2017 - Adventures in New Zealand and Australia  

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July 4:  Well here we are in Australia at last.  Our Tiger arrived in Melbourne on June 14th, and somehow, miraculously, we had it in our hands two days later.  We couldn’t quite believe it, but did not stick around to ask questions.  As time allows we will write up our shipping experience in bringing our vehicle to Oz and share all the details.  

At any rate, not quite three weeks later we are moved in, stocked up, better equipped than ever to handle all the outback roads we hope to explore and well on our way up to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Alice Springs.  Today's holiday (Independence day in the US) finds us all by ourselves a bit south of Oodnadatta in the northern reaches of South Australia and heading for the center of the continent.  It is a briliant sunny day with a temperature of about 60˚Fahrenheit (15˚ Celsius), not a cloud in sight and we are taking a day off.  It is quiet and still out here and very clear at night. 

Before arriving here, we enjoyed every minute of our ten week visit to New Zealand.  It is an amazingly beautiful country with so much to do and see that we can easily understand why so many travelers love to return again and again.  We spent the Autumn in New Zealand, with April and May corresponding to October and November in the northern hemisphere.  The weather was variable, with days of brilliant sunshine, but also some days of cloud and rain, particularly on South Island.  We enjoyed amazing fall colors all the way through our visit and were very happy to be touring NZ in the shoulder season.  We’ve posted four messages from our time in New Zealand and have posted a bunch of beautiful photos on our photo site.   

In 2016, following six years of travel in Europe, we completed a comprehensive program of maintenance and refurbishment of La Tortuga's living quarters and running gear.  At over 180,000 miles (290,000 km), our Chevy Tiger has continued to serve us extremely well, but as we looked ahead to what we hoped to be another five years or so of overseas travel, we felt some preparation was called for.  You can read about the refurbishment of the living quarters of our Tiger by going to 2016 Tiger Refit 1, and a full report on the mechanical work can be found in 2016 Tiger Refit 2.

To access any of our stories from the road, just go to the top of any page of this site and use the drop down menus.  For Europe you can also go to our alphabetized Country Index under the Europe heading.

If you are primarily interested in pictures, you can go straight to our Photo Home Page at Smug Mug.  Here you will find our best photos from our six years in Europe, plus our photos from South America, Central America and North America.  We’ve posted thousands of pictures on the photo pages tied to each of our messages, and you can use the Photo Albums Menu at the top of any page to access any of them directly.

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In 2010, our Tiger arrived in Belgium on April 1 and we began our European tour with a month in that beautiful country.  Each year from then through 2015 we spent around eight months in Europe.  For an informational wrap-up on the ins and outs of traveling in Europe in a motorhome, go to our Europe by Motorhome page and read all about budgetary and other considerations involved in our journeys.  We now have six full seasons of expense information for you to peruse.  Despite varying fuel costs and exchange rates we continued to be able to travel throughout Europe within the budget we set when we began.  

In 2009 we completed our first trip to Central and South America in fine style.  We had a wonderful experience and will enjoy reliving the memories of places seen, people met and lessons learned for a long, long time.  We feel very fortunate to have been able to accomplish most of the goals we set for ourselves on that journey.  From Colombia in the north to Patagonia in the south, South America opened itself up for us in a wonderful way, and the countries of Central America were amazing in their color and diversity.  

If you are new to this web site, go to our South America page in order to link to the stories and photo pages from the year we spent there; or go to Central America with us and enjoy our stories and photos from there.  

Our first five years of full timing (2001 to 2006) were spent in North America.  To check on our early stories from those years and our ongoing travels in North America, visit our US & Canada and Mexico pages.  You can also find connecting links to other travelers’ sites you might enjoy on our Links Page.  

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As you have time, we hope you’ll explore the rest of our site, including the Our Vehicle pages, which continue to expand with added technical information as it comes to mind.  Our Information section also continues to grow with articles on Shipping,  Safety & Security and Storing your Vehicle.  

You can access our photos from any narrative page, from the Photo Album Menu, or directly from each of the main regional home pages; Europe, South America, Central America, Mexico, or United States & Canada.  For photos of our vehicle, go either to the Our Vehicle page, or directly to Tiger Photos in the Photo Album Menu.

Finally, for fellow travelers, we’ve posted detailed Camping Logs for Central America, South America and Europe.  You can visit these pages to see where we’ve stayed and to get detailed information on fuel costs, exchange rates, propane availability and other information for each country we’ve visited.

We hope you enjoy our travels, and your own as well! 

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Dayat Aaoua, Morocco

"Today, there are few travelers, but many tourists.  
Foreign travel has ceased to be an activity – an experience, an undertaking – and instead has become a commodity"

~ The New Philosopher

"Travelers, it is late.  Life's sun is going to set.  During these brief days that
 you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.

~ Mevlana Rumi

“Dying is not the risk - that is the sure thing.  The risk is not living.”  

~  David Yeadon

Website created by: Rick Howe,      Text and photos by: Rick & Kathy Howe

© Rick & Kathy Howe 2001-2017