Page 2 of asharpe Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai June 13th 2011

Colombo to Chennai We started our trip to Chennai in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The city bus was a full 2 hours from downtown Colombo, and dropped us 1km from the airport, so after running with our luggage at 9:00pm to a Tuk Tuk who went painfully slow down the dark road to the airport, we finally checked in and got on the plane by 10:00pm. The flight didn't land in Chennai until around midnight. We had a sense of where we wanted to go, but nothing concrete. We figured we'd go somewhere downtown, central, so we could see the sights, etc. Trung has a couple of hotel names ready to give the cabbie. Chennai At the Chennai airport there are several prepaid cabbie companies offering rides for about 400 rupees to go somewhere downtown. The alternative ... read more
Cute cat! Moments before I stepped in poop for the first time.
Chennai Streetscape
Chennai railway station. SO India!

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle June 7th 2011

Trincomalee to Kandy Our matron at our Trincomalee hotel instructs us how to get to Nuwara Eliya, a hill station in the central mountains in Sri Lanka. We take the bus back to Kandy, which leaves at 8:30am. Thankfully it's the only A/C bus of the day. It costs a whopping $1.50 to travel from Trinco to Kandy in A/C luxury, a 300km, 5 hour journey. The bus stops often to pick up passengers, and soon the bus is packed, but its still relatively comfortable, given the A/C. Kandy Once back in Kandy, after realizing we're too late for today's train to Nuwara Eliya, we're ready for lunch so we stop off at a restaurant. Kandy is a crazy place to catch a bus because its the central hub of the country, so there's about ... read more
Thats right, the sign says 'danger'
Breakfast in Nuwara Eliya: String hoppers and Boiled Eggs
Tea Country!

Asia » Sri Lanka » Eastern Province » Trincomalee May 26th 2011

Pollonoruwa After our great excursion to Sigiria and two nights at the middle-of-knowhere grasslands guesthouse, our driver outlined the last two days of our trip. First, we would be travelling to Pollonoruwa, an ancient capital city about 50km from our hotel. We would see the ruins and stuppas built hundreds of years ago before heading across the country (150km) to Anuradhapura, another ancient capital city, to check into our next hotel. After saying goodbye to our hosts in the savanna and our car bouncing along the dirt track back to the highway, we were on our way. Its a relatively new, smooth stretch of highway after that, with picturesque straightaways crowned by large trees along the way. The driver knows some back routes to Pollonnaruwa. At one point we're on a rough, one-lane dirt track moving ... read more
The nice roads in central Sri Lanka
The first of many gigantic Stuppas!
The monkeys are different on Sri Lanka. Love the gangly look!

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya May 25th 2011

Kandy to Dambulla Our driver showed up to our picturesque mountainside Swiss hotel in Kandy bright and early to pick us up. We were just finishing our breakfast of toast with marmalade and an amazing pot of fresh, smooth and sweet Ceylon tea when he came, engine roaring up the steep hill to the hotel. Our driver was a middle aged man from Colombo, driving a very comfortable 1990's era Nissan with electric roll down windows and A/C that 'might have a problem with the turning on'. The day was already heating up so we decide to leave ASAP. We took off down the side of the mountain and started the long descent into the central grasslands north of Kandy. You can see in Trung's expression he's not impressed, so hopefully the A/C will kick in! ... read more
Andy and Jack Fruit. They're huge!
Dambulla temples at the top of the mountain
Dambulla temple interior

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy May 22nd 2011

The Flights Our flight from Australia to Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Sri Lanka was a really long journey. We slept at the airport in Singapore (a nice lady told us where we could find a quiet, out-of-the-way area to set up camp. I felt like a refugee, camping on the floor with about 50 others overnight! I had a good sleep though, she was right, there was nobody around other then our fellow campers! In KL we had an afternoon and evening to wait, so we got a hotel room to sleep. Our flight was at 5am, but we ended up sleeping until 7am, instead of waking up at 3 to go to the airport. Well. That was nice. I guess that's what happens when you try to travel for 48 hours non-stop. Neither Trung ... read more
I had to go back to see the petronas towers again, who are we kidding!?
The KL-SL flight. Nobody. So comfy!
Beautiful colonial Colombo

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney May 3rd 2011

We left Sydney like we started... by incurring an unknown amount of toll fees while entering an unsigned toll highway with no chance of exiting. Apparently we went through some sort of 'express tunnel' through the city, even though the tourist map showed no such thing. However, we still haven't recieved the toll invoice so who knows if we'll ever be charged for such an 'express' tour!! Driving out of Sydney is very beautiful drive. The Blue Mountains are a world heritage listed national park, about 2 hours directly West of Sydney. We exited the city on a freeway in great condition, past the Olympic Park (which we had attempted to visit but couldn't park for less than $20, so we gave up), and ended up on the steep climb into the 'mountains' at the abrupt ... read more
Arms-up moment!
Giant Steps... to the Three Sisters
A great view to wake-up to!

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney May 1st 2011

After having blasted our way south from Brisbane to Sydney in two days, we finally entered the northern suburbs of Sydney in the mid-afternoon of the 2nd day. Now, for some reason Australia is like Canada. The main highways in the country extend THROUGH neighbourhoods, freeways become two lane roads with traffic lights and the traffic goes from free-flowing, four lane highways to jammed pretty quickly. We entered Sydney with the gears grinding, the engine feeling like it was overheating and with Andy at wit's end. There's an electronic tolling system in Sydney, operated by different companies, and with different methods for tolling. Our aim was for the Sydney harbour bridge, to cross into the central business district and then head East to Bondi Beach, as I had read somewhere that parking in that area was ... read more
Bondi Beach Pavillion - Our home away from home
Bondi Beach!
The Royal Botanic Garden Gate

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales April 23rd 2011

Our previous adventure left our intrepid travellers exiting the state of Victora driving North, passing through Sydney on the way to New South Wales. After driving and parking on the side of the highway for the last few days, our spirits were lifted a bit by driving into New South Wales and finding a free beachside parking lot paradise in Newcastle, famous for it's sand and surfing. The weather was warm enough to lie on the beach, there were public facilities with warm water to have a shower, public electric bbq's to cook dinner and the city was beautiful. We decided to take it easy the following day and chill on the beach instead of driving. I woke up from my sleep to the sound of a trumpet warming up about 3 feet from my head. ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne April 18th 2011

Australia Part 1: A Camperman Campervan to Remember Our flight from Denpessar, Bali was fairly uneventful, flying through the night to Melbourne, Australia. Jetstar did their best to keep everyone comfortable through the night, and the flight was kind of a sleep/unconsious/fitful waking type deal. We left Bali at 11pm and arrived in Melbourne at 7am. Once at the airport, we decided to pick up some coffees and wait around until about 9:00am. The campervan office didn't open until 9:30am, and it's just down the street from the airport, so we had about an hour to wait. Once we've ordered our $4, tiny coffees (our first Australian price shock... coffee was free at our last hotel, where we spent $7.50/night including breakfast!!) we moved towards the exit doors. It was kind of a grey day outside ... read more
12.99/kg for Bananas!!
Vegemite = blech
Campervan on the Great Ocean Road

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud April 4th 2011

After the kerfuffle with Jetstar in Singapore, Trung and I were glad to finally touch down in Denpessar, Bali after 30 hours of waiting around. Mind you, waiting in a 4.5 star hotel isn't all that bad, but Bali was calling! Because of the 'greatness' of Jetstar, we didn't arrive at the airport until about 2am, which meant that we weren't pulling up to our hotel in Seminyak (near Kuta beach) until 3am. It was pouring rain and the hotel was down a back alley off a back alley. I didn't know what to think about the place at first, but when we finally woke up late the next morning, it was a pretty idyllic spot and I met the most amazing cat hanging out outside our room, however it was too far from the beach ... read more
Hotel Cat! So chill...
Sums up the type of shops in Kuta. Surf board stickers?
I must be in Bali...

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