Page 2 of Craig9563 Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh February 13th 2019

Blog # 4 (February 13, 2019). Think Pink – It’s Jaipur. Did you know that Shampoo was invented in India in the 1700’s ? The word itself derives from the Hindi, “champo”, a fruit and herb extract for cleansing the hair. I contemplated this information as I showered this morning, as the shampoo in our hotel room was frickin’ awful. It was more like cold porridge than shampoo. It’s not as if they haven’t had a few hundred years to perfect the bloody stuff. Oh, well. We have just spent time in Jaipur, having flown from Jaisalmer on SpiceJet. (Their motto is “Red, Hot and Spicy”, but if this refers to their food, it really should be “Brown, Cold and Heinous”.) Upon arrival in Jaipur, we grabbed a pre-organised cab to our hotel. Jaipur is the ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer February 8th 2019

Blog # 3 (February 7, 2019). Jaisalmer – the “golden desert city”. From the blue city of Jodhpur, we travelled to the “golden city” of Jaisalmer, which sits at the edge of the vast Thar desert, quite close to the Pakistani border. Jaisalmer is deservedly a popular tourist spot. It’s central feature is a glorious golden sandstone fort rising out of the desert, dominating the city. It looks like a fabulous giant sandcastle that a kid might build by the shoreline. But we were a long way from the ocean. We were in a city on the edge of the desert. The fort at Jaisalmer was quite different to that in Jodhpur. Unlike in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer fort is a living fort. There are homes, shops, hotels and temples and lots of little cobblestone alleyways all within ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jodhpur February 4th 2019

Blog # 2 (February 5, 2019) The Jodhpur blues - and cranes galore. Last year, a few people commented that they would like to have read more blogs from our Europe trip (e.g, you, Mark Waters! ) People wanted more stories! So, I’ll try to be more frequent this time! To get from Udaipur to Jodhpur, we used a comfy cab. (In India, for about $50, you can just get a cab between major cities, even though they might be some 5 hours apart.) We decided to break the five hour drive by staying overnight about half way. After leaving Udaipur, we firstly dropped in to see a magnificent Jain temple in Ranakpur. Jain = a rather obscure Indian religion. We believe it is actually pronounced “Jan” so we had a little chuckle for you, Bryan ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan January 30th 2019

Blog #1: Awesome Udaipur 30/1/19 Namaste from incredible India. We arrived five days ago, on a five week trip. The plan is to visit places in the popular Indian state of Rajasthan, then across to the Hindu heartland of Varanasi, on to the capital, Delhi, then finally to central India in search of tigers. The first two weeks by ourselves (independent), two weeks with Brent and Shirl’s recommended guide, Mayur Hada, then the last week wildlife spotting from an eco-lodge. So, we are currently in the state of Rajasthan. This is the most touristed place in India. It is the land of maharajas and palaces, magnificent fortresses and desert landscapes, peacocks and tigers, bustling bazaars and the vivid colours of saris and turbans. India at its most exotic. Here’s an extremely quick overview of Rajasthan. Rajasthan101. ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens July 13th 2018

July 13, 2018. Episode 5: Greece is the word. When people think of the Greek islands, they often think of its crown jewel, Santorini. There has been a lot of lyrical waxing about the unique beauty of the place, and it’s justified. Santorini island is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged extinct volcanic caldera. It is a steep slice of land with a jumble of white-washed houses and hotels with pools strewn along its top, interspersed here and there with those classic blue-domed Greek orthodox churches. We flew in, and from the air it looks like a colossal slice of chocolate cake, tilted on its side and dripping with bright white icing. Certainly one of the most amazing places we have ever seen. Of course, Santorini is no secret. We were sharing its twisting cobblestone paths and breathtaking ... read more
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Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands July 4th 2018

July 4, 2018. Episode 4: It’s all Greek to me. Carol, Alicia, Ross and I finally made it to Athens, two and a half days after being stuck on the Croatian coast near Dubrovnik airport. We enjoyed ourselves though, as we experienced a slice of local Croatian life that we would not have otherwise seen. This included a lovely local restaurant by the water, where we had delicious octopus salad and squid ink black risotto, served by a cheeky and endearing elderly waiter. Our allocated time for Athens had been eaten up by the flight debacle, but we wanted to make the most of it. Getting through customs, etc. was surprisingly quick, then we caught a cab into town. Remember that maniac taxi driver that Ross and I had in Zagreb? Well, he was a mere ... read more
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Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik June 27th 2018

Wednesday, June 27 , 2018. Episode 3: We didn’t want to leave Dubrovnik- and actually couldn’t! After we split Split, so to speak, Ross and I caught the high speed catamaran down to the magnificent walled city of Dubrovnik. We were due to meet up with our friends, Carol and Alicia Brock, who were flying in from London. We met them at Buza bar, which sits precariously outside the city walls, facing the glistening ocean below. However, the bar was packed. It was standing room only for sardines, so we moved on. Our first stop was Fort Lawrence, a fantastic bastion from which we got super views across the entire city – see first image opposite. There was an outdoor bar by the water at the bottom, so we spent the late afternoon there. After a ... read more

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Split June 22nd 2018

June 22, 2018. Episode 2: Craving Croatia A zest for life isn’t confined to France. This past week we have been in Croatia, where we have met more friendly people that enjoy the good life. Shaped like the open jaws of a dragon (in lateral view!), Croatia is located in the south Eastern corner of Europe. It has a complex history and something of a split personality. The “upper jaw” includes the capital, Zagreb. The landscape features mountains, meadows and forests. The people have a serious work ethic and they eat hearty Hapsburg-inspired food. The “lower jaw” is dominated by the wonderful Dalmatian coastline - a more liberal, laid back area. Lapped by the Adriatic sea, it is a sun-drenched holiday destination, dotted with islands and with large throngs of tourists. It features handsome ancient old ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France June 15th 2018

Friday June 15, 2018 Episode 1: Finding Friends in France. Hello to all our friends and colleagues. We are in Paris, at the beginning of a five-week sojourn that starts with a conference and will end on the beaches of the Greek Islands. Going to Europe from Aussie is all well and good, but the long haul flight makes me want to regurgitate the airline food. Both Ross and I really hate long haul flights. However, we both felt that it wasn’t too bad this time round. The first 14 -hour leg took us overnight from Australia to Abu Dhabi on Etihad. For once, we didn’t drink any alcohol on board, but instead took two temazepam and promptly slept a good several hours. During the second leg from Abu Dhabi to Paris, I made good use ... read more
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Africa » Namibia September 27th 2017

September 27, 2017 Episode 5: Etosha – and homeward bound. Hello to all our family and friends. Not long now before we return home to the Great Southern Land. In the last blog, I talked about Walvis Bay flamingos and the German-infused town of Swakopmund, on the Namibian Coast. We then drove back inland, stopping briefly at the beautiful Rocky outcrop of Spitzkoppe, which rises like a massive pyramid above the grassy plains. This is the southern part of an arid and incredibly scenic region called DamaraLand. (When I explained this to Ross, he misheard it as TomorrowLand, and wondered if we were somehow going to Disneyland.) We stayed at a lodge later that day in the Erongo Mountains. This area was beautiful. The land was strewn with massive granite boulders across a sea of straw ... read more

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