I once read an article about giant tortoises. They only exists in 2 archipelagos, the Galapagos and Seychelles. Neither location are easy to get to. When I was researching beach locations from South Africa, I found a direct flight from Johannesburg to Mahe. Finally, I get to see the tortoises.
I am not sure what my problem was but as soon as I arrived, I was ready to leave. Immigration was a bit interesting. I know I should not complain as visitors to US have to deal with worse. With the time change and the long flight, was night by the time I arrived at the hotel. It was nice but I was just not feeling it.
I did get out and toured the island. It’s quite mountainous. And they ran out of land on the main island of Mahe, so they created land to expand.
It was beautiful and I am sure there were much more to see and do then limited things that I saw. I just was not feeling it. And that’s ok, I had to go to learn that it was not for me. It will alway hold a special place for me, as it was officially the 60th country I visisted.
The American’s celebrate July 4th as our national holiday, Australian’s celebrate January 26th as their national holiday. The date is in commemoration of the arrival of the British and eleven boats of convicts. I am not going to get into the politics but if you want to read more about the history Australia Day check out this website.
With it being a long weekend, I popped down to Sydney to hangout with Katherine and Evander. I used points for us to stay the amazing Park Hyatt. It was the perfect location for the Australia Day weekend.
There was a whole lot going on.. here are some videos.
But by far, the best part of the whole weekend, was seeing the Opera House lite up.
Sometimes is the simple unplanned weekends that urn out to be best. I am so thankful I took advantage of the opportunity to spend time with friends. Who knew just 2 months later we would not be allowed. Hopeful one day soon this shall pass. Until next time, stay safe
Surprise, I found myself back in Australia. What can I say, it’s my happy place! Plus it was an easy decision when I found out Jenny and John were also going to be in Sydney. After I booked, I mentioned it to Jane, their daughter, and she booked flights to come over as well.
Jane managed to surprise her parents which is always good fun! We booked for a lovely dinner at Hubert’s, with Katherine and Evander. I just realized I talk a lot about food. But only good food that is worth talking about. After dinner, we went and checked out Vivid Sydney. Since it was opening weekend, there were just too many people everywhere.
Something that really surprised me, was how dead Sydney was on a Saturday night. There was no place open to get a dessert. Even Brisbane has Jimmy’s on the Mall!
The next day, we all minus Jane, headed to lunch with our friend Ananda to a Nepalese cafe. I have not been to Nepal, so I was not sure what to expect. Turns out its like Indian food, but less spicy. I loved it! I guess I not surprised that most of travel pants involve elastic waists.
I know it’s a ridiculous long way to go to for good food. But when you add in great company, nothing can compare.
Back to Chicago I went for a one month break in travel. Somewhere along the way, I broke my toe. It healed improperly, so I required surgery to get it corrected. Which slowed my travels down a bit. But it worked out, friends came to me. Stay tuned!
After 6 weeks on the ground, I was super excited to get my jet fuel fix. Jenny and John were traveling around Asia and I mentioned that it was direct flight from Chicago to Japan. I should have clarified, it’s a direct flight to Tokyo, not Osaka. Oops. Oh well what’s a connection? What with low fares and free upgrades, why not!
My last trip to Japan was a disaster. Friends keep telling me they love it, but it just had not clicked with me yet. Kind of like Paris. I will say this Osaka is beautiful in the spring!
One of the benefits of being a modern city, it’s well planned out. Which makes being a tourist so easy. We just hung around and took in the sights.
I even convinced Jenny to go cloth shopping. Which any bigger then a US size 4 knows it’s normally a waste of time to shop in Asia. But one brand I really like is actually Japanese. So we hunted down a shop. In order to try on clothes they ask you to put on a face cover. WHY is this only in Japan??? This should be worldwide!
It always good fun to meet up with friends and explore different cities. I know my travels appear to be bit boring. In part because they are. I am less about exploring as much and more about absorbing the surroundings. Which means I may not see as much but I am enjoying it more.
Christmas found me in Zanzibar this year. I had been before but spent most of my time up in Nungwi, and very little time in Stone Town. So I decided to head back and spend some time in Stone Town. In hindsight, 6 nights was a bit too many, but there are worse places to be.
I spent most of my days just enjoying the sound of the ocean waves. I did walk around the maze of streets that make up Stone Town and admired the amazing doors.
I walked along the beach and basically just recharged my batteries. While I probably would not go again for 7 days, it worked out in the end. It’s not the easiest journey from the US. Next time I would probably do safari before heading to the beach. Next stop London for New Year’s. Stay Tuned.
After 2 and 1/2 years it was time for stay goodby to my Australian adventures. In the ideal world, I would have stayed but pesky things like needing job got in my way.
This trip started in Melbourne. My friends, Carrie and Nick, were over visiting from the States. Jenny and John flew down from Brisbane to join us as well. One of my favorite things to do when visiting Melbourne is to go down the the Mornington Pensinula. We got lucky with the blue skies.
We ate cheese and drank lots of wine!
We then headed up to Brisbane, where we took a trip out to the Sunshine Coast. Where Carrie and Nick were able to partake in fresh from the ocean seafood.
And it was time for Carrie and Nick to head back to the States. I attended my graduation from QUT and said goodbye to all the lovely friends I had made during my time in Brisbane. I took a few days to recover from everything and headed out Broome. Which clear on the other side of Australia.
Cable Beach has been named one of the best beaches in the world. I can see why. But outside of that, there is not a whole lot to do in Broome if you don’t like outdoor activities. When the moon is full, you can watch it rise on the water, which gives this look of a staircase to the moon. You can also watch the sunset and it gives the same look. Just note, the moon viewing involved going to local cemetery… not sure who I felt about that.
Broome is home to lots of pearl farms. I took a tour with Paspaley, a local Australian company. It was quite cool to see how pearls are cultured. We even got lucky and spotted some whales.
After Broome, I headed to Darwin. It was interesting. I am going to leave that there. It was great way to end my extended time in Australia. I really enjoyed getting explore the land, the people and the culture. A piece of me will always remind.