A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Krabi

rain
View Thailand on faith8069's travel map.

We left Penang early with 10 of us jammed into a mini bus. We crossed the border fine, but had to pay to get into the country as it was apublic holiday. It's Songkran the buddhist new year. Can you believe they charged us 15p...bloody cheek hey! 3 and a half hours later we were dropped in a place called Hai tao in Thailand. We soon realised that we didn't really want to be standing around as Songkran is where all the locals just have a 2 day long water fight!! Blessed with water for the new year. It was complete carnage everywhere, traffic jams, people on trucks just driving around throwing water over people and people at the sides of the roads with water guns.Faye_Penang_116.jpg Anyway, we had to wait at a place in order to get another mini bus to Krabi. I needed some money as I had no thai baht, so I thought I would walk to the cash machine. People were all nice to begin with, sprinkelling me with a few drops of water and oils to say happy new year and then I just started getting buckets of water tipped over me. I was absolutely drenched! I came back dripping...the worst of it was that the cash machine wouldn't give me any money! We got in a mini bus with a crazy driver and it took us ages to get out of Hai tao as the streets were just grid locked with people throwing water and white powder all over everyone and the cars. I felt most sorry for the people on the mopeds! On our way to Krabi thre mopeds were getting stopped and blessed in every town we passed through.
We arrived in Krabi after the drive with a bit of a mad man and got here about 6pm, so we travelled all day. Went to get some money and still the cash machines wouldn't work. I phoned the bank as there was Ian and I and a couple who couldnt get money and we had nothing between us. Friday 13th and a problem with visa and getting soaked! Great. We waiting ages, and as it was a holiday there was nowhere to change money either. Luckily I had a non visa card and got some money so we could get some food and a few drinks with Kaz and Nikki. Faye_Penang_128.jpg Thankfully visa did eventually sort out their problem!!
We're just waiting around at the moment as we are waiting for our boat to go to Ko Phi Phi, the island where 'The beach' was filmed.

Posted by faith8069 23:09 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Penang

George Town

overcast 30 °C

We got up fairly early and took a taxi to the bus station in Kuala Lumpur. We arrived at 8:30am as they told us to and still be 9am we were boarding the wrong bus! The bay they told us to get on at had the wrong bus in it...we had a bit of a panic as we didn't want to miss it, but then it turned up about 10 mins late. So, on we got, bus looked fairly good, ok inside. We sat on the bus for 45mins while different people got on and off, people were chucked off and asked to move seats, luckily we managed to stay on the bus and in the seats that we were in. So, and hour late we headed north to Penang, an island off the North west coast of Malaysia. We were going about 30mph and the bus was making terrible noises, and we didn't stop for 4 hours and there was no toilet on the bus! Anyway, we had a short toilet stop and a couple of hours after we arrived in Penang...not in George town where we wanted to be though! Some man took us and another man in his van to George town and dropped us on Love lane. Some luck came our way when we were dropped right outside a nice guesthouse all very new inside and very cheap too, bonus!! We got into the room and then decided to go out and get some food as we thought we'd have a stop on the bus, but didn't so hence hadn't eaten all day. In KL we ate in the mall as recommended by lonely planet, so we thought we'd try the food in the mall in Penang...bad move. The duck looked lovely in the picture so Ian and I chose the same dish, mistake! The duck was like all the bad bits of a duck churned together and even the rice tasted nasty, and how can rice be nasty!!....Believe me it was! So, we picked at the food and then decided we really couldn't eat it, so we went somewhere and paid a pound for a meal rather than 50p!!! They do say you get what you pay for! To top off the bad day we went to the cinema and watched a very bad film with English subtitles, I'll say no more!
Thursday we spent the day looking around Penang, we ended up going to most of the places on the Penang Heritage trail, but weren't actually planning to do the trail. We went to a couple of temples, a mansion and then to the Penang museum which was actually quite good and fairly interesting. Faye_Penang_057.jpgFrom there we walked down to Cornwallis fort, where we saw the obvious, some cannons and there was a small gallery there and a prison cell which Ian locked me in!! We visited another temple and a mosque and then went down to the shopping centre where I was very naughty and bought 4 pairs of shoes. The shoes in this very nice shop were beautiful and I just had to do it, it was the shop I resisted in KL, but I couldn't do it again! The most exciting part of the day was getting back from the mall, we got on a trishaw. It was fab, I loved it. Currently trying to upload the video, but not sure it's going to work on this slow computer!Faye_Penang_100.jpg In the evening it chucked it down with rain yet again and we just made it to the red garden food court before we got soaked!

Posted by faith8069 22:43 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

overcast

Hey all, hope everyone had a nice easter weekend. I didn't do anything for easter although I did manage to have half a bar of dairy milk!
The hostel we're staying at in Kuala Lumpur is really nice, 'The Haven Guesthouse' I'd recommend it. Only thing is the nocturnal guy that has been in our dorm for the past couple of nights, I didn't get too much sleep last night.
Yesterday we spent the day exploring the city and one day was enough really, there isn't heaps to do here. The night we arrived we went to look at the Petronas Towers (twin towers), looked really spectacular at night although from where we were standing there was lots of buildings in the way of them. Sofia_015.jpgSo, on exploration of the city we saw an advert in the hostel for a free city tour. We walked a few kms to the pick up point to find that it wasn't running and we needed to book on. From there we did our own city tour, heading first to the Menara KL tower. The 4th largest in the world (Number 1 is the CN tower in Canada which I went up 2 years ago). We took the lift to the observation platform and got an MP4 player (all mod cons here!) to watch and listen about the city. It was pretty cool. Sofia_050.jpgWe got some good views although it was misty because it was raining around the tower. The view of the towers was pretty cool, as you can see in the photos.Sofia_082.jpg
From the tower we headed to China town and then to another street to visit a couple of temples. From the temples to the train station which is great architecture and then onto the National Mosque. I didn't think the mosque was all that great really as it was quite modern and I prefer the older style islamic mosques, we could see an amazing one from the tower. We couldn't go in the mosque as it was prayer time.Sofia_106.jpg From the mosque we headed to central market and then back through china town, by this time it was about 9pm and the place was really bustling with people. Lots of men saying 'I give you good price'! From the first whole day here we saw loads and I really like the city, it's very metropolitan.Sofia_134.jpg
Today we ventured back down to the towers, we found the good place to take photos. They were really amazing. Sofia_144.jpgWe spent some time in the shopping centre at the bottom of the towers and then spent the rest of the day touring other shopping centres. On the one floor of the shopping centre you had all the big names, Mont Blanc, Hugo Boss, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Guess, and many more...I couldn't afford to be there! On that floor you had to pay to go to the toilet and on the other 6 you didn't...cheek! However we did go into the Louis Vuitton shop later today so that we could have a look at a real bag as we've seen so many fakes! To be honest, the fakes look exeptionally good! So, we've spent most of the day in just 3 of the many malls in Kuala Lumpur, they are huge! We went to the top floor of the Times Square shopping mall for our dinner. Lovely food and only cost a quid, bargain!! This shopping centre was huge, the food was on floor 10 and there was a theme park running from floors 5-10. It had a really big roller coaster, have to say I'm not sure I'd have wanted to go on it. There was also a bowling alley and cinema, not to mention the hundreds of shops! It's crazy as I don't see how so many malls can keep making money as there wasn't a great deal of people in them.
Oh, by the way, weather's still humid and overcast and currently raining!
Tomorrow we're catching the bus early in the morning, heading for Penang, north west Malaysia. Hope all's well, lots of love xx

Posted by faith8069 06:36 Archived in Malaysia Comments (2)

Singapore

.....with Bali Belly!

overcast 35 °C

We arrived in Singapore after a nice Qantas flight, cabin crew weren't quite as miserable as on previous flights. We also got a whole bar of dairy milk rather than just a bite size one...bonus! After eating the food Ian and I both decided to save our chocolate. Anyway, I'm glad I did because as we got off the plane I started to get really bad stomach ache. The subway and walk to our hostel as far too much effort and by the time I got to the hostel I had full on bad tummy. We booked an 8 bed dorm over the internet, only to find that the room had 16 beds, just what I needed when I felt so rubbish! So, I spent all night being sick, drinking water and crying with pain, and also watching and listening to 14 other people coming into the room at different times in the morning, and of course lots of snoring...I hate dorms! We managed to change rooms in the morning to a 5 bed dorm where I spent much of the day sleeping. Managed to get up in the evening and go down and watch a dvd.
The following day I didn't feel great but didn't want to waste any more time in Singapore so we got out for about midday and went to explore. We went down to the river and had a look around the Singapore art gallery was pretty good although Ian doesn't like abstract art which causes a few ructions.Singapore_Faye_176.jpg From there I was struggling to stand up as I wasn't feeling great so we walked to the famous 'Raffles hotel'. We had lunch there, we managed to get our lunch and a drink for cheaper than a big mac meal or boots meal deal, so it had to be done. A good start to getting my appetite back. We left Raffles and went down to Merlion park where we expected to see green grass, there was none of that though. The Merlion is Singapore's land mark, it's a big concrete fish with a lions head. After we went on a boat tour down the Singapore river, it was a really good way to see the city + I didn't have to walk anymore! Clarke Key was really nice with lots of bars and restaurants,looked lovely from the river.Singapore_Faye_075.jpg After our boat journey we returned to the hostel on the subway and spent the evening relaxing.
Friday we headed to the island south of Singapore city 'Sentosa', we got the subway to the harbour front and then got an extremely high cable car over to the island. Singapore_Faye_133.jpgThere was a cruise ship docked in the port and we went over it, it was huge, 4 spas, pool, basket ball court, mini golf all on the top deck that we could see. We had a good view of the city from the cable car. Singapore_Faye_144.jpgWhen we got to the island it was packed and we soon realised that it was a bit too touristy! We sat on the beach for a couple of hours doing a bit of cloud bathing! We left the island and on the way back went along the river, taking some photos of the banks. We went to the Asian Civilisation museum at the cheap time between 7-9pm, but didn't sepnd long there as we both found it rather boring so we headed back to the hostel.Singapore_Faye_191.jpg
Saturday was a bit of a job day, post office, booking bus and hostel for Kuala Lumper and job applications for myself. We went out down to Clarke Quay about 4pm, we got some food in Hooters! I lived in Nottingham for 4 years and never went to Hooters, but we were in need of some non Asian food! We looked around the shops and then got the subway and a bus to the Night Safari Zoo. Got there about 8pm, it was really cool. Saw lots of animals, mainly nocturnal. There were lots of deer, buffalos, giraffes, zebra, bats, lions, but my favourite was the leapords that we got to see really close up and the asian elephant with huge tusks. On the way back from the night zoo, Ian dropped his wallet on the bus, luckily we weren't too far from the bus office so he got it back. But we didn't arrive back at the hostel until about mid night.
I liked Singapore, but I'd like to go back there with lots of money as it's definately a big shopping place and a place to go out for nice meals and drinks on the river. It surprised me how everything was in English and how many people spoke excellent english. We left at 9am this morning (Sunday) for Kuala Lumpa and arrived here about 4pm. It was so hot in Singapore I could barely cope at times, just so humid and it seems KL is the same!

Posted by faith8069 01:31 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Bali

Ubud

overcast 30 °C

After arriving in Denpesar and waiting what felt like forever to get our visa and go through passport control we found some little man who ripped us off to take us to our hotel. After a pretty scary ride, almost knocking people off their mopeds and running over about 20 dogs we arrived safely in ubud where we are staying. The driver insisted at the airport that he knew where our hotel was, but when we got to Ubud we spent a fair amount of time driving up and down one road trying to find the hotel. When we finally got to the hotel, noone was to be seen. I got it in my head that I would be sleeping outside, but soon a little security man found us and took us to a very nice room. It was about 1:30am, so we got straight to bed.
We got up and went for a wonder around Ubud, first visiting a small tourist information centre and almost being attacked by a monkey! Ubud is full of art shops and boutique type shops, I really like it. I could spend a fortune here, although it is really cheap. We went to the market, but decided that our first day we would just look, what a challenge that was to get through the market without buying anything! We sat by the pool for a couple of hours and then in the evening we went to a temple up the road. The Balinese women were performing, with a couple of men too. It was really good watching the dancing and the music was excellent too. A lot of the movement was with hands and they had pretty scary eyes. IMG_0462.jpgThe clothes that they were wearing were beautiful, loads of bright colours, gold, turquoise, yellows and reds etc. We left the show and went for some food, I'm finding it very hard to believe how cheap the food is and it's really good.
Tuesday we went to the monkey sanctuary, they were so funny. It amazes me how much like humans they are. It made me laugh watching them inspecting eachothers hair and bottoms! They were playing around in the water and jumping off concrete statues, hilarious to watch. IMG_0513.jpgI really enjoyed seeing the monkeys, although I did manage to get eaten alive by mozzies which wasn't much fun and I itch like crazy! We had some lunch and then in the afternoon we went and looked along a different street, Ubud's much bigger than I thought it would be. We went to the market and I started bartering for a few things. I feel sorry for the people though so although I'm getting things cheap, I think I could get them for a better price. I did go back to a woman and buy some trousers as the day before she said i would have bad luck if I didn't buy anything from her....didn't want to be cursed forvever so I went back!! She did recognise me! We spent the evening having another nice meal and a few drinks.
We went on a tour on Thursday, booked on the day before and we were the only ones, so basically had a guy drive us around to different places for the day. First we visited the rice terraces which were totally spectacular, such beautiful scenery.IMG_0599.jpg We visited 4 temples which were all fairly similar, the Holy Water temple was my favourite though. There were hundreds of school children there bathing in the waters and the teachers just taking their clothes off (imagine that at home!...you'd lose your job no questions asked) IMG_0675.jpgThey were just standing there in their bras and with no tops on! How rude, it was great to watch though and all the children were so excited and so polite to us, kept saying 'hello Miss', 'hello Sir' I felt like I was back at school again!
It amazes me how these people base their life around religion, 3 times a day they make offerings and burn insense, we visited one temple and there were literally hundreds of people decorating it ready for a celebration. There were people riding along on their mopeds in the rain with their offerings on their head, not forgetting 3 other family members on the moped! Talented! It was a good day out, we got to eat with a view of Butar volcano (the most expensive place we've eaten so far), but it was a wicked view. IMG_0704.jpg
Since we've been relaxing, I've read another book, had the most amazing Balinese massage and a not so great pedicure! We went to Kuta on Saturday, the tourist enclave, and that is was. We arrived in a taxi which took an hour from Ubud and it seemed to be pretty quiet. we hoped to spend some time sitting on the beach, but seemed little point with so much cloud! We looked around yet more shops and markets and spent more money...but not too much for the amount we bought. Ian's really getting into his bartering now and is getting good at walking away and people will follow us down the street asking us to come back. The most interesting part of the day was when we returned and had a sit on the beach. We were surrounded by about 15 Indonesian School children wanting to practice their English. We had to write in their little book and tell them that their english was good...it was like being back at work, writing 'well done, tries hard'! They then all wanted their photo taken with us, I got one too though. From then it seemed we attracted different people on the beach, people were staring at us. As we were leaving a group of people asked if they could have their picture taken with us...how random! So there we were in the middle of this family having our photo taken, anyone would think we were famous. Don't get it! So, we stayed in kuta for the evening, treated Ian to watch a football game as didn't know if we could see it in Ubud. The funniest part to the day was on the way home, the taxi man didn't know how to get to Ubud, we were trying our best to give him directions through the back streets of Bali! Anyway, he stopped to ask some locals directions, got out of the car and forgot to put the handbrake on, so Ian and I were in the car slowly rolling back down the hill. It was hilarous and we both did a sychronised dive into the front to reach the handbrake...luckily we didn't roll too far and it was funny rather than tragic!
Sunday we just lazed around, went to the market again and tried to dodge the rain for the best part of the day. Ian had a call in the morning to say that he'd won a holiday and a woman wanted us to go to Nusa Dua, in the south of Bali. After confirming that it was time share we decided not to go. In the evening the woman rang back and Ian gave in and said we'd go down today. Last night we went to watch another wierd and wonderful show in a temple at the top of Ubud, we were running a bit late and were speed walking up the road when a lovely Balinese boy offered us a lift....on his moped! So we hopped on and had a very safe ride, it was great fun! The show was good, slightly strange and one guy particularly crazy, he was walking through coconuts that were on fire...lots of pain I can imagine! This show was mainly men like the other show that we went to last week and I managed to count about 80 men, can't believe how many there were.Bali_Faye_036.jpg
So, this morning we got up and went down for the timeshare talk in Nusa Dua. When we got there the guy realised as Ian said on the phone that we weren't interested. So we had our free breakfast, got the money for our car down there and Ian got his free accommodation pack and off we went without listening to anything! The best part was the fact that they paid for a driver, so we stopped in Kuta again on the way back, so we could do a bit more shopping!! The ride home wasn't great as it seemed to take forever, but we did get to see some more of Bali, Legian, Seminyak and a few other places. It's quite good here for the villages, every village has a different trade, so we drove through villages of kites, stone works, wood carvings, roof tiles, wood wind chimes and other random specialist villages.
So, our last night in Bali tonight. Ian thinks we should stay up until 4am to watch the Villa game, but I'm not convinced! Tomorrow we fly to Singapore and then have about 6 weeks to get to Bangkok, travelling through Malaysia and Thailand.

Posted by faith8069 19:23 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Good bye from Australia

Darwin-Litchfield National Park- Kakadu

35 °C

Arriving in Darwin we were pretty shattered after the last night out in Cairns, so got an early night. We hired a car, so drove from the airport into the very small city centre. We hired the car as we planned to venture down to the Kakadu National park. As the area has been hit by a cyclone in the last couple of weeks, the main highway bridge into the national park was closed. We decided to still go, but as we were driving past Litchfield National Park on the way we stopped off and had a little look around there. I was so glad we did as the waterfalls that we saw were totally amazing. Our first stop was the magnetice termite mounds, termites are just big ants and I find it so hard to believe that they can create such a mound of what is just feaces and saliva...lovely!! Some of the mounds were up to 6 metres tall. They were all around the area, there must be millions of the little buggers!IMG_03321.jpg
We then headed further into the park to Florence falls, I was so surprised at just how spectacular they actually were. I felt like I was at a mini Iguasu, it was great. We walked down the 170 stairs to the bottom of the falls, but we didn't swim as I forgot my bikini and didn't fancy walking back up and down those stairs again! When walking back from the falls there was a gage and it was 34 degrees and about 98% humidity....we thought it was warm!!
From Florence falls we went to Tolmer Falls, as we were driving there the rains came again so we decided to stay in the car and have some lunch instead. While it was raining we drove down to Tongi Falls where I have never seen anything like it. The place looked totally devastated, it was completely flooded. The swimming had also been closed as there were crocodile sightings. Because it was so flooded we had to wade through water to get to the boardwalk in order to go to the lookout. I was pretty scared I was going to get eaten by a croc! We survived anyway! But, I have never seen so much water! The water was right up to the boardwalk which has stilts of a few metres and the tops of the trees were just sticking out the top of the water. IMG_0306.jpg
Obviously the waterfalls were totally amazing, the amount of water was incredible. Unfortunately I have run out of photo space on my site for this month so can't provide anymore photos. I wish I could as I'd love to share the experience with you all. Anyway, we went back to the car, getting pretty wet as it was still raining and went back to Tolmer Falls. It was raining but not quite as heavy as before so we walked down to more breath taking water falls in a huge steep sided valley with a great big blow hole in the top. It was awesome.
From there we left Litchfield national park and made our way down the Stuart highway....only 4500kms from Adelaide! Passing the great big road trains which are 3 large lorries put together, actually pretty scary to drive past! It rained all the way and at about 5:30pm we stopped at a place called Adelaide river where we set up camp for the night. Well, we sat in the car for almost an hour waiting for it to stop raining before we put the tent up. We managed to get it up eventually and then spent the evening sitting in the bar playing cards as Adelaide river had nothing to offer other than that! It was quite a scary place, full of loads of big fat toads jumping around. We went to bed pretty early, didn't sleep well at all and it didn't help with Ian waking up in the night and being convinced that trees were people! I had to tell him that there were no people outside the tent and then got myself pretty scared!!
We woke up sweating from the heat, jumped out and got a shower. Although there was no point as we just felt disgusting again by the time we got on the road.
We drove to Kakadu National Park and stopped at the ranger station just inside the park. We were hoping to head north and be able to go back on the road that was closed, but it's not due to open for about another 6 weeks! Several other roads in the park were closed and to be honest the area looked totally wiped out, all the trees were on their sides. As the roads were closed we weren't going to see the attractions that we wanted to so we went to a couple of lookouts....saw our first snake in OZ and then drove back towards Darwin. We camped at a place called Howard Springs for the night.
Again we woke up boiling hot. We drove back towards Darwin stopping in a village called 'Parap' to go to the local market. It was a pretty cool market, just the usual jewellery, fruit and veg, Asian foods, bags, paintings etc. We got back to Darwin and had a wonder around, I decided to get my hair cut! That set me back a few pennies, but I wasn't feeling too good about my hair, so thought I should get it done. Last night we met up with Emma and Lynsey, the girls who I spent Christmas and new year with. It was great to see them, we went for something to eat and had a few drinks. I can't believe that it's been 2 months since I've seen them, it's gone so fast. They are flying to india today, so we waved them off this morning and then we've had a look around Darwin. We haven't seen the sun in nearly 2 weeks, but it's now decided to shine the day we leave so it's been rather warm walkig around. Just going to relax this afternoon while we wait for our flight tonight to Bali. I'm a bit sad to be leaving Australia, have lots of great memories. Only place I wouldn't return to is Alice Springs...steer clear!! Couldn't tell you the best place as there's been so many of those. Looking forward to seeing some culture in Asia as there's not much of that here! Remember I have no phone now, so mail or leave me a message on here! I'll be back from Bali....xxxxxxxx

Posted by faith8069 19:18 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Cape Tribulation

Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park and Port Douglas

overcast 25 °C

We left Cairns at 7:30 in the morning, according to the driver the place where you party,sleep and get out during the daytime. I'd tend to agree as Cairns doesn't have much to offer in the city itself. We left our big bags in storage and took our over night bags with us up to Cape Tribulation. Our driver filled us with so much information, I'm now definately going to be the best teacher of rainforests ever! Cape_Tribu..our_079.jpgWe stopped in the mossman Gorge, the first section of tropical rainforest. This was far better rainforest than the Atherton Tablelands. It was raining which meant that the forest looked so lush and green and so dense, it was fantastic. We also saw mangroves, where the vegetation grows from the salt water. From the Gorge we went to a small animal sanctury where we saw Cassowary birds,snakes, crocodiles and I got to have a black parrot on my shoulder.Cape_Tribu..our_047.jpg Not ony that, we had the best bacon and egg roll ever! The guy also had a snake in pillow case, he'd just been out to some womans house to get a snake out...it was in her bedroom! I touched the snake, in the sealed pillowcase!!
From there we went up to the Daintree National park, went to some lookouts and learnt some more about rainforests...in between battling to stay awake on the bus! We went across the daintree river on a pull ferry and then to some more mangroves further north in the national park. From there we made our way to Cape Tribulation where we stayed for the night. In Cape Tribulation we went for a walk along the beach, we were told not to go in the water as there are stingers and crocodiles. Ian and I had to cross a creek though in order to get to the lookout, it was only shallow, but I was so scared of getting eaten by something! On the way we walked through more mangroves and there were thousands of red crabs wondering around amongst the trees. We got to Cape Tribulation beach safely and went up to the lookout so see across the beach. I think it would have been more spectacular if the weather was better. Cape Tribulation was small to say the least, consisting of about 5 hostels/hotels, one shop and a pharmacy. We spent the evening playing cards with a few other people in the hostel. Yesterday we got up and spent the morning around the pool, cloudbathing! We organised to go to the bat house, which we later found out was closed on Mondays, gutted! We got back on our tour bus at 2pm and headed back towards Cairns. On the way we stopped at an icecream shop where thay had random tropical flavours such as wattleseed. I stuck to the mango one. From there we made our way back to the Daintree river where we went on a Crocodile cruise. It was fun spotting crocs, we managed to see about 4, 2 larger ones and 2 small ones. The baby ones were so cute, didn't look like they'd hurt a fly! Spot the baby below:Cape_Tribu..our_142.jpg
We left there and went to a fruit shop on the way back, the highlight wasn't the fruit, but the baby roo's/wallabies! They were gorgeous, I got to feed the smallest baby. They were hanging up in peg bags in the fruit shop, really sweet. On the way back we had a whistle stop tour around Port Douglas, seems like a lovely place, nice harbour, although 4 mile beach wasn't the most amazing beach. We arrived back in Cairns, checked back into the hostel and then went out for our free meal. Pretty good, cheapest hostel we've stayed in in Australia and you get free dinner!
Ian's gone rafting today, but I didn't really fancy being thrown out of a dingy! With all the rain up here I think it would be far too scary and I'm not the biggest fan of going under water so I left him to it! I'm spending the day looking in the art gallery, going around the shops and lazing around, if the rain manages to stay away for long enough. So, Darwin tomorrow and then fly from Australia to Bali on Sunday, OZ is almost over!

Posted by faith8069 16:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Magnetic Island and the Atherton Tablelands

Uncle Brians Tour Cairns

rain 28 °C

After bus, ferry and another bus ride we arrived on Magnetic Island to our beach side backpackers resort. It was all very nice...apart from the rain. We chilled out and dodged the rain for a few days, managing to venture from the hostel once to go to the shop! We woke up to pouring rain, I got totally soaked through trying to get to the washing machine, I might as well have got in it! Anyway, we did the washing had free breakfast and when the rain stopped we took out a kayak onto the sea and had a little sail on the sea. There wasn't much to see though and I was pretty scared of getting eaten by a shark or stung by a ray so we didn't stay out too long. We sat by the pool and then in the eveing managed by chance to make friends with the barman who provided us with free drinks all night...bonus! It was very windy, lightening and lots of rain during the night. The following day we left the island and headed to Cairns on our last Greyhound journey. It rained most of the way to Cairns and we got drenched getting our stuff from the bus to the hostel. We went and had our free hostel meal and a drink and then headed to bed early as we were tired.
We got up early on Friday and boarded Gus the bus part of Uncle Brians tour to the Atherton Tableland. It was possibly the funniest day I've had in a long time, thanks to cousin Paul. Cousin Paul was the guy who drove Gus around and he was so so funny. He was just cracking jokes all day and telling us random stories. We went to different parts of the rainforest around Cairns,Babinda Boulders, Josephine falls where people got to rock slide. We then had a jouney to Mr lunch, on the way we had to play silly games, passing a polo on matchsticks from mouth to mouth and cousin Paul had a box of mindgames which kept us all amused. We got to Mr Lunch's place, where we had been hyped up abouth seeing his dog and the previous day it had got run over...cousin Paul put his foot in it! We had chicken and cous cous and lovely fresh baked bread. After lunch we left there and went to Millaa Millaa falls where the timotei advert was filmed and also Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl. Atherton_t..and_031.jpgThe falls were very impressive. From there Cousin Paul put on the tunes and we sang all the way to lake Eacham. Due tot he fact that it was raining for most of the day I hadn't been swimming yet as it was too cold. I was the first to jump into the lake, and it was really nice...until we got out and had a look down into the water to see huge Crayfish which so easily could have eaten my feet!!( They're like lobsters) Atherton_t..and_047.jpgWe did a bit of turtle spotting and had hot chocolate and then made our way to try and find some platypus. We saw a couple but they were a bit far away to get any photos. From the Platypus cousin Paul put on the tunes and we rocked all the way home...a long funny day! I had a great time.

Posted by faith8069 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands

It's so so hot!!

sunny 35 °C

Gooday and welcome back to my webpage! (Think the sun may have got to me!)
Well, we arrived in Airlie Beach after the over night bus journey, which wasn't actually too bad. My back is better, but I am sitting here and I feel like I'm floating, due to the fact that I've been on a boat for the past couple of days!
We spent a couple of days in Airlie beach just chilling and sitting by the lagoon down by the beach front in Airlie beach. First couple of days were hot, but fairly cloudy so weren't feeling it too much. We are camping at the moment again and each night it always managed to rain, so Ian was darting out of the tent at 4 in the morning to get our clothes off the line!...quite amuzing! We met up with Vicky who I lived with at uni for a couple of hours before her and Shane went on their sailing trip, was really nice to see Vicky, can't manage to ever meet up in England, but we managed it across the other side of the world. Been about 3 years since I saw her! But it was cool to share travelling stories and find out what the places are like that we're going to as Vicky has just come from South East Asia. So, we didn't do much while waiting for our trip out to the islands on Saturday.
We left with 40 other people on our boat out to the Whitsunday islands. We soon realised that the island cruising was going to turn into a big party over a few days! We sailing straight to South Molle Island, one of the biggest island, that was where we were sleeping for the 2 nights. I ended up in a room with Ian and 4 other 18 year old boys, joy! We headed to the pool for a while, Ian went in and I took some photos as the sun went down. Picture_019.jpgWe then went to dinner....queing with over 100 other people! Thankfully it was ladies first, although I'm not too sure what the boys thought to that! We played drinking games after dinner and had a few drinks. Weren't too late to bed, however, the boys decided to have a small party on our balcony...don't worry! Granny Austin and Grandad Boon soon moved them on so we managed to get to sleep!!
We got up the following day, breakfast at 7am. Very early, but very pleased to see bacon and eggs on the menu! Fantastic view of the sea while eating breakfast and we got to share it with the colourful locals pictured below! DSCF2181.jpg
It was so cool, and the birds were really cute and friendly...I did get slightly scared when the fluttered in my face! But, it was all good!
We were on the boat by 8am and sailing to White Haven beach where we spent a couple of hours on the beach and had a bit of a snorkel, but there wasn't much to see around the area. We got into our stinger suits which you have to wear if you're swimming in the Whitsundays and jumped off the boat and swam to the beach. When back on the boat we had a lovely lunch, nice cold meats and salads and then spent about 4 hours sailing back to the island. We were straight in the pool when we got back to South Molle Island. Got ready for dinner and straightened my hair for the first time in months. Lisa a girl on the boat travels with a hair dryer and straighteners. Only, I wasn't very impressed, as it was so hot it just went wavey again! Lisa and I went down to dinner and then Ian came down about 10 mins later limping. He's gone over on his foot, so now has a very swallen ankle. So, he sat at dinner with ice on his foot! Same again as previous night, drinking games and then a few drinks. Only, the 18 yr olds couldn't hack 2 nights in row, they were in bed by 9:30pm! I didn't drink much, but went to bed about 1am.
Today we were up early again, I'm totally shattered. Picture_040.jpgWe had breakfast with the birds again and then got on the boat. We sailed to some coral reef. Got back in our suits and jumped off the boat and went snorkelling, the fish were cool, but the coral was even more beautiful. We had fun swimming around, bought an underwater camera so got some shots of the fish and coral. Unfortunately I can't download from a disposable camera!! Picture_052.jpgOnce we'd finished watching fish we climbed aboard and had some lunch. Then we sailing back to Airlie Beach, arriving back about 2pm. It has been so hot over the past couple of days, I can't actually bear to sit in it anymore! Think I've well and truely topped up my tan and I have a sore hip, obviously missed that bit when applying my factor 30!...bet you don't believe me, but we have been using 30 suntan lotion. Getting off the boat they inform us of more partying tonight, the boat has an area reserved in a bar in Airlie beach tonight...great! I'm so tired!. We walked up the hill back to the place where we're camping, don't think I've ever perspired so much in my life!! I was so hot. Last time I remember sweating so much was in Italy when I was 9, I'm sure my family can vouch for that! So, we went straight in the pool, set up our tent, then walked down to the lagoon and in the pool again! Since then just laying in the shade as the sun is killing me off!! Meeting up later with the people we met on the boat, hopefully a tame night!
Tomorrow we're getting on the bus at 9am and going to Townsville, about 5 hours away. We'll then get a ferry to Magnetic island where we're staying for 2 nights before our final leg of the east coast up to Cairns. There's loads to do in Cairns and further north so we're spending a week up there. We fly to Darwin on the 21st for 4 days and then Australia will be over :(

Posted by faith8069 23:18 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hervey Bay- Fraser Island

Real Camping!

semi-overcast 30 °C

Another early morning leaving Maroochydore for a 6hour journey north to Hervey bay. We arrived in the afternoon and got ourselves sorted for our trip to Fraser Island the following day. We didn't take big bags so had to sort everything out and take minimum with us, not too difficult, bikinis short and a couple of vests! We went out for a few drinks in the evening, but didn't go to bed too late as we were due up before 6am again!!Fraser_Island_117.jpg
We got up at 6am checked out and put our bags in a big locker. We then had to watch a video about Fraser Island, how to drive and camp safely. It was quite amusing, 40 people sitting in a room trying not to fall asleep at 7am listening to how to deal with a Dingo (wild dog) and where and where not to camp and drive etc. When we'd watched that with had half hour safety talk and then got put in our groups. We were very lucky as were in a group of 8 rather than 10, so more room in our van! We got in our van, I drove first and we went down to pick up all our camping gear. We got tents, stoves, cool boxes, roll mats, utensils and everything we needed for the few days. It took a while to load everything into the truck, but soon we were on our way to do the food run. Fraser_Island_001.jpgJust imagine 4 lots of 8-10 people who have known each other for 5 minutes going around the supermarket buying 3 days worth of food together! It was absolutely hilarious, like being on big brother or something. At this point I already knew that one guy in the group was going to do my head in! Anyway, I think our shopping was pretty successful as everyone was happy with what we bought and we managed to not spent too much either. It was also quite funny listening to the other groups coming out moaning about eachother already! Anyway, we did well and managed to fit everything into the van, we drove down to the ferry and I had to back the van onto the ferry and we were on our way to the very sandy Fraser Island. Fraser_Island_028.jpgWe arrived there about midday and drove the length of the island up to Indian head, we took a walk up to the look out, fantastic views, but then it started to rain. On the walk we saw some huge spiders...and I mean huge. This big black spider had the biggest body I'd ever seen, it was incredible. Wanted to go close to take a photo, but I was too scared. I was completely amazed, it honestly was so huge. From Indian head I had my first scary sand ride to Champagne pools.Fraser_Island_047.jpg The sand was pretty deep, got a bit stuck and had to just go for it up thei hill. The van was all over the place, but we made it! It was raining so I decided along with lots of other girls not to go in the pools as we didn't want to freeze! From Champagne pools we made our way half way down the island and set up camp for the night. There was all four trucks which set off together, so it was quite fun setting up and getting bbq's going. Only downer was that it rained on and off all evening and everyone had pools of water in their tents, so don't think people had the best nights sleep. Everyone was up before 8am and starting to pack things away, but we could go anywhere until the tide had gone out enough to move. We went down to a camp to have breakfast and wash our dishes from the night before. From there we went to see the Melino Ship wreck,Fraser_Island_076.jpgFraser_Island_085.jpg Eli creek which as like a clear fresh water river and then to Lake Wabby. We didnt realise how long the walk to the lake was going to take us, but 45mins later we arrived at a beautiful warm lake with massive dunes. On the way we saw lots of big spiders again, they were horrible, but apparently not poisonous so I wasn't too scared!! Fraser_Island_095.jpgIt was like being in the desert at the top as all you could see was sand. We swam in the lake and then had to walk back from there, we all got back into our trucks and went to look for somewhere to set up camp for the night. A decision between 40 people really isn't easy I tell you!! After going to a couple of places it was getting dark and we ended up at the place where I said we should camp in the first place!! We got set up and I prepared and cooked Spaghetti Bolognaise for our group, the rain stayed away. We all sat around had some fun, lots of people singing different songs from different countries, it was quite entertaining! I didn't sleep well at all allowing me to get up at sunrise and take some shots! Fraser_Island_130.jpgI sat on the beach for the morning and then we left camp and drove to Lake Mckensie. Fraser_Island_143.jpgIt was so beautiful, gorgeous white sand and clear blue waters. We had to cut our stop short as it started to rain. The picture below is of me and Jo, a girl from my van. Fraser_Island_146.jpgAt the lake it was so funny, some people were getting some food out of their van. The guy turned around and a dingo came over and grabbed a packet of biscuits from them and ran off. We were watching it and it was so funny when the guy realised what had happened! So, we were back on the ferry and arrived back in civilization about 5pm. Fraser Island was fantastic, but it was so nice to get back and have a shower after 3 days...minging! Last night was an early night as I was so shattered and I woke up this morning not being able to hardly move. I didn't think banging my back getting out of the van a couple of times could be so painful the following day. So, at the moment I'm feeling a little fragile with a bruised back and I'm sure the over night bus journey tonight is going to do me no good whatsoever!!

Posted by faith8069 18:43 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Brisbane-Maroochydore

Steve Irwin's Australia zoo

sunny 30 °C

Brisbane was a bit of a chill out time, staying in the Irish lads lovely apartment. Went in their pool, spa and spent lots of time in the city looking around the shops. Managed to buy a dress, for Bec's wedding...posted it straight home! Other than that just bought some books and a lonely planet for the next South East Asia part of the journey. We sat out on their balcony in the evening having dinner which I prepared for the boys and a few beers. Oh, we also went to the cinema one night to see Music and Lyrics, the one with Hugh Grant...I loved it!!
On the Friday morning we were up at 5:30am in order to catch our 7am bus from Brisbane to Maroochydore. We stayed there for one night in order to go to the Australia Zoo (the Steve Irwin Zoo) which I know Lizzy would have loved so much. We arrived in Maroochydore, had our bags taken to the hostel while we got on another bus to the zoo. It was already a long morning. We spent the day at the zoo which was really cool, had a great day. The whole place is totally Steve crazy, the even have people dressed up with a big Steve head on. IMG_0230.jpgHis family are photographed everywhere too. We looked along the memorial path where there's loads of tribute to him, it's really quite sad. I feel for his family. IMG_0220.jpgwell less of the morbid stuff, I got to feed an elephant, stroke kangaroo's, pat koalas and touch tortoises. IMG_0296.jpgIMG_0301.jpgIMG_0265.jpgIt was a great day out, although it was boiling hot and we sweated buckets sitting watching the tiger presentation. We left the zoo late afternoon and made our way back to the hostel in Maroochydore. The town was full of very noisy, but very beautiful colourful birds, thousands of them. We spent the evening watching Love Actually on the tv...a nice change.

Posted by faith8069 18:11 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Surfers Paradise

Sun shines 300 days a year, why do we arrive on one of the days when it's raining!!??

sunny 29 °C

We got the bus from Byron Bay, was a little sad to leave as I really liked it there...want to go back and jump out of a plane again! Anyway, we arrived in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast not long after we left as the clocks went back. So rubbush, it's summer, but dark by 7pm. We got to our camp site and as we were setting up the tent it started pouring with rain and we got very wet along with all our belongings! SurfersBrisbane_001.jpgSo, we ended up sitting in the tent for about 45mins waiting for it to stop pouring, all good fun! So, the Gold Coast wasn't looking too glam as we arrived on one of the few days in the Gold coast when it rains! Oh well, we got to burn cd's and do fun stuff like that!
The time in the Gold coast did get better, the sun started to shine. SurfersBrisbane_028.jpgOn Saturday we met back up with Dave again and went to Sea World together, we had a nice time there, watched sea lion and dolphin shows, went on a few rides and saw sharks and lots of other sea creatures. SurfersBrisbane_099.jpgMy favourite part though was seeing polar bears, they were most amazing to watch. I could have stood there all day watching them and I know that Dave could too. They were such big bears, i just wanted to give them a big cuddle! SurfersBrisbane_050.jpgThey were gorgeous. We cooked on the BBQ a few times as we have no pans, so unfortunately it has to be hot dogs and steaks!!
Sunday we spent by the pool, it was so hot though, I was sweating like a man! The pool at the camp site was really nice, in fact the camp site itself was rather nice....apart from the ground being too hard to put the pegs in! We went out down into Surfers Paradise in the evening, it was about half an hour walk from the campsite. We had some food, watched the street entertainers and had a drink in an Irish bar! Spoke to my Grandad as it was his birthday, got a bit sad with everyone getting together and I'm not there. Also had dreams about Becs wedding and meeting Ethan (Lizzy's little boy) last night, so think I must be missing home a little! Yesterday we went to Movie World, wasn't sure we were ever going to get there as 3 buses decided to drive straight past us. i was getting a little irritated having stood at the bus stop for 50 minutes waiting! When we finally got on the bus, we got to bus surf and were nearly thrown through the windscreen a few times....but all was good, we got there safe in the end! We met up with Dave at Movie world, my favourite part of the day was the Police Stunt show, it was awesome. the best ride was the Scooby doo ride, a rollercoaster in the dark, I loved it! We spent several hours, going on rides, getting wet on the log flume and watching a 4D Shrek show. We left Movie world and Dave took us down to Harbour town shopping Centre, a label discount shopping village....big mistake! I got quite stressed, saw so many nice things and at bargain prices too. Unfortunately travelling doesn't allow you to spend too much money on clothes! I bought myself a new bikini as I'll hopefully be wearing it lots over the next few weeks! We left the shopping village and got on the bus back to Main beach where we were staying...only to realise we weren't on the right bus. Not much luck with buses! So, we got off and went back the other way and it took ages to get back to the campsite. Got back, had our BBQ and then made our way down to the bus terminal. I fell asleep when waiting for the bus, then again when we got on the bus! We arrived in Brisbane about half ten, we walked to the hostel which almost killed me as we have so many bags. Then I went to sleep again!!
The irish lads who I spent Christmas and New Year with have just got an apartment here as they're planning to stay and work for a while, so we're just about to move to their place for a few nights. All's good, I'll be back with the Brisbane update in a few days! Sorry, no photos as I have run out of space for photos on my blog this month. I'll put some on in a few days! Miss you and love you all xxxx

Posted by faith8069 21:56 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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