Bali Time

After 6 mths wandering in Ozz its time to relax ! (hey travelling is hard work).

I spent a week or so in Kuta getting my bearings and finding a surfboard and just relaxing. I stayed at Kadins II (125,000IRP) , an older style hotel with a lovely pool set in a small lush green garden with easy going staff and a good wifi connection. Set on a quiet lane with few scooters you would hardly know you were in the heartof party town! A constant stream of travellers come and go some starting out on adventures others on there way home, stories and ideas for places to go and great cafes not to miss are exchanged over breakfast and around the pool. Continue reading

Australia and back again

Fairy Penguin and friend
Its been awhile since I last went walkabout in Australia, 19 years or so!

20th Sept 2011, After having helped both our mums celebrate there 80th birthdays in the UK We flew into Australia, Melbourne from UK via Singapore . Hard to say farewell and see you soon when your 80! still even at a mild 53 you can never be sure whats waiting for you around the next day.. Continue reading

Feb 12th 2011

Jaminargar- “warning unsuitable for Vegetarians”- had best Tandoori chicken in a long time (8mths), hmmm could go on for a long time about the spices, texture and flavours that can only be obtained by carefully marinating the chicken for days and the lovely huge chunks coated in spices and cooked in a Tandori oven, but I won’t as it will only make you jealous of our food adventures. Continue reading

Feb 6th 2011

A Diu Diu, spent several days exploring the island and really loved the peace and quite, we found a home made ice cream parlour with yummy Ginger ice cream, even checked out the house prices! for about $25,000 (4 bed and Garden) we could buy a slice of what I think could be the best real estate in India! Continue reading

Jan 31st 2011

Palatania was awful!, lousy hotels and even worse cafe’s, good thing I adapted to survive on cookies and ice cream! However the hill or mountain above the town “Shatrunjaya Hill” has over 186 Jain temples and some of the most intricate rock carving in India. Simply a beautiful experience to climb the 3,200 steps up through the rising sun with hundreds of Jain pilgrims and explore the many temples. Red sandstone, white marble glow in the early morning light, intricate carvings of gods, ghouls and angels illustrate the history of the Jain beliefs. Today just like hundreds of years ago the Jain devotees come to pray and then return down 600m and the 3,200 steps at sunset leaving the gods on the hill to complete solitude until the next sunrise. Continue reading

Jan 27th 2011

We moved house! we are in Palintina in Gujarat a 12 hr bus drive from Udaipur…
You get your moneys worth on the bus 257 Rps for a 12hr bus ride! ($5.60).
Lots of friendly passengers and one poisonous snake, in a cage! Continue reading

Jan 8th 2011

Now in possession of internet via cellphone USB dongle on Laptop so we will almost always have the web available!

Sun jan 8th- 2011
Finally left Bundi via 9.30am train that failed to actually leave until 11.30am, had chi and cookies for lunch. Lovely train journey through lush green fields, palm trees and river crossings, some desert! Continue reading

Sumatra – Orangutans in the wild !

Diary date : 30th July -2010

Skipping across the island in a cozy safe airplane! we change planes in Jakarta and on to Sumatra.

In the top corner of Northern Sumatra we took an early morning bus ride from the coastal town of Medan to the village of Bukit Lewang; from city life to a lost forest. Shrouded in mist and full of animal calls and of course mosquitoes! On our way we passed 1,000’s of acres of palm trees all planted to collect the palm seeds for the oil in our food! What was once virgin forest is now rows of palm trees. Remind me not to buy any more palm oil! Continue reading

Bali – java

Diary date : 22nd June -2010

Waves from our dreams

Travel and blogging do not go always well together. So much to see and do and of course take photos! Photography is all about the light, so you get up before sunrise often and stay up for sunset! Long days and after many weeks, months you find there is not much rest time! And even less time with fickle power and even more fickle Internet connections to actually blog about your adventures, and of course pure laziness plays a part in my late blogging. Anyway my last blog was before Bali!

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Taj Mahal

The Taj, We arrived on Friday and yep the Taj is closed Friday… Sat am we were up bright an early almost 1st ones in the gate, zoomed to the main viewpoint  for 1st light and… no water in the fountains… ack! hard to capture the famous reflection without water. After some sleuth work we figured the pump had failed and tomorrow it would be fixed…
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Varanasi -Holy city and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

Rowing into the sunrise

Left Kanha on the 1.30pm bus, a 5hr ride through farming communities and rocky hillsides.  It all looks very dry and the underbrush is always being burnt off in small patches to prevent major fires. The Lady behind us had a very nasty looking arm and it was bandaged but oozing yellow puss, her pain was clear and she gratefully accepted some Ibuprofen for the pain.  Most people in India cannot afford medicines. As usual we traveled without a plan and never book ahead and ended up staying one night in Jabilipur as we could not get a train to Varanasi  the same day. Continue reading

Tiger Tiger Tiger!

Home base-KumKum Lodge        Suki 4×4-India made!
We arrived in Umaria the nearest train station at on to Bandanvargh National park at  1am in the morning as the train was late, quickly negotiated the taxi down from 750R to 300R,  we almost went with a tuk-tuk at 400R but as it turned out the taxi was a blessing. It was 32km’s and the road was very rough and would have taken 3 times as long in a tuk-tuk as they do not do well on bumpy roads, not long after leaving Umaria you enter the Park and we had to wake up the sleeping night guard to open the gate. Tigers roam this road and you are not supposed to get out of the vehicle at anytime.
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Afraid to fart – no photos by request.

Yep its true I’m sick with some sort of bug, God knows what!   Don’t get me wrong, I am loving India and especially the people who have redefined  the word friendly, however it must be told that almost every city, town, village so far has open sewers on every street.  Streams and rivers look more like the local garbage dump, its a good thing the blog does not support smells of India. The trains also join in spreading everything along the tracks and I it appears to me  the toilets get busier in the stations and thus the stations kinda stink especially in the heat of India. We read a great article on the subject in the Hindu Times, calling on Indians to demand change. Tourists to India that fail to mention  the pollution and health hazards both in the cities and the country side are clearly seeing the world with rose tinted glasses. I was sure careful but was outwitted by a simple bug. Continue reading

India- Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram  faces south east across the Bay of Bengal and every morning the sun rises through a hazy sky and the light is a soft magical yellow colour, fisherman in small multi-log or painted high prow canoes paddle out through golden waves, not really surfable but the one surfer in town did offer to rent me his board, to bad the waves were never good enough. Continue reading

India Madurai to Trichy

Trains are cheap about R 800 ($20.00) 2nd class to travel for around 12hrs, it varies if you go 3rd class it costs half that or less. Buses for the same distance are R 150 or less ie way cheaper and a very different experience, full of small towns and tea stops. So we took the bus again from Madurai to Trichy R70, about a 6hr ride.
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Downhill for a bit…

    Oh my god the journey from Munnar down to the lowlands was like a scene from a Tintin book, narrow winding single lane cliff edge road with vertical  drop offs into the valley below, at one point we came round a hairpin bend to find a tractor sideways across the road. (on Video), looking ahead I could see where our road was going along a shear cliff and would have happily walked down if the bus had slowed down enough for me to get off. Continue reading

High Tea

Mary surrounded by tea.

A long and winding bus journey, the local bus for us no air conditioned Tourist bus, figuring out the bus system is easy you just ask 3 people and hope they all agree on which bus we should  climb on, most of the ticket collectors on the buses seem to speak a bit of English and all are friendly. Continue reading

Mumbai at Last!

Cricket in the park
Hot, wow, shock wave from culture and heat… Taxi from the airport was a stunning intro to a world divided by extreme poverty and  elite wealth. Staying in the old Fort district full of colonial architecture, street vendors and a maze of side streets with everything from canon camera gear to hand carved doors. Our first breakfast was interrupted by  a sudden wave of white smoke that filled the cafe to the point where mary on the other side of the table disappeared and we all had to run out with our mouths covered, a young dude was happily (without a mask) doing the regular biweekly mozzy spray of the streets and cafes, lucky us… Continue reading