Bumblebee Girl on Mission Possible

Posts tagged ‘bucket list’

Home is where the heart is

I’m back and I felt so at home already in the airport of Sydney.

I’d chosen to take a night flight because it was cheap but even though I’d three seats to my disposal I got very little sleep. Therefore I’ve used two days to try and get into sync again 😀 but I’m here and I’ll stay now for 5-6 months and this is so wonderful.

The first day I went for a walk to Bondi Beach to get some food and I was recognized by the store owner from Bitebox. That felt amazing to get waved at, get a good talk and get a box with meat and vegetables. Then I went to the neighbour shop my favorite and got a fresh made melon juice. After that I went right down to the beach and just sat there and ate.

Guys I’m home 😀 it’s funny how many people say that their place/house/four walls are their home. For me it’s where my heart is and Bondi is where my heart is and no matter where I’ll end up living Bondi is my home and I’m a Bondi girl 🙂

And to make it even more adventurous while I was eating all hell broke loose for the lifeguards and they had to save two teenagers in very bad shape and they did as usual an amazing job. Most of it I know from the news because I’ll never join the ring of death unless it’s somebody I know getting saved.

In these days I stay at a hostel close to the beach so when I go to the roof top I get an amazing view over the ocean.  One of these days when the weather is good I’ll go up there and do some whale watching.

I’m using my days on getting settled and getting ready for school which starts Monday at 9 am. Therefore I’ve been shopping a little – looking at places to stay – looking at job agencies – making my CV – you know all the boring stuff 😀

Tonight I’ll reward myself and get food from my favorite restaurant and the best thing is it’s big portions of quality food for cheap money.

 

 

 

Great Barrier Reef – Magic

Kirri and me after snorkling smallI had 4 amazing days out on Great Barrier Reef snorkeling in the beginning of April and I had a blast. The animal and coral life is so amazing. I saw turtles, sharks (both sleeping and awake), sea cucumbers, starfish in amazing colours, baby squids, baby sting ray, jellyfish, fish in all colours and sizes and I found Nemo 🙂 – Even though the corals are bleached by the increasing acidicness in the ocean they’re still amazing. I took so many pictures under water and some are good but they’ll never be able to show the real life experience. I chose to take 4 days on the boat and there was always something new to experience on every snorkel even if I had two snorkels in the same reef. The company Reef Encounter has been awarded by TripAdvisor and I must admit it’s deserved.

  • All the crew was friendly, outgoing, helpful and very skilled.
  • The boat was perfect for the “mission”.
  • The Scottish cook made amazing food and there was more than enough – loved his accent by the way. Actually with my diet this is one of the few places where I’ve got amazing food and enough food for every meal.
  • Beside that the service level was amazing in the water. People that couldn’t swim was taken out by one of the crew members with a life saver and life jacket. Everybody was offered either a stinger suit or wet suit.

I chose to up-grade to top-deck because I then would have a personal assistant and since my dyspraxia makes my legs pretty quirky when I’ve been weightless in the water and because of my food allergies/intolerances. For me it’s so important that my safety is in top when having 4 days like this and then I can’t compromise with the food. My assistant was Kiri and she was so amazing and I miss her because I felt so comfortable with her and we had so much fun. She was really good at reading my signals and helping me with respect and so I still had my independence. Even more important but rare I felt we’re at the same level mentally speaking. At the same time I loved having Kiri to show me all the amazing stuff going on at the different location. Without her I hadn’t got the same experience. I must admit, I enjoyed getting the royal treatment.

I loved the security level at the boat like we were all counted 3 times a day where a crew member came around and we had to sign a sheet. Before going out in the water we’d to register and when we got back we had to sign it. One of the diving instructors was on watch and made sure all snorkelers was safe. The first day on the way out to the boat we’re thought the signs for I’m ok, I need a pick-up and I’m in trouble. Later I learned the sign for turtle, sting ray etc. So much fun 😀

You can swim in your swimsuit but depending on the season it’s wise to cover up some how because of stingers. We didn’t have any problem though. The boat have wet suits you can use in the water and if you’re not confident in the water it helps you float too.

The best thing though was the amazing people I met and the friends I got on the trip. I’ll carry you guys in my heart as a precious memory. And thank you to you guys that gave me a hand when needed. Love you guys.

Reefs we visited: Norman, Hasting and Coral Reef

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F*ck Jante

At last I’ve found a school that have English courses on my level. The last weeks I’ve used a lot of time on traveling around in Sydney and being on the internet/phone trying to find a school were I can enroll.

Most of them declined because they believed they couldn’t teach me anything – but …. – I’ve an IELTS written on 6.5 and to get into a post graduate/master study I’ll need 7.0 as a minimum. To get my teachers degree assessed I need to apply an IELTS on 7+ on writing. To get max point for visa and I need that I need 8.0.
It has been so frustrating because I need a good school to improve my  English.

Next challenge: The school I’ve found (YEAH) wants me to start at the proficiency level in Cambridge English and then take the IELTS. When I look at the advanced material I’m already getting the empty brain look and the thought of having to do severe studies on my trip though USA, Hawaii and Japan was definitely not in my program.

This morning I was ready to call the school to push for starting on advanced level but fortunately in the shower after my morning session with Dean, I remembered the advice I got from the monks at Bondi Pavillion – “you need to have much more courage” – I had to chew on that one for half an hour and then changed my plans.

I realised that I was putting myself down according to my level of written English and grammar. Therefore I’ll do what the school recommended – I enroll on proficiency level now and when I arrive on the first day we let the placement test do the talking. Even though it was not in my plans to study the next months I’ll go to the book store in the Junction to see if they have good grammar books that can explain it in a way that I can understand + I’ll see if I can buy the books for the advanced class. I’ve some long flights, transfers in airports etc. in the next months so might as well give it a go and toughen up.

The point is that I like many others are so good at putting myself down and not listening to others and having been brought up in a country where “the laws of Jante” is extreme, I need to get out of that thought pattern – So if you are doing the same please join me and  f*ck Jante and go for it. (sorry for my language)

Jungle surfing in Cape Tribulation

This is by fare one of the best trips I’ve taken.

I was the first one to be picked-up and the bus was of a very good standard. While driving we got a lot of information about the area and outside the city our guide Travers told us about cane sugar farming etc. and all the way he gave us insightful information – rather impressive.

First we stopped in the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas. It was more like an extended leg stretching in wonderful surroundings and we got refreshment like fruit platters etc. We could also attend a class about the koala, snake etc. but I preferred to see all the animals and have time for it since I’ve been though a lot of these speeches now 🙂

After Travers made sure we got a rain forest walk so “us jungle surfers” got a jungle walk too and and he really knew what he was talking about and the walk was so beautiful.

We were driven to the pick-up point for jungle surfers where we also got lunch and the rest of the group was taken to a beach/rain forest walk.

The jungle surf was unique and the crew told us about the vegetation all the way though. They made sure we had an extra bag on our harness to private stuff like cameras and medication if people needed that. We each got a helmet with a hero name on and I got “Terminator”:-D
I loved zip-lining through the rain forest between the majestic trees like mahogany and the view was epic from the top of the trees. The guides  took pictures but it was too expensive since they were pretty dark, but it was not a problem since we’re allowed to bring our own cameras and go-pros. I loved zip-lining through the rain forest between the majestic trees like mahogany and I’ll highly recommend it. We had a couple around the 70’es and they did it too even hanging up side down like the rest of us.

We’re all returned to the pick-up point in one piece ;-D where Travers picked us up and then it was ice-cream time. I’ve in my wildest dreams never seen so many choices in all homemade ice cream. I chose the passion fruit/ginger/banana and it tasted really good.

Next stop was the crocodile cruise and even if I had been on one in Darwin this one was different. The boatman/guides daughter was with us and she spotted things before us and knew a lot. The guide was very knowledgeable and showed us several crocs and even a couple of baby crocs (very cute).

Then we unfortunately had to return to Cairns but the trip back was really nice because we stopped at a couple of good places for a quick stretch and stunning views.  I was so fortunately to sit in front and learned a lot from Travers. He’s an inspiration so you’ll have to look up Jungle Tours when you’re in Cairns and ask for Travers.

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At the wild life habitat – birds walking on the sun roof

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2 teen age parrots was in training accoring to having human contact and they were lovely and cheecky.

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On of the trees made this amazing structure.

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Cocoons from a spider

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Kangaroos taking a break in the shade

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Just lovely

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Yeah they had pelicans

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Rain forest walk: a plant uses one of the trees to make a struckture

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and it ends up like this – Nature is amazing

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Roots of the mangrove

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Ms. Terminator ready for a Jungle Surf

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The view from the top

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Look at these magnificent trees

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One of the zip-lines

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I’m being prepared for the next ride.

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One of the platforms in the forest

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Even up side down the rain forest is amazing

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One of the huge trees seen from half way down – epic 🙂

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At the crocodile cruise: The toothless croc got a fish.

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Taking a nap in the shade

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Baby crocs

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Air conditioning in the wild life – open mouth.

Wildlife on Kangaroo Island

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This was a very long day but all worth it. I chose a one day trip and I chose to upgrade to the company Kangaroo Island Odysses making more personalized trips.

We were only a nine people (I think) in the bus and we’re picked up at the ferry by Nikki our guide for the day. Nikki was so amazing and her knowledge was breathtaking, because I could hear that Kangaroo Island is her life and it means so much to her.

First we went and saw kangaroos and the way she told us to act in the nature made the kangaroos pretty safe with our presence so we got really close and got some amazing pictures.

The amazing part about having this trip was that beside seeing the obvious things on Kangaroo Island we stopped when there were exciting things to see like a little wallaby sitting by his bush on the side of the road. Beside that several of us was interested in seeing the eucalyptus distillery so we managed to squeeze a short stop in there.

We had a tea break at a breach where we saw dolphins surfing in the waves and it was so amazing.

Lunch was magical with a beautiful arranged table in a tent with open sides under the eucalyptus trees so we could see nature around us.This is actually the best food I’ve had in a long time and I get diet food which normally is more a “hungry-mans-dinner” – no not here –  the girls in the kitchen had made a huge effort to give me a tasty gourmet meal and it was. Absolutely to die for.

After we went on a koala watch in the area that was private owned so we had it all to ourselves and they were so cute. Most of them was awake so again amazing pictures.

Then it was a seal time at Seal Bay and that was again an amazing experience. We had seal pups running up to us and looking at us from a short distance, seal surfing the waves, young males fighting for “fun” some were even training for mating season.

This trip was an epic experience for me and I would love to return to see more of the island and especially listen more to our guide Nikki. The weather wasn’t sunny but that was the best part because then all the animals are active in daytime instead of hiding from the heat. This was an amazing day.

The Ghan

This has been a dream for a while – Riding The Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide so now I’d the chance 🙂

The train is 1 km long and I mean it’s loooong LOL – but the train is divided into sections so it’s not that bad unless you’ve to go on an excursion but for my that is just a benefit since I get a good walk to the busses.

I could sit in my single cabin with an amazing view over the desert – the cows were hiding behind trees to get into the shade and other cows were hiding behind the cow in the shade.

The single cabins are really small but I’d what I needed: a really good bed, a chair, a table, a place to rest the feet, a sink with running hot and cold water, amazing hygiene products made from local plants, some small lockers and a radio. In night the bed was made and it was really good to lie in. Just outside my door is the coffee and tea room where we 24/7 have access to water and can make a cuppa tea. Because of my diet I had my kind of sweeteners waiting in my room (so thoughtful). There were two showers in the wagon and they’re to die for and the water was hot and cold – don’t laugh because in Darwin it’s not a normal thing.

The staff was friendly. We even had the privilege to be 27 people I believe instead of 90 so we get extra attention 🙂

We’d stops in Katherina and Alice Springs but no helicopter ride to Uluru because of the wet season (the weather can change very fast).

In Katherina I chose to take the guided boat trip since the canoe tour was for because of the crocodiles. This trip had a certain amount of walking between the two boat rides and that attracted me. On the way back in the guided boat we had rain and lightning in our tail so we had to hurry to the bus. On shore we saw flying dogs (bats) – amazing.

In Alice Spring I could chose to see the desert park and saw the local animals. The whole area was impressively green because of an extreme amount of water around new year. They had an amazing bird show.

The last night the train stopped out in the absolutely nothing and there was small lamps along the train, a born fire, a telescope to watch the stars while one of the crew members told a story about a couple of the star constellations. Other crew members was serving baileys and something else and top quality chocolates. In other words we had a blast.

The food on The Ghan was well prepared and the cook made me a paleo dessert with oven backed apples and pears with maple syrup, macadamia nuts and heavy cream (not very sweet so perfect for me) – But there were so little vegetables and often the portions were rather small, so it became a subject in our conversations.

Because of the timetable I had to stay in Adelaide for 4 days which was a very pleasant surprise.

The Indian pacific was a different experience of some weird reason.

The train was full so the staff was very busy but still kind and service minded, but my cabin hadn’t been made properly because when I opened my sink there was a used cloth which looked like it had been used for #2 and the sink was wet. So I had to complaint and I hate doing that. Several things in my cabin was broken and the showers was in a huge contrast to the showers at The Ghan. The food was ok but the cook had a very sweet tooth 😉 but he made a huge effort to make me some stunning desserts.

We had one stop on the trip from Adelaide to Sydney in Broken Hill and again compared to the excursions we had on the Ghan it was a waste of time and I heard from other passengers who has taken both trips that the Ghan is something special.

One big highlight for me was when we went through the Blue Mountains. In all The Indian Pacific is a rough ride and a couple of people fell out of their beds through the night because of the movements in the train.

Facing the fear – helicopter ride

At last I did it – I concurred my fear of flying in helicopters and actually did it three times on one day. This was one of my 101 things to do and at last I did it 😀

I went on a trip with Outback Floatplane Adventures owned by (Matt Wright from Outback wrangler, National Geographics) and had a blast. The trip started when I was picked up and this amazing lady from the company was there. In the harbour we’re picked up in helicopters (because of wet season) and flew out to Sweets Lagoon. The flight was a huge challenge for me but I managed to concur my fear so much that I could enjoy the view. I was surprised to see how green everything was.

When we arrived 2 ladies (Leigh and Tanay) were our hostesses and we started on the open “house boat” with eating a well prepared breakfast by Munro our cook, boat driver and pilot, while we sailed in the larger canals in the area.

After a nice quiet tour we returned to the platform and then the fun part started – we got into the airboat and we had a tour in the more impassable areas. We saw white bellied eagles, 2 crocodile nests and yes mommy watched us (we only saw her eyes just over the water level), a cow farm, different places were the croc’s had their feast etc. Our guide Munro knew so much about the area and what to look for that it was so amazing to listen to.

In the next time slot we took turns to get a guided helicopter trip over the area, swim in the croc safe pool, fish from the back of the boat and just relax on the house boat, where we had free access to all we need (water, tea, lemonades, toilet, shade, sun). I started with the helicopter tour and sat in front this time and that was so much better. On the tour I was stunned to see termite nests and some of them were so huge. Munro showed me how big the termite nests were by going down beside one.

When we returned Otis the male crocodile in the area was just near the platform to take a look at the lot there. It was amazing to see a real crocodile and we’re told that he’d taken a shine to one of the girls working there so he could be a little cheeky. While the others got their helicopter trip I fished for the first time in ? years and I really enjoyed it. I also hopped into the cage but Otis was cheeky so he wouldn’t “play” with us. At least we got a dip in the water and cooled a little down.

The last thing before going home was one more trip in the airboat in another area of Sweet Lagoon and I loved it.

I would love to recommend this trip because there is not trained animals, jumping crocodile etc. It’s a crew that really are into doing things the good way and they did an amazing job on making this an unforgettable day for every guest 🙂

That day I got at couple of illusions form TV broken and I love that ;-D – we didn’t have to run to the helicopter in a bending/crawling posture when the rotors were active and the wind when it lifted was not like the ones I’ve seen on the TV.

This day I actually got a couple of things ticked off on my list so loved it.

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