Around The World · 23 Days · 24 Moments · June 2018

Monkeys’ Australian Adventure

11 July 2018

Hello Johannesburg. It’s great to be back in South Africa and I greeted it with my traditional favourite- a mega lime milkshake from Wimpy. Our flight home was delayed, but thankfully only by an hour and not a massive delay. Goodbye Johannesburg, hello Durban. Finally home after a long but amazing journey to the other side of the world. Hopefully I’ll be back there soon and even better is if I get to see the boys more often.
Hello Abu Dhabi. We had a very uneventful flight to Abu Dhabi and I managed to get a good sleep. We refused to pay R90 for a small coffee in the airport so we got ourselves croissants from Costa where the staff generously donated the Durham we were short. We found a cool new wing in the Abu Dhabi airport, but all in all I’m just excited to be going home. Goodbye Abu Dhabi, hello Johannesburg.

10 July 2018

Our last day in Australia and am I glad we spent it in the Gold Coast. I went for a jet ski play in the river with Ol- trying to throw each other off by sharp turns but we both managed to stay on. Which worked out better as we had to sneak through the grumpy neighbours house as the deck was getting painted. Oz then took us for a walk around Burleigh Heads to get some blood flowing before our flight. Burleigh is a famous surfing beach and the walk was stunning. And with that our time in Australia was done, we packed our bag and headed to the airport. We got stuck in an hour long queue, but eventually got on the plane. Goodbye Australia, hello Abu Dhabi

9 July 2018

Our last morning in Melbourne went by in a blur. We picked our luggage and tidied the house before heading back into the city one last time. We didn’t end up seeing anything new, just shopping for the last few presents we needed before it was back to the house. We had the nicest Uber driver on the way to airport, who re-affirmed that Melbourne is a place where if you’re willing to adapt all are accepted. A thriving multi-cultural city. Overall I really enjoyed my stay, however, nothing truly stood out to me about the city therefore I much preferred the Gold Coast, which reminded me a lot of Durban- if it’s potential was truly utilised. Oz and Ol were on pick-up duty from the airport before taking us back to the Gold Coast for a braai and chat at the house.

8 July 2018

Nikita kindly offered to take us on a road trip to the Yarra Valley so that we could see the countryside around Melbourne. We first stopped in Healesville for some coffee before exploring this amazing sweet emporium. Kash got super embarrassed with my attempt to try every sweet in the store. Our next stop was at the Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory, where kash nearly went crazy at the available selection of chocolates. The factory was open to view which was really cool watching the volume of production. The last stop on our trip was Yarra Ranges, which is a wine estate owned by Nikita’s aunt and uncle who kindly gave us an amazing free lunch and wine tasting. We had to head back early as we joined Rich for church at St Jude’s Anglican Church. While waiting for the service we took a walk around Lygon Street. The service was quite good, but the church was quite happy clappy. Weirdly the church had been partly burnt down. We then joined everyone for a last goodbye at Papa Ginos.

7 July 2018

The morning started with pouring rain, which was actually quite strange because although cold, we didn’t get too much rain in Melbourne. Kash and I went exploring the South of Melbourne, namely Chapel Street which was a more upmarket hipster road. We nearly got lost getting there as the public transport in Melbourne is quite confusingly signposted. We ate lunch at a really cool Mexican restaurant Vivos before heading back into the city. Kash completely lucked out and found the Ted Baker dress she wanted last year on special. We also found a Crabtree and Evelyn that was closing down and bought some insanely cheap stuff. We took a quick coffee in the alleyways before heading to Howard’s House for his birthday party. Rich’s friends were incredibly hospitable and involved us in all of there activities, which is part of the reason our stay on Melbourne was so memorable.

6 July 2018

We couldn’t leave Australia without seeing some of their famous fauna, so a trip to the world famous Melbourne Zoo was in order. The zoo is truly top quality, with 3 tigers, a snow leopard, gorillas, elephants and all the Aussie wildlife to say the least. Kasia’s favourite were the red pandas, which aren’t actual pandas, while my favourite were the meditating lemurs. L After wandering the zoo for the morning we walked around Princes Park before walking down Sydney Road in Brunswick. Melbourne is characterised currently by grungy hipster, which results in some interesting combinations, such as a bridal shop with beautiful dresses but graffitied walls. It’s not really to my taste but I think Kash enjoyed it. Rich had singing practise in the morning so we met up with him in Newmarket Street to visit a famous local restuarant called Laksa King. They serve a traditional Asian dish called a Laksa which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. The food was amazing and well worth wai

5 July 2018

The morning started slow and Kash and I just took a walk to Newmarket Street to scout out a dinner place. The route we took to get there ran through the old stock route, which has been preserved in South Kensington making for a leafy walk through the suburb. The old stock route that we walked along was frequented by livestock drovers and their dog of choice (border collies) and was once the largest sheep auction in the world. We then took the city circle tram around the city in order to get a full view of the whole city. The tram used is a 1937 original tram, just fitted with more comfortable seats. It took us past the docks and the Melbourne Star. We jumped off at the hotel Windsor first opened before the Ritz and Savoy. We then viewed the old treasury museum, which told of Melbourne’s Gold Rush Past. We looked at St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Royal Exhibition Centre- where Rich writes exams and Brunswick Street in Fitzroy before going for drinks at world famous Naked for Satan

4 July 2018

Today is our city exploration day with Rich, we caught a train from South Kensington to Flinders Street Station which is a beautiful old train station. We then took a look inside St Paul’s Cathedral, before walking the famous Melbourne Alleyways. There are some beautiful old fresco’ed arcade such as royal arcade. Melbourne is renowned for its trams and throughout the city you can find trans running on all the streets. The city is incredibly diverse, with a broad range of Asian influences- which has made the city an interesting place to be, full with different cuisines to taste. We then visited the city hall and State Library Victoria, which is an amazing public library open to everyone. We visited the Queen Victoria Night Market for dinner and I got Mexican. The market had an amazing range of foods and was really cool. We then went to Pedipipo’s for authentic Italian gelato. The night didn’t end there as we walked to the National Gallery, shrine of remembrance and amphitheate

3 July 2018

So after being in Melbourne more frequently than any other place in Australia, we finally got to explore it. We started out by taking a walk around Kensington, which is the suburb that Rich stays in, before a quick shop on the high street. His suburbs are really cool, very leafy with lots of hipster little cafes. After lunch we went to look at Melbourne University, where we met up with Richards friend Howard. He took us on a tour around Trinity College, which is Rich’s old college. The college was absolutely amazing, like something out of a Harry Potter. Some highlights include the chapel, lounges, library and amazing dining room. We then left Howard to tour the university itself. The university was unbelievable, with each faculty having a multi-storey high rise and it’s own library facility. Truly fitting for education being the one of the largest exports. Kash and I are in separate rooms which took a little getting used to, but it’s in keeping with a Christian house.

2 July 2018

Our last day in Tasmania dawned foggy and freezing cold, so we all took a slow morning. After checking out of our Airbnb we took a walk around Cataract Gorge. The gorge is stunning, with a beautiful riverine path. We met Peter at information who was incredibly friendly and also very informative. The walk crisscrossed suspension bridges before circling at Australia’s first ever hydroelectric power station. We took our lunch at the gorge and nearly got attacked by peacocks. We then drove to Evandale which is a very historical old town. There was nothing much going on in the town which was unfortunate and most shops were closed. We still had time so we went to go see the wedding venue of the wedding Richard attended. On the drive there, much to our amusement, we drove through Perth- that being the town and not the city. Josef Chromy, a wine estate, was the reception venue and that was very beautiful. Tasmania very much reminds me of the midlands, a beautiful but sleepy place.

1 July 2018

I dropped Rich off for coffee before Kash and I went to the nearby Freelands lookout. We then went back into Launceston to look at the other attractions we missed. We visited Albert Hall and park which had Macao’s and ironically was where rich had his church service. We then took a walk to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum which was very detailed for a small city. The last of the Tasmanian Tiger is especially sad, being hunted to extinction for trophies. We collected Rich then took a drive to Hobart, which is on the Southern side of the island. We stopped at the MONA for lunch before moving on to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens- which had the only subantarctic biome in the world. The gardens were stunning. We drove through to central Hobart to explore and find a place for dinner. Some sites we visited included St David’s cathedral and park, Hobart piers and docks and parliament buildings. After dark it was too cold to continue exploring, so we went for pizzas Hearth

30 June 2018

We had an early start to our morning in order to catch our flight to Tasmania. There was much fussing and faffing but we got to the airport perfectly on time. Goodbye Melbourne, hello Tasmania. Richard, Caroline and Thomas had a wedding on in the evening, so kash and I were left to our own devices. We explored the town of Launceston where we ran into an incredibly friendly Scottish man who told us a whole lot of historical information about Launceston. We shopped around for a little bit and by a complete fluke, I found a suit that fits me perfectly in the Meyer- who thought that I’d ever go suit shopping in Tasmania. We decided to just have an eat in dinner at home, although this didn’t go quite according to plan as firstly we forgot to buy cooking oil and then the two plate wouldn’t heat properly. Our Airbnb was very cool, with the most comfortable bed ever. It also had an electric massage chair which was put to good use. Second only to the heaters, because nights were freezing

29 June 2018

The morning started perfectly calm and sunny, so jet skiing was a must. We fuelled up and we’re ready to go. We both took a speed pass down to the bridge before going tubing. Kash had a bad crash, but otherwise it was a blast. Our flight was unfortunately delayed, which caused Rich no end of drama- but allowed for extra jet skiing. We arrived in Melbourne to a cold and blustery day, but we’re ready for our next adventure. Rich’s house is amazing, most definitely not what you’d consider a normal student apartment. We had dinner with his housemate Thomas, his girlfriend Helen and his mother Caroline.

28 June 2018

Today’s finally a sailing day, after various delays in getting the boat ready. After a miserable looking forecast, the day actually turned out to be a stunner. Kash and I discovered quite quickly though the type of sailing that appeals to us, as the broadwater was completely calm but the sea was choppy. We had a dolphin follow us out from the harbour as we went looking for whales. We found a pod of humpback whales but had barely started enjoying them when kash and I started feeling horrendously seasick. She ended up getting her christening at sea but I managed to hold out. We returned back to the broadwater and sailed towards Brisbane where we spent an awesome afternoon in the estuary fishing, lunching and just enjoying the riverine scenery off South Stradbroke Island. The fishing didn’t earn us any fish, but there was an osprey gliding around our boat which more than made up for it.

27 June 2018

We jumped up early for a trip into Brisbane for the day. We caught the train from Nerang station to Brisbane Central, which was loads of fun as we were able to see the city from a completely different angle. We then took a wander around central Brisbane finding a stunning centre called the Brisbane Arcade and this cute little church that seemed forgotten in time. After a session of usual bickering, we decided on Grilled which is a super tasty upmarket McDonald’s. After lunch we visited the Queensland Art Museum where Kasia managed to find a Picasso and we saw the floating balls artwork. We then visited the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) which completely escaped us all as art connoisseurs. It started pouring with rain so we took a City Cat, which is the city ferry to escape the rain and get a riverine view. We hooped off the ferry at one of Australia’s famous sandstone universities, Queensland University, which was stunning. Ollie nearly missed our return train and a gelato shop for

26 June 2018

We went jet skiing first thing in the morning, where I promptly got thrown into the middle of sharkville by Ollie who decided to show off his 360 skills. We then took out the tube for a quick race up and down the river- it was an absolute blast getting thrown around at full speed. Both kash and I ended up in the river on one occasion. After lunch we took a visit to ..........??? We promptly found the Uniqlo and got shopping. I found a massive department store which had massive sales and managed to score two cheap pullovers. We stopped off at Infinity World, which is a maze like store filled with crazy lighting and mirrors before a quick ice-cream at Cold Rock. The ice-cream was amazing, a combination of mint with Oreo mixed in and cookies and cream with cookie dough. Dinner was a fantastic braai with everyone and overall a super fun day.

25 June 2018

The first supposedly rainy day started out looking ominous, but we had beach planned so we pushed ahead. The day cleared up beautifully, with the sea being stunning. We took a walk back along the beach before stopping for some coffee at Capri. We had to collect Ollie in the evening so we then took a drive down along the coast. Stopping to do some shopping on Jameson Street in Burleigh. We then stopped at Currumbin where we took a walk up Elephant Rock to admire the sunset. We collected Ollie from Coolangatta Airport, before driving back (and getting lost). Nat and I made this fantastic limeade before just chilling and chatting for the rest of the evening.

24 June 2018

The day started off slow with us taking a walk around the neighbourhood and going to this amazing local supermarket for a coffee. They had an amazing range of delicious looking food, but nothing is cheap, with coffee coming in at $5. The Gold Coast is amazing though, with every island connected by canal, making for beautiful views. We got home and took the jet ski out, taking it for a spin to get some coffee- then out past the marina and to the lagoon heads. I managed to tip us all into the water going at about 10 mph and kash reached a terrified 60mph, it was harder to tell who was more scared, her or us. Once we dropped kash off Richard and I went back out and had a ton of fun racing through the curves at 45 mph. We had a chilled dinner at home, with Rich making us Tom Yum.

23 June 2018

Off to the boat. We could not believe how big it was when we saw it in the dry docks on arrival in Australia and finally being able to explore it properly was really cool. It’s called Shabeen, because Oz and Nat have started a little brewery onboard during their free time. We had to clean it, which wasn’t the greatest but it turned into a giant chat session and ended up being great fun- with pizzas, Champagne and homemade nail polish remover to finish it off. It was Oz and Nat’s seven year anniversary, so we all went out to this amazing local steakhouse called hurricanes for dinner. I absolutely gouged myself on a full rack of ribs and kash a pork belly- just like home. Could not believe the prices though, 56 dollars for ribs...

22 June 2018

Slept in till 1:30, cannot believe it- apparently jet lag is a real thing. We then took a run from the marina back to the house, where I promptly lost 50 AUD. It was ironic though because first kash lost 50 AUD but went back and found it, then rich dropped 20 AUD and a jogger brought it back to us, before I dropped mine and it disappeared into the shrubbery. The beachfront is amazing, clean and incredibly well maintained with a market and exercise equipment along the promenade. Gold Coast is like a mini Vegas, with a very strong American theme. It’s a bit sad though, because it is very much what durban should have been like. We cooked dinner, well mainly Richard, a Thai yellow curry which was divine.

21 June 2018

Had a fantastic sleep thanks to an empty flight, so a row free for both kash and I. Kash was freaking out with Australian immigration but we’re finally here- on the other side of the world and freezing. Goodbye Melbourne, hello Brisbane ✈️ There was nothing memorisable about the flight but the warm air meeting us was bliss. We lost Rich originally, but through luck and some glitchy WiFi found him waiting with a welcome flag. We visited the Shabeen on the way back from the airport as she was dry docked for a few days for repairs. The yacht is huge, much bigger than I was envisaging. Finally it was time for the end of our journeying and we arrived at 7 Florence Court, Surfers Paradise, 4217, Queensland, Australia. The house is very nice, with a beautiful view of the canal. After saying hi to everybody, we took a much needed chill. We shopped at the Australian Woolworths, which has the wrong logo but is quite nice before trying out the electric bike.
Arrived in Abu Dhabi to a tasty breakfast. The colouring book has already gotten its first use on the flight over- but it looks like it could take forever to finish. Goodbye Abu Dhabi, hello Melbourne ✈️

19 June 2018

The trip started out slowly, with trouble at check-in but we’re finally on the first leg of our Australian adventure. I bought a colouring book to keep me entertained which was much to the amusement of the other shoppers. Goodbye Durban, hello Johannesburg ✈️ No emergency exit for us this time, which sucks- but we managed to snap up some pretty snazzy seats. Johannesburg passport control was an absolute nightmare. I got my colouring book after all that, so let’s see how it goes. Goodbye Johannesburg, hello Abu Dhabi ✈️