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News July 2009   (Pago Pago/Amerikanisch Samoa, July 25, 2009)

Website statistics: In June we were able to welcome on our website 32'886 visitors who did 1'165'979 hits.
                                        (May = 35'734 visitors 1'247'634 hits)
                                The visitors are coming from about 155 different countries!
                                Record day since 12/17/1998 = the birthday of our website: 11/5/2007 = 13'407 visitors and 787'456 hits
It's already three weeks since we arrived in American Samoa, the 164th country. During the night from the 1st to the 2nd July
we were sailing with the ferry "MV Lady Naomi" from Apia in (Western) Samoa for 80 miles East to Pago Pago, where we
could complete the car's entry procedure easily, because the Governor approved beforehand a temporary stay of two months
for our 1982 "old-timer".
Two days later the American Independence Day took place on July 4th, 2009. But the festivities cannot be compared to those
on June 1st in neighboring independent Samoa. Immediately we started to discover the island of Tutuila, which sizes only
54 sq.mi. and has just one coastal road of 42 miles in length from West to East, from where a few very steep side-roads
branch off over the mountain ridge towards the North.
In contrast to the Samoan islands of Upolu and Savaii the topography is much more dramatic: Densly wooded and precipitous
mountains protrude right out from the sea, except for the area around the airport. This leads of course to an accumulation of the
people along the narrow seashore, hence the population counts barely 60'000. American Samoa has just a marginal reef, thus
receives the full power of the Pacific Ocean on its mostly rocky shore. But this doesn't mean that there are no sandy beaches.
While here in American Samoa on the island of Tutuila we admire the by far more spectacular mountain scenery, over in Samoa
we preferred the much more traditional villages, particularly in Savaii. The two Samoas are completely different and cannot be
compared – you have to see them both!
It's very interesting that actually both of the Samoa's belong ethnically to the same group. However the independent Samoa is
oriented fully towards New Zealand and Australia, while the dependent American Samoa is leaning totally on the USA. Only
one weekly wobbly ferry and daily operating small aircrafts connect the people that originate often from the same families, their
income being about 63% higher in the American part. So far we were able to benefit from the US orientation that we could
order from the mainland duty- and tax-free a new computer, a new camera and even many spare parts for our car. Said this,
our LandCruiser has now two new electrical fuel pumps that enable us to climb up again the steepest hills.
                                                              American Samoa/Afono Pass - 
850ft. high (also called Rainmaker Pass): View over Pago Pago, its Harbor Bay and the Matai Mountain
Our LandCruiser will start its 16th container journey at the end of July, this time from Pago Pago to Papeete on Tahiti in French
Polynesia. It should arrive there mid August on "Greater Bali Hai's" vessel "MV Tropical Islander". In the meantime we have to
fly around half of the Pacific, because air connections between the French territories (New CaledoniaFrench Polynesia,
Wallis & Futuna) and the other Pacific destinations are very scarce. That way we have to return firstly from Pago Pago to Apia/
Samoa with a small aircraft of "Polynesian Airlines". After changing airport, we are able to continue nearly 10 hours later to
Auckland in New Zealand on a night flight with the budget airline "PolynesiaBlue". Then it's another 5+ hour wait before
proceeding to the New Zealand island of Rarotonga on the Cook-Islands, where we shall stay 9 days as backpackers, before
flying with "Air Rarotonga" to Tahiti. That's the time to release our "Buddy" from its cage in its 165th destination and
11th Pacific-Island after its arrival in Papeete.

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


French Polynesia
Picture Gallery
(Aug. - ....  2009)
Tahiti/French Polynesia: One type of Tahiti's main flower with many names - Frangipani, Plumeria, Tiare
Cook Islands  (without car)
Picture Gallery
(Aug. 2009)
Rarotonga Island Cook Islands/Rarotonga: Beauty from the South Pacific
American Samoa
Picture Gallery
(July 2009)
American Samoa: View from Pago Pago towards the 1'718ft. high Rainmaker Mountain (Pioa Mountain)
4 Picture Reports:
(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
Philippines   (without car)
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 Picture 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
Picture Report
(Sept. 2006)
Brunei (Borneo): ’The 'Ali Saifuddien'-Mosque at sunset in Bandar Seri Begawan
3 Picture 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
Picture Report
(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) (without car)
Picture Report
(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

Picture Report
(February 2006)

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

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

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

Malaysia (West)
Picture Report
(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 11 Pacific Islands with and 1 without 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"


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