Page 5 of gillg Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands September 3rd 2017

The West Highland Way (AKA- The West Highland Apple Pie Way) To set the scene- this hike is one part of my 3 and a bit week trip to Scotland. I was very keen to do as much of it as I could backpacking and sleeping in my tent so I packed my usual hiking set up (minus my gas canister). I bought a new Osprey Transport pack cover and shoved as much as I could into the backpack plus one soft holdall bag for the multifaceted trip (wedding/city sights/hike/Isle of Mull). My baggage allowance with Qantas was generous but everything still came in well under 20kg. In terms of the planning I bought the West Highland Way guidebook by Charlie Loran, read lots, and talked to a few people who had done it. I decided ... read more
Tunnel 1
Floral View
Down into the Abyss

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau October 13th 2016

Day 7+ Still technically Day 7, the alarm is set for 2300 to wake up for the overnight trek to Kawah Ijen. We have a 2 hr drive to get to the trail head. It's a winding, poorly sealed road that leads us up the mountain. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Some background- Kawah Ijen is a volcano complex in East Java, situated within it is an active sulphur mine at the base of the crater. It is also the location of the famous blue fire - the largest of only 2 blue flame sites in the world. The electric blue flame is ignited sulphuric acid that vents out of the crater and can reach heights of 5m (temperatures reach up to 600 C). Sulphur clouds are frequent. A ... read more
Sulphur for Sale
Closer To The Base
Sulphur Miner

Asia » Indonesia » Java October 12th 2016

Day 7 Today's 14 hours on the road highlights: 06:00- up and out for early stroll - knee is loosening up, stumble (not literally) upon local local market on footpath- particularly impressed with no less than 15 varieties of bananas. If you went through yesterday's blog entry and all 60-ish photos you will have seen a good bunch of them. The stall holders were predominantly women and all consented to having their photos taken with their produce. I speak fairly dismal Bahasa Indonesia but my basic sentences are OK and seem to be understood. 07:00- breakfast at homestay is as colourful as the room, best one I've had so far. The peanut sauce on the Cap Cay is 10/10. 08:30- convince Dosi I don't need to be escorted wandering the streets of downtown Probolinggo. He drives ... read more
Makan Pagi
Architecture of Probolinggo

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya October 11th 2016

Day 6 My main reason for the Surabaya stop was to see the Masjid Nasional Al Akbar Surabaya - aka the Grand Mosque (2nd biggest in Indonesia ), and it was on the way to Bromo Tengger NP. Caught a cab there early (the Artotel reception called one for me then I negotiated with him to wait for me for an hour and a half and drive me back to the hotel). The mosque's level of spectacularness didn't disappoint - green and turquoise domes, lots of gold leaf, intricate mosaics, stained glass and huge tracts of white marble floors. Slippery marble floors. Even slippier when newly mopped. I think my post-Merapi stiff legged robot style walk that throws your centre of balance may also have contributed but my L knee took the brunt of my spectacular ... read more
Masjid Nasional Parking and Front Courtyard
Masjid Nasional
Masjid Nasional

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta October 10th 2016

Day 5 So you want to go on a Jamu Tour? Best laid plans went astray so instead of catching a morning train to Surabaya I had to catch a flight. Went for the $40 cheap option, which as a bonus, also happened to be the earliest flight I could take (3pm). My time in Surabaya was going to be short. So, back to the story- what to do in the morning? Shopping on the famous Malioboro St? Nope - experiences, not things is the new mantra (apparently). The nearby "proper" (read... decent flat white) coffee place, aside from selling coffee (which it actually didn't on Days 3 & 4 due to broken coffee machine) also offers "experiences" (read... tours) my short notice/ short time frame meant I could choose from a cooking experience, a walking ... read more
Jamu Tour Begins
Wall Art
Jamu Kitchen

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta October 8th 2016

Day 3, 4 Warning- Lots of photos. Finally got to have one of the Good Karma legendary breakfasts- lots of fruit, delicious fresh omlette. Chatted with a few girls in Yogya for a few days, originally French, they are university in Jakarta for a year, then my day began. Gave in and took a becak with the becak driver across the road. It's actually quite a nice way to get around the city. Went to the Kraton- Sultan's Palace set to wander around for a few hours only to find it utterly deserted. Closed. One of the infrequent days that it is closed actually. Anyway I decided to just wander aimlessly and ended up at the Water Castle- Taman Sari. This is part of the Sultanate's Kraton and was built as a royal garden in the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java October 7th 2016

Day 2 I was really excited to be going to Borobodur. Not sure if it was sheer excitement causing me to wake up at 23:30 last night and about hourly until 03:00 or my lifelong habit of fear of sleeping in causing the hourly wake ups. At any rate, I didn't sleep in! Grabbed a cup of tea and a banana and barely had time to down it when the driver arrived on the dot at 03:30. We drove through the very quiet streets to the Manohra Hotel in Borobodur, about 40km northeast, it took an hour or so. Beautiful temperature, so quiet. The Manohra Hotel, by contrast, was pumping! There were hundreds of tourists in buses, on bikes, on foot... Went through a metal ... read more
Borobodur Sillhouetes
Borobodur Sillhouetes

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta October 6th 2016

Day 1 Travel with Garuda from Perth to Yogya via Bali (4hr layover spent getting from International to Domestic Terminal, wandering aimlessly, drinking coffee and having a reflexology neck and foot massage before getting my 2nd flight. Love airports. Really, I do.), arrived at Good Karma Guesthouse (AUD$27/night for deluxe dbl room, breakfast, air con and an outdoor bathroom). I used a third party booking site but it is also available on airbnb (costs more). There are some nice pics of it on the airbnb link or on their facebook page. Airport to Good Karma was via an airport taxi- fixed price Rp 80 000 (AUD$8) from the taxi counter outside the arrival terminal. It was a smooth process and the taxi driver was friendly, getting me to Good Karma in about 45 mins in ... read more
Crossing the coast
Good Karma Guest House
Good Karma Guest House

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth July 3rd 2016

So, what did I take? The following list (I have a fantastic spreadsheet but I can't work out how to cut/paste into this blog- nothing I try will work with the formatting, so..... I have very laboriously retyped everything). My original spreadsheet has all of the weights/totals/subtotals and links to the products. Below is just a list of items. The spreadsheet was a work of art- lots of colour coding.... There's a couple of snaps of the list with weights - suboptimal pics I know! What worked? I have star rated and made a few comments. I had a lot of confidence in what I had packed and on the whole was really pleased. I actually had a light fleece zip jacket added into my gear at Pemberton I think but sneakily I managed to offload ... read more
Dodgy Pics Of List

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany July 2nd 2016

I tried to take a photo at the beginning and end of each day. Missed a few, some as I got in late (dark), a couple because? i have no idea! Weight loss pics were good- after 8 weeks there was zero overhang and hip belt done up to the max but I can't see too much change in the face. Proves undoubtedly that the aging face definitely settles as the day goes on.... read more
Day 1 Hewett's Hill
Day 2 AM
Day 2 PM

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