt, die sind echt irr!

eigentlich wollte ich nun den tongariro crossing auf der nordinsel machen,  aber es scheint als wuerde es morgen regnen. auch habe ich momentan ein wenig die grosse langweile. kann mich nicht dazu aufraffen was alleine zu machen, bsp. skydiving oder so. :) meistens geht das alleinrumreisen ganz gut. hatte auch ein paar mal mit den kollegen abgemacht. aber manchmal zerrt es schon etwas an der substanz, v.a. wenns nicht gut laeuft wie heute. da wuerde man gerne einfach mit einem kollegen ein paar biere trinken gehen. aber augen zu und durch. wird sicher wieder besser.  freu mich auf die suedinsel zurueckzukehren am wochenende und ein paar schoene wanderungen zu machen. und dann noch ein zwei tage entspannen bevor ich die heimreise antrete. bin gespannt.

bis bald, m

01.11.2006 um 12:09 Uhr

Last one

von: breuma

So right now we are in the middle of low season on Koh Samui, which even now is covered with Brits with all the usual cliches.  This means cheap drinks and loads of boom boom music. I dont think I would survive high season. The plane here was also full of Swiss, ok maybe a fourth, but its so weird hearing your own language after all this time. We met only a few Swiss, including the sweet couple who went to the same Gymi as H. and recognized him in the restaurant. As always Switzerland is so damn small :)

So we are here for three days of beach. Probably there are more beautiful spots, but it had to be a place with an airport, so we can get to Bangkok easily and quickly. We are flying out to Bangkok tomorrow morning at 6. Yep you heard me, we have to get up at around 4h30 and it was even my idea, an idea I am now kind of regrettting. Probably we'll just get a hotel and sleep away the afternoon. Both of us are sort of tired and not really into sightseeing anymore. But I think we'll go check out the DVD market. :) Anyways we are only here to chill after the cultural highlight that was Angkor! Beaut temples, really. We rented bikes and pedalled from one to the other, which meant being totally hot and sweaty all the time but was worth every minute of it, as this way we were independent to do what we please.  Luckily it rained late in the afternoon providing a highly welcomed cold shower. I loved riding through the rain made me feel like a kid again. However the locals were highly amused!  I thoroughly enjoyed Cambodia and even got to see my river dolphins.

As mentioned the trip in was somewhat harrowing. We left Saigion after waiting over an hour for the bus. There were three different groups on the bus and it took awhile until the guides sorted us out and told us something useful. Up until lunch it was actually quite nice, cruising through the Mekong was superb, unfortunately it didnt last long and we were bundled into a teeny minibus and given a new guide. This was not according to plan as we were supposed to go by boat to Chau Doc, the border town.  It was already cramped and we were told we would pick up at least five more people. After 2 or 3hrs trip we received yet another guide and five more people. At this point I lost it and asked to please tell us what exactly we were doing. Finally we got some answers. Only imagine our surprise when we were told, that we would now finally go on the boat to Chau Doc for another two and half hours, as this was part of tour and what we had been promised (sunset at Chau Doc). Only at this point it was already shortly after 5 in the afternoon (the time we were supposed to arrive at the hotel). While we considered a short mutiny, we all went on the boat and floated up the Mekong in the complete dark to arrive in Chau Doc somewhere around 9 in the evening.  Had we gone on by bus, it would have only been an hours more ride. The bus was not there to wait for us as planned, so we had to walk. The guide promised us that it would only be about 10 minutes. After 40 minutes of walking and listening to him talk about how it was just like in the miltary. At some point he picked up the bad mood prevailing and apologized, Vietnamese style: I am very sorry, but it is not my fault, I only work for the company etc.... small cog in the wheel. This didnt really help any. I was surprised that the Americans didnt rebell, seeing as guides usually fall over themselves to give a refund. We finally arrived at the hotel and immediately went to bed as we had to be up again at 6. That was day one.

Day two arrived with a lot of rain. Back on some points to be taken to a touristy shopping area and then back on a big boat. Another two hours or so to the border. So far okay. The border crossing went without a hitch, thanks to about 2 dollars extra per person (wonder where that went :)), unless being completely overwhelmed by kiddies is counted as one. Then we were herded onto a small boat, where we could all just about sit for a short trip to the Cambodian post. What we were not told however was that this was the boat to Phnom Penh. So for another 3 and half hours we were cooped up there. Cooped up is the right term. The boat had bars it was rather like being an animal in a cage :)  We had one short stop where all the villagers came to look at us. After while major backache. Finally we arrived and then got on a bus again to drive to the city itself. The bus ride was ok, but again we were not told how long it would be and where we would arrive. We finally got to town at about 7 (scheduled 4).

In retrospective it was not that bad, we met some nice people who we had fun with. But travelling local would have been a lot less annoying and probably cheaper. Some of the tours had been a great success (Halong Bay, My Son), but this was not one of them. So at that point it was NO MORE TOURS!!!

Right time to go eat. This has been one of the high points of this trip, the food is always delicious. Yum Yum. We should be totally fat :) So looking forward to seeing you all in Zurich!

25.10.2006 um 14:51 Uhr

Lost connection

von: breuma

So we have been in Cambodia since Sunday night after a somewhat harrowing trip through the Mekong over the border.Opinions differ on this point. No free Internet in Phnom Penh and a lousy connection means I cant right much. So lets just say Cambodia is expensive even though its poorer than Vietnam, there are more offroaders here complete with bodyguards than in Zurich, the people are were nice and we've had some good fun. We go up to Angkor tomorrow and Ko Samui on Sunday. As soon as I get an Internet connection that doesnt drive me to tears, more will follow. Did I mention that I just discovered a super cocktail (Singapore Sling), which is probably not helping my eye hand coordination skills...... :)

14.10.2006 um 12:24 Uhr

Tauchgang

von: breuma

So the clothes from Hoi An were a great sucess, even if they are probably synthetic. We also had an interesting afternoon at the beach. Immediately after arranging yourself on your towel about 10 different vendors surround you like flies: fresh mango and pineapple, foot massage, pulling out  hair with a thread,  you want manicure etc. etc., the last being a particularily hot idea, wwhat with the wind blowing sand everywhere. My personal favorite however was the lady who told us everyone had been lucky except her and we needed  to make her  lucky. 

Yesterday we boarded a Vietnam  Airlines plane to Nha Trang. The flight takes about an hour, the bus would be 12  hours. But 12 hours in an overnight bus has me feeling nauseous just thinking about it, train ok, bus no way. We arrived around noon all excited by the beautiful views from  the air and were immediately contacted by a hotel. Apparently the hotel in Hoi An had called ahead and given them our names. Only we hadnt even decidedto book there yet.  As  it turns out we probably should have gone there,  but I'm getting ahead of myself. So we decided to be really clever and share a taxi. According to the guidebook the airport should have been close, next door so to speak. Alas a new airport has been built (in one year) and is now 40km away (equals  15$ taxi ride). Turns out this is symbolic for the rest of the city. Restaurants disappear, new ones pop up and high rises everywhere you look. Think spanish Torremolinos and that's what it will probably look like  in a year. A pity, from my point of view, because the location is really beautiful, but it will  probably bring a lot of money and get rid of those pesty, cheap backpackers!:)

We landed in a cheap hotel for6$ a night.  In Hoi An we got a really beautiful room with fan for 8.  Here we got a hole in the  wall. It was the first place, where I feel compelled to sleep in my own sleeping bag. So needless to say not happy at all. But at least we got to go diving. According  to H. its not as nice as Egypt, but  I thought we  saw a lot and we  had an excellent service for only 30$ and 45$. It  was a first for me and I really loved seeing the marine life. But also a teensy weensy bit scary, cos I had difficulty adjusting the pressure on my ears. They're still popping!  :). Then  some sun at the beach again. All in all quite nice day, but I'll be glad to leave this place tomorrow. 

We are taking a three day tour up into the mountains and also to see some villages. Roughing it so to speak, and horrors of  horrors no free internet. :)  Then on Tuesday if I haven't been bitten by a snake, fallen of the elephant or sucked  dry by mosquitos (I must be some kind of rare delicacy here (sushi perhaps), because I  will get bitten even  when covered from head to toe in Antibrumm, while H. stands next  to me with no protection whatsoever.  If I am to contract malaria or dengue fever, I  am resigned to my fate, there's just no preventing  it. If there is a mosquito in  the region,  it  will find me.)  back to the beach in Mui Ne, a more quiet sort of place renowed for sand dunes and kite surfing... guess you's already planning to go? If you guessed Mr. Cannot Keep Still Unless Sleeping,  you guessed right.  This attitude  sometimes clashes with my more I need to relax a  bit and lets see when we  get there attitude :) So probably H.will go get his daily dopamin fix and I shall get mine simply listening to the waves and nodding  off over a good book. Pretty good system  if you ask me. Anyways I'll keep you posted! 

11.10.2006 um 10:02 Uhr

Cyclo, Cyclo?

von: breuma

The trip so far: Ha noi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An....

Some highs: Cruising and swimming in Ha Long Bay and staying overnight on the boat watching the moon rise, the delicious Vietnamese food and of course Vietnamese beer. There are several different kinds from the North to the South, all tasty and all very cheap. We are happily drinking our way through them and taking photos of each one. The cheapest beer was in Hanoi on the street for 2000 dong or less than 20Rp.! To be tasted either in the middle of a crossroads while choking on the motorbike fumes or in a dark side alley, sitting in the middle of beer canisters small tables and rubbish all the while getting curious stares from the locals. Naturally I'm taller than most of the men, H. must seem like a giant :)

Some lows: The traffic. Crossing the street is actually not a problem, as long as you walk slowly, but the fumes and the constant honking is. The Vietnamese specialise in a form of honking I call preventive honking, just to let you know that they will be coming. Motorbikes are the kings of the road. Guess where the pedestrians are...... Hanoi was also very, very messy. But most annoying:Being pestered with "You want cyclo" or "You buy, you buy" ALL THE TIME. Tourist equals walking piggy bank. After awhile you start to get really blase and say no to everything, which is a pity, because sometimes the people are really nice. For example yesterday at one of the bus breaks, two people asked us for Swiss coins and showed us their collections. The kids are also really really cute, and always shout hello and wave :) Or we were invited into a home by the waitress and at the bus station here in Hoi An we meet some really nice hotel people, who also gave us good tips where to get some clothes made. I bought a suit, a skirt, two dresses and a shirt for 150 USD. We go for a final fitting in an hour. Then if we're happy with it, we'll send it home per post. I feel so luxurious! :)

We've got one more day in Hoi An, then we go on to Nha Thrang, so H. can do some diving. I'm not sure I want to yet. Im definately up for beach time. Its very hot and humid and so sightseeing can be very tiring! Speaking of time for a nap :)