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C James

Circumnavigation 54 : The False Cross

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Thanks for clearing that up CJ :unsure:

 

I thought Benji cleared that up :)

 

But thank you very much Slug!!! There has been a debate going on for years wondering if CJ and Benji are the same person :lol: I must now wonder if the rumour is actually true :P

 

:lol:.................Quit starting those rumors again!!

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Is that when the next chapter is out.... we aren't getting one tomorrow? Now I am sad.

 

Welcome to the forum! :great:

 

The next chapter should post in an hour or so. :)

 

Thanks for clearing that up CJ :unsure:

 

I thought Benji cleared that up :)

 

But thank you very much Slug!!! There has been a debate going on for years wondering if CJ and Benji are the same person :lol: I must now wonder if the rumour is actually true :P

 

Here we see another example of why Wildone is known as EvilSteve! :blink:

 

In this case I can prove Benji isn't me (or visa versa)... Benji has oft accused me a cliffhangers. :P

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Edited by Alastair

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I read thenewpart. spend the next two days waiting and regretting I started reading this story before it ended

 

Doesn't help.

 

I only just discovered the story and spent several days last week doing little other than reading it. The tension was almost unbearable at times. I almost found myself wishing that there wasn't another chapter so that I could get a break. Of course, now that I've caught up, I can't wait for the next chapter.

 

Which makes me wonder why CJ feels the need for the cliffhangers (or call them what you will). I realise that they provide a great joke on this forum, but they seem all but needless as a literary device. I can't begin to imagine that anyone wouldn't be eagerly awaiting the next chapter whether or not the previous one finished at a natural break in the story or in the middle of a tense moment.

 

The cliffhanger does serve to reduce the tension and probably reduces the collective blood pressure of readers but, again, I wonder what literary function it serves and this is, after all, a piece of literature.

 

CJ's stories are amongst the best on the net and this one is amongst the best I've read anywhere. The level of research is worthy of Tom Clancy. The character and story development are up there with the best of them.

 

So why the need for the, to my way of thinking, highly artificial device of the cliffhanger?

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Doesn't help.

 

I only just discovered the story and spent several days last week doing little other than reading it. The tension was almost unbearable at times. I almost found myself wishing that there wasn't another chapter so that I could get a break. Of course, now that I've caught up, I can't wait for the next chapter.

 

Which makes me wonder why CJ feels the need for the cliffhangers (or call them what you will). I realise that they provide a great joke on this forum, but they seem all but needless as a literary device. I can't begin to imagine that anyone wouldn't be eagerly awaiting the next chapter whether or not the previous one finished at a natural break in the story or in the middle of a tense moment.

 

The cliffhanger does serve to reduce the tension and probably reduces the collective blood pressure of readers but, again, I wonder what literary function it serves and this is, after all, a piece of literature.

 

CJ's stories are amongst the best on the net and this one is amongst the best I've read anywhere. The level of research is worthy of Tom Clancy. The character and story development are up there with the best of them.

 

So why the need for the, to my way of thinking, highly artificial device of the cliffhanger?

 

Not that I'll ever admit to a cliffhanger 0:) but I do admit to a few slightly tense chapter endings. 0:)

 

Why are they there? It depends on the individual case. In some cases, it's because I want the reader to remember something: the bomb on Atlantis, for example. It's important to remember how exactly it was placed, what it replaced, etc. Some of this has yet to be revealed, so I can't be too specific. There are, however, occurrences in the Suez that the tension helped highlight, that are very important later in the story.

 

In some cases, it's simply because no matter where I cut the chapter, it's going to be an unresolved issue. The bomb is another good example; it was on board for quite some time, and chapters have to end somewhere.

 

The issue in the greek islands, with the unexploded munitions, was in part for educational purposes; it gave he a chance to explain the issues with explosives that had gone unstable due to age. That was critical a few chapters later, in the Suez with the bomb. Also, that scare for the characters was when Joel decided to marry Lisa. :)

 

Also, the Greek issue was the first real tense bit in the story (I think?); there wasn't much before it. When Trevor crossed the Atlantic and fell overboard, I put that in the middle of a chapter and resolved it right away. It was important in several ways that it happened, but tension wasn't needed so there was none.

 

When Trevor crossed the Indian Ocean, there's a lot of tension, just as there was for him. He was in danger continually. It also (in the case of missing Reunion) was an issue where we were seeing it through his eyes; trying to figure it out, and coming close, but then missing. And, the way he missed reunion highlighted some navigational issues that played a big role in where he finally ended up. :)

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OK, I guess that makes sense. I suppose the lurking stranger in Chapter 62 and the typed letter in Chapter 63 are more noticeable because they're sitting there on their own at the end of a chapter.

 

It's still frustrating but it's your tale, and I'm going to read it anyway. I am beginning to wonder how long it's going to be - 60-odd chapters just to get half-way round the world. Assuming he's actually going to finish the journey then we must be talking well over 100 chapters by the time he gets home. I've got to hope that (after Australia, where he's just got to deal with refitting his boat and the small matter of an assassin with wounded pride) the rest of his trip is a little less exciting than the outward half.

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Well, I love CJ's writing, and I'm surprised LTMP hasn't been published somewhere, it's that good. I think Circumnavigation could be that good, too. But I sense that CJ has a a certain...reticence in advancing this story very much in each chapter, and part of that could be chapter length - there's only so much you can write in each chapter when the postings happen every week - along with all the research and backstory that has to be developed along the way. It's a lot of work, it has to be.

 

And I think there's a certain amount of poking at people in the forum about cliffhangers. So some are deliberate to develop tension, as CJ says above - and some of it is sheer glee at being able to keep the joke running.

 

I mean, there's a meme on reddit.com about Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, who makes the game Half Life. Half Life 3 is in production and has been for years. Gabe Newell is a heavy guy. Anytime anyone mentions Gabe's weight on reddit, someone responds with "well, there's another month added to the release date". And Gabe has been known to chime in, all in fun, and agree that yep, that one added TWO months. Or whatever.

 

All this aside, the only criticism I have about Circumnavigation is its pace. It doesn't seem that the story advances very much when you read it as posted every week. So the solution I've arrived at is to only read it once a month and catch up. I just did that, so now I'll stay away for a month and come back at the end of February and catch up again.

 

It's a great story, I don't care how many chapters it has. Thanks for writing it!

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Doesn't help.

 

I only just discovered the story and spent several days last week doing little other than reading it. The tension was almost unbearable at times. I almost found myself wishing that there wasn't another chapter so that I could get a break. Of course, now that I've caught up, I can't wait for the next chapter.

 

Which makes me wonder why CJ feels the need for the cliffhangers (or call them what you will). I realise that they provide a great joke on this forum, but they seem all but needless as a literary device. I can't begin to imagine that anyone wouldn't be eagerly awaiting the next chapter whether or not the previous one finished at a natural break in the story or in the middle of a tense moment.

 

The cliffhanger does serve to reduce the tension and probably reduces the collective blood pressure of readers but, again, I wonder what literary function it serves and this is, after all, a piece of literature.

 

CJ's stories are amongst the best on the net and this one is amongst the best I've read anywhere. The level of research is worthy of Tom Clancy. The character and story development are up there with the best of them.

 

So why the need for the, to my way of thinking, highly artificial device of the cliffhanger?

 

 

:lol:...................... So you're on-board that the goat writes cliffhangers? 0:) Whatever gave you that thought? Yep, CJ does a lot of research, that is why we try to trap him, but he always leaves clues anyway. But with his constant use of misdirection it is sometimes hard to figure the direction he is going (did I say hard?). A secret or non-secret is that I often re-read the chapter many times to find those clues, and often find myself going back to previous chapters to find the discrepancies or laded clues that were forgotten. The cliffhangers/tense moments are a favorite of mine as they prod me on to re-read and discover what I may have missed in the hints. I'm pretty sure I'm about 85% true in my opinions on the chapters and my forecast of upcoming ones. That said, I believe someone once said 'The hunt is on".

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Well, I love CJ's writing, and I'm surprised LTMP hasn't been published somewhere, it's that good. I think Circumnavigation could be that good, too. But I sense that CJ has a a certain...reticence in advancing this story very much in each chapter, and part of that could be chapter length - there's only so much you can write in each chapter when the postings happen every week - along with all the research and backstory that has to be developed along the way. It's a lot of work, it has to be.

I couldn't agree more. There are many books in print that aren't half as well written as CJ's stuff. And, yes, they'd probably require some editing - the art of writing a novel is different to that of writing a serialised story - but I don't think that'd be a problem. I'm glad he doesn't publish them in a way because, as it is, we get to enjoy the fruits of his labour absolutely free!

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OK, I guess that makes sense. I suppose the lurking stranger in Chapter 62 and the typed letter in Chapter 63 are more noticeable because they're sitting there on their own at the end of a chapter.

 

It's still frustrating but it's your tale, and I'm going to read it anyway. I am beginning to wonder how long it's going to be - 60-odd chapters just to get half-way round the world. Assuming he's actually going to finish the journey then we must be talking well over 100 chapters by the time he gets home. I've got to hope that (after Australia, where he's just got to deal with refitting his boat and the small matter of an assassin with wounded pride) the rest of his trip is a little less exciting than the outward half.

 

The lurking stranger at the end of 62 (who we now know the identity of) was in part done to emphasize the fact that there are people out there whose intentions would not have been benign, and that Trevor is vulnerable.

 

Please don't assume that there is a miles-to-distance correlation. Trevor crossed the Atlantic in less than one chapter. I can't give spoilers, but... let's just say that in this case, the Atlantic and the Pacific have a lot in common. :)

 

This isn't going to be anywhere near a hundred-chapter story. :)

 

Also, the mysteries... Circumnavigation is unusual for a mystery novel; the mysteries do not wait for the end of the novel. The overwhelming majority are revealed well before, and a great many all at once. One clue; the reason for the secrecy on so much of it is the statutes of limitations, and the date of their expiry has already been given in the story (December 17th). It's currently the end of November in the story, as of the most recently posted chapter.

 

One problem (and I freely admit, it's a problem) is that the story is also a novel of Trevor's voyage, so things are in it that sometimes don't pertain to the mystery. This includes travelogue type visits to various places, such as Pompeii.

This is in part because I love writing those (the photos in that chapter are mine) and had fun with it. Was it plot relevant? Yes, because that's where Trevor got the idea to try underwater archeology from. And also, that's where Trevor tricked (or thought he did) Joel into wearing the gay-symbol shirt, which Joel turned around on him. Trevor learned that being gay isn't as big a deal as he thinks it is (Joel had no problems due to wearing the shirt) and Joel learned that there really are times when being "out" can be problematic (Trevor's comment about going to jail wearing that shirt, when they had the scare from the harbormaster). So, they both learned a lot.

 

Other scenes were apparently trivial at the time, but were forshadowing. Joel's fall on Samos; a few scrapes and a ripped pair of shorts. Trivial everyday stuff, except that where the watch Trevor used to save his life came from. The visit to Rhodes and the cafe with the sundial (a real place, BTW) gave Trevor the time settings to use. The sundial in Gibraltar was part of this, as it mentioned sundials, and the critical compass rose on the chart in the salon. (and Gibralter also stocked Trevor up with pork hot dogs... which the pirates would not take).

 

There was a scene shortly after Gibraltar, when Trevor and Joel had to grease Atlantis's seacocks. Joel decided to prank Trevor by stripping naked before going into the confined bilge, which was also his way to get Trevor to quit stressing so much on the "gay issue". He faked being shocked and appalled when Trevor touched his shoulder, and had a good laugh.

But what was also in that scene? Using the valve kit, and in it we saw for the first time the abrasive grinding powder Trevor would later use to take out the pirate ship's engines. I had to slip that in somewhere, and figured I might as well do it with a fun scene that served several other purposes as well. (you can't just have a handy item just suddenly appear in time of need).

 

If there's any large scene or passage that looks irrelevant, tell me what it is and I can probably tell you it's purpose. :)

 

I'm not saying you're not right, just that I did have reasons for much of this. Whether I was right to do it as i did? I honestly don't know... that's up to readers, to me. I will add that I'm enjoying this conversation, because I love discussing things like this; an author sees their writing from a very different perspective than the reader, because the author knows the whole plot. Conversations like this help me see it from other perspectives, and that's something I find very helpful, and often learn a great deal from. :)

 

The chapter-end issue is a good one, and I'll cover that at the end of this post.

 

 

 

Well, I love CJ's writing, and I'm surprised LTMP hasn't been published somewhere, it's that good. I think Circumnavigation could be that good, too. But I sense that CJ has a a certain...reticence in advancing this story very much in each chapter, and part of that could be chapter length - there's only so much you can write in each chapter when the postings happen every week - along with all the research and backstory that has to be developed along the way. It's a lot of work, it has to be.

 

And I think there's a certain amount of poking at people in the forum about cliffhangers. So some are deliberate to develop tension, as CJ says above - and some of it is sheer glee at being able to keep the joke running.

 

I mean, there's a meme on reddit.com about Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, who makes the game Half Life. Half Life 3 is in production and has been for years. Gabe Newell is a heavy guy. Anytime anyone mentions Gabe's weight on reddit, someone responds with "well, there's another month added to the release date". And Gabe has been known to chime in, all in fun, and agree that yep, that one added TWO months. Or whatever.

 

All this aside, the only criticism I have about Circumnavigation is its pace. It doesn't seem that the story advances very much when you read it as posted every week. So the solution I've arrived at is to only read it once a month and catch up. I just did that, so now I'll stay away for a month and come back at the end of February and catch up again.

 

It's a great story, I don't care how many chapters it has. Thanks for writing it!

 

This thread got me thinking, and I came to realize that the chapter-length issue has been a frequent headache for me.

In many cases, I'd prefer a longer chapter so an entire event of situation could be handled in it.

 

Basically, the way I write is to have a large working file, and then parse it into chapters, with a goal of between 5k and 6k words per. (Hosted chapters on GA average 5k). I often go a bit over, and also struggle to find a decent breaking point. I am often unhappy with the result. I'll get back to this at the end of the post.

 

Thanks for the info on Gabe Newell! Ah yes, that gives ideas! Perhaps a similar response about a delay, every time someone mentions the word 'Cliffhanger'? 0:)0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) :devil::ph34r:

 

:lol:...................... So you're on-board that the goat writes cliffhangers? 0:) Whatever gave you that thought? Yep, CJ does a lot of research, that is why we try to trap him, but he always leaves clues anyway. But with his constant use of misdirection it is sometimes hard to figure the direction he is going (did I say hard?). A secret or non-secret is that I often re-read the chapter many times to find those clues, and often find myself going back to previous chapters to find the discrepancies or laded clues that were forgotten. The cliffhangers/tense moments are a favorite of mine as they prod me on to re-read and discover what I may have missed in the hints. I'm pretty sure I'm about 85% true in my opinions on the chapters and my forecast of upcoming ones. That said, I believe someone once said 'The hunt is on".

 

Who, me, misdirect? 0:)

 

I'm big on foreshadowing... for example, Trevor's Southern Ocean ordeal was forshadowed more than once, but heavily in Santorini, when he was on board that Canadian yacht. The Southern Ocean was mentioned and described, and Trevor's planned route was described, along with the explanation of how he would stay north of the Southern Ocean, and use his weather forecasts ant Atlantis's speed to evade storms that he'd encounter (even north of it, it's dangerous waters).

 

Trevor's little pirate problem was foreshadowed in several places and ways, such as by his dread of falling overboard and being left at sea to drift and slowly die. (a fate he very much had to confront, both before freeing himself and after).

 

I couldn't agree more. There are many books in print that aren't half as well written as CJ's stuff. And, yes, they'd probably require some editing - the art of writing a novel is different to that of writing a serialised story - but I don't think that'd be a problem. I'm glad he doesn't publish them in a way because, as it is, we get to enjoy the fruits of his labour absolutely free!

 

Thanks! :)

You're absolutely right... Serial stories are a bit different. (I've done both, and I find a non-serialized story easier. Also, another aspect; I'm posting this before the story is complete. That's trickier than I thought it would be, due to the complexity. There do end up being little plot changes, and I can think of one scene in particular that was in part vague foreshadowing for a plot twist that did not occur (Minor spoiler; Trevor and Joel are not actually related by blood, but for a time I planned that they would discover that they were). If I was posting this only after completion, that scene, and quite a few other bits, would be edited out or at least streamlined, and that's just one example.

 

Also, part of why I'm writing this and the other novels is to learn how to write. I have much to learn, and in hindsight, there are changes I'd make. That's a good thing, because it means (theoretically, anyway) I'll be better on my next novel.

 

Okay, now, back to the chapter-length issue that was raised. That one really got me thinking, and chapterizing this is often a massive headache for me. In one coming chapter, for example, it ran long, about a chapter and a half, so I curt it early, and I'm not happy with the result. I think it would be a better read in one lump, at about 9k words. Why don't I just make it a double sized chapter? Because I'm trying to keep up a weekly posting schedule, and I can only write so much. (I'm also currently working on a new novel for the Premium section, and I'm a lousy typist so this all takes time).

 

One of the reasons I post weekly is so the forum doesn't die off. My main motivation for posting free online is this forum, and getting to interact with readers. That's fun for me, and I learn a lot. If the forum died off, I wouldn't be posting free online anymore (I'll still write, that's an addiction, it's just I'd have no motive). I don't want that to happen, so i keep up a weekly schedule, which sometimes is a massive headache for me to do (and it has resulted in chapter breaks that are not what I'd like).

 

So, I'm thinking of posting a poll; as long as the number of words I post per month does not decline, what would ya'll rather see for the rest of Circumnavigation? Fewer chapters, though the size will vary wildly (as you'd see in a published novel) and average larger, which will often result in fewer chapters per month (but at least the same words per month) in some cases? Or go on as we are? Any thoughts? :)

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Crickey, CJ, I didn't mean to imply that the story was too long - far from it. I'm loving it and you can keep going as long as you want as far as I'm concerned (though I can't imagine that that would concern you all that much...)

 

The travelogue aspect was great and I did catch a fair number of the "background" aspects that turned up later. I'm jealous of your trip round the Med - I wondered if they were your own photos, and guessed they probably were. I hope the one of the Atlantis with its plywood jury rig was photo-shopped... If not, what on earth happened to you? Last summer I did a round-the-world trip of my own, though in the comfort of several aircraft, so I recognised some of the symptoms that Trev felt when Joel flew home. I only got really lonely once, but it was a big downer for a few hours, and I wasn't ever really alone.

 

Interestingly (or not) one of the things I did in New Zealand was visit an observatory where they told us about the Southern Cross and how to find south. They also mentioned the false cross, so I was ahead of Trev there. The only time, mind you... It seemed to me at the time that the actual Southern Cross was no more a distinct constellation than the false one, though - both looked like a fairly random collection of stars that just happened to be cross shaped. Probably, if I'd grown up in Australia or New Zealand, I'd be better at spotting it.

 

As for the chapters - the longer the better, as far as I'm concerned but I can't imagine how long it must take you to write this stuff. Your every waking moment, I'd have thought assuming you have some kind of employment occupying several hours a day. As others have commented on the poll thread, you must write the story the way you want to - it's your story, after all.

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Crickey, CJ, I didn't mean to imply that the story was too long - far from it.

 

Oops! Sorry, this looks like a case of me doing what's called "projecting". I apologize for the misinterpretation.

Truth is, *I've* been worried that it's too long, so I guess I saw validation of my own concerns and read you wrong. :*)

 

Here's the honest truth on story length; my original prediction for Circumnavigation was (with basically the same plot it has) 20 chapters, total. I knew that was way off by the time Trevor got to Gibraltar... and believe it or not, hi entire time in the Med with Joel? I thought (two and a half chapters) for everything they did there. When i say I utterly suck at estimating the amount of text to fill out an outline, it's an understatement of cosmic proportions.:)

 

I'm loving it and you can keep going as long as you want as far as I'm concerned (though I can't imagine that that would concern you all that much...)

 

I love feedback (all kinds) because it does concern me, a lot. Readers have a much different perspective than the author, (especially in perceiving a plot revealed over time) so they have a view i don't, so I like using that to try to improve. I do value opinions greatly. I might not always agree, but I always like to hear other views. :)

 

The travelogue aspect was great and I did catch a fair number of the "background" aspects that turned up later. I'm jealous of your trip round the Med - I wondered if they were your own photos, and guessed they probably were. I hope the one of the Atlantis with its plywood jury rig was photo-shopped... If not, what on earth happened to you? Last summer I did a round-the-world trip of my own, though in the comfort of several aircraft, so I recognised some of the symptoms that Trev felt when Joel flew home. I only got really lonely once, but it was a big downer for a few hours, and I wasn't ever really alone.

 

Many of the photos are mine... but others aren't. For Gibraltar, for example, I can't find my pictures! (I was still using film and prints, then). Pompeii I was at two years ago, so that was easy. The Santorini other Greek and Turkish photos are mine, except the salt water sinkhole waterwheel ones (I was there long ago). From Cyprus on, the photos aren't mine (I was a kid the last time I transited Suez, and that was on a cruise ship).

 

I've never been alone like Trevor (out at sea) but I have been on land, on long multi-day hikes deep in the backcountry of the American west. When I'm in the mountains, 20 miles from the nearest road and (as far as i know) at least that far from the nearest person, I've felt intense loneliness after a few days.. and in Trevor's case, he had that, AND missing Joel. I have to admit, I found those parts difficult to write.

 

Interestingly (or not) one of the things I did in New Zealand was visit an observatory where they told us about the Southern Cross and how to find south. They also mentioned the false cross, so I was ahead of Trev there. The only time, mind you... It seemed to me at the time that the actual Southern Cross was no more a distinct constellation than the false one, though - both looked like a fairly random collection of stars that just happened to be cross shaped. Probably, if I'd grown up in Australia or New Zealand, I'd be better at spotting it.

 

I hadn't heard of the False Cross. I've seen the Southern Cross many times, but it was Graeme who mentioned the False Cross to me. That's why we credit Graeme, fully and unconditionally, with any perceived cliffhanger due to Trevor missing Reunion Island and having to dare the Southern Ocean. 0:)

 

BTW, a trip around the world? I haven't gone all the way around in years, I'm jealous! That sounds great... Where'd you go?

 

As for the chapters - the longer the better, as far as I'm concerned but I can't imagine how long it must take you to write this stuff. Your every waking moment, I'd have thought assuming you have some kind of employment occupying several hours a day. As others have commented on the poll thread, you must write the story the way you want to - it's your story, after all.

 

I haven't read that thread yet (I'll do so as soon as i post this) but, I just wanted to see how everyone felt. It does little good for me to make a change that people don't like; they'd lose out, and so would I - I'd get less of what I most crave; this forum. :)

 

I'm not fond of TV or video games, so writing is my recreation. It's very addictive. :) It also helps that I have all these voices in my head, clamoring to get out... :lol:

 

CJ :)

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Here's the honest truth on story length; my original prediction for Circumnavigation was (with basically the same plot it has) 20 chapters, total. I knew that was way off by the time Trevor got to Gibraltar... and believe it or not, hi entire time in the Med with Joel? I thought (two and a half chapters) for everything they did there. When i say I utterly suck at estimating the amount of text to fill out an outline, it's an understatement of cosmic proportions.:)

There were a series of programmes on BBC Radio a few weeks ago to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. For what it's worth, Circumnavigation, as it was then, was already more than half as long as the bible.

 

BTW, a trip around the world? I haven't gone all the way around in years, I'm jealous! That sounds great... Where'd you go?

Nothing as exciting as Trevor. I flew via Singapore to Perth then by train to Sydney and then on to Melbourne. From there I visited Alice Springs and Uluru. From Australia it was on to New Zealand before heading up to California then over to New England and a little detour to Quebec. It took about three months altogether and was an amazing experience.

 

I'm not fond of TV or video games, so writing is my recreation. It's very addictive. :) It also helps that I have all these voices in my head, clamoring to get out... :lol:

I'm sure you can get therapy for that, but I'm glad you don't!

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There were a series of programmes on BBC Radio a few weeks ago to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. For what it's worth, Circumnavigation, as it was then, was already more than half as long as the bible.

 

 

Nothing as exciting as Trevor. I flew via Singapore to Perth then by train to Sydney and then on to Melbourne. From there I visited Alice Springs and Uluru. From Australia it was on to New Zealand before heading up to California then over to New England and a little detour to Quebec. It took about three months altogether and was an amazing experience.

 

 

I'm sure you can get therapy for that, but I'm glad you don't!

 

Singapore is interesting... I hope you stopped by the bar at Raffles for their signature drink? (Singapore Sling)?

There's a lot of new stuff there since I was last there... including a swimming pool I'd love to see;

The-Greatest-Marina-Hotel-Design.jpg

on that "wing," 650 feet above the ground, is the swimming pool, running the whole length, right at the edge...

 

I've never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) or the interior of Australia. That's on my agenda, maybe.. I'm thinking of a driving circumnavigation around Australia, but Ayers Rock and Alice Springs are a long detour if I do. Did you like them?

 

New Zealand is a blast, I loved it. I hope you had a good time... did you get to the South Island? I loved the Southern Alps area, Milford sound, and above all the Franz Josef Glacier, which I've climbed twice, about a decade apart. (no big deal with a guide, many tourists with zero prior climbing experience do it, but one hell of an interesting experience!)

The thermal areas at Rotorua, especially Hell's Gate, were also great, as was glowworm grotto.

 

Three months sounds fantastic! :2thumbs: :2thumbs:

 

BTW, regarding the voices in my head, I've been assured there's a cure, but it involves decapitation.. :ph34r:

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Singapore is interesting... I hope you stopped by the bar at Raffles for their signature drink? (Singapore Sling)?

I did stop by at Raffles, but not for a Singapore Sling. I'm not that big a drinker and it kinda slipped my mind. I had afternoon tea there, though, which was just about perfect. It probably hadn't changed since my grandparents were there before the war. It's ridiculously anachronistic but I hope it never changes.

 

I saw the building with the pool on top, but didn't visit it. I only had 3 days (plus bits of two more) so the agenda was limited.

 

I've never seen Ayers Rock (Uluru) or the interior of Australia. That's on my agenda, maybe.. I'm thinking of a driving circumnavigation around Australia, but Ayers Rock and Alice Springs are a long detour if I do. Did you like them?

 

Kata Tjuta and Ulura were pretty amazing even if it was cloudy most of the time I was there. It was tipping down with rain while I was in Alice Springs. I went half-way round the world to the middle of a desert, and it was raining...

 

New Zealand is a blast, I loved it. I hope you had a good time... did you get to the South Island? I loved the Southern Alps area, Milford sound, and above all the Franz Josef Glacier, which I've climbed twice, about a decade apart. (no big deal with a guide, many tourists with zero prior climbing experience do it, but one hell of an interesting experience!)

The thermal areas at Rotorua, especially Hell's Gate, were also great, as was glowworm grotto.

 

I fell completely in love with NZ and the Kiwis I met. I was on the South Island for almost my entire time - driving around in a camper van which was (as they'd say there) awesome! It also allowed me to do my own catering and avoid any danger of cross-contamination with vegemite.

 

It would be hard to pick the best experience but the glow worms at Charleston and Doubtful Sound would probably be tying for top spot. It would be a close-run thing.

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