Monday, September 15, 2008

The middle of the North Island... Lake Taupo!

Now on our way to the snow we stopped off in Lake Taupo for a go at jumping out of a plane.... oh yes you read correctly now came the time for me to finally do something i have only dreamt of for years.... sky diving!!!! Yeeha!!! The delightful Kiwi weather did delay us slightly though so we had to bide some time and have a go at 'earning our keep' for a wee while... (see photo to the right for how we did this! :)

To be continued....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Our road trip around New Zealand begun and we purchased an old Toyota to get us around... hopefully! :) After buying our little beauty we headed south a little, to Rotorua (a.k.a 'the smelly town') named so due to the rather potent smell of Sulphur no matter where you're standing! Here, we of course had to see what all the fuss was about, and where exactly this 'delightful' smell was coming from, so we went out to Whakarewa Thermal Village where we winessed spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and expolding mud pools which was all very exciting! We also learnt how the Maori people live amongst the geothermal activity and even got a taster of some traditional Maori dance and music which was interesting, if not a little scarey i hasten to add!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome to the Kiwi country.... New Zealand!

Next stop after Fiji, the country with a population of SHEEP that is 15 times the population of people.... 60 million sheep and only 4 million people...!
Something else I've certainly come to realise about New Zealand since arriving here, is that if you fancy a go at something unconventional, mildly life-threatening, and maybe a little crazy then this is the place to be...! Take for instance, throwing yourself down a hill in a giant inflatable ball, oh and why not throw in a load of water.... just for good measure! This being what is known as Zorbing, my first experience in New Zealand! No wonder the country has such a small number of people - they've probably killed off half their population trying out the next 'most extreme sport'...! The nutters! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snorkelling in the Limestone Caves

Of course we didn't JUST lie in a hammock sipping cocktails, we did also partake in the odd activity or two, such as snorkeling, see kayaking, climbing mountains etc. Below you can see a pic taken inside a truly spectacular limestone cave which the locals say "you haven't experienced the real Fiji until you have visited these caves..." The water inside the caves was over 10metres deep and just around the corner from where this photo was taken you could access another part of the caves by swimming underwater for a few seconds and then come up for breath the other side, to what i was 'expecting' to be the same as where i had just left but oh no, they forgot to mention it was pitch black the other side...!!! (classic Fiji style) So you wouldn't be surprised to hear that there were a few girls having panic attacks the other side. I think i was just gripping too hard on to the edge of the cave (and the person next to me, who i couldn't actually see!) to have the energy to panic. After the initial shock it was pretty amazing, and like nothing I've ever experienced before.... (surprise surprise!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back on the road again...!!!

With my Working Visa for Oz expiring at the end of July '08, meant that my time was up for living and working in the wonderful country of Australia and it was time for me to hit the road again - back to 'life as a backpacker'! This trip was to begin with (at least!), my Irish friend (Fi) who i met on my second day as a Child Protection Social Worker, and after a few glasses of wine on the Friday night after we met, found we were in exactly the same boats and both looking for a place to live so why not look together... then hey-presto we've been glued together ever since, how we haven't killed eachother i will never know....! Hee hee!

So, first stop - the beautiful Islands of Fiji. Of course there was not a chance of us getting out to visit all 300 of them, but we were certainly going to have a good stab at it! We started off on the West side, visiting 6 members of the Yasawa Group, then back down to the Mamanuca bundle which included a trip over to the Island where 'Castaway' with Tom Hanks was filmed.

Talk about the perfect way to unwind... and there was me thinking i'm not sure i'll be able to spend a month in Fiji - lying on blissful white sand beaches and swimming in crystal clear waters... but hey i soon adapted to this 'difficult' lifestyle without a hitch! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Over a year has gone by.....

Slack slack slack all the way, i know, and i completely admit to it but what can you do.... it's been a busy time. :)

So my last blog entry was over a year ago when i was in Vietnam....
Here's a real nutshell of what i've been up to since July 2007 then (there is no way i am backdating my blog now as i would be here for another year just doing that!)

After 1 month in Vietnam Cindy (my Canadian friend) and i, took a 23 hour bus ride across the border into Laos where we spent the next 6 weeks and had an absolute ball....!!! This is also the point where my papa came out to join me to live 3 weeks 'in the life of a backpacker' initiall in the north of Laos and then continuing on to Thailand together before he had to fly back to the UK to live a 'normal' life again.

After just a few weeks in Thailand, where i spent some time near the Burmese border and had a go at teaching Burmese refugee children English, i then flew out of Bangkok to live life in the land of Oz for a year....! Oh yes, believe it or not i actually settled down and got a 'real job' for a while, and i even have a photo to prove it below.... (just for those of you who may doubt that i actually do do 'real work' every now and then.... hee hee!) I based myself in Melbourne for the year and worked as a Child Protection Social Worker.... To be continued...

Friday, July 20, 2007

The picturesque Halong Bay...

I soon forgot about my 'delightful' meal when we were out in the ocean going between all the hundreds of Islets that are dotted around Halong Bay! Absolutely beautiful! Although it is obviously a big tourist attraction once we were actually out on the water you felt like you were the only boat for miles.... it was perfect!
For 2 days we just lay out on deck taking in the amazing views, dived off into the great open water, stopped off at a tiny floating village, and kayaked in and out of mini mini caves/tunnels. It really was pure bliss! I just wish we could have spent longer out there.