Welcome to Erk Pod episode 524. It is the end of this trip with Erk departing Singapore & arriving home in Sydney. It was a lot of fun bringing you along for the ride over 57 days & 5 countries outside Australia. Podcast content was recorded every single day of the 57 day trip with content being uploaded to the internet as an Audioboo message in 5 minute snippets up to 20 or more times a day on most days of the trip. In total, there was content recorded for 73 Erk Pod episodes during the trip, 5 episodes of Erk FM: Metal Monday, 2 episodes of Erk To The Diary Room & around 5 episodes of On The Rails With Erk. In addition, the trip saw the creation of another concept - Erk To The White Courtesy Phone. Erk hopes that you have enjoyed traveling with him & thanks you for listening to Erk's Pacamerican Circle episodes of Erk Pod. Thanks also must go to the various people who entertained, amused and supplied good times to Erk (as well as a place to sleep in some cases).
Photo – Erk visited the SLO PD, February 2013. It was closed.
NOTE: Due to Erk’s time out of Australia in early 2014, Erk Pod will not be heard January – March 2014. That said, Erk will be recording content for the show in America (January/February), Japan (February), Singapore (February), UAE (June), Germany (possibly – June) & London (June). The show will return in the first quarter of 2014. If you follow Erk on the social networks, you will see & hear updates no matter where in the world he is in close to real time.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Episodes 25 – 322 will be very gradually being converted to the new format & audio host.
Welcome to Erk Pod – Erk’s longest running podcast. Dating way back to 2007, Erk Pod was Erk’s first podcast. At many stages the show has been news & current affairs based & sometimes is based on Erk’s travels. Currently, the focus is on Erk’s travels with a mixture of soundscapes & travel observations. Erk has had overseas trips to the US (2009 & 2013), Europe & Asia (2011), the Caribbean & Mexico (2013) where listeners have come along for the ride.
Upcoming Major Event
Erk's Europe Trip
In 2011, Erk visited Europe & the UK for the first time. In mid 2014, Erk is returning for another visit. Traveling via the Middle East for the first time, Erk will be heading into Europe & the UK again. Details to be confirmed but a highlight will surely be repeating a music podcasting pub crawl in London with fellow members of the Association Of Music Podcasting,
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 523. Winding down & thinking of home, Erk is heading ever closer to jumping on a jet plane & heading from Singapore back to Australia. There's a good feeling about going home but sad feelings about the end of a wonderful trip.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 522. On this episode, Erk leaves the city & country of Singapore & heads to Jonor Bahru, Malaysia. Erk's original plan was to walk over the causeway joining the two countries however new immigration buildings on the Malaysian side means that this is no longer possible. Not wanting to hire a car or other vehicle, Erk decides that there is still a way to do this - public transport! Catching a couple of trains from near his Singapore hotel to the train station near the border checkpoint, he catches a bus to the Singapore exit point. Leaving the bus, he goes upstairs & gets his passport stamped to say he is leaving Singapore. Boarding another bus, he crosses the causeway by road & ends up on the Malaysian side. Leaving the bus again, he goes upstairs to the Malay entry point for another passport stamp. The process is repeated on the way back to Singapore.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 521. Erk's time in Singapore is rapidly running out & the long trip and the ever changing weather conditions is starting to take its toll. Has Erk finally found where all the people in Singapore are on day 54 of the trip?
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 520. Erk is now starting to enjoy Singapore more than he did when he first arrived after an awesome week in Japan. Singapore was a convenient way to break up the trip between Japan and Australia & has not been a city of Erk's "must explore" list.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 519. Erk is midway through his stay in Singapore & is enjoying exploring the city. A good way of exploring a city initially is on foot & Erk has certainly been doing a lot of walking. There's certainly more to see & do than Erk initially thought!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 518. Erk is starting to get into some sort of routine. Get up, go for a walk around, have some lunch, walk around some more, maybe catch a couple of trains. With his hotel not being downtown, there is a train or bus ride that is required should Erk decide to head downtown.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 517. Erk has just arrived in Singapore. Out of all the places that Erk has gone on this trip, Singapore is the place that Erk has least looked forward to. For one reason, it is a step closer to the end of the trip. Second, Singapore has been a country & a city that Erk has had no special reason to visit or no overwhelming desire to visit before now. Thirdly, Erk has to fly via Singapore to/from Japan rather than direct because his airline of choice does not fly there (Australia - Japan) directly. Regardless, Erk has selected to spend a week in Singapore so let's see what happens!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 516. With everything on Erk's short list of must-do things in Japan ticked & some snow adventures for good measure, Erk is preparing to leave Japan. Rest assured, Erk will be back again in the future after a couple of short visits. Next time, the visit will be longer. One thing that Erk has noticed is that he takes a couple of days to get used to Japan & by the time he starts to feel comfortable, it is time to go. Next time will be longer, promise. Erk's next stop is Singapore - it is also Asian but very different to Japan (or so Erk hears!).
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 515. Erk is visiting The Railway Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo. There is something for all ages ranging from train simulators, train displays, , model trains, tours & a lot more. If you love trains & go to Japan, you must visit the museum. If you want to feel what it is like to be a train driver like Erk, try out the simulators (there is a charge for the steam train simulator but the subway & Shinkansen simulators are free). It is also a good place to buy train related merchandise. Can't speak Japanese? No need to worry - you can get by without it. If you want to go more indepth, there are English guides & maps available.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 514. It is Erk's final day in Japan and he is trying to fit as much into the day as he can. The initial plan was to check out of the hotel, go to the Railway Museum, back to the hotel & pick up the bags & then go to the airport. Instead of that, Erk changed his mind (not for the first time) but it worked out a lot better. Check out of the hotel, catch a couple of trains to Nippori. At Nippori station, there are luggage lockers for Erk to put his bags. From there, he can go to the Railway Museum, return to Nippori, collect his bags & then get the express train to the airport. Good plan, Erk!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 513. On this episode, Erk takes you to the neighbouring suburbs of Tokyo, Shinjuku & Shibuya. Over the last few days, Erk has been exploring Shinjuku on foot & by subway but today heads to nearby Shibuya. As soon as he gets there & explores, he remembers why he liked the area on his last visit in 2011.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 512. After a short time in Aomori, it is time for Erk to return to Tokyo. It is warmer back at Shin-Aomori station as Erk does a bit of train spotting & warms up after the freezing snowy conditions, conditions he was not dressed for. Most of the return trip was in darkness which did not prevent the train from running at high speed. Erk also took the chance to have a bit of a snooze.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 511. Erk has arrived in Shin-Aomori north of Tokyo. Erk knew he was north of Tokyo but did not know until he asked the local tourist bureau that he in fact 713 rail kilometres north of Tokyo. Unlike the milder weather in Tokyo where snow is no longer falling, it is snowing hard in Shin-Aomori & nearby Aomori which is the downtown area served by the Shinkansens. One thing that Erk soon noticed way north of Tokyo was that English has basically disappeared. Erk explores the small local train system and the downtown area.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 510. Erk has made it to the main Tokyo Shinkansen platforms and has purchased a ticket to Shin-Aomori. He decided which train to ride based on some articles on the interweb which showed that this line is the fastest Shinkansen line in Japan. Erk is mainly going for the train ride rather than the destination.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 509. Erk's original plan for today was to go to The Railway Museum but it was KLOSED. Lucky for Erk, he did his research first & did not go to the museum to find that out. Instead, Erk decides to go ride on a morning peak hour train on the Yamanote line to the main Tokyo station. It is a really interesting experience, especially for someone who does not normally commute to train in the morning peak hour back home.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 508. Erk decides to go for a walk in the local area around his hotel in Shinjuku. Exploring a local area on foot in an overseas country to see things that tourists normally doesn't see is something that Erk enjoys to do.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 507. Erk decides to go for a walk in the local area around his hotel in Shinjuku. Exploring a local area on foot in an overseas country to see things that tourists normally doesn't see is something that Erk enjoys to do.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 506. Erk's snow day continues in Shinjuku & the surrounding areas. Erk is having a great time in a new country after spending over 40 days in the US. The snow has added an extra dimension to Erk's Japanese experience as his previous trip was in the Japanese summer.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 505. Erk explores snowy Tokyo and the subway systems. There are many options on the public transport systems and despite the snow, the trains are mostly running well. Also despite the snow, there are still many people out & about on the streets.