My Travel Diary: Bali & Back to Reality

Good Morning!

So there we have it, mine and Ryan’s travels are over. We’re back on British soil and have spent the last couple of weeks catching up with friends and family and reminiscing on our 14 months away.

Our last month travelling was spent in Bali, mainly because of how cheap it is there, but also for the beautiful views and the Bintang beer!

For our first 2 weeks in Bali we stayed at The Visala Boutique Suites and couldn’t have had a better stay. It was a small, quiet hotel but we absolutely loved how intimate it was. The staff were extremely friendly and we would definitely go back there!

We spent our time wandering the tourist town of Seminyak, soaking up the sun and hitting the local bars.

We also met up with the sister of a friend we met in Australia; her name was Rachel and she was travelling Bali alone. It was nice to have another girl to spend a bit of time with; we got our nails done (gels, for £5 I might add!!) and spent a day at Potato Head Beach Club.

Our time in Bali was sweet, apart from the fact that we felt 4 Earthquakes whilst there! Luckily none that were big enough in our area to cause any major damage; but still scary nonetheless!

Here’s a couple pictures from our time in Bali where we basically ate, drank and soaked up the sun. Bliss!

Since being home Ryan and I have caught up with loved ones and tried to settle back into old routines – which is bloody hard I can tell you!

We’re both unsure of what we want to do career wise and aren’t used to not having a plan of action; it’s a very strange situation to be in. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lost, but the only way is up from here. We just need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back into the swing of things.

I can’t really see us being settled by Christmas time (which is a shame as it’s my FAVE time of year) but we shouldn’t be too far off! Positive mental attitude and all that!

Then I can start focusing on blogging for the fun that is fashion – can I get a hallelujah?!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Fiji Island Hopping

Bula!!

At the end of my last post Ryan and I had jumped back on the Yasawa Flyer boat to make our way to our next stop in Fiji: Naviti Island.

We stayed at Botaira Resort which was very small and personal; there weren’t many people staying at the resort and at dinner times we would all be seated together so it was really easy to get to know the other visitors. The other people staying were mainly older couples; from New Zealand, France, Germany and Hawaii.. but there was also some volunteers on the island too!

We were meant to be staying in a large dorm room but the resort had a young volunteer group staying so we were moved into a room with an older volunteer named Tyrion (yes, like Game of Thrones!)

Tyrion (T for short) was a lovely girl from Wales who was helping to build/install water tanks at the local village. We got on really well with T, it probably had something to do with the fact that she’s from Wales and I am literally obsessed with Gavin and Stacey!

‘How’s it goin’ alrigh’ – if you know, you know!

On the previous island we were lucky enough to swim with reef sharks which was insane! And on this island we snorkelled with manta rays which was equally as amazing!

There’s a specific snorkel spot that a small boat wizzed us to which is known as the manta ray channel. We were lucky and got to the snorkel spot first – as soon as we got in the water it was like we were surrounded by the manta rays – there were loads of them and they were so close to us! I felt way out of my comfort zone being so close so I didn’t spend very much time in the water. (Ryan was, of course, the last out of the water.)

The longer we were at the spot the more and more boats from other islands arrived with snorkelers all trying to catch a glimpse at the beautiful rays. I think we got lucky being first on the scene as we saw so many rays all together and then as soon as the other boats started to arrive they weren’t as easy to spot.

Ry and I also went to Soso village with some of the other couples staying on the island. Soso village was on the other side of Naviti Island – we walked with one of the resort staff called Solo (short for Soloman) who was very friendly.

Our walk to the village was relatively tiring; we walked up and over a hill from one side of the island to the other then along the beach to get to the village.

One thing we noticed (and have noticed a lot in many different places on our travels) is the amount of rubbish on the beach and in the ocean. Mainly plastics and especially plastic straws. Something Ryan and I have both really appreciated when visiting restaurants and bars is when they use re-usable or recyclable straws. We’re both going to make a conscious effort to try and not use/buy any plastic straws in the future. #savetheturtles

Once at Soso village we visited a small school where a group of children sang some nursery rhymes to us – they were adorable!

We then met some older children who were learning English; going away has shown us how lucky we are to be from England and for the majority of the world to have to learn/speak our language! I do still feel slightly uneducated when we meet other travellers from all over the world who reel off a long list of languages they speak though and I’m just there like ‘Hi I’m English, and speak English’

We took a look around the class room and the playground outside. There was a climbing frame donated by a charity and a rugby pitch with homemade rugby goals.

After that we took a quick trip to their church and saw some of the village locals trying to sell souvenirs before making our way back to Botaira Resort.

An afternoon on the island was spent sunbathing, snorkelling and jumping off a 25+ft floating diving board; well Ryan jumped, I watched.

We then walked to the top peak on the island to take in the view at the top which was beautiful – we only just got back to the resort before the sun went down – I did not fancy taking the trek down in the dark!

The next morning we caught the Yasawa Flyer to our next stop; Nacula Island.

We jumped off the boat and checked in to Oarsman’s Bay Lodge.

Again this resort was small and personal and unfortunately was next door to Blue Lagoon Resort which we had heard was amazing!

Blue Lagoon resort did seem a hell of a lot busier than ours; our resort was very quiet with very few guests but the people (and the food!) were brilliant!

On the island we booked a trip to visit the Sawa-I-Lau caves.

The boat ride over was HORRENDOUS! I thought we were going to capsize, luckily we didn’t and the boat ride back to our resort was a breeze!

The caves themselves were beautiful – one large cave was lit up by the sunlight filtering through a hole in the ceiling and a secondary cave could be reached buy an underwater tunnel. I was too scared to go under water and be greeted with darkness the other side so we stayed in the large cave with a group of other people who shared my fear!

There were two Fijians who where completely fearless though; climbing the cave walls and jumping into the water below from the highest points – I had my heart in my mouth the whole time but you could tell they did that kind of thing all the time!

Once back at the resort Ryan and I were taking a romantic stroll along the beach when the owner of the resort came to find us to ask if he could move us from our dorm room into a private lodge – I mean, YES?!

After a good nights sleep in our little lodge we checked out of our room, and jumped back on the Yasawa Flyer to take us back to Port Denarau, Nadi.

Once back on the mainland we had a couple of days to kill before our departure flight.

We spent one day (and our 5th year anniversary!) on Cloud 9 – as recommended by another couple we met travelling; Katie and Ellis.

Cloud 9 was brilliant! It’s a floating platform in the middle of the Fijian sea! HOW SICK!

It’s got daybeds, sun loungers, a bar, pizza oven and surround sound system throughout. Soaking up the sun, eating pizza and sipping cocktails – it was the perfect way to spend our anniversary!

Another day was spent at Malamala Beach Club – the worlds first island beach club!

Again we LOVED our time at Malamala! It was everything you would want in a beach club; daybeds, gorgeous food and drinks, white sand beach, an infinity pool – I could go on but you get what I’m saying, well worth a visit!

And before we knew it our time in Fiji was over – we had the BEST time in Paradise but we were ready to jump on a plane to our next stop: Bali!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Fiji Island Hopping

Bula!!

(Fijian greeting; pronounce ‘boo-lah’)

So we made it, after many months travelling the beauty that is Australia we are at our next destination and the most beautiful of all – Fiji!

I mean, how could we not visit Fiji whilst over this part of the world?!

I know it’s not fair to have favourites, we’ve visited so many places so far; all unique and beautiful in their own ways but I’m sorry, Fiji is just on another level!

There’s not that much to do on the mainland (in my opinion) – island hopping is where the real beauty lies!

We arrived in Nadi, checked into a little hotel and spent the day relaxing before starting our island hopping trip the next day.

Everything for Fiji was preplanned; we knew what we wanted to do and when so booked in everything and only had to worry about the spending money.

We got picked up on the morning of our island hopping trip and caught the Yasawa Flyer from Port Denarau to our first stop – Beachcomber Island.

Beachcomber was tiny; you could walk around the whole island within 5 minutes!

Our first day was jam packed. We spent some time soaking up the sun before one of the staff took us turtle viewing; they had 3 turtles that they were looking after before releasing back into the ocean. They said that turtles are endangered in Fiji and many of them die when they are young – so they look after the turtles until they are bigger and can survive on their own.

Next we took a small boat out to go snorkelling and to feed the fish. There were so many fish around, most bright blue but the odd pink one amongst them – there were loads anyway but as soon as we started feeding them even more came! It was a great little snorkel spot! And the boat had a glass bottom so you could see the fish and coral beneath the boat too!

After snorkelling we got bitten alive playing crazy golf; it’s crazy how teeny Beachcomber Island was, yet how much there was to do! Those of you who know me personally know I’m not competitive in the slightest so playing crazy golf with me is like playing by yourself because you’ve already won before the games started – even the Fijians were laughing at how awful I was!

In the evening there was a karaoke competition – Ry and I stayed well away from the mic for the sake of everyone else’s ear drums! If only the group of youngsters who sang a High School Musical song did the same – let’s just say I don’t think they should apply for The X Factor any time soon. (A little mean but true!)

The next day we had our SeaSpray day tour.

We got picked up, jumped on our SeaSpray boat and were greeted with champagne on arrival – thank you very much!

We had a crew of Fijians sailing the boat, playing music for us on their guitars and ukuleles and they also cooked us a delicious bbq style lunch. We had unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks on the tour too!

Our first stop ashore was to visit the Monuriki Island which is famous as the island that parts of Cast Away was filmed on. We took a look around at what was left from the filming and spent the rest of the time on the island sun bathing and snorkelling.

Next we sailed to another island to visit Yanuya Village. We met local Fijians from the village and took part in a Kava Ceremony. Kava is a drink that is made from plant extracts; the plant is grown in many Fijian villages and is how many earn income.

During the ceremony we were given the opportunity to try the kava – I opted against this as the drink resembles muddy water, apparently doesn’t taste great and makes your mouth and throat numb.. Ry on the other hand did try it – it’s also protocol to clap once before being given the bowl of kava by the ceremony leaders and clap 3 times once you’ve downed the muddy concoction – and thank the Fijians in their local language by saying: ‘Vinaka’.

We then took a short walk to a small boarding school on the island; we saw the dorms they slept in, their chore timetable on the wall and a long list of emergency procedures in case of fires, earthquakes, hurricanes etc!

After our tour around the village we jumped back on SeaSpray and made our way back to Beachcomber Island. We slept, checked out the next morning and hopped back on the Yasawa Flyer to make our way to Kuata Island.

We jumped off the Yasawa Flyer and made it to Barefoot Kuata Resort. We were really excited to be staying on at this resort as one of the activities we had included in our trip was to go snorkelling with reef sharks and you could only do that activity from this resort!

Of course something had to go wrong..

Reception checked in the other guests and asked us to wait to one side; they came over and apologised for the mix up saying that we were not meant to be on the island, that they contacted the tour operator ages ago to say they no longer had space for us as they had a school coming so were fully booked. Unfortunately that message was never passed onto us, or updated on our tickets. They said we were meant to go to Octopus Resort instead and that they would call them to see if they could send a boat to collect us.

As you can imagine we weren’t very happy to be missing out on the reef sharks! We asked the snorkel guide if there was anyway we could jump on the boat to go snorkelling before leaving the island; there wasn’t any space on the boat so it was a no unfortunately. *sad face*

The guy said he would speak to his manager and see if they could sort something out – we were taken to the bar and given a free drink to wait for the guy to come back or for our boat to the other island to arrive.

The guy came back and said he’d sorted it so we could jump on the boat in the afternoon when they take the introductory divers as they go to the same spot as the snorkelling. We could stay on the island, have complimentary lunch and then snorkel as we hoped and a boat from the other island would come and get us after – Can I get a Hell Yeah?!

We saw sooooo many reef sharks and it was really nice as it was just me and Ryan snorkelling so we didn’t have to fight with a massive group of other snorkelers to see them!

Once back at Barefoot Kuata we waited for our transfer boat to arrive to take us to Octopus Resort on Waya Island.

Our boat arrived and zoomed us across to the correct island.

Finally on the correct island all we wanted to do was check in and relax – but, oh no, that would be far too easy wouldn’t it?

We got to Octopus resort and they didn’t have 2 beds in the same room for Ryan and I to stay in *rolls eyes*

They asked if we would mind staying separately for one night and then move us together after that -usually I’d just shrug it off and agree but because we’d been messed around with not going to the right island in the first place my patience was wearing thin and I refused to sleep separately considering we’d booked our stay bloody months ago! So they put us in a private bungalow for a night and said we’d need to check out the next day and go into our dorm when the others leave (slightly annoyed they didn’t just offer us the private room for both nights for the hassle we’d gone through but a free upgrade to private bungalow is not to be moaned about!)

Other than the mishap with check in, everything else about our stay at Octopus Resort was great! We LOVED it and would definitely go back there!

The food was delicious; buffet style the first night and a 4 course meal the second night, including a sorbet to cleanse the palette between meals – how very posh!

We spent our full day on the island relaxing in the sun and in the evening the resort played Jimanji near the pool; outdoor cinema style! The resort staff even popped round and handed out free popcorn and ice-cream as we watched! How cute!

The next day we jumped back on the Yasawa Flyer to go to our next island!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble

My Travel Diary: Melbourne & Adelaide

Good morning!

At the end of my last post Ryan and I had finished our time in Alice Springs and hopped on our bus to start our long journey to Adelaide.

We stopped in Coober Pedy for a one night stopover to break up the journey a little. Coober Pedy is well known as a mining town. It’s a town in the middle of nowhere and is essentially only there because of the opal mining!

We stayed in a hostel which was underground (which is pretty cool I guess!) and owned by a creepy guy that just moaned to anyone and everyone and was really unhelpful with any questions you needed answering. We honestly heard him repeat the same story (what felt like 50 times) about a group of people wanting to check in at 5am and how they shouldn’t come earlier than reception hours blah blah blah!!

So you could say we were more than happy to be only staying the one night! We checked out the next morning and hopped on our bus to Adelaide.

We didn’t do to much in Adelaide; we checked into our little hostel which had free pancakes every morning (don’t mind if I do!) and took a stroll around a few museums and took in the graffiti on the streets. We visited the Migration Museum, South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery.

We then got picked up and started our 3 day tour of The Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Our first stop on the tour was a bonus stop at a pink lake! We were driving along the road and our tour guide swung the bus round so we could jump off the and take a short walk to the lake. We were lucky as the tours don’t normally stop there; we only stopped there as we were doing well for time!

In Australia they do this thing where they’re pretty much to-the-point when it comes to giving things names. The Great Ocean Road; because it’s a great… Ocean… Road. The Great Barrier Reef; because it’s a great barrier reef. The Sydney Opera House; because it’s an opera house in Sydney. I could go on but you get the gist; so the pink lake we visited was called *drumroll please*

Pink Lake!

Classic.

We then entered into The Grampian National Park – we stopped along the journey at McKenzie Falls and Reid’s Lookout before making our way to our lodges to stay the night. We stayed up playing Cards Against Humanity with half the group, and it was so much funnier because we were playing with a couple of Germans and they didn’t understand a lot of what their cards said! And Jeff, a guy we met from Canada, couldn’t even read out the cards because he was laughing to hard!

The next day we took a short hike to The Pinnacle and were meant to be greeted with spectacular views at the top however instead got a view of cloud/fog! Our tour guide Em showed us pictures of what the views normally look like – as you can imagine seeing a picture is just not the same! ‘And here’s what you could’ve won’ vibes!

After our hike we visited a culture centre to learn some history about the aboriginal people; I read a section which spoke about how the aboriginals came forward to fight in the World War, many of them died and those that came back were still not treated as equal to the other Australians, even after fighting for their Country! Madness!

After walking around the culture centre we then saw kangaroos and wallabies in the grounds surrounding the centre. We then made our way to Tower Hill to have our lunch inside a volcano; which sounds WAY cooler than it was, it’s essentially a massive crater/base of a volcano that has parks inside ..you wouldn’t know you were inside a volcano unless told – like we were!

We did spot our first Koala in one of the trees at our lunch spot though – finally, only took us 10 months!

We started our drive along the Great Ocean Road and stopped at the Bay of Islands, the Grotto, London Bridge and finally visited the Twelve Apostles for sunset.

Our tour guide told us a story about two people that pulled a sicky at work to take a romantic visit to the rock formation that resembles London Bridge and whilst there one part of the Bridge collapsed leaving them stranded. There were reporters and it was all over the news of the couple that were stranded on the rock, the pair were being very camera shy and it turned out that’s because they were married.. to other people!! I guess there must be something said for being publicly humiliated in front of the nation as the couple later got married and are still together now.

After sunset we made our way to our overnight accommodation which was a large room full of bunkbeds where the whole group would sleep. Two elderly women were on our tour, both of whom it seemed had no bloody clue what they’d signed up for. Lynn was a fully self proclaimed princess and was very open about the fact she was way out of her comfort zone and all her friend could do was laugh about the situation. They were completely out of their comfort zone however both said they had an amazing time and really enjoyed themselves – which is the main thing, right?!

The next day we carried on with our journey on The Great Ocean Road. We stopped at Loch Ard Gorge then took a stroll through Mates Rest Rainforest and got SOAKED!

We continued on our journey (now disgustingly wet) and stopped at Apollo bay cafes for a cuppa and snack. Ryan and I tried the yummiest salted caramel cheesecake brownie and I am determined to find a recipe to try at home! *wipes drool from mouth*

Next we stopped at the famous Great Ocean Road sign – I mean, have you even travelled the Great Ocean Road if you don’t get a picture of the sign? Thought not.

Bells Beach was our next destination, we stopped to view the large group of surfers catching waves there. There were loads of them! How they didn’t smack into each other I will never know!

We hopped on the bus one last time and made our journey into Melbourne – waved goodbye to our group and hello to our hostel – our last hostel! Can I get a hallelujah?!

Of course we had to have issues in our last hostel, didn’t we?!

We got to the hostel and some how they had Ry and I on separate bookings, so we weren’t in the same room! Reception sorted it out so we could be in the same room but it was a bit of a faff and turned out we were put on the top floor with people staying long term.

The people in the room were really nice; one guy, Jimmy, is a musician, and he was kind enough to give us his CD. He was also very spiritual and believed that the higher spirits control our lives, he said they had put us in that room and they wouldn’t do anything they didn’t think we could handle… Which was really spooky as Ry and I had been discussing upgrading to a private room as we were slightly thrown by the long term room, so it was like he had read my mind or had heard our conversation somehow!

We didn’t have long left in the hostel so decided to remain in the long term room.

We had one day tour booked in for our time in Melbourne which was to see the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.

Ryan and I booked quite a few tours for our time in Australia but didn’t do to much research into what they included; this was better for us, so we had no expectations and lots of what we did was a surprise. Phillip Island was no different, all we knew was that we were going over to the island to view the Penguin Parade, whatever else we did was a bonus.

It turns out the Phillip Island tour was actually one of my favourite tours!

Our first stop on the tour was at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. This first stop made the day for me!

The sanctuary was home to loads of wallabies and kangaroos roaming freely around the grounds and you could hand feed them so they would come up close enough for you to pet! It was great!

It was also home to many birds, dingos, Tasmanian devils and koalas!

It was nice to finally see koalas so close! We didn’t hold one in the end – fun fact: it’s actually illegal to hold a koala in most states in Australia, most people hold one in Queensland where it IS legal.

We then continued on our journey to Phillip Island. Whilst on the island we took a quick stop at the Koala Conservation Centre to spot even more koalas climbing the trees there.

Next stop was Churchill Island Heritage Farm for us to take a look into the old farming ways. There was sheep shearing, working dogs rounding up sheep and whip cracking. Some visitors had a go at whip cracking and one guy almost took his ear off!

There were lots of animals at the farm including Cape Barren Geese which reminded me a little of Buckbeak from Harry Potter!

Our tour guide accidentally ran over one of them when we left the farm – poor thing!

Then it was time to spot some Penguins!

We took a stroll along The Nobbies coastal boardwalk to see if we could see some penguins in their huts/pods – it was very hard to see into them and I could only just see the fluffy belly of a penguin inside one of the many pods!

Then it was time for the main event, the Penguin Parade.

Each evening, after sunset, the many Penguins return home after a day of fishing and it’s become a tourist attraction to see these beautiful creatures swim ashore and make their way up to their pods.

It is made perfectly clear to everyone that photography is not allowed – the cameras are damaging to the little penguins eyes unfortunately. We were told we couldn’t even take pictures without our flash on as this could still harm them, and also because sometimes the flash automatically comes on. The amount of people who did not care about this actually made me so angry! Especially when we were close to the penguins when they were making their way up the hills to their pods – people were taking pictures so close to the penguins, flash on too – it made my blood boil!

It was a beautiful thing to see but seeing people have total disregard for the penguins made me feel quite sad!

We spent the next day getting ourselves sorted for our flight out of Melbourne to our next destination – Fiji!!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Alice Springs

Good morning guys!

After what felt like the longest bus journey EVER we finally arrived in Alice Springs ready to do our tour to Uluru (Ayers Rock).

We got picked up super early from our accommodation and made our way to our first stop; Kings Canyon.

We stopped to refuel at Erldunda and saw Emu’s and I even saw a wild camel while looking out the window on our journey!

We took a 3 hour hike round Kings Canyon. We walked through the domes of the Lost City, visited the North and South walls and survived the infamous heart attack hill which has an AED at the top just to give you an idea of how tiring it is!

We stopped at the Garden of Eden to have lunch before continuing through the canyon.

After a busy day of walking and pic snapping we stopped at Curtin Springs to set up our bush camp. We helped collect firewood ready for camp and a Korean couple named Kim and Mimo took over setting up the fire. It was up in seconds!

We laid our swags out, ate our camp oven cooked dinner and roasted marshmallows on the fire.

Our first day was great, our first night? Not so much!

We stayed in swags, which are basically giant sacks with a hood; or ‘monster flap’ as our guide Ben called it.

We were bloody FREEZING!!

You had the option to hire a sleeping bag, which Ryan and I didn’t do due to the fact we had our own ..this was the error. Our sleeping bags were for 10 degrees and the ones you hire are for – 5 degrees ..do you see our problem here?

Note to anyone who is going to be doing the rock tour any time soon – HIRE THE DAMN SLEEPING BAG

And layers, take lots and lots of layers!

We were so cold during the night, I don’t think I actually slept at all and Ryan and I both said we couldn’t feel our legs because they kept going numb!

(The second night was even colder so we actually stayed in the bus because that’s the kind of princess I am!)

On our second day we woke up early, had breakfast and popped to Yulara campground for a quick shower before starting our day.

Our first stop was at the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta. We took a short walk around the Valley of the Winds before heading to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre where we learnt about the aboriginal culture, the history of the land and Uluru and what it means to them.

After visiting the culture centre we then went to Uluru to do the Mala Walk. (Part of the base walk).

When we arrived at Uluru we were shown where you could climb the rock. You could see a chain pinned to the rock and white lines either side of it where previous climbers feet have worn away at the rock.

The climb was in fact closed when we visited; I wouldn’t have wanted to climb it anyway due to it being so sacred for the aboriginal people. But some of the group were wanting to do it but couldn’t; Ben said only 5 days earlier there was another death and that’s why it’s been closed again!

After completing the Mala Walk we drove to a viewing area to have dinner and watch the sunset over Uluru.

Then we headed back to our campsite in Yulara to get the fire going again.

Some of us headed up to the lookout near our campsite which was perfect for taking a look at the beautiful starry sky. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact we were in the middle of nowhere with little-to-no pollution but they sky was so clear and the stars so bright!

The next morning we woke up early to catch the sunrise over Ayers Rock, we had our breakfast while watching too – bliss!

We then went to do the rest of the base walk around Uluru. There is aboriginal art work on parts of the rock and many parts of the rock are deemed as sensitive so they ask that you do not take photographs of it. The aboriginal people do not divulge why they are sensitive but ask that you respect their wishes.

After the walk we dropped a couple of people from our tour off at the Ulara airport then made our journey back to Alice Springs.

On the journey to Alice Springs we stopped a couple of times; once to take a look at a view of the outskirts of Lake Amadeus, another time to see some camels and the last one to get a picture near the Alice Springs sign.

Once back in Alice Springs we checked into our hostel, had a much needed shower and got ourselves ready to go for a goodbye meal and drinks with the rest of the tour. And Ryan ordered a Kangaroo steak!!

After a good nights sleep in a nice warm bed we then left Alice Springs to get another bus to our next stop!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Darwin

Good morning guys!

We touched down in Darwin after our short flight from Cairns and could instantly feel the heat hit you straight in the face. YAAAAS SUN!

We made our way from the airport to our hostel and spent the day wandering around the town and getting ourselves sorted for our tour the next day.

We had booked ourselves on a 3 day tour that explored the Kakadu and Litchfield National parks.

We got picked up super early on the morning of day one by our Way Outback tour guide, Simon, and quickly became friendly with another couple on our tour; Jason and Emma, both Aussies and both bloody hilarious!

Our first stop was at Fogg Dam to do the dam walk. We were advised to stay well away from the water edge as a salt water crocodile is currently in the water. They have cages in the waters to catch the crocodiles to keep an eye on the type and size of crocs in the waters. If they find a salt water crocodile on the water they simply release it again and put up signs clearly stating there’s a deadly beast in the waters.

One Japanese guy (who we later found out doesn’t speak English very well) didn’t listen to the warning given by Simon and was crouched down near the water edge trying to take photos – my heart was in my mouth watching him stupidly give himself up for a crocs dinner – luckily he moved back after multiple people telling him to stay away from the edge.

Our next stop was a cruise around Corroboree Billabong to spot crocs and bird life.

We were advised, again, to be careful of the salt water crocs. No pointing out over the boat and to keep your arms inside the boat at all times.

I’ll give you one guess who didn’t listen to these rules..

That’s right, the Japanese guy.

The first thing he did when we got seated on the boat was start tapping his hand on the edge of the boat in an attempt to coax the crocs – I mean, does this guy want to die?!!

Our boat driver then went on to tell us about how she had to get one of the crocodiles removed from the Billabong as it attempted to take a snap at her one day; jumped right out of the water with the snapping of its jaw only just missing her.

We saw many crocodiles basking in the sun, in the water and loads of birds too. We saw the Jabiru bird, sea eagles and so many more I can’t remember the names of!

After our cruise we had lunch and went to explore the Kakadu National Park, which is still home to 2 aboriginal tribes.

We hiked around Ubirr to take in the ancient ancestral art work carved on the rocks. They told stories of how the white men came, what animals they hunted and their ancestors past.

We climbed to the Nadab look out and were welcomed with a view that overlooks the land. The view reminded me of The Lion King; rust coloured sand, green trees and mustard yellow rocks.

After wandering Ubirr we made our way to our Campsite in Cooinda. We slept in tents, cooked dinner and had beers under the stars.

On our second day we drove along a very bumpy dirt track from our campsite to Jim Jim Falls.

It was a short hike to get to the falls and we had to go past a lake which we weren’t allowed to swim in as it is home to a couple of salt water crocodiles.

After hiking further past that lake we arrived at the beautiful Jim Jim Falls.

There were two fresh water pools, one with a white sand edge and the other you had to climb over rocks to get to.

The second pool was spectacular; it was a deep pool which the waterfall cascaded into. It was a perfect circle with the rock cliff forming a semi circle around the pool. Most definitely one of the most beautiful things we’ve seen since our travels – and it was quiet too, just our group with the whole of Jim Jim Falls to ourselves!

We headed to our second campsite; Mt Bundy Station. We stayed in tents again and there were lots of animals around the grounds. There were cows, horses, a bull, dogs, a little Shetland pony wandering freely and heaps of wallabies bouncing around too.

There was also a river near our campsite, and guess what? There was a salt water crocodile in there! *shock*

We were talking to Simon who said the croc has eaten 2 of the campsite owners dogs!!

He said the owner has been offered a lot of money for the crocodile (for the meat or skin I guess?) but has turned down his offers as ‘the crocs not done me any harm’

…You mean accept eat two of your bloody dogs?!

After hearing that story the boys were winding me up saying the Shetland pony is next – little shits!

Our last day was spent in the Litchfield National Park. We drove to check out some really old termite mounds – how exciting does that sound?! So. Much. Fun.

In case you don’t do sarcasm the mounds were pretty underwhelming, in my opinion; I’m just not interested in that kind of thing. We were given a fact about termites though: that in each termite mound there is one queen and her ‘soldiers’ and when she dies so do her army and the termite mound starts to crumble away. And that if the queen gives birth to a female, that female will fly away, stop somewhere and build her own army wherever she stops – you go girls!

After all that excitement (sarcasm, again) we went chasing waterfalls. We went to Florence Falls, Buleys Rock Hole then onto Wangi Falls before making our journey back to Darwin.

In Wangi Falls we also bumped into our friends Emma and Tom who had hired a camper-van to travel the Northern Territory. Considering how huge Australia is, it always baffles me when we bump into people we know. Like when we checked into our hostel the first night in Darwin we bumped into Beth, a girl we worked with months ago in Sydney, she was staying in the same hostel!

Once back in Darwin we just spent the evening having a couple drinks with some of the people from the tour and getting ourselves ready for a long ass bus ride from Darwin to our next stop – Alice Springs!

P.s – I also held a snake at one of the pit stops along the way!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Magnetic Island & Cairns

Good Morning!

Ryan and I hopped off our overnight bus from Airlie Beach and arrived in Townsville.

There’s not much to do in Townsville itself; most people will stop here to get the ferry over to Magnetic Island ..and that’s exactly what we did!

We checked out of our hostel and jumped on the ferry. We unfortunately only had one night on Magnetic island and in hindsight we probably should have stayed longer and rented a little 4WD so we could’ve seen more of the island – ohh well! So, just a tip if you are going over there – make sure you do rent a car as there’s lots of things to see on the island but they’re all far away from each other!

We still had a great time though! We caught the bus to do the Forts Walk which is a walking track in the National Park which leads to forts that were built and used in WWII. We tried to spot koalas on the way – we didn’t see any unfortunately – myself and Ryan are basically blind so we didn’t have a hope in hell really!!

After a long day of walking and the disappointment of not seeing any wild koalas we decided we would pop to Scallywags Cafe for a well deserved dinner.

The next day we waved goodbye to Magnetic Island and hopped back on the ferry to Townsville.

We stayed in Townsville for another night and did all the boring things like washed our clothes and shopped for food. The boring stuff that no one wants to know about!

Then we caught the bus to Cairns; our final stop up the East Coast!

We met up with friends, Jasmin, Emma and Tom as it was the last time we’d all be together in the same place before going our separate ways.

We wandered the Cairns Night Markets, grabbed some market food then went to the pub for a drink. And Jasmin has ordered that if Ryan and I get married she wants an invite to the wedding! Ha – chance would be a fine thing!

In Cairns we also opted to do the Atherton Tablelands day tour to visit the rainforest and waterfalls.

The night before we had an email to say they’d cancelled our tour (does this sound familiar? Shout out to those of you who read my Whitsundays post).

BUT, again, they had upgraded us to a similar, more expensive, tour. And our friends Emmelie, Sarah and Jasmin were also put on the same tour too!

The tour itself was great; the tour guide was hilarious and made us laugh the whole trip.

The first place we visited was the Babinda Boulders to do a walk. It was p*ssing it down! (It is a rainforest after all!)

We got absolutely drenched, not that it mattered as we were in and out of waterfalls all day, plus we had tea and biscuits to warm us up after.

One girl was wearing a white t-shirt, had recently fake tanned and was a streaky mess by the end of the walk – and to rub salt into the wound as soon as we got back to the bus she remembered a girl had given her a waterproof poncho a couple of days earlier! Doh!

We then made our way to Josephine falls. As we drove to the falls the tour guide said the water level may be to high for us to go into the water – but he’ll make a judgement call when we get there.

He didn’t need to make the call, a ranger had already been to the falls and placed signs to say ‘Danger – No swimming’.

He then proceeded to tell us a story about a Korean lady that was killed about a month ago because she was standing on one of the rocks at the bottom of Josephine Falls and a flash flood swooshed her off the rock; they found her lifeless body hours later.

Safe to say, we did as we were told!

We then stopped for lunch at The Tea Terrace which serves locally produced tea. On our journey we drove past the field in which the tea was harvested, it’s called Noosa Tea. The tea was very nice, and I’m English so I know a good brew y’know!

After stuffing our faces we made our way to Milla Milla Falls which is home to where the Herbal Essences advert was shot and also where parts of the music video for Peter Andre’s song Mysterious Girl was filmed.

We took on the famous hair flick picture and I think we did alright – even if I do say so myself!

Lake Eacham was next on our agenda. Lake Eacham is a volcanic lake which is home to a fresh water crocodile – we were allowed to swim in the water as we are not on his menu apparently! It’s the salt water crocs that want to rip us to shreds. Still, I wasn’t chancing it. My feet stayed firmly on the ground far away from that water.

One girl in the water got a nose bleed and all I could think of was that the croc would smell the blood and come after us all, WE’RE ALL GUNNA DIE!!

God, I’m so dramatic..

P.s. no one died, I guess the tour guide knew what he was talking about..

Our last stop on our day tour was to a small river for us to try and spot a platypus.

We crept along the river bank trying to spot a platypus – half of the group got far too impatient and went back to the bus (me included) while the other half (Ryan included) waited it out and we’re lucky enough to see one – dammit!

The next day we snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef.

Why is it that most things in Australia that are amazing involve the water? Which I’m petrified of!

We made our way down to the boat terminal in the morning and jumped aboard our Down Under boat.

An Aussie couple sat opposite us and we spent the day chit chatting away with them about our travels and places they’d visited.

The sea was pretty choppy so sea sickness tablets were a must; I still felt queasy even though I had taken some! It probably didn’t help that almost all of the Asians on board were sea sick, and that the place to be if you’re feeling ill (the back of the boat) was bloody rammed!

We stopped at two snorkel spots on the Great Barrier Reef; Norman reef and Hasting reef.

I kept trying so hard to swim further into the reef but I might as well have been going backwards! Swimming is definitely not my forte!

The fish were beautiful and colourful; Ryan saw one that he swears was almost the size of me (must’ve been a fat f*ck) and he also saw a shark!

And just like that our travels from Sydney up the East Coast were over – we jumped on a plane and headed to our next stop – Darwin!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays

Good Morning!

We got to Airlie Beach and the first thing we did was check in for our Whitsundays Sailing tour the next day. All was well, we checked in, double checked times and got our boarding passes – we were ready to rumble!

Then, about 2 hours later, I got a text message to say: ‘please contact us as soon as possible as your tour tomorrow has been cancelled’ ..err ..I’m sorry, what?!! *crying face*

We popped back into the tour office and one of the ladies on reception said she could offer us a 2 day/1 night sailing tour and pay for one nights accommodation back at Airlie Beach – bearing in mind our original tour was 2 days/2 nights and it’s not our fault it was cancelled – it was a shit deal.

After seeing our unimpressed faces and after Ryan asked what our other options were another lady piped up and said they could upgrade us to a 3 day/3 night tour on a nicer boat free of charge – YAAAASSS – now you’re talking!

We got picked up in the evening and climbed aboard the Solway Lass ready to start our Whitsundays adventure.

We were given a light supper on board and set sail for our destination.

We were ALMOST given a private double room; we were offered it, then the offer was withdrawn as they had made an error and the room was already booked! Not that we minded – they moved us into a 4 bed room by ourselves and offered us a bottle of champagne to say sorry for the mix up! Private room and free booze? Result!

Our sleep on the boat was amazing! We honestly think it was the best nights sleep we’ve had since our travels began. I have a theory that it is to do with the fact the boat rocks back and fourth – like rocking a baby to sleep!

On our first full day we sailed to the mesmerising Whitehaven Beach to soak up the sun, walk to the look out and take a dip in the water which was pure bliss – we had to wear stinger suits in the water just incase there were any jelly fish though!

It was one of the other travellers birthdays so, after a busy day in the sun, we had cake and champagne back on the boat and finished the evening by listening to music being played by the crew on a ukulele and guitar – it was so soothing – Anake, the cook, her voice was amazing!

On our second day we set the sails ready to travel towards Hook Island – the crew roped a couple of the passengers into helping set the sails and Ryan volunteered!

We stopped at Butterfly Bay to snorkel, catch some rays on the roof deck and have lunch – we definitely did not go hungry on this trip and the food was delicious!

With our bellies full we set off again and sailed to Blue Pearl Bay which is nicknamed ‘the fishbowl’ due to the many, many fish that swim there. We stopped at The Fishbowl to snorkel (obviously), paddle-board and use the Tarzan swing attached to the boat.

I stayed on the boat while Ryan went on the paddle-board; I watched him get on the paddle board, drift out of my eye view then heard a massive splash where he had fallen off! I was quietly giggling at the confused look on Crusty’s face as he couldn’t work out where the splash had come from!

(Crusty was the name of our captain and he basically looked just like a pirate; he was just missing the parrot on the shoulder and a wooden leg! Ooo-arrrr!).

I was too scared to use the Tarzan swing. I’m not good with heights, or water, and my weasel arms definitely would not be able to hold my body weight – I’d basically just plop into the water like a sack of sh*t.

Lots of the group did use the swing though! Some people were doing flips into the water. One guy kept doing flips off the swing but kept being whipped in the gonads by the rope every time! Poor bloke! The cook, Anake swung off the boat and tried to land on a paddle board without falling off – she so nearly had it as well! And our friend Emmalie put on her big girl knickers and went on the swing – I applaud you, much braver than me – she was spinning around like a ballerina too, it looked so elegant!

We then sailed to Stonehaven Bay to stay for the night. We let down the anchor, had our dinner and watched the sunset over the water. Bliss!

Ohh and we also watched the England game! On the boat, in the middle of the Whitsundays! We streamed the whole game on a laptop kindly lent to us by crew member Joel – they’re out of the World Cup now but my god did the boys do well!

The next day was sadly our last day on the sailing tour. We sailed to Black Island to have our last spot of snorkelling and to wander the small island.

We saw 2 turtles in the bay and Ryan was snorkelling along side one – how amazing is that!

The island was small but it had white sand, lots of beautiful sea shells and was quiet. It was perfect for a relaxing stroll along the beach!

We arrived back in Airlie Beach and sat in the sun at Airlie Beach Lagoon waiting to catch our overnight bus to Townsville. Luckily we had company with Emmelie and Sarah who too were catching the overnight bus; they shared the dread of getting on a hot and sticky bus for god knows how many hours!

But hey, this backpacking malarkey isn’t exactly meant to be glamorous!

Oh and I also bumped into a YouTuber that I follow from England in Airlie Beach too! What are the chances!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Fraser Island

Good Morning Guys!

This is my diary post about Fraser Island and my god did we have the best time ever! We LOVED it!

We got picked up at the Hervey Bay transit centre by a mini bus which took us to the tour office ready to check in for our trip.

On the journey to the tour office the driver was on the look out for kangaroos as myself and Ryan hadn’t seen one yet!

I lost count of how many we saw by the end of the drive and the driver even stopped so we could get a closer look.

The driver also gave us a fact that there are twice as many kangaroos in Australia than residents. Approximately 25 million residents and 50 million kangaroos! Madness!

We checked in at the tour office and jumped on a ferry to Fraser Island.

We did a 3 day/3 night tour on Fraser Island with Cool Dingo tours and it was great!

We were in a massive 4WD with a group of fellow travellers, we stayed in a lodge instead of camping and were fed like Kings! We had one driver for the whole tour who was manoeuvring the bus down sandy tracks, feeding us buckets of information/history of the island, all whilst ensuring we were fed yummy food too!

Our first day in Fraser Island was spent visiting Lake McKenzie, Basin Lake and walking to the old Central Station.

Lake McKenzie was amazing; white sand and crystal clear blue water – the sun wash shining – a perfect day for sunbathing and taking a dip in the lake!

The lake is referred to as the ‘jewel’ of Fraser Island because of its pure white silica sand and pure water – the water is actually so pure that it is unsuitable for many species!

We visited Basin Lake after and as expected after visiting the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake McKenzie we were not as impressed. Don’t get me wrong – it still was beautiful! Just not on the same scale as McKenzie.

Day two was even better!

We started off our day by driving along 75 mile beach.

We made our way down the beach and stopped along the way for an optional scenic flight over Fraser Island. As flights go it was cheap for 80 AUD and we couldn’t pass up a unique experience like it!

The plane took off from the beach and is one of only 2 places in the world where they use the beach as their runway! (The other being Scotland – bizarre!)

On our flight we flew over the beach and had a birds eye view of whales and a stingray below, we flew over the top of Butterfly Lake which butterfly shape can only be seen from above, and even flew over the shipwreck that has been left on the beach. The flight was amazing – I would definitely do it again!

Our driver, Jeff, said we were welcome to sit in the front of the 4WD with him at any point during the tour to get a front row view of beautiful Fraser Island.

I opted to sit in the front whilst we continued our way down 75 mile beach; I asked Jeff how many times he’d got stuck in the sand when driving on the beach and he said only twice..

We stopped at The Pinnacles to view the coloured sand cliffs then arrived at the Champagne Pools; a natural jacuzzi where bubbles form from the waves crashing against the rocks ..We spent some time watching people freeze their arses off in the cold water (rather them than me) and made our way back to the 4WD to leave for lunch.

BUT THE BUS WAS STUCK!!

..I think I jinxed him! *whoops*

The wheels were spinning but the bus was not moving at all – another bus came to the rescue to pull us out of the sand but in doing that got stuck themselves!! There were engines revving and men all bundled at the front of the bus to help push it out of the sand but no luck ..then a teeny 4WD jeep came and saved the day.

We ate our lunch all while this was going on – nice bit of entertainment for us – however it could’ve ended very badly as the tide was coming in so if we didn’t get unstuck then it would be bye bye bus!

We then continued on with our day; we took a walk up to the top of Indian Head (a coastal headland), stopped to take a close look at the Shipwreck Maheno and took a paddle down Eli Creek.

On our third day we went to Lake Birrabeen which was so peaceful! It looked beautiful and Ryan decided to paddle board while he had the chance!

We then went to Lake Wabby which also has a sand blow! Again, it was lovely and peaceful, just our group! We had some tins and sunbathed next to a gorgeous lake view.

And just like that our tour was over – we watched the sun set back at the Jetty at the resort and got a ferry from Fraser back to Hervey Bay.

We waved goodbye to Fraser Island and hopped on a bus to Airlie Beach!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Noosa & Rainbow Beach

Morning guys!

Yet again, I’m behind with my diary posts *shock*

In my last post we had just finished our time in Brisbane which feels like forever ago!

Ryan and I left Brisbane, hopped on a bus and started our journey to our next stop – Noosa.

When we got to Noosa we took a stroll along the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve and ended up on an almost empty beach; there was only one another couple soaking up the sun on the beach and their dog playing in the water.

Noosa wasn’t particularly big, there was a Main Street called Hasting Street which was home to all the shops, restaurants and cafes and it was parallel to the beach. So everything you could need in the same area – which is music to your ears when you don’t have a car and are walking everywhere!

We stumbled upon a unique candy store called Candy Addiction which sold hard boiled candy, fudge, ice-cream, and everything in between. You could even see the candy being made; we spoke to the candy makers and they told us they were creating candy for wedding favours for an order they’ve had in – the candy is going to have the initials of the Bride and Groom plus the wedding date – how cute!

Our other time in Noosa was spent doing the Coastal Walk in the Noosa National Park. We took the Coastal Walk to Hell’s Gate (a scenic cliff) then took the Tanglewood Walk back. There were beautiful views of the coast throughout the walk – every view looking like something from a postcard!

Our next stop was Rainbow Beach. On our journey to Rainbow Beach we took a short break at Kybong services where a huge kangaroo statue is.

The statue was made for the opening of the 1982 Commonwealth games in Brisbane and is named ‘Matilda’ (which is what one of my old primary school teachers called me!)

What we didn’t realise is that the majority of people tend to only go to Rainbow Beach in order to get the ferry over to Fraser Island – if they aren’t going to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach then they tend to skip it as there’s not that much to do!

Ryan and I were not going to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach so perhaps should have skipped this stop. We did stroll around the small town, again, like Noosa there was a street with some shops and it was all close to the beach.

We did take a walk to Carlo Sand Blow to watch the sun set one evening.

Carlo Sand Blow is a large sand mass which overlooks the coastline. When you take the short walk through the trees and first step out onto the sand blow it feels like you’re in the desert – the sand looks like it goes on forever!

We sat and watched as the sun set over Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Strait.

As I mentioned earlier we weren’t going to Fraser Island from Rainbow beach – we were going from Hervey Bay!

So we hopped on our bus and made our way to Hervey Bay ready to start our Fraser Island adventure!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x