(+ earlier Reports)
Route Map
New Reports
(+ new Pictures)
Picture Galleries:
North America
South America



in Deutsch



News January 2009   (Suva/Fiji, January 19, 2009)

Website statistics: In December we were able to welcome on our website 28'762 visitors who did 997'010 hits.
                                           (November = 35'049 visitors 1'176'450 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 100 to 118 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 11/5/2007 = 13'407 visitors and 787'456 hits
After more than five months of preparation – the first inquiry about our car's entry procedure was sent on August 3, 2008,
to the Ministry of Tourism in Fiji – the countdown has finally arrived. On January 7, 2009, we stuffed our LandCruiser into
its 14th container, this time from Port Vila in Vanuatu to Suva in Fiji. One day later it was lifted onto the vessel "Pacific
Islander II" of the shipping line "Greater Bali Hai" and sailed with stops in Nouméa/New Caledonia and Lautoka in Fiji to
its capital Suva. The following day, it was our turn to say good-bye to the charming island Efate of Vanuatu: With the
Fijian airline "Air Pacific" we flew to Nadi. Although Suva, with its population of nearly 200'000, lies in the East of the
island of Viti Levu and has its own airport, most of the international airlines land however at Nadi in the West that is five
times smaller, but offers most of the beautiful tourist beaches and resorts.
In fact, the rainy season had started already in Vanuatu – mostly it rained heavily during the afternoon hours. But what we
saw already during our approach to Nadi, took our breath away: Everywhere lies brown water, on the lush-green
pastures, on the roads and even in the city. This happened on Friday afternoon; and it was still raining and continued to
rain buckets. On Sunday, the situation calmed down a bit but the emerging result was catastrophic: 10 dead, about
11'000 evacuees and damage of 45 millions of US-Dollars. Most of the tourists, who enjoyed the wonderful sandy
beaches of the Yasawa- and Mamanuca Islands in the West wanted to go back home. But the small ships and planes
couldn't operate anymore since a week – everything was on halt. Also for us the continuation to Suva was blocked. Nadi
town was surrounded totally by high floodwater, where all traffic had to squeeze through, because the Northern ring road
of the main island of Viti Levu – the Kings Highway – has become impassable due to some landslides. The whole situation
remembers us to Guyana back in 2005, when we shipped from Saint Martin in the Caribbean to Georgetown and
experienced another bad inundation.
Monday morning, January 12, 2009, while it rained only lightly, rumors flew thick and fast: New and heavy rainfalls were
in sight; a cyclone would take shape not far from Fiji; the road to Nadi town reopened and the water level on the further
side of the town had decreased. Never hesitate too long but take action instead. Thus we pack together and leave to
check ourselves. Finally, we could convince a taxi driver to bring us to the inundated bridge, although he assured again
and again that a get though wouldn't be possible. It showed indeed that the bridge was damaged, but locals would cross
to the other side every now and then. Unhesitatingly we follow; Emil with the baggage trolley, two bags and the computer;
Liliana with three more bags and the cameras. In the middle of the bridge, the police tried to stop and send us back, as the
downtown area was closed for everybody not living or working there, due to the risk of looting. Only as the officers
realized that we tried to reach a bus for Suva departing on the opposite side of the town, they backed down and let us go
on. Hence we crossed for more than a mile the city center of Nadi, and what we saw on the way was simply terrible: The
head high brown floods destroyed everything – all the goods stored in the numerous shops were covered with brown mud.
We reached a minibus set for Suva at the outskirts of the city. For a long time, we drove through flattened sugar cane and
other devastated fields. Fiji will suffer for a long time from this disaster, said to have been the worst downpours ever. The
damage is higher than the islands ever got from earlier cyclones passing through. Luckily the South coast of Viti Levu, like
the capital Suva, have been spared with the deluge. Three hours and 125 miles later, we reached Suva without any other
                                                              Suva/Fiji: In front of the Government Buildings
On Tuesday morning, January 13, 2009, the container vessel arrived in Suva's harbor as scheduled with our LandCruiser.
Immediately, we started the imminent release procedure, which – once the paper bureaucracy was done – showed to be
just a "piece of cake", thanks to Dave Aidney of the Shipping Agency Williams & Gosling Ltd., who made the impossible
possible. Three days later, the big moment turned up – we could relieve our Toyota from its steel cage. Once more we
succeeded in a "pioneering action" and are allowed to explore with our car during the next two months the holiday paradise
of Fiji as our 162nd country.

New Reports/Pictures
SOUTHEAST ASIA + PACIFIC:                                  mouse over picture shows comments
               click a picture to see details


Picture Gallery
(Jan. 2009-....)
Suva/Fiji: Guard at the Parliament House
2 Picture Galleries
(1st visit: July 2008)
(2nd visit: Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009)
Vanuatu 1st visit (without car)
Vanuatu 2nd visit (with car)
Vanuatu: Boeing 737-800 of Air Vanuatu at the airport of Port Vila
New Caledonia
3 Picture Galleries
(Aug.-Oct. 2008)
New Caledonia: Nouméa and the St. Joseph Cathedral
1st part: Grand Terre: Nouméa + South (Aug. 2008)
2nd part: Grand Terre: North #1 (Aug.+Sept. 2008)
3rd part: Grand Terre: North #2 (Sept.+Oct. 2008)
New Zealand
6 Picture Galleries
(South Island: Febr.-May 2008)
(North Island: May-July 2008)
1st part: South Island (Febr.+March 2008)
2nd part: South Island (March 2008)
3rd part: South Island (April 2008)
4th part: South to North Island (May 2008)
5th part: North Island (May+June 2008)
6th part: North Island (June+July 2008)
New Zealand: South Island - typically
Picture Gallery
(Febr. 2008)

Philippines: Ricefields near Sagada/Mountain Province/Northern Luzon

3 Picture Galleries
(Oct.- Nov. 2007)
1st part: Kaohsiung-Kenting-Taitung
2nd part: Taitung-Southern Cross-
Island Hwy-Siraya NSA (Zengwun Reservoir)-Alishan-Sun Moon Lake -Taroko-Suao-Hualien Hwy-Taipei
3rd part: Taipei-Taitung-Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung/Taiwan: God of War at Lotus Pond
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
2 Reports
(May 2007)

Oecussi/Timor-Leste: Landscape East of Oecussi-'Town'

Exclave of Oecussi
1 Report + 6 Picture Galleries
(Sumatra-Java: Sept.-Dec. 2006)
(Bali: Jan.-March 2007)
(Lombok, Sumabawa, Flores: April 2007)
(Sumba, West Timor: May+June 2007)
(Sulawesi:June+July 2007)
(Tana Toraja (-Land): June+July 2007)
(Kalimantan: July 2007)
Sumatra-Java    (= Report)
Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores
Sumba, West Timor
Tana Toraja (Toraja-Land)
Ke'te Kesu near Rantepao/Sulawesi/Indonesia: Traditional Toraja village
(Sept. 2006)
Brunei (Borneo): ’The 'Ali Saifuddien'-Mosque at sunset in Bandar Seri Begawan
3 Reports:
(Sarawak: 1st visit: June-Aug. 2006)
(Sabah: Oct. 2006)
(Sarawak: 2nd visit: Nov. 2006)
Picture Gallery:
(Borneo-Trip: Sept.-Nov. 2006)
Sarawak part 1 Northeast (Miri)
Sarawak part 2 South (Kuching)
Borneo (Sabah, Brunei, Sarawak, Kalimantan)
Sepilok near Sandakan/Sabah/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center
(Engine/Body: June-Aug. 2006)
(Transmission: Sept. 2007)

Miri/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Overhaul of our LandCruiser in 'Full Swing'

Report of the first overhaul of 
our LandCruiser in Miri/Sarawak
- the East Malaysian province
on the island of Borneo
Myanmar  (South)
(May 2006)
Myanmar: Waiting for customers in Kawthoung
2 Picture Galleries:
(1st visit: Nov. 1993 - Jan. 1994)
(2nd visit: Nov. - Dec. 2005)
(3rd visit: Febr. - April 2006)
Thailand: Ho Phra I-Suan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Temples, Pagodas, Shrines

People, Beaches, Nature

(February 2006)

Laos: The ’Patuxai’, the Laotian replica of the French ’Arc de Triomphe’ in Paris

(January 2006)
Vietnam: Two women cultivating a rice field
(December 2005)

Cambodia: The main temple of Angkor Wat with its five towers viewed from the hill of the ’Phnom Bakheng’ - Temple

Malaysia (West)
(Oct. - Nov. 2005)
(May 2006)
Malaysia: The four minarets of the ’Sultan Salahuddin’ State Mosque in Shah Alam are visible already from far
Picture Gallery
(September 2005)

Singapore: High-rise buildings pop up everywhere - here behind the Parliament House

Macao   (without car)
Picture Gallery
(September 2005)

Macao: The ’St. Paul’ ruin is an inspiring sight also at night

Hong Kong
2 Picture Galleries:
(1st visit: September 2005)
(2nd visit: Dec. 2007-Jan. 2008)


Hong Kong 1st visit (without car)
Hong Kong 2nd visit (with car)
Hong Kong: From ’Hong Kong Peak’ we get an excellent view of the ’skyscraper jungle’
The visit of 4 Pacific Islands with our LandCruiser

Pacific   February 2008 -

The visit of 13 Caribbean Islands with our LandCruiser

Caribbean   June 2003-Dec. 2004

+ added from the United Arab Emirates:

Fairytale Wedding in Dubai   (March 1999)

+ added from a earlier visit to the USA:

Las Vegas    (Millennium change)

+ added from our Arabian Peninsula round trip:

Pictures from Yemen (May-June 1996)

+ Flashbacks of our Worldrecordtour:

Pictures from "all the continents" (Oct. 1984 - April 1997)

+ Follow-ups about Toyota-Experiences:
Encounters resp. "Ups + Downs" with
Toyota Companies since 1982
On July 7th, 2005, we were able to celebrate after a journey through 150 countries the car's
600'000th Kilometer - very prosaic in front of the post office in Cayenne/French Guiana.
Are you interested into the LandCruiser History, prepared by Toyota Motor Sales USA and taken over by
Toyota Motor United Kingdom? (after some loading-time please klick "IN LEGEND" and afterwards "HAIR TO MAGELLAN
- and you will see that we already belong to it too!)


Website sponsored by: