Travel Log

I quit my job and decided to go backpacking. Below are my updates from the trail. I hope to just post enough pictures and details to make you all jealous. - Joe

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Living back in DC

Shepherd St NW, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

The Ohio House, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Jungle in Laos, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Face Statue, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Laos House, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Laos Mountains, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Vietnamese Dragon, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Vietnam fishing village, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Imperial City, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Vietnam Flag, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Angkor Wat, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Ta Som, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Sihnoukville crab vendor, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Siam Reap, Cambodia

From the Gulf of Thailand I headed to the capital Bangkok. Which just happens to be the unofficial backpacking capital of the world. You can buy anything in Bangkok it is amazing. I stay on the famous Kohsan Road. From Bangkok I took the rumored "scan" bus from to Siam Reap, Cambodia.

Siam Reap was a small town with lots of tourists visiting the amazing Angkor Wat temples. The temples are the biggest religious buildings ever built. The stone carvings and structures are a unbelievable.

From Siam Reap, we headed south to Phnom Penh. The capital of Cambodia. The city was a constant reminder of the terrible history of the country and the main places to see where locations involved in Pol Pott's genocide. The city wears heavily on you.

Afterwards we headed to Sihnoukville on the coast. We relaxed on the beach and sample the local seafood while drinking and dining on the sand. Now back to Phnom Penh to catch a bus to Vietnam.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gulf of Thailand

Siam Sunset, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Koh Tao Sunset, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Koh Tao Fire Show, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Koh Samui Jetty, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

I took the train from Penang Malaysia up to Surat Thani, Thailand. From there a ferry to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. I started on Koh Samui then hit Koh Phangan and then finally Koh Tao.

Koh Samui was the biggest and most developed. I spent the least amount of time here. Koh Phangan is the number one hotspot for backpackers. They have taken over several beaches on the small island. Koh Tao is the smallest and a great spot for diving.

The island life was a nice break. I spent a lot of time laying in my hammock doing nothing. It was excellent.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Petronas Twin Towers, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Football in Ipoh, Malaysia, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Chicken Satay, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

From Singapore I took the train north into Malaysia. My first stop was Kaual Lumpur. The city was huge and bustling with activity. It was not the most pedestrian friendly city and I often found myself dodge motorbikes and cars. The food was quite tasty and the prices keep getting better and better as I go north. I got a chance to go up into the bridge in the twin towers picture above. They are quite impressive and really light up the night sky.

From Kaula Lumpur I took a bus north to the city of Ipoh. I didn't stay long as I realized I didn't really have much reason for visiting. I did get to watch some local amateur Malaysian football at the park.

After Ipoh I went to the island of Penang. The island is right of the coast of Malaysia and I got there easily via the ferry. The island used to serve as an old British fort. The island had narrow streets and tons of food hawkers. The chicken satay was delicious. After a few days in Penang the next stop was north via the train into Thailand.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Singapore Flyer, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

I've been in Singapore the last few days. The whole country is one huge city. Its not too cheap either. But I was able to find a cheap hostel in the Little India neighborhood. The public transportation system is impressive though and the city is very clean.

This picture is fun because they had a floating soccer field that you can see in the bottom right. Then on the left they are in the process of constructing a whole new section of the city for living and playing. Luxury places and casinos. Singapore is centered around business and money.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

SCUBA Joe, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

I've gone from the central Australian desert to the tropical rain forest and coast.

I just finished a five day SCUBA diving course. We spent two days in the classroom/pool learning how to dive. Then we spent three days staying on the dive boat off the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns, Australia.

The reef was amazing. The fish and life down on the reef is bursting with activity. You see hundreds of fish once you peer down into the water. Diving underwater was a completely foreign experience but the entire group was able to dive comfortably after a couple dives. I still need to work on not breathing through my air so fast.

The best was the chance encounters with reef sharks. They were quite passive and we usually scared them away. We saw several sharks, some over a meter in length.

We also did a few special dives. We did a night dive in which we had to jump into the water while we could see sharks swimming around the boat. We did a deep dive of 25 meters and checked for nitrogen narcosis. Then the last dive I did was with an underwater digital camera where I tried to take a few decent shots. Not so easy to focus when the current is bobbing you up and down.

The reef was beautiful. It lives up to the reputation.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Outback

Driving through the Outback, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Sunset at Uluru, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

The Road Ahead, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Well I survived the trip through the outback. The trip started in Adelaide and ended in Alice Springs. We drove well over 2000 kilometers over eight days. Zig-zaging our way north over lonely paved and dirt roads.

Along the way we visited the Flinders Ranges, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Angorichina, took the Oodnadatta Track along the Old Ghan Railway, saw Lake Eyre, and visited William Creek (population of about 9), stayed underground at the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, Kings Canyon and finally Alice Springs. It was exhausting. There was sweltering heat. Extremely dry. Little to no shade. Thousands of flies swarmed your face relentlessly. It was seriously the most fun I've had in Australia yet. Our fearless group of thirteen was great. If I could of I would of wished the tour to go on for another eight days.

Oh and we saw plenty of kangaroos. They are actually quite tasty.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Melbourne to Adelaide via The Great Ocean Road

Melbourne at Night, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

Tweleve Apostles, originally uploaded by jokecamp.

From Canberra I took an overnight nine hour Greyhound bus ride. The ride was long and cramped.

Melbourne was a great city. The combination of the Victorian architecture and modern architecture gives the city a great look and feel. The Trams worked smartly and blended in with the scene. In the endless argument, Sydney versus Melbourne I have to side with Melbourne. While I was in Melbourne the Australian Open was in full swing. The crowds were impressive and made the city was buzzing with excitement. At night along the South Bank of the Yarra river the city lights were great.

From Melbourne I joined a small bus tour for a three day trip to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road. The road winded along the southern coast of Australia. The views were amazing and the surf breaks were rough. Along the trip saw some Kangaroos and we camped below the Koala bears. The male mating call of the Koala is quite startling in the morning. The highlight was camping in a secluded little ranch/pub in the Grampians. The stars were the brightest I've ever seen them and you could hear the kangaroos sneaking around the tents in the early morning.

Then I was in Adelaide to celebrate Australian Day. Some friends from the bus tour and I headed down to the beach for a swim then hit the town with our Aussie flags to celebrate. Tomorrow I start a 8 day journey into the center of the continent.