Mel and Howard

Teesside Travellers

Mel and Howard

Hi having spent almost 2 years travelling back in 2011 we are now about to set off again, just 11 weeks this time but still an adventure. Sadly due to health reasons the rucksacks have had to be retired, so let's see how we manage with a couple of little carry on suitcases.......



Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy January 30th 2017

Owing to rubbish WiFi only just able to blog again. So the last few days involved travelling to Kandy in the rain via a spice plantation, where the guide gave me a hard stare when talking about the merits of red pineapple for weight loss. Then an unexpected stop at Aluvihara Rock Cave temple where we once more paddled in the rain, climbed a million slippery wet steps and got drenched. This place was slightly different though in addition to all the Buddha's were also lots of graphic paintings of demons doing an assortment of horrendous things to the people who end up in hell. Not only that but there was also a cave full of nearly life size models demonstrating the various torture methods and punishments meted out by the King of the time. No ... read more
More steps up to the Aluvihare Rock Cave Temple
Aluvihare Rock Cave Temple
Aluvihare Rock Cave Temple

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla January 26th 2017

Today consisted of rain, heavy rain, light rain and drizzle. Having seen the size of Sigiriya Rock and seen the pictures of the steps up there was not a cat in hells chance of me attempting it. Mum how you did it I do not know! Much respect!! Howard fully intended to but the weather was so lousy and it costs £30 to go up now - regardless of weather or if you make it or not, that he opted to do Pidurangala another massive rock formation and ancient monastery which cost just under £3 instead. I stayed in bed! A couple of hours later and as I was attempting to eat the most enormous breakfast I have ever seen (sadly not bacon and eggs) Howard and Sajith returned looking rather wet and knackered. We said ... read more
Sigiriyia Rock
Dambulla Caves
Dambulla Caves

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Polonnaruwa January 24th 2017

24th Jan Well it's rain again and we were travelling on to Polonnaruwa. Apparently you normally see deer, wild elephants and all manner of wildlife on this route. We saw a bedraggled peacock and a large monitor lizard, everything else was hiding due to the rain! Despite the weather we decided to try and visit the Somawathiya Temple, apparently not many tourists go there as it was another hours drive from Polonnaruwa but as it was tanking down it was that or sit in the guesthouse so on we went. I was so glad we did! Sajith convinced the guards to let us park really close by instead of in the normal car park - this lad has the gift of the gab! So armed with the brolly we set off. The temple was the usual ... read more
Somawathiya Temple
Somawathiya Temple
Somawathiya Temple

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Anuradhapura January 22nd 2017

We arrived at Colombo airport at some ridiculous hour made even more confusing by a 30 minute time difference. By the time we got through immigration, tracked down our bags on an unnamed carousel and queued for the only working atm we were pretty spaced out. The airport taxi counter was asking a ridiculous amount for the 2 mile trip to our hostel so we went out to look for an ordinary one. Then made the classic rookie mistake of being led away by some guy who had a taxi, we never do this normally but we're so tired we did. Actually it wasn't a total disaster we just had a fair distance to walk before we came to the car but after getting in and realising what we had done I spent the journey in ... read more
Mihintale Temple
Mihintale Temple
Mihintale Temple

Asia » Maldives » Male Atoll January 21st 2017

Out last two days on the Maldives and not a lot to do. Friday is a day of rest so we did, lazing about until mid day before walking through town and stopping off in the park to use up a bit more time while waiting for the ferry to start running. We went over to Male again and had a wander along the Sea front there really isn't a lot to do or see here apart from boats! So it was back to the Sea House to watch the fish again. Then ferry back and walked back to the hotel. We ate at the hotel's Indian Durbar restaurant again as the food was so good the night before and that was another day done. Our final day in the Maldives and ferries etc were back ... read more
Male
Male and the Sea House Restaurant
Villingili

Asia » Maldives » Male Atoll January 16th 2017

Before moving onto the Maldives we had a final night at the Go! Hotel in Manila and I had no intention of going anywhere, I know I'm a wuss but we were staying in a really poor area and I can't shake the whole kidnapping thing from my brain despite Suzanne and David having used public transport and wandering around and being fine. Anyway fate in the form of Howard intervened and some how our only charging lead for his tablet, my phone and kindle managed to get left back in Puerto Princessa and having already 'lost' the camera we need my phone to work if only to take photos, so we had to go out after all. The lady on reception didn't help my nerves when she said we absolutely shouldn't go out to the ... read more
Ahoy there
Leaving Male
On the way to Dhiffushi

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa January 14th 2017

13-15 th Jan My heart skipped a little beat when I woke up and realised I didn't have to do another boat trip - those that know me know, and we were returning to a lovely room where I could get clean and dry! That aside it was up to the Terminal to catch the mini van at 10.30 am for PP. We arrived in plenty of time and were joined by a young Canadian lass and an older English man, we were told to get on board but the first row of seats were reserved hmm????? Anyway we piled in and waited and soon a group of 5 Americans arrived, 2 couples where both wives were originally from the Philippines and one son. One couple got the first row seats, ok..... Then all hell broke ... read more
Road back from El Nido
Puerto Princessa
Puerto Princessa - Board Walk

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido January 9th 2017

We arrived in El Nido after a slightly bizarre minibus journey that took about 5 hours and involved an hour of waiting and driving in circles round Puerto Princessa picking up people, then a mini revolt when the driver wanted to cram an extra 3 lads with big cases and rucksacks into an already packed van. People power won and another bus was thankfully summoned. On our bus were 4 Israelis one of whom played football for Tel Aviv and they were all super friendly, the driver drove fast and managed to make up for the lost hour at the start. The countryside was beautiful, all lush green jungle, heavily forested hills, rice fields, small thatched villages, stunning glimpses of coastlines, people working with and riding buffaloes and then as we approached El Nido it started ... read more
Coron Coron Beach
El Nido
El Nido

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa January 4th 2017

After a short flight from Macau we arrived in Manila, the scary city, late at night and the airport was bedlam with a few well dodgy characters hanging about. Still we found an ATM to get some pesos out and thankfully our lift (arranged through the flat we had booked) was waiting at the appointed place, we were then bundled into a minibus and driven off at high speed, me feeling rather uncomfortable about this, we were whisked away down back streets, across train tracks, through a garage and had absolutely no idea where we were as it was pitch black. The van suddenly turned into a block of flats and drove 2 floors up a ramp and stopped. We were then handed over to two children and taken up in a lift. It was all ... read more
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour

Asia » Macau » Macau January 3rd 2017

After a late checkout from the Baiyoke and a half hearted final look round the market we were on our way to Don Muang Airport yet again, this time to catch our flight to Macau. We arrived early evening in the dark to an almost deserted airport, thankfully Howard had sussed out which bus we needed so all we had to do was get some MOPs out of the ATM and then find a shop so we could get coins as that is all the bus takes. Eventually we had coins, found the bus stop and then the bus arrived, the driver had no idea what we were saying, everything was in Chinese but Howard just stuck some money in and off we went. He knew it was only 4 stops so we counted them off ... read more
The Grand Emperor Macau
The Grand Lisboa
Macau Portuguese area




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