Date Friday, October 31, 2003

Fiji and the West Coast of America

It's now two months since we returned to 'reality' in the UK.

We had the most amazing year. It really couldn't have been better in any way. We both feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to see so many wonderful places and meet some interesting people along the way...

So here's the rest of our trip (part 1)!:

It's a hard life, but someone has to do it

We left New Zealand for a week's r&r in Fiji - after two months of fun in Misty the van, we needed a little rest! We really enjoyed our time in Fiji, but were relieved that we hadn't flown all the way from the UK. It's nice, but not the tropical paradise holiday brochures would suggest. At Fiji backpackers we met up with Rick and Claire, who we'd camped next to in Christchurch and Julia and Steve. We had a great few days relaxing on the beach, chatting and playing cards (non stop)! It was Julia and Rick's birthdays so we celebrated with blue vodka!!

We discovered that Julia and Steve had met Karen and Dave (who we'd met in Vietnam and who you can see on these very pages canyoning!) - such a coincidence and we all plan to meet up soon!

Blue vodka party


Before we planned our big adventure, we had been booked to go to Vegas and San Fransisco for Mark's 30th - we sensibly cancelled it, but managed to work it in to our itinerary...

I'd been to Vegas on business before and knew that Mark would just love it! He did - we had a few monkey pennies put by for gambling and had lots of fun spending them and winning nothing (although Mark would be mad if I didn't point out that he was over $100 up at one point!).

Adult Disneyland!

We managed a day trip to the Grand Canyon - it was very impressive, but really hard to get to grips with the real scale of the canyon. It was fantastic to go up in a helicopter too!

The Grand Canyon

Watch your mouth!

After Las Vegas, we flew to San Fransisco and no one had told us just how cold the city gets! We went on a city tour as we didn't have much time. It was great to take in all the major sites, enjoy jazz and crabs at Fisherman's Wharf and take in Alcatraz.

The bridge!

The classic film shot

We then hired a car to take in the coastal highway between San Fran and LA. It was stunning.

Jelly fish at the Monterrey aquarium

The US was a great little side trip and we stocked up on lots of American food ready for South America!

One of many stunning views of the coast

Elephant seals ow ow ow!