Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
We started this walk by talking the DART to Shankill, alternatively and in hinsight it may have been quicker to take the 145 bus. However, it was a miracle day filled with sunshine so I enjoyed the view along the coastline from the Dart. The walk is signposted and starts from Bradys pub in Shankill. Just walk towards to carpark and follow the signs for the Dublin Mountains Way.
For a more detailed description take a look at this excellent guide . We just followed the Barnaslingan laneway to the south to Enniskerry. While waiting for the next 44 bus to take us back into the city we went for some food at The Olde Forge Inn.
The good thing about returning home after extensive travelling and not having a 9-5 job is that you have lots of free time to explore your own city. A lot has changed in the 2 years I’ve been away from Dublin and I’m enjoying getting to know her again.
For the first time, I have managed not to sink into a deep depression after returning from long-term travel. This possible has been to do with the fact we have had a string of visitors and have felt like I was ‘on holiday’ with them touring sights, going on day trips, road trips, eating out, having creamy pints of Guinness and listening to lots of traditional Irish music.
To get some extra cash while we are looking for work we have listed our spare room on Airbnb. The response has been phenomenal, with inquiries practically everyday. I think it has to do with the amount of hotels and accommodation providers closing in the past year and the amount of festivals & events at the moment so there is actually a shortfall.The Navy v Notre Dame football game alone drew 35,000 visitors to the city, the GAA football semi-finals and tall ships festival all gave a much-needed boost to the tourism sector here.
So far we’ve had a German and an American couple stay with us. It’s been a bit like an anthropological study. Some nationalities live up to their stereotype while others are polar opposite to what you would expect. It makes you stop and think and understand more about other cultures & countries through real conversation rather than through the media. Learning things that you would not otherwise be aware of. It is also interesting to learn about your country through the eyes of a stranger and their observations. Next up we have a couple from Hong Kong and a girl from Russia which I am really excited about.
I appreciate a state that gives its residents a day off for a horse race. The 5.6 million inhabitants of the State of Victoria are given a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup each year. So, to take advantage of this free time I roped a friend in to taking us on a road trip.
Sometimes you only realise how much you miss open space and nature when you escape from a metropolis. Ferntree Gully is in the Dandenong Ranges it is only about an hour from Melbourne CBD but feels like another world. Even in the carpark the green & red parrots swooped overhead and happily pottered about in gangs on the tarmac. The sounds were unfamiliar, the air pungent and the temperature was even a few degrees cooler. Read the rest of this entry »
This question was asked quite a bit recently, so I decided it would be a good idea to divulge some background information. From October 2010 to April 2011 my boyfriend and I travelled through Thailand, China, Laos and Malaysia. I am not a digital nomad and we got our money for travel the old-fashioned way, by saving.
I was working in contract positions as well as freelance writing. After paying the bills and day-to-day living costs, it took us about 2 years to save up slowly bit by bit. Working hard for our freedom, we sacrificed nights out and buying any new stuff in the process.
However, we had done this all before in 2007 and in 2004 I packed up and moved to Amsterdam for 3 ½ years. Stuffing backpacks, calling the utility companies and just hitting the road for as long as we possibly can is something we are used to. It’s nor everyone, but I find it keeps life interesting.
This is not me trying to show off here, I just want to say that if you really want to travel you can always find a way to do so. Don’t let a mortgage, fixed contract or money be an excuse to prevent you from realising your travel dreams.
So back on topic what the hell am I doing in Melbourne? In April, we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne basically to cash up. As Europe is in an economic catastrophe right now Australia is probably the best place to be. We are lucky that both our passports allow us to apply for a 1 year working holiday visa. I am working full time, writing part-time and my boyfriend is also working full-time and has several projects on the side. So we’re busy and back in saving mode. It kinda feels like being in limbo we are not quite travelling, not quite settled and we are far from home.
If we are able to reach our savings goal by next April we will have a lot of options. One of which is to live in Berlin for a year, en route visiting some of the pacific islands, Peru, New York, ….. ??
Any suggestions on my itinerary welcome!
I had been backpacking around Cuba for a few weeks during the summer of 2001. Travelling the country by train, taxi and various other means and staying in illegal private homes or ‘particulares’ along the way to Santiago. I couldn’t face the horrendous 16 hour train back to Havana* so I opted to fly to Montego Bay, Jamaica instead on a cheap flight with Air Jamaica.
We stayed right on the beach at Alfred’s Place in Negril. The soundsystem parties below in the bar were so loud, that a glass of water would vibrate straight off my bedside locker. Meeting the local characters for me was definitely a highlight. However, waking up, looking out the window and seeing paradise every morning was something I will never forget.
Jamaica is bitter-sweet for me. In the last hour, on the last day we were held up a knife point on the main street at 8am. I can still remember the glint of the knife in the morning light.
Jamaican travel safety advice
HOW TO GET TO NEGRIL JAMAICA
Fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Take a 60-90 minute shuttle van ride to Negril.
* in the link we ended up with the overnight train 7 or 8 not recommended
I sampled some of Melbourne’s finest roasted coffee at the Black Coffee pop up last weekend.
We passed the entrance to Somewhere Gallery 3 times before we spotted it. It was hidden in a black and white tiled Royal Arcade.
Following the staircase until a sign on the wall noted “only the best come this far”.
Wired baristas greeted us and welcomed us into the makeshift pop up café. Linear drawings by artists Super Cube and No Scribbles broke up the minimalist white walls.
It is strictly black coffee only, so forget additions like sugar or milk. Instead choose from pour over, french press, aeropress or the science lab syphon to brew your cuppa of choice, which is served in a glass hexagonal jam jar. The guys at Black Coffee went to great lengths suggesting the cities best cafes to frequent and the finer delicacies of producing a great cup of coffee.
We opted for the Rwandan & Ethiopian beans and the citrusy flavoured Le Fany from Market Lane coffee roasters in Prahan. The coffee’s were all bursting with varied rich flavours and subtle nuances. The caffine is so strong it hits you like a dart of pure insulin.
Each day you can sample different beans and brewing techniques to encourage you to call again. All the beans come from local Melbourne artisan coffee roasters such as; Market Lane, Seven Seeds, Small Batch Roasters, or Monk Bodhi Dharma.
For ambience a vintage record player spinned an eclectic mix of tunes to which the barista showed off his funky moves.
The pop up is only open for another few days until the 18th so make sure to visit before its gone for good.
How to get to the Black Coffee pop up:
Somewhere Store & Gallery
Level 2, 314 Little Collins St, Melbourne August
8-18. Mon-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm.
We peered out from a rickety wooden fence to look at the view. Wow. Parallel streams flowed down 120 meters to the pool below. The strong current smacking the rocky shelf half way, before descending further into a misty cloud. I stood mesmerised following one splash all the way down. We went to the restaurant balcony and zoned out on the view over lunch.
How to get to the Tad Fan Waterfalls:
1. Hire a motorbike from Pakse head East on Road 13 for around 40 km towards Pak Song
2. A tuk-tuk will take you to the falls for US$20 flat rate (source Travelfish.org)
3. The local bus costs 15,000 kip, and departs from Pakse’s Southern Bus Terminal (source Travelfish.org)
From my 2007 Asian Diary – Ourechoes.com