Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Better late then never...

Past Travel Adventures

Since I was slow to start this blog after moving here, I missed out writing about a couple trips we have done.  Here is a quick recap.

Christmas in Bali December 2011

This was the hubby trying to be all artistic and what not... good attempt.  I believe this was the day I was a bit "under the weather".  Really no trip to Asia is complete without some gastro issues... or you are not being adventurous enough with eating!

Ahh yes, like a mild form of India... Bali was like India-lite.  Not quite as crowded or polluted, but the same kind of feel to it.  Lots of people, lots of energy when you are out, great food and lots of people trying to sell you stuff.  

We did a ton of sightseeing while in Bali.  Here are some of the temples...

We hung out with some wild life like elephants...

This one was a bit hungry and did not enjoy when I ran out of food.

We also went to "Monkey Forrest" in Ubud...

Ever since taking a course called Primates in Psychology while an undergraduate, I have been a bit obsessed with monkeys and other primates.  However, these little guys are a bit too used to human interaction and quite aggressive... this was as close as I wanted to get.

We did an amazing bike tour as well... it was pretty much the entire day spent with the guides who took us to the middle part of the island and biked our way back through villages and rice fields.  It was really an amazing experience to see and interact with villagers, especially children, who were so happy and welcoming.  At one point during the ride it started to pour and really did not let up for the rest of the time, but somehow made it seem even more magical (Yes, I said magical. It is my love for all things Disney coming out).

And did I mention the amazing food?  Since moving to Sydney I have a new appreciation of all asian cuisines, but really had not tried much Indonesian prior to this trip.   Like in most other asian countries, you can get really amazing food for very little money.  

Take for example this massive plate of chicken sate with rice and vegetables.  I think the whole thing was under $5.  And it was amazing.

Although I don't watch nearly as much television here, I was obsessed with No Reservations back in the states and would pretty much listen to anything Anthony Bourdain said in terms of food while traveling.  We hit up most of his suggestions in Bali, but the best by far was Ibu Oka for some Babi Guling (roast suckling pig).  Oh my, this was good.  Almost worth traveling to Bali just for this... 


Not as amazing, but just as exciting was finding a Dunkin' Donuts- Woo!  None of these in Australia let me tell you.  It was very different than those in the states.  No "brewed coffee" as we know it and no ice coffee, except for the premixed stuff.  However, they did have peanut butter filled doughnuts, so all was forgiven (hence the 3 trips we made in our 10 day trip).

To round off the trip we did some cooking classes.  Fun times touring around the local markets, learning about ingredients I have never heard of and how to cook some traditional Balinese food.  The hubby also put in a good effort with the Nasi Goreng...

Hunter Valley January 2012
This area is the closest “wine country” if you will to Sydney.  It was pretty much our first trip more than 40 minutes outside of the Sydney area in Australia.  

The hubby braved driving on the left and handled the 2+ hours of driving quite well.  I drove to and from dinner one night and that was all I was allowed :)

The area is really beautiful and quiet.  It is really amazing how close you are to Sydney, yet feel like you are in another world.

We did our fair share of wine tastings.  And ended up bringing back more wine than I care to mention.

We stayed at a brewhouse while in the Hunter.  It is pretty different than in the states how the accommodations work here.  Although there are always some hotels/motels, many stay at the wineries/breweries as they have their own accommodations as well.

Yeah.  We are this awesome.

 We saw our first kangaroos in the wild while on this trip.  A women we met working at one of the cellar doors had suggested an area to drive around at dusk to look for the kangaroos and it worked!

Tasmania April 2012

Okay last big trip to update since the move was to Tassie.  For those who don't know, Tasmania is a state in Australia that also happens to be an island located South of the main continent.  It is known for outdoorsy type activities and has pretty much all different climates from rainforest to mountains to beautiful beaches.  We encountered pretty much all seasons while on our trip as well from hot summery days when we first arrived, to comfortable autumn weather (perfect for hiking) and then even had some snow!

We spent the first few days exploring Hobart, a fun little city on the southern coast. Not sure what is going on with this ship, but it made for a fun picture. 

I saw this while we were walking by and loved it. We ate dinner here one night as well... good food and crazy pirate decorations.  Very Disney-esque and I loved it.

View from the top of Mount Wellington looking down to Hobart.

Sadly, we did not actually see any Tasmanian Devils on the trip.  Just these signs.  Everywhere.

I was a bit excited to see some foliage.   Although nothing in comparison to New England, it was still nice :)

One of the highlights of the trip was a place called Kate's Berry Farm.  Oh my goodness.  We stopped in for ice cream (all homemade with different berry flavors) after a hike one afternoon.  We ended up there again for breakfast the next day before we drove to our next location.  Nothing beats pie and ice cream for brekkie!

View of Port Arthur.  This was one of the convict settlements in Australia and now a big tourist stop.

View from a lookout point down to Wineglass Bay.  It looks much cloudier than it actually was that day... it was much sunnier when we were down on the beach as well.

We saw this little wallaby on the hike.  So cute!

Bay of Fires

 We all loved this sign.  I'm pretty sure it is supposed to be showing you wrecking your car by hitting a kangaroo... but I like to think that it is just a really angry kangaroo flipping the car over.

View of Cradle Mountain.   This was the surprise day of snow.  We were pretty excited at first, but then it was a bit much doing the walk around the lake at the national park.

On the drive to the mountain, we saw some snow on the side of the road.  Of course a couple from Boston and another from Britain would need to pull over and make a snowman.

And then move him to the side of the road for others to enjoy.

I also found the promised land on a morning walk.  Oh Bruce why are you not touring in Australia?

Our last day was at Bruny Island.  Back to warmer weather and sun.  Not to mention some amazing views to cap off the trip. 

Phew.  So those were our big Aussie trips thus far.  Hopefully I will stay on top of posts now so I don't need to to a massive one like this again!  Thanks for visiting the blog and check back soon for some fun recipes and stories of living in Sydney!

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