Travel: 30 Bizarre Photos From Our Year On The Road

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Sometimes we have to think long and hard about a post but truth be told this one found me, the best ones always do! It came to me sitting in a Georgian hostel mere days before our final flight back to London. I started to look back through the photos on my phone and found some real treasure buried in the chest. This selection is just a scratch at the surface.

Most of the photos we use for the website are taken on the DSLR, so I kind of forgot that I had been taking the odd photo of day-to-day life on the road with my phone. Here I’ve edited them down and stuck them altogether, which will give you some great behind the scenes access to some of the forgotten or smaller moments of our trip... No surprises, of all the places with the wackiest things to see it had to be China, classic mental China! 

 In no particular order:

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1. Here’s some ‘interesting’ advertising from a Georgian bar toilet. A piece that carefully crosses the lines between drink-driving and Soviet politics, not an obvious unison. Here is a drunk driver hitting Joesph Stalin! Somehow this was designed to stop people from drink driving? Not sure if it met that aim, it's a far better piece of anti-Soviet propaganda.

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2. 'Sola!' What could this sign be communicating? Break out of the system? Always run from tall people? The colour yellow can never be contained by red? Can anyone solve this mystery?  

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3. We met this kind boy on the way up to a village in the Nepalese mountains. We’d been soaked-through in a hail and thunderstorm and then had to walk up a mountain for 2 hours, we were broken. Thankfully he showed us a shortcut and then invited us into his home to drink tea and the actual bizarre bit was that we ate a minced goat, sugar and sultana dish with his family - imagine a sweet gristly meaty pudding! Ali subsequently got the worst food poisoning she's ever had the next day.

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4. Who the f**k is Lonyo? And why is he painted above our bed? It looks like a 5 year old child's bedroom!  After 3 nights in this room I even dreamt about Lonyo... he’ll always be the mystery cartoon character from Asia we'd never heard of....

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5. Why do airports always put armrests on the chairs? If they put them in to make their customers tired and grouchy then they have met their aim. Apart from we (well Ali actually) can snake underneath them and defy the strict airport systems! Mali 1 vs Dubai airport 0

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Sri Lanka

6. Truly, this excellent promotion gave us a lot of giggles far beyond our time in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately we never got to try Trincomalee's 'Jambo Prowns' but we suspect they'd be pretty awesome. 

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7. Outside the major cities of China the standard of the toilets drops dramatically. Imagine the setting, if you will, you've been on a bus for 6 hours and the driver stops at a suspect hut on the side of the road. There's 4 other buses worth of people here and everyone needs the toilet so you start queuing and prepare 1 yuan to pass to a 'cleaning' lady. You finally enter the toilet and find this, a shit covered hole in the ground. This was a nice one, often these poo pits don't have walls! sharing is caring.

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8. Quasi-English signage can be found everywhere in China and very often you get treated to little gems like this one. For the record, I always take care of my treasures.

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9. 'Hellow My Friend', this wasn't the first thing we noticed on the advert. The important observation is that the child is the spitting image of Ali when she was a child. Weird.

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10. We met Amjad pretty randomly, he was helping to build a wall for his friend Mo's mum's house. He kept his mask on for the few hours while we were chatting so I joined him in becoming a ninja too by popping the snood on #jordanninja. 

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11. This didn't seem bizarre at the time but looking back at the spicy Taiwanese pancake that Shanghai locals munch on for breakfast was odd. Spicy, sweet and eggy, with long queues at every stall.

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12. 'We Have Sausages', this was a strange message to be taped across a door of a Nepalese tea house on the Annapurna circuit. It's true that over the 3 weeks of trekking not a single tea house sold sausages but then is demand for sausage big enough that it will differentiate your tea house from the others? This host obviously thought so. Unfortunately said the tea house was shut, we can report nothing more about the sausages other than they might sell them... 

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13. Ali couldn't wait to become this dear, although she might have been a bit more in character if she'd taken the glasses off. Special one. 

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Sri Lanka

14. I love that some Sri Lankan restaurants serve dosa on a plate but then cover the plate in a plastic bag. Would it not make more sense to pop the food into the bag or onto the plate? senseless waste. For every 5p bag or recycled PET bottle there's a restaurant some place giving out as many plastic bags as possible. It's saddening actually, the developing world is so far behind the most western countries.

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15. Ali never thought she was going to get to wear full Arabic dress, although I suspect she secretly wanted too.  She would get her chance when entering the King Abdullah Mosque in Amman, Jordan. Here is Ali, truly living like a local.

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16. Sometimes we all fall on hard times #bananabap

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17. I fear we may never taste anything quite as delicious as the bowl of creamy fragrant eggy custard like this one in Xi'an. This was one of the tastiest things we have ever eaten. A speciality of the amazing Muslim quarter of the city. Not that bizarre in hindsight, apart from the eggy gloopy texture.

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18. "Happy Holi" the kids screamed in English as they assaulted us with every colour of powdered paint under the sun. They were very careful to cover every cm of Ali's face, these children were well drilled in administering precision attacks on the street, the tourists didn't stand a chance.  The only problem was that we were on our way to get passport photos taken for our trekking permits!

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19. This isn't bizarre at all, mostly sad. We admired the father and son team that climbed the circuit sticking pictures of their sadly deceased son and brother, Sam, you can see the photo bottom left of the post. We were so shocked to hear about such a harsh loss to such a nice family. In our little way, we wanted to share this photo to show support, so they know our thoughts are with them.

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20. Nothing makes you feel more like a proper explorer than knowing you've stayed in the same hostel as the Monty Python member come traveller, come documentary maker, come proper legend, Micheal Palin. Still haven't got around to watching his 'Himalaya' episode though. 

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21. Most people won't know our friend Dulce but this Thai girl in the advert is her doppelgänger. Every time we saw the advert we thought it was her.

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22. Any mathematicians out there who can work this one out?


23. My secret filming doesn't do the volume of his snore justice, this guy rocked a serious nasal growl for most of the 13 hour train journey to Shanghai. The Chinese people in the carriage put up with everything, no one complained about it, they endured. Even with ear plugs this was the worst snoring i've ever heard.

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24. So, we were in a bit of a rush and needed to pay. In China, it's custom to do so at the till but when we went up we were greeted by this huge husky. We actually had to wait with the dog for 5 minutes before any staff came and i'll tell you what... this is one content dog.  She just sat there staring our the window.



25. Russian art has come a long way since the 70 years of social-realist painting and sculpture of the Soviet empire. Whereas once it was happy peasants working the fields for the good of all, now we get naked boys riding red horses. How times have changed, apart from the colour red. What would Stalin think of Russia's modern art I wonder? 

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26. Well I am a lanky one, so of course my spirit animal is a giraffe.

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27. You need to look closely to spot the bizarre items on the sticks we are all about to consume.  This was a round of deep fried grubs and crickets. They weren't too bad but they actually cost more than bbq'ed beef and chicken.

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28. There''s only one thing more dangerous than a Chinese moped driver... and that's one who knocks you down with a minion fronted moped! This moped perfectly signifies the tacky commercialisation of China, would any other country seriously buy this crap?

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29. This is not a joke, plumbers in eastern Europe actually dress like Super Mario! This guy was the third plumber we spotted in the Vienna train station. I'd definitely support a standardised Nintendo plumber dress code!

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Sri Lanka

30. The childish teenager in me couldn't help but chuckle at Sri Lanka's premium travel company, R.K. Rugshita Travels, in the most bombastic typography going. Big up my man R.K. Rugshita... lets hope he doesn't sell actual rugs!


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