Ten favourite photos

I could have agonised over this selection for much longer, but I’ve given myself the length of the train journey from Newcastle to Grantham to choose my ten favourite photos from our year away.

There were a few points where I wondered whether we should have bought a fancy camera but our pocket Kodak served us pretty well.

Our stops in China and the (rainy, rainy) Cook islands did not make the cut, but NZ, USA and Oz are represented.

So, in no particular order (but with some logic applied)…

1. The Robs by the Lake

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A couple of our friends came over from the UK to tour around the south island with us. Halfway through our time away it was lovely to see some familiar faces and we had a fantastic time together.

This was taken at one of many scenic photo stops, I think around the lakes in Otago. It’s one of the most stunning parts of NZ, with its combination of mountains and light blue water. Right after this we were attacked by vicious sand flies.

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A Day in Balboa Park, San Diego

We survived the first self-drive of our US leg with only a couple of the most minor of detours. Leaving LA at the crack, we avoided most of their monstrous rush hours and made it to San Diego by late morning.

With little time to spend, it was a blessing to find Balboa Park, the cultural heart of the city. Home to 15 major museums, performing arts venues, restaurants, gardens and artist studios – everything you could want for a day exploring was in walking distance! Starting off at the Visitor Centre, the guide gave us a park map circled with plenty of ideas of how to spend the day.

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Hello San Francisco!

Just a short update, we’ve left NZ and have arrived safely in the US.

After the long flight, our first 24hrs here have been a bit bleary but we’ve managed to have a good walk around the city. My first impressions are the absolute swarms of people everywhere (especially compared to NZ!) and the variety in the districts. We’ve wandered between upmarket neighbourhoods to more sketchy areas only streets apart.

This morning we visited a buzzing market around the Ferry Building for brunch. We walked along the waterfront to the tourist havens to Fisherman’s Wharf and the shops on Pier 39.

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Tomorrow we’re beginning our week-long tour to LA with a San Fran city tour and then a drive to Yosemite national park. Really hope it stays dry for our first night camping!

Planning our USA leg

It was quite a challenge to reign in the possibilities for our USA stop on the way home.

When we originally booked our round the world flights many moons ago, we allowed for just a week’s stop in San Francisco. Flash forward to May and planning our final 3 months, I was also tempted by Portland, Reno, Seattle and Vancouver.

Unfortunately those destinations didn’t make the final itinerary but I think we’ve found somewhere in the middle! Our current plan consists of…

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