Australia day in Perth with a house party and lot more fun sand boarding on the way to the dessert

I had booked this trip last year as Perth and Alice Spring ware left on my list after last years domestic travelling around Australia (https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/category/travelling/australia/).

 Also one of my bucket list (https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/category/bucket-list/bucket-list-2013/bucket-list-items/) item for last year  was to travel at least seven cities around Australia in 7 months. I was luckily able to do more than that though and here is the link to the same (https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/bucket-list-2013-week-15-7-places-traveled-in-3-months-rather-than-7-months/).

 So here I was in Perth arrived after 9:30 PM on Friday night after finishing my work in Sydney. I was on a adventure trip I should have realized since I was trying couch surfing (https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/dont-drink-before-diving-with-great-white-sharks-week-3/) again in Perth. I usually call it adventure but some people might call it a disaster or trouble when you arrive in a new place and you don’t know where you are going to stay as your host doesn’t pick up the call and the other couch host who promised to give you a ride to your destination changes the plan at the last moment. So here I was in Perth trying to call my host but didn’t get through but you know what you learn from past and this had happened to me in Armidale before when the host didn’t pick up my call all night and I didn’t even have his address (being a newbie to couch surfing). You must be thinking why do I even do it then – couch surfing when it is so much trouble at times. But the thing is you sometime never get to experience the place like a local if you don’t stay with locals and this trip of mine to Perth re-confirmed this again.

 So I was smart this time and had another contact as well in Perth for couch surfing and was able to get through Jason (another couch surfer host) and thankfully I found his place around 1 AM and was able to get few hours of sleep before I headed for the tour to  ‘Pinnacle dessert’ early morning.  His house was full of four other couch surfers that night but he was so nice that I didn’t mind staying in the space available although I did doubt my decision for a moment thinking why do I chose a night with no proper bed and rest and why do I have to even try this couch surfing. But anyways I did make a decision and stick to it and luckily I get through and had some awesome people around me during that time. For me the person who was hosting me was super nice and that changed my mind and I preferred to stay there for the whole duration because of the fact that the host as well as the other couch surfers were awesome company and comfort really didn’t matter after that and that too just for three days. I met Julie, Marie from France and Gosia, Piotrek from Poland. And I can say they make great friends along with Jason and made me feel home when I was in this new city (Perth). So I would recommend to know your priorities while trying something new as you might like it or not but you should always know what your preference would be in case you need to choose and to make sure no matter what but you have a great time doing that new thing while travelling.

 So here was a new lesson for me where I learned more about myself and others. And yes we are good friends now and I miss them already 🙂 Now to continue the story, the next day I went to Pinnacle dessert and I met this guy I saw in the airport as co-incidentally he was also travelling from Sydney in the same plane and doing the same tour as mine. Hence now I had a travel buddy for this trip which made it even more fun. We went to a zoo on the way to the dessert and did a lot of sand boarding on the way back from there. The tour guide said that he hasn’t seen adrenalin junkies like us on a sand boarding place. Well I went uphill almost 10 times and other few were the same. What if my calf muscles were killing me, I couldn’t resist the urge to feel the rush of sand boarding again and again. You must visit Pinnacle dessert if you go to Perth and have some time under your belt and if you are even a little bit into adventure then do try sand boarding, its fun. So this was the highlight of my day and in the night I hit three different bars/pubs/clubs in Fremantle, Perth. It was such a fun night out with some great music and lots of lots of dancing. I met few more people during this which made the night even more fun and interesting. No wonder I love travelling as its always a surprise at every other corner even like meeting different people from different places/ areas of life.  Hence the first day was full on and I did well I must say 🙂 And I would share the highlights of Australia Day and my visit around the city in the next post.  So stay tuned. And I know I still need to share my experience of San Diego and Miami in USA which I am working on currently and would be back with some interesting things to share with you.

Exploring Perth, Western Australia this year on Australia Day

 It was a quick trip so I wasn’t really thinking much about it till it was the day I had to leave for Perth. I quickly searched for the things I can do in Perth and few options were given as must see in Perth:

Attractions around Perth:

  • Pinnacles Desert
  • Wave Rock
  • Rottnest Island
  • Monkey Mia Dolphins
  • Wildflowers and Aboriginal Cultural
  • Kalbarri National Park
  • Wildlife Cruise

Here is a link to few tours if you are interested:

http://www.viator.com/perth-tours/d389-ttd?pref=02&aid=g2308

http://www.travelaust.com.au/perth-tours.html?gclid=CJ3T99L6n7wCFQsDvAodu0kA2w

https://www.aussieperthtours.com.au/tour_styles.php?style=full-day-tours

 I had three days to spend in Perth, including Australia day hence I decided to take a tour for the first day (25th Jan) so that I still have two days to celebrate Australia day and checked out some local places for less money. As tours usually cost a lot in Australia hence every time you go somewhere try to mix tours and free attractions to make the most of your visit to that place.

 Other than the above attractions that takes a fair bit of drive (2 – 3 hours each), there are some local attractions/places that you should visit when you are in Perth.

  • Fremantle
  • Cottesloe beach
  • Northbridge
  • Kings Park

 Public transport: It can be difficult to get around quickly in Perth if you rely on the public transport too much but still the connectivity is good and it saves you some money if time is not an issue. If you are flying there then  there is a shuttle (bus number 37 ) that is free from airport but make sure you check the timetable for this bus as I arrived in Perth airport around 9:30 and by the time I checked out I was told that the shuttle doesn’t run after certain time. So I wasn’t able to use this facility but see if your timing are appropriate to take this shuttle to city and then make your way from there.

Here is a link of the transport website: http://www.perthairport.com.au/ToTheAirport/PublicTransport.aspx

 Weather:

 Springtime in Perth: Spring begins in September in Perth,

  1. Average Spring Temperatures
 
  1. September: Daytime 18-21C
  1. Overnight Minimum 9-12C
  1. October: Daytime 21-24C
  1. Overnight Minimum 9-12C
  1. November: Daytime 24-27C
  1. Overnight Minimum 12-15C

 Summer in Perth: The official start of summer in Perth is December, finishing 3 months later at the end of February.

  1. Average Summer Temperatures
 
  1. December: Daytime 27-30C
  1. Overnight Minimum 15-18C
  1. January: Daytime 30-33C
  1. Overnight Minimum 18-21C
  1. February: Daytime 30-33C
  1. Overnight Minimum 18-21C

  Autumn in Perth: Autumn begins in March and finishes at the end of May

  1. Average Autumn Temperatures
 
  1. March: Daytime 27-30C
  1. Overnight Minimum 15-18C
  1. April: Daytime 24-27C
  1. Overnight Minimum 12-15C
  1. May: Daytime 21-24C
  1. Overnight Minimum 9-12C

 Winter in Perth: The mild Perth winter begins at the start of June and finishes at the end of August.

  1. Average Winter Temperatures
 
  1. June: Daytime 18-21C
  1. Overnight Minimum 9-12C
  1. July: Daytime 15-18C
  1. Overnight Minimum 6-9C
  1. August: Daytime 18-21C
  1. Overnight Minimum 9-12C

 [Reference: http://www.perthtouristcentre.com.au/weather.php]

 And apart from the facts about the place here is more about my adventure in Perth. I am not sure why even the simplest trip as this one turns into some sort of adventure or roller coaster for me. Well ma be you guys would know it by now that if I am on the road then nothing less than adventure really suits my life and my travelling style so I can’t complain 🙂

Whitest Beach in the world – Awesome way to spend weekend

Whiteheaven is one of the whitest beach in the world. So if you are in Sydney then try to go to Whitsundays and from there you can sail to Whiteheaven, Hamilton and many beautiful islands. The closest mainland area is Airle Beach and you can get there from Sydney in 1 hour by flight. Or you can choose to fly to Mackay which is bit cheaper and take greyhound bus to Airle Beach. The bus only runs once in a day each way so plan accordingly. It was a hectic trip due to less number of days but it was an amazing experience. I would share some more tips and details of my trip in the next post. And more pics from the Daydream island where I spend half of my day eating good lunch n relaxing near the pool bar so stay tuned 🙂

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Bucket-List 2013 Week 25 – 25.Visit atleast one historical town in Australia (Armidale)

Hello My Lovely Fellow Bloggers,

A smile and hug from Sydney. I had an amazing weekend this time like many others and I am back to share some stories and experience with you including my bucketlist adventure. Here is a link for my bucket list if you haven’t read it yet.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it.

My Fears

This time I had a wonderful time in a city called Armidale, located in the northern tableland in New South Wales, Australia. It has population of around 25,000 people and is known as one of the higest city in Australia at 1,110 meter above sea level. It is a beautiful area covered by world heritage national parks and it has also got an airport at 1,084 metres (3,556 ft), the highest licensed airport in New South Wales. It is 5 hours 30 minutes drive from Sydney, but I don’t drive so I caught the Greyhound bus in the evening from Central, Sydney to get here. It is a bit cold in Armidale due to it’s high location hence it is advisable to carry few warm clothes usually.

I think this is one of the most relaxed and happy weekend I had for quiet a while. And as I look back, I feel that the time I had spent here in this little town was blissful. Why do I feel blissful? A number of things happened on my trip to Armidale this weekend and I was content and happy after such a wonderful weekend with few  hiccups. I left Sydney around 5:30 PM on Friday evening when everyone was getting in the party mood in the city. People were leaving work on time or even early to start feeling Friday fever. I was in the bus waiting to get out of the city and get a snooze before I arrive in Armidale at 2:30 AM in the morning. It was a nice bus ride where I met this French couple who were spending their honeymoon travelling around the world for 6 months. What an awesome way to celebrate I must say. I love meeting people from different culture as you can see and we instantly hit it off and shared a lot of experiences from past travelling. I was lucky to get the next seat free in the bus as it was enough for me to curl up and get some sleep on my way to Armidale. As this was the first time I was going there so I checked quiet a few times with the driver about where we were and that made him wonder why I might be going to this little town where he himself hadn’t been for ages. Anyways finally I was there. The moment I left the bus a wave of cold air took me by surprise. It was around -2.0 C which I was not quiet prepared to be honest and the warm clothes I was carrying were mainly for the bus in case the AC was too low which sometimes is the case when you take a bus. But I was very glad that I did have few warm clothes and I tried to wear all of them to make myself more comfortable in this cold night.

I met some locals and made some really good friends I must say. It was just such a nice trip if I look back.  I went for a walk/run to enjoy the atmosphere and that took me to the University of New England in Armidale, where there was some function taking place. Then I also visited the city and the Dangar waterfall that is 20 minutes drive from Armidale, a very serene place. There are few other nice places to visit that I didn’t get a chance to go but worth seeing if you have few days in Armidale:

• Oxley Wild RIvers Nationalpark
• Zoology Museum
• Museum of Antiquities
• New England Regional Art Museum
• Hillgrove Museum
• Cathedral Rock National Park
• Dangars Lagoon and Racecourse Lagoon
• Deeargee Woolshed
• Eastview Estate Winery
• Geraldine 4WD Recreation Park
• Mount Mutton Walking Trail
• Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve
• Thunderbolts Rock
• Uralla Heritage Walk
• Wollomombi Falls – This is one of the highest fall in Australia. Wollomombi Falls are located less than one kilometre south of the village of Wollomombi and approximately two and a half kilometres by road. The access turn off is one and a half kilometres from Wollomombi on the Waterfall Way towards Armidale.

Sand Boarding in Port Stephen and Dolphin Cruise in Nelson Bay after encountering few animals

It was hard to wake up on Saturday morning as I am not a morning person usually. But after looking at those flowers and kangaroos in the Wildlife park it felt so worth. And no, even before that I remember now when I left home and got to the main street, I spotted many riders on their bikes. It was nice to see so much happening in the morning. It was so motivating to see so many people up and on their way to a fresh start of the day. I think I have started considering to be a morning person. Although the only issue is that I don’t sleep early and then it becomes even harder to get up early. But I guess I am going to make a way in that direction too. But anyways coming to the point I had planned a tour this Saturday to Nelson Bay, Port Stephen. It is a few hours drive north from Sydney and I had heard a lot about the sand dunes there so here I was heading to the beautiful view from the sand dunes – one of the longest in Australia next to the beautiful beach. We made a quick stop at the wildlife park and I did feed some Kangaroos there. It was such a beautiful start of the morning. Then next thing I knew we were walking around Nelson Bay and getting some food before boarding this big boat called ‘Moonshadow’. Then soon we were on the way to spot some dolphins. We did get a chance to see some of them but not so close as I did see them last weekend in Jarvis Bay. Here are some pics if you want to look at them from my last trip.

Hang Gliders and Dolphins

Then after coming back from the cruise we headed to ride some sand 🙂 It was so scary to look at the high Sand dunes let alone thinking about riding them. But then I saw so many people going to the top of the sand dunes with a board that I got tempted with my camera mounted on my head – all determined to take chance and try this new adventure. And as I am not used to of slopes and last time I tried a new sport I did suffer from concussion (Concussion couldn’t stop me from skiing – Pain is temporary, but if I quit then it will last forever) , not that I am complaining but it was just a moment of fear for me when I sat there at the top with my board just looking down and thinking why the hell I even have to do this. Then after few minutes it all looked good and something happened in my mind and a voice said just go and there I was doing sand boarding. And after once it became like a second nature to get up and walk back with my board to the highest possible place and slide down. It was so much fun and yes I shouted as loud as possible to emphasis on how much fun I had doing this. I missed it the most when we left in a 4 wheel drive to get back to our tour bus. And I think I might go back one day to try it again as it is a lot of fun and if you haven’t tried then I recommend it to adrenalin junkies and adventure lovers.

Hang Gliders and Dolphins with some Ice Cream – All in one day made it a Happy Day

Apologies first of all for not writing here my friends. It was one hell of a week with some sad times when evening were spent locked away in my room first time in a year. I did need a good weekend and guess what I did get one and here are some snaps from one of those days from my wonderful weekend.

I booked this tour some time back as since I was back from Darwin and India it was getting a bit boring to stay home doing nothing and here I was away for a day tour to explore more of my own surroundings in Sydney. It was a tour to Jervis Bay that I had always wanted to do. It included sightseeing to Stanwell Park, Kiama Beach, Jervis Bay and Kangaroo Valley. So much in one tour, I know right.

I had already been to first two but visiting again was refreshing as well. I didn’t expect much but after watching some beautiful dolphins my day turned into a bliss really. It was love and just love in my heart and in my mind as I knew that dolphins can feel  your feelings and come to you if they feel the good vibration and I think my trick worked as there were so many out there, the whole nursery actually. I just loved to see them playing, swimming and going in circles near our boat.

Darwin – Place to relax and enjoy Crocodile Dundy

I have been here for last 20 hours and have seen and done enough for a day so far. It was early morning or I should say just after midnight that my flight landed here (1 AM) and I end up spending the night in the airport. Then I took a bus for 16 AUD and got to my hostel around 6 AM. It was nice to keep my stuff away even when they told me to check in later. I had my breakfast (Beef pie with musroom) with my slow brain at that time of the day and hit the road to see the nearby (only) beach. I took pictures and had a little bit of a walk while exploring the new ways in Darwin with a happy mind. It took me through some parks and waterfront areas. I finally got to the beach and felt tired. I then retired at the park near beach and slept there for a while (almost 2 hours). Its not a bad idea to take nap I am thinking now 🙂

Then I came back and headed to my bucket list item – dive with crocodiles. I had an awesome time and will be back with some awesome pics and videos of it. I had fun with my Go Pro this time. Then I came back, checked in, had another nap as I am so super tired and then headed for open air cinema – Movie called ‘Crocodile Dundy’. Awesome day so far and now I feel like going out for a drink if energy in me permits.

Stay tuned as I will be back with pics and more adventure friends 🙂

Hobart – 7th most famous cities in the world in 2013

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Leaving Sydney for Hobart, Tasmania

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobart – When I went to Tasmania, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest as the trip to Sunshine coast a few days before this made me a bit tired. And as it was going to be extreme change of weather from hot to cold so I was a bit nervous about my health as well. But then how come my trip can go without any adventure or a story to tell after all. So yes, I did have an awesome time with a lot to do in 4 days of my stay in Hobart that included meeting some really amazing people from Hobart.

The moment I arrived in Hobart I wrapped myself with scarf, beanie and a lot of clothes to make myself warm before leaving the plane and that worked really well. It was a dramatic entry to the city in the dark and cloudy night. This time I was about to experience my second couch surfing experience after Adelaide. I was a little bit nervous as this is something I am not very experienced after all and although I love meeting people but living at some one else’s place does throw you out of your comfort zone a little bit specially when saving money is not your priority.  But now when I look back I am glad that I did take the risk and did go ahead with my decision of being a couch surfer for one more time as otherwise I would not have met Sam, Steve and David. The most amazing and wonderful hosts in Hobart you can live with and have all the fun in the world. I cooked with David, learned salsa (I end up spinning in the wrong direction most of the times though) from Sam and Steve, did kayaking with  Steve and Sam, partied with Sam and his friends, watched a movie with Steve and Sam and so much more. I didn’t even feel that I just met them and rather felt like friends/family living at their place.

Seriously if you have never tried couch surfing then I would suggest to try it at least once in your life as this is such an amazing experience and if you meet some wonderful hosts like I did then you might have life time of memories to think about. Alright so what is about Hobart that makes it special. So here are some things that you should do when you are there:

  1. Visit Mona, museum of old and new art – This place defines art in some way. It is moreover based on the concept of death and sex so you might not like to take kids everywhere or may be just don’t give them Audio if they are very young. The owner, David Walsh, has described this museum as ‘subversive adult Disneyland’. This place gives you the feel of Hobart as art dominating place and it will also its opening date is same as the third MONA FOMA festival (21st January 2011).
  2. Salamanca Market – Every Saturday this famous market is held next to the beautiful dockland of Hobart. You might like to just walk around this area in case you have other plans on Saturday morning. Also this place lit-up in the night and is very famous among the party goers during the weekend due to many famous pubs and bars around.   20130808_101242      20130808_101502       20130808_102650
  3. Trip to Bruny Island – This trip usually takes three hours if you have your own car to get to the point from where the ferry leaves for the echo adventure tour otherwise day tours are also available. There is a seal colony at another edge of this island. You can spend some time knowing more about seals at this place.
  4. Mount Wellington – 1,271 meters high, this mountain is also referred as ‘The Mountain’ by the locals here. Hobart is located at the foothill of this mountain. And good news is that you can drive to the top as there is a road build by the many hard working people right up to the top for those who either don’t have enough time for trekking or don’t want to walk due to the bad weather. It was winter when I was there so I was able to get some snow at the peak of this mountain. There is a lookout near the summit from where you can get some really good views although it was raining and sky was a cloudy when I was there so I wasn’t able to spot much other than fog from here. You can read more about it’s history on the various steel slabs in this lookout and feel the part of this place itself.  20130809_16295420130809_162714 20130809_163056 20130809_163122 20130809_163605 20130809_163650
  5. Kayaking in the Derwent river around Hobart is an amazing way to explore the beautiful surroundings of Hobart

Also for more attraction other than the above you can use the below links.

Second day at Byron Bay…the weekend was yet not over

I didn’t have any plans for rest of the day after the Hot Air Ballooning adventure of mine. Once I was back in my hostel, I came to know about this monthly market that was held today in town. I felt excited once again to see something new so I checked out of the hostel, as my train back to Sydney was in the evening, and headed to the town with my backpack with me. I was again on my way for some more sight seeing. I was lucky that I got to visit this market and it was a nice way to explore more about the culture of the place as well. Market was more like a fair in this little town and there were colors everywhere. I did try some ice-cream and enjoyed some live music with the locals. It was a true authentic experience that makes you feel almost a part of the place.

After visiting the market, I called one of the friends that I made yesterday to catch up before I leave and he was generous to give me a nice tour of the nearby beach and then a small town called ‘Bungalow’. If you are looking for some peaceful and small place to stay then this is your destination. It is more like a countryside with a road full of greenery leading to it. It is a nice 15 minutes drive from Byron Bay with nice cafe and small market of its own. Also there are many art galleries and shops at this place. We came back to Byron Bay and as there was an hour left before I could catch my bus so we though of getting something to eat and drink in a nearby cafe just across the bus stand while still enjoying the sunset. It was 5:00 PM when I saw a bus with the Country Link logo waiting at the bus stand. I checked my itinerary and the time to board the bus was 5:15 PM on it. I still thought it’s better to board the bus in advance so I started getting my stuff together in order to get to the bus stand. The moment I arrived the bus stand the bus left. What? This can’t be happening I thought in my head. My friend was still with me so he offered me a ride to the next stop to catch the bus. Soon we were chasing this bus but soon it disappeared. I panicked thinking about the incidence last morning when I missed the station but this time I was angry thinking how can the bus leave earlier than the time mentioned on the itinerary. Suddenly my friend realized that the direction we were going was not correct and it was leading us to Brisbane (in the opposite direction to Sydney) and we saw another bus coming from the opposite direction. We quickly took a U-Turn and drove back to the bus stand as we realized we were chasing the wrong bus altogether and the bus to Sydney was on time. That’s what happens when you panic and when you have already missed your bus/station in past. I said good by to my friend and finally boarded the bus to Sydney (its a break journey – bus to Casino and then another train to Sydney from there). This time I didn’t miss anything and got home the next morning before going to work. So overall it was a weekend full of fun, adventure, thrill and excitement I must say. Hope you enjoyed it with me 🙂 I will be back with some more stories as I plan my next destination which is not far but only two weeks from now. Where? That I will reveal in my future posts.  Till then enjoy life and keep smiling my friend 🙂

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 So far you have enjoyed the last two articles about my adventurous weekend in Byron Bay, Australia. Now I would love to share my experience of day 2 which was also full of excitement and joy. In case you missed my other two posts then here is the link to the same for you my friend.

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Alarm went off around 4:30 AM and first time in weeks I was not frustrated as I had enough sleep this time so I quickly jumped out of the bed with excitement. Today was the day I was going to experience Hot Air Ballooning. So many times I dreamt of doing it but every time I felt I should wait for some one special to do it with. But finally I decided to do it on my own after one of my friend suggested that it is an experience that you get to feel individually anyways so why wait for some one when you can do it by yourself. So here I was waiting at the gate of the hostel to get picked up around 5:15 AM. A car pulled up next to me and I confirmed that it was from the Ballooning company. After a warm welcome message from the guy driving the car, I fastened my seat belt and we headed to the location for base(the office for ballooning ). It was still dark when we arrived at the base. I could see many people getting ready in their gears for sky diving. I felt as if I was the only one in the balloon staying back and almost everyone else was going to jump. I wished I could jump with them for a moment and this thought was interrupted by one of the sky divers. She introduced herself and a formal round of introduction kick started for few minutes. These were professionals with more than few hundred and even few thousand jumps. My goodness, I almost freeze to digest this information now. I was excited and felt a bit naive to talk to these people now as whatever jargons they were using I couldn’t understand half of them. I met Thomas, the chief pilot of Byron Bay Ballooning (http://www.byronbayballooning.com.au) and signed some forms as part of the formal process. Thomas was quiet reassuring as I was a bit nervous as well excited, this being my first balloon flight.

Thomas after successful landing

Thomas after successful landing

Soon we started for Casino, place from where the balloon was supposed to fly. I was cold but super excited. I chose to sit with other sky divers in the first van to listen to some insightful information they would like to share during this one hour journey. It was a nice ride till the patrol station where the drivers stopped to fill patrol. I was told a lot of things and these people were very nice to explain me a lot of new concepts that made me look a bit puzzled. I shared rest of the way with other set of people and got to know some more people on my way to Casino. It was an overwhelming morning I must say, so much that I kind of forgot that I was here for ballooning really.

Once we arrived in Casino, the process of unloading the balloon and setting it up started. It was such a huge balloon, I guess all of them are but I was witnessing it for the first time. It was like preparing for a festival, with so many people helping in the process and some of us trying to shoot the process or take pictures of the location. As the balloon rose, it was such a mesmerising view with all the colours rising in the sky with the bright light of  the sun. Then we climbed into the balloon and Thomas started to fill the balloon with hot air and the balloon took off. It was so smooth that we didn’t feel anything but only the view started changing as we gained height. Just so that you know Thomas has been flying since the age of 22 and has also won many awards.  So if you are in Byron Bay and feel like ballooning then he is your guy. I was trying to absorb this whole experience while also taking a lot of pictures at the same time. The basket is divided in three compartments and the middle one is reserved for the pilot with some gas cylinders. We were almost 12 people, 6 in each baskets on both the sides and out of which 7 were sky divers. Soon we rose to the height of 6000 feet and it was an amazing view. It felt so light and beautiful to see the whole area at this hour of the morning. It was around 8:45 AM. The divers were all ready to jump and soon we hit the height of 9000 feet from where they were supposed to jump. It was more scary to look at them standing on the edges of the basket. And I guess I was more excited and worried than them. Some of them were doing it for the first time which I thought was very brave and increased my respect for all these divers. Soon before I realised they started jumping from the balloon. It was so fast that I didn’t even get chance to take many pictures of them jumping and soon they disappeared from the sight. We started moving towards the destination, Thomas was co-ordinating with rest of the team to make sure all the divers are safe and have been located after reaching the ground.

Thomas started to prepare us for landing and soon we were descending fast, not that you can feel it other than the height displayed on the system. We landed on a  farm with more than 50  bulls all staring at us in not so welcoming mood. Thomas waited for rest of the team to come to this location and get the permission from the farm owner before getting us all climb out of the balloon. Once the team was here, the bulls started heading towards their vans and soon we were out of this adventurous and risky zone. And next thing I remember, we were all rolling the balloon and packing everything back in the vehicle to head back. I was still floating in the sky in my thoughts though as it is a last longing experience and it takes some time to get back to reality I can say. Thomas stopped in a nice cafe on the way and bought lunch for all of us as part of the package. I chose Spanish Omelette and you know what, it was the best breakfast ever after such a beautiful start of the day. What else can you ask from life I thought with a smile. The day is yet not over my friend and I still have to share my experience of the monthly market, beach and one of the most beautiful town/village in the area before I finish my story. So keep an eye for another post after this 🙂 Till then have a wonderful day my friend.

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Fabulous Day at Byron Bay – Kayaking, Flying and some sight seeing

    So now that you know how it all started, you might be ready to know the best part of the day. And if you missed the last part then here is the link to it:
    It all happened so quickly when I was wondering about the plan for rest of the day in this new place. I saw the advertisement for Kayaking and one of my friends had told me about this awesome experience as must have in Byron Bay. And the hostel manager of Cape Byron Lodge(oldest backpacker in Byron Bay – http://www.capebyronlodge.com) was quiet nice to book it quickly for me and before I unpacked all the stuff I got the time for their pickup around 9:30 AM and within half an hour I was on my way for Kayaking (http://www.goseakayakbyronbay.com.au).

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It was exactly what I need, splash of water, a bumpy entry into the ocean through some rough waves that almost flicked me out of the boat and a serene beauty of the place to look at. I was almost lost in the place and this whole fun experience. It was a reward of all that hard work I felt and all that planning that went behind this. I was so relaxed that I almost forgot all about morning. We spotted so many dolphins while kayaking. Me and my buddy even went back to catch some more waves but the second time we got washed away by the bigger waves. It was great fun and the people in the kayaking company were super friendly that started this whole trip in a very nice manner. I met many interesting and friendly people on this trip and when I came back I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about such an interesting morning. Once I was back in hostel I requested the manager for some more information on hand gliding as I had heard that it is also a very nice activity that you can do and it was on my bucket list as well. He even booked one for me, although a different version with micro light plane as the wind was not good for flying otherwise. img_6072_med_hr img_6073_med_hrimg_6091_med_hr It was good to fly over the coastal line of Byron Bay with an expert pilot (http://byronbayskysurfers.com). And after my flight I made friends with few pilots and one of them offered me a ride but unfortunately I had to head back to hostel but I promised to come back to Byron Bay again for it. See, very nice people really. I love Byron Bay J After returning to my hostel I went to the light house and the hostel manager was very friendly to arrange the hostel van to give me a ride to the light house. And I had some cool shot of sunset after two of my other adventures. It was the best way to wind down the day really.

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 I was thinking to go out that night even though I have quit drinking but I can still enjoy with plain juice I thought. But then I had arranged the Hot Air Ballooning the other day so it made sense to get some rest before my pick up around 5:15 AM the next day. I made some noodles and had some baked apple for my dinner and went to bed with a happy soul J Best day after getting burnt out last week with hectic life and work not that this day wasn’t busy but I guess this is my way to relax 😉 So what happens the next day? Yes I am about to start writing about that so stay tuned. And here is the link to the next post.

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 

Road to Byron Bay – Not so easy but worthwhile for an interesting weekend

About to start a long train journey to get to my next stop - Byron Bay

About to start a long train journey to get to my next stop – Byron Bay

That's happy me before the journey started..all excited for the trip

That’s happy me before the journey started..all excited for the trip

Queue for dinner in the train..yes I kind of liked this whole new experience after taking so many flights recently :)

Queue for dinner in the train..yes I kind of liked this whole new experience after taking so many flights recently 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a long train journey and got worse when couldn’t get comfortable to get enough sleep. Yes, right I didn’t sleep all night to make sure I get down at the Casino to catch a bus to Byron Bay, even asked the guy working in the train to wake me up just in case. And good thing that it’s their job to wake people up otherwise in the night trains it might be chaos if people who board can’t get the seat because other people have forgotten to get down. I was able to get 1 hour nap and caught the bus to Byron Bay. And then I decided to watch a movie as the journey was only for 3 hours. So I started a dance movie that was downloaded on my phone. I watched some of it but then sitting in a bus where everyone was sleeping and there was not enough light at this time of the night so I felt a bit sleepy. I took a nap and put an alarm to wake me up as I was supposed to get down at Byron Bay around 5:55 AM. My alarm ran off and I realized its 4:55 AM and felt like having a 5 minutes nap which I do at home sometimes before going to work. I heard someone mentioning Byron Bay but I felt I was dreaming.

Suddenly I woke up and looked at my phone. It was 6:15 AM and I was supposed to be going Hot Air Ballooning before 6 AM (a guy was waiting in Byron Bay to pick me up). Shit! That was my exact expression. I ran to the driver and asked how far Byron Bay is. He looked at me in surprise and told me that Byron Bay station already passed. What? I didn’t sleep all night for this. What…I didn’t have words for few minutes and I asked him how far it is? It was 20-25 minutes away and I wanted to jump out of bus to catch a ride back but at this hour it was neither safe nor a very good option. The driver realized I was travelling by myself so he tried to help me out by dropping me in a safe place (it was the next town) and called the other bus driver from the same company who was supposed to go to Byron Bay via this place. I waited for one hour near this beautiful little town called Brunswick Head from about 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM.

Yes, that's me sad and cold in the morning when I missed my station :(

Yes, that’s me sad and cold in the morning when I missed my station 😦

It was cold but I managed to walk to the nearby river and get some nice shots before I realized that my shoes were wet with the dew on the grass. I looked at the sky and asked – What’s next? Hit me with a lightning now. I was angry at myself to miss the Ballooning today not knowing how the weather would be the next day. I was angry at myself to stand in this cold weather where not many options were available in the town even to get some hot coffee at this hour. But an hour passed quickly now that I think about it and I caught the bus while the driver knew me as the girl who slept and missed her station. Yes, that makes me a little famous now. But you know what I wasn’t wrong when I was thinking everything happens for a reason, and you will find out soon why.

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I got to my hostel which was way too far and even after getting lost on the way (as the road on which the hostel was located was not in the map I had with me), I managed to get there before 8: 30 AM with the help of some really nice locals. And after getting there I found the reception is closed and many people are waiting there including a couple whom I saw in the bus with me. I wished if they could have waked me up in Byron Bay station but of course they might not have known my station. Finally the manager of the hostel came and told everyone that he is still hung over and just found out that there is no one at the reception. When it was my turn to check in, I end up having a decent conversation with him as he felt a little bit embarrassed with the whole situation at the reception with so many people waiting to check in. He felt relaxed and I felt better after talking to someone in a light manner in spite of having a really bad morning. What happens next? How the day gets better and better? Yes, I am still writing that and want you to have this first part till then. I will be back with the awesome day after this soon my lovely friend.

Diving and Snorkelling at Great Barrier Reef – Bucket-List 2013 Week 8

Item Number #32 – Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

It was a cloudy day and I had only 3-4 hours of sleep as I was staying in a backpacker where everyone was in party mood and after my experience of divign with Great White Shark I was more cautious to be fully awake and in good shape before diving in the world famous reef – ‘Great Barrier Reef’. But it was not good enough I guess as I was accompanied by a guy from USA who was  feeling sick and at first me and his friend were making jokes about throwing up and soon I myself got sick as well. It was a bumpy ride of 2.5 hours to the reef from the harbour of Cairns. But I think water is remedy for everything and as soon as I jumped into the water after gearing up for my scuba diving, I was once again smiling. It was a short (23 minutes), 15.7 meter deep dive. I loved it as this was the reason I had started Scuba Diving in the first place – to be able to dive in Great Barrier Reef. And here I was diving in this famous reef which is unfortunately getting destroyed by cyclones and fishing in past few years. I went for snorkelling after first dive and then for the second dive. It was hard to stay in the boat and not feel sick so I preffered to spend most of my time under water 🙂 It was such a nice day in my life, I met lots of people, made new friends and even being so sore didn’t matter anymore :)I am sharing my pics of that day with you all. I hope you enjoy them.

More Angles to this Building – Queen Victoria Building Part 2

I think either I like Queen Victoria Building a lot or it just happen to be the place I am passing through very often. I can say both really. For those who want to know more about this place I have written another post some time back and here is the link:

Don’t clap too hard – it’s a very old building. – John Osborne

So this time when I was passing through it then I saw it again in a complete different light and from different angles so couldn’t resist taking some pictures. Here they are for you.

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Every floor of this building is designed with a unique tile pattern.

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Golden Day Colored Naturally

I had some time to absorb the beauty around me this morning before my sailing lesson. So here are few shots from my collection for you to enjoy.

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Bridge of your choice from one end to another

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What direction would you take now 🙂

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Down under somewhere the beauty lies – Are you ready to have a look and enjoy!

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Flags for happiness – Do you like the idea?

Don’t clap too hard – it’s a very old building. – John Osborne

 

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The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated. (reference: http://www.qvb.com.au/about-qvb)

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Walk on Water – Sydney Harbor Bridge

Constructed till19th January 1932 and opened since 19th March 1932, Sydney Harbour Bridge has been used by countless people on foot as well as by other means including bicycle. The bridge was designed by a British firm called  Dorman Long and Co Ltd. Still standing tall as an icon it was also known as “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design.

New year is Sydney is spectacular and the bridge is an integral part of it. Also the more adventurous souls can try to climb this bridge and get an amazing view of the city. I was walking home one day and while crossing the bridge thought of clicking some pics of the bridge that I would like to share with you.

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Now that you have already seen the pics lets take a look at some very interesting facts about the bridge:

  • It a 1439 steps climb to the top of the bridge
  • A very interesting fact is that the pylons are only decoration! They don’t really hold it up
    Fact shared by Lyn (http://theencouragingscribe.wordpress.com) – Actor Paul Hogan, of Crocodile Dundee fame, used to be a rigger on the Sydney Harbour bridge and spent his days painting the iconic landmark.
  • It is the second longest single arch bridge in the world after the Bayonne Bridge in the US (70 cms longer than this)
  • Average traffic has increased from planned 11 thousand to 160 thousand till date
  • The Bridge is painted grey because it was the only paint they had enough of at the time!
  • The area it takes to paint it is the size of 60 sports fields.
  • The payment (20 million dollars) of the  bridge took 56 years to be made.

Some more typical facts about the bridge:

  • The Length of each arch span is 503 metres
  • The Height to the top of the aircraft beacon is 141 metres above mean sea level
  • Width of the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s deck is 49 metres
  • Clearance for shipping and vessels is 49 metres
  • Height of the Bridges pylons are 89 metres above mean sea level

Also refer the below link for more information on the same:
http://sydneyharbourbridge.aussieblogs.com.au/facts-about-the-sydney-harbour-bridge/