Mother’s Day in Australia

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Today is Mother’s Day in Australia! My friend is having a family get together at her house & we’re all making a dish for the table. I’m going to make a salad – I haven’t cooked in 4 months! That’s desperate! A salad isn’t even cooking!

We went for a wee walk in Bundereen & it was beautiful. Australia has so much to offer! I love it! I loved getting together with my friend’s family. They are all so nice & have a great sense of humour. They welcomed me straight into the family fold & I didn’t feel like an outsider for one second.

Packing was tough but I am certainly becoming more ruthless which is a tremendous achievement for me! Being a backpacker with hoarding tendencies is a burden, physically & mentally. Any minuscule step towards overcoming this is a triumph in my eyes!

Tomorrow I set off for China. I’m sad to be leaving Sydney because I had such a wonderful time.

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The perfect day in Sydney

My second day in Australia was the most perfect day of fun! In the morning my friend & I went to a really cute Saturday farmers market. It was full of fresh food stalls, baked goods, juices & street food as well as fresh flowers, homeware & skincare. I loved browsing & tasting all the different foods. I had a fresh juice for breakfast & a steak salad for lunch. I feel healthy & content. I think I’m having a reverse culture shock coming back from Asia.

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Next up we went to the shops to pick up a few bits & pieces. I ended up in Mecca – a Sephora-esque shop. I found a miniature Origins night mask that I’ve been searching for for over a year! I also finally bit the bullet & got a neck support for the remainder of my travels. I just can’t cope with dozing off inflight for 2 minutes & waking with crippling neck pain. It will be worth $20 & the hassle of carrying the bulk of it around.

After shopping we went to the cinema to see The Jungle Book in 3D. I really miss the cinema when I travel despite not going much when I stand still. The movie had amazing CGI effects. 3D has developed a lot over the past few years & it doesn’t hurt my eyes half as much! FYI The Aussie popcorn is just salted, I adore a mixture of sweet & salted….

We went back to my friends house & her boyfriend was waiting for us with a bottle of bubbles! We went for the most delicious Indian meal & finished the bubbles & a beautiful red wine. This Indian was on par or maybe better than the food I had in India. I got a bit of angst eating the Indian food in India for fear of the hygiene levels of the establishment & I am so happy to shake this worry back in Western countries!

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Totally full & exhausted after our fun filled, perfect day, we got home & quickly dispersed to bed. What a lovely day. I knew I was right to look forward to Sydney again.

Back to Sydney!

With a sad farewell to Thailand, a brief stop in Kuala Lumpur & a mandatory McFlurry, I jet back to Sydney. I’m so lucky to be able to see my friends again! I’m so excited about going back to Australia! I had such a nice time last time I was in Sydney catching up with my friends & I can’t wait to see them again! I’ve really missed the western culture as well – which is not something I’ve ever missed before whilst backpacking.

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After doing zero shopping for the past few months & with my limited clothes selection either falling apart or driving me crazy I am super excited to pick up a few things! My flip flops are deteriorating off my feet & I’ve been wishing for them to last until Australia so I hope they endure the final steps until I find a new pair. I also need non backpacker clothes such as jeans & new tops as my others have holes or I’m sick of wearing them. I’m terrible at not being able to throw anything out so it will be interesting to see how proactive I am when it comes to the crunch! I’ll be back in Europe in a month & unwilling to buy clothes at Swiss prices, therefore shopping is high on my list.

I look & feel especially atrocious & haggard after my day of travel although my mood immensely improves when I meet a dear friend for lunch. We went to Bar Luca & got burgers. Not any old burgers – I assure you. This was the best damn burger of my little life! We got the ‘Blame Canada’ which contains all sorts of culinary delights as bacon, cheese, maple syrup & poutine. I sincerely URGE you get one if you ever drop by Sydney. It was simply incredible! We ate these in an orgasmic state on a grassy patch overlooking the sea. We took it in turns to cry out with pleasure & admiration. Paired with the joy of seeing my friend again, you could say I was in a somewhat euphoric state! My lord it was AMAZING!!! I was craving a burger since March & this one has to be one of, if not the best burger I’ve had in my life. It was so reassuring to eat without the fear of getting sick.

In the evening I met my friends for food & drinks. It was so lovely to catch up but I’m sure I wasn’t much craic because I was wrecked from all the travelling. I had alcohol for the first time in 2 months & I didn’t really enjoy it. I don’t even know why I bothered drinking at all. It just felt like I just did it out of habit. A part of me regrets it because I didn’t need it or want it. By the time I got to bed I had been on the go since the night before. I have to be kinder to myself before I make myself too haggard!

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Lying in bed I contemplate how it’s so strange to be doing ‘normal’ things like shopping again. It’s dawning on me that this adventure has an expiry date & I don’t feel ready to give up this lifestyle just yet.

Farewell Krabi *sad face*

I’ve had a lovely time in Krabi, again. I have spent the past few days going for morning runs along the coast, eating the most amazing Thai food, getting Thai massages & chatting to all sorts of people.

I’m sad to be leaving Thailand. I know I’ll be back because I love Thailand so much. There’s a certain ease to life here, the people are not intimidating & seem friendly & helpful. The breathtaking scenery is overwhelming & they have developed the tourism industry to enable people to utilise the area brilliantly.

Thailand is one of my favourite countries. I hope you get a chance to experience it.

Boat Trip Krabi, Thailand

Today I went on one of those idyllic Thai boat trips, cruising in the endless emerald green sea, island hopping, snorkelling with exquisite sea life & corals, basking in the sunshine – heavenly!

I booked the trip via my hostel & was collected at the door with another girl. We were given stickers for our boat trip & dropped off at the port. There were numerous boat trip stalls offering various trips & we quickly found the one we were booked on. Our boat arrived & we were called to board in a disorganised fashion. The boat was packed & I got a nice seat by the starboard side to take in the stunning views.

The first island we stopped at was Phra Nang  Bay beach. It is has epic climbing & a fertility cave – saturated with dick ornaments.

I must be getting prudish (or overexposed) in my old age because I didn’t find the penis shrine with hundreds of various dick ornaments overly funny or shocking. It was funny when a woman was making her young son pose in front of the phallic ornaments… I feel like I’m pretty over tackiness at the moment. It was still a pretty island losing a bit of it’s charm to the volume of people on it.

Our next stop was Koh Tub & Koh Mur, linked by a sandbar walkway accessible in low tide. Everyone else got off for a wander but it looked really busy. I curled up on the deck with my book & the crew fed me watermelon slices, it was lovely!

Another stop was by Koh Gai (Chicken island). The boat stopped offshore & we all got snorkels & went into the sea to admire the sea life. The fish & coral were absolutely amazing! Snorkelling is the most fascinating, exhilarating discovery I have made this year. I cannot get enough of it. If you haven’t done it before I urge you to try it. The colours, shapes & behaviour of the sea life will blow your mind. I enjoyed every second of it & was one of the last people to climb back onboard the boat when it was time to leave.

For lunch we stopped off at Poda island. The views were absolutely stunning. The boat trip operator was serving our lunch which was not very nice. I didn’t eat mine & got a bbq corn instead from the only food stall I could see. We had some free time here & I hid in the shade reading my book & admiring the views.

After lunch our tour was over & we sped home. By this stage everyone onboard was quite lethargic from the sun & boat trip. The girl I had befriended couldn’t find her flip flops on the way back & got really panicked. I have never seen someone so upset about $2 flip flops. She said they were only cheap but her feet were big & she knew she would never be able to get another pair of big flip flops in Thailand – she was so relived when she found them!

When we got back to the port the boat anchored quite far from our boarding point. We all had to climb off the boat into the sea – which was up to my shoulders! We had no explanation as to why the boat didn’t bring us closer…. I felt sorry for the old people & people with children. I had to carry my backpack over my head, afraid my camera, phone & book would get wet. The waves crashed over us as we slowly waded one by one towards shore, soaking wet. We had to wait another hour for return minibus back to the hostel but ended up taking a songthaew, keen to get home & showered.

I had a great day but it was altogether very touristy, of course. I hate the conveyer belt tourism industry, I hate feeling like cattle being herded around somewhere special. Ideally a private boat with a guide would be the best way to experience the islands during off peak times. Next time I’m back in Thailand I will absolutely spend the extra money for a more personal experience. However, if you’re on a budget, for what the tour offers – it is well priced, organised & a tried & tested excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krabi Cookery Course

Thai food is amazing!

I did a Thai cookery course in Chaing Mai a few years ago & I absolutely loved it. I learnt, laughed & ate amazing food – Perfection! It was so much fun I couldn’t resist booking on another when I got to Krabi.

There are so many to choose from in Krabi. I browsed the selection of flyers in my hostel & picked my favourite menu. I booked via the hostel & the next day I was collected & taken to the cookery school. The lady who collected me was lovely, although a bit of a cheesy sense of humour. She was trying her best to be funny – the type of funny my grandparents might find endearing. I kept smiling to be polite, although I found her borderline annoying. Then I met her husband. Think of a kids tv presenter on speed & you’ll get a vague insight to how cheesy, enthusiastic & immature he is. His ‘sense of humour’ was totally not for me. I found him to be too loud & energetic, treating our group of 6 in their late twenties as though we were 5 years old. He induced hangover like symptoms within me. My head was pulsating, my tolerance levels non existent & my will to live excruciatingly low.

This guy took the entire course to my utter dismay. My food was incredible but by the end of it my patience had worn very thin (not that patience is my forte anyway) & I had a headache from his shouting & shit jokes. I just want to cook & eat dammit! I felt sorry though because he was only trying his best to entertain us – he just misinterpreted the group mood/age. My eyes got whiplash from all the involuntary eye rolls.

I made Papaya salad, Cashew chicken stir fry, Penang Curry & coconut rice desert. It all tasted amazing & I could barely eat half of it. We all took our leftovers home & left nursing full bellies & content taste buds.

I’m sure I’ll do another Thai cookery course the next time in Thailand. I will, however, ensure I hear good reviews about the instructor because this guy totally ruined my experience & made it completely unenjoyable.

Krabi, Thailand

Here I am back in Krabi! It was 18 months ago since my last visit & now I’m back in the same hostel, same room, & eating at the same night market. I just miss the Costa Rican friend I made last time. She was a foodie like me & we spent a lot of time talking about food, browsing the street food stalls, trying new things & eating, of course.

I adore Krabi. It has 2 food markets. I really am a greedy little lady…. It is on the coast & has beautiful views & great accessibility to the islands. There are numerous activities for backpackers & tourists such as cookery courses, hikes, island hopping, snorkelling, climbing. The options seem endless!

I’m staying in Pak-Up Hostel. I loved it last time I was here so I’m happy to be back. It is reasonably sociable with a big common area downstairs & seats outside to people watch on the street. It is on the higher price range for hostels & you can find much cheaper accommodation nearby, but I didn’t mind splashing out. It’s clean, the beds are comfortable with adequate storage, power sockets & lights are in each bed. It’s also central (to the food markets).

I’m going to have a busy few days here, I have to catch up on admin, post a package back home & I’m in the middle of applying for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa. I’ve also booked to go on a boat trip, go snorkelling & do a cookery course.  I’m keen to maintain my running regime so I have my alarm set for the morning & my kit set out. I also hope to keep up with the daily Thai massages!

Book Club: Don’t Tell Mum I Work on an Oil Rig She Thinks I’m A Piano Player in A Whorehouse

Don’t Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs She Thinks I’m a Piano Player in a Whorehouse is a collection of stories accumulated by Paul Carter, an oil rig worker. He tells how he became an oil rig worker & the various contracts he has had. This was a quick & interesting read. I read it in 3 days & really enjoyed it. This isn’t a profession I know anything about so it was interesting to hear about far fetched tales of owning a pet monkey, the risks when travelling in certain countries & the tribulations of such a career.

I loved reading about a completely new lifestyle & his sense of humour is easy to read & appreciate. The authors self confidence & good nature shine through his writing. He has certainly led an interesting life!

I picked this up at a book exchange in Thailand – you can also find it on amazon for £9.99.

Fitness Retreat Day 7

It’s the big day! I’m anxious because I haven’t weighed myself during this process & have no vague gauge on my progress. I can never tell from my face or how my clothes fit unless I’ve lost over 7kg. During the morning run my mind is bombarded with hope, fear, and a lightness that what’s done is done & I can’t change anything at this late stage. I have done all the stipulated exercises and more. I have also stuck strictly to the fasting plan.

After my shower & before breakfast I get called to do photographs, get measured & weighed. After 6 days of fasting, colonics & exercise I lost a grand total of……. 2.2kg.

Wait. What???? Surely this can’t be correct! I have spent ALL WEEK fasting & done colonics everyday as well as a liver flush. There has to be some sort of a mistake!

I could lose 2.2kg in 1 week on weight watchers while maintaining my normal lifestyle. Think about it – there should have been a notable weight loss if I ate sensibly & exercised more. The colonics & fasting had no effect on me whatsoever. I didn’t have to come to Thailand & waste all this TIME, MONEY & EFFORT. I am so disappointed. Justly so I feel. My friends try to cheer me on & tell me it’s not all to do with the numbers – surely I feel better & I look better. They say because I’m considerably smaller than some others my weight loss has been less in comparison. I can tell they also expected more from me but they are busy being supportive to commiserate with me. So unjust. A guy stayed for half the time as me, only joined in 3 exercise sessions & slept most of the day & he lost TWICE as much as me. Twice. Half the time! I know men lose weight faster than women, but he was here for half the time & did fuck all. Gaaaaaahhhhhhhh, why do I bother? Seriously???

I continue through the motions of the day partaking in the yoga class with a deflated expression & an amazing massage. I am allowed to eat again today & my lunch is 4 papaya slices. It was nice to be chewing again but my disappointment clouds the joy of being able to eat solids.

When it’s time for my colonic I request a new nib because I threw my last one out. I am asked to pay 250THB (which isn’t much). I have already invested too much in this 2.2kg so I swiftly decline therefore opting out of my last colonic. I’m a miserable bitch.

I get my photographs before I leave & I am so relieved & surprised to notice a difference in my physique. I can tell that I have lost weight from my stomach & thighs. I feel a certain redemption that all was not wasted & my effort, time & money did generate a positive difference.

I’m really sad to leave my fellow inmates. They are a great group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds & some have a wonderful sense of humour. Meeting this group & the whole experience has also contributed to this challenge not being a total write off.

I leave on the ferry for my journey to Krabi wondering where my week in Koh Samui disappeared to & totally baffled that everything I put into it was just for 2.2kg……