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Clare's adventures

Trip: Round the Pacific

There are [72] stories from my trip: Round the Pacific

Leaving for Africa

MALAYSIA | Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | Views [497]

After an amazing 9 months, our "Round the Pacific" journey is about to end (but we have loved it so much, we want to do it all over again!) We will soon be setting off on our next adventure - a 3 month expedition with the charity, Raleigh International, ... Read more >

Photos: Seventh leg - Malaysia

MALAYSIA | Tuesday, 2 Sep 2014 | Photo Gallery

Seventh leg - Malaysia
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Snorkelling paradise in the Perhentian Islands

MALAYSIA | Tuesday, 2 Sep 2014 | Views [602]

We have just had a totally relaxing week in the Perhentian Islands, off the Malaysian East Coast. The two islands are covered with jungle, fringed with perfect yellow sandy beaches and surrounded by coral. We had some very chilled, lazy days snorkelling ... Read more >

Tags: malaysia perhentians, snorkelling

Mount Ishizuchi - a great day hike

JAPAN | Friday, 22 Aug 2014 | Views [746]

We decided to take a walk up a holy mountain, Ishizuchi-san, the highest mountain in western Japan (1982 metres), whilst we were in Shikoku. A cable car takes you up part of the way, then a stepped path leads up past shrines to the summit. There ... Read more >

Tags: ishizuchi, trekking in japan

Cycling Japan's Inland Sea

JAPAN | Sunday, 17 Aug 2014 | Views [484]

For just 500 yen a day (less than £3), we hired a bike each (choice of "sporting" or "comfort"), to ride a cycle path which links Shikoku Island with Honshu Island, via seven islands in Japan's Inland Sea. The cycle path runs for 70km along ... Read more >

Tags: cycling in japan, japan inland sea, shimanami kaido

Temples and shrines

JAPAN | Sunday, 17 Aug 2014 | Views [452]

There are literally hundreds of temples and shrines in Japan, especially in Kyoto. They range from the ultra-ornate, such as Kinkakuji, "the Golden Temple", to small, moss covered ones hidden between mid-rise concrete buildings. Some have immense Buddhas ... Read more >

Geishas in Kyoto

JAPAN | Sunday, 17 Aug 2014 | Views [434]

We saw geishas!!!   Whilst we were in Kyoto, there was a special event we went to. Served with cold beer and green beans (yes, that's right, green beans!), we were entertained by Maiko dancers (Maiko are apprentice Geishas just completing ... Read more >

Tags: geisha, kyoto, maiko

Japanese food, continued...

JAPAN | Sunday, 10 Aug 2014 | Views [429]

We've been asked a bit more about what Japanese food is like, particularly whether there is a lot of sushi. The main staple food seems to be sticky rice which is eaten at almost every meal including breakfast. And a little pot of miso soup. Then add ... Read more >

Bullets and buses

JAPAN | Sunday, 10 Aug 2014 | Views [507]

As you would expect, the Japanese train system is excellent - extremely clean, punctual and frequent. We love the bullet trains (Shinkansen) that whisk you through the country at top speed (we estimated our one yesterday was going at least 200 mph).... Read more >

Sendai's Love Story Festival

JAPAN | Friday, 8 Aug 2014 | Views [447]

The city of Sendai celebrates a love story each August. And everyone loves a good love story! There seem to be various legends behind it but the one we were told by the Sendai tourist office was this: According to Chinese legend, two stars, Altair ... Read more >

Tags: japanese festival, sendai tanabata

Aomori Nebuta Festival

JAPAN | Thursday, 7 Aug 2014 | Views [440]

The Chinese-inspired Aomori Nebuta festival, in the North of Honshu, is an incredible spectacle. Several parades take place, each made up of giant floats; bands of drummers, flautists and hand cymbalists; and groups of dancers accompanied by "jokers" ... Read more >

Tags: aomori nebuta, japanese festival

Folk dancing and plastic food

JAPAN | Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | Views [422]

Each year for the past 400 years, the villagers of Gujo-Hachiman have taken to the streets for a dancing festival called O-Bon. It originated from Shinto-Buddhist religious beliefs that ancestors' spirits return from the dead for a few days around the ... Read more >

Tags: folk festival, gujo, japanese festival

Cormorant fishing in Gifu

JAPAN | Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | Views [349]

Gifu is a large modern town, through which runs a clean, clear, gravelly river. It is here that one of the oldest traditions takes place each night - cormorant fishing.  The cormorant fishermen inherit their roles from their fathers and their ... Read more >

Tags: cormorant fishing, gifu

Matsumoto Taito Drumming Festival

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [689] | Comments [1]

Mid July to end of August is one of Japan's main festival seasons. In Matsumoto, we went to a big Taito drumming festival. Bands from around the country came to perform against the backdrop of the magnificent sixteenth century black and white wooden ... Read more >

Tags: drumming, japanese festival, matsumoto, taito

Japanese contrasts - ancient and modern

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [311]

Japan seems full of contrasts between the old and the new: Neon-lit skyscrapers next to ancient shrines; Pachinko (pinball) machines by old tea houses; Ladies wearing the latest fashions from Paris in the same street as ladies wearing elegant kimonos ... Read more >

Japanese Food

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [224]

Japanese food is the stuff of Michelin stars and the dreams of Master Chef contestants. The presentation is immaculate - colourful, dainty, served in delicate little dishes and plates. The taste is wonderful - full of contrasting flavours and textures, ... Read more >

Our introduction to Japan

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [278]

Having initially been a bit nervous about going to Japan, as neither of us can speak or read Japanese, our introduction to Japan has been really heartwarming.    The politeness and friendliness of the Japanese people and their kindness ... Read more >

Photos: Sixth leg - Japan

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Photo Gallery

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Whale-watching from Vancouver Island, Canada

CANADA | Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | Views [485]

Having driven through the States up to Seattle, we took a ferry ride to Victoria, Vancouver Island in Canada, in order to go whale watching with one of the most eco-aware companies, Eagle Wing Tours.  The sounds are ringed by snowy mountains ... Read more >

Tags: eagle wing tours, orcas, vancouver island

Top animal encounter - first place- bears

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [594]

Bears are one of the top predators here (there are also wolves and mountain lions but so far we haven't seen either, so they don't make this list).  Both grizzly bears (the most aggressive) and black bears live here and we have seen both types, ... Read more >

Tags: bears

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