Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"On My Bum"

We all have our own reason, as to why we choose to take off and remove ourselves from our regular life routine.   Some like to take a holiday for a week or so, stay in one location and simply relax and enjoy the resort.  Others may choose to travel and utilise different modes of transport and explore several towns and cultures.

I wanted to visit a place that I'd heard of back in 1991 from when I meet an eighteen year old female Canadian traveller in Nepal. She was travelling solo; I was twenty-one and travelling with a friend.  I was intrigued by her and her travels.  The opportunity arose at the end of 2013, when I was going to Bali and then on to Malaysia to explore the destination and view some hotels.  Laos was only a 2 hour 45minute flight away from Kuala Lumpur, that would take me to Vientiane the capital.  I'd then sit at the airport cafe for a few hours before boarding a forty-five minute flight to arrive into Luang Prabang.   Laos was that long awaited destination.

To get to Laos there is no direct path from here, it is bit of a hop-skip and jump either via Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia or Thailand.  But this was an opportunity and it was the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang, that I wanted to experience and that's what I did for ten days.

Sure, I doubled up on visiting the night market, having a g&t at a cafĂ© or restaurant along the Mekong or Nam Khan Rivers before dinner or walking in and out of stores pondering their wares and where to spend my money.  The expats are prevalent in town, but so are the opportunistic locals.  Designer clothes and home wares to delicious croissants, were all there for purchasing, as well as home-stitched clothing or a serving of sticky rice (eaten with your fingers of course!).

Having the joy and freedom to consume my breakfast, lunch and dinner at any time and at any location, there was only so much aimless gazing I could do.  I started to click photos of all that I was observing.  I was on this journey alone, so I embraced living in the moment and called this moment “On My Bum” as that’s what I was doing, sitting on my bum as I clicked these and other pics during my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Vientiane Airport cafe
Sakkaline Road
Sakkaline Road
Kitsalat Road
Kitsalat Road
Ock Pop Tok Textiles - fairtrade village
Elephant Village Sanctuary
Shangri-Loa expedition up the Nam Khan River
Sakkaline Road
a Tad Sae Waterfall cafe
located between Nam Khan River & Sakkaline Road
The owner of the cafe

Ps. Not on my bum, but the sounds they generate

Wanting to escape and experience the unknown?  Travel With A Difference can also coordinate a celebratory, well-being or a bespoke free-spirit holiday. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

beautiful Booderee National Park...

I could say beautiful Jervis Bay, but it was my week long experience of camping at Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay that was beautiful.
Being the Festive Season I was fortunate to escape the shackles of the keyboard and retreat for week with my dear friends on their fortnight stay within Booderee.  They're seasoned family campers - mum, dad, 2 kids and teenager! Me, o my gosh, I had not camped for decades, not since my primary school years with my family to which I'm glad for those experiences and memories, so I was keen for the adventure.
I was joyfully met with a 'welcome karen' held up against the window of the family mover, yes, you need wheels when staying in Booderee - lucky for me, as I flew to Sydney then boarded the shuttle bus to Nowra where my fun began.  We picked up supplies, then it was off to the site, my home for a week.  Maeve and Charlie were awesome at putting up my tent - kids...forget instruction, whack-bang, it was up! I managed to set up my self-inflating mattress, throw my pack in the tent before I was eagerly toured around the grounds, facilities and to our beach - green patch, so I knew what was where and which shower to grab!
Read up here, on all that Booderee National Park has to offer.  It was fabulous having no power, living out of an esky, having to walk to the community shelter to wash our dishes, to hear the constant sound of birds, to hear children mingling with other children of different nationalities (and grown ups!) then to retreat to my tent at night only to listen to the sounds of our campsite and surrounding slowly quieten, ready for dawn and the commencement of another day of activity.
Our days were full, not sure whether it was because there's such an array of great beaches to explore or whether it was because there were kids involved! There was bush walks/runs, card games, snorkelling, beach walks, bike rides, indigenous story-telling, camp fire 'prepping', storms, timely showers to test your patience, laughs, beach bag packing and unpacking, pesky possums and the joyous g&t knock and nibbles at the end of a day.
It was a fabulous holiday with beautiful scenery. I laugh reflecting on the kids faces painted daily with streaks of hot pink zinc and coloured sunnies, as though they were going to a rave party (that's ahead of them!) and to the enthusiasm of all to explore or try something new - whether snorkelling and duck-diving around beach rock platforms, paddling the rubber boat...the memories are there. x
endless sounds of birds

just walk...

out on a nature trail

exploring around another little point

love a beach trail

family fun and adventres

what a bloke will do to stay cool

what goes down must come up!

fun waves and dolphins galore

you've got to grab a moment whilst you can!

Travel With A Difference has some 'glamping' holiday options within Australia and overseas...only for the fun-seeker.  For reservations phone: 03-5254 1279