Diary last updated on 8 August 1998
You can contact Peter or Inger on:

 peters@ginini.com.au or inger@ginini.com.au

 Either one will go to the same place.

 If you need to call us, use the message bank number 02-99901988.


8 June 1998 - Australia

 Departed Sydney.

7 June 1998 - Hawaii

 Arrived Honolulu the day before we left. Who says time travel doesn't exist?

 After getting in after midnight, we got a few hours sleep before getting up to catch a 35min flight to the island of Hawaii. We had the pleasure of catching the world's tackiest taxi cab. It was a stretch limosine that looked like a Disney herse. It had coloured water in velcroed glass flasks and beautiful plastic flowers at their freshest.

 We arrived at Hilo on the island of Hawaii and tackled the task of driving on the wrong side of the road. Our accomodation was in a small cabin set in the rainforest about 1km away from the volcanoes. Unfortunately most of the action occured about January 1998, so there wasn't any flowing lava to be seen. We did walk through a steaming crater and saw the huge steam columns where the lava hits the ocean.

View from the window of our cottage near the Volcano National Park.

 Our general impressions of Hawaii was that it is extremely expensive (even if the Australia dollar hadn't crashed), the food is very unhealthy and they play really bad Hawaiian music in the airport.

 Inger and I really aren't tropical island people, so we may not have given it a fair rave, but it's our opinion.


11 June 1998 - Canada

 Arrived in Vancouver.

 As soon as we arrived in Vancouver we were impressed. We just love the surroundings the city is in; the snow covered mountains, the harbour and sounds and the thick forests in and around the city. It was nice to get back to civilisation after Hawaii and sample some real food. The Americans are really big fans of sugar. I've looked at all the bread in the supermarket and they all have sugar and concentrated corn syrup in them. In Vancouver we found some fantastic bread that gives Cornucopia a good run for its money.

 We are having fun seeing all the new signs and working out some of the rules and habits of the Country. My favourite sign so far is "Cyclists must yeild to pedestrians". I think it means that pedestrians can ask any cyclists they like for sexual favours.

Having a limited time for our stopover we decided it would be best to visit just one area outside Vancouver.  We definately chose the right place.  Fidddlehead Farm is classified as a Youth Hostel, although it would be better to call it a community farm.  It takes about six hours to get there from Vancouver which involves a bus, ferry, bus, ferry, bus, private van, private boat and finally a 2km walk through the forest to get there.

Fiddlehead farm is a 30 minute boat ride from Powell River

It is set in a wonderful location.  All around the snow covered  mountains soar from the lakes and ocean.  The hillsides are covered with thick stands of pines.  It is a very peaceful and relaxing place.  A small stream near the farm has a meditation house which sits right over the water.  It is a wonderful feeling to hear the gentle waters trickling underneath, although it is not recommended that you start an intensive meditation session on a full bladder.

There are only two boat rides a week to Powell River which means you are with the same people for at least five days.  This allows you to get to know them and feel a lot more relaxed than most hostels which are not designed for people to meet each other.  Among the longer term residents were Australians, English and Germans.

Fiddlehead farm is a great place to be as energetic or slothful as you feel.  Being outdoor masochists, we decided to climb Tin Hat Mountain which is around 1250m high.  Joining our group was Joy.  She is an amazingly fit and young at heart person who was just about to turn 70.  She lead the start with a cracking pace and we even had to tell her to slow down for us unfit youngies.  From the top of Tin Hat we were rewarded with 360 degree views of all the mountains, lakes and forests of the area.  We could see the entire length of Vancouver Island.

Apart from climbing mountains, the swimming in lakes (surprisingly warm) and canoeing kept us well satisfied.

After five days we were sad to go, we really felt a couple of weeks would have been ideal.  We promised that we return when we next were in the Vancouver area.  If you have a chance to get there, you will not be disappointed.

Main building at Fiddlehead Farm.

21 June 1998 - Flying

On route to Stockholm via a quick stop in London, we saw some wonderful views of the snow capped Candian mountains.  The plane flew over Hudson Bay and Southern Greenland.  In Hudson Bay we saw all the ice flows in a very soft pink hue.  Very beautiful!

21 June 1998 - Sweden

Arrived in Stockholm on the longest day of the year, only to find there was a thick cloud cover.  Still, you didn't need any lights at midnight.

The big gaps will be filled in very soon, including walking on the Kungsleden trail.

Huts on the Kungsleden Trail.

July - Norway

We had a pretty rushed tour of the Northern part of Norway, but it was worth it.

Starting from Narvik we decided that we would head up to the most northerly part of Europe.  NordKapp (The North Cape) is about 800kms north of the Artic Circle.  At the same latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, you would be standing on mainland Antarctica.

There are a lot of "the most northerly in the world" aspects in this part of Norway.  We went to the most northerly city in the world - Tromso.  It is amazing to see such a modern city this far north.  The reason for this is the relatively temperate climate Norway has.  The gulf stream keeps all the ports ice free and you can even grow flowers and trees right up north where it would be frozen tundra in other parts of the world.

The Northern most point of Europe (NordKapp) at over 71 degrees latitude.

 August - Sweden

Things really come alive in Stockholm during the week long Water Festival at the beginning of August.  The place is humming with people, delicious smells of food wafting through the air, colour of all the buildings, stalls and the people.  One of the highlights is five nights of firework competitions.  Stockholm has a perfect layout for watching fireworks go off over the water.  The standard is extremely high (much better than the ones in Australia) and each display has its own unique style.