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H - Seeing the world...

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Last of the New Zealand pics..

Auckland, New Zealand

This might be the last chance I get to put pics up on here as I'm off to Figi where the plan is to just totally Chillax! We are are spending 6/7 of our nights on the internet-less-remote islands so shall be in touch in early March when I get to L.A.

Be seeing you soon xx

permalink written by  H on February 23, 2008 from Auckland, New Zealand
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Lots of gorgeous scenery

Te Anau, New Zealand

Lots of scenic pics from Milford Sound boat cruise ---> Franz Josef Glacier trek --> Abel Tasman National Park and various stop off points between these places.

permalink written by  H on February 14, 2008 from Te Anau, New Zealand
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Making the most of the last leg of the trip!

Christchurch, New Zealand

Absolutely LOVE New Zealand - the scenery is just stunning...so many bluer than blue lakes, massive mountains, moody looking skies, friendly people, nice cheap food, quiet scenic roads to drive on, architectural buildings, chilled out bars and last but not least...crazy fun stuff to do! (see below)

Never planned to do a bungy jump but so glad I did - It was unreal! Had the adrenaline shakes and biggest grin afterwards and whenever I think back to it I get a recreation of that stomach lerch feeling of falling, falling, falling...

The Canyon Swing was just as crazy...I was second last to go so the suspense was killing me anyway but the crazy guys there keep you talking while you're right on the edge, and then just after I did my backwards leap their faces changed to *nooooo...you're not ready to go yeeeeeet* - Freaked me out majorly and stomach leaped out of my body I swear!

Check out the pics for more =)
Off to Milford Sound then onwards to Franz Josef Glacier for a trek next..

permalink written by  H on February 7, 2008 from Christchurch, New Zealand
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More beautiful scenery

Cairns, Australia

Other than whats in the latest photos, I have been diving on the Greatness of the Great Barrier Reef itself! On the Whitsundays boat trip I went with Becks and another advanced diver, but on the boat trip from Cairns, Me and Hannah got to go out on our own! Was an awesome experience, with stunning coral and marine life down there. Saw a white tip reef shark about 2.5 metres and a humumgous dude of a turtle which I swam alongside for ages! Wish I'd hired an underwater camera really to prove I saw these amazing things...maybe next time ey ;-)

So it's G'bye to Australia now (flying to Sydney tonight where we are staying with a friend we met in Thailand) then to New Zealand it is on Tuesday! The past 6 weeks really have flown by! But now I'm majorly looking forward to our planned adrenaline filled adventures!

permalink written by  H on January 27, 2008 from Cairns, Australia
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Fraser Island, Australia

Returned just the other day from a couple of nights camping on Fraser Island. Was absolutely beautiful, awesome to have a go with the 4 wheel drive along the beach and bumpy off road tracks, we were really lucky with the weather and we all knew each other in our group of 10 so had a fab time! Check out the pics, although I gotta say that it looks so much better in real life!

Other than that theres a bit more picture-tour-wise on what I got upto in Brisbane and our one day in Noosa.

Off to The Whitsundays in a bit for 3 nights which look unbelievable in the postcards, but hoping the weather will clear up a little as its been raining rather too much for our liking the past 2 days. As long as we make it there though I guess seeing as some groups have had their boats cancel on them! Will keep you posted xx

permalink written by  H on January 20, 2008 from Fraser Island, Australia
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Lazy H

Surfers Paradise, Australia

Getting lazy, must be something to do with the laid back way of life out here...or maybe it's a sign I'm turning into a traveller beach bum...nooooooo! Had a surfing lesson and loved it, would love to take it up =)

But anyway, check out the photos I've just put up and comments would be lovely as that makes me think people are actually looking at this thing. If I get any maybe I'll write more next time hehe xx

permalink written by  H on January 10, 2008 from Surfers Paradise, Australia
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Christmaaaaas time

Sydney, Australia

Got to Sydney on the 23rd and have been staying at a YHA in Glebe. A trip to The Blue Mountains was well worth it for the amazing views. Spent Christmas eve with Hannah in a couple of bars in The Rocks area, then Christmas day we had a BBQ at our hostel (with not just Turkey, but kanagroo too!) then went to Bondi Beach. Was cloudy all day but just chilled out, and met up with Rosie - was great to catch up with how her travels have been going! Took cider along with us but ended up hiding it in a bush and taking it home with us after getting told it was an Alcohol-free place. No worries though cause finished it off over a game of Monopoly that evening at the Hostel! Had a really good day, but despite all the santa hats on the beach, it didn't really feel like Christmas all that much!

Our plan was to head up the coast to Byron Bay for New Year, but couldn't find ourselves a place to stay sooooo it's Sydney Harbour for NYE - awesome! Should be crazy! Gotta get there really early to save a spot! Sorry this is a crappy short entry, maybe check out the photos for more..

Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Keep me updated on what you're all getting up to!

permalink written by  H on December 29, 2007 from Sydney, Australia
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Whistle Stop Tour of Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After deciding it WAS worth the long travel to make it there (rather than visit somewhere else in Thailand), we had just 2/3 days in Cambodia. Some of the things I noticed about the country:

- how crazily bumpy the road from the Thai border was (because they apparently bribe the council not to change this so that tourists will fly across instead)
- how dusty it is, kinda like India but they actually wear surgeon-type masks here to save their lungs. We actually saw a girl come off her bike (recreated Becky's stunt, not surprising really with all that slidey dust)
- how green the country is - there were really well kept, pretty gardens especially around Siem Reap
- roads are packed with motorcyclists and bicycles...the cars have no chance against them!
- most of all though, I thought the people were very friendly, and although like India they are desperate for your custom, they were very welcoming and humorous in their approach to us.

The day we spent seeing the Angkor temples in Siem Reap was awesome. Didn't actually realise at the time that they are one of the 7 wonders of the world, but I can see why! The architecture was so detailed and the way it appears to be falling apart just makes it really atmospheric. We got up early to see sunrise at the Angkor Wat which is the main, biggest one. Lots of tourists there, just like at the Taj Mahal but was still quite peaceful watching the sun come up. Visited 6 of the many temples. Ta Prohm, where part of Tomb Raider was filmed, was a favorite because it's almost been left to its own devices, with a characteristic life of it's own (the trees sprout out of it all over the place!).

That evening we had some Amok (really nice Cambodian food) then watched some traditional Cambodian Aspera dancing.

From there we went to the capital, Phnom Pehn. Watched the film, The

Killing Fields before heading out the next day. However, this film did not even slightly prepare me for what we learnt and saw there! Firstly we went to Tuol Sleng Museum which was a school that got converted into a prison by the communist group of people called the Kymer Rouge (who took over the government, erased religion, healthcare, money etc). They imprisoned and killed anyone who was "educated", with a total of around 3 million deaths over the period 1975-9. So this museum had horrific photos and our guide didn't hold back on the details..

A natural progression for us tourists from there was to the "Killing Fields" where everyone from the prison was taken to be killed and thrown into mass graves. It really is indescribable. I just found all that had happened there just 30 years ago both inhumane and unbelievable! The 3 of us were very quite the whole day, not really knowing what to say, and it certainly makes you think twice before complaining about anything! Ended the day with a (insignificant) trip to the Royal Palace and a few drinks and a game of pool by the river.

Overall, was really glad we took those days to visit Cambodia and shall be reading Becky's book about the Kymer Rouge when shes finished.

permalink written by  H on December 20, 2007 from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Singapore, Singapore

Felt really crazy to get to such a developed country! As you can see from the photo it's got a pretty cool skyline! The highlights of our 2 days there were a bumboat trip along the river, a "Sigapore Sling" at Raffles hotel (yummy fruity cocktail at the place it was beautifully designed, and that provides free peanuts whose shells you chuck on the floor as irony at how clean the city is), and a trip to Sentosa Island to Underwater World and to see the Pink Dolphin show, where I got picked to go up to the front and meet one of the cute, intelligent animals! Chuffed!

permalink written by  H on December 20, 2007 from Singapore, Singapore
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Oz-tralia, begins!

Melbourne, Australia

Really excited to be here in Australia! Arrived on the 18th and have been treated like royalty by my parents friends, Howard and Pam who have put us up for 4 nights. They have been showing off the amazing area as our personal tour guides!

On the evening we arrived we went to The Dandenong range for an amazing view over Melbourne followed by an Ozzie BARBIE (my fave) with sausages and really tender beef steak

The next day we went to Healsville Sanctuary to see all the typical aussie animals. Much more open than a zoo and saw the birds of prey show and got a talk from the Koala Bear keeper. Although they have some really cool animals, I couldn't help but think those Ibis birds were a little cheeky as it stole cake from my hand as I was eating it! Really great day out though. That evening the 3 of us wanted to see Victoria night market so we got a train into town and were amazed by the choice of food available. I settled for Ethiopian fodda which was a nice change.

Yesterday was a long day which included a lot of driving for Howard. We started by visiting Arthur's Seat which overlooks Mornington Penninsula, stopped at Sorrento for lunch then briefly visited Portsea back beach. After an incident with the cars windscreen wipers (they broke in the middle of a thunderstorm) we headed to Philip Island to see the Penguin Parade. Here, every evening at dusk you can go to watch the "little penguins" (smallest type in the world) come in from sea and go to find their burrows. We got to see them really up close and could hear (and got a little show of) them mating when they got back to their nests! I was giggling at how the waves swept them back into the sea, how they waddle, preen themselves and look lost. Funny little things, defo one of my fave animals i reckon!

Anyways, I'll take this opportunity to say HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you all! Hope you all enjoy the festivities xxxxx

permalink written by  H on December 20, 2007 from Melbourne, Australia
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