As this great adventure draws to an unbelievable close it’s time to start indulging in the very human habit of ranking and listing. The serious lists of ‘Best Country’, ‘Best experiences’ will soon be joined by ‘Greatest Train Smashes’ on a blog post near you. For now though there’s time still in Japan to stake a claim to some highlights so while the expert panel of esteemed judges, Charlie and I, lock ourselves in a world of food, hot springs and cultural delights, here’s the essentials for anyone planning a trip abroad.
These lists are based on the time we had, in many ways it’s the numbers that came up after the dice stopped rolling with only little view to an attempted objective view. Weather, people we met or even our health affected our time making this unashamedly our list, not ‘the’ list. So all you South Africans don’t feel so upset, there’s always another world cup.
TOP 5 – COFFEE:
5- Trung Nguyen, Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam
4- Ki-Bok, Tulum, Mexico
3- Workshop, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
2- Wonderful, Santiago, Chile
1- Ristr8to, Chiang Mai, Thailand
TOP 5 BEAT CUISINES:
TOP 5 CITIES & TOWNS:
5- Luang Prabang, Laos
4- Cape Town, South Africa
3- Buenos Aires, Argentina
2- Santiago, Chile
1- Havana, Cuba
TOP 5 DRINKS:
5- Whiskey, Japan
4- Stellenbosch Wine, South Africa
3- Vietnamese phin coffee, Vietnam
2- Pisco Sour, Peru/ Chile
1- Cuban Rum, Cuba
TOP 5 HIKES:
5- Volcan Purace, Popoyan, Colombia
4- Parque Huerquehue, Pucon, Chile
3- Fuji San, Gotemba, Japan
2- Cerro Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Argentina
1- Catedral Reserve, Bariloche, Argentina
TOP 5 FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE:
TOP 5 BOOZY NIGHTS:
5- Mendoza, Argentina – with Sophie and Kate (Team Melbourne).
4- Cuenca, Ecuador – Team Poland.
3- Bangkok, Thailand – Mark/Sparky.
2- Valparaiso, Chile, New Years – Team Poland and Team Melbourne.
1- Pucon, Chile, Christmas Day– Team France and Team Germany.
TOP 5 CULTURAL EXPERIENCES:
5- Flamenco Dancing, Havana, Cuba
4- Muay Thai Boxing, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand
3- Frida Kahlo House, Mexico City, Mexico
2- Dinner at Tung’s, La Phu, Vietnam
1- G8 Cycling, Yunnan, China
TOP 5 GREAT OUTDOORS:
5- Fuji San, Gotemba, Japan
4- Horse Riding, Sayta, Argentina
3- The Himalayas, Annapurna, Nepal
2- Cenote Diving, Tulum, Mexico
1- Safari, Moremi/Okavango Delta, Botswana
TOP 5 PLACES WE STAYED:
5- 3rd Bridge campsite, Moremi/Okavango Delta, Botswana
4- La Constancia, San Javier, Argentina (Laf and Barnaby)
3- Sayta Ranch, Argentina
2- Valparaiso House, Chile
1- Tree house no.5, Huay Xia, Laos
Lets just hope that Lonely Planet is reading this because it’s really what every adventurer must know. Put these names in your lists ladies and gentlemen because these things are what it’s all about and you won’t find many of them on a tourism brochure. So if you’re after a world tour of the highest calibre and need a couple of experienced tour guides; who you gonna call?