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



in Deutsch



News June 2009   (Apia/Samoa, June 24, 2009)

Website statistics: In May we were able to welcome on our website 35'734 visitors who did 1'247'634 hits.
                                           (April = 34'630 visitors 1'203'787 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 152 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 = the birthday of our website: 11/5/2007 = 13'407 visitors and 787'456 hits
Since our last News May of May 26th, 2009, some movement returned to our "Island Life": From May 31st, until
June 2nd, 2009, the 47th Independence Day was celebrated, since the "Independent State of Samoa" became sovereign
in 1962 – unlike American Samoa, lying just 80 miles to the East, which belongs since 1900 as an "unincorporated
territory" to the United States. Before the turn of the century both countries belonged to the same Polynesian group and
are actually history wise identical regarding culture and ethnology; but back at that time, Western Samoa, as it was called
until 1997, was ruled until 1918 by the Germans and afterwards until 1962 managed by New Zealand.
The event became for us so far unique, as we received a personal invitation to the stand from the Head of State (His
Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi) via the Deputy Prime Minister (Hon. Misa Telefoni Retzlaff) and could therefore
watch and monitor the whole ceremony much better. We were also able to join the day before the Dedication Church
Service at the Prayer House on Mount Vaea and to take part during the main evening at the Independence Garden Party
at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in Vailima. In any case the two days became unforgettable, even if we had to get
up at 4am in order not to miss anything – hence the parades started already at 6.30am, and after 5am the whole island
population was on its way. Later in the day the temperature gets simply too hot for the participants.
One week later, we experienced once more an unusual day in being summoned for an interview at the American Embassy
in turn to get a new US visa. We received the last one 1999 in Japan, going to expire now. But we want to be ready
anytime for another visit in the USA, who knows if there pops up suddenly a possibility for Hawaii – the last of all the
American states not yet visited with our car. And if this should happen on a freighter, a valid visa is mandatory. But it
seems to be extremely rare that Swiss citizens apply for an American visa in Samoa.
But another Samoan highlight – the visit of the sister island of Savaii – was still ahead. That's why we sailed the following
day on an ordinary ferry during 1½ hours from the Eastern end of Upolu to the Western shores of Savaii – a little bit
choppy, but otherwise nothing spectacular. However this island, which is a little bigger and less populated, turned out
to be a gem: Villages like in a picture book. But also the nature, i.e. the landscape, doesn't leave anything to be desired:
lush greenery everywhere; in between some old lava flows! Not to mention the rough South coast with its exceptional
stormy sea, where the roaring waves tower up as high as a house. Life here is obviously still smoother and more relaxed.
As an extra, we were able to spend three nights at a reduced rate at the "Le Lagoto Beach Resort", one of the current
stylish boutique-hotels, situated directly at a Northern sand beach.
However we shouldn't forget four of our so many jubilees that occurred in June: On June 7th, 2009, we spent – still on
the island of Upolu – after 399'910 miles of driving our 9000th Day, since we started on October 16th, 1984. Two days
later we used for the ferry crossing from Mulifanua to Salelologa on Savaii the 250th Ship: The ferry vessel
"Fotu-o-Samoa II"; and just the next day – on June 10th, 2009 – we reached the 400'000th driven Mile, when the
odometer showed 655'127.6 km. And last but not least: The American Samoan newspaper Samoa News published on
on June 18th, 2009, our 200th media article, even ahead of us as we haven't reached the island yet. We wonder where
our "Silver Anniversary" of 25 years of traveling will take place once we reach Friday, October 16th, 2009?
                                                              Cape Mulinuu/Savaii/Samoa: Here - at the most Westerly point of Samoa - we reached on June 6, 2009, the 400'000th driven mile since Oct. 16, 1984
As already mentioned, we shall sail on July 1st, 2009, during the night (8 hours) on the "MV Lady Naomi" from Apia to
Pago Pago in American Samoa – our 164th destination, where we will be able to visit with our car the third of the greater
islands of the Samoa group, Tutuila. Exceptionally, the territory's Governor (Hon. Togiola T.A.Tulafono) allowed us to
arrive with our LandCruiser model 1982, because since shortly all vehicles older than 1999 are banned from entering the
country. During one month – until August 1st, 2009, – we shall stay on our 10th island in the Pacific. More about that in
the News July.

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


American Samoa
Picture Gallery
(July 2009)
American Samoa: View from Pago Pago towards the 1'718ft. high Rainmaker Mountain (Pioa Mountain)
4 Picture Galleries
(April-June 2009)
Island of Upolu: 1st part
Island of Upolu: 2nd part
Independence Day  June 1st, 2009
Island of Savaii
Apia/Samoa: Coat of Arms of Samoa in front of the Government Office Building
3 Picture Galleries
(Jan.-March 2009)
Suva/Fiji: Guard at the Parliament House
1st part: Island of Viti Levu (Jan.+Febr. 2009)
2nd part: Island of Vanua Levu (March 2009)
3rd part: Island of Taveuni (March 2009)
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 10 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.
On June 10th, 2009, we were able to celebrate after a journey through 163 countries the car's
400'000th Mile - in a beautiful landscape in the West of the island of Savaii/Samoa.
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: