A Travellerspoint blog

Byron Bay

Singin' in the rain!

rain 25 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

26th November

I'm becoming a bit of a bad omen for people when it comes to rain. It always seems to rain whenever I reach a new destination (randomly)... how rude! I can't believe that I have flown thousands of miles to the beautiful Eastern coast of Australia to experience rain.

Waking up in a room full of men, an experience which I won't dwell on but my first night in a hostel was interesting. Hopefully I didn't snore!! I'm not sure what I was expecting of hostels but I'm sure I'll get used to them - and trying to get onto a top bunk in the pitch black!!!

Took myself off round the shops (getting soaked in the process)! The Volksmagic crowd would be pleased to see the excess of VW matter on sale and to see strutting round Byron - home of hippies and laidback culture.

I finally got a really good salad to eat! Boy was it delicious - so fresh and lovely! I could have cried!!!! Sat on the terrace (thankfully shading me from the rain) with my salad, a flat white and a paper. How very civilised!

I had my tarot read this afternoon - a most unusual experience which felt more like spiritual healing than looking at my future. Whatever the experience, I came out feeling a million dollars better than I did going in and felt like it was money well spent.

I returned to the hostel later that afternoon, my head held high, the confidence starting to rise and I felt like it was time to make some friends. In my room at the hostel was Kev and Lena (Kev is from Glasgow and Lena is his German girlfriend who was heading home the next day). Kai, the giant German (he was 6ft 10!!!) and then Brendan arrived - from Killaloe in County Clare... up the road from home in Corofin. How funny is that?! Marco, the 19 year old German is a little more difficult to suss out. I must be getting old!!

Had a good time chatting away and giggling with them all and I'm starting to feel tonnes better already.

Posted by KerryMc 18:25 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Singapore... to Brisbane... to Byron Bay

Whats that about cauliflowers?!

semi-overcast 25 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

25th November

Have just realised that I haven't given any reason for mentioning cauliflowers in yesterday's entries - they were after all entirely relevant to my day (well, night!).

You see, it wasn't until this morning (very early hours) that the cauliflowers came into play but 24th and 25th have kind of merged into one day for me! Think I need a beer to make it all better!!

I got into my cosy emergency exit seat - I didn't feel quite so smug upon realising that there was hardly anybody on the flight and people were stretched out all over the place!! Then I was handed a menu card for the evening's flight - first to come to my attention was the offer of a Singapore Sling on the drinks menu - tick - then was the one dish created by none other than our own Gordon Ramsay... result! In the words of the late Steve Irwin... that drink "really packed a punch!". Phew, at least it helped me sleep!

I have never savoured the taste of carrots and cauliflower as I have on that inflight meal and to know that I wasn't about to end up with gastro-enteritis!! (At least I hope not!). The taste of a cup of coffee.... bliss! I'd missed my comforts!

I landed in Brisbane (just missing the Australian cricket team apparently!) and was checked out by sniffer dogs, quarantine etc and deemed safe enough to enter the great Australia... what were they thinking? I feel like i'm back in the land of the living and it feels good!

Even managed to sort out my phone :) Well, buy a new cheap one anyway!! I'm back with a vengeance. Then it hits me... the grumbling stomach that echoes and reverberates around your entire being whispering "you so need to lie in a dark room for a week". Sadly, I had a 4 hour bus journey to contend with :( urgh!

Feeling very sick (which is very unlike me I have to say!), I struggled to drink some water and eat a plain muffin to see if that helped. When it was time to leave for Byron Bay on the bus, I was wondering whether I'd be ok but I soon got chatting to a young American couple! Trouble is, having not spoken to many people in the past 2 weeks, verbal diarrhoea (sp?!) could easily overwhelm me so try not to overdo it! Thankfully, it was verbal and nothing else - I survived! Thank you my guardian angels!!!! (Sorry if that is just a tad too much information...!)

Reaching Byron Bay and seeing the famous lighthouse in the distance was great. I was delighted to reach a place i was familiar with again! Walked myself (and my 25kg case) to the hostel I'm staying in - please note, this is my first time staying in a hostel so wasn't sure what to expect!!! I'm sharing a room with at least 3 blokes and someone else who I haven't met yet... The prospect of me snoring in the night isn't a good one - I'd like to make some friends after all!! It could all go very very wrong.

Took a walk along the beach this evening - the entrance to the beach is just behind where I'm staying, convenient or what. The weather is nice - not too hot and humid! Met a lady with a golden retriever called Annie and had a chat. Everyone is so friendly and I feel much more settled.

Whats made my day today is being able to chat online and see my family back home and a phone call from Viv in Adelaide who I'm with at the end of the month - all so very reassuring and I'm feeling much much stronger. Thank you xxxx

Posted by KerryMc 02:41 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Bali... to Singapore

Nasi Goreng and Nokia... grrrrr. Thank God for cauliflowers!!!

semi-overcast 31 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

24th November

My time in Bali was coming to an end. I was checking out today and I was pleased about that.

As expected, the nasi goreng was beginning to haunt me! Oh joy, especially with the thought of two flights lasting about 12 hours ahead of me...!

Just chance to get those darn sarongs - 2 for 4 pounds which i'm sure I could have got cheaper but who am I to deny the Indonesian tourist economy?!!

I was going to have a last few hours by the pool but those seats in the sunshine were taken - a sign to lay low for a while! Just as well as what I had hoped was to be a calm exit from Bali was going to get stressful!!

All packed, I was taken to the airport by one of the hotel's drivers and went to go through check-in. Unfortunately, I had left my travel shawl (to keep me nice and warm on flights.. a necessity I'll have you know!!) in the car from the hotel and was just so distressed by that (don't know why!). I managed to get hold of the hotel and they arranged for the guy to come back with it. Panic over....

I check in fine - have an exit seat for the Brisbane flight, get in! So proceed up to immigration....

"You have overstayed your visa madam you will have to come with me...." Visions of a Bridget Jones-esque searching of suitcase and Thai jail came through my mind and I felt physically sick! I had purchased a visa for 7 days. Well, I thought that was the obvious choice given the fact that I was staying for 7 nights, right? WRONG! "You have stayed 8 days madam. You have wrong visa...." I'm thinking, this is just the start, next they will be asking why I have about 10 boxes of tablets in my hand luggage....

Instead, I have to pay 200,000 rupiah (about 12 pounds) and finally get released from the interrogation room! I was a right state.

So you can imagine my utter delight when I think, "i'll ring my mom", only to take my phone out my bag and stare at a blank screen with a couple of white lines through it and no response. A busted phone..... its not my day!

I board the plane as quickly as I can, I can't wait to leave this place now and am delighted to get a seat right at the front so loads of room to stretch my legs. Maybe this isn't so bad after all!

Landing in Singapore was such a stark contrast from Bali's Ngurah Rai! Tiffany & Co, Apple, Hermes, La Perla, Sony... you name it, its here and all so fresh and modern. I feel like I'm in comfort again! Only time to send a quick email and look at how much the Vertu mobile phones are (EXPENSIVE!!!) then I'm off to my boarding gate. The flights next to mine are going to Adelaide (where I have family) and Manchester (home!!!!!!) - oh the temptation to just leave and come home.

I board my flight to Brisbane. My exit seat is waiting and I'm not giving that up for no-one!

Posted by KerryMc 23:01 Archived in Indonesia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Bali

Nasi Goreng

semi-overcast 32 °C
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23rd November

And so time to rest by the pool! Even if it is cloudy....

Not really much to tell you about today. I did try to capture a sunset picture for the lovely Jan West but with the threat of storms coming just gave me a moody looking set of pictures from the beach - still interesting and the breeze was great after the intense humidity of sitting around further inland.

I decided to brave doing some shopping as I desperately wanted some sarongs - no joy on that front but I did buy a 3 pound necklace made from shells which I like and I'm sure will match an outfit somewhere along the line ;)

This evening, even though my head was telling me not to as I'm leaving tomorrow, I tried the local dish of nasi goreng. This dish seems to follow me around - I remember it being served up for breakfast on Singapore Airlines when I last flew to Oz and then in Hong Kong, KL, and now Bali.. so it was time to try. The dish I had was basically spicy fried rice, chicken satay, prawns and omelette... hmmmm. Will I regret it??

Posted by KerryMc 22:53 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Bali

Tanah Lot

all seasons in one day 31 °C
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22nd November

Well, having a day sightseeing clearly took a lot of effort so decided upon a day by the pool! Well, until I saw the weather. In actual fact, I think it was just teasing me as I got myself up and out with my suncream on; got my pool towel and had just relaxed with my ipod when the clouds came over... how very rude! I am destined not to get a tan in Bali!

So, went to ask at the tour desk about a trip to Tanah Lot - one of Bali's 20,000 temples which is situated right on the coastline about an hour's drive from where I was staying.

Its a popular tourist spot (having been built on a rock off the cliffs in the 16th century!) and particularly popular at sunset when the sun sets behind the temple into the Java Sea.

I was thinking I'd go on Sunday (23rd) but given the weather - and the prospect of a 4pm pick up by the hotel, I jumped at the chance!

Being a holy temple and all, I needed to cover up a bit which was always going to be a problem in that heat!

Anyways, I braved it and arrived about 5pm. The clouds had dissipated by that time and I was roasting!! I think I looked a nice shade of lobster red - nice! Having said that, I got chance to take my photos and have a look around (avoiding the massive snakes that the locals were showing off...).

I had had enough within the hour so missed the sunset (by which time the clouds were heading back again so not much sunset to see!

It was good to get out again and see a bit of culture ;)

Posted by KerryMc 22:42 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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