Thursday, April 23, 2009


After upwards of 60,000 km of travel Holly and I have made it back to our Island. We both had an incredible journey and wish that more people would have the opportunity to do a journey such as this. For me reality is starting to settle in... I need to put together a resume and start begging for work... We would like to thank you all for your support and prayers as we have been off traveling. We truly have appreciated it all.


Monday, April 20, 2009


Holly and I have been making a quick pass through Europe the past few days. Trying to make the most of the little time we have left. From Frankfurt we made our way south to Salzburg where we were able to quickly check out the city. Following that we made it to Venice for a day of exploring this unique spot. After an overnight train last night we spent today in Rome checking out the sights. Tomorrow we fly from Milano back to London then fly home from there the next morning.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Holly and I have now completed our Africa portion of our trip. It's hard to believe how time moves along. Although it feels like we have been gone a long while, it is also hard to believe that our trip is already coming to a close. At the moment we are on a layover in the Doha airport in Qatar on our way to Frankfurt, Germany. From there we plan on spending a few days training around Europe before making our journey home. It's too bad our time is quickly running out.

Holly and Jon

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

South Africa

From Southern Namibia, we were able to hitch a ride on a truck heading to Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is a scenic city situated on the coast with mountains surrounding it. After spending some time hiking Table Mountain and browsing the craft markets, we are getting ready to head to Johannesburg to catch our Friday flight back to Europe (Germany).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Namibia is a large country with a small population and therefore does not have an extensive public transit system. Hitch hiking is very common and safe in this area so we decided to try our luck from Maun, Botswana to Windhoek, Namibia. Surprisingly, we were able to make the journey in only one day as a number of people picked us up. We had rides from a government employee and son, a rancher (cattle & game farm), peace core volunteers, and Zimbabweans driving to the coast to pick up used tires they shipped from Europe. We really enjoyed this mode of travel and learned a lot from the people who picked us up. After spending some time in Windhoek, the modern capital, and Swakomund, where the Kalahari desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, we headed south by minibus to Keetmanshoop where we would continue to South Africa.


Thursday, April 09, 2009


After crossing the Botswana border, we stopped in Kasane, a modern city and gateway into Chobe National Park. Accommodations were not cheap so we opted for camping at a nice lodge instead. From the lodge we were able to organise a afternoon boat cruise on the Zambezi River. Since the river level was so high (7 metres higher than normal) we were able to get quite close to the bank and saw many elephants and hippos, as well as various antelope, Buffalo, monitor lizards, crocodiles, giraffes and birds. According to the guide the park contains about 150,000 elephants however the park can only sustain 60,000. They moved some to another park in Botswana, but they all walked back to Chobe.
From Kasane, we headed to Maun where we spent a day on the Okavanga Delta. A motor boat took us into the Delta, past some hippos (where I fell backwards in the boat due to the acceleration), where we switched to a Mokoro (a dugout canoe). We spent the day poling through the wetlands, swimming, and searching for animals in the grasslands. Unfortunately, we didn't see any more animals (except birds) but we had enjoyed travelling by Mokoro through the narrow channels abundant with waterlilies.


Saturday, April 04, 2009


Zimbabwe has been an interesting experience today. Upon walking across the Victoria Falls bridge between borders we found out that for Canadians the visa fee was raised to $75USD versus the $30USD we were expecting. I guess we look like poor travelers because once we displayed this surprise and asked if there was any way we could get a cheaper transit visa they hummed and hawed then only made us pay $50USD each for the visas since they said they need tourists. Now in Zimbabwe the main currency is US dollars or South African Rands. This can be easily seen as the Zimbabwe dollar is worthless. We picked up a few 100 trillion dollar bills for 20 cents Canadian. We also had a chance to visit this side of Victoria Falls which was also beautiful. Again the water was high so there was a lot of mist which hindered the views. In the morning we hope to head on to Chobe National Park in Botswana. (photos: 100 Trillion Zibabwe dollars and Danger Point, Victoria Falls, Zibabwe)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Victoria Falls

Holly and I were able to visit the Zambia side of Victoria Falls today. This side of the falls gives an up close and personal experience with the falls... and all the "mist" (more like torrential downpours) that it produces. Needless to say we got soaked to the bone. In the morning we hope to visit the Zimbabwe side of the falls which is said to offer a bit more of an overview of the falls from further back. Although I'm not sure how as there seemed to be a huge amount of mist blanketing the entire falls. We were told that this is mainly due to the current wet season and the particularly high water levels at the moment creating this thick mist.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


After arriving in Malawi, we made our way to Nkhata Bay on the beautiful Lake Malawi. Nkhata Bay is a small and quiet backpacker town, with little to do other than relax and enjoy the lake. While there we had a chance to get in some freshwater snorkeling, where we saw lots of chiclids, swimming on an incredible beach, bargaining at the local market and trying out the local dugout canoe - which is much more difficult than it looks. From there we made our way to Lilongwe where we were able to meet up with Owen, a long term EWB volunteer we know from UNB, he did the same EWB JF program with Holly in 2007, but was placed in Zambia. We had a good morning together letting him show us around town and hearing about some of the work being done in Malawi- along with eating many delicious guavas... From Lilongwe I had one of the worst bus rides of my life to the Zambian border- you think I would learn and not take the cheapest option. We are now in Lusaka, Zambia catching some rest before heading south to Victoria falls in the morning.

Tarzana Train

From Dar the train schedule worked out for us so we were able to travel inland via rail. The ride was a very rough, bumpy and noisy, but enjoyable 28 hours. We took 2nd class sleepers which consisted of 6 fold down bunks. Personally I slept great in my cabin with just two other guys, however Holly had a tougher time getting to sleep in her cabin because of noisy roommates, ie crying babies and chatty women. There was a lot of jolting stops and commotion of people getting off and on throughout the night. Most of the daytime hours we spent in the cafeteria cart eating, playing cards, chatting with fellow travelers and working out further travel plans. For the extra $6 we were glad we upgraded and did not take the economy class, which consisted of benches, crowds and general chaos. From Mbeya, Southwestern Tanzania, where we hopped off the train, we made our way to Malawi.