Thursday, March 06, 2008

El Loco & El Lobo

Welcome to the El Loco & El Lobo blog. This is a time-capsule of an extraordinary 30 months that I spent travelling around Europe with Bondi, my (now) 9yr old Alaskan Malamute.

We left Sydney Australia in May 2005, and returned in December 2007. In that time we visited 28 countries, using surface transport - car/ferry mostly, but we did some week-long walks across Scotland and England, and a circuit of London. I spent time learning Spanish in Salamanca and San Sebastian, French in Paris, working on my family history, and seeing over 40 shows at the Edinburgh Festivals.

There are a couple of brief trips that I took without Bondi during this time (he stayed at a boarding kennel near London): the Ice Hotel in northern Sweden, and a Red Sea scuba-diving trip.

Between March 1 and June 14 2007 we made a final mad circuit of the continent, driving through 20 countries, covering 20,000km in those 15 weeks.

Bondi, who was born in Seattle USA in 1998 and visited Canada on several occasions, has thus travelled to 31 countries on 3 continents, not counting quick transits of Singapore and Serbia's coastal zone. The furthest north he has been is the top of Norway (Nordkapp) and the furthest south is to the bottom of Tasmania. Incidentally we travelled to both places in the same car (which has clocked up 29 countries)!

The only quarantine he has done is on entering Australia in 2003 and 2007, for 30 days each time. He flew into Heathrow airport under the UK Pet Travel Scheme, and continued the journey around Europe with an EU Pet Passport.

There are 3 ways to take in the 800+ posts on this blog:
  1. Chronologically, using the BLOG ARCHIVE links in the right sidebar. You can step through posts until your clicking finger or head go numb.
  2. Labels: pick an item from the LABEL CLOUD in the right sidebar.
  3. Search: put a keyword or two into the white box at the top left, and click "Search Blog". You can try things as disparate as "leaning tower" or "fish".

- Mike 'n' Bondi.

Through the course of the blog, some mention is made of problems with Bondi's coat which began to deteriorate most rapidly in our final six months of travel. Towards the end of our journey the problem was identified as most likely being an adrenal gland problem. He began treatment in December, and is already greatly improved: the bare patches on his abdomen and tail are almost all recovered with new fur, and he is almost puppy-like in his mood when heading for the park.


  1. Hey Mike,
    I wondered when you'd both get back. Can't believe you left in May 2005. Just discovered your blog - will look forward to a leisurely read sometime soon.

  2. OMG! Amazing blog! I only dropped in to guffaw at your mention of a lime paisley shirt on Muzbot's blog. After having a gander thru this tho, you are most certainly forgiven for fashion misdemeanours

  3. Glad you are still keeping the blog updated from time to time. I always enjoyed seeing all the beautiful places you went!

    I'm glad you got Bondi's skin/fur problem figured out. We are having similar problems here with our own skin problems. Too many allergies and even an unknown problem with Kona.

    Take care! Hugs to adorable Bondi!