A Travellerspoint blog

It's getting hot in here....

A bit of Western Australia

sunny 34 °C

Writing this from Perth airport as we experience our first flight delay of the trip. Pain of it is, we got up at 5.30am for a 3 hour drive to get here in time and we all know what a good mood everyone tends to be in at that time!
Still it gives me time to update you on the last weeks adventures.

We spent 24 hours in Perth and it would be ridiculous not to mention the heat. It was about 36 degrees in the city that day and we didn't cope very well......we spent quite a while in department stores just to take advantage of the air conditioning. However, we did have a treat in the form of a few hours with Sal, Helen and Summer. For those not in the know, the three of them live about 5 minutes from us at home but they come to Perth to visit Sal's sister. We escaped the heat in a beer garden on the river and quenched our throats with local brews while Summer ate ice cream that was all the colours of the rainbow.

The next day we picked up another toyota corolla to drive three hours south to Margaret River. It's a gorgeous spot and we were lucky enough to be the guests of great friends....from Brighton this time! Becky, Ben and little Eva played host, in a fabulous house that Becky had been given for the week in exchange for one of her gorgeous paintings. We were also with Becky's mum, Carol Ann and husband Geoff - and we each had a wing to ourselves! 5 bedrooms, spa baths, games rooms with pool table, large deck, big kitchen - now this is my idea of backpacking!!

ARUM

ARUM

The house was also surrounded by fabulous flora and fauna and Noush got to continue the Attenborough theme she has started. We had a new addition this time though - playing around the house in the evening.....

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We spent our first afternoon drinking beer on the deck before heading to the beach for a late afternoon swim. Early morning or late afternoon is about the only time you can bear to be on the beach due to the heat - and the sea was amazing. Perfect for body surfing and playing like a big kid!

Redgate Beach

Redgate Beach

Our last 5 days have comprised of swimming, sunbathing, eating and drinking, playing games, dancing with Eva and most importantly hanging out with one of my oldest friends and his lovely family. We have also been to a cinema in a vineyard with a lovely deli bought picnic - very swanky.

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We went to a petting zoo where I took a shine to Adam the Alpaca - although his mate Alf spat at Noush which was bloody rude. She was only trying to give him some carrots.

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Noush and Ben have played a lot of pool. I made some meringues. It's been bliss and we were sad to say our goodbyes before bed last night.

And that's that. Next stop Sydney. Good luck with the show Becky Blair! Lots and lots of love and thanks XX
http://www.gadflygallery.com/index.php

Posted by Dani Parry 19:43 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Melbourne to Adelaide

The Great Ocean Road and beyond

sunny 34 °C

(I just wanted to mention our real sadness at reading and seeing the reports about Christchurch and the earthquake earlier this week. I don't know why it resonates so much more when you have just visited somewhere, but it appears it does and our hearts go out to all those affected.)

We left Melbourne in a our Toyota Corolla.....not quite as characterful as erk. The Great Ocean Road starts about 100kms out of Melbourne but it's pretty much coast all the way along so we made some pitstops in Geelong and Torquay on our way to our first stop in Lorne. Arrived in time to head to the beach which was a treat......and we didn't even know at this point that it would be heavy rains and howling winds for the duration of our coastal trip! Lorne is a cool, surfy town and we booked into our first hostel of the trip.....Anouska's first hostel ever. Set in a gorgeous hilly garden in an almost bush setting - we had a cute, almost chapel like room and some very noisy neighbours.

Chatterbox

Chatterbox

These parakeets are everywhere and you need to hold on to your food or they'll swoop in and grab it. As with a lot of the wildlife in this part of the world, they are completely unfazed by humans and will happily eat from your hand. There were also beautiful red parrots swooping around and a rather large spider in our room - which I'm ashamed to say we had to get the owner to remove.

The next day we were heading to Apollo Bay via a couple of small walks. The first to see this waterfall -

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and then a trip in Kennett River where they see you can see a lot of these fellas -

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Noush is in love again! The Pukeko has been usurped by the koala!

The next two days were unfortunately blighted by some pretty dreadful weather. We also stayed in some fairly intersting places......there's shabby chic and then there's just.....

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The sun did make an appearance just for us to take some photos of the 12 Apostles - a beautiful stretch of road.

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Our last stop on the coast was a day in Port Fairy - as sweet as it sounds. I imagine it is like the Hamptons - pretty posh and middle aged but between the beautiful beach complete with horse riders and the river with jetties from every property, we fell for it hook, line and sinker. We also splashed out an extra $20 on an apartment and I got to play in a kitchen which is always a bonus.

The next day we drove for over 6 hours straight to Adelaide to return the car and also returned to hostel life. We were quite sad to leave the loveliness of Port Fairy but took ourselves off for a stroll to see what Adelaide had to offer. Turns out it was this...

What's she doing here?

What's she doing here?

It never ceases to amaze me how small the world is and I had no idea that Jen was going to be in Adelaide performing a show that we missed in London previews. It was a brilliant surprise and lovely to see the show and hang out with with an old friend in a strange city. We even stayed up til 1am! These crazy comedy types!

The next day we met at the Glenelg - Adelaide's gorgeous beach region. Although rumour has it it's plagued by Great Whites so we didn't spend much time in the water. And then it was time to leave another city on this whistlestop tour and head to the airport. Next stop... Perth.

PS If anyone is reading this who is in Adelaide then head to Fringe Festival and see Jen Brister is British(ish) at Tuxedo Cat. Every night until March 13th.

Posted by Dani Parry 00:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

G'day Melbourne

The start of an Australian adventure

semi-overcast 24 °C

Our first port of call on the Aussie leg of the trip is the uber-cool Melbourne. That's how I remembered it and it lived up to the memories - although being 10 years older I'm not sure I'm cool enough for it now!

Firstly a massive THANKS to Amms and Chook for putting us up and putting up with us for a week. You are heaps cool. For all of you who know them - here they are..... (hope this is OK you two)

Our Melbourne mates

Our Melbourne mates

While in Melbourne we spent our days doing the stuff you do in cities; we went to a few galleries and museums, we mooched around the shops, we ate and drank lots and took plenty of photos. We also went to the St Kilda Festival for the day which was a great mini free festival and I won't say anything about the Aussie bands for fear that Amms will never speak to me again!

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(Random balloon in my photo)

(Random balloon in my photo)

Melbourne felt more like a city to us - as Auckland and Wellington are both so sparsley populated by London standards. But it also has a beach 20 minutes away and a brilliant tram system and an abundance of chocolatiers!!! Again, there is a real acceptance of art and all kinds of culture - it definitely has some Brighton thrown in the mix. One area is entirely given over to graffiti...but having left my map behind I can't tell you what its called. But it looks like this....

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Even the bins get sprayed

Even the bins get sprayed

I was taken to a couple of really cool bars while poor Noush stayed in with a stomach bug (I think she just wanted to watch telly!). It's pretty easy to get a public liquor licence so bars spring up all over the place - and anyone that knows Amms knows she has made a big commitment to trying every bar in whatever part of the world she is living in at the time. Admirable stuff. Still not sure about chilli vodka cocktails though. Bit like cold thai soup.....

We shared a lovely Valentine's evening and dessert came courtesy of Little Cupcakes - the sweetest (pun intended) shop in Melbourne. We spent a day at the beach. We went out for perhaps the best tapas of my life (just don't mention the black pudding). Spent a morning in Victoria Market - like Borough but less up it's arse and so yummy. And I found my favourite shop in the trendy Fitzroy. Apparently there is one of these in London - why don't I know about this???

BEST SHOP EVER!

BEST SHOP EVER!

Our week flew by and was a great contrast to the mellow atmosphere of NZ. We're now in a car and driving the Great Ocean Road - wireless internet is few and far between in Aus so far so will update when and where we can.

Hope everyone is well and happy X

Posted by Dani Parry 15:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Noush’s New Zealand

A simple list of stuff I liked, or things that tickled me


View a migratory path on Dani Parry's travel map.

Tall milkshake cups – Groovy Giraffe designed paper cups, you can buy porcelain versions...maybe one for internet shopping when I get home.
Giraffe cup

Giraffe cup

Kiwi – (the bird) Didn’t get to see one, but learnt a lot about the lovable, snorting, noisy nocturnal football sized fur-ball. Cute as!
Kiwi

Kiwi

Hokey pokey ice cream – crunchy caramelly yummyness

Jandals – we call them flipflops, but I kind of like this version better

Kea – Cheeky green parrots with a penchant for Pretzels

Patties – Kiwi for Hamburger, love it

Pinot Noir – Probably the best PN in the world, my drink of choice every time whilst in NZ

Tui – the famous bird on most beer bottles in NZ, but for me his croaky squeaky voice was a welcome sound and unique to NZ

Pies – sold everywhere, I guess our version would be the humble sandwich, but in NZ you can pick up a delicious hot pie anywhere.

NZ coffee – watch out Starbucks! Great tasting coffee, although I did have to get used to learning new definitions like ‘trim flat white’

Lollies – We call them sweets.

Lolly cake – you got it, cake with sweets! I didn’t try any because I don’t think food should have fluorescent bits but the name works for me.
Lolly cake

Lolly cake

Pukeko – Big blue bird with huge red feet, teeny wings and a massive red beak, they roam the fields and have difficulty flying, plus their babies look like little black tennis balls with legs.
Pook

Pook

Whitakers Peanut Slab – mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Fishing – I never thought I’d say that! Catching your own dinner makes it all the more tasty.

New Zealand – Beautiful, awesome, exciting, like no place I’ve ever been and a place that I would love to return to. Sweet as!

Posted by Dani Parry 21:46 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

A sad farewell

Heading back to base

sunny 29 °C
View a migratory path on Dani Parry's travel map.

Following that walk I mentioned we drove up to Taupo town to stay for our final night in Erk. It's a funny thing when your entire existence takes place within a few square meters - I've experienced it before with sailing but the van life makes that look positively palatial. I know many of you have probably had driving holidays but just humour me while I talk you through the wonders of ERK!

Bed

Bed

Lounge

Lounge

Kitchen

Kitchen

Matchmaker

Matchmaker

Isn't he great!! So you can imagine our sadness at saying goodbye to not only the campervan leg of our trip but to our lovely van itself. ERK you were a star - even if you can't drive up mountains at faster than 50kph.

Thankfully our grief upon returning to Auckland was lessened by checking in to a pretty nice hotel and then going to see some very old friends who moved to NZ 9 years ago and seem to be having a blast quite frankly. A few hours catching up in the garden with a couple of bottles of wine and a chance to meet their lovely kids was a great antidote.

We followed that by going out for the evening (here comes the crazy party stories you see!!) with our reunion BFFs Harry and Rhys. They took us to see what Auckland has to offer on a Monday night and we had some great cocktails and laughed and danced and.......well we were back at the hotel by 11pm but we did have a good time!

Crazy nights!

Crazy nights!

Since then we've headed back to the Coromandel for some r'n'r, sunshine and to prepare for stage 3 of this amazing adventure. We've even been catching our own dinner.......

Fush

Fush

Beginner's luck I say!

Posted by Dani Parry 21:54 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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