Page 2 of cateandrog Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River August 27th 2018

R: We had just two more days to this trip. The first of which we packed up and said goodbye to Gareth and Fi who were heading up to Perth for some more time in WA. I had to return a suit to Dave and Shannon, who had just surfaced from their cottage in the woods. Then we were off. We started with a venison farm - more tasters, and ended up buying 200g of sliced meat as a road trip snack. While it was delicious, it wasn't a particularly convenient roadside eat, being quite oily and oozy. Then we started the wine. First was Vasse Felix, who did a very nice selection of Shiraz, though they were mainly known for their Cab Sauvs. They also had some Chardonnay that Cate was semi-interested in, but they ... read more
Eagle Bay Brewery tasters
Me at Meelup
Nightime Bimbles in Freo

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River August 27th 2018

R: So this is our penultimate post about this summer's trip. We arrived about 6pm into Margaret River into a really amazing AirBnb right in the centre of town. It was two bedrooms, two bathrooms, is very smart and the host had thought of everything. We were planning on doing very little that evening, and our friends Gareth and Fi had already visited the large supermarket over the road and picked up ingredients for Fajitas. They had just come across from Sydney but had had a day in Fremantle to get used to Western Australia (WA). After a bit of a catch up, Dave had organised some impromptu drinks in the Settler's Tavern in town that evening, so we headed down and realised it was even colder in Margaret River than it was in Perth. It ... read more
Mammoth Cave
Hamelin Bay
More Mammoth Cave

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth August 23rd 2018

R: This is my third time in Perth, and Cate's 4th. The aim here was to catch up with as many people as possible in a short time. On Wednesday morning, we went out with Cate's cousins, who were kindly hosting us, to pretty Lake Leschenaultia, outside of Perth. It was a lovely, but cold morning, and the lake was full of school orienteering groups eagerly trying to win some sort of competition. We stopped for a flask of coffee and some biscuits and were quickly joined by two cheeky 28s - a type of parrot - who wanted biscuits or silverware. They were very tame and even hopped over our cousins arm to get the crumbs! In the afternoon, we met up with other members of the family, including a new arrival - baby Daisy, ... read more
A 28
Kings Park
Glass vs. Red Brick

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Bentota August 21st 2018

R: This will be a fairly short post as we didn't do much here. With a long flight day to Australia to look forward to, we opted to have a few days of relaxation in a resort type place. We arrived about 4pm, and one of the quirks of this hotel was the boat transfer. When you arrive on the boat landing stage on the mainland you get whisked onto a small transfer boat which whisks you onto the hotel complex on a spit of sand isolated from the mainland. The hotel is fairly nice, 4* kind of resort. Large pool, quite a few families, three restaurants etc. But its location is quite special, directly on a spit which you can walk down a long sandy beach just outside the pool. We got upgraded to all ... read more
Bentota Beach
Bentota Beach
Resort Life

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle August 18th 2018

R: We headed off the next morning for our next stop - Yala National Park. The day started with a 4 hour drive through the hill country. It was still pouring down in the hill country so we had a quick drive around Nuwara Eliya, including the red brick post office, the somewhat dilapidated looking race course (built by a previous British governor of Sri Lanka), and a large old British style hotel which seemed to be hosting at the time a "largest strawberry tart" contest - the one outside reception probably measured about 6 metres in diameter. There were also ponies walking all over the street - apparently they give pony rides in good weather, but are allowed to roam the streets the rest of the time. The roads are occasionally peppered with red GR ... read more
Wild Elephant Visitor
Pool by night
Galle Lighthouse

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya August 15th 2018

R: Next day was train day. We took one last opportunity to go up on the roof of our hotel to marvel at the impressive view that Hotel Topaz had to offer and then we were off. We headed to Peradeniya Junction, a pretty station in amongst a chaotic car park close to Kandy. We left so much time for the traffic chaos that is Kandy but sailed through, meaning we had extra time to experience the very small, but pretty station that was Peradeniya. Train travel is still very much a popular method of travel here, as we could see from the trains passing that were packed to the rafters with Sri Lankans heading in different directions, though this could have been increased by the impending religious festival about to start in Kandy. The station ... read more
Peradeniya Station
Everyone loves a photo opportunity
Which way to go?

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy August 14th 2018

R: And so we continued onwards up into the mountains of Sri Lanka. We started the day dropping in at Dambulla Golden Temple. This is more a museum of Buddhism, built by the Japanese with giant golden Buddha and even neon signs. It was very, very gaudy, but somehow quite cheerful. I really want to go back to Japan. Being on a tour with a driver this time, we had no real control of our stops so we ended up first at a wood carving place. Initially we were very sceptical of this stop, but it charmed my inner scientist - they make a wood powder from what they described as a Sri Lankan rainbow tree. When added to hot water, this turned red. When they added iron, it turned black, when you added lime juice ... read more
Temple of the Tooth Relic
View from the hotel
Peradeniya Botanic Gardens

Asia » Sri Lanka » North Central Province » Polonnaruwa August 14th 2018

R: Polonnaruwa was a 90 minutes drive from Kandalama. We started the day with another Sri Lankan breakfast - hoppers, dhal, curries and bread. Mmmm. Then we hit the road. Polonnaruwa is an ancient city that was used by one of the kings of Sri Lanka as a capital when Annurhadpura became indefensible against the South Indian attacks. When this happened, they also had to move the sacred tooth relic which a new temple being built to house the tooth of Buddha that has been revered in the country for centuries. First stop - the visitors centre. Now we have learned that Ranjan doesn't like museums - perhaps because he wants to tell us all of the information himself. Perhaps he is worried that what they will say will be different to his version, or maybe ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla August 13th 2018

R: I decided to split the last post as it was getting a bit lengthy. After our brief stop for a rest and pool time, during which time I managed to get myself very sunburned indeed, we got dressed again and headed to the Dambulla Cave Temples. As we wound our way through the roads on the way to Dambulla we came across several bullock carts that Ranjan explained were the traditional way of travelling. Though the one we could photograph clearly had tourists in the back, and was creating traffic chaos. On the way, we stopped in at the Dambulla produce market for a wander around. Its the biggest produce market in Sri Lanka due to the area's significance as a growing region, so you can see enormous amounts of root vegetables, bananas, onions, green ... read more
Cave Stupa
Amazing Roof Art
Cave Temple Complex

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Sigiriya August 13th 2018

R: We started this trip in a way we were not accustomed to - a sign board in the airport with our name on. For the next 8 days we are being chauffeured around Sri Lanka by our trusty guide, Ranjan. We had had an overnight flight from London with Srilankan Airlines - a perfect opportunity to start the day with a spicy breakfast, and this was a sign of things to come. After accidentally misunderstanding the use of a decimal point in the currency, and subsequently ordering £1 in cash from the cash machine, we left the airport (*another transaction was also made after holding up the line for about 10 minutes). It was a 4 hour ride up to Kandalama Lake, our first stop. The drive was eye opening - and made me consider ... read more
The view....
At the lion's paw
Exploring the ruins up top

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