Sunday, May 22, 2005


Its been quite a while since my last post but i have eventually got round to updating! Now to recall what i actually did.....ummm.

So after a rather restless 14 hours on the coach we got into Melbourne at about 8am with no clue of where we were going to stay untill a backpacker shuttle driver gave us a few choices. We chose to stay in a place called All Stars motel in St Hilda which was a little way out of town but was a very nice area. We had found out that it was Neighbours night, where a few stars from the show meet the public, at a pub just a short distance from our hostel so we decided to book ourselves onto that. After a few hours sleeping we took a walk into the centre of St Hilda to have a look around the shops, however this is when we found out that Ed actually had no money left at all. This presented a few problems such as we still had a month or so left of our travels but Jackie and I bailed him out with a couple of loans untill he got his finances sorted. Later that evening we took a taxi over to the Elephant and Wheelbarrow and joined a rather large queue waiting to get seated and get ready to meet the stars of Neighbours. We were joined at our table by three other Neighbours fans and got a couple of drinks in and began to fill out 1 of 3 quiz sheets we were to do that evening. Soon after the lights dimmed and the host began announcing the neighbours stars as they came out one by one "Tad", "Dr Karl", "Steph Scully" and "Toadie". After a while they all came round to the tables and everyone got thier photos taken with them and had a small chat which was quite cool. Once all the quiz papers were filled out and given in the winners were announced, unfortunately we came 2nd which was good but not good enough! Soon Dr Karl came onto the stage with his band and played us a few songs to end the evening then the pub turned into a club and people began to dance the night away, not us though we headed back for some good sleep.
Tuesday and wednesday were almost exactly the same, we woke up late, made some food and then chilled and watched about 5 DVDs, great money saving days.
Thursday we got up quite early and took a taxi to the Airport, saying goodbye to lovely Australia and preparing ourselves for perhaps some more difficult times in New Zealand.
So we arrived into Christchurch airport and some cooler weather to say the least. Caught a bus into the center of town and took a short walk to Carlie Bs backpackers hostel. We booked ourselves in for 2 nights because we wernt sure when we would be leaving as we needed to phone up the Kiwi Experience centre to book us onto a coach, however first of all we all needed to check our accounts. As Ed had no money he had two options, go home or stay and work in Christchurch for two weeks, luckily he chose the latter and luckily he a job was going at the hostel to work for accomadation which he was able to get. So as Jackie and I still had some money though we were sure it would run out reasonably soon we decided to book ourselves on the coach for saturday.
Friday was spent looking around Christchurch and hanging about in the hostel a life which Ed would soon get used to im sure. Christchurch is quite a nice place, they say its like little England because well it basically it looks and feels like England, its the largest citie/town in the south island which isnt really saying much as its still pretty small.
After stocking Ed up with a bit of food and some cash Jackie and I began our travels on the Kiwi experience early saturday morning. After a couple of stops for food and toilet we arrived at our destination for the night, Kaikoura, a nice little town a couple of hours north of Christchurch. On the coach the driver sends round an activity form for people to sign onto the activities of the day, Jackie had signed onto swimming with dolphins while i chose the cheaper option of nothing. After getting to our really nice and homely small hostel "Hotspot" Jackie went off to go swimming with dolphins while i decided to take a walk quite a while down the raod to a seal sanctuary where i got up close and personal with lots of seals which was cool. Once back at the hostel and after a wee wait i went to meet Jackie at the dolphin center where she told me that they had seen lots of dolphins but because the weather had turned the water was really rough so while swimming they didnt actually get to see any in the water, however she did get a full refund. We spent the evening in the hostel and chatting to a few people from the coach which was to be the story of much of our travels in NZ.
Sunday and the coach departed at 9, the downside of the Kiwi Exp. is that there is only one coach a day which leaves very early in the morning somedays at 9 some at 7. The coach headed north to Picton where everyone going over to the north island got onto the ferry while we and only 2 others stayed on the coach waiting for our new driver, nicknamed "Stainz" who was to be our driver for a couple of weeks. Nelson was our stop for the night, we stayed for 2, where we shared a room with 2 girls who we befriended. Nelson was a little smaller than Christchurch and spent our day there walking around the main street where jackie bought a new jumper preparing for some very cold weather. On the second night we also befriended a guy called Alex who was to become quite a good friend and a laugh.
So our travels down the west coast were to begin on monday morning, we didnt know it but we were to stay with all the same people on the same coach with Stainz for quite a while and it was going to be an amazing time even with a very little amount of money.
Cya soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Oz : Part 4

Well after all the heat we have been exposed to over the past month or so i guess it was in the programme to get some lovely cool weather and that thing everyone loves Rain!

Monday morning and we had to check out of our beloved Arts Factory. Tom was staying on in Byron for a couple more days so we left our bags in his room and decided we would go to the beach again. After a few hours at the beach we walked back into town, stopping off at the pie shop along the way, and managed to catch the shuttle running back to our hostel where we spent the last few hours playing a few games of pool and stocking up on food for our 13 hours coach journey to Sydney. Coach journey again was over night which enabled us to sleep for the majority and when we arrived in Sydney we headed to a hostel reccomemded by Clint called "Wake Up". This hostel was quite a bit different from The Arts factory as it was very modern and stylish with key cards to let you in the dorms which themselves wernt too shabby, plus the key cards only enabled you to get to your floor and the kitchen area. Spent the rest of tuesday walking to the nearest supermarket which was a 20 min walk away and shopping for food which for the first time we were going to cook ourselves to save money. We then walked to darling harbour where jackie went to the aquarium while Ed and I went and looked at a couple of old grand sailing ships which were moored nearby along with a submarine and gun ship. We also had a drink at a bar which turned out to be the one where Cheryl works as we found out later.
Wednesday morning and we had decided to go visit the Opera house and Harbour bridge which a guy in our dorm called Andy was planning to do aswell so we got walking with him tagging along. Taking a cut through the botanical gardens we bumped into another guy called Adam who we got chatting to and he joined our group aswell. We eventually worked our way to the opera house and took many photos of it as well as harbour bridge but there is only so much time you can stand looking at a building so we all walked back to our hostel. Apparently it was Adams last night abroad and he was flying back to england the next day so we went to the bar underneath us and had a few drinks with him then wished him farewell and went to bed.
It was also Andys last night in Sydney as he was going north so woke up to find him gone but Tom had arrived and had got a note which Jackie left in reception so got a bed in the same dorm as us. We got talking to some girls in our room who suggested that we take a visit to Kings Cross which apparently was meant to be a nice part of town to look round but after some time walking to find it we didnt see much that interested us so decided to go walk to some shop that Tom wanted to go see. After a few brief stops on the way we got to this big tax free shopping center which we managed to get lost in but didnt find anything interesting there neither. We also made a look into a photo art gallery which was quite cool, especially for Tom as he studied Photography at Uni, but then headed back to our hostel. All this took us 6 hours to do and i think we acctually cleared most of Sydney in one days walk. When we arrived back at the hostel Tom gave clint a ring and we arranged to make our way round to his flat later that evening which we did after a quick beans on toast supper. The evening was quite cool having drinks and looking at some of clints photos from his travels and just had quite a laugh and agreed to meet up the next evening as he said he was having a little gathering with some other friends of his after work.
Friday and after some time in the morning hanging about and waiting for Ed to get his photos put on CD we got organised and took a train and bus to Bondi Beach. This was quite a nice beach again with large rolling waves but none of us actualy went swimming as we had arrived quite late in the day and the sun was already goin down making it quite chilly. Instead we played cards untill we eventually got bored and got back on the bus and train back to Sydney central and decided that a Chicken curry was on the menu for the night so went shopping for ingredients. Tom had volenteered to cook us dinner so Ed and I helped as best we could while Tom did most of the cooking. it was a really nice meal and was the first time i had been fully filled for a long time. After such a nice feed we took a walk back over to Clints flat where we met some of his other friends and Clint had prepared some lovely nibbles for us which everyone tucked into and got chatting away. We had such a funny evening as everyone got quite merry and there was lots of laughter and lots of funny photos have been taken to keep us reminded of the greeat night we had!
Saturday morning we all woke up and began organising our day with Clint as he was on his weekend so we decided to take a trip to Manly Beach where we would also meet Cheryl and her boyfriend. We took the Manly Ferry from Darling harbour, again we left our beaching time to the very end of the day, passing the Opera house and Bridge which looked alot better in the gleaming sunshine. Got to the beach where we met Cheryl and her other half and just spent the time chatting for a while and Ed and I went into the surf for while while the others just sat on the beach. After the sun began to drop blow the horizon we took a walk to the edge of the cliff and watched the sunset which was nice then headed back to catch the ferry home, again passing the opera house and bridge but at night with all the lights beaming out which looked pretty cool! Went back to our hostel to shower and change then headed to Clints agian where he had cooked us a huge meal of bangers and mash and jacket potatoes with beans and cheese and salad which was all damn good. This was all in preperation for the nights Pub Crawl which Cheryl had organised for us to do with them all as our alst night in Sydney and with our friends. The night was again an excellent one and unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Cheryl and go to our hostel to sleep.
Sunday morning awoke with some sore heads and quikly packed and checked out and took a taxi round to clints where he and Tom were also nursing sore heads. We hung out at clints for the day jsut chilling and playing chess etc then unfortunately it was time to leave and had to say goodbye to them both though we said we would definately be meeting up with Tom back in Oxford. It was sad to say goodbye but we got on our coach ready or the 14 hour drive down to melbourne! We had no idea what we were going to do down there and it was again sad to think it was our last couple of days left in Australia but oh well New Zealand awaited which was sure to be filled with many adventures as well!
Cya all soon

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Oz: Part 3

(Sorry this has taken a while to get on) We had an amazing time on the Whitsunday trip and were now looking forward to driving about Fraiser Island! (Also while on fraser island a tour group managed to topple thier jeep injuring all 9 of them and the driver is going to court, luckily none of us were that stupid!!)

Right well we woke up extremely early on sunday morning, 5 30, to catch a taxi which took us to "The Palace" backpackers hostel, we had acctually had a booking to stay with them as we were going to be using thier 4x4s! We payed a couple of extra costs that needed to be paid, petrol etc, then headed down to the sitting room where lots of other people were gathered and eventually a guy came and put on a couple of informative videos about Fraser Island, felt like watching an old school video. We were then put into 4 groups of 8, we were with two dutch girls and 3 other girls from scotland who all seemed quite friendly, then had to fill out forms etc for the hire of the 4x4, once this was done we got into some jeeps and followed a Palace employee to thier sheds where we were given clean jeeps and all the gear, tents and cutlery etc, we needed for the next 3 days. Once all geared up we drove to Woolworths, the local supermarket, to buy our food and drink then hurried off to catch the ferry over to the island. Got there with enough time to spare, another 4x4 from our group had broken down already so a replacement was driven out, when the ferry had got on its way we depressurised our tyres and got all our food stored properly. After landing on the island we all moved off in convoy which was pretty cool and started our very bumby ride through the middle of the island to get to the east beach. After about an hour of driving through the forests we landed on the east beach, the only beach you are allowed to drive on, which is actually a recognised highway speed limits etc included. Driving on this looked fun to do but you have to be over 21 to drive the jeep (and have a full licence!). After about 45 mins of beach we all stopped at a large freshwater creek which has such a strong current you can lie at the top of the stream and it will take you all the way down to the mouth. After a quick snack of peanut butter sandwiches we were off again to an old ship wreck just down the road, quite a large wreck so took a few photos and had a walk around it but didnt stay for long. Another 40 min drive to a place called the Indians head, a large cliff basically, where from the top of you are meant to be able to see lots of sharks and rays etc but unfortunately all we got to see were some waves. Back down to the jeep and we realised the path ahead was very soft sand and one from our convoy had already got stuck but our driver managed to power her way through onto more solid sand again. Then we headed off track to a designated campsite with barbeques and toilets etc, apparently there was a king brown snake in the toilets quite scary being the 2nd most deadly snake in the world i think. Once we had all arrived we pitched our tents and got the BBQs going, had some delicious beef and sausages and some potatoe salad, altogether a nice meal. Later that night we ended up sitting on the beach in a group chatting and drinking which was fun and got to know the other groups better.
Ok monday morning we woke and quickly packed away our tents and ate some cereal for breakfast got everything back inside the 4x4 and began our drive to the Champagne Pools. The champagne pools are so named because there is a pool formed by a cirlce of rocks and when a wave hits the rocks all the water coming in is extremely bubbly so it looks as though you are swimming in champagne. We stayed there while we waited for the tide to go out so we could drive on the beach (you can only drive on the beach between certain times), our next stop was a lake with big sand dunes ive forgotten the name but we called it Wobbly lake cos the name was something like that! After a large trek all the way back down the east beach we parked up and started what we though was small walk to the lake, oh how we were wrong the small walk soon became a half hour journey through the forest! However all was worth it as we arrived at the lake which was shinning in the sun with huge sand dunes rolling up from the waters edge, for the rest of the useable day we sunbathed and ran down the dunes and dove into the water, that was really cool! When everyone was ready we all walked back to the 4x4s and set off again in convoy, apart from one group who hadnt actually apeared at the lake and so they eventually became know as "the others"! We 3 jeeps left and headed off down the beach to find a camping place which we did succesfully and set up camp for the night, we also all began setting up for supper as we were starving. And with the evening came the drinking games which led to everyone getting to know each other alot better, this is where we made some good friends, and at the end of the night some of us decided to sleep outside (it seemed a good idea at the time). I was woken by some light drizzle which got me up and I and one other were the only two awake for about 2 hours and i was told that in the night a few Dingos had started sniffing about around our camp site and one had been stood less than a meter away from me, which was nice!
Tuesday morning and once everyone had woken and had breakfast we set off down the beach and into the depths of the island to go to lake macenzie where aparently the sand can clean jewlery and makes your skin silky smooth. The sand at the lake was really white and did slightly clean peoples jewlery etc but unfortunately it had been a rainy day so everything was a bit damp and cold but we went swimming anyway as the water looked too inviting to turn down! However we had a ferry to catch back to the mainland so our time at the beach was cut short and we all packed up again and got back on the track and onto the ferry "home", we also had to be back at the sheds by a certain time to unload all our camping equipment etc. We then had to drive back to the hostel which somehow we couldnt find so stopped got a snack then got some directions and eventually we got back to the Palace. Once all clean, which was so nice cos after 3 days on a sand island you have sand everywhere, we then proceeded to play some more drinking games with all our new found friends and then headed off to a bar to party into the night, this was one of the most fun nights out weve had so far!
Wednesday and unfortunately we had to say goodbye to many but arranged to meet with some people in Byron Bay or Sydney as people were heading that direction. The bus journey down wasnt as bad because we stopped off for a night in Brisbane but then continued our journey to Byron Bay on thursday morning where we decided to stay at a place called "The Arts Factory" this is the best hostel we have stayed in as it was a really different hostel to the others (it had Teepee tents and wagons, all the rooms were a bit crazy). Here we met Cheryl and Clint two friends we had made on Fraser whom we hung out with during our stay, they had also met a guy they knew from thier Whitsundays called Tom who we soon became good friends with aswell. Friday we decided to go to the beach and just swam about in the huge surf, trying to body surf with some success, and sunbathed for the whole day. When the evening came we joined with Cheryl, Clint and Tom and went out for a nice meal (the only nice meal we have been out for) then went out to the favorite backpackers club called "Cheeky Monkeys" which was quite fun.
We had previously booked a tour with Cheryl Clint and Tom for saturday called Jims amazing adventure tours. This tour consisted of going to a crazy old hippys house and garden (his garden had the most species of trees and wildlife in one area and he had grown it all from scratch 25 years ago so was quite cool to look around. Then the tour took us to a place called Nim Bin which is basically a town that was created by hippies in the 60s and has now become a tourist attraction as everything there is quite psychadelic. Had some lunch there then moved on to a waterfall which supprise supprise was out of order (not enough water) so quickly headed back to Byron bay where we had a nice night in at the hostel just chilling with Cheryl Clint and Tom.
That night Cheryl and Clint caught a coach back to Sydney where they live and work but we organised a meeting.
So sunday us four beached it again though this time we hired out body boards which was good fun though tom managed to almost break his nose, D'oh, and had another chilled night in for our last night in lovely Arts Factory and our last night in the nice warmth of the north.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Oz : Part 2

So even though i have only just posted my last update (wasnt my fault, the internet wasnt allowing me to publish it! wrote most of it last week!) I will now enlighten you on my, Jackies and Eds second week in Australia!
Monday we woke up at a reasonable time and got ready to spend the day on the beach and organise our trip for this week! We had already booked our sailing trip around the Whitsunday Isles down in Brisbane and so just needed to check in at the office for our ship, gave them a ring but decided to go to the beach first. Well it didnt turn out to be a beach, no-one swims in the water round these parts, but it was a very nice big outdoor swimming pool and it being a lovely day again we went for a dip and sunbathed for a few hours (lotioned up to the max as didnt want a repeat of Cairns) ! Got some pies from the local pie shop which were really really tasty and over the next few days we munched there alot. Went back to our room at first to get our tickets so we could check in for sailing but then decided to have a wee nap for a few hours, woke up at 6 and quickly legged it down to the office and checked in on the "Derwent Hunter" the last hand built sailing ship in Australia so had more character about it than the other 70 tours ships out there! That night we just went to a bar called Morroccos and had a couple of drinks and played a few games of pool then went home cos we had to be up and at the marina for 8am. So thats what we did woke up early and got there for 8 only to wait around for 30mins when a pirate (well a man with an eye patch, he honestly did look quite piratish) came along to take our boarding passes and when all the passengers were ready we went down the jetty and unloaded ourselves of our footwear as they said that we would only need our bare feet! The ship is a real classic, all decked with real wood and it just had a nice feel about it (will try and get a pic of it on here for you). Whence we had all been allocated our quaters, there were 19 passengers in total, which were mostly three sharing which suited us, we even had our own shower and toilet (well shared with one other room, but this was better than the others) we got began our sailing. The sails went up which looked quite spectacular and we began cruising to Hammond Island, where the Beckhams apparently had their honeymoon, and got kitted up with stinger suits and snorkels and flippers. we all went out and saw some amazing fish, one was absolutely huge, and had them swarming round us when a crew member "Rick" threw in some fish food around us! I would say better snorkling round there than the great barrier reef, tho better weather. Had some lovely lunch prepared by Bianca the cook and got chatting with other passengers, quite a mix of people had a family a few couples and a few youngens like us, had french, german and english people and we all got on quite well! Cruised over to another isle to lay anchor for the night, put up the tarpauline as the day was turning sour, had some tasty nibbles and then supper which was great again and then everyone had a few drinks and carried on chatting! Tried to sleep on deck but 1 the wind was blowing too hard and began raining and 2 Matt, a fellow passenger, began snoring very very loudly so went down into our bunks.
Woke on wednesday to some typical lovely english weather which was a bit of a downer because it would have been great to wake up to a nice aussie sunrise! Had some cereal and toast for brekkie when it had stopped raining and started cruising, the captain wasnt sure where we were going as we were supposed to go to Whitehaven beach which is creme de la creme apparently but would have been rubbish in rain. So he decided to take us to small island where we went ashore a went on a bit of a jungle trek searching for a waterfall that didnt exist but it was fun anyway and we saw some massive spiders and had a group photo. Trekked back to the beach to get picked up by the dinghy,when all on board we had some tasty lunch again and began cruising to a small sandy island where we did a bit of snorkeling, not as good as the day before but still fun then cruised to a bay just across the way where we we anchored and set up for the night. Followed the same routine as the last night, chatted had a few drinks and had some great supper, stayed up till midnight with a few people having a laugh and celebrated my birthday then quickly went to sleep again trying to sleep on deck but the same as the night before happened, lots of rain and wind. Woke up not really feeling like it was my B day as we were on a ship somewhere out to sea in australia but it was really cool cos the sun came out and everyone said happy birthday etc. So we set cruising to a small island and did a bit more snorkeling, didnt really see much apart from coral and a jellyfish so got back on board the ship and had some lunch then set sail with the sails up back to airly beach! Had a great journey back as the sun was out and there were some big waves which were fun, so sunbathed and rode the waves! Was sad to say goodbye to our lovely sailing ship and the cool crew and fellow passengers, would have loved to been out for a week or so. Walked back into town with a fellow backpaker from the ship and got a night in a hostel called Magnums which was nicer than Koalas and found out we got the same room as our friend from the ship. The room was really nice, ensuit bathroom which was luxury we havnt had for ages, went out to the bar to celebrate my B day where i got some drinks bought for me, some passengers came and "mick" another crew member who told us lots of bad aussie jokes, though they all left quite early so we went out to a few clubs, getting back quite late and waking early the next morning feeling tired and headachey! We spent most of the day playing pool in magnums bar area then at 8pm we got a 13 hour coach journey, we slept for basically all of the trip, down to here Hervey Bay where we got a shuttle to a Koalas hostel here which is nicer than the one in Airly. Been chilling and Ed and I hired out a small Catameran for an hour, while jackie had a nap, which was really cool and really cheap so all good really! But yeah going out to Fraiser Island tomorrow for a few days driving about in a 4x4 so should be excelent! next update next week, i hope!
Cya all soon

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Oz: Part 1

So this week has gone flying by, last update finished in Brisbane so will carry on from there! Our hostel in Brisbane, "The Palace", was really cool with nice showers and a lively "Down Under" bar. We shared our room with a girl who is such the Londoner, helping that she was actually from London, really annoying she couldn’t stop talking, and there was her going on about her friend who was annoying because he wouldn’t let you speak "ya know what i mean" yes we really do!! But didn’t really do too much in Brisbane just walked around the centre and visited the park and man made beach, which were both quite nice! On Tuesday we got talking to a friendly travel guide within the hostel who gave us the advice not to buy a car and that we should do all these cool trips! So we took his advice and booked a tour around most of the north coast attractions of Australia and booked a flight up to Cairns, which is where i am writing this entry now! Although costing us quite a lot of money we did get some good deals and have lots of stuff to do in Australia all pre booked! Wednesday we got our flight up to Cairns (spent the beginning of the day chilling about our hostel and just walking about) , which took about 2 hours, arriving late to our Hostel, "Cairns International" at about 10 30pm so just checked in dumped our bags and got something to eat, Ice Cream! On Thursday we woke quite early and decided to go have a swim at the pool right opposite our hostel. Its a really nice pool quite large, outside with lots of grass around it to sunbathe on which we did for a little too long as me n Jackie got quite sunburnt, I had an extremely red face! But it was soo nice to go swimming again after not being able to in Vietnam! That night we spent at the lounge area in our hostel which is really nice, big plasma TV with pool table and open balcony!! Friday we began our pre booked tours and got up very early, 6 30, to get picked up by a tour bus to take us to the Rainforest, Daintree river to go croc watching, Tribulation beach, and Mossman Gorge to walk through forest and go swim in the river! The tour guide was really cool, friendly and funny and he sprayed quite a few people with a super soaker while in the bus! In the rainforest zoo we saw lots of tropical birds and fed Kangaroos, while singing "tiny kangaroo down sport"! haha! also saw Koalas which are boring, they just sit there and do nothing, dammit! Then headed to Daintree river and got on a small boat to take us along the edge to look for crocs while learning some facts, saw a few small ones and the big daddy who was about 5 meters long! that was cool! Then to Tribulation beach which was basically just a nice beach where Cook had landed! Then our last activity Mossman Gorge which was really fun, walked for about 5 mins and saw a huge spider like the one in Singapore then went swimming in the river which was really nice especially for sunburn cos its was sooo cold! Got back at about 7 and chilled for the evening! Saturday and we got up early again to go get a tour boat out to the great Barrier Reef! The journey out was a mission, loads of people were being sea sick, which was nice, I managed to ride it out at the back chilling with the wind and spray! The seas were so rough that one of the crew cracked his head open when climbing a ladder so we had to go drop him off to be taken to hospital! When we arrived at the reef the seas were far calmer but not really the best snorkelling weather! Everyone got geared up with snorkels and fins and the most fashionable stinger suits, to protect us from the jelly fish, and we went out over the coral looking at lots of cool fish saw a turtle and a reef shark briefly which was nice! Had some lunch then got kitted up in our scuba gear and dove down to 10 meters, my right ear was being annoying and didn’t pop for ages which was quite painful! Saw Nemo (a clown fish) down there and it was just quite weird being so deep for so long, very fun though! The boat trip home was far nicer because the it was a lot calmer, sunnier and quicker! That night we met up with some guys and went out to a few bars, one of which had Coyotte Ugly going on (dancing on the bar) which was quite funny to watch, especially with crowd participation!
Sunday we went to Maccy Ds for breakfast and stocked up on munch for our 9 hour coach journey (not as bad as the one we're getting today, 13 hours!!) down to here Airly beach! Arriving at 11 30pm we managed to get a room at "Koalas" which was quite a nice hostel where we immediately were taken out by our neighbours to go to a few clubs, though didn’t stay out too late as were completely knackered!
And so my second week began but that my friends is another story which shall hopefully be told very soon! (Probably write it now because its already the end of week 2 ooops haha!)
Cya all soon!

Monday, March 28, 2005


I acctually wrote this entry yesterday but the internet at our hotel crashed as I tried to publish it. But anyway here is round abouts what i was up to in Vietnam.

Our quiet last night in singapore didnt really turn out to be that quiet a night after all, we went out for a meal in Little India, which is a really nice place, and decided to go to a near by backpackers hostel/bar for a drink. There a couple of drinks turned into a few more and we got chatting to the bar maid, who was really nice, and she offered to take us out to a club and so we accepted her offer. We went to a club where she knew the owner and met a couple of her friends, which was cool, though only the girls got the free drinks. So we had a really cool last night in singapore and were sad to say goodbye, especially to the nice swimming pool.

When we arrived in Vietnam we exited the airport to a huge crowd outside all staring at us, quite weird. Took a taxi to our hotel which we had prebooked where i proceeded to get my Oakley sunglasses stolen within the first minutes of arriving, not the greatest of first impressions. For our first couple of days we mainly just chilled around our hotel, eating in the restaurant and taking a few walks around the surrounding area, being harrased by men trying to give us lifts on thier motorbikes (only later in the stay did we realise that these were the best form of transport, well more fun, and without a helmet ooohh noo!!), also walking across the road was a bit of a mission because there are literaly millions of motor bikes going around, but the trick is to just walk slowly because the bikers will dodge you!
On tuesday we moved hotel to one more in the center of the city, ate in thier quite nice restaurant, and walked about the surrounding area visiting the largest covered market in the city, which was pretty cool, and the nearby park and taking in the rancid smells from manky food stalls, the smell really was sick, made me wretch a couple of times!
Wednesday we decided to go to the war remnants museum which was really interesting, though very one sided, had lots of good photos and memorabilia. That night we went to the hotels local bar and met a californian who gave us the names of a couple of good places to go, first of which became our local watering hole for the rest of the week, Allez Boo, very backpacker filled but good atmosphere, a pool table which made my day and reasonably cheap food and drink. After a couple hours there we moved to the other place reccomended, Gossip, which was quite a banging club though we were the only western people there but still quite good music so not too bad.
Thursday we went to the Reunification palace and Notre Dam cathedral which were both quite cool to look around, quite different to those back home, not as impressive but impressive for a country like vietnam. Me and Ed went to our lacal again while jackie came down with a very bad illness and stayed in our room for the night. This was the lead up to the next day as we thought better safe than sorry, if she had got maleria!
So Friday was taken up by taking Jackie to the hospital to see a doctor where she had to pay
$250 for medication and blood tests, turned out she has tonsilightis and other nice things. this was quite a chilled day in all and lucky me i began to pick up a bug aswell.
Saturday and Jackie feeling a bit better and i was ok, so we decided that after days of trying we would go to the Cu Chi tunnels. These were my favorite thing in Vietnam, it really was just quite fascinating to be walking around the tunnels, which were really tiny even after being widened for tourists. Saw loads of nasty traps which look really sick, one called the hamburger because it was like a meat grinder. Also, my favorite, we got to fire AK-47s which was really really cool, though extremely loud. Really excelent day, had another quiet night because i had started to feel ill.
Sunday we woke and packed and waited in the loby for a bit where i wrote my blog which crashed, dammit, then took a taxi to the doctors for jackie to get insurance form filled out, had some lunch then taxied to the airport. Flight to singapore was abit nasty for me, huddled in the corner feeling sick. then the connecting flight to brisbane i managed to be sick twice in plane toilets, though that made me feel a lot better, had a lemsip and something to eat. Arrived in Brisbane at bout 6 30am and taxied to here 'the Palace backpackers hostel' which is really really cool. Australia should be absoultely wicked.
Cya all soon

Saturday, March 19, 2005


So my tour of the world is underway and to a brilliant start! Singapore is an amazing place and we have loved our stay here, these few days have gone too quickly and could do with a couple more days but Vietnam awaits.

Our plane journey was ok, i managed to get through 3 films (The Incredibles, Without a Paddle and SpongeBob Squarepants) and a couple of tv shows, only got an hours sleep but didnt feel too jet lagged. Also had some superb meals and many free drinks. When we arrived we disembarked quite quickly and were out of the plane and onto the MRT (the train) in no time at all on our way to Youssefs work (family friend) to pick up the keys to his flat. The heat was amazing when we got out into the open and we trekked for a short while to find Youssefs office, was cool to see him again and he ordered us a taxi to take us to his flat. He has a very nice appartment and the condo its in has a great swimming pool, which we have been using alot. after some time relaxing we eventually got in contact with another family friend (Topi) who took us out for a meal, the views of singapore at night were amazing and although a few awkward moments the meal was very nice. Jackie, Ed and I then proceeded to head into town where we found a nice bar called harrys and had a couple of drinks, alcohol is very expensive though only downside.
I managed to get a reasonable amount of sleep even thought the night was extremely hot, we only discovered in the morning that there was air con in our room. The three of us headed to Orchard road, the main shopping road, and did well.... shopping. I got myself a digital camera, sony cybershot for 200 pounds, a t shirt and an i-trip mini. So succesful shopping but a lot of money spent. The evening was an excelent one at that, St Patricks day just had to be celebrated, went for a meal first with Youssef at his locall eating place, then took a taxi with Youssef for a drink, but he unfortunately could only stay for one because he had to be up early to go to Tokyo, shame because hes a really cool guy! We had quite a few drinks and enjoyed a very good live band! Got back home at about 2 but i feel into a deep sleep as soon as i hit my bed.
Yesterday we decided to visit Sentosa and go to the beach which was a bit of an adventure in itself, we got the cable car from the top of mount Faber to the island which was cool, we then took the jungle trail to the beach was nice but we all crapped ourselves when we came across a spider as big as my face with a large yellow abdomen, would have been ok but my head was about 5 inches away from it without realising, quite funny and we took a couple of pics. The beach was great, boiling hot with quite nice sand and water, we stayed for a few hours messing about in the water, then trekked to get a taxi home. We went to the night safari in the evening which was cool to see but we were all pretty knakered.
Today we went to China town and had a look around and something to eat, its a really nice place. We have mostly been realxing today, been swimming and chilled out. We have used the pool alot, its so great to have a flat for ourselves.
So a great start, really cool place! Vietnam next for another great adventure!
Cya all soon!