Saturday, July 30

The travels - attempt #3!!

Here we go!

In 2008, I set off for what was supposed to be 3 months of travelling with my cousin. I'd been planning it for over 18 months, and we had all sorts of plans to see different places and do different things. However, having met hubby the previous June at a rock festival, it didn't quite turn out that way, and the 3 months became 3 weeks of travels. I still loved every second, but I really missed Jim by the second week, and made the decision to book my flights home for 8 days later.

I've been very lucky ever since I was young, and my parents have taken my sister and I away on some lovely holidays. Gran Canaria, Corfu, Spain, Penang (Malaysia), Florida, Egypt, Cyprus (honeymoon), and here follows my journey to Dubai, Singapore and Australia.

We decided not to do the flights in one stint, having flown to Malaysia and back twice, I didn't fancy a long flight going straight into Australia, so we made stops for a couple of days in Dubai and then Singapore. We arrived in Dubai in the evening, and it was absolutely one of the most humid places I've ever been to. Due to the heat, we didn't get much chance to explore here, and we were nowhere near the coast, but I can't say I'm all that bothered, and I won't be going back.

The 'blurring' in these photos isn't done by me for effect, I could barely take two photos before my camera lense was fogged up! We were quite lucky with the accommodation here, as it turned out to be a self-contained apartment, and for a very good price. Nice.

A couple of days later, we headed back to the airport and on to Singapore. The accommodation wasn't so good here, but a room with a bed is a room with a bed, for a couple of days anyway. In fact, my cousin even managed to drop the window...

Yes - that is sellotape. Oops. On our first day, we decided to go for a wander and see what we could find. Little did we know that our hostel was not far at all from western conveniences - McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc - instead, we headed off in completely the opposite direction and found the local market street. Some very... interesting foods which we didn't go for. I believe dinner that day consisted of a bottle of coke and lots of crisps from the local store. If only my nose could have led me to pizza Wink Our second day was more successful; we headed into the town centre, as we wanted to visit the Raffles Hotel. After a little bit of window shopping, we headed inside to the Long Bar where we had a burger and chips, and I decided that with my coke, I would indulge in a Singapore Sling cocktail. Here's what my cousin thought of that:

Brilliant. Interesing fact - The Singapore Sling is a cocktail that was developed sometime before 1915[1] by Ngiam Tong Boon (嚴崇文), a bartender working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel Singapore. The original recipe used gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine, and fresh pineapple juice, primarily from Sarawak pineapples which enhance the flavour and create a foamy top

This is definitely among my top 5 most expensive meals, but it may be the only time I get to do it so what's £50 for a burger, chips, coke and cocktail hey? It was a good burger! What I loved about the Long Bar, is every table has a bowl of peanuts on it. The customary way with these, is to crack the shell to get the peanuts out, and throw the shells on the floor. You would
 be amazed at the number of people who would pile their peanut shells up nice and tidily on the table, only for the staff to come along after they left and sweep the lot on to the floor!

Let's see if I can get past this bit today - I would like to let you know, that I had just started writing the first paragraph todayand Jim's laptop did the blue-screen crash dump and restarted, so this nearly didn't happen at all... I wondered whether I am destined not to tell you about our journey! Third time lucky perhaps

From Singapore, we took our third 7 hour flight on to Brisbane, and spent a few days with fellow backpackers at the Brisbane Backpacker's Hostel. Our starting point when planning our 'gap year' was to do a week's ranch experience - this was organised a long time before we left England, and we had made arrangements to be collected from Brisbane airport by the rep. After over an
hour of panicking, they finally arrived to collect us, and after introductions to those others who were also doing the week on the ranch, we headed up to our rooms, sorted out our bags and bunks and headed out for a drink to celebrate. The only bar open was
a Rasta bar, and I had to settle for drinking spirits which I don't normally, but we had a good few days settling in.

Here comes the fun stuff, so I'll leave you wondering for a bit - I need to get some dinner on. I'm all by myself this evening, I dropped hubby, brother in law and our friend Ben off for a boys night out camping in the woods earlier this afternoon, so he's looking out on a lovely view a little bit like this, before they head into the tree-line for the night

Back in a bit!

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