Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Summer days

This travelling editor is having a restful holiday in beautiful Sydney and its surrounds. Arrived at Avalon, which is about 40km north of Sydney on a spectacular peninsula. There's a point when you realise you are in holiday territory here -it's when you drive around the Bilgola bends (overlooking Bilgola beach) and you are on the home stretch to the wonderful 'villages' of the peninsula. Quite heavily populated these days (especially during the summer holidays) the area has stunning beaches and unspoilt bushland (that which hasn't been encroached upon by developers who have had their pick of some damn fine real estate).
Anyway, it's a beautiful day; ham sandwiches, fruit cake and stone fruits are on the menu, the sun is out, the dog (Dell) wants to play ball and all is right with the world. Happy new year and may we all thrive, prosper and be content and serene in 2010.
(Picture courtesy of Peter Kershaw, cake courtesy Li Kershaw).
Thought for the end of days, 2009: 'Food is an important part of a balanced diet.' - Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas greetings

Only four more sleeps to Christmas! At Get Up & Go, 'wind down' is the operative attitude. The summer edition of the magazine will be hitting the deck on 6 January, the latest e-newsletter has been sent to cyberspace and I'm currently organising stories for the next (autumn 2010) issue.
In the meantime, just look at these lovely pictures that a Get Up & Go writer took recently in Austria when she was zapped into fantasyland to visit the beautiful Christmas Markets and gather information on the stunning Austrian cities she visited to write stories for us to appear next year in the magazine.
She suffered for us, she had to eat traditional food, new wave Austrian cuisine, taste exquisite cakes and pastries and there was a rumour she had a little hot spicy wine to keep out the cold!
I know most of us in Australia will be under a blue sky with the sun beating down but there is something ultimately romantic and nostalgic about a white, sparkly Christmas - even  if we just enjoy the pictures.
Merry Christmas to all our friends and all the best for a wonderful 2010 coming up soon.
P.S. I'll be blogging through the holidays so feel free to comment and let us know how your Christmas went - sunny or snowy! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peas on earth

A couple of years ago I spent the weekend before Christmas at the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba which is in the Blue Mountains NSW, an hour or so drive west from Sydney. The Carrington is an elegant, old hotel, with tradition and charm being its main drawcard. As we drove up to the front door an apparition caught my attention – was seeing believing? It was a Christmas tree structure that Salvador Dali would have approved of – it was made of fake peas in their pods. As you can see by the picture this wasn't the prettiest tree in the forest, nor on the block for that matter, but it had a certain whimsical charm. I kept the picture as I thought it might make a nice Christmas card - but hey! Best not to shock friends and family. It has to be the worst tree I've seen. Can you better this? Enjoy the Carrington Hotel all year round, it's on the top of the hill in Katoomba and top of many people's list for atmospheric places to stay. Visit: www.thecarrington.com.au

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

The year before last, I went to Canada for a quick trip - five days duration – the week before Christmas. We had a day in Vancouver (freezing winds) then an amazing two days in Whistler where I crunched around in the snow and went for a long ride downhill on a 'snow limo' - an unreal experience. We then did the journey from Vancouver to Banff Springs on the Rocky Mountaineer. What a stunning journey through the snow and pristine countryside, and the sight of the mighty Rockies was awesome. I arrived back in Sydney to a heatwave on Christmas eve - where in the world was I?  If you are dreaming of something other than a summer Christmas, consider Canada's Whistler for outdoor pursuits and glamorous resorts or perhaps Europe and the charm of traditional Christmas markets in Austria. For more info visit: www.rockymountaineer.com and www.austria.info/au
And to see a bit more of my travels visit: http://shegoes.com.au
P.S. Only 23 sleeps before Christmas.
The picture is the view from my bedroom window in the divine Fairmont Hotel Whistler.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fruit of the vines

On a recent visit to the Granite Belt in South East Qld (round Stanthorpe and Warwick) we wandered into the Bramble Patch to do a bit of berry shopping. Not one (normally) to promote product placement, I just have to say that we taste tested some wonderful jams and exotic condiments and I came home with a few more bottles to fill up the doors of my fridge. One of the items I purchased was The Bramble Patch Ruby Quince Paste which I enjoyed sharing with friends on the side of some cheeses from the Granite Belt Dairy - what a twosome. A couple of discerning friends pronounced the Quince paste better than - dare I say it - Maggie B----s! More on the fabulous produce from that part of Oz in a Get Up & Go issue in 2010.
(The Bramble Patch - yep, follow the signs - is at Townsend Road, Glen Aplin, Old. And the Granite Belt Dairy is at 4 Duncan Lane, Thurlimbah, Qld. When you visit the dairy look in the adjoining paddock and me the cows from whence the best cheese ingredient comes from.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two styles

Check these two pictures out - one (guess which one) was taken at the gates to the Royal Palace, Street 240 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Lovely, wrought iron work with traditional image. The other one - an edgy take on casual furniture - look carefully at what the legs are made of, shows the ingenuity of the Cambodians.
Still poverty stricken, the country never wastes anything - especially military apparatus - which there is much of still lying around. Much of it has been collected too; shells, artillery, army vehicles and all been put to good use.
Takes recycling to a new level doesn't it?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

20 years on . . .

Do you remember when the Berlin Wall came down? It was 20 years ago today. I remember how thrilling it was and very emotional watching the drama unfold on TV. All those years and such a short time to crack the formidable facade. I spent quite a lot of time in Berlin during the early 80s and was obsessed with the 'other side' and would go through Checkpoint Charlie at least once a week. I haven't been back to Berlin since the wall came tumbling down but I do remember Berlin as a dark and sexy kind of city in the 80s. They were the days!
Another wall closer to home is this one (pictured), of a wall of glass in the park opposite Lake Wendouree (very empty lake) in Victoria's Ballarat. I just love this picture - the contrast and the colour of the rainy day.Have an excellent week and let me know where you were when the wall came down. Visit: www.ballarat.com and www.melbourneandsurrounds.com.au

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cook's breakfast

Enjoyed a breakfast on Sydney Harbour with Captain Cook cruises. Leaving Circular Quay at a civilised time of 9.30am, we ate fruit, eggs, smoked salmon, a croissant and another serving of fruit while enjoying one of the best harbour sights in the world. Back on land at 11.30 and back to the real world of Sydney, spring time Sunday bustle. What a great day.
P.S. Anyone seen the film, Julie & Julia yet? If you love food, Paris and Meryl Streep go see it now. Be prepared to gain 3kgs while watching the movie – it's all about the butter!
Visit: www.captaincook.com.au

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sticky date pudding from Lucas Estate Stanthorpe Qld - Yum

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Louise (above with Muscat dog), whose vineyard and winery Lucas Estate is run by four fantastic women and only a few days ago picked up a couple more medals to add to the winery's awards - Gold medals that is! Congrats to Louise, clever clogs and her team and the famous Muscat winery dog. After a lunch of baked ricotta and salad I followed up with the sticky date pudding and homemade ice cream at the estate's cafe. Damn good too. Visit: www.lucasestate.com.au

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spring fever

Spring fever

It's all happening – the new travel brochures are being launched for 2010. Yesterday I joined the Insight Vacations people to have a lovely lunch at Pier Restaurant in Sydney's Rose Bay (divine seafood) and to hear what's on the menu for next year. Top news is the 'Select' program for independent minded travellers. Choose an orientation tour in each city or a range of 'Experience' packages. This is flexible and fun. More information from www.insightvacations.com
The picture here is of Brian and Wynne Eldridge, winners of the 2008 Get Up & Go award for most the adventurous traveller (60 years and over). Brian and Wynne are enjoying their prize trip to India. In the summer edition of the magazine (out end of December) we'll publish Brian's memories of this fantastic trip. What super troupers they are.
And something to ponder on this week: the Aussie dollar against the US$, buy a few bucks now - it's at an excellent rate. Buy while high, I say! And a trip to the US will be cheap, cheap, cheap.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get Up & Go spring edition

Get Up & Go has a spring in its step. This issue has had an elegant makeover, is full of enticing and inspiring stories and takes you around the world and around every state in Australia. The magazine's website has had an extreme makeover so it's easy to navigate, full of excellent information and fun to read. And check out the special deals. New subscribers can win a trip to Beijing, China and readers can win a holiday to New Zealand – so enter now! I love all the stories in this issue but am partial to the odd location – and Gnomesville in Western Australia is very odd, read page 51 and raise your eyebrows!
Happy travels.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Free range chooks

This picture was taken outside the Kangaroo Cafe in Hanoi (excellent food), and I thought this was going to be the answer to: 'why did the chickens cross the road? I still don't know, they crossed the road, and went their separate ways. Perhaps it's best we don't know.
Hanoi will be celebrating its 1000th year birthday in 2010, so start planning your trip now. In the upcoming Get Up & Go magazine, there's a story on Hanoi – enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Food for thought

I've been busy getting the spring edition of Get Up & Go together – out first week in October. I have been also been writing a little story on Glasgow – highlights of the city actually. It got me thinking abut the great food I had to eat there - mod Scots I believe they call it. I ate beautiful salmon, fresh veggies and good local lamb.. But all's not great in Scotland for food – there's still the fast and greasy food. In fact I read a fact that the population of Glasgow has the highest cholesterol of any other city/town group in the UK. I saw a few signs advertising Fried Mars Bars. True. And a friend tells me, and crosses his heart, that he once ate a battered deep fried pie! And favourite snack food after big night out at a pub (and this is all through the UK) chips and curry sauce.
Anyone for a nice, crisp, clean Vietnamese rice paper roll!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This takes the cake!

I've been sorting through some photographs I've taken on my travels and came across this cake one. I have happy memories of these cakes. I was in Adelaide and had a day to spare before going off on a Captain Cook cruise on the Murray last November. I wandered around town to see what was new since my last visit. Saldechin is a splendid old bank building that has been converted into something special in the cafe/restaurant bar area. You can eat breakfast, lunch, cafe snacks, yum cha and an Asian Cajun dinner here. And in the afternoon enjoy these splendid little morsels with a choice of a sophisticated selection of tea available.
Adelaide is a foodie kind of town isn't it.
Saldechin is at 21 King William Street and you can see what's on offer at www.saldechin.com – and did I mention the martini bar there?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just another manic Monday

Here we go, off on another glorious week. A cool change has hit Sydney after a freakish hot, hot, hot weekend – almost 30deg.C at my place! Lots of writing to do this week and have just finished a little story on Melbourne's lively lanes - see picture this post. Melbourne does lanes and arcades so well. They haven't been left derelict to forget their past – they are alive and well, some spruced up to the hilt, others given a quick tidy and left for the visiting public to enjoy authentic grunge. Read all about it in the upcoming Get Up & Go magazine out first week in October. Go to www.getupandgo.com.au to subscribe and be in the running for a prize holiday to Macau! If you want to read more about tours through the lanes and arcades of Melbourne, visit: www.hiddensecretstours.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'You'll get a smile from me if you're polite.'

Ten polite gestures while travelling in Asia

1. Don't wear shoes into a mosque or a Buddhist temple it really puts worshippers' noses out of joint.
2. Don't use your mobile phone on trains in Japan – it's against the 'train law' and extremely impolite.
3. Do not pat or touch childrens' heads in Asia, it's considered rude – but who wants to touch strangers heads anyway?
4. Don't walk around sophisticated cities wearing clothes that you'd wear to a barbecue in Oz. It's not illegal but, hey, it looks so bad and you're an obvious novice 'tourist' target for muggers.
5.Leave a little bit of food on your plate in most countries when you are being hosted - otherwise they see a clean plate and are embarrassed that they haven't given you enough food.
6.Don't point at people in Asia or you'll be loudly hissed at. In fact, don't point at people at home either!
7. Don't point the soles of your feet at anyone in Thailand, or most Asian countries - very rude indeed.
8.Do not shout or get angry publicly with anyone in Japan. You lose face, they lose face, and egg on your face!
9. Double check all your travel details in China. People don't say what they think, but what they think you want to here, i.e. 'Is this the right direction to so and so," enthusiastic nodding (yes) of the head. He didn't understand you, has no idea what you said, but was being polite.
10. Learn to say 'hello', 'goodbye' and 'sorry' in the language of every country you visit. Not only is it polite, it will bring a genuine smile from people and you'll be surprised at how helpful someone is when they think you are making an effort.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring has sprung

Back on the ground for a little while to enjoy the splendour of a Sydney spring, and more to the point get a load of work done. Writing up material now for the next issue of Get Up & Go magazine - out early October.
Still downloading pics from Thailand – how many elephant images do I need?
Today I'm loving the fact that I've stored two suitcases away for a couple of months; all the writers have their stories in on deadline and 'Not Quite Nigella' blog has 'burger cupcakes' featured on today's blog.
Want to travel down memory lane? Be transported to the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s as Sydney's Rodd Island hosts Tea Dances on 21 and 22 October. Dance the day away or just enjoy the atmosphere in the colonial style dance hall, built in 1889 and perched on Sydney’s Harbour. Tickets include ferry transfers, dining and entertainment. Visit www.harbourislandhopping.com.au .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chiang Mai and Rai

The little cutie below - no, definitely not me, was on her mother's back when a group of us visited a hill tribe village. Her mum was selling us jewellery at rock bottom prices and baby hardly blinked an eye - she's seen it all before.
Other picture shows the ugly side of tourism - me at the end of a hot day. We had taken a boat across the Mekong from Thailand to Laos - Just like that - 20baht visa, a spot of shopping and back to Thailand - the world is a strange and curious place. (Much the same items for sale but more bottles of dangerous looking alcohol drinks with scorpions, centipedes and snakes decorating the inside of the bottle.) Snakes alive - no way!

Baby face and the tourist face

Monday, August 31, 2009

Elephant walk

Returned from Thailand via the red eye flight and brought back a head cold and sore throat, yikes. Before returning to Bangkok had a couple of days north of Chiang Rai at the Anantara Resort. This is also an elephant sanctuary and elephants are 'saved' from being street kids in Bangkok where they live the undignified life of a street performer. They move to Anantara with their mahouts and their families to learn to live a useful and happy life - playing polo. It cost a great deal of money to keep the beasts in food despite them living on the land, so I'll put the name of the charity up next when I download a few of the pics. Yay Thailand and the beasts of burden! I also saw an elephant painting a picture! True. AND met a man who reckons he has the best job in the world: he is 'director of elephants' at Anantara resort. 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bangkok fashion

Leaving Bangkok

off today to Chiang Mai. Three days in Bangkok have been fun and rewarding. It was for t he Australian Society of Travel Writers' agm. The day before the big event members of the society visited the Bangkok School for the Blind and presented a cheque for $1000 as a donation. We were entertained by the children with a few songs and were given a tour around this impressive institution. (They need volunteers to help the children with their English homework if you have some time to spare when visiting.)
I took the sky train to the weekend markets to have a look around. It was 35deg. and a little warm and cosy.
Saw an extravaganza last night in a huge theatre where elephants entered the stage and even walked past us in just behind the front stalls - it truly is Amazing Thailand.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Foot massage

Very fishy indeed

Just arrived in steamy, busy, noisy fabulous Bangkok. At 8 o'clock at night the streets are packed with people eating at street tables (doesn't anyone cook at home anymore?), music blaring from boomboxes and the traffic's crazy - where are all the cement trucks going to?
Walked past a massage place with a difference - a fish massage. A friend and I couldn't wait to try it. We sat at the back of a long tank teaming with Gara fish (the manager said they come from japan) and the plan was to have all those slippery little suckers eat our flesh clean. It was awful, tickly and nippy, I couldn't keep my feet still long enough for the fish to gather and stick to me. It was $6 for 15 minutes but I could only do about 10 minutes of the torture - too ticklish and too cannibalistic . . .first three hours in Thailand - what will the next week or so offer? Can't wait,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Toilet humour

Cheap, cheap, cheap! Airfares have never been so inexpensive - keep looking and you'll get to where you want to go for very few dollars. All fares, domestic and international are expected to stay in the low $ range for a while but the word on the tarmac is that fares will begin to take off to greater heights next year - so the thing to do is to book now, never been a better time. Go on!
In Australia we have low cost airlines, which on the world stage are pretty good compared with some that shall remain nameless. But the major model for cheap airlines is Ryanair which has more complaints against it than anyone we've heard of and just as many champions of the cheap and less than cheerful airline.
Whether this is true or not, here is what the company wants for the future of the airline:
free airfares for everybody, but a higher ancillary bank of charges for extras like luggage and excess luggage, paying to go to the toilet, standing passengers (instead of sitting passengers they are strapped into a harness - to comply with safety regulations), passengers checking their bags in themselves to ground handlers on the tarmac to save check-in coast. This could be really funny if I didn't have that cold shiver of a premonition running down my back.
Remember what your mother said before you went on a trip? "Best go to the toilet before we go". If we are to pay for the loo, best we do!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gone to the dogs

Just returned from three days in the amazing High Country in Victoria (the Alpine Way). Ate enough local, gourmet produce to feed a small nation, stayed at splendid accommodations, went for a bushwalk, watched other people abseil, threw snowballs on the road to Mt Hotham - blue sky, crisp white snow all around, and met a pack of great dogs that were whooping and hollering to get moving. The sled dogs took us for a little ride around the snow at Dinner Plain, a beautiful high country location with lovely buildings that fit the landscape, excellent restaurant and day spa.
One day was devoted to white water rafting on the mighty Mitta Mitta River, something that wasn't on my bucket (handbag) list, but I did it, and it was a sensational experience - as most things are when you have experts looking after you. Whoohoo! More about that in the magazine later on. We live in a beautiful country, no doubt about that. Who's been white water rafting? And where did you go?
These are my recommendations and if you want to discover some really good things in Victoria, while there's still snow or maybe for when spring hits the slopes - enjoy these websites - I've stayed there, played there and ate the food!
Visit: www.raftingaustralia.com;  www.adventurevictoria.com.au;  www.thebuckland.com.au;  www.villagusto.com.au; www.adventureguides.com.au;  www.visitdinnerplain.com.au;  www.sleddogtours.com.au;  www.rundells.com.au;  www.motelomeo.com.au

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bargains galore

If you have signed up for the FREE Get Up & Go e-newsletter (www.getupandgo.com.au), you will have seen the great bargains on offer now - free flights (just pay taxes) on some packages; discounts for earlybird bookings; free things to do in London –  yep, for free! River cruises are hot to trot at the moment, so check out savings by booking early. There's a special two day accommodation package and amazing day tour to be had in Cairns and information on a themed tour (Christmas markets) in Europe. Aah, life in the travelling lane!
I'm off to Victoria's High Country on Sunday for an adventure packed three days - and I am so not an adventure woman. Will be reporting next week on adventures or perhaps accidents. It's good to have an open mind!
Note for the week: more cruise ships than ever before are visiting Australian waters, so get in early and book your dream cruise. Remember when you had to fly half way - or sometimes further around the world to pick up a ship?  Ask your travel agent for suggestions.
Travel guide book of the week: Frommer's Singapore day by day - 20 smart ways to see the city. On sale now for $19.95
Travel companion book of the week: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson, the first of The Millennium trio. Fabulous book (my opinion only).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Far North, far out!

About to wander out into a beautiful sunny Cairns day. Tropical North Queensland always delivers on the promise of a good time. The little city of Cairns is lively, sophisticated and on a laid back Sunday full of visitors and locals alike, strolling along the shoreline. Just about to find a food market, after a big breakfast of course!
Yesterday spent the day NOT on the reef but inland where there were many natural treasures to be uncovered. What a stunning region, lakes, mountains, rainforest and I must divulge - scones with jam and cream. More in coming issues of Get Up & Go. Check the next newsletter (Free) from get Up & Go for a two-day hotle stay, and an all day trip to the Hinterland for a very special pice.
Visit www.getupandgo.com.au and sign up to the newsletter for free.
Gotta go, Cairns is calling.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Competition deluge

Get Up & Go winter edition has only been on the shelves or in the readers' hands for about three weeks and already we are overwhelmed with competition entries. New subscribers are vying for an amazing holiday in Beijing, China and readers' are itching to win the trip to Port Douglas – so, be in it to win it. Visit: www.getupandgo.com.au to enter the competitions and to subscribe or even catch up on some great archived travel stories.
And 'signs of the times' below – how about them? Spot the deliberate mistake. Rob Cleary took the marmelade picture at the Chilli Festival in Sawtell, NSW (despite the spelling, the marmalade is delicious, and as for the accent on the cafe sign, that picture was taken in Tynemouth, England.
If you have a photo of a particularly atrociously spelt sign, please send it in to bmalzard@mahlabmedia.com.au and I'll run the best of the bunch in the near future, I'll send the winner a travel book as a prize too. Send pics by the end of August.  Hapi snapin!

Signs of the times

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Funky Fitzroy

Having a couple of days in marvellous Melbourne, seems everyone visiting, except me, is here to see 'JerseyBoys'. Weather coolish but OK, spent Friday morning on the 'Hidden Secrets' lanes tour - fun and the joy of discovering Melbourne's secrets was overwhelming - aah! the shops. It's, for me, still the best shopping city in Australia.
Saturday went hunting for a market that wasn't about organic fruit and veg. and found the Fitzroy markets: small and tucked away in Rose St Fitzroy, search for it. Lovely, creative, funky stuff for sale, handmade and interesting articles, I purchased a couple of lovely items for the 'gift drawer' and sampled cake and coffee at the market's 'Kanteen'.
Headed across town to toney Armidale to cruise the antique shops, but that was all about browsing.
Back to Sydney tonight to get ready for work tomorrow. Au revoir Melbourne.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shoe security

Watching as I went through security at Sydney domestic airport a couple of days ago, a fellow traveller  down on his knees, undoing his shoes, and stuck down there. Then he had to take his belt off - all par for the course I know, but how about a couple of chairs for the older folk at airports, airport people?  Then again, how about older people remembering to wear slip-on shoes? You have been warned, it gets very uncomfortable wobbling around shoeless.
A clue to culinary superiority in Charleville – chocolate spring rolls. I kid you not. And very scrumptious indeed – with ice cream of course.

Kerosene can house in Morven, Qld.

Charleville: Cosmic encounter

Just returned from a three day trip to Charleville, two hours flight west from Brisbane into mulga/cattle/scones and the star-studded Cosmos Cente and Observatory. I saw stars! checked out many species of trees that I didn't know existed; learned about the two men who started the 'save the Bilby' quest - and it is a success; ate enough scones to unbalance a CWA stall table and generally had a fine time.

There are amazing stories out there of droughts and flooding plains. The town has wide, wide streets that were created to let the thousands of cattle through in the days when the cattle drives came in droves through town. We'll feature this part of the world in the autumn 2010 issue of Get Up & Go.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get Up & Go winter edition

The latest and greatest Get Up & Go magazine is out and about. Read about Scotland, Canada, Austria, London (can you believe it) on a budget, Affordable (you better believe it) New York and a fascinating religious ceremony in Vietnam . . . be there or be square.
Sometimes after I have finished writing a story I remember everything I forgot to mention. In the case of 'Highland Spring', featured in the latest issue of the magazine I forgot to tell about how beautiful the water is in the Highlands. Water that had a beautiful taste, felt silky on the skin and really made my hair shiny. The water is why Scotch Whisky is reputed to be the best in the world,; the water filters slowly through the moss and peat which gives it its pure concentration and the magic that makes a wee dram so damn good!

Dry July

Hopefully, hopefully this blog is a happening thing. I visited Papua New Guinea while the blog was static, so one country missed out on. But let me tell you, New Guinea is a colourful, exotic and beautiful destination - full of surprises. I'll throw a few pics in along this blogging journey.
But closer to home i spent a long weekend on the stunning Coffs Coast in Northern NSW, Only 45 mins by plane and I was in the lovely region of mountains, national parks, brilliant coastal beaches, charming hinterland towns and villages and the main event – Coffs Harbour – a burgeoning coastal hub.
Good restaurants and cafes spread the love here and the coffee met my great expectations.
Sawtell was the hot destination last weekend - it is the location for the annual Chilli Festival. All things hot and heavy and i have no idea why there is a chilli event held there - I think they use the chilli theme as an excuse for a party. It was fun. This is the place to spend the winter holidays – not too hot, not too cold, just right.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pictures imperfect

The back of the bike pic was taken in Hanoi. A few other travel writers and myself had dinner at the famous Kangaroo Cafe and after a 'fleet; of scooters was lined up to take us around the streets of Hanoi - in the evening it was fine, not crazy with traffic.
The other pic was me at the start of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea - no, I didn't walk it, just headed down hill for two minutes then headed straight back up again while my companions went for a three hour walk. Those also serve who watch and wait . . .
Get Up & Go winter edition features a story on Cao Dai - Vietnam's most unusual religion and i'll write a story on Papua New Guinea for the spring edition.
True fact: In Papua New Guinea you get great hot chips and coffee.

Escorted by scooter in Hanoi & Pondering a long walk

Monday, June 15, 2009

Latest from the front

It's been a while but I had a lot of trouble 'working' the blog system. Hope I can follow through with it now.
My trip to Scotland is well and truly over - and a fine trip it was too.
A couple of weeks ago I was in Papua New Guinea – how different from the Scottish Highlands the New Guinea highlands are. 
Will be reporting on the trip soon.
Just writing the last stories for the next Get Up & Go magazine – winter issue. It's packed with great stories and lots of good ideas.
I'll be back! 
Now if I can just learn how to change the image and download some others - I'm getting a bit cold standing on that ship in a Norwegian fjord brrrrr

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Travel like crazy

Mulling over the latest edition of Get Up and Go magazine I fondly remember the places I have written about. Cruising down the Murray River on a paddleboat was a thrill and I had never visited that part of the country before. It does us all good,

I think, to venture out of our comfort zones. Travelling is an eye-opener and as we go our merry way our eyes should be opened to what's happening around us. I hadn't experienced the breadth of a drought in my vision before and talking to the local people about how their lives were changing. People who made a living working on boats had to find something new because of lack of water - no water, nobody taking the boats out.

This is my first blog on behalf of Get Up and Go magazine, so it's a bit of trial and hopefully not error as I convey what's going on in my life on the magazine to the magazine's readers. I'm off to Scotland next week so will be 'blogging' along the way. I would love to hear from you.