Page 5 of Cat and Nick Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 January 17th 2011

Tuesday 1-4 We’re in Vietnam with Jane & Raelene! Saigon is a cool city! I’m so excited to be here with them! We get to stay with Jane’s dad, just outside the city. Our first night, he took us out for street-side pho – it was delicious! I’m so excited to eat the food here. We spent out first morning sorting out our travel plans at the travel agent office, but we were treated to Vietnamese breakfast sandwiches: basically yummy French bread with veggies and roasted pork. Mmmmm! Things are MUCH cheaper here than in our previous 3 countries (thank goodness!) – for 4 days/2 nights of tours and a border crossing, we’re paying about $80 per person – such a good deal! My first impression of Saigon is that it’s a very Westernized city for ... read more
Ben Thanh Market
Cat & Nick Before Hair Wash
Cat, Nick & Raelene During Hair Wash

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City January 3rd 2011

Wednesday 12-29 Got up waaay too early today (4am) to catch our flight into Cairns (pronounced "cans"). When we got to Cairns were able to hitchhike into town thanks to the generosity of a very nice lady who took pity on us and our giant backpacks. Most of our day was spent hanging out at a free public beach-side pool known as the Cairns Lagoon. It was pretty nice but it started to rain, which interrupted our nap on the grass. Cairns is a little trickier of a place to visit than we thought. Our initial draw was to come here and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, which we plan to do on Sunday (one day is all we could afford). But there’s very little to actually due in Cairns (most of the beaches and attractions ... read more
Barron Falls
Beware: Cow Tipping
Cassowary Crossing

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Sydney Harbour January 1st 2011

Thursday 12-23 / Friday 12-24 Back to Queenstown for a couple days to do laundry, pack our stuff and catch up on the internet. Was hoping I could magically find the bottoms to my zip-off pants once we got back to the hostel but, sadly, no such luck. Fortunately, Nick found a way for us to watch American tv online internationally. We were able to catch up on a few Simpsons & Daily Show episodes. Ah how I’ve missed them! The Simpsons “Fight Before Christmas” was a brilliant episode! While I’m updating the blog, Nick is taking his routine nap – since we’ve been sleeping so much on the trails, he really can’t stay awake for too many hours at a time anymore (he knows it’s true). Our last night in Queenstown was spent, thanks to ... read more
Sydney Government House
Sydney Harbor
Lorikeet

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Te Anau December 26th 2010

Saturday 12-18 We went to the local Christmas market today – very quaint with crafts and baked goods, fresh meats and x-mas toys. I found my favorite souvenir in NZ there: possum fur nipple warmers. If I could buy one for all you girls I would! They don’t leave the boys out either; they have possum fur willy warmers of you need those too. :o) We walked around Te Anau; it’s a small town mostly set up as a stop over for backpackers going to and from the treks and the fiord lands. We got to our motel (a holiday park) and, once again, my cheap ass was amazed at how much this country costs! Maybe I just don’t understand what “holiday park” means in NZ but they charge you a base price for a room; ... read more
Limestone cliffs
We finally reach the top of the hill!
Luxmore Hut

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Routeburn Track December 24th 2010

Tuesday 12-14 Off we go! A good night’s sleep and we feel much better, less frantic & worried. F’ing migraine hit, though. Oh well. We headed out to the Routeburn Track good & early. Started hiking @ about 10am and arrived at our overnight hut @ Routeburn Falls by 1pm. Not too bad. The forests here are very beautiful – not exactly dark, foreboding Lord of the Rings – but lush, green, moss-covered fairy-tale-like forests. VERY different than the Na Pali Coast; still wet & rocky but this time cold & alpine. We hiked over the craggy rocks, alongside a river & passed by a few waterfalls. The overnight cabin was really nice! The bunk beds remind me of Scout camp, though. We were told to be aware of keas and possums who like to come ... read more
Starting the Routeburn Trek
Routeburn forest
Routeburn forest

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown December 23rd 2010

We are officially living in the future. We are now one day ahead of anyone in the world that I know. Saturday 12-11 = the day that never existed (for us at least, while crossing the international date line) Sunday 12-12 The flight to NZ was long, 9 hours, but I have to say, Air New Zealand is a pretty nice airline – good food and comfortable seats but they need to turn the A/C down! Nick passed out almost immediately; I didn’t get much sleep at all, sadly. Nick Note: I guess I slept well, as even a flight attendant mentioned how much I slept near the end of the flight when I got up to use the rest room. So by the time we got to the Auckland airport, we looked for couches to ... read more
Nick lawn bowling
Fat fish in Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i December 13th 2010

Tuesday 12-7 We spent today exploring the South and West Shores of Kauai. The western side of the island is much different from any other. It’s VERY dry and several degrees hotter – quite a different looking landscape. No lush forests or much green at all. In fact there are a lot of flat fields, perfect for dry crops like corn and sugar cane – which we saw a lot of. Everything – from the roads to the tops of telephone poles – are covered in red dust from the dark red volcanic mud on the island. It’s hard to believe that both the north and west side of Kauai are part of the same island – they’re so different and only about 30 miles apart! We drive up to Waimea Canyon, which has been described ... read more
Kalalau Valley from Lookout
Wettest Place on Earth
Polihale Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i » Napali Coast December 8th 2010

Saturday 12-4 We rised and shined at 5am (ugh) and said our goodbyes to Miranda :o( We started the 11 mile hike thru the Na Pali coast at about 7am and all seemed to be going well for the first few miles until my left knee decided it wasn’t going to bend or allow any weight on it anymore. I think I sprained my knee or did something to it last week in San Francisco over Thanksgiving. The pain went away before we started our trip, so I figured it was fine. But ugh, that sh*t hurts now! We made the decision to keep going and after limping another 8 miles or so, we made it to Kalalau Beach. How to describe the trail? The pali (cliffs) are breath taking and the top-down views of the ... read more
Na Pali Coast
Warning Sign
More Warning Signs

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i December 7th 2010

Phew, 3 days of hiking the Na Pali Coast and we’re back in our cozy guest house, eating pasta and watching reruns of the Daily Show (as you can see, life on the road is not much different than life in Redondo Beach). While we’re waiting for the laundry to dry, I’ll fill you in on the past 4 days. Thursday 12-2 We left LA (it was really hard to say goodbye to Trent), where we proceeded to meet two Kauai locals who shared with us their life story and tips on where to get deals in Kauai. Not a bad start. We met Miranda in Kauai (a friend of mine from Woods Hole, now living in Oahu) and proceeded to the nicest guest house ever! This place is awesome - huge rooms, full kitchen and ... read more
Miranda & Catherine
Kilauea Lighthouse
Secret Beach


Dec. 1, 2010 Well, it's finally here - the eve of our trip! It's been 6 years in the making, two weeks of packing, & it still seems unreal. We've got the house packed up, sold the car, our bags are ready to go and only one more load of laundry to do before we leave tomorrow. I'm actually amazed at how well we were able to pack - we still have some wiggle room in our bags, which seems like a good sign (I say that now...but we'll see how cumbersome things get on the trip). We've made phone calls to the family and had a yummy farewell dinner tonight with Trent & Will. Mmm...Peruvian food is sooo good; I will miss it. (Nick has already said he wants his "final CA meal" to be ... read more




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