Around The World ·
84 Days ·
93 Moments ·
22 March 2019
Our final day in paradise was bittersweet to say the least but we attempted to make the most of it falling into our routine of the bakery breakfast & Nescafé
Walking to Mirissa Beach, we ventured up Parrot Rock while the tide was out and the crowds were low & afterwards stationed ourselves on the beach for a final few hours of sun and fun in the waves 🌊 We both ended up with farewell sunburns 🥵
We grabbed an early supper & at 6PM caught our 3hr ‘taxi’ to Colombo airport. Keith flys to Nepal at midnight and I start the journey home at 2AM ✈️ making this my final post, as my journi has now come to an end (& I would rather forget the next 30hrs+ of travel)
And with that, after 3 months of successfully postponing adulting and travelling 4 countries with bae and friends, it’s time to head back to Canada and to reality.
Wishing good luck to Keith on his onward travels, wish I was continuing to adventure alongside you my love 👫🌏 Already dreaming of the next adventure, cheers!
21 March 2019
With the streets bustling once again, we were able to grab our bakery breakfast of jam puffs, rotti and coffee before catching the bus to Weligama for another morning of surfing 🏄♀️🏄🏿
3 days of surfing in a row had us both feeling a little sore, with myself getting a little slopping which led to a decent fall where I rolled over the board fins, luckily they didn’t pierce skin and just left me with some bruises, battle wounds 💁🏼♀️
We lounged at Weligama Beach post-surf for a bit before heading back to Marissa for lunch. Mid afternoon we walked to Coconut Tree Hill 🥥 a picturesque oceanside spot completely covered with tall coconut trees, be sure to cover your head here!
Our last evening in Marissa, we grabbed beers on the way to the beach and took in a final beachside sunset 🌅 after which we spent the evening playing crib, and I’m happy to announce I have won our 3-month long battle 30-26 💃🏼🤷🏻♂️
20 March 2019
Although a bit hungover this morning, we rallied and set out for a bakery breakfast ~7AM however, we didn’t realize today was a holiday, full moon day 🌕, meaning all the Sri Lanka-owned stores/ restaurants are closed..
A little hungry we powered on walking to *not-so* Secret Beach 🏝 Luckily our early start meant we had it to ourselves for about an hour, but as tourists started to arrive we took it as a sign to leave.
Back on the main road we grabbed a coffee at Seabreans and caught the bus back to Weligama Beach where we surfed again 🏄♀️ Gassed from the effort of surfing we sought shelter during peak UV hanging at the beach for the afternoon before making our way back to Marissa.
We spent the afternoon taking it easy and popping into a few shops before grabbing pizza at Seabreans 🍕 Post-supper we started the final purge of our bags as Keith readies himself for Nepal and me for home, only a couple days left.. where have the 3 months gone?!
19 March 2019
The early evening led to an early morning, enjoying coffee in bed we finished our movie from last night before heading out to grab a bakery breakfast ☕️
Walking the few kms to Weligama Beach where we rented a couple surf boards and took to the white water waves 🏄♀️ It was a lot of fun and Keith was a quick learner, able to pop up on his board fairly quickly/ easily, very blue crush 💁🏻♂️
Not a very swimmable beach due to all the beginner surfers, we tuk-tuked back to Marissa and after tabbing lunch lazed at Marissa Beach for the afternoon, periodically dipping in for a frolic in the waves 🌊
With only a few more days left we planned to do a ‘date night’ meaning drinks and not eating cheapy Sri Lankan food. We grabbed a couple drinks and played crib at Oasis before venturing to the beach for sunset 🌅 We grabbed beachside fish burgers at Zephyr Bar and ice cream at Food City before heading back to Oasis for more cards, nice to pause backpacker life for a minute, felt half norma
18 March 2019
Scooter-less but still wanting to beach for the morning, we set out on foot back to Silent Beach to enjoy the morning in the sun but not the water; the waves at this beach are unforgiving 🌊
Back at Muthu mid-morning to cleanup and checkout we made our way to Tangalle’s main bus station, catching bus 32 🚌 bound for Marissa, the more popular and touristic Sri Lankan beach town 🏝 A fairly easy (& cheap) commute, we arrived mid-afternoon and ditching our bags at Oasis Marissa despite power being out, we headed to Marissa Beach, a short 10min walk away 👙
Soaking in a few UVs before an impending thunderstorm rolled in, we headed back to Oasis, picking up beers at the wine shop on the way and played crib on our patio while it poured 🌧
Venturing out for supper, we enjoyed rice and curry yet again as well as Kuttu although, I am getting a little sick of Sri Lanka food
Our area seems to be keen for power outages and while we tried to watch a movie, loss of power forced an early night
17 March 2019
Continuing with our beach bumming ways, we were up even earlier today and set out in our morning routine of scooting to a beach cafe on Tangalla Beach, our take away breakfast of coconut pancakes in hand 🥥
Today was a cracker, the sun sizzling our skin requiring frequent dips in the ocean for a frolic amongst the waves 🌊 We took shelter under our umbrella during peak UV eating our veggie rotti and playing some crib however, feeling risky we both plaid back out in the sun afterwards resulting in my first slight sunburn 🥵 Keith on the other hand without any sunscreen was luckier, but he has officially crossed over 💁🏻♂️💁🏽♂️💁🏾♂️💁🏿♂️
Growing restless mid afternoon we beach hopped, popping over to Goyambokka Beach which was lovely but a bit more crowded than Tangalla 🏝
A quick shower at Muthu to rinse off the sand and we set out for supper back at Ceylon Express grabbing a couple beers in celebration of Paddy’s Day ☘️
16 March 2019
Enjoying ourselves so much yesterday, today essentially became a repeat. Bound for a beachside coffee, we headed out early and posted up at our same spot on Tangalla Beach, picking up our to-go coconut pancake breakfast on the way 🏝
We stayed here for the day sunning, swimming (Keith loves a good frolic) and snoozing. Keith scooted away at mid-day to pick up lunch at our new fave locals spot and we grabbed another highly reviewed and yummy supper at Mango Shake.
We took a break from crib tonight and just watched a movie instead. The heat from the day catching up with us, we were asleep early, ready to repeat it all again tomorrow
15 March 2019
The beaching begins ☀️🏝👙 and although it’s bittersweet because the beaches also signify the beginning of the end of my trip, I’m putting that out of mind for now and instead layering on the sunscreen ready to soak up the sun, waves and beaching good times that remain with Keith.
Finally having a room with a/c lead to a needed restful night and after a mini sleep in, we rented a scooter from Muthu 🛴 and headed to Tangalla Beach 🏝
We settled on a pair of chairs under an umbrella and sipped coffee while eating to-go coconut pancakes. The waves here while still big, are much more frolic-friendly. We spent the entire day, 9-5 relaxing in the sun, sharing time between the sand and water 🌊 It’s so peaceful here, utterly relaxing 😎
We scooted to Ceylon Express for an early and delicious Sri Lankan dinner before picking up some drinks, playing crib on our patio into the evening. Although wiped from the sun, we avoided sunburns, can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow ☀️
14 March 2019
Up early we scoffed down a hearty breakfast and set out on our Jeep Safari at Udawalawa National Park. We had great luck on our safari, while no leopards, we saw dozens of wild elephants 🐘 from babies to tuskers, to an elephant family having a swim w/ water buffalo, It was amazing! We also saw crocodiles 🐊 a golden jackal, lizards & tons of birds🦅
Once back from the safari, we hurriedly grabbed our packs and caught the locals bus to Tangalle. 2hrs+ in a sweat box getting sunburned through the windows, but only $0.75 so considered a win 🚌 Arriving in Tangalla we grabbed lunch at a locals spot and caught a tuk-tuk to Muthu Resort*, our spot for the next 4 nights.
Dropping our bags we set out to catch remaining UVs, walking to Silent Beach, a picturesque white sand oasis riddled w/ palm trees & unforgiving waves 🌊 We got rocked a few times and dragged along the sand but can’t phase us, we’re just happy to be beaching it for the next week 🏝 although.. it is the LAST week of our tr
13 March 2019
Feeling like we have more or less conquered Ella we took a lazy morning, enjoying a later breakfast of coconut pancakes before packing our bags for the move to Udawalawa. A final rail road track walk into town to pick up a lunch for the road, vegetable rotti of course, we met our tuk tuk heading south to the Udawalawe National Park.
We made it fairly easily after a few hours and even saw a wild elephant on our way, before arriving at Splendid Lake Safari Homestay, finnnnally a homestay that looks legit! Situated on a lake, we ventured down and watched a local fish as we played crib.
We opted for dinner at our homestay and am SO happy we did, definitely our best meal in Sri Lanka so far! Five curry and rice is a common dish here and our host outdid herself, Keith ate three plates full!
A food coma and early night followed as we have an early rise tomorrow for our Safari at the National Park 🐘
12 March 2019
In an attempt to beat the tourists in addition to the heat, we were up and out just after 7AM walking the few kms along the tracks back to Nine Arch Bridge.
The cooler mornings (~24C) are a nice add, allowing us to arrive at the bridge without sweating for a change 💦 With other tourist (like us) preferring to hike earlier in the day, we had the bridge mostly to ourselves.
We set back out on the tracks toward town as tourist started to show up to watch the train pass, making sure to jump off the tracks in time for the train to barrel past us
We grabbed coffee & wandered through shops before picking up some samosas & vegetable rotti from our locals spot and making our way back for the afternoon. The extreme UV had me opting for the shade but jealous of Keith sitting in the sun getting tanner by the minute, I caved and after only 20min, my arms were burned 🔥
Walking back into town for supper at Chill, we also picked up our fave Murukku (cassava) chips to go with a movie in bed
11 March 2019
In an attempt to beat the heat, we started earlier today and after our coffee, coconut pancakes and hoppers, we headed to the tracks bound for Little Adams Peak.
It was ~5km along the tracks, through town and along tea plantations before reaching the base of Little Adams Peak, followed by a short burst of stairs before reaching the top. We both preferred today’s views to yesterday because from LAP you actually get to admire Ella Rock, which is even more impressive from the front than it was from on top.
We headed to Nine Arches Bridges next however, with a train coming soon, it was riddled with tourists. We stayed to watch the train pass but plan to go back early tomorrow morning when we hope it’s quieter.
Wiped from the heat & peak UVs, we grabbed some Rotti and headed back to our spot where we binged a Do & Lou recco Dirty John annnd now Keith and I are a bit paranoid 🙈
Back to Matley Hut for supper we had a quiet night continuing out Dirty John binge, which we finished 🙈
10 March 2019
A beautiful sunny morning here in Ella amplified just how lovely it is to be nestled amongst the green rolling hills and tea plantations. Enjoying breakfast at our homestay we took in the views from our ‘patio’ before taking our makeshift map (drawn by the homestay owner) and heading out along the train tracks in search of Ella Rock 🍃
Only getting slightly lost along the way we made it to the top of Ella Rock, a tougher hike than I initially thought (likely due to the midday heat) but it’s nice to be moving in the outdoors again! Plus, the views were totally worth it!
We sat on the cliffs edge and replenished water before making the trek back down, stopping by our spot to shower before continuing along the train tracks into town for a late lunch at Chill House.
We relaxed the afternoon / early evening back at our spot, allowing the temperature to cool before heading back into town for a late bite of Rotti wraps which required walking along the train tracks in complete darkness
9 March 2019
Today we take the “most beautiful train ride in the world” from Kandy to Ella, or so we hope we will, we still don’t have tickets 🙈
With reserve seats recently able to be booked online, guaranteed seats on this iconic train trip were well sold out. Although not ideal, we decided to try and buy unreserved tickets the day of and hope we get a seat for the 6hr journey, otherwise we’ll be standing..
A 3hr tuk-tuk brought us to Peradeniya Station, one stop before Kandy where we felt we had a better shot of getting a seat as other tourists in our situation would likely board from Kandy. It worked and we got seats without hassle, settling in for the journey.
Scenic yes, with rolling tea plantations as far as the eye can see however, a bit over hyped. A great/ cheap way to get to Ella but you are confided to your seats the entire time or else risk losing them.
We arrived in Ella by early evening, grabbed supper and played crib. Excited to settle into Ella for a few nights
8 March 2019
Finally feeling rested and ready to start fully appreciating Sri Lanka, we grabbed breakfast and an early tuk tuk to Sigiriya, a small town a few hours away. With wild elephants 🐘 plentiful in numbers here, we quickly learned just how likely it is to spot one on your daily commute as we passed a very a patient very much wild elephant, waiting to cross the road.
Arriving at Elephant Trio Homestay by late morning, we set out for Pidurangala Rock, a fairly step yet short climb on top a massive rock mountain that delivered unobstructed views of the Sri Lankan valleys as well as Lions Rock. With only a few other tourists at the top, we enjoyed the peace and quiet we lacked in India.
Keith’s belly dictated an early departure but we decided to return for sunset and I’m so glad we did! Although we sacrificed climbing Lions Rock, Pidurangala is definitely the best views in Sigiriya as you get sunset not only over the forest/ mountains, but over Lions Rock as well 🦁
7 March 2019
The nonstop commuting is taking its toll and although we slept until 9:30 I still woke groggy. We had a massive (complementary) breakfast at the hotel where we are the only guests.. 😳 after which we headed to a bike rental place where we planned to rent bikes and explore the Polonnaruwa ruins.
We started at Council Chamber of Nissankamalla which while almost completely demolished was still beautiful with greenery to one side and a lake to the other. From here the confusion started as we tried to find the Royal Palace
After an hour of biking around and two trips to the museum, we finally figured out how to buy tickets to the main ruins site. However, more expensive than the Taj we opted to pass and bike into town instead.
Back at the hostel mid afternoon we napped and had a homemade supper, Nutella, bananas and bread playing crib in the main ‘communal’ area until the bugs got to bad and we called it heading to bed.
6 March 2019
With India complete, today was another full travel day as we head to my final country for this trip, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Although it was a long travel day, it went fairly smoothly for a change! After grabbing breakfast at the hotel, we tuk-tuked to the Airport Express Metro and caught the subway direct to Terminal 3 of the airport. Once through security and immigration we grabbed a bite (western as KFC) and before we knew it were boarding our flight to Colombo.
Over the transit issues we had experienced in India, we had pre-booked a car transfer that upon arriving in Colombo immediately hit the road for the 4hr drive to Polonnaruwa. Although arriving late, I had informed the “hotel” however, upon arriving ~11PM the property was dark with no one in sight..
Our driver woke up a random worker who let us into our room and we finally were done with this long travel day, or so we thought... I blew a fuse forcing Keith to go wake the random man again as the 30C night requires a/c
5 March 2019
Today we saw the crown jewel of India, the Taj Mahal, as one of the seven wonders of the world, it was pretty marvellous!
Although tired from a hectic travel day, we got up at 5:30AM in hopes of catching sunrise at the Taj. Waking the short Kilometer from Aman Homestay we easily picked up our tickets and got in the East Gate Entrance lineup, which was smaller than I expected, only about 100 people. The gates opened after only 15mins and we made our way in without hassle, going at sunrise before tour buses arrive is definitely worth it!
Passing through a gate we got the famous view of the exquisite Taj Mahal sitting at the end of a straight line of greenery and turquoise fountains ⛲️ With the tourists all crowding here for the classic shot, we headed to the west side knowing that the sun would soon rise over top of the Taj. What’s nice about the Taj is that it’s perfectly symmetrical, meaning it doesn’t matter where you stand to admire it, every angle is stunning!
We stayed on the west side of the Taj for a few hours, until the sun had risen over it with patience paying off as we managed to have scattered moments to ourselves in between the movement of tourists.
Once the sun was up we headed up onto the Taj to go through the mausoleum, once again, it was stunning. Taking 20,000+ artisans 20 years to complete, the grandness and detail of the ivory marble marvel leaves you in awe. We toured through and then headed down to the east side where the sun was shinning on the ivory marble, illuminating the marble.
Hungry, we said goodbye to the Taj and hopped in a tuk-tuk bound for a place our bellies welcomed, McDonalds 🍔 With an evening train, we relaxed back at the hostel, making our way to a cafe mid afternoon to sip coffees and play crib. On a western food kick we ordered Dominos 🍕 for supper and although yet another delay to our train, arrived to our hotel in Delhi ~11PM. Although hectic, the Taj was the perfect farewell to India 🇮🇳
4 March 2019
After 2.5 months of travelling, we finally had the day where everything went to shit and the sooner it is forgotten the better.. but in summary:
•Arrived at the the airport 2hrs early to deal with SpiceJet credit card issue, Staff weren’t even at the airport yet... 🤦🏼♀️
•Flight got 4hrs delayed ✈️
•When finally arrived in Delhi we hustled to catch a bus, metro and then ran to the New Delhi Rail Station to buy train tickets to Agra, Apparently foreigners aren’t allowed to buy train tickets at the station 👎🏼
•Tuk Tuked to the DTCC in downtown Delhi to buy our train tickets, ALL trains to Agra are sold out 🚊
•ALL buses are also sold out 🚌
•With hands tied at 6PM, forced to fork over waaaaay too much money for a taxi to Agra 💰
•Arrived in Agra at 11PM, straight to bed because we have a 5AM wake up for sunrise at the Taj 😴
3 March 2019
The storm from last night left overcast skies and a chill to the air, taking advantage of the deserts weather day today turned into an off day, and with Keith and Is onset of a case of Delhi belly, it was needed!
With a single English channel on our TV we lounged in bed most of the day watching movies taking periodic breaks to wander up to the rooftop restaurant for a bite and play crib while sipping tea under blankets.
Fighting the fact that had Delhi belly, we ate a Paneer for supper, safe to say that will be our last bit of Indian food for the trip..
2 March 2019
Continuing deeper into Thar Desert, we arrived at our camels and hopping on, we were off! Well Keith’s and Is camels were anyway & with no reins or clue how to ride a camel, we waited for the wranglers to catch/ save us 🐪💨
With visibility nonexistent due to the wind picking up to what a westerner would consider a sandstorm, we set out, my camel leading the entire way ~1.5hrs without anyone guiding her.
Arriving at our dune-side “site” we began to realize just how non-touristy this tour was as all that was there was metal cots and blankets, making the current weather problematic. The camel men made a “shelter” for the night consisting of a tarp on top of our cots 😳 prompting the group to start discussing our options.
Influenced by the rain, we decided after our campfire supper to head back to Jaisalmer (by Jeep) escaping just as massive lightening storm rolled in ⛈ Not an ideal day but hey, I rode a camel and at least I had a dry/ warm sleep!
Allowing ourselves to sleep in, we were in better spirits and although overcast with on/off rain (a rarity for this desert town) we headed to the streets to explore Jaisalmer.
The sand coloured block style buildings with flat roofs look to like the sight of an epic high speed chase scene. Below them, a mismatch of filthy stone & dirt roads/ alleyways buzzing with people and animals of all kinds, including a less than docile bull cow that charged at Keith, thank goodness for his cat like reflexes, he was able to dodge the horns 🐮
Back at Swan Hostel we geared up for our desert overnight safari however, rather ill prepared as we never anticipated it to be this cold (~11C) or rainy in the desert 🌵
Our group of seven squeezed into a Jeep and set out for the desert 🚙 Taking a pit stop at the “empty village,” we walked along ruins of what use to be a sizeable community whose only residents now are goats 🐐 & wild peacocks 🦚
1 March 2019
Enjoying morning coffee on the terrace before checking out, we headed to Masala Chowk for a final time before leaving Jaipur. Keith hasn’t been feeling too hot so he didn’t eat but I enjoyed a few yummies 😋 before we caught an Uber to the airport.
A fairly easy travel day became a bit of a shitshow thanks to SpiceJet’s archaic procedures requiring original credit card for check-in and because I received a replacement MasterCard months ago it was the END of the world 🤦🏼♀️ Lots of arguing and waiting later, we sorted things out however, only after giving photocopies of my July bank statement, credit card & passport..sketchy.
The rest of the travel was easy and before we knew it we were enjoying a free upgrade at Swan Hostel in Jaisalmer, a desert town fairly close to the Pakistan boarder. Despite the emerging rather tense situation between India and Pakistan, we’re planning to ride camels out into the desert tomorrow and sleep overnight🌵
28 February 2019
They say the hectic craziness of India catches up with you and after a couple flat out days in Jaipur, we were feeling pretty wiped so we took a quiet morning to ourselves on the patio with coffees before heading back to Masala Choke for lunch. After sampling more street food including Dosa, Sevpuri Patasi, etc. we headed to Gatore Ki Chhatriyan.
Located in the foothills of Nahargarh Fort, this site hosts Rajasthani royalty including the Kachhwaha Rajputs. The dome-topped cenotaphs were absolutely stunning and with only a few other tourists around, this place is an absolute gem tucked away from the craziness of Jaipur, it’s certainly off the beaten path.
Grabbing a late lunch at Pink Moustache, we headed back for our last night at Wanderers Nest where we helped prepare Dal Makhani & Chapati. We capped off the evening around the bonfire making friends with our hostel mates as Jass made his famous and wildly intricate fire chai 🔥
27 February 2019
Although up early, we had to wait for the sun to burn off the smog. After enjoying breakfast and coffee at the hostel we set out for the highly anticipated Amer Fort. Just minutes outside the core craziness of Pink City, we found ourselves gawking at this impressive hilltop fort, it’s yellow marble gleaming in the sunshine ☀️
We made our way up the winding walkway among roaming elephants 🐘 carrying tourists less inclined to walk. Although very touristy, we wandered in and out of chambers, managing to find a quiet place to set up the tripod, successfully avoiding the 5,000 rupee fee requested by a guard looking for an easy payday.
Scoping out a crumbling section of fort wall adjacent to the main fort, we left and headed there Despite some questioning looks from locals we we left alone and after climbing the steep sketchy stairs to a landing, were rewarded with unobstructed views of Amer Fort, free of guards, locals or tourists, just us and some goats 🐐
We walked from the base of Amer Fort to Stepwell Panama Meena which while cool and unlike anything I’ve seen, was fairly overrated as you aren’t allowed to go down into the stepwell without bribing the guard.
Continuing with our fort hopping, we caught a tuk-tuk to Nahargarh Fort which unfortunately has lost of its traditional characteristics through commercialization as there was a fake roaring tiger 🐯 at the entrance and even a food court, felt very Disney like. Higher up than Amer, this Fort did offer great views of Jaipur, allowing us to appreciate just how vast the city is.
We grabbed lunch at Masala Chowk, a regulated outside street food market tasting many different types of traditional eats, won’t be our last time there! After a brief hour of downtime back at the hostel, we headed into Pink City for an evening food tour, sampling dishes from many different vendors locals style. All was delicious, especially the Lassi at our last stop, a local sweet shop 🥛
26 February 2019
Taking advantage of waking up in the Pink City, we dropped our bags to storage and were out the Zostel door by 8AM. Walking to Tattoo Cafe situated opposite Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace), we enjoyed a coffee and preview of of the palace . Still early, we hit the few open bazaar shops to pickup some Indian attire before palace hopping, and just like that, in his kurta, Keith transformed into a local.
Once geared up, we headed to Hawa Mahal and purchased a composite ticket, providing access to Jaipur’s main attractions for 2-days. The pale pink marble and intricate hard-carved details of this multilevel palace were memorizing with the upper levels overlooking Jantar Mantar, our next stop.
After a short walk dodging scooters, cows 🐄 & camels 🐪 we arrived at the world’s largest stone sundial, dating back to 1700s. The vast enormity of Jantar Mantar’s pale yellow stone structures makes you forget you’re amongst a functioning sundial accurate within 3 seconds.
Opting out of the pricey & supposedly overrated City Palace, we ate lunch at Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar before wandering along Johari Bazar to haggle with vendors as we built up our Indian wardrobe. While at first the locals thought Keith was Brazilian, Mexican or Portuguese, by the end they were genuinely surprised he wasn’t also local #likealocal
Venturing outside the Pink City, we walked to Albert Hall Museum, stopping along the way as locals requested pictures with me. Blonde, blue-eyed and approaching 6’ is rare here, sadly as handsome as he looked, they passed on pictures with Keith 📸
After a full day on our feet, we made our way to our new hostel, Wanderers Nest, a small guesthouse run by local family, I couldn’t be happier things fell through at Zostel! We quickly signed up for the free evening cooking class and before we knew it were whipping up Mattar Paneer & Chapatis like pros. We ate family-style on the floor with everyone ending the night with fire chai 🔥☕️
25 February 2019
Still wanting to check out Chia Buddy restaurant, we headed there earlish in search of an Indian breakfast. Nothing seems to start too early here in Indian, so despite arriving after open, none of the backed goods were ready for eating. Instead we enjoyed some more traditional breakfast dishes (e.g., rice roll w/ beans & pita bread with curry/ lentil dip) and just before leaving a few of the baked goods were ready, so we packed some up for later at the airport.
A LONG day of transit, we arrived in Jaipur and to our hostel without any issue however, despite booking a private room months ago, Zostel had somehow managed to overbook us. After arguing and some frustration, they comped us two beds in an 8-person dorm for the night (free of charge). Wiped from the travel day, we settled in and started looking at our options for stay elsewhere for the remainder of our time in Jaipur. Keith came across a few options so we’ll see where we end of sleeping tomorrow!
24 February 2019
Up to enjoy a final home cooked breakfast we stuffed ourselves with coconut pancakes 🥥 and baked bananas 🍌 This little homestay was the most perfect way to ease into India, thoroughly exceeding my expectations!
Catching the 9AM train back to Ernakulam station, Kochi we dropped our bags at the hotel and headed to catch the boat jetty to Fort Kochi for an afternoon wandering along the outdoor Sunday markets where I finally picked up some pants, in an attempt to better blend in, unlikely but worth a shot!
Stumbling on a great locals spot called Dal Roti for lunch I discovered my new favourite meal, Kati, a vegetable paneer wrap 🤤 We ferried back to mainland and cleaned up before tuk-tuking to another locals spot for supper, Panjab House where we were again the only Westerners. The 60+ year old owner shocked we’d found the place ushered us in & before we could sit had brought out what seemed like a full menu sampling, delicious again, thank goodness I bought stretchy pants
23 February 2019
With sunset on the backwaters conquered, Keith and I opted into the 6AM sunrise kayaking tour. Although the 3hr ~15km kayak was tougher than we anticipated, it allowed us to appreciate the backwaters to a fuller extent as we maneuvered amongst mangrove trees, across channels and through canals while listening to the blaring Hindi music 🔊 and wishing “good morning” to the locals who weren’t expecting to see us on their commute.
Famished from the early morning effort, we scoffed down breakfast of coconut rice rolls topped with fresh fruit, honey and milk and after a short break, set out on bikes to explore the village. Stopping by a local lemonade spot recommended by Vijeesh, we were given a show as the freshest grape 🍇 and pineapple 🍍 lemonades were whipped up with serious pizazz by the shop owner.
Arriving back we longed on the hammocks before enjoying a traditional lunch of 8+ different sampling’s spread across a banana leaf, Vijeesh’s mom outdid herself yet again 😋
In an attempt to walk off our full bellies, Keith and I went for a walk around the village and were joined by Vijeesh who offered to take us on a spice tour. Wandering in/ out of his neighbours yards, he showed us the different spices, fruits, nuts, etc. that grow around the properties from chilies of all types 🌶 to cashews, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, and fruits I’ve never heard of 🍌
Throughout Kerala each Hindu temple has a specific day where the community celebrates the temple in a ‘Temple Festival’ lucky for us, today happened to be temple festival for the local temple only a few KMs away & Vijeesh was excited to take us. My expectations were exceeded as we watched in awe as a parade of traditional dancers, drummers and finally elephants 🐘 following them to the temple where they performed and gave offerings. We were certainly out of place but felt so welcomed at the same time, it was another once and a lifetime experience.
22 February 2019
Waking up in India with Keith felt a little surreal as it seems like just yesterday we were in NZ 🙈 Time to start exploring this new country, let the culture shock commence!
We set out in search of a breakfast spot, excited for our first taste of India however, cash is pretty essential as card is not readily accepted. Without a rupee to our names we wandered to 5+ ATMs and even a commercial bank but withdrawing $$ proved more difficult than we had anticipated.
Growing hangry we headed back to the hotel to eat the bland continental breakfast and regroup. Heading back out we found success 💰 and grabbing our bags 🎒 we tuk-tuked to the train station to catch the passenger train (e.g., no classes, no windows, only locals) to Munroturuttu.
While 4hrs+ in the sweat box was less than ideal, for $0.50 we sucked it up and arrived fairly easily in Munroe Island, a village of only 9,500 and the location of Munroe Island Backwaters Homestay
We were warmly greeted by Vijeesh, our homestay host and the most famous man in Munroe Island (per trip advisor). After being shown to our room at his family house where we’ll be staying for the next two nights, he let us know he’d be heading out in a half hour for a sunset canoe tour of the backwaters, impeccable timing on our part, we happily joined.
With a young German couple in our canoe we hit the backwaters, the only tourists on the water. For 3hrs Vijeesh maneuvered in and out of tiny canals, alongside local houses & under bridges only a few feet high tall all the while Hindi music blared over outdoor speakers in preparation for a temple festival tomorrow. Coming to a section of the lake that feeds into the ocean, we all jumped in and swam under the glow of the sunset, it was an experience of a lifetime 🌅
Arriving back at the homestay under the glow of the stars, we eagerly ate the home cooked medley of Indian foods and settled in, feeling right at home.
21 February 2019
Making the most of our last morning in Bali, Brett and I got up early, packed up our bags and headed down for a morning by the pool, soaking in the last few rays ☀️ and views 🌊 of Uluwatu. We had the pool mostly to ourselves and after a lounge and swim, we got breakfast and headed back to the room to grab our things and hopped in a taxi 🚖 airport bound.
Once through security, in the duty free we stumbled upon this specific Ritter’s chocolate bar (RUM, raisin & hazelnut) Brett has legitimately been searching for 10+ years in every country we go to, what a perfect end to his trip! Headed to our separate gates we said goodbye as he heads to Singapore for a night before back to Canada.
On separate flights, both with layovers in Kuala Lumpur, Keith and I were in separate unconnected terminals finally meeting after clearing immigration in Cochin, India 🇮🇳 Looking forward to these next 5 weeks together 👫
20 February 2019
Wanting to catch some more consistent waves we headed to Kuta Beach, arriving mid-morning. Straight to the beach however, high tide made the waves less than ideal and after 1hr we decided to head to the markets and come back to the beach in a few hours 🌊
The Kuta markets were as expected, extremely touristy with each stall boasting similar trinkets, clothing, etc. however, they were also the best prices we saw anywhere in Bali. Unbeknownst to me Kuta/ Seminyak is known for leather products and coming across Big Bear Leather I couldn’t help myself, splurging on a work tote 👜 and mules 👡
Back to the beach 🏖 the waves were definitely better so we took advantage with another hour of surf, getting caught in a torrential downpour 🌧 but complete worth it! Returning back to Uluwatu the tide was out, so went to Uluwatu Beach for our final Bali sunset which didn’t disappoint. I can’t believe after 3 weeks, I head to India tomorrow to meet back up with Keith 👫
19 February 2019
Up early, I made my way down to the pool in hopes of getting it to myself. While yesterday it was fairly busy, turns out most only come for sunset and don’t actually stay at the hotel so I was in luck!
Brett and I headed out early to pickup scooters & despite some confusion were on our way by ~8AM in search for a place to surf 🌊 We checked out Dreamland Beach & although a beautiful spot, the break was too close to the beach. Stopping for breakfast at Bukit Cafe we tried Padang Padang Beach next where we decided to rent a board! A coral break made it a little sketch but with sparse waves, it was low risk and Brett and I were even able to catch a few 🏄♀️
Back to the hotel to rise, we scooted around Uluwatu for the day exploring and found ourselves back at Dreamland Beach to lounge the afternoon. A storm rolled in which meant no sunset, so after grabbing supper at La Baracca we settled in for the evening back at Blue Point for a couple drinks
18 February 2019
Although our hotel is lovely, busy days exploring the Nusa islands have meant we’ve hardly spent any time here so today we enjoyed a lazy morning lounging by the pool and taking in the beautiful views before catching a ride to the port 🛳 Ferrying to Sanur, we got a land transfer to Blue Point Villas in Uluwatu, our final stop in Bali.
Blue Point is stunning, situated on a cliff with an infinity pool overlooking Uluwatu and it’s infamous surf break, you’re memorized watching surfers catch hug waves. Arriving late afternoon, Brett and I checked in and headed to Uluwatu Temple for sunset. Although beautiful, the location was riddled with tourists and it’s hard to fully appreciate the temple as you’re unable to enter unless you are worshipping.
We left mid-sunset to beat the crowds and were back on the Single Fin deck in time to watch the remaining sunset. Although overpriced, the views at Single Fin are extraordinary, and you can’t beat those surfer vibes
17 February 2019
Today was another fantastic day on Nusa, I love these little islands 🌴 Enjoying another breathtaking sunset to myself, Brett and I scooted in to Jangut Batu Beach for a snorkelling trip with Captain Coconut 🥥 around the three Nusa islands.
We set out for Manta Point where on calm days you can snorkel amongst giant manta rays, unfortunately the water was very choppy and we didn’t end up seeing the mantas 👎🏼 but I did see some bioluminescent plankton, so I’ll chalk it up as a win!
Next stop, Crystal Bay situated right in an inlet, we got to play with the fish as they played in the waves 🌊 On to Mangrove Forest, a massive coral reef with thousands of fish and the best snorkelling I’ve done to date. We did a drift snorkel here which was really cool, hopping off the boat we let the current take us a few kilometres down the coast before being picked back up 🚣♀️
Back on land we met up with Sam and scootered to Mushroom Bay and then south to Nusa Ceningan, my favourite Nusa island. We took the single lane half-paved road to the far north east of the island to Secret Beach, no longer very secret it was still beautiful plus, the infinity pool overlooking the ocean was a nice add.
Intending to scooter around the entire island, we set out for a lookout of Nusa Penida and stumbled upon these abandoned mansions that provided panoramic views of Nusa Lembongan and Mount Agung (the 🌋 that spoiled Brett and I’s 2015 trip to Bali).
With the sun starting to go down we finished our island circuit at Sea Breeze Bar. Located right on the water, we were able to wade out mid-supper to climb on hammocks and swings and watch the sunset 🌅
Headed back across the unlit bridge we parted ways with Sam for a final time 👋🏼 before heading back to Sunrise Huts for a final time, back to mainland Bali tomorrow
16 February 2019
Today was one of my favourite Bail days yet. It started early, waking up and watching sunset at our hotel which is very fittingly named Sunrise Huts 🌅
By 7:30AM Sam had packed up and headed into Jangut Batu Beach to dive, while Brett and I were hoping to catch a morning surf which requires step 1: obtain and manoeuvre scooters 🛴💨 step 2 would be to actually find a surf shop 🏄♀️
We rented scooters from our hotel and despite lacking the essentials (helmet ❌, mirrors ❌, speedometer ❌) we were off and down our pot-hole-riddled, half-paved, mostly dirt road in search of Jangut Batu Beach.
Despite a few wrong turns and near misses with stray dogs 🐕 we made it to Monkey Surf Shop (Brett was thrilled..) where we learned that you have to take a boat to the reef break in order to surf & we had missed the morning boat. We decided to try again late afternoon and set off for a morning scooting around Nisa Lembongan exploiting 👀
First stop, Devil’s Tear 👿 although fairly busy from mainland-Bali day-trippers, this raw water carved coast-line cove was spectacular with the waves gaining momentum from from the sea 🌊 and crashing against the rock cliffs, spraying water 10-30 meters in the air. We headed to Dream Beach next which while beautiful, the strong riptide made not very swimmable with Brett and I both getting pulled toward sketchy rocks.
Popping back to our hotel for a break from the heat with a dip in the pool, we headed south to the best Warung we’ve eaten at, Warung Putu where we enjoyed fresh fish burgers while overlooking the channel between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenningan.
We met up with Sam here and we headed across the iconic (but narrow) yellow bridge 💛 to Nusa C. We scooted to the Blue Lagoon, a cliff top inlet overlooking turquoise blue waters.
With Brett and I headed back north of Nusa L to see about a late afternoon surf, we parted ways with Sam. Reaching the surf shop, turns
Instead we met back up with Sam and took in an amazing sunset back at Devil’s Tear where the spray from the crashing waves created dancing rainbows 🌈 over the sunset 🌅 Sam left us at dusk, sketched out to be scootering after dark, so Brett and I grabbed supper at a cliff side restaurant and scooted home in complete darkness, which made the dirt road commute back to the hotel less than ideal but worth it to be out after dark 🌌
15 February 2019
Our last morning waking up in hostels, we recounted stories from last night over breakfast with Brett taking the prize as he and a few brits from the hostel went swimming in the wee morning hours amongst bioluminescent plankton, so jealous!
Today was a designated transit day to Nusa Lembongan resulting in two boats & 4hrs+ on the water but by late afternoon Brett, Sam and I made it to the breathtaking Sunrise Huts Lembongan. With an infinity pool overlooking the ocean & Nusa Ceningan, we were in awe 👀
We taxied into Jungut Batu Beach to watch sunset and Sam sorted out a dive shop to dive/ stay with, she’ll move there tomorrow. We took in another beautiful sunset 🌅 and headed back to our resort which is VERY remote, dirt road for the majority which makes commuting in difficult but worth it for the views.
After taking a late night dip in the pool we called it a night as we’re planning to get up bright and early for sunrise 🌄
14 February 2019
I think I’m officially an early riser which has its perks as once again I had the pool to myself and took advantage of the morning sun ☀️ With a late checkout we lounged by the pool until early afternoon eventually joining back up with the folks from My Mate’s Place, hopping back in on the snorkel boat to return to Gili T 🚣♀️
We dropped our bags at the hostel and headed out to grab a late lunch, meeting up with Sam who was returning from a dive 🏊🏻♀️ After a bit of wandering on the main strip, we headed to catch the sunset, which after three ‘meh’ nights was finally the classic Balinese sunsets you hear so much about, utter perfection 🌅
The mosquitos 🦟 came out with a vengeance once the sun went down so we sought shelter at the Pearl of Trawangan where we treated ourselves to a Valentine’s supper 🖤 We bar hopped a bit after supper however, being a primarily Muslim population on Gili T, Thursday’s are rather tame in prep for holy Friday’s so the island shut down just after mi
13 February 2019
It poured overnight 🌧 to the point where ~4AM the sheer sound of rain woke me up, which I didn’t mind as I got to enjoy a fairly dramatic thunder storm with lightning illuminating the sky 🌩 Still rainy in the morning I had the pool to myself for a morning swim before enjoying a Balinese Massage 💆🏼
After our massages, Brett and I ventured out following the one road along the beach 🏝we walked around the entire island of Gili Air, totalling only 5km. Stopping for lunch along the way we enjoyed a refreshing dip & swing in the ocean 🌊before making our way back to the resort where we lounged by the pool for the afternoon
Following the afternoon rain we once again headed to the west side of the island for supper & sunset and although not to its full potential, we were rewarded with colourful skies that illuminated over Gili Meno and Lombok 🌅
We grabbed supper on the beach on the way back to our hotel where Brett befriended yet another stray 🐈 and enjoyed a quiet evening in
12 February 2019
With Gili Trawangan having a nortious party scene, Brett and I planned to escape to the much smaller & slower paced Gili Air for a couple days.
Getting to Gili Air by way of a snorkelling trip that stopped first at Gili T where we saw HUGE turtles 🐢 then on to Nest at Bask Gili Meno where we snorkelled among underwater statues & finally to a coral garden off Gili Air 🐠
We got off the boat & made our way to our hotel however, upon being greeted by a 3” cockroach 🐜 we couldn’t get out of there fast enough and ended up at the lovely Villa Karang.
Lounging by the infinity pool for the afternoon we made our way to Mowies on the Beach for sunset and supper but with another storm brewing for this evening, the sunset struggled to show its true colours 🌅
Back at our villa with a couple Bintangs I attempted to teach Brett crib, well sort of considering I lack the full rules and a board 😬 Fun regardless, Brett even befriended some locals... strays that is 🐈
11 February 2019
After a few days in the jungle, I’m so excited to be island bound! Up and on the go early, myself, Brett & Sam (a fellow Canadian we met and befriended in Ubud) checked out of Puri Garden and caught our taxi to Padangbai port where we boarded the fast boat 🚣♀️ bound for Gili Trawrangan 🌴
Arriving we had immediate island vibes. Only 3km in diameter & no motorized vehicles, only bicycles 🚲 and horses 🐎 this little island is amazing, so beautiful and laid back, a lovely break from the hustle and bustle of mainland Bali.
We checked into My Mates Place & after a welcome drink🍹 headed out to find a beach chair to lounge on for the afternoon. Waking along the main road of of exclusively bars & dive shops, we settled at Pearl of Trawangan, a resort that with the purchase of lunch, let us stay for the day ☀️
We headed to the west side of the island for sunset but were clouded out. After a quick bite we went back to the hostel meeting up with a group of 50+ for drinks & a pub crawl 🍻
10 February 2019
Well 1:40AM can quickly 💤 Rolling out of bed, we found ourselves on our way to the base of Mount Batur, an active volcano last erupting in 2000 🌋 Standing at 1,700M+, we would be hiking ~800M up to the crater for sunrise in complete darkness, apart from the glow of fellow trekkers flashlights 🌄
The hike was tougher than I expected, but truthfully I did not look into the logistics, that is typically Keith’s domain. By 5AM we were the first to arrive at the top and were rewarded seats on a ledge that provided an unobstructed view of the sunrise 🌞 Watching a risky lightening storm dissipate to our left by 6AM we were witnessing a stunning sunrise, utter perfection! On the way back down we walked along the crater and watched steam emerging from the lava stone.
Taking the rest of the day easy, we lounged by the pool 👙 & wandering the markets. Grabbing supper with some folks from the hostel, we picked up fresh laundry and readied our bags for the move to Gili T tomorrow 🏝
9 February 2019
Solo no mo! Brett is here and after a full nights sleep, he was able to fight off jet leg allowing us to spend a full day exploring Ubud!
Heading into the streets of Ubud, we wandered in & out of shops admiring the trinkets and clothing 👗 Grabbing a Bintang to cool off, we mentally prepped to head into the chaos of Ubud Saturday Market which was HUGE, aisle after aisle, block after block of haggling Balinese vendors.
We grabbed lunch at Milk & Madu and after another pass through the markets, headed back to the hostel to take a dip in the pool to cook off 👙
Despite overcast skies and risking the rain, we ventures to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces late afternoon and had them mostly to ourselves 🌱 After an hour of wandering we grabbed an authentic supper at Baih Baih+, delicious!
Receiving a change to the timing of our Gili T boat for Monday we had to adjust our plan to hike Mt. Batur to tomorrow, as in 2AM tomorrow 🙈 Off to bed to try and manage some sleep 😴
8 February 2019
An early night making for an early morning, but that’s okay because I finally slept well. Grabbing breakfast I awaited an update from Brett, who made it to Singapore and will arrive this evening ✈️
After catching up with Keith who’s somewhere in the thick of Vietnam, I headed to Campuhan Ridge Walkway. A winding pathway in the heart of Ubud that somehow makes your feel like you’re far from a city centre as you walk alongside temples, rice fields and tiny villages. Although a relaxing 5km walk, I would not recommend doing it midday like me unless you’re okay with sweating through your shirt🙈💦
My final day solo turned into a “me day” as I ate delicious pizza at Milk & Madu 🍕 got SNS nails done for the first time at Vive Bali 💅🏼 had a traditional Balinese massage 💆🏼 and finally ate my best Balinese dinner yet at Warung Enak 😋
Brett arrived ~11PM and we caught up but after 27hrs+ of travel he was pretty wiped, excited to be solo no mo tho and explore Ubud with him tomorrow!
Remember back on Jan.21 at Roys Peak when we had that random Korean guy took some pictures of us? He finally sent them and they’re lovely 📸
7 February 2019
Waking up early despite another late surf start meant I had the camp to myself and after some poolside yoga 🧘♀️ I headed to the Batu Bolong Beach for the morning 🏝
Kuta bound by noon for my final day of surfing, I was finally able figure out front-end and backside turns and even unsuccessfully rode a couple green waves, ouch 😬 After four days of lessons I’m certainly not Blue Crush, but I feel fairly confident catching white waves and will hopefully be able to try again in Bali with Brett and also with Keith in Sri Lanka 🏄♀️
Back to camp by early evening to pick up my bags; goodbye Canggu, hello Ubud. Ubud also means Brett gets here soon, he’s already en route and despite tight connections he somehow managed to make them and will arrive in Ubud tomorrow evening, if not sooner, can’t wait!
Arriving at Puri Garden Hostel I headed out for a bite and on the walk home my luck ran out as I got caught in a torrential downpour 🌧 the evening rains of Ubud are relentless
6 February 2019
The 12hr time difference working in my favour, by the time I woke up my card issues were resolved thanks to mother dearest and RBC Lisa 💃🏼
With surf not until the afternoon, I took advantage of the morning off and went to 9:30AM yin yang 🧘♀️ to lumber up before surfing.
Once again heading to Kuta, our group of Level 2s continued to work on perfecting our turns followed by photo review to better understand what adjustments I need to make which is as helpful. While progress is being made, it is a slow process and I’m quickly learning that 4-days isn’t enough time, my hands say otherwise being completely burned and rubbed raw from the board.
My last evening in Canggu, I headed to Echo Beach for a final sunset on this side of the island. It was less dramatic than other evenings but stunning nonetheless. Grabbing a meh-supper at Cabe Cafe I headed back to camp to back my bag in prep for the move to Ubud tomorrow after my final day of surf lessons.
5 February 2019
Early bird gets the wave 🌊 by 6AM we were en route to Kuta 🚌
Day02 & Level 2 entails learning how to surf solo. While yesterday the instructor steadied the board behind me, yelling “Go!” when it was time to surf, today Hanafi stayed in front, indicating the wave direction, left or right, and the rest was up to me. It was a lot to figure out. Fighting the current, climbing onto the board, finding balance, paddling *on time*, standing up and lastly, turning the board to ride the wave. I struggled at first with turning as I always seemed to over turn, missing the wave and dumping myself into the water, but eventually I got a feel for it 🏄♀️
After grabbing brunch back at camp, I made my way to Batu Bolong Beach for the afternoon followed by yoga 🧘♀️ and sunset 🌅 With rain clouds on one side & brilliantly coloured skies on the other it was another Bali-tastic sunset.
Debit card issues to end the day means a “call mom/dad” moment. Help❕
4 February 2019
With five different levels of surfers at camp, it means early wake up for sum & sleep-in for others. I lucked into the latter, as did a Ukraine and Russia guy, who LOVE electronic music and blasted beats all the way to Kuta🎵
Day01 of surf camp at Level 1 meant learning the basics (e.g., board positioning, the 3-step push up, etc.) before heading into the water to try and standup on the board. Being so few English speakers, two of us had an Indonesian instructor to ourselves. The small group made learning fast and we even started to advance to self-paddling, etc.
Mid-day surfing isn’t ideal as it took the entire day with traffic to/ from Kuta & Canggu. Arriving back in a torrential downpour 🌧 I met up with Julia, Nastya and Leva who were heading to Tanah Lot Temple for sunset, so I joined them. With waves crashing over the open air temple, we took in the most spectacular Bali-esque sunset yet 🌅
Arriving back it appears I have levelled up and will have a 6AM start tomorrow mornin
3 February 2019
With no surfing on Sundays, myself and three other girls from the surf camp piled into a van 🚌 for a day trip to Ubud, a nice preview as this is where I’ll meet Brett in only a few days time.
First stop was at Terjun Tegunungun Waterfall where three of us took a dip 👙 underneath the raging falls. We rinsed off at a small water temple, giving our blessings and let’s be honest, I have LOTS to be thankful for 💜
Next stop was the infamous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary 🐒 Essentially monkeys everywhere which is Brett’s worst nightmare🙅🏻♂️ Glad I got to go before he arrives.
We had a late lunch at Bebek Tepi Sawah which was located on a rice paddy field, providing surreal views while we enjoyed authentic Indonesian meals. After lunch we stopped by Luwak Coffee Plantation ☕️ where we learned about the process 🦝💩 and sampled some teas/ coffees.
A full day to say the least but I’m excited to go back to Ubud later this week.
2 February 2019
When I arrived at Endless Summer Surf Camp in Canggu, everyone had gone for an early morning surf,so I FaceTimed with Keith and set off for a day in the sun.
Arriving at Batu Bolong Beach by way of a GoJek, the sand was so hot it scalded my feet. I barely lasted 2hrs in the 36C+ 13UV heat despite frequent dips in the ocean. I sought shelter at Serenity Eco Guesthouse, the yoga studio I’ll attend during my surf/ yoga solo holiday.
I attended the 75min Vinyasa flow which was lovely 🧘♀️ and walked back to the surf camp. Canggu being less developed, lacks sidewalks and after dodging some reckless scooters I made my way along the rice paddy fields.
So fun fact about my surf camp, apparently Endless is a Russian surf camp. Despite reading hundreds of reviews, all of which were great, this was never mentioned.. a little awkward at first as the only non Russian, the group welcomed me in, eventually merging over to half English. Should be an interesting five days 🏄♀️
1 February 2019
Underestimate jet leg meant a 5:30AM wake up and after 10hrs of hibernating in my pod, I made my way down to complementary breakfast.
Waiting out the morning rain, I eventually ventured out beach bound but another bout of downpour led to seeking shelter at the popularized Sea Circus. I ordered a green brunch of avotoast & juice 🍃when I finished the sun was out, this time for good.
Finding a fairly secluded spot on Seminyak Beach between two resorts, I posted up for the afternoon. A new book helped pass the time and despite a few dips in the water, by 4PM the heat won and I made my way to Seminyak village escaping to an air conditioned cafe Grocer & Grind, where I sipped on a Bintang radlers.
Making my way back to Seminyak beach to take in an infamous Bali sunset which despite some heavy clouds, was stunning. Grabbing supper at a whole-in-the-wall that was meh on the walk back to the hostel, I grabbed a drink at the hostel and readied my bag for the move to Canggu tomorrow
31 January 2019
Although the 4:30AM alarm came quickly we set our in the motions and arrived at the airport before 5. An easy 3.5hr flight to Melbourne and then the not so easy reality of separate connections, me direct to Bali and Keith to Ho Chi Minh City and then Hanoi.
My time came more quickly than Keith’s and after we reluctantly said our goodbyes I boarded my plane. See you in India in 3 weeks 👫
Another 6hr flight and I arrived in Bali. I’ll be solo for my first week which is a first for me but I’m looking forward to it! Navigating the cabbies and haggling a ‘deal’ I arrived in Seminyak.
I found myself to be a bit stir crazy without a travel companion and with overcast sky’s and on/off rain I spent the afternoon wandering around Seminyak’s markets & beaches 🏝 eating a delicious/ healthy supper at the Clean Canteen 🍃
All of today’s travel/ time change will make for an early night in my pod at M Boutique Hostel. Dreaming of sunshine for tomorrow ☀️
30 January 2019
Our final day in NZ is more of a duty day mainly made up of driving to Christchurch, picking up the few required items for onward journeys and a haircut for Keith, possibly his last for the next 4 months of his travels.
Christchurch is an oddly laid out city, with short stubby buildings no more than there stories high. The box stores are intertwined with neighbourhoods and despite walking around the downtown while Keith got a fresh chop 💇🏻♂️ there didn’t seem to be much to see. After errands we dropped off the rental car and headed to the Juicy Snooze, our hostel beside the airport.
Being our final evening together before I head to Bali and Keith to Vietnam we enjoyed a mini date night grabbing supper at an Indian restaurant (ironically the country where we’ll be reunited in a few weeks) and a ‘cookie time’ McFlurry for dessert.
New Zealand has been a beautiful adventure, constantly exceeding my already high expectations however, time for a change of scenery. Next stop, Bali ☀️
29 January 2019
Already 25+ degrees by 8AM, I nearly melted 💦 as enjoyed coffee and crib on the deck, today is certain to be a ‘cracker’ of a day ☀️
We were at the beach by 11AM and armed with a book, Keith managed to keep still, well stiller.. Soaking up peak UVs we made it back to the cottage for a late lunch and rallying a couple drinks, headed back to enjoy the last bit of beach time here in NZ.
A final feast planned for this evening, we boiled up the remaining green lipped mussels for an appetizer followed up by barbecued veggies and fried ling fillet burgers. The best meal yet!
The time at this little seaside cottage has felt like a true vacation from our vacation and the perfect way to end off our time in New Zealand 🇳🇿
28 January 2019
Although today was forecasted to be a rainy day, we lucked into sunshine 🌞 and after enjoying coffee, ventured to the beach.
Only a ten minute walk we ventured out, me more quickly than Keith as I hit a patch of mud and slid down the hill 🙈 Arriving at the beach, we had it mostly to ourselves apart from a few surfers.
As I lounged soaking up the UVs (of 12* 🔥) stir-crazy Keith kept himself entertained by running up and down the beach 🏃🏼💨 The outgoing tide had created some sizeable breaks 🌊 and after frolicking in them we left the waves to the surfers and headed back to the cottage for lunch.
It started to get cloudy while Keith was barbecuing corn and wanting another feed of the green lipped mussels we headed back into Oamaru. On the way back I had my first and only left handed driving experience and like a true newby turned the windshield wipers on with every turn 🚘
Tonight we cooked up Penang curry with mussels. Delicious yet again!
27 January 2019
Ready to move on to our last main NZ destination, we were up and on the go early popping by the DOC on our way out to get our refund for Muller Hut as the severe weather meant that it was not recommended to venture up. Excellent 🤑 Our Airbnb was very accommodating and let us come a day early, so we’ll soon be r&r-ing in our beachside cottage.
We stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Oamaru on our way to pickup some fresh veggies and other groceries. After a month of pretty budget eating, we are finally treating ourselves to a good ol’ feast of NZ fish, green lip mussels and veggies.
Arriving at the beach house we enjoyed the rainy afternoon watching movies and rugby sevens 🏉 and before long we cracked the wine 🍷 and started cooking. We boiled the green lipped mussels in garlic and rosemary, Keith barbecued the veggies and I fried up the Ling fillets, delicious 😋
Today felt like a vacation from our vacation and I can’t wait to spend our final few days in NZ here.
26 January 2019
Expediting our agenda to ensure we hit everything we wanted in Aoraki/ Mt. Cook National Park has allowed for a quieter day today. That being said, the national park is tiny, with only two ‘hotels’, an overpriced cafe and the DOC, it meant that our stir-craziness was met with a couple of small walks to see the Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier.
We could see and feel the weather moving in on our afternoon walk into the ‘village’ as we fought against the gale westerlies. A serve weather statement in effect, makes me VERY happy we hiked Muller Hut while we could, would not want to be on that exposed alpine track with westerlies 💨
Looking forward to a change of scenery tomorrow as we head to Kakanui on the east coast for our final few days in NZ. We’ve booked the cutest Airbnb beach house 🏡
25 January 2019
Well the stargazing was a hit and a miss. We did managed to see the Milky Way however, the brightness of the moon 🌝 whitewashed the stars
7AM came quickly but the upcoming weather forced us to change our hiking itinerary. Instead of hiking up and staying overnight at Muller Hut, we’re going to climb up and back down the ~1,000M today to ensure we get to see it at all!
With spectacular alpine views of glacial covered Mt. Cook, Mt. Sefton and Tasman Valley, the hike took us steeply upward over makeshift stairs to Sealy Tarnes and continued upward over scree and boulders eventually arriving to Muller Hut. Sitting at ~1,800M, there was still had a dusting of snow at the top. Cooking up the last of our dehydrated packs for lunch we made our way back down, giving our legs a break for the rest of the day.
Celebrating another great hike over wine this evening it was bittersweet, as Muller was our final big hike for NZ. After 15+ significant hikes (10km+) the legs have earned some rest!
24 January 2019
Back to the car we go 🚗💨 this time bound for Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park for a few days of hiking under the white-capped mountains 🏔
We opted for a scenic driving day adding a few extra stops including Lake Tekapo to see the Church of the Good Shepard which was overrated due to being overrun by tour buses. Our lakeside lunch was much more relaxed as we pulled off the highway along Lake Pukaki, which boasted the most blue/turquoise water I’ve ever seen, sparkling to the point of blindness under the sun 🌊✨One final stop along the SH80 for a clear shot of Mt. Cook from the road (don’t worry mom, we were carful 🤓).
Upon arriving in the national park, we headed out to do Hooker Valley Track. A later start to avoid the tourists proved successful and we completing the 10km hike easily, even with Keith in his flip flops #blisterprobs 🦶
A late night in store this evening as we try to wait out the stars in hopes of a clear glimpse at the Milky Way 🌟 Let the stargazing begin 🔭
23 January 2019
The well deserved day off delivered. A lazy sleep-in followed by a walk to Pembroke Park 🌳 for a stretch and lay on the grass is exactly what the legs needed.
Enjoying our last day in Wanaka we wandered through the little downtown ending up on the boardwalk just steps away from the beach 🏖 Eating-in again we cooked up a delicious stir-fry for supper featuring the most tasty local Canterbury carrots 🥕 and had a lazy evening packing up our bags for the move tomorrow to Mt. Cook National Park where we’ll get to stretch our nicely rested legs again soon 🥾
22 January 2019
Although 5:30AM came quickly we rallied, rolling out of bed we arrived at the Wanaka Tree just in time for sunrise and had it all to ourselves. Keith absolutely nailed the long exposure shot and in a haze we stumbled back to the hostel to continue sleeping for the remainder of the morning.
Waking for a second time at a more reasonable 10AM we grabbed breakfast, readied our bags and despite SORE legs, headed to the Isthmus Peak trail head to complete our second ~1,400M peak in less than 24hrs. A combination of yesterdays exertion and the steepness of the farmland/ cliff-side trails made today the biggest grind yet however, the stunning views of Lake Hawea helped numb the pain. With weather changing quickly we only enjoyed the panoramic views briefly before starting the journey back down.
We celebrated yet another hiking victory over hostel cooked curry, wine and explored the quaint downtown of Wanaka. Accomplishing everything we aspired for Wanaka, tomorrow would 💯% be an off day!
21 January 2019
Back to our road-tripping ways we picked up our new whip 🚘 and were on our way to the much awaited Wanaka. Arriving mid-afternoon with the weather on our side, we hoped we were late enough in the day that we would avoid the crowds and get a glimpse of the highly sought after Roy’s Peak.
A solid hike taking you ~1,400M up over 16km (round trip) through farmland with very active/ vocal sheep we were rewarded with panoramic views of Lake Wanaka. As we suspected, many people were reluctant to start such a significant hike so late in the day so we found ourselves alone at the peak, a part from an eager Korean who unbeknownst to us, captured our time at the peak and offered to send the pictures along. Random, but not the first time that’s happed 📸
After a LONG decent we arrived at the bottom ~8PM and headed to get our first glimpse of the Wanaka Tree. Stunning. Although not ideal , we plan to get up at 5:30AM tomorrow morning for sunrise at the world’s most famous tree, the Wanaka Tree
20 January 2019
Our time in Queenstown is winding down, finally being dealt a couple of weather days we were forced to finally take it easy and recover from all the activities. We spent the last couple days dodging raindrops as we wandered the shops, restaurants and bars of Queenstown, enjoying our last few days with Toby and Maria before they returned to the North Island and we moved on to continue exploring the South Island 🌴
It was so lovely to explore Toby and Maria’s temporary home of NZ and be with them for their first glimpse of the South but after a few days of ‘vacation’ (🍻💤 🍽) I’m excited to head to Wanaka and continue our South Island tour 🚗💨
While last night escalated to more than expected we all managed a nice sleep in and waking up to sunshine in Queenstown calls for a day on the water ☀️ After a coffee and baileys we wandered the boardwalk in search of a water activity and decided upon renting kayaks for the afternoon.
Typically the lake is quite rough but with the winds fairly tame we were able to kayak via Paddle Queenstown from One Mike Creek up the coast to a point beyond Sunshine Bay Beach. We even stopped along a private beach 🏝 for some s&s (swim and sun). Peak temperatures were at 6pm today so after kayaking we enjoyed a beer in the park under the 30C sun
For supper we cooked tacos at the hostel and caught the sunset before heading out on our own unofficial pub crawl. We hit up Pog Mahones ☘️ an Irish bar with live music where Maria busted out a jig, followed by Ballarat Trading Co. that had awesome live music and ended at Rhinos Ski Shack 🦏 Truthfully we ended at Mrs. Fergs again for some late night pies ?
17 January 2019
Routeburn Track | The Shelter | 12km
Day 03 marks our final day on the Track and with some rain on the way, I’m happy to have escaped dry this time! Today we had a very relaxed 12km decent to The Shelter and with our packs now quite light, it felt more like an afternoon stroll. We even got to see Blue Ducks 🦆 playing in turquoise rapids that we followed the majority of the way out And just like that, our Great Walks-ing has come to an end..
Out of the woods, we have all earned some r&r and I can’t think of a better place to spend it than Queenstown 🤙🏼 We headed to Absoloot Hostel to take MUCH needed showers and went full tourist, hitting up Fergburger. Totally worth it. The line, while down the block, only took 30mins and we enjoyed our burgers in the park with cider/beer 🍺🍔
We took in a beautiful sunset on the wharf and headed out for a drink to celebrate a very successful hike. Six jugs of beer later at Rhino’s Ski Lodge and we were dancing the night away thanks to a stellar
16 January 2019
Routeburn Track | Routeburn Falls Hut | 13km*
Being that this track is more elevation based than distance, Day 02 allowed for a later start and took us up above the tree line and along the ridge to Harris Saddle at ~1,200M elevation. We then climbed up another ~200M to the top of Conical Hill Summit, which boasted spectacular alpine views all the way to Martin’s Bay.
Once back down to Harris Saddle shelter, we ate a mountain side lunch, took in the views and finally after two days of ascending, started our decent to Routeburn Falls Hut. “Enjoying” our last dehydrated meal and final hut for some time, we settled in for the evening and played some cards while enjoying tea and a brick of Maria’s chocolate covered almonds 🍫😋
15 January 2019
Routeburn Track | MacKenzie Hut | 14km*
Great Walk round two! A short bus ride dropped us at the Divide, the starting point of Routeburn Track, a highly sought after Great Walk that takes you ~32km across alpine terrain and a crossing (The Saddle) with two optional side summits.
Day 01 was entirely uphill with a ~400M gain to MacKenzie Hut situated on the stunning Lake MacKenzie. Along the way we opted for the side trek to Key Summit which gave views of the Hollyford valley and Fiordland National Park.
Arriving at the hostel we headed lakeside and spent the rest of the afternoon/ evening in the sun, Keith, Maria and Toby even dove in to the numbingly cold water 🥶 Eating our dehydrated packs outside, we ended the evening playing cards under the light of headlamps
14 January 2019
A well earned rest day was in order after the 60km and 133K+ steps we accumulated on the Milford Track.
After a lazy morning we ventured into Milford Sound and booked ourselves on an afternoon boat cruise to explore the Sound more. While it was a beautiful day once again, the non rain meant that Milford was absent of the hundreds of runoff waterfalls it boasted just yesterday; regardless it was still spectacular. Taking us up one side of the Sound and to the edge of the Tasman Sea we saw waterfalls, seals and dramatic scenery.
Once back at the hostel we readied ourselves and our bags 🎒to once again hit the trails tomorrow as we head to our second and final Great Walk, Routeburn Track
Milford Sound Track | Sandfly Point | 18km
Day 04 and our weather luck ran out.. Today it RAINED ☔️ 60mls in 3 hours, all of which we were walking or should I say sprinting across the slippery up/ down terrain. Although miserable and drenched from head to toe the poor weather fuelled us and we ended up competing the 18km in just 4hrs. We ended in Sandfly Point (which earned its name for a reason) where we sought shelter before catchinf the ferry to Milford Sound, the official end on the Track. We survived 💪🏼
Arriving at the Milford Terminal we had the opportunity to admire the hundreds of waterfalls that flow into Milford Sound when it rains. We eventually made our way to the Milford Sound Lodge to wait for Toby and Maria, who had just completed the Hollyford Track, to arrive. Once they arrived we enjoyed a non dehydrated meal, cooking up a feed of tacos and over a couple drinks caught up and shared stories of our tramping accomplishments 🍻
12 January 2019
Milford Sound Track | Dumpling Hut | 17km*
Day 03 would take us 14km back up to McKinnon’s Pass which sits at ~1,100M, then promptly down the side of the mountain back into the Fiordland valleys.
We took the morning slow knowing we had a solid climb ahead of us *with packs* as my hips and Keith’s collarbones have bruised from lugging the weight. Grinding it out we arrived to yet another ‘cracker’ of a day at Mackinnon’s Pass. Getting to see the Pass twice on the same tramp is a rarity.
Enjoying the views once again we started our decent, and a decent it was. 10km and 1,100M downward with the packs hurt like hell. As if our feet/ bodies didn’t hate us enough, we dropped our packs and did a side hike to Sutherland Falls, the highest waterfall in NZ. By dar the toughest day, the last few kms were painful and we were overjoyed when we finally saw the sign for Dumpling Hut, our final hut for the Milford Sound Track!
11 January 2019
Milford Sound Track | Mintaro Hut | 22km*
Sleeping in a 20 person hut is not the easiest feat making morning come fast. After a quick instant oats and coffee breakfast, we packed our bags (still HEAVY) and were on the track by 7:30AM.
Day 02 took us 16km through glacier carved walkways and stunning valleys. Despite the weight of our packs, we made great time and were the first to arrive at the Mintaro Hut at 12PM, knocking ~1.5 hours off the projected hiking time.
Mintaro Hut is situated ~500M below McKinnon’s Pass, with the crossing part of Day 03s hike, it is highly weather dependant. Given we had yet another blue bird day, we knew we HAD to suck it up and hike the additional 6km in hopes of a glimpse of the Pass.
Leaving our packs behind, it was still a grind. After 1.5hrs of scaling cliff edges we made it, the only two people on a windless sunny McKinnon’s Pass. We’re so lucky to have seen the Pass but we earned it with 40K+ steps. Hopefully we get to see it again tomorrow!
10 January 2019
Milford Sound Track | Clifton Hut | 5km
After a short bus ride to Te Anau Downs followed by an hour long scenic ferry across Lake Te Anau, we were dropped at Glade Wharf, the official starting point “the finest walk in the world,” Milford Sound.
Day 01 featured a brief 5km hike to Clifton Hut and despite our bags being HEAVY (Keith’s more so than mine) the 5km came quickly. Being such a beautiful day, we would have preferred to have gone further however, upon arriving at our hut we claimed our bunks and settled in for the evening with the first of our dehydrated suppers, Kathmandu curry.
38 others eventually arrived at the hut making up our group of “Independents” or “Freedom Walkers” for the entire Track. We lucked into a great group, making quick friends with a Kiwi couple not much older than ourselves as well as a couple of Chinese Medicine practicing Aussies. Day 01 was a success, tomorrow we will get many Kim’s closer to the infamous McKinnon Pass 🏔
After an unforgettable North Island adventure we are headed to the highly anticipated South Island! ✈️
Arriving in Queenstown we did the airport swap, readying our packs for the upcoming Milford and Routeburn Great Walks, packing any non-essentials in our day packs to be dropped at the hostel for storage. Keith also eagerly demonstrated just how quickly he can shed layers on the trails in his ever so sexy zip-off pants 🤦🏼♀️
We grabbed lunch in Queenstown which is situated right on a turquoise lake and buzzing with tourists and active locals; giving it a great vibe much like Banff. Catching our bus to Te Anau, we picked up our documents at the Department of Conservation and had a rainy walk to our hostel. Forecast looks decent with rain anticipated for tonight and tomorrow but then clearing up for the true tramping we have ahead, fingers crossed 🤞
8 January 2019
Beautiful weather and jam packed days has meant that our final day on the North Island came verrrry quickly. We added a final last minute north hike to our agenda in order to break up our drive from Tongariro to Auckland and I’m so happy we did because it was yet another spectacular one!
TeWaihou Walkway & Blue Spring, a 2 hour drive from Tongariro and fairly close to Rotorua, was an easy/ flat 10km round trip that takes you through farmland and along a crystal clear waterway. With the sun shining and birds chirping, it was very peaceful. The walkway ends at the Blue Spring, surrounded by lush greenery and the most brilliantly turquoise waters I’ve ever seen (similar to Azul in Costa Rica).
After a picnic lunch we continued on to our container house Airbnb in Auckland and spent ~3hrs prepping and packing for our upcoming Great Walks. Squeezing eights days of food, clothes, sleeping bag, etc. into my 40L pack is tight, but I’ll manage the weight and it’ll all be worth it!
7 January 2019
We got lucky. Again. Overcast, windy with a chance of showers today, so happy we had yesterday for the crossing! And while I was expecting my legs to be wrote off, our nightly yoga/ stretching is definitely working. A part from a sporadically cramping left calve, I’ll survive! Now our buffer weather/ off day, can be spent chasing waterfalls and exploring Tongariro National Park.
We spent the morning at the ‘precious’ Tawhai Falls, better known for being home to Gollum in LOTR. Back to the YHA hostel for lunch, crib and a nap we headed out late afternoon to hike Taranaki Falls. Both falls were beautiful but Tawhai was the fave and on a warmer/ sunnier day you can even cliff jump in from the top of the falls. On our way back from Taranaki Falls we got to experience the quick changing Tongariro weather as we got stuck in the rain and were drenched by the time we reached our car. Back to the hostel for a quiet evening packing up for our return to Auckland tomorrow.
6 January 2019
Back to our early rising ways, a quick breakfast, coffee and shuttle and we found ourselves at the Tongariro Alpine Crossing trail head, ready for a very Lord of the Rings-esque day.
With the weather on our side once again, we had a 20km hike to look forward to which featured climbing alongside active volcanos (Mount Tongariro aka. Mt. Doom), emerald lakes, wind ravished crossings and finally down a valley overlooking Lake Taupo. Definitely one of the more challenging hikes thus far, my calves are still hiring after climbing up and sliding down meters of scree all the while the wind blowing fiercely testing your footing/ balance.
A couple of celebratory drinks were in order after yet another successful day. Posted up at our usual picnic table playing crib we met some (soon to be fellow) Calgarians and befriended a mixed bag of travellers who taught us ‘Irish Snap’ which is a very fun and effective drinking game.
5 January 2019
Finally managing a sleep-in thanks to a couple drinks and a fun night out in New Plymouth. We checked out of our Airbnb ready for another driving day bound for Tongariro National Park with a couple hangovers to accompany us.
After stocking up on groceries and a failed attempt at getting the iconic Mt. Taranaki road picture, featuring Keith getting shocked by an electric fence, we stumbled upon a beach carnival at Opunake Beach which helped break up the driving day.
Finally on our way we found ourselves taking the ‘Forgotten Highway’ which was essentially driving through the Shire. The roads were absolutely ridiculous with hairpin turns every few kilometres, leaving both Keith and I were feeling 🤢 by the end. Arriving in Tongariro, we go ourselves situated for the Alpine Crossing tomorrow, another good weather day ahead!
4 January 2019
The perfectly symmetrical Mount Taranaki 🌋 was on our agenda for today. Lucking into perfect weather again, we had a 6AM start in the hopes of reaching Pouakai Tarnes before the wind became too fierce.
The hike was entirely uphill, featuring 3600+ steps that eventually emerged to the Pouakai Hut however, upon arrival we were submerged in thick cloud coverage with no signs of the Taranaki tip in sight. Determined to see what we came for, we hunkered down in the Pouakai Hut for 2+ hours waiting out the cloud coverage and had finally given up about to head back when a glimmer of blue sky emerged. Sprinting up the remaining 1/2 km to the viewpoint, the clouds had completely dissipated and there she was, Taranaki in all her glory!
Skipping the whole way to the bottom, we celebrated our good luck that evening with Toby and Maria and there siblings (who were also visiting) over a few drinks which included an $18 expresso martini 🍸 that completely blew our backpacker budget. Worth it!
3 January 2019
Haka Lodge sauna strikes again! With desperation setting in at 2AM, I resorted to attempting to sleep in the common area. With the sunrise and Keith both waking me at 5AM, it’s safe to say we yet another early start for our ~8 hour driving day south to New Plymouth.
Our first and only stop ~6 hours later was at Clifton Beach right off the SH3 where we hit low tide luck once again and were able to see Elephant Rock 🐘 and Three Sisters.
Onward to New Plymouth we arrived at our Airbnb in Bell Block just seconds from the beach 🏖 After much success in the Northland, we earned ourselves a quiet evening consisting of crib, beachside yoga 🧘♀️ and wine 🍷
2 January 2019
With our hostel hotter than hell making for a sleepless night, we were on the road early once again headed to Cape Reinga, the most northern tip of Northland NZ. I thought the roads yesterday were winding yesterday, jokes compared to today, almost lost it (🤢) twice on the drive north, but once again, well worth it!
While Cape Reinga is definitely a must see, it was riddled with tour companies making a decent view/ photo difficult. However, Keith and I were able to easily ditch the tourists and get off the beaten track by stumbling upon the Te Paki Costal Track. Approx. 500M hike down to a secluded beach with the Pacific Ocean to our left and a pristine beach to our right made today likely one for the NZ highlight reel! Capped off a perfect day with a dirty ol’ feed of Vinney’s Fish & Chips 🎣 and that’s Bay of Islands folks
1 January 2019
Passport recovered *Keith* ✔️
Rental car ✔️
Jet lag ✔️
An early rise (thanks to jet lag) meant we were able to hit the road bright and early on New Years morning and despite being newbies at driving on the left hand side of the road, were able to get out of Auckland without too much trouble, rotaries excluded.
Matapouri Bay bound in search of the Mermaid Pools🧜♀️ resulted in a twisty-turny 2.5 hour backroad drive but thanks to a little low-tide luck (which is a must in order to hike to the pools) we were able to hike to the pools, which ended up being a secret escape for the locals on the holiday weekend.
31 December 2018
Arrived in Auckland just in time to ring in the New Year down-under at the Sky Tower thanks to time travelling aka +17hr time difference 🥳 Lookout 2019, I’m coming for you!
30 December 2018
Survived the four airplane meals, 34+ hrs of travel and the coldest airport I’ve ever been in 🥶 which required Keith and I to bust out our sleeping bags during our 8hr layover in Beijing. Now that we’re finally in Auckland, it’s time to celebrate NYE down under 🎉🥳 Cheers to 2019!
Annnnnd we’re off! 3 months backpacking with my best friend (@Keith Naves, p.s. give his Journi a follow). First stop, New Zealand for New Years 🥳 just a mere 33+ hrs of travel first