Our trip in numbers.

We are back in the UK and we have summarised our adventure in a few numbers:

  • travelled for 226 days
  • visited 17 countries
  • stayed in 87 hotels / apartments and 1 tent.
  • took 29 flights, 33 boats, 15 cars, 2 helicopters, 2 train rides, 1 raft, 3 horse rides, 1 elephant and 1 camel, 1 parachute.   
  • went on 121 excursions.
  • needed 8 injections.
  • were only ill twice.
  • only lost 1 thing, Baby Babbab, Henry’s 2nd favourite toy, not once but twice.  First time the hotel posted it to a future hotel and the 2nd time we never knew where so had to buy a new one and send to Nanny; who sent Henry pictures of it doing silly things.  Henry believes that Baby Babbab goes off on his own adventures.
  • broke 1 kindle.
  • had 2 big suitcases and 1 car seat bag to start with. Along the way we had to buy one more bag to make packing easier. With that we also had a backpack each.
  • spent double the original budget!

The best thing about this adventure was seeing Henry’s expression every time he tried something new, body boarding, riding the ponies, paddle boarding, rafting, zip lining, climbing trees, riding the elephant, trapezing etc.

It was the best timing to do it and we don’t regret anything.

 Here are a few more things from our adventure.  What was best vs worst and a lot more list from this experience.

Top 5 countries 

  1. Sri Lanka, the friendliest people, the best boutique hotels, best prices!
  2. Fiji, just beautiful
  3. New Zealand, so many fun things to do.
  4. Hawaii, adventures and beautiful.
  5. Caribbean, we saw so many different island and they were all so different.

 Least favorite countries

  1. Bali, great time with friends but didn’t live up to expectation.
  2. American Southwest, was nice but would be better when Henry is older.

 Most expensive

  1. USA
  2. New Zealand
  3. Australia 

Cheapest

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Malaysia
  3. Bali

Best hotel

  1. Kings Pavilion, Sri Lanka
  2. Villa Saffron, Sri Lanka
  3. Octopus Resort, Fiji
  4. Malolo Island, Fiji
  5. Edgewater, Wanaka, New Zealand

 Best Kids club

  1. Royal Caribbean Cruise
  2. Malolo Island, Fiji
  3. Octopus Resort, Fiji

 Best animal viewing

  1. Humpback whale, Tasmania
  2. Leopard, Yala, Sri Lanka
  3. Stingray, Antigua
  4. Turtles, Maui, Hawaii
  5. Platypus, Outside Sydney, Australia.
  6. Elephant seals, San Simeon, California.
  7. Baby Koala, Cape Ottaway, Australia

 Best tours

  1. Hopi Indian tour
  2. Kauai Helicopter
  3. Sting ray feeding, Antigua
  4. Dolphin encounter, Anguilla
  5. Hobbiton movie set tour, New Zealand
  6. Rafting, Queenstown, New Zealand
  7. Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Queensland, Australia.
  8. Wildlife in the wild, Australia
  9. Kaudulla elephant safari, Sri Lanka
  10. Yala national park, Sri Lanka.
  11. Dubai Desert Safari.
  12. Hawaii Pirate Ship Lost Treasure Adventure Cruise, Waikiki

 Culture shows

  1. Hopi Indian Dance, Utah.
  2. Feast at Lele, Maui.
  3. Return to Paradise, Samoa
  4. Octopus Resort, Fiji
  5. Tamaki Maori Village Hangi & Concert, Rotorua, New Zealand
  6. Tjapukai, Cairns, Australia
  7. Sri Lanakan Culture show, Kandy, Sri Lanka

 

  • The best thing we took with us was the scooter. We could walk quicker and further and in case Henry got tired we could just drag him along.
  • Did we have things we never used, yes but not many, we brought with us bum seats for all the picnics but we never used them and also some sporks.

 

Would we do it again? YES. (could we afford it? Not at the moment….)

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
We found this guy in Sydney.
We found this guy in Sydney.

 

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Dubai has it all.

That’s it friends, 8 months later and we are on our last night of this adventure.

We have had five days in Dubai and it has been very relaxing. It has not been warm at all, so there has been no swimming.

Our friends from KL, Pat, Kim and Cian came and stayed with us for a few days while they were on their way to Dublin, which was lovely.

We have also been to Dubai Mall and that place has everything. We went ice skating, we went in an aquarium that had a glass bottomed boat and a submarine simulator and we also managed to do some shopping there.

It is pure heaven if you are there to shop, they have everything from all the designers to h&m, zara and even cheaper brands. They also have a whole floor of restaurants, a cinema and even taxis driving people around inside.

On our very last night we went on a sand dune safari. We raced on the dunes in a Landcruiser, we had a lovely BBQ in the desert, we dressed up in traditional clothes, we sand surfed (or tried) and we rode a camel. It was the perfect way of finishing off our adventure around the world.

Tomorrow we will pack our bags for the last time on this adventure and head to the airport.

See you in London!

There was an area where you could dress up in traditional clothes.
There was an area where you could dress up in traditional clothes.
We were flying along the dunes.
We were flying along the dunes.

 

This was actually a quite nice ride. The only problem was holding on when the camel stood up and sat down.
This was actually a quite nice ride. The only problem was holding on when the camel stood up and sat down.
Stephen sandboarding
Stephen sandboarding
Sunset.
Sunset.
Henry tried but he wasn't heavy enough.
Henry tried but he wasn’t heavy enough.
So he tried sitting down instead and that went better.
So he tried sitting down instead and that went better.
This is where we had our meal and watched them dance.
This is where we had our meal and watched them dance.
Bellydancing
Bellydancing
The camel man.
The camel man.
We managed to get an extra ride at the end of the evening.
We managed to get an extra ride at the end of the evening.
Ice skating in the mall. Henry loved it at first and then after a few goes he decided he was not very good at it. Even when he actually was.
Ice skating in the mall. Henry loved it at first and then after a few goes he decided he was not very good at it. Even when he actually was.
The aquarium in the mall is huge! This is just a small part of it.
The aquarium in the mall is huge! This is just a small part of it.

Last couple of days in Sri Lanka.

We are now on our last full day in Sri Lanka and we have enjoyed it so much. It has been a real surprise to me because I was expecting India. Sri Lanka is so much nicer, cleaner, friendlier and there is no pushing you into buying anything. The traffic is better as well but what is the most important thing that we noticed straight away is that there is no one begging or living on the streets! Or not many anyway.

Sri Lanka has been amazing, and I said to Stephen last night that we have to come back here!

The last couple of days in Sri Lanka have been amazing.

So relaxing and fun. There have been no tours or musts, just chilling and enjoying the resort.

We have been staying at Shangri-La and it was amazing. The most luxurious hotel on this trip and they had everything that we needed. They had everything from kid’s club to trapeze to an artist village attached to it where Henry could go and paint his own art.

It is a huge resort but the best thing with it was that we were nearly alone the whole time. It was in between seasons and there were not many tourists around. Most days we had one or two pools to ourselves.

Henry was desperate to go to kids club but there were no one else there so that wasn’t great but he still wanted to go every morning.  They took him swimming and he met another friend there so that was good.

Another fun thing they had was the trapeze! Henry loved it! He was up in it 4 times the first day and another 6 after that. It was pretty high up and to start with he had to climb a ladder that was probably about 5 meters high. Then he had to swing of the platform holding on to the trapeze bar and then let go when the man told him and land in the net. So brave, but he loved it! Stephen really enjoyed it a well and I tried it, but I think the whole resort heard me as I screamed like a little pig.

We had lovely meals and great fun in the pools with the slides.

They also had this little art village attached to it where you could see the artist work. And they were selling paintings, masks, wooden carving etc. They had one stall where the kids could come and paint their own art and then the artist would help them. So, Henry painted one elephant one day and then he wanted to go again because he had so much fun, so he went back, and he painted a peacock.  The artist took it very serious and he helped Henry with his strokes and getting the shapes right.

Next up is Dubai and then my friends we are going back to London.

Henry painting an elephant in the art studio.
Henry painting an elephant in the art studio.
One of our nights out. I've done this adventure with my very best friends. And the fact is that we are closer now than when we left if that is possible.
One of our nights out. I’ve done this adventure with my very best friends. And the fact is that we are closer now than when we left if that is possible.
Henry was loving the slides. Especially when they were all empty!
Henry was loving the slides. Especially when they were all empty!
With his peacock in the art studio.
With his peacock in the art studio.
Fishing boats out at sea.
Fishing boats out at sea.
We went to a turtle hatchery and under every sign there are eggs. They then wait for the eggs to hatch and take the turtles to the sea. If they were left on the beach the people would dig them up and eat the eggs.
We went to a turtle hatchery and under every sign there are eggs. They then wait for the eggs to hatch and take the turtles to the sea.
If they were left on the beach the people would dig them up and eat the eggs.
Surfing the waves. We have been carrying the body board around since Hawaii and not had great waves until now.
Surfing the waves. We have been carrying the body board around since Hawaii and not had great waves until now.
Beach huts.
Beach huts.
Henry loved the trapeze! He climbed up on the ladder and threw himself out.
Henry loved the trapeze! He climbed up on the ladder and threw himself out.
The men were really good, talking to him the whole time.
The men were really good, talking to him the whole time.
Stephen had a go as well.
Stephen had a go as well.
Henry
Henry
And me, but I wasn't as brave as the others.
And me, but I wasn’t as brave as the others.
Go Henry!
Go Henry!
Baby turtle. 12 days old.
Baby turtle. 10 days old.
Henry was excited he could hold these little ones.
Henry was excited he could hold these little ones.
A beautiful adult turtle.
A beautiful adult turtle.
Fishing boats.
Fishing boats.

 

 

Climbing a mountain in Ella and finding leopards in Yala.

Leopard. This one walked right in front of us and then back into the jungle. The other jeeps chased after it but we told our driver to leave it alone. We saw it and that was amazing.
Leopard. This one walked right in front of us and then back into the jungle. The other jeeps chased after it but we told our driver to leave it alone. We saw it and that was amazing.

Ella was amazing! The sceneries were stunning. We stayed in a mountain resort opposite Little Adams Peak with tea plantations all around us and the views were amazing. One of the days we stayed there we decided to climb the peak. They said it was an easy climb, and they were right -ish. There were stairs all the way up, so you just had to walk the steps. But it was pretty hard going. It didn’t take us long and it was magical when you got up to the top.

Ella is a backpacker’s town with lots of café’s and restaurants, it was also livelier and busier than the places we have been to before.  Cool place though. From where we stayed you could watch the people picking tea leaves all day long and carry them on their back. It is a hard job but a job for life.

We are in Yala now which is a National park. It has been two great days here and we started off yesterday afternoon by going into the park with a jeep and a guide to spot some animals. There are approx..40 leopards living in the park and we manage not only to see two yesterday but one of them walked right in front of our car! It was incredible. The second one was asleep in a tree and still amazing to see.

We also saw wild boar, deer, ducks, crocodiles, mongoose, a jackal that was hunting the deer and that was so cool to see. We also saw hares, pelicans, storks, kingfishers, hornbills, peacocks, water buffaloes, a dung beetle (yes that was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen for real) and a few more birds that I don’t know the name of.

Today we left for the park at 5.30 in the morning to be there when the animals woke up and we managed to see one more leopard and also an elephant! There aren’t many of them in the park and they are not out to be seen often but we saw one up close today and we also saw two far away, but they were gone when we got there.

I have heard a lot of bad things about Yala, but we had a great driver that didn’t chase the animals, he gave them their space. A lot of the other drivers didn’t. He also went his own way rather than go where everyone else was. And he didn’t mind stopping to look at a dung beetle or a hare rather than only find leopards. So, I recommend going there but do it over two days tour rather than one day.

We came back to our hotel at 11 and have had the rest of the day to relax. Most of that time we have spent playing in the pool.

Sandra and I in front of a beautiful scenery.
Sandra and I in front of a beautiful scenery.
The views over one of the valleys.
The views over one of the valleys.
Ella
Ella
Ella
Ella
Our resort. It had tea plantation all around it.
Our resort. It had tea plantation all around it.
Up at the top of Little Adams Peak.
Up at the top of Little Adams Peak.
These people pick all the tea leaves by hand and carries them up the steep hills.
These people pick all the tea leaves by hand and carries them up the steep hills.
A waterfall on the way to Yala.
A waterfall on the way to Yala.
The Water Buffalos goes where they please and normally in the middle of the road.
The Water Buffalos goes where they please and normally in the middle of the road.
If it isn't tea plantations then it is rice fields as far as you can see.
If it isn’t tea plantations then it is rice fields as far as you can see.
Here we are, ready for our safari.
Here we are, ready for our safari.
Water Buffaloes.
Water Buffaloes.
Babbab! Henry was happy he found his best friend.
Babbab! Henry was happy he found his best friend.
A Painted Stork
A Painted Stork
Wild Boar.
Wild Boar.
Spotted Deer.
Spotted Deer.
On the second day we found a leopard sleeping in the tree and he woke up and yawned.
On the second day we found a leopard sleeping in the tree and he woke up and yawned.
Stephens favorite bird, Kingfisher.
Stephens favorite bird, Kingfisher.
These birds were all over the park. They are stunning.
These birds were all over the park. They are stunning.
We just missed two elephants. They were gone by the time we got there.
We just missed two elephants. They were gone by the time we got there.
We missed two but found this big elephant and it was right next to the jeep.
We missed two but found this big elephant and it was right next to the jeep.
Off it goes :)
Off it goes 🙂
This bird just loved the look of himself.
This bird just loved the look of himself.
Henry and our driver Pradeep.
Henry and our driver Pradeep.
Mongoose.
Mongoose.
Bee eater.
Bee eater.
Monitor lizzards. a male and a female.
Monitor lizzards. a male and a female.
These two Peakcocks where dacing and showing off their fethers to eachother. They also jumped at eachother trying to scare the other.
These two Peacocks where dancing and showing off their feathers to eachother. They also jumped at eachother trying to scare the other.

A dungbeetle. He was really cool, he rolled his ball across the road and then lost it. He found it pretty quick though.
A dung beetle. He was really cool, he rolled his ball across the road and then lost it. He found it pretty quick though.

Adventures with Nanny and Granddad in Sri Lanka.

The last couple of days we have had so much fun. We have climbed a mountain, been on an elephant safari, seen temples and walked around botanical gardens.

Henry is so happy having Nanny and Granddad here, he won’t leave their sides. He has been on his best behaviour and eaten and slept well since they arrived.

Two days ago, we had a busy day, we went to see the Sigiriya, The lions rock, in the morning and climbed all of the 1200 steps up it. It was really hard work, but we managed, Stephen and I went the extra 300 steps all the way up to the top while the rest waited and had a little rest. It was so hot as well but the views were amazing! You could see green jungle, mountains and a buddha popping up here and there.

After that we went for lunch and then had an Elephant safari. It was amazing! I don’t even know what to say. There were so many elephants, and so close as well. About 200 elephants were walking about, playing, swimming and even mating. We were there for a couple of hours just watching the elephants.  It was so much fun!

I recommend everyone to do that when you are in Sri Lanka.

Yesterday we drove up from Colombo to Kandy. We stopped half way and visited a spice garden/ shop. They showed us all their products and had a demonstration with all the creams etc.

Then the driver took us to our new hotel in Kandy and it is the best hotel we have stayed at so far!

The staff are so friendly and attentive that it brings a tear to my eye. They run around after us as soon as we are back from where we have been. And last night they made a special dinner for us outside in the garden with candle lights and everything. We happened to be the only guests yesterday, so they made a huge effort into making it special. There are only 9 rooms here and it is small and beautiful.

It is called the Kings Pavilion, so if you are ever in Kandy come here it is worth it.

 Today we have been out all day. We started of by going to a botanical garden that was huge. Lovely kept though with orchids and cactus. Then we went for some shopping and lunch. And after that we went to visit one of their Buddhist temples here. We finished the evening by going to a culture show. It dragged on a bit, but they finished it by walking on fire which was very cool.

We came “home” to our hotel and they all came running out asking about our day and they made us a lovely dinner. They even taught Henry and Nanny how to fold the napkins into different shapes.

 We have had so much fun these days I think that Sri Lanka is going to go by too fast. So far I love it but it does rain a lot!

Sigriya, The lions rock. We managed to climb all the way up to the top of it.
Sigiriya, The lions rock. We managed to climb all the way up to the top of it.
Sandra, Roger, Stephen, Henry and me.
Sandra, Roger, Stephen, Henry and me.
Halfway up.
Halfway up.

This way the entry, two lions paws and you walked into the mouth and on top was the Kings palace.
This way the entry, two lions paws and you walked into the mouth and on top was the Kings palace.
Sandra, Roger and Henry stopped at the lions feet and Stephen and I climbed the remaining 300 steps up to the top.
Sandra, Roger and Henry stopped at the lions feet and Stephen and I climbed the remaining 300 steps up to the top.
Yes, I made it.
Yes, I made it.
Litterally at the highest point.
Litterally at the highest point.
All the way down there is the road we walked up.
All the way down there is the road we walked up.
This is a giant squirrel. Who knew there were such a thing.
This is a giant squirrel. Who knew there were such a thing.
Elepant safari.
Elephant safari.

 

This is the spice garden stop we did. The showed different ways of using thir creams.
This is the spice garden stop we did. The showed different ways of using their creams.
Our pool here at the Kings Pavilion. Pretty cold.
Our pool here at the Kings Pavilion. Pretty cold.
Our candle lit dinner. It was so beautiful.
Our candle lit dinner. It was so beautiful.
The Kingfisher is Stephens favorite bird of all times
The Kingfisher is Stephens favourite bird of all times.
Henry and his granddad
Henry and his granddad.
These monkeys has the best hairstyles ever!
These monkeys have the best hairstyles ever!
The temple.
The temple.
The entertainment in the evening.
The entertainment in the evening.