Rain, rain, go away!

Well, one technical hitch…. silly us managed to loose our blog post somehow and typically didn’t have a backup! doh… but no worries we still have some fab pics…

Want to say a BIG BIG thank you to Dan for letting us stay in his awesome Bondi flat despite him being in London himself!!! and Rishi’s Fai and whole Sydney family who fed us well with a special mention for Rajiv taking us out for a funky meal and drinks in rainy Sydney…. after watching the royal wedding ofcourse!!! 🙂

Thank you Sydney….


Sadly we had to leave the sunny and hot East Coast to head over to Melbourne… Yes that’s right, we didn’t go to Byron Bay (and for those who don’t know what Byron bay is – its a beach location in New South Wales which most people love for the chilled vibe and partying) but the Blues festival goers had bagged all the accommodation months in advance! Booo..

Anyways, back to Melbourne, our first day was a Sunday on Easter weekend which meant loads of shops were shut. Thank God! … But, we were right by Queen Victoria market which is kind of famous in that neck of the woods so we kicked off the day with Rishi’s favourite activity, visiting markets. He did keep me quiet though as we wandered each part of the market, aisle by aisle by stuffing us with some $1 donuts that were piping hot. Yuuummy! Can’t really complain if you’re munching on those.

Having been suitably sugared up, we very naughtily rode the trams into the city center without paying!!! Sounds really bad BUT to our defence, the stupid machines only take coins, so it wasn’t really our fault!

Starting to enjoy getting stuff for free, we took advantage of the free information service in Melbourne (which is reaaally good), to work out how best to capture the sights of this city everyone raves on about! The answer is walk around it, venture to the left, or the right, go down the river or up.. Just explore. And we did. It really is a lovely city with fabulous buildings, funky alley ways and an awesome skyline view at night. We can see why people like the vibe there.

We did really want to check out the bars in Melbourne but that evening we had booked to see Will Anderson as it was the Melbourne comedy festival.. He is really funny, gruesome at times but hey isn’t that what you want from a comedian? .. Boosted by this, we had a slap up meal at… Wagamamas!! Whooo and booked another show with a dude called Reginald who is supposed to be pretty ‘blue’. Totally excited for this hard hitting comedy but were sadly let down. He was sooo crap, never really made a full on joke, seemed like he was just making it up (poorly) as he went along yet the aussie element of the audience were in hysterics! Go figure?!

We hired a car the next day to see this famous Great Ocean Road.. Initially we were actually kind of disappointed, it sooo did not compare to Route 1 on West coast of US. Then we saw the big sights, the 12 Apostles (major tourist numbers), Loch and Gorge, London Bridge and one of our favourites the Bay of Martyrs.

It’s such a spectacular scene to see the masses of rock which were once all part of the mainland be out there in the sea in different shapes and sizes all because of the power of the water. It was nice driving round in a car too, like having our own space and freedom again.. Hmm, although I guess travelling round for 4 months is pretty free too?! Lol

The last day we went to St Kilda, the local beach to see what the fuss was all about. We found a spot at the end of their pier looking out onto the water and boats while basking in the sunshine and reading our books. But the day was not to be so. None of that reading was to happen because it was like going to a mini wildlife show. After watching people feed the ducks, while seagulls tried to steal their food! I know, how mean?! We noticed a couple of penguins hiding away in the rocks behind where we sat! Sooo close and yet so hidden. I was really excited and we took a gazillion photos of different parts of the penguins that could be seen when they peaked out of the rocks.

It totally made my day and I finally got myself to sit back down next to Rish and read… But nooo, it was not to be so. Dolphins swam up super close to the shore and were doing mini in out and jumps in the water. One of the old men who obviously had been sitting out in the sun too long swam in to ‘play’ with the dolphins.. I think he scared them away instead.. But who cares? We saw dolphins, right up close!! Whoo again…

Rish, the big animal lover was overjoyed with our adventure but I became slightly obsessed and wandered back and forth looking for mooore!!! Ooh, actually we saw lots of starfish too but that didn’t quench the thirst to see big hard to find animals!

Unfortunately we were flying to Sydney that evening so had to leave St Kilda’s but did manage to have a lovely lunch in the town centre. It’s such a buzzing place. It has loads of alfresco restaurants and tom, jane and even their cat were out (..translation: There were loadsa people)! Could totally imagine going there on weekends to chill and hang out…

Let’s hope Sydney can top this!

St Kilda’s rocked!


This is Jackie Bauer and hubby. We only need 12 hours, 24 is sooo last year!

06:00 Brisbane bus terminal.
06:01 Sleep on uncomfy chairs at Brisbane bus terminal

07:30 Clean self up in lovely Brisbane transit centre toilets!
08:00 Eat healthy breakfast of english muffins, hash browns, pancakes and tea.. Hmm yummy!
08:23 Wander round station looking for bus to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary…
09:07 Epic fail
09:15 Return to travel agent (who we asked for bus info before) with head held in shame to help us get a bus to the sanctuary!
09:31 Miss bus! Agee
09:32 Recover with a wander round Brisbane city centre. It’s surprisingly pretty! Haven’t seen a city in a few weeks, anything will impress us right now.

10:30 Bus to Koala Sanctuary. Woooh
11:15 Enter Koala Sanctuary… No-one suspects we don’t have student cards and we sneak in unsuspected on concession tix!
11:20 Ready to leave Sanctuary! Lol. Kidding but about an hour later we were definitely ready
12:30 Mission to feed kangaroos and take precarious photos with them without them kicking us in the face.

13:00 Mission accomplished. Refuel with snacking on chips… Hey, if we fed the kangaroos, don’t we deserve some food?
13:25 Bus leaves 6 mins early and jets us back to the city! Phew
14:13 Wander Brisbane again
15:20 Haven’t eaten for aaaages so McD’s milkshake
16:00 Greyhound bus to airport! 🙁 A car would have just drawn attention to us.
17:00 A*sh:+es In customs take my cosmetic scissors. Jackie Bauer has been disarmed!
17:08 Mission appears to be coming to an end, Jackie and hubby refuel with burgers and chips for the finale. The big send off.
18:00 Brisbane has been seen. Koalas have been spotted and Kangaroos have been fed. The flight safely takes off and another series of 12 comes to its cliffhanger end.

Tune in next time for….. ?

F Off Dingo

“You HAVE to go to Fraser!!!” It’s all you hear from any self-respecting backpacker when you mention you’re travelling down the East Coast!

And now we know why! A long and skinny white sand island with a rainforest growing in it and loads of crystal clear lakes and creeks, what’s not to like?

We took the Cool Dingoes 3 day 2 night tour meaning no cooking, camping or cleaning up. Rish just couldn’t handle any more camping, poor lad, so I had relented, despite really wanting to spend my time on the beach, digging holes to pee in and warding off dingoes that could attack us.. 😉 We had been pre-prepared though for these eventualities. If a dingo approached us we had to stand tall, and in our strongest, most manly voice shout back, GO AWAY DINGO, which we lovingly changed to F*@/ OFF DINGO. Equally if not more effective!

Just kidding, in fact, before we went on the tour, we were worried that we would miss out on the self-driving tour fun but having heard some of the stories from friends on those tours we were very thankful for our dorm rooms, hot showers and cosy bar in our Wilderness lodge!

Pissing it down with rain on the first day when the bus picked us up at our hostel, we didn’t have high hopes for our trip.. But a 55 minute ferry later we were basking in sunshine on Fraser Island… Someone really has been looking after us on this trip… Big G, we owe you big time!!

The first day we went on a trail through the rainforests and spotted a Goanna and a snake. Alright, so the snake was a practical joke by our driver Hayden but we were sufficiently fooled by the snake to want revenge on him!!

Lake Mackenzie was also on the Day 1 itinerary and it really is as stunning as it is advertised to be. But that wasn’t good enough for Rish and I, we didn’t want to share it with others, so we went and found our own patch of private beach land because frankly that’s how we roll! Flashpackers indeed!

After such a exhausting day, (Haha yes it is a good backpacker life) we had a bonding session in our Wilderness Lodge followed by a buffet dinner (which fyi is like winning a small fortune for a backpacker) and a bootylicious drinking games session. 😉

It didn’t stop there, if we thought day 1 was awesome, day 2 was even better… Mit had recommended to us the scenic flight over Fraser and not wanting to dissapoint him, we got on that plane! Spectacular views of a lake shaped like a butterfly, a brockley forest, humongous sand dunes and the great ocean. Not to mention taking off and landing on the beach! Super cool.

The sights we saw when safely back on land were absolutely beautiful too. We swam through Eli creek, climbed to the top of Indian head and sipped on the Champagne pools! But the highlight of the day has to be the best human pyramid you’ve ever seen.. I’ll let the picture show you how glorious it was. It was so good, that when Ben suggested we attempt to recreate it by the Maheno shipwreck, the awesome task overwhelmed us! Good attempt though guys! 🙂

Unfortunately, after day 2 some of our new Fraser friends had to go… We were obviously going to miss Manchester, young couple, Jess and Shannon, but hey it meant more cookies and tea for us!! Schweeet!

So Norway, Ireland, Korea, Italy and us (London) soldiered on. (-‘m crap with names so renamed everyone by the location!) The final day was much more chilled out but totally worth the extra dosh. Some of the sights were the best we’d seen on Fraser Island.

First up was Lake Wabby, an emerald coloured lake but to get to it you walk through a huuuuge desert… Ok not so huge but it was certainly an amazing sight. Unfortunately, the beautiful views came with its drawbacks, the stupid horseflies chased me around the bloody place as I attempted to sunbathe! Everyone time I posed for photographer Rishi to take a supermodelesque photo, those damn flies and ruined the shoot!.. I guess it’s nice to be wanted though?!

Lake Birabeen in the afternoon was a fabulous way to end the trip. An amazingly pure white sandy beach with a gorgeous lake which we adventurously walked through an underwater pathway to get to (and it even had little fishies in it)!! The best bit was how quiet the place was. It was just us, the mozzies and nature.

Despite having an awesome time on the tour, I don’t think we can fully appreciate how beautiful and fun Fraser Island is till we get home and reminisce over the photos… I’m sure a day back at work will do the trick?

The trip wasn’t all beautiful lakes and even more beautiful human pyramids though. The sand tracks you drive through are like an ongoing rollercoaster; the chocolate muesli bars were a big part of the trip too and not to mention bumping into people we’d met on other parts of the trip while in Fraser definitely provided some entertainment. Hearing about sleeping on puke in 4×4’s, plates being washed away to sea and fights between the German and Brits definitely made us appreciate our tour!

Back on flat land in Hervey Bay now, we have an overnight bus (leaving at 1.25am grr).. So we’ll do the same as what we did on our pre Fraser stay in Hervey Bay, hibernate in the cinema room and watch movies!! Trust me, there is not much else to do here!

See ya in Brisbane.


A not so busy town famous for being the 1st place discovered by Captain Cook in 1770 (ah-ha!!) But let’s be honest the only reason any of us backpackers come here is because of Scooteroo..

Scooteroo is where we all don the cool leather biker jackets, tattoo ourselves up with fake transfer tatts and head off on scooters in hunt of kangaroos and potato wedges… Yes, it is fun.. Except if you keep accelerating when you’re supposed to brake! (I did have to give in and get on the back of the leaders bike at one point but at least I got to see more roos?!) It’s not funny and not as easy as you may think guys!! Honest. 🙁

Then again, Rish managed it perfectly well and was zooming around at full speed of 70km/hr! Agaaa!

Here are some bad ass pictures of us…

Looks gorgeous right? Yeup, it was! Unfortunately the weather went a lil sour today.. Hmm, maybe a lot sour, to the extent that there are mini flash floods around the area.. Eek!.. So we thought, let’s go surfing. Narleeey dude!

Well you’re gonna get wet anyway so what’s a little extra rain and super strong winds in the grand scheme of things?!

We don’t have any photos given the CRAZY weather but I do have a cut on my knee from hitting the rocks while trying to hold on to my surf board against the strong currents and whooshing wind… Yet, despite the cut bleeding down my leg, I couldn’t help but want to get right back in and have another go… Surfing is SO much fun.. The hardest part is fighting your way out of the waves and then it’s just like… ‘WEEEE’. Haha, good description?

Rishi managed to stand for a few seconds which is an impressive achievement in those conditions! But we know that tomorrow, we are going to be aching.. It really is a workout and a half. In fact, I think Rishi has fallen asleep in our room because he left for a shower a very long time ago..!! Then again, there’s not much else to do around here so he may as well rest up…

In the meantime, perhaps I’ll master table tennis and hustle him .. Or actually may just veg out and watch a movie in cinema room… Hmm, I’ll let you guess what I’ve decided!

Catch ya later.

P.S. Party at Beaches hostel tonight.. Let’s go!!

Welcome to the East Side

Woop! Woop! On to the sunny, gorgeous beaches of the East Coast.

Actually it had been raining incessantly in Cairns for the last 2 weeks so when we arrived and saw the weather report for glorious, baking hot clear skies, we were ecstatic. Our plan was to stay in Cairns for 2 days then move on but aiming to catch a different Whitsundays boat we cut our time down to a day .5.

Obviously when in Cairns you have to go to the Great Barrier Reef, so we booked on to the coolest sounding boat, Passions! When we arrived at the Reef Terminal we realised it was a popular choices as 80 backpackers were shepparded on to a medium sized catamaran… But the muffins and tea on entry made any worries about over crowding disappear.

In fact, the tour was absolutely awesome. The staff were really friendly, the food was good, the people were in a great mood and we went diving! Wooooh!!

We had no intention of diving on the tour but we were convinced pretty easily by Simon, one of the staff who remembered all 80 passengers names (I KNOOW!) To at least give the 5 minute trial a go… Well what’s the worst that could happen?
After being geared up and literally dragged to the water’s edge with the heavy oxygen cylinder on our backs, we ‘walked’ into the water to practice breathing with the oxygen mask.

I’ll be honest, it was pretty hard going getting used to breathing with the pump while on the surface of the ocean water. Funny thing is I was less scared about the process of diving than the actual worry of the fish touching me… Ye, I know, totally mental!

So, as I floated about telling our instructor that perhaps I’m not cut out for this, he suggested that perhaps he would take me for a swim and if I get used to the breathing we would consider the diving… Sounds fair!

Off we went; Rishi holding one of Simon’s hands and me the other! Haha…. Think Rishi kinda enjoyed it.. But before I could even consider the possibility of Rishi abandoning me for Simon, the views of the coral and amazingly colourful fish took my attention and I realised we were already a few metres underwater! Simon had been secretly taking the air out of our jackets without us even noticing. I blew my ears out and headed even further down. It was a phenomenal experience, like wandering through an incredibly interactive aquarium.

I got to touch some gooey coral, see a shark..-like fish, get up close and perhaps too personal with some stingrays and of course ‘find nemo’! Rishi and I were so excited and thrilled from the experience that we signed up for a second longer and deeper dive in the afternoon.. Unfortunately we just missed seeing a shark but who cares?! … We went diving! Wooh!

The rest of the boat trip was wicked too; sunbathing on deck, cheese and biscuits, tea and cookies and games and magic tricks! Definitely would recommend this tour and if you’ve never dived…. DO IT!! Nehal’s already promised to take me out diving again. 🙂

Back in Cairns, we celebrated our super day with a Subway and Japanese style crepe in the night market. Food and well everything here is ridiculously expensive here, I mean water for £2.50, and this standard indian restaurant had veggie curries for £10!!.. Uuuuhh .. Nah!

Anywho, this morning we did a little Cairns sightseeing I.e. We wandered the esplanade with giant backpacks in stow and after a healthy lunch.. (ye right!) we’ve got on our 12 hour bus to Airlie beach.

The views on the Bruce highway are really stunning and we have a funny bus driver who is telling us stories and playing movies for us so overall a pretty good way to spend the afternoon! …

 7 more hours to go. Night, night.

Alice’s secret..

Welcome to Alice Springs… Uh stay indoors so you don’t get robbed, beat up or killed… Ok, ok it’s not that bad, as long as your back in your room by 9pm! Lol..

After arriving in Alice Springs, which actually has some gorgeous scenery so its shame about the bad rep, we headed into town to have a super quick dinner and rush back to our hostel before 7.30pm. It was quite nice to take a break, we chilled out and watched the film “Traffic” while being told by an Aussie from Melbourne that he couldn’t handle walking down many streets in his city because of the abundance of Indians. Lovely ei?

Don’t worry, Anj took care of him, with a firm “Do you mind, we’re trying to watch a filum?!” 🙂

We made sure we rested up too in our “cottage” at Alice’s Secret Hostel… The secret was that the cottage, Aka a shed in the garden had more holes in it than… (I’ll let you complete that).. Suffice it to say we had to share our abode with Lord knows how many people peering in and of course a cockroach.. Good memories.. 🙂

Anywho, the next day, we started our 2 day, 1 night tour early again, with a 6am pick up!

The first day involved a hell of a lot of driving again, to arrive to our first spot, the Rock, otherwise known as Uluru (the official and Aboriginal name for it)!

It is stunning. Uluru is one massive rock at 348m high, 9km in circumference, in a land where there is hardly any other rocks around it. The crazy thing is, this rock continues a mammoth 4km further into the ground!

That is one big stone. As we walked around (we respected the Aboriginals request not to climb it for their religious beliefs…not that everyone else does the same), and our tour guide explained the stories the Aboriginals have for the creation of this rock, it truly did bring it fully to life. I honestly can’t tell you how happy we were that we had a tour guide for that bit, as I don’t think we would have appreciated the beauty as much!

It is amazing to hear how the Aboriginals live with the belief of living in the now using the natural world for all their needs! No creation of materialistic belongings, no belief that anything belongs to them or living for the future! They believe everything belongs to mother earth and we should be there to look after and preserve it!

Anyway we ended the day watching the sunset over Uluru with a glass of Champagne (okay, okay…Orange Juice) and snacks!… Sweeeet! When we weren’t all being engrossed by the food, we did manage to watch the sheer magic of the whole rock change colours as the sun sets.

As if the day hadn’t been exciting enough, Anjali decided to have a shower! … Yeup, so unusual I know, I was so thankful… KIDDING! .. As she was showering, one of the girls pointed out there was a mouse cruising for chicks in their bathroom. (Apparently it was very cute!!).. For some reason, at that point she got the hell out of there! 🙂 Probably because we’d been told we were more than likely see the mice in our tents anyway, while mini alligator type species would be resting under our tent. Niiice and cosy! Aww.

The next day was a 5am wake up to go in the search for wild Kangaroos and see the Olgas or Kata Tjutu! We saw one Kangaroo!

Gutted! Its better than none.. I guess. 🙁

To be honest the walk through Kata Tjutu made up for it.

This is quite a tricky walk and infact one lady on our trip, fell and cut her head open, so had to be air lifted out! Crazy! Her husband told us he would have to fork out around £3G’s for this! We heard she was okay later, thank God!

Anyway the walk was amazing and when you reach the top, the view is out of this world! You look between 2 Olgas and see the sun rising over the backdrop. It is like it literally came from a post card! Stunning!

And that was it… the end of the road! Well apart from the exciting 6 hours coach journey back to Alice Springs with views of Mt Conner, the Mac-something ranges and a stop off for cheese toasted sandwiches!! Hmm.. (Can you tell Anj added that bit in? Hmm!)

A quick note, one thing we wanted to see, but didn’t have the time to go to on this tour was Kings Canyon (we actually thought it was on this tour), and the Mcdonald ranges from close up, so if you get the chance suggest you spend 4 days there and do it!

Also if you do make it out here to the Red centre, which is kinda more green at the mo.. Make sure you do the free digeridoo workshop… It’s jokes.. We both managed to get sounds of it.. Concerts coming soon to a busking location near you!

Anyway time to leave the Outback now and prepare for the beach part of trip! Bring on Cairns! 🙂

The Ol’ Outback..!

So the time has arrived, Anjali and Rishi vs the tent! Okay let me rephrase Anjali Vs the Tent!

Yep you guessed it, we’re in Oz (Australia for you folk who don’t know) and we’re going camping in the outback!

We arrived in Darwin early at 5.00am in the morning, got shuttled to our Hotel (yep hotel not hostel), to then find we couldn’t check in for another 6 freaking hours!

So we decided to do what any normal people would do (NOT), go and have breakfast at the hotel buffet at 6am, sleep on our table, wake up at 10.15 and devour some more brekki before heading to our room. Nnoom nnnooom

That first day we kept as a complete chill out and sleep day to re-energize our batteries for the 6.30am adventure which would start the next day. Obviously interspersed with healthy eating, you know, Nando’s for lunch and Dominoes for dinner! Baaabbbyyy baaabbby!

So we were picked up by our intrepid driver/tour guide for the first of our two camping trips; 4 days, 3 nights traipsing around the top end.

The Top End, aka Kakadua, Katherine Gorge and Litchfield are amazing definitely but there was a hell of a lot of driving with the same scenery around of plain trees and forests. We occupied ourselves with looking for crocs and wallabys.. Especially as it was the end of rainy season meaning water was often higher than the bridges and so the crocs could be taking a stroll over the same roads we were!! EEK! Actually to be fair, despite the wildlife spotting and the tour guide’s chit chat, whenever I got on the 4×4 coach I would fall asleep (and so did the driver nearly a few times). Anj on the other hand had to do with twiddling her thumbs or watching me (even though she slept a little bit too).

We did see some cool stuff… The first stop, in my opinion was probably the best. We stopped at a crocodile boating experience (with “spectacular jumping crocodiles”). The crocs are scarily close to you and this is no Zoo, this is the real deal! We go to crocodile infested waters, with the most deadliest crocodiles, the saltwater crocs and offer them some meat on a stick, hoping they prefer that to us! And we don’t make it easy either, this boat is the only one where they get the crocs to jump out of the water to earn their meal!! And we saw some huge ones too, some at 5 meters in length!

What an experience. And to end it off they feed some wild birds, that looked like eagles, by hand…! Was superb and I can’t recommend the experience highly enough!

Another sight which stood out has to be the Katherine Gorge! With its stunning high winding walls, it is amazing to take a boat through (we did it in a speed boat :)). You can find many waterfalls everywhere and its beauty really speaks for itself.

I think some of the waterfalls in Lichfield park and the termite mounds (which were like 3-4 meters high) were incredible too. You could sit there for hours and take in the scenery! Really spectacular!

Other highlights over the 4 days, included climbing up 100m high rocks and seeing the vastness of the land. Plus understanding the aboriginal culture, which our guide was clearly passionate about, brought the whole place alive with the paintings found on rocks, in the wilderness everywhere which in some cases are over 2000 years old!

For me personally I felt privileged to have the opportunity to hand feed wallabys (mini kangaroos) and a peacock! I have to admit I love animals! And these were wild ones roaming around the fields, that I had to build up trust with first, to then feed! Was great! (Anji fed them too!! In fact she’ll tell u that she got closer to the wallaby with the joey sticking out of its pouch! So cute.)

Now before you all ask me, I know what your thinking, how did Anjali handle the camping?!

Well these camping sites in most cases were fairly clean, and apart from them having cold water for showering and frogs getting clean in there with you, they were pretty damn good!

The tents themselves were proper tents, but bigger ones so they could fit two camp beds inside. It was exciting using a torch again and being able to see outside through our see through tent walls. And apart from the odd horse neighing or chewing on our tent, we both slept really well. Though that could be because the “doodia” (insects) hardly showed themselves to Anj (well not in the tent at least – Phew)! I was really proud of her though! …

 (zoom into the pic above… what do u see in the trees!)

So there ended our first camping trip…we’re now off to Alice Springs to start our second adventure. (If we make it that is..) We’ve been told Alice Springs is very dangerous at night due to loads of young drunkards roaming the city at night, fighting and robbing people…NICE!

See you there 🙂