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Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter to you, however you are celebrating....

Happy Easter to you, for those who are celebrating! We are currently in Penang, Malaysia on a weeks family holiday. We had some Malaysia Airlines airmiles due to expire, and so took the opportunity for a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur....




With two kids now at University, we really enjoy these last family holidays altogether... especially having only just regrouped back in Australia after having kids studying last year in India and the UK. It seems like only yesterday that they were all very little and our Easter would always include lots of chocolate and of course the Easter Bunny and a massive Easter Egg hunt...




It is about this time of year that we recall one Easter in 2006 spent with family friends in China. We were in Yangshou, Guangxi Province, China and took a stroll after breakfast around the wet market that had appeared outside our hotel. The market was alive with all sorts of weird and wonderful fruits and veggies as well as chickens and rabbits.
We had an unfortunate experience wh…

Celebrate - A perfect weekend in Singapore

If you have not been to Singapore for a while you'll be in for a big surprise! Singers used to be the kid in the Asian class sitting quietly in the front row, glasses on, head in a book or frowning at the others chewing their gum...She is now all grown up, has let her hair-down and is ready to party, maybe even to gamble...

Yes Singapore used to be rather rudely called the safe, boring and soul-less place to holiday for those who wanted an easy Asian vacation - Asia on Training Wheels...But things have changed big time, helped by the building of two integrated resorts at Sentosa Island and Marina Bay. Singapore is definitely an exciting, wow, happening, and dare I say it even trendy place to hang out for a few days...

Hats off to the Singapore Government for allowing this ultra modern development and making Singapore a destination in it's own right rather than simply an easy place for a stop over...


View from our rooms at the Fairmont Hotel, out over Marina Bay.


There is so much t…

A day in Darwin....

They tell us Darwin is a laid back tropical paradise, but you need to look beyond the pretty flowers and magnificent sunsets of the Northern Territories largest town, to really see what makes this place tick...


The sweet smelling frangipani flowers do blooming well in Darwin's tropical climate

They sure do breed 'em tough up here at the Top End... This thriving city has endured a hard and harsh history dating back 40,000 years. It is also the first point of entry into our promised land for those arriving from South East Asia, adding to the cultural melting pot...

Walking around downtown Darwin you can't fail to notice it's people are very multicultural.This rich mix is evident as more than 75 ethnic groups live harmoniously side by-side. Larrakia Aboriginal people make up almost nine per cent of the city population. This diversity is reflected in the shops and restaurants. around the city.


There are two major events that have shaped Darwin, the Japanese WWII bombings in 1…

Kakadu if you can....

Welcome to the Aboriginal lands of Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, about 300 kms from Darwin in the Northern Territories.


We're here to explore Australia's largest and perhaps most beautiful and diverse National Park. We're here in mid March, typically the wet season but it's a real dry, wet season....no real need for a 4 wheel drive, although the locals say the weather can turn in an instant...They are hoping for rain, the full on 'knock em down' storms, the Aborgines call Bang Gerreng which flatten the long grasses beside the road....


The seasonal coming and going of water shapes the lives of the plants, people and animals. The current weather pattern is far from normal, and just like the extreme heat in Victoria, or the floods in Queensland, or even snow in Europe, everyone is out of sorts...

The land too has ever changing moods and as we travel through the National Park with the eucalypts and giant termite mounds, or cross rivers and fres…

The silence of Crocodiles....

Ok get your suitcases out, we're off again! This time we're going to Darwin, at the top end of Australia, a four hour 30 minute flight north from Melbourne to visit Kakadu National Park.

Looking out from the airplane window on landing we can see the afternoon monsoonal rains have been through. The place looks green, like it's had a good hose down. "Welcome to Darwin where the local time is 5.15 pm and the temperature is 25 degrees celsius." Nice we think...until we step out and the humidity of the tropics hits immediately, it feels steamy hot.


We discover that we are in the lowest of low seasons in the Northern Territories, and if you are prepared to travel there at this time of year, there are benefits to be had. Like no-one around, and free up-grades galore.

We are soon driving off in our 4-wheel drive Nissan X-Trail. We booked a Holden Cruise - thank you Europcar! The car comes with only 100 km's per day included in our rate and with our journey ahead we…

Honey I'm home....

The Wanderer returns! At least for a short while... There is just time enough to gather everyone back into our Australian nest, before launching into the new year ahead (Australian Universities have incredibly only just started for the year)...We do however find the time to book some more holidays, so don't put your suitcase away just yet!

My last trip lasted 100 days, and took me from Australia to India, to Europe and back again. I certainly covered some ground....When I was in Bristol, UK I found this sign saying I was 12,489 N miles from Melbourne...


Before I went off traveling I bought this little bird below, which I thought looked a bit like a Wandering Wren. I left her on the kitchen bench looking after everyone. Today I thought my wren might like a trip out into the garden, so here she is!


It was a shock to be back because Melbourne has experienced some scorching weather in the past few months, many of the trees in the garden are looking burnt and frazzled. We went into a p…