A Travellerspoint blog

Australia

2019 NOVEMBER, AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY

Eastern Coast Walkway

sunny 30 °C
View 2019 Adventure - Germany, Malta, Italy & Indonesia on Cindy Bruin's travel map.

SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER 2019, DAY 134

A weekend stopover between Bali and New Zealand. Weather was lovely, great day for a walk.

Bondi Beach...

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Eastern Coast Walkway from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, viewing the sculptures along the path.

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  • **Sculpture by the Sea returns to the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach coastal walk as the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition. See the spectacular coastal walk transformed into a 2km long sculpture park over three weeks featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.***

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Posted by Cindy Bruin 11:08 Archived in Australia Tagged sea beach the eastern walkway sculpture by coastal bondi coogee Comments (0)

2017 NOVEMBER - A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

CHEERS TO EVERYONE WHO SHARED THIS YEARS ADVENTURE!

Any trip or place visited is not much without the great people I travel with and meet along the way. And of course, the friends and family who hosted and entertained us during our travels.

Here are just a few selfies I took during the trip.

Near the beginning of our trip
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Near the end of our trip

Lyn has been my travel companion for many trips now, and we always manage to have a good time no matter where we end up. We have spent a lot of time together 24/7 during this trip and still manage to make it to the end not only still talking to each other, but talking about the next adventure we may have together in the future.

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Dolly joined us in March in Costa Rica. We have travelled with Dolly a few times, and not only is she a lot of fun, but easy to travel with. Dolly was with us through Central America, Cuba, USA, Iceland, Spain & Malta, leaving us at the end of August to return home to start saving for the next trip.

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The Lemons, Toni & Shawn joined us in May for our Cuba leg. Cuba is one of my highlights and it was nice to share the experience with friends. Poor Shawn was a bit outnumbered travelling with 4 women, but he’s a big boy and managed just fine.

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We invaded the house of friends Renee & Paul in Lansing for a weekend in June. We had not seen them for over 10 years since we met in Vietnam, but we were still given a warm welcome and the best BBQ ever! Thanks Guys, promise we won’t come back too soon. Can’t believe I didn’t get a better photo of you guys, sorry.

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Dolly’s niece, Michelle & husband Andy and their 2 sweet little boys in Indianapolis took us in for a week without ever having met Lyn & I. Such a beautiful family, we felt very much at home there, big thank you.

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Again, with Dolly’s family, this time in Woodbridge. We stayed with Nanette & Ian for 2 weeks and a more generous and welcoming stay I have never had. Again, people who had never met Lyn or I before, yet we felt at home here as well. And the extended family & friends were all so kind and generous to us, this was a great experience. Big thank you to Nanette & Ian, Barney & Rehan, Lindsay, Noreen, Teresa & Uncle Don, Nino and all the friends we met.

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Robyn met us at the airport in Iceland and travelled with us through Iceland, Spain & Malta. Also, a repeat offender as travel partner, us four ladies together are the FAB 4!

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Had a great day with Dean & Fran in Madrid. Best way to see a city is to go with a local who knows where to eat and drink!

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It was great to see Nicola & Keane and Terri & Milly again in Malta. Nice to meet Karen, Mason & Lauren.

Sorry no photos of you guys.

Thanks to Des for his hospitality in Cyprus, and nice spending time with Audrey & Ray. And of course, great catching up with Sue.

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Well, that’s it. My last post for this 2017 trip. If I left anyone off my thank you list, I am truly sorry and of course send you a big thank you.

Stay tuned next year for another adventure.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 01:38 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

2017 NOVEMBER 2017 THE END

THE END – 2017 RUM & BEACHES – The Last Big Trip!

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So, here we are at the end, we have made it back in one piece, after….

271 Days

6th February to 3rd November = 9 months

16 Countries

Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, United States of America, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia & Singapore.

19 Flights

Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Miami, Miami to Panama City, Guatemala City to Mexico City, Mexico City to Havana, Santa Clara to Miami, Miami to New Orleans, New Orleans to Detroit, Indianapolis to Dulles, Dulles to Reykjavik, Reykjavik to Madrid, Madrid to Malta, Malta to Larnaca, Larnaca to Dubai, Dubai to Bangkok, Phnom Penh to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai & Singapore to Coolangatta.

Numerous forms of transport

Foot, bicycle, motor bike, tuk tuk, buses (chicken buses to coaches) cars (vintage/private/hire/taxi), boats (ferries/motor boats/yachts), funicular, trains (assorted classes) & aeroplanes (assorted airlines).

We have spent 1000’s of dollars in an array of different currencies.

I have taken many more 1000’s of photos along the way.

People often ask after a long trip, what was the best bit. This is so hard to answer when we visit so many different locations, as every place has its good, bad and indifferent parts.

Obviously, there are definite stand out places for good and bad reasons or experiences. We like to not dwell on the bad experiences and remember the places we enjoyed the most. Like I said, on such a long trip it’s hard to pick out the best bits, it’s difficult to compare each place to each other.

However, there are 3 places that really stand out for me in this long trip. Here they are in chronological order.

1. LOS GUATUZOS – NICARAGUA

We went into the jungle for a couple of days, up a river off Lake Nicaragua to a village called Papaturro. Our hosts Armando & wife Eileen were wonderful. There was no animal in the wild that Armando did not spot and point out to us, he had the eyes of a hawk. And Eileen kept us well fed and comfortable in our clean, basic hut. We saw an amazing array of animals our 3 days here and this is one of the most memorable places I have ever visited in all my travels over the years.

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===Los Guatuzos Nature Reserve & Rio Papaturro===

Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge is located in the south of Lake Nicaragua, within the municipality of San Carlos, Rio San Juan. This natural site is a strip of wetland bordering the nearby country of Costa Rica. “Los Guatuzos” has an extension of 438 square kilometres consisting of tropical wetlands, rainforest and wildlife refuge. Adventurous travellers can take pleasure in its luxuriant flora and fauna through the magnificent Paputurro River. Here avid nature lovers have unique opportunities to spot all different kind of birds such as northern jacanas, purple gallinules, fasciated-tiger herons, great egrets, green herons, neo-tropic cormorants, anhingas, great kiskadees, and other colourful interesting birds.

The site has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and belongs to the list of wetlands of international importance of the Ramsar Convention, which is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Both “Los Guatuzos and Papaturro River” also provides the opportunity for nature enthusiasts to observe mammals in wildlife like white-faced monkeys, spider monkeys and howler monkeys, actually the loudest monkey in the world. In addition caimans are also seen sunbathing along the river. Reptiles like “green iguanas” are also spotted in lush trees.

2. CUBA

Cuba, wow, I really had no idea what this country was going to be like, but it sure did not disappoint. It’s still a, what I would call, unique country to visit. The people were super friendly and helpful (especially since we spoke no Spanish at all), it worked out easy to get around using the old vintage cars. We didn’t actually experience any public transport, so have no idea what that was like. With the 5 of us traveling using cars to get from town to town worked out fine. At no time did we ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable. This is a country I would like to visit again, there are lots of beaches we didn’t see.

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3. JOKULSARLON – ICELAND

Our week in Iceland was a real treat. This is a track we would never usually follow but due to a flight route it was slotted into our itinerary. Lots of breathtaking scenery in this little country but definite biggest wow for me was the iceberg lagoon.

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So, there are the 3 big highlights of this trip for me, funnily enough when I asked Lyn what her 3 highlights were, she named the same 3 places!

Posted by Cindy Bruin 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

2017 FEB - AND WE ARE OFF! - BRISBANE TO SYDNEY

Have new shoes will travel!

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==Welcome back blog readers! ==

Just a quick few words to get this blog started again.

Firstly, I would like to thank all our friends on FB that sent well wishes over the last few days. Yes, we will be careful, yes we will have a good time, yes you will see evidence of this on FB and no you can't squeeze into our bags and come along. I tell you after all the travelling I have done you would think I would be a wiz at packing, but this still seems to be the most stressful part of an trip, (oh and the dreaded airport check in).

Secondly, for those of you that are interested I have listed below a rough itinerary of where we are heading this year:

Feb 6 Fly Brisbane to Sydney
Feb 8 Fly Sydney to Panama City (via LA & Miami)
Feb 8 - 26 Independent travel in Panama
Feb 26 Border crossing from Panama into Costa Rica
Feb 26 - March Independent travel in Costa Rica
March Dolly joins us in San Jose, Costa Rica
March 16 Border crossing from Costa Rica to Nicaragua
March 16 - April 13 Independent travel in Nicaragua
April 13 Border crossing from Nicaragua to El Salvador
April 13 - May 6 Independent travel El Salvador, Honduras & Guatemala
May 6 Fly Guatemala City to Havana, Cuba (via 5 hours stopover in Mexico City to pick up tourist card for Cuba)
May 7 Lemons join us in Havana, Cuba
May 6 - 27 Independent travel in Cuba
May 27 Fly Santa Clara, Cuba to Miami, USA
May 27 -31 Independent travel in Miami
May 31 Fly Miami to New Orleans
May 31 - June 7 Independent travel in New Orleans
June 7 Fly New Orleans to Detroit
June 7 - 9 2 nights Detroit
June 9 bus Detroit to Lansing
June 12 bus Lansing to Indianapolis
June 12 - July 7 Independent travel in USA (based in Indianapolis & Washington DC with Dolly's family)
July 7 Fly Washington, USA to Reykavik, Iceland
July 7 Robyn joins us in Iceland
July 7 - 15 Independent travel in Iceland (driving the ring road)
July 15 Fly Iceland to Madrid, Spain.
July 15 - 27 Independent travel in Northern Spain (hire car)
July 27 Fly Madrid, Spain to Malta
July 27 - Aug 21 Independent travel in Malta & Gozo
Aug 21 Fly Malta to Cyprus
Aug 21 - 30 Independent travel in Cyprus (Greek side)
Aug 30 Fly Cyprus to Dubai
Aug 31 Fly Dubai to Bangkok, Thailand
Aug 31 - Oct 22 Independent travel Thailand, Loas, Cambodia & Malaysia
Oct 22 - 29 Tioman Island, Malaysia
Oct 30 - Nov 4 Singapore
Nov 4 Fly Singapore to Brisbane

DAY 1 MONDAY 6TH FEB

I was up until 2.30am last night packing and sorting out last minute things. As I said packing still is not an easy task after all my travel trips. Lyn, the smarty pants, was packed and ready to go 2 days ago, but I assure you this is a first for her to be so organized so early.

We drove to the airport with just a couple of quick detours. A stop at Ikea to buy Lyn a rain poncho (which I hope we don't need too often) and a city stop to drop off Lyn's work computer.

We made it to the airport in plenty of time after dropping the car at the long term car park for Lyn's son to collect at a later date. There was time for a last coffee at Coffee Club and Lyn's daughter Angie was there to farewell us.

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Flight to Sydney was uneventful and just over an hour in duration. We collected our luggage from the very fast moving carousel and made our way to the bus stop to get to the bus Bondi to meet up with Lyn's other daughter Sarah & husband Mark. As we sat waiting for the bus to arrive Lyn exclaimed that she was already totally exhausted after only a couple of hours of travel. I laughed and said this is just the beginning. I am sure after a few days we will get in the travel swing and it will again just become the usual for us.

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As the bus meandered its way from the airport to Bondi Junction, Lyn made another observation that waiting for the bus and this bus journey was actually taking more time than it did for us to travel from Brisbane to Sydney in the plane. I smiled to myself and thought, just wait til we get to Central America and its assortment of chicken buses, there are going to be a lot of journeys that are going to take a lot more time than expected. But for now lets just keep this a secret, so she can enjoy the experience when it happens.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening drinking wine in Sarahs courtyard, later moving inside to enjoy some more!

Tomorrow we plan to hit Bondi Beach.

DAY 2 TUESDAY 7TH FEB

We slept in! and woke to a wet day so unfortunately our plan of a day at the beach had to be canned. We chilled out for the rest of the morning, Sarah made us a lovely brunch as we waited around to see if the rain was going to ease. It didn't, so we ventured out to the shops anyway for a couple of last minute purchases. And we spent an hour or so sitting in massage chairs with manicures and pedicures all round.

The sky had cleared a little so we started to walk home when a happy hour caught our eye and we had a quick cocktail.

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We enjoyed a lovely dinner out and managed to avoid the rain for the walk home. It's been a nice stop off in Sydney at the start of our big trip to visit Sarah and Mark. Thanks for having us guys!

Time now to repack our bags ready for our return to the airport tomorrow for our flight towards America.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 10:15 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney itinerary Comments (2)

2015 HAPPY NEW YEAR! - 2015

It's a new year and a new trip is in the wings!

tour de spoke n stroke

The title of this blog relates to the main activities we will encounter during the trip.

Spoke obviously refers to bicycle spokes (ie cycling trip) and stroke is supposed to refer to some water based activities (ie river kayaking/canoeing) we will engage in, NOT a medical condition we may encounter due to the spoke part of the trip.

May 2015 will see us flying back to Europe for another cycling holiday - not bad considering after completion of our last cycling holiday my travel partner, Lyn, swore never to engage in another non-motorized holiday ever again! Sucker for punishment or just does not want to miss out on any great adventures? Also joining us are 3 more silly buggers adventurers (although I am dubious regarding their choice of holiday).
Toni & Shaun Lemon have travelled along with us on several occasions, including our first cycling trip along the Danube River, so they are a little experienced and know what to expect.
Also braving the trip is Lyn's eldest daughter Sarah - who is up for the adventure but I'm not quite sure she knows what she has signed up for.

We depart early May with the obligatory stopover in Asia - flying into Kuala Lumpur for a few days then on to Thailand for 10 days in a couple of different locations catching up with family members who call Thailand home.

Mid May we fly on to London for a quick couple of days visit with some dear friends then ferry over to Holland where we purchase our bicycles for our main journey. This is where the other 3 cyclo tourists meet up with us and we will spend just a few days in Holland before we start the bike riding into Belgium, Germany & Luxembourg.

Sarah is cycling along for the first 4 weeks then must return home (someone has to keep the country going) and The Lemons ride along for the first 6 weeks. Not exactly sure how far we will get following my rough itinerary. We will be mostly camping along the way and as usual taking it pretty slow to see the sights etc.

Lyn and I will continue on after our friends have traded in their bikes, but the rest of the itinerary is still in the works.

This is another 6 month trip so there is plenty to come - flight home is booked for 1st November!

Posted by Cindy Bruin 19:08 Archived in Australia Tagged we before go! notes Comments (1)

2014 APRIL - 213 DAYS, 10 COUNTRIES - THE END

back to the real world

TUESDAY 1ST APRIL 2014 (DAY 213)

Well, here we are, day 213!

Ten countries later and we are at our last day of our 2013/14 adventure. Tonight we fly back to Australia, arriving at Coolangatta airport Wednesday morning early. Wow, what a journey this has been. Some of the earlier adventures we have had feel like months and months ago, and in fact were months and months ago, some feel like just yesterday.
There are way too many highlights to suggest any here and the low lights are trying to be stored away, lol. Actually we were lucky not to have had any really bad experiences or incidents along the way.

Lyn and I covered a lot of ground in various forms of transport and later when joined by our travel buddies Robyn and Dolly, covered even more.

Our last day was spent lazing around in our Singapore hostel but that's ok as it gave me a chance to completely catch up on my blog and even manage to type this closing blog. We did eventually venture out to find some food for lunch, but were uninspired by anything available around us so ended up with some bread and ham from the local supermarket. Good enough, we ate back at the hostel.

One by one we took a shower before it was time to carry our huge suitcase down the flight of stairs to the street and hail a taxi to take us to the airport. We left the hostel at about 7pm, giving us heaps of time as the airport is only about a 30 minute drive from the hostel. We had a really cool cabbie who we should have met 6 days ago as he had some great tips for visiting Singapore on the cheap, but all this info was too late, we were on our way home now. He did however give us a good tip for a place to eat at the airport, he told us about the staff canteen which is tucked away from all the other overpriced food outlets at the airport. The canteen is actually open to anyone and we had a decent cheap meal there before passing through immigration and heading to our departure gate.

On the way to the gate I suddenly asked Lyn where's your giant bamboo hat and discovered it had been forgotten and left behind at the hostel. Bugger - too late to get it now. I sent an email to the hostel asking them to hold onto it until our next visit to Singapore and hopefully they will do that for us. Such a shame to carry that huge bloody thing so far and then to leave it behind at the last stop.

Checking in our luggage was a calm affair, no panic there and we even had 1 kg to spare. Lucky for us they again did not weigh our carry on as we are still carrying some Moroccan ceramics that weigh more than our allocated 7kg's each I'm sure.

Our flight was called and boarded and left on time. About 8 hours Singapore to Coolangatta so I hope we get a bit of sleep during the night.

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Thanks to everyone on the way who helped and or hosted us, we caught up with some old friends and met new ones we will visit again when we are in their neighbourhood. Thanks to you all who took the time and bother to read my ramblings, I got a little lost in the middle and the writing slacken off but at least some notes were made in the end.

Thanks for reading, and you will remain on the list for my next adventure unless you remove your subscription. :-)

Cheers Cindy

==SAT, 5TH APRL, 04

Just a quick check in to let you all know we made it home safe and sound. A few days back now and all has returned to normal, almost like our huge adventure is a distant memory.

I still need to buy a car and find a job, but both are in the wind.

Ideas are already forming for our next travel overseas for 2015! See you then!==

Posted by Cindy Bruin 18:44 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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