Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It's been a very long time, but here are a few panoramic photos...

This is the Eglington Valley in New Zeland, such an amazing place!

This is the Dog's Leg in Lahinch a few weeks ago, glorious may bank holiday!

Queenstown, New Zeland.  Such an amaizing town!!

Hope you liked them, 

Might upload a few more photos soon.

Sean Burke

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well, well, well, Its been a while. Its going to be tough doing a blog without the glamour of living in a van, or the terror of jumping off very high things or even that bright thing that sometimes appears in the sky, what's it called again? The Sun? yeah, that's it, I've almost forgotten what it feels like to have the sun hitting my skin since I've been home..... Grrrr...

Anywho, lets see how this goes:

That's Charlie relaxing in our suite in Radisson hotel in Dublin the day we arrived back in Ireland.

We were not betraying our "poor traveller" ways, I had vouchers that I won from work in Galway, so we blew the whole lot on 1 night in a fancy suite and on room service!

The hotel staff looked at us a bit funny when we turned up with our rucksacks looking a bit worse for wear after 28hrs of travelling, but after we got in the room I don't think we left it, apart from getting ice for the Champagne!

Not bad if I say so myself!

The view, not bad for Dublin city.

You caught a glimpse of him in the last update, this is Oscar, Our brilliant new doggy! He is sizing me up on our lawn down home in Galway

I have no idea how Charlies hair did that, but Oscar seems to like it!

Daddy-O taking it easy!

My mammy and myself! With huge help from Jacqui we managed to Trick Mum and Dad into thinking we were coming home a week later than we actually were, so when myself and Charlie walked in the drive of the house a week early, both of them were pretty shocked to see us standing there!! The look of shock their faces was priceless!!

The Terror that is Caitlin!! This is my little niece, I use the word little, but she is 10 years old and is taller than Charlie!! She will be borrowing her Charlies clothes soon given half the chance!

My Family minus Jacqui, actually I've just noticed that she is not in a single photo on this update.... Ill have to rummage around and get one!

Like father, like son. My belly is coming along nicely as you can see, although it make take a few more years to get to the size of my Dads!

Oscar enjoying the beach down the road!

Me, pretending its sunny!

Before we arrived back home, we had decided to move to Dublin. So after a few weeks living off the folks we moved up and Sash and Gugs very kindly offered to take us in, so it was job hunting time!

I fell into a rhythm of waking up and playing Grand Theft Auto for most of the day and then emailing my CV to jobs I found online......... You may laugh, but things turned out great and I am now gainfully employed in the above building on Merrion Sq. (and I have completed Grand Theft Auto!)

While I was at work, Gugs and Charlie with a little help from Nix, got down to doing a bit of D.I.Y, mainly repainting this wall!

Nix and Gugs.

Sash and Charlie


This little terror is Fionn, who is Gug's Nephew. We took him down to the beach to play with the kites!

After a few minutes he was flying like a champion!

Unlike myself........

Now this place is special, In a secret location in the west of Ireland, there is a lake, and on this lake there is an Island, and on this island is a very old house......

Every now and then, a group of us get together and head down to "The Island" for a week of good food, good wine (and every other type of alcholic drink!) to just to get away from everything.

Min getting her cook on!

Chilling by the fire.

TV is a not allowed on the island, so after a good meal Jenga is a must!



Sash's big pink kite.

Minny Winehouse.

Some local dog barking up the wrong kite........ I'm here all week folks.......

Our transport across to the island.

The boats have seen better days, but they are still going strong.

Sash trying not to get wet!

Its not too far across, but the lake has a lot of rocks just under the surface so if you don't know the route, your in trouble.

Marc & Sean.

Sean Flynn.

Nix Williams.

Nix trying out the carve board we got Gugs for his birthday.

Charlie. It was a blast down the island, as always!

Now, Im gonna leave a few things for the next update, but this is Charlie doing Falconry for Charlie & Rosie's Birthday!! How cool is that!!

Sean & Charlie

I would like to mention one last thing, a really cool Italian girl who we met in Wanaka in New Zealand (the girl who ordered the salmon pizza!!) called Marianne was killed in a bus crash in Africa recently. We only met her a couple of times, but she was a great person and its a horrible waste of such a young life. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


To the north Island!

This is me driving onto the ferry to the north island. All through my childhood I have been on car ferries between England and Ireland and always got excited when my daddy drove on the boat. Well this time I was driving and I was just as excited!!

See!! I don't think I mentioned it in the last update, but the main lens of my camera died so a lot of the photos from now on were taken with either my other camera or gugs.

Doing a bit of shopping in Wellington. We arrived the night before and got some sleep, so when we got up the next day we had time to have a wander and have a look around.

Segways. Not cool in any way but I still wanted a go on one!!! Wellington is a great city and it happens to be the capital of New Zealand. It was also a great introduction to the north island, but time waits for no man so it was back on the road to see what else was in store for us.

Now im not the smallest person in the world, but holy crap that is a small caravan.......

This is myself and Charlie having to use our jerrycan as we didnt take the type of roads into consideration when passing the last petrol station. We would have been fine if the roads were kinda flat, but they were massive steep hills and our fantastic van started downing the diesel when we started climbing the hills...... that jerrycan was a great idea!

Spa road. For Sasha, the Spa.

We arrived at Lake Taupo with one thing on our minds and that was to jump out of an aeroplane............

Not likely to be seen on the catwalks around the world........

Mr Clarke Kent.

Slightly tight around a "certain" region..... We didnt get any photos of the actual jumps, but its something that the 3 of us will never forget..... It was actually much calmer than we expected it to be and somehow not as scary as the bungie jumps. Although when your at jump height and the door of the (very small) plane opens and the guy strapped to your back tells you to stick your feet out the door, Its seems like a very silly thing to do...... but we survived and made our way to the next town. Rotorua.

This is a pretty wierd place. Rotorua is an area of the north island that is very well known for its geothermal activity. It also is the smelliest place I have ever been to..... The entire town and surrounding area stinks like rotten eggs..... I mean STINKS. The area is very unique as you can see from the photos. All the colours you see are 100% natural and are like that because of the activity underground!

How crazy is that? These pools were extreamly hot and some of them were bubbling at the edges. An Amazing place, even if it did stink to high heaven.

Most people get up in the morning and get into their car or onto the bus to go to work, but not our fitzy!!! Himself and Johnny Heff are over in Auckland learning how to fly helicopters!!! We had about a week left in New Zealand so Brian let us stay at his gaff to sort ourselves out before we left for home.... it took a lot of presure off us as trying to sell the van and pack everything up while staying in a hostel would have been a nightmare. So a big thanks to Brian and Johnny.

Now back to the Helicopters! Both of the lads have been over here for a while learning how to fly all the different types of choppers. Brian has his private licence which means he is allowed to take passengers.......

Its not everyday one of your good mates gets to fly you around in a helicopter, so myself and gugs jumped at the chance!! This is Brian doing his pre-flight checks. Very important.

Gugs keeping an eye on fitz at the controls.......

Keep her steady Fitz!

The is the view from the helicopter above where brian lives and where we were staying and that white blob parked on the street is our beloved van!!!!

Snowboarding!!! This is Snowplanet just north of Auckland city. As you know Charlie and myself are nuts about snowboarding and so is Brian, So we headed out to this indoor snowboarding centre for the evening. Gugs had never been snowboarding so this was the perfect chance for him to try it out. After a few basic hints and tips from us he was flying down the "mountain"

Charlie, Gugs and myself taking a break at the top on the run. We had not been boarding since August, so it took a few runs to get back into the groove of it, but after a while we started getting a bit braver and with a bit of encouragement from Brian (who is much better than us) Charlie went for the funbox!! I was at the bottom of the run and didn't know she was going to go for it, so when I saw her grind over it I was a little more than shocked!! Well when your girlfriend starts showing you up like that you have no choice but to go for it as well!! So both of us are loving the fact we are now able to grind (with a few falls here and there) and are dying to go away this winter to see what the European mountains are like. Serious respect goes to Gugs as well, after a few "loose" runs he was flying down the run and was loving it, I think we have another addition to the snowboarding gang!!

Gugs, Johnny and Brian playing online poker. All of them seem to be slightly addicted!

Brian sitting on Charlies lap after a few beers!! Sorry man!!

Heff getting a little camera shy........ aaaahhhhh. Gugs is a seasoned pro at this stage, he just does his standard "stop pointing that bloody camera at me" pose!

Stuck in traffic in Auckland city. That us in Brian's jeep reflected off a building...... It was a bit snazzier than the Van, but did it have a bed and fridge? No......

Time was running out and we needed to sell the van, So we cleaned it out and got it looking fresh and clean. We drove it into the Backpackers Car market in Auckland city and booked it in there for 3 days. Its basically a large car park where sellers and buyer of vans and cars meet. Not to sound too cocky, but we felt pretty confident as it was, by far, the best van in the whole place. So we stuck up an A4 sheet in the window with our numbers on it and left the van there....... We dint get any calls at all, so we were getting a bit worried, but Brian said he would sell the van for us if it didn't go before we flew out, so it took a little bit of pressure off us.

We were flying out on the Sunday at 7pm, and against better judgement we went on the piss in Auckland the night before....... Auckland is a great city and has a serious amount of character (and characters!!)

Sky tower in Auckland at about 4am.... We didn't get home till around 6am and we went straight to bed........ Until at 9am my phone started buzzing, I answered the phone and a Dutch guy said he wanted to have a test drive of the van. So just to recap, its Sunday morning, we are VERY hungover with about 3hrs sleep and we are flying out at 7pm that evening. Oh and we are about 30mins away from the van. Nasty. I pop my head into Fitzs bedroom and without lifting his head off the pillow he throws his car keys at me. Myself and Charlie head into town to the van to meet the Dutch guy (In the state Gugs was is he would have been more of a hindrance than help selling the van - Sorry gugs!!)

Charlie stroking Growler...... The couple took it for a test drive and they seemed very happy with it, the asking price was nz$3500 and I was, despite being very hungover, in my salesman mode ready to barter and bargain with the guy, Well he obviously isn't used to haggling, because he offered $3400....... I was almost speechless, I expected a $2800 offer, after a quick kick from Charlie I blurted out "$3450"................. SOLD!

On the last day in the last few hours we had managed to sell the van, by anyone's standards that's cutting it pretty close.....

Saying goodbye to Growler Wildcat, it may sound stupid and it could have been the high levels of alcohol in our blood, but it was pretty sad seeing the van for the last time. It was our home for 8 weeks and it was pretty much flawless (apart from the alternator.) I would like to say as well, that without Brian and Johnnys help it would have been a very tough last few days in New Zealand. Thanks Lads!!

Even with all the hype and the expectations we had about New Zealand, It surpassed our expectations by along way, It truly is the most stunning country I have ever been in, its country side is stunning, the people are brilliant and its climate is as close to perfect as I can imagine, but of course that's not the whole story as we only saw it as we drove around doing all the cool stuff, From talking to locals its a bit harder to live there full time as the economy is not really the strongest and the populations wages is not in line with other western countries. So the plan is to make a load of money here in Ireland and buy a house over there....... some time in the future anyway........

Los Angeles. I have never been to the states before, but a few hours of a stop over in LA doesn't really count, but some of the views coming into LAX were pretty amazing.

We had heard loads about US Customs, so we were prepared for searches and a lot of time wasting, but it actually turned out that they were pretty cool and it was painless going through LAX. We arrived in England after 24hrs+ travelling in a pretty bad state, I could barely stay awake and was falling asleep all over Charlies parents house...... but we had made it and were glad to be out of the plane, we had a week in England before we headed back to Ireland, but ill leave that for the next update!!!

OK, One last photo! This is Oscar, our new doggy. How gorgeous is he?

See you next time.

Sean, Charlie and Gugs.