After spending Christmas and New Years in New Zealand, we’ve started our journey to London. Since it’s such a long trip, we’ve decided to stop off at a few places along the way.
First stop has been Kuala Lumper where we are currently in day 2 of a 3 day stay. We spent yesterday exploring the area around our hotel and getting over our jet lag. Today, we set out to see some of the sights.
We soon found while travelling on foot that the maps we have are wildly inaccurate and that looking at them instead of the road is not a wise idea. Crossing the street should probably be a sport here – there’s crossings where the only way cars will stop is if you’re already half way across the road which takes a great deal of stupidity courage really. With a bit of help from the monorail, we made it to the Central Market for a spot of shopping. Phil bought a rad umbrella and we came across this strange NZ beef notebook.
The highlight of our afternoon was the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly park – home to over 6000 butterflies. I was worried that they would be enclosed in a small area and it would be more tragic than beautiful but was pleasantly surprised. The area was very well spaced out and housed a large number of native plants as well as several families of turtles.
That’s all my posting for now. I’m tired from traffic dodging and somewhere out there there’s some dinner with my name on it. If you’re interested, you can subscribe to our blog feed for future posts or check out our photos on Flickr.
Toni & Phil :)
Our time in Melbourne is coming to an end. With just over 3 weeks to go, we’re finding ourselves visiting eating establishments and doing the old “oh, I guess is the last time we’ll ever come here” spiel. We then proceed to order twice what we usually do as if it will satisfy any future cravings we have.
It’s true that food has been a major highlight – we’ve added dumplings, salmon & mascarpone pizza and several new types of beers to our favourites list. We’re both really craving a few things from Wellington though – a decent Indian curry, wholly bagels and our local Newtown bakery.
Before we leave, I’m going to try and post a few stories and photos about our time here (some might even be about things other than food!). For now, he’s my top 5 (events, things, stuff we did) for 2009:
#5 Discovering Geocaching
In the last couple of months we’ve managed to find over 40 tiny containers in places ranging from in grass in the middle of a bat colony to up a plastic chickens bum. I’ve taking a huge liking to the ‘sport’ and can’t wait to continue finding caches in NZ, Malaysia and Europe.
#4 Launching Tasman Jumper & other Freelance work
Ok this isn’t so much a Phil & Toni thing but more a “Phil having to put up with Toni’s thing” thing. TJ took up quite a bit of my time as I learnt dev skills and struggled with my painful inability to design websites. It was an awesome moment when it finally launched.
Phil and I have also been working on freelance projects welcoming ourselves to a little bit of a ‘location independent’ lifestyle and Phil has launched his .NET blog: Phil’s Version.
#3 Concerts: Soundwave (NIN, Less than Jake), Sound Relief, Karnivool, Lady Gaga, 12 Foot Ninja, Gretchen Lewis
Awesome, awesome, awesome.
#2 Rocking around Melbourne
With such a great public transportation system in Melbourne it’s been easy for us to explore new areas. We’ve found a few favourite places/things that we’ll miss:
– The rooftop terrace at Maddam Brussels (they serve amazing cocktails in pitchers while you sit on garden furniture with blankets and hot water bottles)
– The amazing parks that are scattered everywhere and fill with friendly possums with the sun goes down. Phil’s been brave enough to stick his hand in a few possum houses while searching for caches.
– The shopping! Sadly I’ve been unable to purchase much due to the whole ‘living out of a suitcase’ thing but I’ve got a few things to remember my time here.
– Bimbo Deluxe. I can’t get over how awesome their pizzas are and after 7pm they’re only $4. Too awesome.
– Spending time with family out in Deer Park. I’m going to miss Janine’s Thai beef salad & smoked trout!
#1 Our trip back home
We didn’t plan on returning to NZ until Christmas as we were only going to be in Melbourne for 6 months. As it turned out we decided to stay here for the full year so a June trip back home was great timing. We had a great time seeing friends and family and Phil proposing was definitely the highlight ;)
We had an awesome time in Sydney last weekend, we went to to see the All Blacks smash Australia, and we got what we came for! Woo hoo!
It was the first All Blacks game I’ve seen live, and it was well worth it. It rained a small amount, but the atmosphere was fantastic. We got lucky with our accommodation and somehow managed to book ourselves into a hotel above Sydney’s All Blacks Supporters bar, and there where plenty of drinks to go around once we got back.
Sunday was a beautiful, clear, 25° day. It didn’t feel like winter at all! So we decided to have a look around the city. We spent most of the morning in Paddy’s Market in Chinatown, though we didn’t manage to find anything to buy. From there we jumped on the monorail and got off at Darling Harbour. We ate some Oysters, drank some Coronas, and generally relaxed.
We jumped on a water taxi which took us away from Darling Harbour, out and under Sydney Harbour bridge to ‘The Rocks’ and a restaurant call Peter Doyles, which had an amazing view of both the bridge and the Sydney Opera House. It was probably the most expensive fish and chips I’ve ever eaten, but it was still awesome.
After everyone took an afternoon nap at the Hotel, we headed off into Chinatown for some food. With the memories of the awesome hot-pot meal we had in actual China, we tried to hunt one down. We stopped at a couple of places (and Anita managed to break their couch while getting out off it) and finally found a place. It was an experience. Not nearly as good as what we had in China, and virtually inedibley hot, but still worth it.
We got up at 5:30 Monday morning to catch our flight back, and I managed to get to work at the reasonable time of 1pm.
Overall it was a totally awesome experience, and I hope that once we get to London we’ll be able to see the All Blacks again!
A few weekends back we went to the Sound Relief concert at the MCG.
After sitting in McDonalds for around half an hour trying to build up the courage to brave the rain, we headed to Melbourne Central and bought some gumboots.
When we arrived we were stoked to find that a massive crowd had still turned up (despite the weather) and the concert was in full swing.
Australia rolled out a massive lineup including Kings of Leon, Jack Johson, Split Enz, Hunters and Collectors and Midnight Oil. We were also lucky enough to catch a glimse of some special guests ranging from Kylie Minogue to Tony Hawk.
In all we had a pretty awesome day. The irony that it had poured down during a Bushfire Relief concert certainly didn’t escape us.
Photos say it all so here’s a peek:
We’ve been in Melbourne just over a month and things are starting to come together. We’re in a great place on Degraves Street which is right in the city and walking distance to everything we need.
Since arriving we’ve experienced the hottest temperatures Melbourne has ever seen and have sadly, been walking among many affected by the Victorian bush fires. It’s nice to see that all profits made at Coles today will be contributed to the victims. We’ll be sure to shop there tonight – a small contribution but it’s nice to know we can help in some way.
After a lengthy few months of weighing up our options, we’ve finally decided to move overseas for a few years.
We leave on the 11th Jan 09 where will fly to Melbourne and stay for approximately 6 months. We’ll then fly to London for our big OE.
I’m really excited about exploring Europe and also taking in some Australian sunshine while we prepare!
Our Travel Blog
Posts on this blog are from both Phil and myself as we make our way around the world.
Current Location: Wellington, New Zealand.