Alice’s secret..

Welcome to Alice Springs… Uh stay indoors so you don’t get robbed, beat up or killed… Ok, ok it’s not that bad, as long as your back in your room by 9pm! Lol..

After arriving in Alice Springs, which actually has some gorgeous scenery so its shame about the bad rep, we headed into town to have a super quick dinner and rush back to our hostel before 7.30pm. It was quite nice to take a break, we chilled out and watched the film “Traffic” while being told by an Aussie from Melbourne that he couldn’t handle walking down many streets in his city because of the abundance of Indians. Lovely ei?

Don’t worry, Anj took care of him, with a firm “Do you mind, we’re trying to watch a filum?!” 🙂

We made sure we rested up too in our “cottage” at Alice’s Secret Hostel… The secret was that the cottage, Aka a shed in the garden had more holes in it than… (I’ll let you complete that).. Suffice it to say we had to share our abode with Lord knows how many people peering in and of course a cockroach.. Good memories.. 🙂

Anywho, the next day, we started our 2 day, 1 night tour early again, with a 6am pick up!

The first day involved a hell of a lot of driving again, to arrive to our first spot, the Rock, otherwise known as Uluru (the official and Aboriginal name for it)!

It is stunning. Uluru is one massive rock at 348m high, 9km in circumference, in a land where there is hardly any other rocks around it. The crazy thing is, this rock continues a mammoth 4km further into the ground!

That is one big stone. As we walked around (we respected the Aboriginals request not to climb it for their religious beliefs…not that everyone else does the same), and our tour guide explained the stories the Aboriginals have for the creation of this rock, it truly did bring it fully to life. I honestly can’t tell you how happy we were that we had a tour guide for that bit, as I don’t think we would have appreciated the beauty as much!

It is amazing to hear how the Aboriginals live with the belief of living in the now using the natural world for all their needs! No creation of materialistic belongings, no belief that anything belongs to them or living for the future! They believe everything belongs to mother earth and we should be there to look after and preserve it!

Anyway we ended the day watching the sunset over Uluru with a glass of Champagne (okay, okay…Orange Juice) and snacks!… Sweeeet! When we weren’t all being engrossed by the food, we did manage to watch the sheer magic of the whole rock change colours as the sun sets.

As if the day hadn’t been exciting enough, Anjali decided to have a shower! … Yeup, so unusual I know, I was so thankful… KIDDING! .. As she was showering, one of the girls pointed out there was a mouse cruising for chicks in their bathroom. (Apparently it was very cute!!).. For some reason, at that point she got the hell out of there! 🙂 Probably because we’d been told we were more than likely see the mice in our tents anyway, while mini alligator type species would be resting under our tent. Niiice and cosy! Aww.

The next day was a 5am wake up to go in the search for wild Kangaroos and see the Olgas or Kata Tjutu! We saw one Kangaroo!

Gutted! Its better than none.. I guess. 🙁

To be honest the walk through Kata Tjutu made up for it.

This is quite a tricky walk and infact one lady on our trip, fell and cut her head open, so had to be air lifted out! Crazy! Her husband told us he would have to fork out around £3G’s for this! We heard she was okay later, thank God!

Anyway the walk was amazing and when you reach the top, the view is out of this world! You look between 2 Olgas and see the sun rising over the backdrop. It is like it literally came from a post card! Stunning!

And that was it… the end of the road! Well apart from the exciting 6 hours coach journey back to Alice Springs with views of Mt Conner, the Mac-something ranges and a stop off for cheese toasted sandwiches!! Hmm.. (Can you tell Anj added that bit in? Hmm!)

A quick note, one thing we wanted to see, but didn’t have the time to go to on this tour was Kings Canyon (we actually thought it was on this tour), and the Mcdonald ranges from close up, so if you get the chance suggest you spend 4 days there and do it!

Also if you do make it out here to the Red centre, which is kinda more green at the mo.. Make sure you do the free digeridoo workshop… It’s jokes.. We both managed to get sounds of it.. Concerts coming soon to a busking location near you!

Anyway time to leave the Outback now and prepare for the beach part of trip! Bring on Cairns! 🙂

Go Rishi, it’s your birthday…

…Loose your luggage, its your birthday!

Okay okay, so we’re in Singapore, Anj had lovingly spoilt me and organized this part of the trip all for me! 🙂

But after our flight over night, with 8 hour stop over, and after the usual couple of donuts, we waltzed down to the luggage area to find our bags missing!

GUTTED!

Would we get them back? Would we have to wear the same clothes for the next 2 months? Would we have to go shopping and buy a whole new wardrobe? What would we wear after a shower!?

After all these questions ran through my mind…we complained and received 80 quid to survive on for the day!

So off we went to Little India where we took a nice walk around and visited an amazing temple. It had incredible statues and carvings throughout, and we even found a poster advertising a talk taking place by Swamiji (Chinmaya Mission)! Small world!


We then trekked back to our hostel, hoping to discover our bags were back! And guess what they were! Shweeeeet!

So in other words we got paid 80 quid for our luggage to be delivered to our hostel! This was especially sweet since our hostel was on a steep hill, so we avoided the climb with our heavy backpacks!

Anywho, after getting ready and a wonderful meal at an italian restaurant, Anjali took me to this amazing bar right on the top of one of the tallest buildings in Singapore!


 The views were spectacular, especially at night and we were there till 1 to celebrate my birthday (whoop whoop, I’m now 29). Really special place! Being the partay animals we are though (not), we headed off to the Clarke Quay clubs! Was buzzing with people and all in high spirits! Was a special night!

The next day (my birthday), we received a sudden phonecall from Kish! I couldn’t believe it! Kishan and Meera are ENGAGED! Soooo exciting! And an amazing proposal, which I’ll leave for them to tell the story! CONGRATS guys! (Even though Meera, you know Kish will still always be mine…especially when Brian Mcknights on!)

We then visited Orchard Road to roam the malls. This street is jampacked with shopping center after shopping center! Was a load of window shopping for me and Anj though (especially after the amount we spent in Japan) but it was amazing to see how multicultural Singapore is and how safe it feels to walk around!


Finally we taxied (with a guy who quite obviously was a tour guide in his previous life) all the way to Singapore Zoo! This is a MUST see in Singapore! The animals are not behind cages but actually out in front of you! It was like visiting a wildlife safari, but where you kinda knew you were safe! Amazing experience, filled with monkies, snakes, lions, giraffes, kangaroos, birds, elephants and much much more!

 

 

That finished just in time for us to speed back to little india for dosas, start following the world cup cricket final on our mobile phone and get ready to take our flight to Australia!

The worst thing was we actually got on the plane to travel to Australia just after India started their innings and lost there first 2 wickets! 31-2…crazy!

All I could do was sit there wondering! Did India do it? Are they gonna end their 28 year wait? Will Sachin get his hands on the trophy before he retires?

We landed to find they won! And on top of that Man Utd won, Arsenal drew! I literally wanted to jump up and down on the plane, as I waited to get off! I seriously had to restrain myself!

Overall my 29th Birthday was unforgettable! In one day my best mate got engaged, India won the world cup, Man utd extended their lead at the top, and Anjali spoilt me rotten! Thanks Anj for a wonderful day! (P.S. thanks to all those who sent me their birthday wishes too, I’m lucky to have you all!)

Good Morning Vietnam

wow, that was some baller status bus we took right there…okay maybe i’m exaggerating a little but so far the best bus journey we’ve taken…it included water, a latest hollywood filum, reclining seats, air conditioning and a person leading us through the whole border process all for 12 bucks! (So use mekong express shuttle buses if you can)

Yes we arrived in hoi chi minh city a.k.a saigon in vietnam on the eve of chinese new year!

This is the first place we had a real nice hotel upgrade by the chance of half price due to there being only half the normal staff working there! (We’ll take whatever we can but well done anj for the clever spot :))

Neway enough about us being cheapos…So off we went to explore this beatuiful city!

We started with the amazing sight of highlands coffee house (mmmm chocolate milkshake, mango smoothie) followed by the street of flowers.

This street stretches nearly a mile long and was planted with some of the most beautiful flower displays we’ve ever seen, and all dedicated to the cat (year of the cat).


After many posed photographs, (well that’s what everyone else was doing and as they say when in rome…)… off we headed to quickly see the amazing architechture of the post office, the cathedral and the war remenants museum.

To be honest the post office and cathedral in my view were…well okay…the war museum on the other hand had tanks, war planes and helicopters but it wasn’t till we walked into the museum and saw the gruesome pictures from the war that it really shocked us!


It really does make you question, if this happened so recently, where else in the world is it happening now? And why?! There truly is no need for such attrocities in this world! Peace and love can reside if we have respect for one another!

Neway after that we strolled back towards the flower street in anticipation for the massive celebrations that were about to happen!

The streets were packed, rammed and filled with motorbikes! The flower street was jammed with people, it was like normal new years but an amazing new experience!


We talked with locals, sat on the dirty pavement, wedged between loooads of motorcycles and bought a pink balloons as we waited in one tight spot for 3 hours for the fireworks! Was well worth the wait though…at 12 am we were bomblasted with an amazing array of colors in the sky with the crowd cheering each bang! Wow! Seriously words cannot describe!


After a good 20 mins they finished…and then came the bigger task of the night, our survival (thanks for warning Neera – you were right, its mental). Me and jackie bauer (anj) were on the move, as we had people, cars and motorbikes coming at us from all angles, we swiftly dodged all of them and moved in between the small gaps to get out! This bit is NOT an exaggeration!

Was one of the craziest things ever! Well we’re now back at the hotel its 2.23am! Time for sleeeepp but what an amazing day, can’t wait till tomorrow! 🙂