A Travellerspoint blog

Airlie Beach & Whitsunday Islands

sunny 30 °C
View Round the World on geranddebs's travel map.

We arrived at Airlie beach wrecked after our 13 hour bus journey and had prebooked into magnums which was a bit of an oversight as it has now reached our top 3 worst hostels list... but hey each to their own..

We had booked to head out sailing the following day so after we checked in slept , showered and visited the beauty salon - waxing the legs is a tedious job which for me is just as boring as having to put petrol in my car, and which Ger is beginning to detest as well haha, but once complete we were ready to go...

We chose a pro sailing boat to go on which had previously taken part in the sydney to hobart race, it was class, 28 of us were on it including the 3 crew but it was a big boat...
As part of the sailing we the visitors got to join in as well as each day we would hoist up the sails for a day of relaxing, swimming, snorkelling etc..ger got well into the sailing lark and each day practically fought his way up to help with the sails..however getting into bed for him was slightly harder as we had been put in a double bed at the back of the boat, which is usually the best spot apart from the fact that it was like getting into the boot of a car, and at 6ft something this was no mean feat...hilarious to watch though, but he did get to share the room with 5 women so enough said!

boat_bedroom.jpg

The first night was like sleeping inside a hot water bottle, the noises from outside were exactly the same and it rocked constantly second night was much calmer though as we moored in a cove, but scenery and sunsets were great though.

whitsunday_sailing.jpg

Deborah_s_..unday_s.jpg

The lads on the boat were all cool, we met 2 lads from Bath Adam and Steve and also hooked up with a group of girls, one of which works in Intel (and was given 6 months off by her boss!!), so we all had massive craic and they got a good kick out of Ger as he couldnt swim but yet with the help of a tube kind of float thing he was always the last one out of the water.. it was like calling him in for his tea and he wouldnt come!! (another fear overcome by Ger..)

One of the snorkellilng area we went to was called Hayman island and Luncheon Bay, which was just like swimming inside a huge aquarium, absoultely fab and our quest for the day was to find Elvis! - an old but huge fish with big rubber lips..

We visisted loads of Islands and of course Whitsunday islands - whitsundays is just paradise and the sand actually squeaks because it is made up of miniscules bits silicon/glass...here we got to see reef and black tip sharks and sting rays however they kept swimming away from us for some reason, i always thought it should have been the other way around.. but it may have been the sight of us in our stinger suits that we had to wear that may have done it..definitley getting one of those for back home - sooo atractive!

Stinger_suits_.jpg

Whitsunday_Island.jpg

whitsunday_beach.jpg

We spent most of our time on whitsundays lounging around and trying to play frisbee, but all we managed was to break a tree - oops!

We returned to dry land from the boat, (still swaying for a few hours from being on the boat so long..) and lounged by the lagoon pools at airlie beach until we had to catch our next over nighht bus to take us down to hervey bay for Fraser island and some 4WD carry on!

Posted by geranddebs 02:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Cairns

sunny 30 °C
View Round the World on geranddebs's travel map.

Arrived in Cairns on the 11th May and stayed at Dreamtime travellers hostel, 5 mins from esplanade, the guy Chris at reception is really fab and organises everything for you cheaply so we got stuck in as soon as we got there and starting spending some money!! lol Then headed out to the local - The Woolshed, an old happy haunt and met an old friend just outside out after many beers!!

Cairns_-_D..end_old.jpg

The first day out and about and we booked onto our boat trip out in the reef on a boat called Ocean Free, it wasnt free but fish certainly got fed as the weather wasnt the greatest and lets just say i had to pass on lunch, didnt talk for a while and ger did a bit of back rubbing... so when we arrived at Green island i was very glad to be on terra firma..!

Green_island.jpg

The weather picked up by lunchtime and the rest of the trip was fab and captain Andy and his crew were a good laugh as well and were handing out wine on our trip home for the sunset so Ger got stuck in..

Whitsunday..e_style.jpg

The following day we travelled up the coast by bus to Cape Tribulation to stay up there for the night and signed up for some Jungle Surfing ( thanks to our friends at Intel's generous leaving present..) We stayed in a place called PK's jungle village and it was just as i had remembered it, spiders, a lot of trees and drinking..but great beach

coconut_beach_.jpg

strangling_vine.jpg

On the way up we did the Daintree river crossing for some crocodile spotting and i found out that the croc "Gummy" that was there 9 years ago has since been run out of town by "big Albert" and is now in retirement from biting the bottom of the boats! After this we headed into the rainforest which was cool, but no cassawaries to be seen..class scenery though and loads of butterflies that are both female and male..handy?!?! Oh and Ger spotted a car he fancied...

Ger_s_new_car.jpg

That evening we got picked up after checking into the accomodation and went up into the jungle canopies for some jungle surfing... it was class - basically they hooked you all up and then you zip wired through all the trees at very high reaches..and you got to wear some funky headwear with very apt names on! lol
Check out the photos it was absolutely brilliant and hilarious too as they made us go upside down and everything..Ger definitely conquered his fear of heights..haha

Jungle_sur..de_down.jpg

Jungle_sur..de_down1.jpg

Jungle_sur..ng_kong.jpg

Cable_guy____.jpg

We headed back to Cairns the following morning via the rainforest lookout, mossman gorge and Port Douglas and from the lookout you were able to see the place that Steve Irwin got stung.
We had a few hours then to shower and pack up before our overnight bus took us down the coast to Airlie Beach for some Whitsunday Island sailing..

Posted by geranddebs 01:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Singapore

sunny 32 °C
View Round the World on geranddebs's travel map.

We had got a flight from Bangkok to Singapore on the 8th May and arrived into our prebooked hotel that morning... i was so looking forward to the hotel it was calledd Scarlet and when i booked it back in february it had been described as luscious, plush, decadent and had a bit of an arabian night theme going on... All these adjectives and more lived up to its descriptions!!
It was fab, it was trully heaven for the 2 nights we spent there after having been in backpacking places mostly (even though the hostels are great and super craic), girls check out the website if you ever get a chance to go visit it..

www.thescarlethotel.com/

Anyway enough of that, first on the list in Singapore was for Ger to buy a new camera..so we headed for Sim Lim Square which is just electronic heaven for those who get off on that type of thing... Ger was in heaven for several hours! I got my taste of heaven a little later when we went shopping then on Orchard road, full of all the shops from home - brill!

On day 2 we did our tourist thing and headed over to Sentosa Island for the day, you get the cable car over for $10 but we had only really wanted to go because of an article Ger had read the night before..

ger_002.jpg

Basically Ger isnt really one for massages , feet rubbing etc so didnt get to fully apprecaite the wonders of thai, cambodia and chinese massages, however this article descibed a massage called a "nibbling massage" he was well interested... You go over to the island to the spa and ask for the treatment called fish reflexology and for $35 each you get 40 minutes of massage, 20 of these are performed by fish nibbling your tired feet!!

We both went in and they said to put your feet in a pool of water - quite large pool and when we did so millions of wee tiny turkish fish attached themseleves to our feet and ankles and proceeded to nibble away all our dead skin and freshen our feet... it was class, very tickly but class, however these turkish ones were only the warmerup band! After 10 minutes of this you walked to another massive pool and put our feet in and this time huge african fish attached to us and finished the job.. My feet have never felt as good when we were done and Ger loved it!

ger_001.jpg

So at least now i know what kind of fish to get for an aquarium at home!!

ger_0021.jpg

That night we met up with a friend of a friend's, Paula Jane's friend Anne had moved out to Singapore a year ago and so she meet us at our hotel and we did a bit of a pub crawl thing going first to Asia view, which was a nightclub at the top of the Swiss hotel in Stamford, the views were amazing a well cool place,

ger_003.jpg

Then we moved onto a bar called Loof which was basically the open rooftop of a building and by the time we left there i was a bit smashed but it was great craic and it was brill to have met up with Anne again..

Day 3 was leaving day but not til that night so we checked out and went to see if i could clear the hangover... so we headed to Raffles Hotel!!

ger_005.jpg

Fab hotel its like a mini complex we fitted in perfectly with our smelly travellers shorts and t-shirts! but hey i wasnt leaving without seeing it..
Singapore is a lovely place mind funny though that some of their new architecture is copied from other cities around the world - in the process of building a Singapore Eye and this was there attempt at the Sydney Opera House..

ger_004.jpg

Flight that night was to Cairns via Darwin and back to some old haunts from 9 years ago with the girls!!

Posted by geranddebs 02:45 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Cambodia - Phnom Penh

sunny 38 °C
View Round the World on geranddebs's travel map.

We arrived at Phnom Penh by bus it cost us $10 but took about 5-6 hours, we were gonna get the boat but it cost $25 for the same length of time but there was a risk that we may have to get out and push as the water levels were very low..
Bus was grand though and we arrived at our acomodation the Bright lotus hotel no bother.. tuk tuks once more all over the place and on one of the days i counted 27 times i got asked did i want to avail of their services... intel wants to get those boys on the payroll for efficiency!

We headed first to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda - well they were right outside our hotel we could see them from our balcony so it wasnt much of a hike to get to..but yes you guessed it the ladies had to cover up once more... getting tedious at this stage! So myself and Jane had to "borrow" a tshirt and very flattering skirt from the offices and leave a fiver deposit in case we stole them... hilarious, the skirt alone i could have wrapped round myself and Ger twice..

DSC_1364_1_.jpg

The palace itself was gorgeous gold everywhere and even a few disco buddhas knocking about in the temples and altars around it - no photos were allowed but it was a buddha with a kaleidascope headress, neon lights and looked ike something out of Jamie and his magic torch or the magic roundabout...lol

IMG_1046.jpg

We headed out for dinner that night to a place called Friends - was well cool as it is actually run by street kids who have been brought in and trained in skills to help them get jobs etc, food was super though and highly recommend it!

Day 2 in Phnom Penh was a very somber one as we visited the Tuol Sleng S-21 detention facility and the killing Fields used by the Kymer Rouge. Tuol Sleng used to be a primary school before it was taken over and housed 17000 prisoners who were tortured and beaten and eventually ended up being brought to the killing fields (Choeung Ek) as their final resting place.. so sad and extremely moving especially knowing that this all happened in our lifetime from 1975 and only 7 people survived out of the 17000...

IMG_0907.jpg

Day 3 we went across the road again from our rooms to the national museum, this was grand but to be honest it was more of a relief to get out of the heat in the afternoon, happy hour didnt start til 5 so we had to kill some time..i started getting creative with my new camera i bought (canon IOS 400D) in the grounds thinking i was on report for the National Geographic what you reckon, i love the close up feature - sad eh!

IMG_0841.jpg

The local was called the FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club) and it was a great spot right on the riverfront and the cocktails were fab..even Andy succumb to a few long island ice tea ( posh del boy lol)

IMG_0989.jpg

Along the riverfront you could also spot sambo the elephant who got taken out for his daily walk each evening into the busy traffic for an aul stretch of the legs!

IMG_1057.jpg

On our visist to the national museum we had been told that the commotion outside our hotel all day was because the king was coming to visit as it was the start/festival for ploughing - how cool was that he arrived right outside our door the following morning, along with 50 odd ambassadors of other coutries and countless security men... we went out on our balcony to take photos but in about 5 secs flat there were guards hollering from below and coming up the stairs after us to put us back in our appt! but we still mananged to sneak some...well it was the king of Cambodia after all..heehee

IMG_1043.jpg

The weather had been roasting but a storm had been threatening for a few hours and eventually it arrived.. just about the same time me and Ger decided to head out to see the markets and for a bit of a stroll! It was class though, pink lightening was seen - not sure if thats real but we were told it was.. and lads on the back of motorbikes were water skiing down the roads in their flip flops because the roads had flooded so quickly..mind you there was a few lads not happy that still had to work as usually when it rians its an excuse to close up and go party in the rain! This dude was obviously on call!

IMG_1006.jpg

We headed straight for the FCC happy hour after our soaking to meet up with my friends sister Bronagh living out there and proceeded to stay there til the wee hours - fellas fault though as the liverpool match only started at 11 so we had no choice really!
So you can imagine hangovers from hell the following day - myself and Bernice took ourselves off to a posh hotel to sit by their pool and try and sleep it off while the lads watched more footie..
We had booked our flight back to Bangkok for the monday night then and stay there for a night again before we headed away to Singapore. But i have to say Cambodia was my favourite place so far the people are so friendly and have the irish craic about them - would definitely recommend it..

Posted by geranddebs 23:50 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Cambodia - Siem Reap

sunny 37 °C
View Round the World on geranddebs's travel map.

Flew to Cambodia with all the lads and had arranged to stay at the golden banana - guys were well chuffed obviously... especially since Ger had just got his hair shaved and we slagged the boys it was the sister hostel to the blue oyster! weather was roasting but rianed at nighttime - tropical wet season but apparently this thunder etc and the guard dog nature of the pets at the hostel, sent them crazy and the dogs barked all night..so we were well rested for our first day of tours around the temples..
We arranged with the hostel to book out 2 tuk tuks for the 3 days we were there to drive us all about for $13 a day per tuk tuk... pretty good seeing Ger decided to help the lads "driver 125" out for the day...

IMG_0485.jpg

We headed to the Bayon first up through the south gate of Angkor Thom, this was the temple known as faces in the forest and it was amazing...

Picture_0022.jpg

IMG_0545.jpg

And yes we went for another album cover shot inside the Bayon..

Picture_0051.jpg

On day 2 we headed away to see Angkor Wat followed by Ta Phrom..
Angkor Wat is apparently the worlds largest religious building and it is well impressive..you can walk around it, climb up and spend hours just getting lost in it, fab place for hunt or hide and seek!

IMG_0473.jpg

We even managed to get the monkey shot for you Paula here.. haha

IMG_0475.jpg

The place is full of steps, fab views and Ger even managed to conquer his fear of heights... we reckon he must have been touched by the hand of Buddha to get up and down...

Picture_0041.jpg

After lunch we headed for Ta Phrom - the tomb raider temple.. which has been left to nature and become overrun by the forest and trees..

IMG_0494.jpg

I tried to help ....

IMG_0492.jpg

In tomb raider apparently Angelina goes through a doorway followed by white butterflies?? i had Ger running around most of the afternoon after the white butterflies to get a photo of them but he didnt have his nike air on..did get the tree used though in the movie..

IMG_0507.jpg

And everywhere you looked all you could see was Big Roots!!!!

IMG_0527.jpg

And blue T-shirts!

IMG_0518.jpg

We headed back for the sunset with the other 5 thousand camera enthusiasts! Really gorgeous place though just to chill out for an hour or 2 and the locals will even sell you a beer at the top.. class!

IMG_0617.jpg

Day 3 started with sunrise at Angkor Wat at 5.15am but it was well worth it as the reflection is creates on the lake in front of Angkor Wqat was beautiful..

IMG_0643.jpg

Camera crazy that morning - was funny watching everyone trying to beat each others zoom lens!

IMG_0641.jpg

Headed out into the country more to see some temples called Banteay Srei which were like Ta Phrom but with a lot more carving detail and well cool - even though the girls tuk tuk broke down and we ended up in a cambodians family home being offered a drink first and then a mechanics garage next!

IMG_0662.jpg

IMG_0664.jpg

Sun was heading down so after we seen the temple we headed back for another fab sunset and managed to see the Terrace of Elephants and the Temple of the Leper King as well on the way..

IMG_0554.jpg

IMG_0744.jpg

Myself and Jane went shopping as well today - surprise surprise and got loads of fab stuff for the house - so cheap and it was well worth it if you can carry it!
The Golden Banana arranged our transport then from Siem reap to Phnom Penh for the following day so all 6 of us headed south...

Stay Tuned...

Posted by geranddebs 23:46 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 52) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 »