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About 'Travelling Tim'

A voyage of discovery into other minds and cultures.

I'd like to start with a quote by Mark Twain. It applies to me, and to lots of other people as well. Does it apply to you? Probably...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Photo of Travelling Tim, taken in Nova Scotia, Summer 2009
This is Me

Thing's I've Done

Visited 148 different countries, and all 7 of the 7 continents
Had breakfast at Tiffanys, New York
Hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu, Peru (twice!)
Bare-back riding on elephants - just me and the elephant
Been in a Space Shuttle trainer, touched a Saturn 5 rocket
Slept on deserted desert islands
Been arrested and interrogated by Russian police (falsely !)
Short of breath deep in the tunnels of the Potosi silver mines, Bolivia
Panned for gold in the Brazillian jungle, and found some
Climbed to 16,300 feet in Nepal, 17,500 feet in India
Been to the lowest place on earth: The Dead Sea -409m (-1342ft)
..and the 2nd lowest place on earth: The Turpan Depression -156m (-512ft)
Been to the driest place on earth: The Atacama Desert (average annual rainfall < 1mm)
..and the wettest place on earth: Mawsynram (average annual rainfall > 11870mm)
Stayed in the most expensive hotel-room in Istanbul
..and one that cost just USD 0.20c/night in Bodh Gaya, India
Swam with two Manta Rays and a lot of tropical fish
Crossed the Equator 16 times
Trekked on the Great Wall of China
..and circled Uluru, Australia with its magical desert surroundings
Explored Dracula's Castle in Transylvania
..and the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yazd, Iran
Sniffed the Spice Farms of Zanzibar
Danced at a number of Tajik weddings
Drank Kava with a Fijian chief
..and stayed with a Queen in the Cook Islands
White Water rafted in Canada
Sailed along the original 'Road to Mandalay' in Burma
Overlanded more than 260,000 miles - that's more than 4 years on the road
Twice by road around South America - such a wonderful continent
Once overland through Central America - that's quite enough!
Thirteen visits to India, my favourite country - that's another 2+ years!
Explored the lost cities of Petra, Copan, Machu Pichu, and Fatehpur Sikri
Crossed the wide open Nullabor Plain, sleeping in an Australian swag
..and twice down the Amazon River, sleeping in a riverboat hammock
Survived a typhoon in the Sea of Japan and 2 hurricanes off Canada
..and a 40 minute lightning storm in the Australian Outback
Was the first British vegetarian to work in the Antarctic
Seen a living Goddess - the Kumari, in Nepal
Trekked to the Fortress of Zong, in the Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan
Survived the Logging Roads of Gabon and the Congo
Rolled down a 30 metre sand dune in Namibia
Stood next to the erupting Tungurahua volcano, in Banos, Ecuador
..and spouting sulphur fumaroles in Indonesia
Trekked to the source of the Ganges in India
Sat on the steps of 10 Downing Street, London (when you could)
Climbed to the top of one of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt (when you shouldn't)
Crossed the minefields of the DMZ to stand on the N. Korean side of the table
Was a volunteer chapati maker at Amritsar's Golden Temple, India
Have ridden the Trans Siberian railway, and the beautiful Flying Scotsman
..France's TGV, South Korea's KTX and Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains
The Coast Starlight and the City of New Orleans across America
..and the Ghan, the Overland, and the Indian Pacific across Australia
InterRailed through Scandinavia and most of central and southern Europe
Had lunch and my ticket checked on the roof of a moving steam train in Ecuador
'Footplated' in the cab of steam engines in Zimbabwe, Ecuador, and India
Seen some Moon-Rock (from the Moon) in South Africa and the USA
Swapped riddles over dinner with a Rajah in his Himalayan palace
Walked the streets of a 5000 year old city: Mohenjodaro in Pakistan
Explored the secret Soviet submarine bases in the Crimea
...and some of the 3000 pagodas in Burma's Bagan City
Canoed down the Zambesi River, amongst crocs and hippos
First class cabin in a paddle-steamer to the Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Seen Comrade Lenin in his Red Square mausoleum in Moscow, Russia
...and the graves of Karl Marx at Highgate, London and Evita in Buenos Aires
Explored the canals of Venice, Leningrad and Birmingham
Had an amazing week at Le Mans, watching a Porsche win
Trekked to Langtang in the far north of the Nepalese Himalaya
Travelled the road to Hell in South Africa, and walked the Great Karoo
Wandered amongst the 400,000 penguins of Signy Island
Watched eagles flying in the high Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan
...and condors over Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon
Worked on oilrigs all around the North Sea and at London's famous Scotland Yard
Travelled the big circle around Australia, plus some up and down bits
Had a gorilla sit on my foot in Nigeria
Experienced the Taj Mahal by moonlight
Loved the reed islands of Lake Titicaca
Slept in cosy Mongolian yurts, ridden crazy Mongolian horses
Paddled in the Volga River, and at the source of the Nile
Was airlifted from the Falklands in a C130 Hercules
Cooked french-fries on the bottom(!) of the Aral Sea
Taken a train across the Bridge on the River Kwai
Visited the Rat Temple of Deshnoke, India (real rats)
Photographed the body piercing and dripping blood of the Thaipusam Festival
Seen the Shaking Minarets of Isfahan and the Rocking Columns of Palmyra
Visited Chernobyl nuclear accident site and adjacent abandoned villages
Slept in 6 major deserts - Sahara, Atacama, Taklamakan, Thar, Gobi, Karakum
..and spent some days trekking across on camel-back
Seen the sunrise from the top of Mt. Sinai, Mt. Bromo, and a bunch of others
Was walked on by Albanian nuns at the top of Mt Sinai, Egypt
Spray-bathed at the Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls, and the Blue Nile Falls
Travelled the Skeleton Coast, the Kyber Pass, and the Mountains of the Moon
Bathed on the black-sand beaches of Krakatoa (its actually WEST of Java!)
Seen a tiger in the jungles of India and bears in Arctic Canada
Walked with lions and cheetahs in the jungles of Africa
Explored the forests around Lake Baikal in Siberia
Joined in celebrations at the once-in-144-years Maha Kumbh Mela at Allahabad
..and completed the Char Dham Yatra just days before the 2013 floods struck
Flown as the only passenger in a private jet belonging to an Arab Prince
Seen the midnight sun, 200m north of the Arctic Circle
Journied Coast to Coast across Canada from Pacific to Atlantic
Explored the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil on horseback
Been to the top of the World's two tallest buildings
..and the tallest building in the southern hemisphere
Visited the 2nd biggest building on earth: Ceausescu's Palace of the Parliament
Slept in Luke Skywalker's underground Tatooine cave home at Matmata, Tunisia
Crewed on the Picton Castle, a traditional square-rigged tallship for 9 weeks
Snorkelled in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, South China Sea
Been shot at by Peruvian bandits (real bullets)
..and bombed by the Philippines Air Force (real bombs)
..and fought with a Vietnam bus crew, who were using knives and iron bars!
Explored the Fetish Markets of Togo and the Street of Witchcraft in La Paz
..and the tunnels beneath the world's largest pyramid, in Cholula, Mexico
I was outraged by the Killing Fields of Cambodia
..and the Concentration Camps of Germany,
..the Slave Castles along the coast of Ghana,
..and the cannibal sacrifice stones of Fiji
Climbed the Jain holy mountains of Parasnath, Girnar, and Shatrunjaya
Wandered through the harems of the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Flown low over the Nazca Lines in Peru
Been interviewed by the BBC (twice)
Crossed over the Berlin Wall, while it still was a wall
Enjoyed the nightlife of Veracruz, Mexico
Had Ankor Wat temple all to myself for 20 magical minutes
Ridden on a San Francisco cable car, and visited Alcatraz
Wandered through the bazaars of Central Asia
Journied the full length of the Silk Road
Seen the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey and the Sudan
Spent the night on a nest of Scorpions
Floated by balloon over the Valley of the Kings (3 times)
..and over the Fairy Chimneys of Goreme, Cappadocia
Watched whales and albatross in S.America and the Southern Ocean
Driven along the highest road in Africa
Completely circled the world, and...
Flown with ?? different airlines - actually I've lost count !
 
..and have travelled by ....... foot, car, bus, truck, van, jeep, steam train, diesel train, electric train, camel, horse, mule, donkey, elephant, ox cart, rickshaw, tractor, propeller aeroplane, jet aeroplane, hot-air balloon, helicopter, Cessna light aircraft, bicycle, tricycle, motorbike, moped, quadbike, tram, trolley car, underground train, scooter, snow-mobile, roller skates, snowboard, sandboard, rowing boat, dugout canoe, kayak, dhow, felucca, raft, surfboard, yacht, narrow-boat, ocean liner, ice-breaker, square-rigged 3-masted barque, hydrofoil, ferry boat, tug boat, paddle-steamer, water skis, pony and trap, donkey cart, dune buggy, fishing boat, taxi, cable car, chair lift, inflatable, hovercraft, monorail, Rolls Royce, and stretcher !!

Map of countries visited by Travelling Tim
Still a few countries to go...

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