Part time traveller, full time dreamer. Here lies the memories of a Dumb Aussie Tourist

Former TravelPod Member: t.bird
Joined: September 6th, 2013
Lives in Ascot Vale, Australia

Asia » Nepal April 16th 2019

Yesterday I left my trusty raincoat at home and got rained on. Today I left the sunscreen at home and sunburnt…but I had my raincoat! I got this travel thing down!! I met a tour guide, Hari, yesterday and we talked about a tour that was a bit off the beaten track. It sounded interesting so I signed on. The first stop was Swayambhunath stupa, aka the monkey temple. This is definitely on the beaten track, but it was the only big tourist attraction the days itinerary. Hari suggested we walk to the temple, it was only 20 minutes. I thought that would be a good idea. Never trust Nepalise with time. They are about as good with time as Aussies are with distance. It was a long 20 minutes. And even then, it only got ... read more
Swayambhunath stupa
Swayambhunath stupa
Swayambhunath stupa

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu April 15th 2019

For the first time since arriving I had a lousy nights sleep. I woke to dogs barking their heads off at 3AM. Followed by a drunk or potentially crazy guy wandering down my street raving about god knows what. (turns out the Nepali have crazy folks too) and then around 5AM the rooster started. Its not so cute now. Apparently, there were more celebrations last night, but I was so tired and sore I retired at a respectable hour which I now regret. I could have been drinking with drunk/crazy guy I didn’t have to check out the hotel to midday so I decided to go for a walk. I hadn’t made it to the wood carving museum so I thought this morning would be a good time to try and find it. Instead I ran ... read more
Drummer boys
The next group
Royal Ghurkha

Asia » Nepal » Bhaktapur April 14th 2019

Today I had agreed to meet up with my guide from yesterday to go for a hike. As hiking is not something I do regularly (cough cough), I’ve rocked up, fully prepared in active wear, hiking shoes and fully stocked backpack. Roshan turns up in jeans and converse. To be fair, it was probably more like a casual stroll to him, to me….I’m hiking the Himalayas bitches! We started the day by stopping for breakfast. We had agreed to meet at before my guesthouse opens for breakfast so I needed food. We stopped at a coffee shop that sold very nice coffee. A little luxury I did not expect here. But I’ll take it. We then hoped into a taxi and took off to Changu Narayan. The taxi dropped us in a little village (whose name ... read more
A Goat Herder
They take their water secruity seiously here

Asia » Nepal » Bhaktapur April 13th 2019

The plan of attack for today was a) find an ATM as I didn’t have many rupees and b) see some of this Biska Jatra festival and c) maybe squeeze in a walking tour if I could. As I walked into Dubar square (the main square) I was offered a taxi and a guide within 30 seconds. Not bad considering it was still early. I turned down the taxi and negotiated a price with the guide. Once we had a agreed a price the first question I asked my newly found guide was where is an ATM. Which of course he was most happy to show me the way. That being said Roshan was an excellent guide. What I thought would be a one or two hour tour turned into four. We walked all over the ... read more
Peacock window
Pashupatinath Temple
Take a closer look

Asia » Nepal » Bhaktapur April 12th 2019

For the first time ever I had the best seat in economy. Front row, looking down the aisle into premium economy. Ie Lots of leg room. It was a great flight, I read, I watched movies, I slept. Awesome (perhaps Singapore air wanted to make up for the BestJet fiasco) The flight was late getting into Singapore although I still had an hours to make my connection to Kathmandu. Which was late leaving so it all worked out fine. The second flight I booked a window seat thinking I’d be able to see the Himilayas as we came into Kathmandu. I don’t know what I was thinking because it was dark when we touched down, so I spent 5 hours crammed in a window seat to see the lights from above!! Once down, negotiating the airport ... read more
My Bathroom
My first view of the Himilayas
Bit of a possum problem

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 2nd 2018

Our plane departure time was 8am, so we were required to be at Baracoa airport at 6am. So we were up to see the sunrise this morning. More importantly we saw the full moon over Baracoa bay, and it was lovely. It weren’t for the powerlines in the way it would have been a perfect view. Our host had organised a taxi for us who turned up around 5.30, put our bags on his roof rack and we were off to the airport. Now why we needed to check in two hours before when there are only two flights in an out of Baracoa a day, I don’t know. There were only about 70 passengers on the flight, but hey…that’s Cuba. To be fair, almost everything is manual. They manually wrote out our boarding passes, they ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa February 28th 2018

Today we arranged to go on a tour of a cacao plantation and a coffee plantation. Coffee and chocolate, my two favourite things. Our tour took off around ten (scheduled start 9.30) and we made our way to the plantation. Now in my mind we were going to see two plantations, however, they grow the coffee and the cacao on the same plantation. As it turns our both plants prefer the shade, so to shield them from the Cuban sun they also grow palm and banana trees around them. The end result is the plantation looks like a thick tropical forest, which explains why the area around Baracoa looks so beautiful. Our guide, Benny, started talking us through the growing and harvesting of both plants. While he was talking I felt some pain in my stomach. ... read more
German Pass
Yumuri Gorge
Pretty snails

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 27th 2018

Today we were up early bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for our journey to Baracoa on the north coast. We had arranged for Robbie, our driver from yesterday to take us to the bus station. We said good bye to our hosts and made our way out. Well I almost got run over crossing the road without looking but no harm done. Just a very angry Cuban driving his kids to school. We made it to the bus station with plenty of time to spare and this today the bus was on time…. departing. Arriving was a very different matter. Along the way the bus pulled off the main road near what appeared to be a large hay shed (sans hay) with a few guys milling about and working on the roof. We thought it ... read more
The mountain pass

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 26th 2018

So today our host found us a nice driver, Robbie, to take us for a drive out of town. We started off heading towards Valle de la historico. It’s a fun park is about 4 acres of dinosaur statues. T-rex’s, mammoths, brachiosaurus’ etc. And quite a few others I couldn’t name. Very cheesy but fun anyways. The park was originally built by inmates at a nearby prison and in its heyday I could see it being a great family attraction. These days some of the statues are starting to fall apart and are in need of a little TLC. There was a little lake area where they had the heads of some water-living-sauruses coming up out of it and a disused slide. Jo decided it would be a great idea to build a wave pool there ... read more
Valle de la Historico
Valle de la Historico
Baraco beach

Central America Caribbean February 25th 2018

Today the search was on for some Cuban music. What I really wanted to see in Santiago is the Folklorico which is afro-cuban style of dance. The LP guide mentions three groups, two of which put on performances on Sunday. Plus we had heard there is a fiesta on today. (not sure what for but a party is a party) We went in search of the Casa del Caribre which LP claims one of the Folkloricogroups performs on Sunday afternoons. We were hoping to get the times they perform…not that time means much in Cuba. We walked down Jose A Saco, which is like a big mall, looking for this Casa. Alas we didn’t find it. We did however find another tuk tuk driver who barely spoke any English offering to take us on a ride ... read more
My 2 left feet
View from Casa Granda

Tot: 0.34s; Tpl: 0.007s; cc: 12; qc: 86; dbt: 0.1035s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb