Australia to the UK without a plane… our trip in Numbers!

After 17 MONTHS of travelling around the globe we have finally completed our challenge of getting from Australia to the UK without an airplane, check out some stats we recorded along the way…

Countries Visited:  23 (Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Belgium and the UK)

Distance traveled without a plane: 70,300 km or 43,700 miles

Beds slept in: 298

Transportation – we have used:

135 buses, 45 boats, 33 cars (taxi, private or rental), 64 trains, 39 subway systems, 6 mopeds, 2 Hovercrafts, 1 horse, 1 camel and a variety of tuk-tuk type vehicles.

Our most expensive accommodation (per person): £37.59 ($43 AUD) – Ramada hotel – Ulaanbaatar (very special treat)

Our cheapest accommodation (per person): £1.27 ($2.33 AUD) – Aman batik house, tuktuk, Sumatra

Our Most expensive meal (Per Person): £13.98 ($27 AUD) – Moose and Roo Pub for Christmas Dinner, Hanoi, Vietnam

Our Cheapest Meal (Per Person): £0.24 ($0.44 AUD) – 1 Naan Bread, 1 Bowl of Curry, 1 Fried Bread Pastry and a cup of coffee. – White Cafe in Hpa an, Myanmar

Books Read: 40

Bed Bug Experiences: 3

Pairs of sunglasses Broken: 16

Pairs of Flip-Flops worn out: 9

Celebrity Spottings: 4 (Hugh Dennis, Janet Street Porter, Mhairi Black, Isy Suttie, and Bill Bailey)

Tubs of Hummus: 7

Free Things we have been given: 4 x Free bus rides, 2 x Ice Tea, 1 x Longhi (traditional Myanmar skirt), 1 x Free lonely Planet guide book, 6 x pieces of fruit, 2 x Bars of Chocolate, Free clothes wash, 2 x Bowls of traditional Thai Fish soup, 5 Malaysian Ringet, 1 x key ring, lots of flowers (mainly little Myanmar girls giving them to Ella), 2 x Cups of coffee, 1 x toilet fee (The last two were from a monk), 1 x free night of accommodation, 4 x bottles of water, 5 x noodle soups, 3 x free breakfast, free rice and chilli sauce, 2 x free coconuts, 2 x silk scarves, 1 x free tuk-tuk journey, 1 x free snake (edible), 2 x Banh Mi Sandwiches, lots of free potatoes and bananas, 1 x free tote bag, 1 x free ferry ride, 1 x free tourist boat trip, 2 x free ice coffees,  beer (we have actually lost count of how much), 1 free stick of BBQ goat’s udder, 10 x free dinner, 1 x taxi ride, 4 x bananas, 1 x chocolate dessert, rice wine…, 1 x free use of a motorbike, 2 x Jagermeister shots, 1 x free xe om journey, 2 x free bike hire, 2 x bowl of noodles, 1 x blueberry juice, 2 x buckets of booze, 1 x USB charger, 1 x t-shirt, lots of fireworks, 1 x Postcards, 2 x Panda bread, Vodka, Vodka made from Camel milk, Vodka made from horses milk, Various milk based products (Mongolia), 2 x Slices of cake, 8 x Buuz (Mongolian dumplings), 1 x Easter cake, 2 x Russian biscuits, 2 x Glasses of Wine, 2 x Russian remembrance tags, lots of Belinis (Russian pancakes), cake, 4 x polish football stickers and a folk music performance!

Well thats it, all the numbers we recorded during our trip… Hope you enjoyed reading our stats as much as we enjoyed keeping them.

R&E

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Australia to the UK without a plane… The last leg

Standing in Brussels train station with our backpacks on, it was hard to believe that 17 months prior we had started our journey in Cairns Australia. We were one train journey away from making it halfway across the world without using an airplane! Passing the check in desk and the chatty British lady at immigration, we sat and waited for the train that would take us back to British soil and bring an end this epic odyssey of ours….

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Hungary to Belgium in three days…The Penultimate leg…

Our time was running out on our epic seventeen month odyssey, and with some family to meet in Belgium, it was time to make the penultimate journey of our overland adventure from Australia, and get from Budapest to Ghent in three days (with a quick stop in Vienna)…

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Wine and more wine…Hungary

When we thought about visiting Eger in Hungary we did not expect to be listening to trance like Indian classical music on an outside stage in the city’s castle with a thunder-storm looming on the horizon…. But luckily for us things are not always predictable! We had managed to visit the town on the Museum night, meaning they were open for free and with loads of activities on offer…people dressed up in medieval costumes and firing old school muskets ( it was a crowd pleaser), as well as some traditional folk dancing. It did feel a little like we’d stumbled into a huge town fair and with gigantic cauldrons of goulash on offer… we were right at home!

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Goulash and hot water…Budapest

Getting to Budapest from Ukraine was a little more difficult than we would have hoped. After a quick layover in Uzhgorod, and an incredibly sweaty bus journey to a town called Chop we stumbled into the remote train station hoping for a train. Even before we had deciphered the cyrillic timetable, an old lady had, without using one word of english, convinced us to share a taxi with her! After a quick Vodka/Cigarette stop-off for the driver, we headed for the border and off to Hungary!

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Getting drunk at the ballet…Lviv

Before I go any further I should point out it wasn’t us who had too many drinks at the ballet. For a ridiculously cheap €4 we got some pretty decent seats in the stalls of Lviv’s Opera House (though the stingy could have gone as low as €2) and though neither of us are dance experts, for that price we could totally get on board! The night was made more interesting when a couple of ‘merry’ gentlemen decided the orchestra needed a bit of extra help so started conducting from the front row and shouting ‘bravo’ very loudly whenever there was a lull in the music. They were in fact kicked out not once but twice, the ballet so entrancing that they just had to sneak back in for a bit more conducting action. Ah Lviv a very memorable beginning…

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A wedding in the mountains…Zakopane

Climbing up a steep hill in the baking heat with our backpacks, we were distracted from our guesthouse search by the sound of music coming from a small church in seemingly the middle of nowhere. A group of people had gathered outside, watching avidly as groups of men in traditional felt suits, and women in embroidered dresses and scarves walked out of the church singing as they went… We had accidentally stumbled into a traditional polish mountain wedding. As a group of folk musicians played, the wedding party climbed into waiting horses and carts, and with a final a-cappella song from two men on horse back with felt hats, they were off. The ten or so horse-drawn carts headed off through the country lanes awash with colour and song… and just like that all was quiet again…just a little church in the countryside.

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