Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Thursday, 24 November 2016

Melbourne

I had 30 hours in Melbourne however that was enough time for me. This was my fourth visit to Melbourne and there wasn't anything that I really wanted to see in the CBD that I had not seen before.

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I loved the borek from this store last time I visited Melbourne. As you can see in the photo from then and the one now, the dough is a lot thicker now. Since my trip to Turkey in 2015, I also tasted what a REAL borek should taste like and I think neither of them are very authentic. But definitely not the one I had that day, almost like a pide but not! 

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This was my eleventh trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here.
Sunday, 20 November 2016

Victoria Roadtrip: Canola Chasing II

Wordless post

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Victoria Roadtrip: Canola Chasing

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I had been wanting to find canola fields for the past few years to photograph. Canola or rapeseed results in gorgeous yellow flowers when they bloom in September - October. The canola fields in NSW are located around 4 hours [one way] away from Sydney which was why I hadn't made the journey to them. However in Victoria, they are only 2 hours away from Melbourne CBD and therefore it was a lot more convenient to visit them.

On an early Sunday morning after I woke up in my car, I headed west to the canola fields.

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Where I slept for the night. The first time I have car camped in suburbia. 

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Monday, 14 November 2016

Victoria Roadtrip: Lavandula Lavender Farm

On the way to Ballarat, I stopped at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. The 100 acre property was once farmed by Swiss-Italians who came to Australia in the 1850s.

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Victoria Roadtrip: Bendigo

After Heathcote, I continued my journey to Bendigo. I didn't have any particular reason to head to Bendigo, but I had thought it might be nice to see some of the larger cities in Victoria. It also gave me the opportunity to pop into the supermarket to grab some supplies.

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Bendigo Joss House Temple

I stopped first at the Joss House Temple however I probably should have done a bit more research. Rather than a proper active temple, it was more a museum about the Chinese migrants who came to Bendigo during the Gold Rush. I didn't end up paying for admission as that wasn't really up my alley and headed to the town centre instead.

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Victoria Roadtrip: Heathcote

Over the Labour long weekened back in late September, I flew down to Melbourne as a little getaway. As you may be able to guess, I like to spend my long weekends away and make the most of it. In the past I went to Riverina region, Capertee Valley and Port Stephens. I decided on Melbourne for two reasons: [1] To meet my work colleague for the first time and her new baby and [2] I was running out of ideas of places to visit near Sydney.

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Eating McDonalds at the airport is part of my airport ritual, especially for long haul flights. I have eaten at so many McDonalds at the airport over the world because its comforting. I am not the best flyer and plane food is always a bit hit and miss, but Maccas tastes virtually the same everywhere.

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On Saturday morning, I picked up my rental car and commenced my roadtrip!

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Friday, 28 October 2016

Mongolia Trip: Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Day 11 & 12 - Thursday 18th & Friday 19th August 2016

The end was near!

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This was going to be one of the last times I was going to repack my bag; I must admit, I was soon becoming quite proficient at it.

We headed back to Ulanbaataar to drop off one of the tour members before heading to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, which is located not too far from the city.

Mongolia 2016
Monday, 24 October 2016

Mongolia Trip: Karakorum & Ankle Bones

Day 10 - Wednesday 17th August 2016

The end of our tour was nearing and it was a little bittersweet. On one hand, I was excited at the prospects of not being with the same people 24/7 and heading back to civilisation. Hello Western style toilets, or any toilets. Heck, I would have been excited about proper squat toilets. I was getting sick of peeing anywhere / at squat toilets which were literally two planks of wood and usually a trillion flies. And the smell .. oh boy the smell. On the other hand, I was sad that I would be leaving the beauty of Mongolian countryside and I knew that I would not be returning any time soon.

But first - we got into a situation. Due to the rain, the ground was super super muddy and our van actually got stuck. We all climbed out and started to gather branches etc to help the wheels get traction. The van moved a little however we were still stuck. Eventually we had another tourist group in a 4WD pull us out of the mud. The funniest thing was that my tour group were all muddy and when the tourists in the other car got out, the contrast was hilarious. This Korean girl got out in her white jeans and her super white sneakers, saw the mud and then immediately got back into the car. Who wears white sneakers to visit countryside Mongolia?!?!

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Mongolia Trip: Tsenkher Hot Springs

Day 9 - Tuesday 16th August 2016

The pace of the tour gradually slowed down and today was the long awaited 'spa day' at the hot springs! It was also the second opportunity for a shower which was very exciting.

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Waking up to this. Incredible.

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Sticking my hand and camera out the window!
Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Mongolia Trip: Lost at Tövkhön Monastery

Day 8 - Monday 15th August 2016

The first half of the tour was quite hectic and it involved many hours in the van. The second half of the tour was considerably slower. Although I had googled the tour back in April, I hadn't looked at the exact details since and wasn't sure what was on the agenda. Therefore each day was a surprise!

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We were allowed a sleep in as we were only heading back out at lunch time. First we walked over to the Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall. Two of my tour members actually jumped into the water which was crazy as it was pretty chilly!

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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Central Coast Getaway


A few weekends ago, S and I went on a little getaway to the Central Coast. We really didn't go that far up as we stayed at Ettalong. I had been there before briefly and it feels very similar to the Northern Beaches.

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Friday night traffic! It took at least 40 mins to travel 2km. It was painful.
Friday, 30 September 2016

Mongolia Trip: Horse Riding II

Day 7 - Sunday 14th August 2016

The second day of horse riding was simply to head back to the ger camp that we started at. This time I took more photos although it highlighted the immense difficulties of having a manual focus lens. I didn't want to fall off my horse and tried to do a lot of point and shoot photos. It was windy that day which meant that my allergies were at bay!

I will leave this post relatively photo heavy which will be refreshing.

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Monday, 26 September 2016

Mongolia Trip: Horse Riding I

Day 6 - Saturday 13th August 2016

Earlier this year, I was on a horse for the very first time in my entire life. I wanted the experience as I knew that I would be horse riding on my trip to Mongolia. I honestly forgot that 2 days of horse riding would be included on my tour which was very exciting. Mongolian horses are a lot smaller than the typical horse. They are said to be half wild since the families let the horses roam freely except when they need a horse to ride. That being said, the family do select the same few horses for the tourists to ride. Mongolians only ride male horses as the female horses are for milking.

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mongolia Trip: Orkhon Valley

Day 5 - Friday 12th August 2016

Another long day of driving! We were now moving up north towards Central Mongolia for the second half of the tour which - like most days - involved covering a very large distance. The landscape started to change from the desert to the iconic steppes! The Gobi was so flat and barren and it was beautiful to see the difference in the landscapes.

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Mongolia Trip: Bayanzag

Day 4: Thursday 11th August 2016
We were warned the night before that today would consist of a lot of driving. We were heading out of the Gobi region and back north towards Ulanbaataar. This day was quite challenging for most of the people in the van, however it also highlighted something to me about myself. Naturally, I can get quite stressed and I am not the most positive person in the world. For those who know me in person, I am quite a negative and sarcastic individual, perhaps even bordering on bitchy more often than not. I find it hard to let things go, however for some reason when I travel a lot of these traits take a backseat (ha, I literally had a backseat in the van). I am definitely more carefree and stress a lot less about things I have no control over. It's a little bizarre but I think it's very much a good thing.

This day was a turning point in terms of the company that I was with. It was when the Canadian and American started to become quite grating and largely it was due to their negativity. Our vehicle was quite slow, going only at around 70kmph and had horrible suspension which made for a very bumpy car ride. The van was travelling with two others from the hostel (on shorter length tours) and we could never keep up with them which was very frustrating. They would be able to cruise at 100kmph and we would be trailing behind. The situation for this day was that we got separated from the vans (since they never waited for us) and we took a different route to our destination. It was a slightly annoying situation as the driver and the cook in the van did not speak English and we had no idea where we were going or if it was even the right direction. The American and Canadian (I was wedged between them) started to complain constantly that they didn't know where we were going and in the end I ended up putting in my earphones and listened to my audiobook (or maybe it was music). I was travelling through some beautiful and desolate landscape with people who ultimately would be able to communicate to Mongolians if we really ran into trouble.

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The drivers having an argument about which direction the town was.

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Mongolia Trip: Khongoryn Els

Day 3 - Wednesday 10th August 2016
We headed to the sand dunes part of the Gobi desert! It was a reasonably short drive distance wise, however the van could only travel at around 70kmph which was quite slow. It was incredible to see the changing landscape from the beautiful mountain ranges to the steppes and slowly to the insanely massive sand dunes! This was also the day where I learnt how to pee in an open field with people around!

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Lunch! A cucumber was never as tasty! By this stage, I was craving vegetables and fruit.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mongolia Trip: Yolyn Am

Day 2 - Tuesday 9th August 2016
I woke up naturally right before sunrise and managed to watch the sunrise. It wasn't a super special sunrise however it was very surreal to be in such an empty and quiet landscape, well except for the noises from the goats and the camels.

Breakfast consisted of stale / dry bread and spreads including super sweet jam and liverwurst. Sadly, this was the start of 11 days of breakfasts.

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After breakfast, we headed towards our destination of the day which was Yolyn Am which is located within the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Mongolia Trip: Tsagaan Suvarga

I am back in Sydney and already halfway through my second day at work! I really did jump straight from my holiday back to work and it was a little difficult yesterday. As mentioned numerous times, I have just returned from my two week holiday in Mongolia! In Mongolia I went on a 12 day tour to the Gobi desert and to central Mongolia.

Day 1 - Monday 8th August 2016
The tour had a little bit of a late start. We were originally told we would be leaving at 8am however I tried to embrace it as I knew the concept of being on time in Mongolia was going to a rare occurence based on my previous research.

The vehicle we were allocated was the typical Soviet van / Russian van that are reknown in Mongolia. The Soviet Vans are frequently used on tours as it has been said they are reasonably cheap to purchase initally and the parts are easy to obtain. They are also notorious for breaking down easily so this is something to be mentally prepared for. That being said, the vehicle that I was on did not experience any major issues (one flat tyre, the window handle fell off and the spare tyre fell off).

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Bouddi National Park & Wisemans Ferry

I had rented the car for the entire length of the long weekend and thus headed up north to the Central Coast for a day trip. Bouddi National Park had been on my radar for well over 7 months now however it required a car to get there and it wasn't a high priority for me. But alas I made the drive up since it was reasonably close!

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Friday, 8 July 2016

Hill End

I mentioned that I had wanted to visit Hill End during my Easter road trip, however due to time constraints I didn't end up going. As I was roughly in the area, I decided to head there on my second and last day.

I woke up to the valley completely surrounded in fog and it was just breathtaking. Stupidly, I had forgotten to remove my camera battery from my camera and in the -4 degree temperatures overnight, it had drained completely. D'oh! I moved the battery to my pocket on my shirt to warm it up and eventually had the battery partly restored which is why I still have photos!

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