Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Australia: Month 9 Recap

I told you all about leaving Perth for Bundaberg then leaving Bundaberg for Sydney so as you can guess it's been a pretty crazy month for Jody and I.

We left Perth and spent a couple of days exploring Brisbane before we moved on to Bundaberg where we hoped to do our regional work (Key word, hoped). Jody worked on a sugar cane farm and was scarred for life by an encounter with a dinner plate sized spider whilst I was working part time orange packing - Sadly my hours were getting less and less and after two weeks we ended leaving and giving up on our second year visas.

Following that we spent a week travelling the coast. We relived our childhoods at Steve Irwin's 'Australia Zoo', hated on the Gold Coast, chilled out for a few days at Byron Bay before crash landing in Sydney a week ago.

We landed on our feet and within 3 days we had work and spent the weekend gawping at the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

So now you're up to speed, where do we go from here?

Well in the middle of October we have Robbie Williams and John Bishop LIVE in Brisbane. Bit of a ballache but the tickets have been booked for ages and neither of us can really wait. To make the flight up to Brisbane worth our while, we are tacking on a trip to the Whitsundays - Ideal for a couple of beach bums like us.

Then it's just the hard save up until Christmas - meaning lot's of cheap days at the beach - then a trip to Port Lincoln so Jody can shark dive before going back to England via South East Asia.

Australia has been a completely new experience for us but in all honesty, I cannot wait to go home and see my family and my dogs and eat a proper roast dinner with proper gravy and Yorkshire Puddings.

Hope everyone had an ace month!


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: Photo Diary

Our favourite pictures from the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Indonesia.




Monday, 21 September 2015

7 more films to inspire a bit of Wanderlust

Remember back at the beginning of June when I post about 7 films to trigger wanderlust? Well I've put my thinking cap on and come up with another seven to make those feet even itchier!

1. Hector and the search for Happiness - South Africa, Shanghai, London
Set in a variety Hector is doing exactly as the film title suggests - looking for happiness. It has some awesome locations and shows just how amazing travel can be...But it also shows the darker side. Loneliness, danger and how distance can affect your personal relationships.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl - The Caribbean

Locations for POTC included the Dominican Republic and St Vincent and the Grenadines and it's a film about love, ghosts and adventure. Filmed in one of the most beautiful, most dreamed about places in the world, what kind of actor would turn down that script?

3. Frozen - Norway
Yup another animated feature (Jody's really upset about this addition). The creators of Frozen were hugely influenced by the fjords and the scenery of Norway and who can blame them? Fancy staying  the night in Elsa's ice castle instead? Head to Sweden to the Ice Hotel!

4. In Bruges - Bruges (obvs)
A Jess and Jody favourite, Bruges is the quaint, fairytale-esque backdrop for this bleak, black comedy starring the beautiful Colin Farrell. From what I've seen on other blogs, people either love or hate the place, much like the two main characters in this. Head there at Christmas to have a truly magical experience at the markets.

5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Jaipur and Rajastan, India
When trying to find the best place to film, the creators of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel settled on these two locations because of the vibrant and exotic colour palettes, the dilapidated yet still grand architecture and the mix of old and modern coming together - and after watching this who can blame them?

6. Jurassic Park & Jurassic World - Hawaii
One for all the nature lovers out there although no dinosaurs sadly. Jurassic Park was mainly filmed in Hawaii - With all that lush vegetation, it looks like somewhere dinosaurs would be pretty happy to roam about. Head to Kualoa Ranch (28 miles from Honolulu) for a variety of tours and have some fun pretending to be a dinosaur wrangler.

7. Top Gear: The Specials - Everywhere!
Technically not a film, but these fellas have been everywhere - America, Vietnam, Burma, India, The Middle East, South America - Even the Arctic. Love em or hate em, these guys have been to some awesome places and done some awesome stuff. The perfect programme to inspire you to take that long talked about road trip.

Have you seen any of the films on this list? Even better, have you been to any of the locations they were filmed?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

That time my boyfriend got mugged by a monkey*

Whilst in Ubud, Bali we went to the sacred monkey forest sanctuary - a general must do if you are ever in Bali. Jody (being a lot braver than I) went against the warnings to avoid buying bananas and bought a few bunches in the hope of getting monkey to climb on him.
This guy seemed pretty into it and they looked like they were making friends. What you don't see is the moment where he climbs over Jodes, tries to take the full bunch then goes to bite Jodes when he resists.
As you can see the monkey won and seemed pretty happy with himself and his victory.
That's one small step for the monkey, one giant leap for monkey kind.
So a word of warning - If you fancy getting some bananas at Monkey Forest just beware. If a monkey wants all your bananas, give them your bananas. It's not worth getting bitten for the sake of a couple of dollars.

*Jody really wanted me to call this post 'Me and my monkey' after the Robbie Williams song but y'know, no.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Sunrise at Busselton Jetty, WA

I am a sucker for a good sky. On our campervan trip we headed to Busselton which is 223 km's South of Perth. We had heard great things about the nearly 2km jetty so dragged ourselves out of bed to watch the sunrise - Worth every yawn.


Monday, 14 September 2015

On the road again..

Sometimes plans don't go the way we imagined they would. And that's okay.
After arrivingin Bundaberg two weeks ago we had high hopes that we would finish our 88 days in the limited time we have if we could find full time work (Finding full times mean your days off count towards your 88) - Alas this didn't happen.
Mostly this is our fault - We left it too late and should have left Perth a lot earlier - but there was also promises from the hostel of long hours and 6 days weeks that meant we would get our regional work in...These failed to materialise and it dawned on us that a second year isn't looking like a possibility for us anymore.
Instead of wasting time in Bundaberg we are now heading down the coast via the Greyhound (Stopping at Australia Zoo (DONE), Gold Coast and Byron Bay) before eventually ending up in Sydney to find work for a couple of months.
Yeah the plans gone tits up but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the few months we have left in Australia. Everything happens for a reason right?


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

How to survive a week in a campervan with your S.O (Australia Version)

See this wee campervan? My 6 foot 3 boyfriend and I lived in that for a week - and didn't murder each other. Yeah I know, I couldn't believe it either.
1. Make it as cosy as possible. The more comfortable the sleeping area the better. I'm talking duvets, sleeping bags, pillows...Whatever you have going spare.
2. Have some time apart...Pretty hard to do when you are trapped in a car right? Go for a walk, go do the shopping, chat to other people when you stop - Just make sure you aren't on top of each other all day, every day.
3. PLAN. Have a rough idea where you are going and invest in or borrow a Sat Nav. Most road trip arguments are because people don't know where they are going and/or get lost.
4. Have some physical activities planned to tire yourself out so you can sleep on a night. We hiked up a mountain one day and slept like babies.
5. Take the weather into consideration. In Australia it can get pretty cold on a winter's night so wrap up. In the summer you will probably need a fan so you don't melt to death.
6. Stay in caravan parks or national parks some nights - Cheap, Safe and you can charge your electronics, cook on a proper bbq and have a beautiful, wonderful shower. Having a shower and a proper hot meal will do wonders for both of your moods.
7. The main objective should be to have fun TOGETHER. Don't worry about cramming everything in, just relax and go with it. We planned to go as far as Esperance, WA but had so much fun we scrapped it and ended up staying in Bremer Bay to whale watch.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Get yourself to Gili

When we got off the boat at Gili Trawangan I looked at Jody and said 'Are you f*cking kidding me?'. What we thought was going to be an island paradise turned out to be full of drunk kids on gap yahs, people trying to sell you shit and a littered, coral filled beach that didn't look particularly inviting.
After 15 minutes of walking round I regretted everything I said and took it all back and hoped that the island would forgive me.
gili trawangan
Gili Trawangan is technically part of Lombok and lies 35km West of Bali. To get there you have to drive around an hour to Padang Bai (that's from Seminyak or Kuta) then take a 45-60 minute fast boat to the island. This can cost anywhere between 600,000 - 1,200,000 IDR ($60-120) return but shop around - We got ours from a waiter who acted as an agent for a tour company for 650,000 IDR each.
We were picked up by the tour company at 6.30 am (Did I mention the tour companies tend to pick you up from your hotel?) and it took around an hour to get to the bay (not including the time we sat outside a hotel waiting for some other travellers to wake up). As a sufferer of sea sickness the hour long journey was ok - Let's just say I didn't throw up but by the time we got there I was ready to get off.
As explained previously, don't be fooled by the scruffy harbour!

gili trawangan
Gili Trawangan is similar to Bali - Plenty of stalls with people wanting to sell you stuff BUT it's not quite as manic as Bali. Oh and there is hardly any haggling. There are no cars either - You have the choice of walking, cycling or going by horse and cart. It only takes two and a half hours to walk the island so we didn't bother renting anything as we were only there for 2 days, one night.

Gili Trawangan

The island is a compete mixed bag of crazy backpackers, couples and families and there is something to do for everyone. Budget hostels, mid range hotels and luxury villas, the choice is yours.

As for things to do? Explore the stalls, coo over the baby turtles at the sanctuary, eat at one of the delicious restaurants, snorkel and dive the reefs, get a boat over to Gili Air and Gili Meno (the quieter sisters of Gili T) or party at one of the many bars.

Gili Trawangan
All I say is don't let the hordes of backpackers put you off, Gili Trawangan is worth the visit. It's pretty easy to find your own slice of paradise there. you just have to be patient. Walk around the island (away from the harbour) and the shops, hotels and bars start to thin out - Eventually you will find a blissful haven where you can tan in peace.
We spent 2 days and one night on Gili Trawangan and didn't want to leave. We already have plans to go back at Christmas (fingers crossed) and explore the other Gili islands.
Have any of you been to Gili T? What are your thoughts? I know it's a love it or hate it kinda place!