30 Jul 2012

I Heart Sport

Having posted so much recently about events that occurred whilst travelling last summer, I am very much out of the habit of present-day-blogging.  My life at the moment is mainly taken up with preparations for AUSTRALIA, and then neurotically worrying about said preparations for days on end.  Yes, it's all very exciting and frightening.  I am lucky enough to have a close friend already residing in Melbourne, and he has kindly offered me his spare room for the first few days after my arrival.  This will allow me to get over my inevitable jet lag and get a few practical things sorted such a phone contract and bank account etc.

27 Jul 2012

In The Sky

This post subject is a little strange because I am not a skydiver.  I have a close friend named Rachel who pursues this activity with gusto, having done over eighty skydives during her time on earth so far.  I want to share it because I find it a completely fascinating and astounding sport, and learning about it via Rachel as she progresses has been so interesting.

24 Jul 2012

The best memories in the whole'a 'straya

The latter of the title translates as 'the whole of Australia', here are some images taken by me in 2010 from a six week race against time (there is a LOT to do in this country) from Cairns to Melbourne.  Two years on I'll be returning to Melbourne in November, I cannot wait to lay down roots in this wonderful city.


Kratie, Cambodia to Vientianne, Laos

In the morning after a filling breakfast of a banana, some bread with peanut butter and fruit juice, Kayleigh and I armed ourselves with a big iced coffee each and waited for our pick up.  When it arrived we thanked and said farewell to the friendly guy from the hotel who had booked our tickets for us and followed the driver to his coach.  Nope, not a coach.  Not even a van.  Just a big car.  You know those seven seaters for big families?  Yes one of those.  The front seats and the first row of three were already taken up by people who I can only assume were the driver's relatives.  We handed him our bags and in a display of surprising agility he climbed onto the roof of the car and tied our backpacks down.  We squeezed into the back row of three seats with two Irish girls who were also travelling (four people sharing three seats, practically first class luxury), and quietly basked in relief that we weren't being picked up further down the route in the now overloaded car!  It felt a bit like we were on a weird family holiday with a family we'd never met before.

23 Jul 2012

Cambodia: Land Of Smiles (Part Four)

Our day spent visiting the silk villages was one I will never forget.  With every single home we passed in our tuk tuk, the children would come running out to the road with bright smiles, waving madly and shouting 'Hello!'.  There was absolutely no begging or street selling here too, it was so different to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh - and that's saying something because despite the begging I completely and utterly adored these two cities.

19 Jul 2012

Cambodia: Land Of Smiles (Part Three)

Mr tuk tuk driver took us to the silk villages ... here are some of my pictures:


18 Jul 2012

A Simple Act Of Kindness

I'm sitting right at the back of a fifteen-seater van in which there are definitely more than fifteen people.  We're all squashed together like sardines sweating profusely and panting from the heat.  We're being driven through Laos.  It's very similar to Cambodia actually, but there are more hills here.  The inevitable bladder ache has set in.  I try my best to ignore it because there is no way of knowing when we will stop for a toilet break, could be in five minutes, could be not at all!

16 Jul 2012

Making Friends

On July 12 2011, Kayleigh and I arrived in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.  We were very hungover having pulled a(nother) all nighter in Kuala Lumpur the night before, and had spent the majority of the journey listening to a woman sat behind us throw up into a bag due to travel sickness.  Kay gave her some tissues.  The hostel we wanted to stay at was full so instead we had called a place called Father's Guesthouse and arranged to stay there.  The reserved pick up guy was waiting for us and drove us up a steep and windy hill just on the outskirts of Tanah Rata.  We arrived a beautiful, big house and instantly knew we were going to like it here.  The reception staff, aside from speaking almost perfect English, were incredibly friendly, warm and welcoming.  They showed us to our room which was a huge dorm with around fifteen or more beds.  The temperatures here are quite cool because it's so high up, so we had bed sheets and nice thick blankets.  There weren't many other people in the dorm, two beds to our left and one to our right were filled and at the other end of the room one bed in the far left corner and two towards the right.  No one was home so we decided to head out for dinner.

13 Jul 2012

Cambodia: Land Of Smiles (Part Two)

Our next stop in this amazing country was the capital: Phnom Penh.  We weren't certain how long we would stay here for but just decided to play it by ear and see how we felt on arrival.  After we left Siem Reap Kayleigh and I were happily seated on a very uncomfortable coach trying desperately to sleep but with no luck.  The journey seemed to take forever.  I can remember being flung from left to right as the coach sped over pot hole after bump after pot hole and thinking to myself 'Why do I like backpacking?  Why?!'.  I was so tired and just needed some shut eye!

Changes

I recently applied for and was granted a working visa for Australia, which is valid for 12 months once I enter the country.  I'll be flying out in November to Melbourne where I'll look for a job and a place to live, then backpack for a month or two (or three) in New Zealand.  If I like it I might consider working for a bit in New Zealand as well, but I'll play that part by ear.  There is also a chance I may be spending Christmas in Fiji with friends which would be just lovely!  But until then there is a lot of planning and saving to be done, it will be hard but it will be worth it.