Posts Tagged ‘Natural Disasters’

11th November
written by Justin

Our plan, once we took the bus and catamaran back to Bangkok, was to fly up to Hanoi and begin our exploration of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.  But a number of factors made us change our plans.  First, I got sick right when we arrived, and we agreed that we shouldn’t leave the city till I got better.  Nothing like having a case of food poisoning on a cramped plane!

The other thing was the typhoon looming over Vietnam.  It had just hit the Phillippines, causing widespread damage, and was predicted to make landfall just east of Hanoi.  We thought long and hard – should we cancel our flight?  Knowing the airlines, it would be a big hassle, and we’d end up a lot poorer and without any set plans.  Eventually we decided that yes, we don’t really want to fly into a hurricane, so we called Orbitz and asked to cancel.

Much to our delight, the carrier we’d booked with (Qatar Airways) allows cancellation for no fee!  That’s right, we got off scot free, paying only the Orbitz booking fee in the end.  This allowed us to give me a nice recovery break.  Eventually, we decided to take the land route over to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we’d get to see one of the amazing sights in South East Asia – Angkor Wat!  Another bonus came from delaying our trip to Vietnam: I got to experience my first coffee to go served in a plastic bag.  Interesting.

Brew In A Bag

Brew In A Bag

29th December
written by Justin

Seems like my posts are having some themed titles. This post won’t have as much variety as the previous ones, but hopefully it’s still an interesting one.  We’ve had two natural disasters happen near us so far, neither serious but both audible and visible to us.

  • The first was an earthquake in Christchurch on Christmas night and the morning of boxing day.  According to GeoNet, we were awakened 4 times, by earthquakes of magnitude 4.2,3.8,3.7, and 2.7.  But the big daddy happened while we were eating breakfast: a 4.9 at 10:30am Boxing Day.  We were ready for that one when it happened, though being in a building is a bit of a different experience than being in the van where it’s on shocks and nothing is swaying around.
  • The second was an avalanche!  Yesterday we went up to Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, but it was raining all day.  However, in late afternoon the storm broke and bright sunlight was given to the area for the last 4 hours of sunlight or so.  This sudden warming up brought down pieces of glacier from the mountain right as we were watching it!  A safe distance of course but it was still audible and quite a spectacle!


Okay, so neither were really natural disasters, but both were impressive enough to comment.  Don’t worry, we’re in no danger here.  Now we’re in the placid Lake Tekapo region, an enormous lake made turquoise blue by finely ground rock particles suspended in the water by the glacier.