Welcome to Dodgy Knees
Welcome to Dodgy Knees Travel Blog. We spent 2016 and the first half of 2017 traveling through the Western Hemisphere - South, Central and North America and the Caribbean. The last part of the trip, through May and June 2017 was a trip from Amsterdam to Athens in Europe before returning to Australia.
We started in South America in January 2016. The posts on this page are in the order of our travels with the most recent at the top. There is also information about us towards the bottom of this page and in the sidebar on the right. We hope you find it interesting. If you do, feel free to sign up for our monthly email updates.
Ken and Cally Hardaker
Meanwhile...Back in Australia - July 2017 Onwards
The Monk Bay Circuit Walk is a 8.3km coastal walk within the Lime Bay State Reserve, Tasman Peninsula in south east Tasmania. It’s an easy 3 – 3.5 hour walk with constant views of the surrounding waterways.
The Tasman Peninsula is also home to the Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia’s premier colonial convict site. Close to Port Arthur are the remains of a large convict probation station established for the purposes of coal mining. Today there are well preserved ruins with good interpretative signs. The Historic Coal Mines site can easily be combined with the Monk Bay walk making for a varied and interesting day trip from Hobart. And it’s all free.
This post covers a walk in the south eastern end of Tasman National Park and involves part of the Three Capes Track. It is a long day walk taking in Mt Fortescue and, potentially, Cape Hauy before returning to the starting point at Fortescue Bay.
Arthurs Peak is in the Tasman National Park in Tasmania and is on the route of the recently opened and popular Three Capes Walk - a multi-day fee paying walk. Since the advent of the Three Capes Walk we were unclear as to whether it was still possible to walk to Arthurs Peak via an old track. We also wanted to clarify what the options were for overnight walking in the park for self-sufficient campers who were not paying to stay in the designated huts that are exclusively for paying walkers. This post sets out to provide answers these questions and describe the day walk we succeeded in doing to Arthurs Peak.
On a visit to Tassie brother Pete was keen to check out Shipstern Bluff on the Tasman Peninsula. As a lifelong surfer he’d heard a lot about “Shippies”, as it’s known. Its reputation as a big wave break ridden by only the gutsiest of surfers has spread world-wide. As it turned out the surf wasn't happening on the day we visited but it was still a good day walk.
It was a lazy, early spring Sunday morning and we wanted to get a bit of exercise. We settled on the Alum Cliffs track, which begins near Kingston Beach in Hobart’s southern suburbs. This is a 6 km return coastal walk with some good views of the river and cliffs. The starting point is Tyndall Beach, which is a dog-friendly beach on the northern side of Browns Rivulet across from Kingston Beach. Here is our report on the walk.
Posts from Europe
Posts from USA and Canada
After our time in Central America we headed for USA and Canada. We started with a road trip from Los Angeles to New York and then back to LA. Next was a trip to Alaska to see the Northern Lights and the amazing Alaskan landscape.
Special Post, A Travel Memoir from 2011 - A Weekend in São Tomé
For over 20 years I'd dreamed of visiting the obscure, tiny African nation of São Tomé and Principé. In 2011 the chance finally came, but missed flights and an overly officious immigration offical almost prevented it. Here's the story of what happened.
Posts from Central America and Mexico
Having completed our travels through the Caribbean which started in Aruba and ended in Cuba we flew to Panama City to commence our trip through Central America. We planned to travel from Panama City to Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico then back down through Belize to reenter Guatemala and Honduras before making our way up through Mexico heading eventually to the US and Canada in early 2017. Here are our posts from the trip.
Cuba is currently one of the World's 'must visit' travel destinations. With 3 - 4 million visitors each year it is not exactly undiscovered. But that doesn't stop it being a fascinating and unique place. We were keen to see for ourselves and so spent two weeks there. Cuba is bigger than you may think (around 1200 km long) so we decided to restrict our travels to the west of the island. We visited Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Viñales.
At the end of the trip we reflected upon our time in Cuba and put together our post Impressions of Cuba along with some useful tips. This is our first post on Cuba. In addition we are posting four “Postcards” from Cuba on each of the places we visited. These are largely photo posts as our main information about Cuba is contatined in the Impressions of Cuba post. We hope you find them interesting.
Oh yes, and our advice overall - VISIT CUBA!!
After just over four months travelling through South America (Jan to May 2016) we embarked on a three and a half month trip through the Caribbean (mid May to the end of August). We started in Aruba and Curaçao in the SW, just to the north of Venezuela, then headed across to Barbados, in the Windward Islands. From there we island hopped (by boat or plane) through the Windwards, French Antilles, Leeward Islands, the British and US Virgin Islands, then on to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and finally Jamaica.
Caribbean island hopping is usually associated with private yachting trips or expensive cruises. We'd aimed to show that it was doable on a modest, mid-range budget (i.e. a maximum of $AUS300/$US220 per day for a couple, inclusive of all accommodation, meals, transport and activities).
In our final post from the Caribbean we tell you how we went and we also provide our top tips for Caribbean Island hopping on a mid-range budget.
Hi, We're Ken and Cally Hardaker. We're 50 something empty nesters who love travelling. But when we're not on the road we are at home in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - a fabulous place to live. We spent 2016 and the first half of 2017 having a Gap Year travelling through South, Central and North America, the Caribbean and Europe - 18 months in all and 54 countries. If you want to know about our current or past travels or for a bit of local knowledge about Tassie you might find our blog of interest.
This is a fairly new blog having been launched in January 2016. As well as documenting our Gap Year adventure we've put in some posts of past (pre-gap year) travels to give you an idea of where else been so far.
The central message of our blog is that older travellers (we've called this the 50 and overs for want of a better description) can travel independently, just as younger travellers do. With a bit of planning and a few handy tools, you can do it on a budget, and go to places you thought you could only go to on an organised group trip.
If you fill in the email contact box on the right we'll keep you posted. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and this way receive updates in real time.
We have found that a lot of people our age think that travelling independently, especially to places outside of Western Europe, North America of other obvious tourist locations (such as Fiji and Bali) is risky and difficult.
And while a little more planning is needed at times to visit more remote or less developed countries it is quite doable and opens up so many possibilities for travel. In our blog we'll provide some information about how we approach planning for our trips as well as blog posts on a wide range of destinations.
Tasmania is Australia's smallest state and an island. It has some of the best bushwalking and wilderness in the world. It also has a growing reputation as a clean, green location with excellent food and wine. On top of that it has some world class places to visit including Cradle Mountain, Wine Glass Bay, Port Arthur, the Bay of Fires and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). When we're not traveling we'll write about Tassie and some of our favourite places.