I am taking my opportunities where I can and experiencing as much of the world as possible. There is so much to see and do, I've barely brushed the surface!

Asia » Nepal » Himalayas March 21st 2016

Annapurna trail (the short one, missing the West side) I spent my last night in the company of Sonia after meeting the new crew….But everyone was friendly and excited for the trek. We met our guide Krishna and were given a run down on what was going to happen over the next couple of weeks. Our first day was a later start than usual and we didn’t meet up until after 9am. We spent most of the day on a mini bus heading to Bandipur. Now I know I have mentioned Nepalese traffic in previous posts but I really feel like it needs to be revisited…driving in Nepal takes guts, serious guts!! Close calls, strong brakes on steep hills, fast accelerations and confidence that yes I will fit through that smaller than average gap and that ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Gorak Shep March 6th 2016

So Sonia and I went to our meeting and met our fellow travel companions who were stuck with u for the next 2 weeks…and met our tour guide Pre…After the meeting we packed our bags, then repacked, then repacked again trying to get the weight down – somehow even when packing light and using the list provided to us our bags were too heavy – if only we knew then what we know now and realised we could have packed it all if we wanted to…but it was being carried by someone else so we wanted it as light as possible. We had dinner with the new crew (amazing group of people…you will hear more about them soon)…then we had an early night before our early flight in the morning DAY1 – Phakdang (2610m) We all ... read more

Asia » Nepal February 19th 2016

Sonia wants noted first and foremost before anything else is expressed about the city of Kathmandu or the extraordinary country of Nepal that she is in fact the proud owner of, a rather grubby, woolly incredibly “sexy” (all in the eye of the beholder there!) Mickey Mouse Beanie…good now that is out the way let me tell you about our adventures of Day 1. Sonia arrived several hours earlier than I did and was tasked with scoping out the area…instead she scoped out the back of her eyelids after a serious bout of jet lag…she did get the wifi sorted and turned the TV…and thankfully had a shower…so she did have some achievements before my arrival. Unfortunately it was dark when I arrived so I didn’t get to see Mount Everest but Sonia was able to ... read more
Breakfast view
Breakfast view
the widest street we saw - even has a footpath!!

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans February 17th 2016

I am sitting in a airport after leaving New Orlens - at the same time as I left I had some sad news from home...my loyal gentle 3 legged cat Gypsy who has been by my side for 11 years passed away from kidney failure. So my heart is breaking on many levels and can't call home due to the time difference. I know this is supposed to be all about my last moments in New Orleans but that piece of news is fresh in my mind and heart and I wanted to spend a moment to honour her beautiful memory. Mardi Gras is over and the streets have cleared - somehow it seems strange to walk along Canal street and not have beads thrown at my head...isn't that a strange thing to consider normal! Just ... read more
Calling to the captain
NOLA from the water
NOLA from the water

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans February 10th 2016

Well you all thought I had thrown a lot of photos at you the last couple of times? Be prepared for a major photo overload!! There is nothing quite like New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Already a city that beats to it's own drum they really let loose during Mardi Gras. The tourists flock to the business district and down town and the locals decorate their houses and balcony's in the official mardi gras colours of green, purple and gold/yellow. Walking up the street you will see dogs wearing tutu's people dressed up as all kind of characters - wigs, glitter and sequins really get a work out!! There are parades through Canal Street every day and it is easy to be overwhelmed with them so it is best to pick the ones you want to ... read more
Waiting for the parade to start
Night Parade
Night Parade

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans January 30th 2016

So I have been in NOLA for a week now. There is something about this city I just love. from the sounds of live music coming from the street and every bar and restaurant you pass, the beautiful buildings in the French Quarter and the party atmosphere. It feels like the city is made of music and you can't help but smile. Where else would it be normal for your local busker to be a group of 6 big band members?? During the day the streets are filled with tourists on tours and horse drawn carriages and artists hawking their wares and on every corner there is a tarot reader or human statue. On my first night I just wandered the streets and found the infamous Bourbon Street...there were people falling down drunk (mind you it ... read more
An audience for my Shrimp Po Boy Lunch!!
Cocktail Tou!
Cocktail Tour!

Sorry for all the photos - just couldn't pick a few it was so amazing!! How to end a holiday of adventure? How to top everything we had done with an achievement and challenge? Well we found the answer…the Tongariro crossing where you walk over an active volcano…because why not! The weather had kicked up and we had 32km winds to contend with but there was no way we weren’t going to make it. So we donned our day packs and hiking boots and set out for our adventure. It started out tame enough but as we climbed higher my thigh started to cramp up – not ideal when faced with 10km of uphill and stairs but I continued on with many stops (thanks for your patience Em!) As we got higher the wind kicked up ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo January 19th 2016

We had planned on doing the Taronga pass today but thought the weather would be too bad – but we were wrong – anyway we slept in a bit relatively speaking. Mary loaded us her car and Em and I headed off to have a look around the area. We stopped off at a lookout looking at out at Lake Taupo. The lake is so large we kept thinking we were looking out at the ocean! We then went down to see a Maori village which looked out to Motuopuhi Island and gave a history of the area. As we left the village we were followed by a very friendly duck. I thought the duck was left well behind us then I got whacked by a wing as it flew over my right shoulder to land ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua January 17th 2016

So after an evening out at whale bay (beautiful location – just a pitty we ran into reggae night with a DJ who liked to go into the meaning of each song he was about to play – just play the song already!!) we had another early morning and rushed out to Rotarua for White Water rafting! Yay!! Em was shaking with nerves as it was her first time but we donned another flattering wetsuit and booties and were ready to hit the water. The group going with us were running late so we got to hit the water with just our boat – Mary and I were up the front and Jack our guide enjoyed splashing us with as many waves and waterfalls he could aim at us! Because we were waiting for the other ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves January 17th 2016

Em and I arrived safely in Auckland and were met by Mary...I had managed to snag myself an upgrade to business class for $50 (everyone should bid on getting an upgrade with Air New Zealand...it was worth it). Unfortunately due to the flight being late we were behind schedule so after a classy and quick change in the carpark at the airport we were dressed to the nines and ready to hit the town. We got to meet up with some of our APBA family in Auckland - my apologies to G for our excitable spontaneous karaoke session as he was chauffeuring us from location to location...but I am sure it was highly entertaining at the very least! The night ended with a fluro light glove wearing karaoke weilding cab driver - those gloves had to ... read more
Mel heading down to the caves
The morning after
Mary Ritchie and Em

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