Jul 11, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 28 – photo of the week – the best way to cool down on a hot day

I’ve plenty of pictures of kids in SE Asia. All the way round the loop as we made our way from Thailand, through to Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. There’s just something about them that gets me. The joy and pure happiness in everything they do is contagious.

Just look at these three.

week 28 - the best way to chill

C and I were walking around the Cambodian temples in Siem Reap and saw these little ones jumping off a tree that was at least 5m high into what looked like a big puddle in the middle of a stream… Crazy stuff!

It was an absolute scorcher of a day and we were seriously considering joining in to cool down!

We stopped and watched for a good few minutes and they obviously started showing off their well practiced skills. You could see that this was their favourite pastime. Look at that proud smile after an awesome dive.

Back home people would panic and think this was ridiculously dangerous. I remember being a kid, growing up in Poland… We never had mobiles or any other ways to contact our parent. We just went out and played until dawn and came back for dinner sweaty, dirty and tired from all the fun that we had running around with no purpose.

I could see just that in those kids in Siem Reap. That pure joy and carelessness and thrill that perfecting their jumps brought them.

I loved it!

Jul 4, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 27 – photo of the week – Eric – the friendly (sometimes) parrot

It was our first week campervanning down the Australia’s East Coast. We were in the tropics, loving the heat and the sunshine. Well apart from struggling to sleep in our little tin of a van as it was getting so hot at night.

We ventured a little in land to visit a lovely little place called Kuranda. A village in the rain forest that you can get to on an amazing cable car – the Sky Rail that goes through the canopy of some of the oldest rain forests around. We’ve heard it was worth visiting and whoever mentioned it to us was right. Apart from it being an awesome little place with good coffee, great local craft shops and a little market to wander around and spend your day doing not much but chilling they also have a little birds reserve where you can see some of the most amazing tropical birds at an arms length (well apart from the Cassowary… – you really wouldn’t want to meet that fella in person). Eric, the friendly parrot is one of them

week 27 - Eric the friendly parrot

You’re being given a small paper bag upon entry and politely advised to take literally all of your bling off, irrespectively of whether it’s just a tiny little pendant, a ring perhaps or a pair of stud earrings. I obliged taking all of my metal out (and those of you who know me, there usually is quite a bit) and placing it in the bag that ended up stuffed in my pocket.

Off I went to explore while C was waiting outside with another coffee as simply the way he put it – ‘birds were not his thing’.

From cute little colourful lorikeets to really scary cassowaries (these were the only beasts kept from us behind some serious fencing) I was surrounded by chirping and tweeting and then he appeared. Eric – the friendly parrot that chats everyone up and steals all their blingy stuff according to people that run the sanctuary. They weren’t wrong. This quite a big bright blue and yellow fella dived straight for my toe nails that at that time were painted bright pink thinking of scoring yet another treasure for his collection. Fairly disappointed he hopped back and looked up at me when he realised that those pink little things were firmly attached to my toes as if to ask ‘have you got anything else for me?’.

We had a little stare off and a chat (I don’t think I am especially skilled in parrot language) and Eric was joined by his red and green friend as they proceeded to have some fun swinging on loose, thin branches of a nearby tree.

I finished my little tour and went back to join C, spending another 5min putting my metal back on before jumping back on the Sky Rail to return to our hippie van and driving off to find a base for another tropical night in the tin.

Jun 27, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 26 – photo of the week – the wonders of Singapore

We’re just over half way into our 52 challenge. Macca set off on his travels a few weeks ago and I thought that taking over for the remainder of the year and initiating our weekly photos may be a good little swap.

It was the second week of January in 2012 and after a blissful 3 months wandering around SE Asia we were heading back to the westernised life for a wee while and stopping over in Singapore for a few days before flying over the Equator to walk upside down for the remainder of our trip.

All I knew about The Little Red Dot was that the awesome nighttime F1 grand prix took place there in September and that it was a quite techy, funky kinda place. One of the first sights while we were in a taxi taking us from the Changi Airport to our super cool Wink Hostel  was this

week 26 - the architectural wonders of Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel – 57 floors high with over 2500 rooms and a boat on the roof with an insane infinity pool overlooking the city’s CBD. We were both pretty taken back by it but that was only the beginning.

They really know what funky means out there and not only come up with some ridiculous buildings such as the Marina Bay Sands or the Science Museum or a one off Louis Vuitton shop on the water but also the DNA shaped bridge or Durian like theatre on the Bay  - The Esplanade.

Durian is an Asian favourite (or the most hated) fruit by the way, something you just can’t compare to anything else in the world. The taste and smell are so specific and profound that you can either love it or hate it, there are no other ways about it!

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After dark Singapore changes from a fast paced business city into a light festival of modern and quirky nightlife. If you’re on a backpackers budget, you need to make sure however that there are some serious extra savings planned if you’d like to taste the original Singapore Sling at the Raffles hotel or even have a beer or a glass of wine at the Clarke Quay as in 2012 when we were there a beverage alone would set you off at least SG$15 plus cover charge, which pretty much equals your daily budget for places like Cambodia or Thailand.

Anyway, it’s definitely worth stopping over, admiring the views and quirkiness. Oh and see if you can spot bent escalators going round corners in one of the shopping malls in Singapore’s shopping district – Paragon. Bizarre!

M x

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