Simon & Carol's World

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Madrid & Sevilla

Ok. After the disastrous attempt at keeping a blog for our Asia holidays I am going to attempt to get this thing under control and post as often as possible with as much sense as I have in my little brain. We will just have to skip the details of the Asia holidays apart from that they were amazing. India, Nepal and Japan were the favourites but all were amazing in their own right. OK back to reality.

Carol has been working hard (a bit too hard actually) and I have been completing a course in teaching English to adults. The folks came to visit for 3 weeks and got to travel around Spain. They had a great time apart from the attempted pick pocketing in Madrid and Barcelona. Luckily they are hardened individuals from South Africa so weren't as phased by it as I thought they might be. They got to see some of the main tourist sights and I dragged them around Madrid in a whirlwind tour of the city and it's sights.

With that under the belt we managed to go and see some friends from Sydney who are visiting family here. It's been 10 months since we had seen them so the kids are a bit more grown up now. We went to Alcala de Harenas which is the birth place of Cervantes. He is the Spanish equivalent of Shakespeare and wrote the famous story of Don Quixote. It was good to catch up on old times.


That's all for now. Keep watching as I am hoping to update again before too long.

Orcha to Varanasi

Ok peoples here's the deal. We are well into our 3rd tour and very far behind in the blog. The next few posts will be a whirlwind tour to try catch up.


After the magic of Jaipur & Taj Mahal we boarded a train to Orcha. We took "tuk tuk's" to a resort in the hills. What a change from the hectic cities we had been in. The resort has luxury tents with aircon and built in bathrooms, swimming pool with pool-side service and general relaxing environment. The backdrop is an unused temple which looks really old. A great place to unwind for a couple of days.

We went to the local village in the evening to watch the nightly prayer service. It was quite humid and rained a bit on the way. We we got there and had to remove our shoes to enter the temple. By now the rain had stopped and some lovely little flying beetles began to energy into the night. The service was held in an open courtyard where the people wait for the doors to the temple to be opened before prayers begin. By this time the beetles had started to swarm around any source of light and also began falling from the sky onto everybody! Carol had so much fun! These little buggers got everywhere and were the stinky kind to make matters even worse. They were in hair, in clothes and even in my underpants!! They even enjoyed crawling up legs and between toes. After about an hour of rituals and crawling beetles we managed to escape to the delight of all the girls in the group.

We went to a traditional meal with local band and dancing. We were dragged onto the dance floor and had a bit of fun trying to imitate the local dance steps as can be seen in this ridiculous photo of me. The following day we went to a local temple from the ruling maharajah of the area. He had 6 wives and was fortunate to be able to take 1 day of a week from the ladies. The temple was quite old and very different from the others we had seen up till then. There is even a jacuzzi in the middle of the courtyard as can be seen behind Carol. The views from the top of the temple across the land was spectacular.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jaipur to Agra

Well we have finally been able to find some time for adding to the blog. This is Carol in front of the "Palace of the Winds" in Jaipur. It was designed so the ladies could watch the street life without being seen. Very pretty building in very average street. From here we explored the surrounding palaces and streets with an interesting beer stop in the most run down restaurant in Jaipur. "Recommended by the lonely planet guide". The owner went to a shop to get the beers for us after telling us he sold beer. Anything is possible in India as long as you are willing to wait for it.

We then went to the palace in the lake and red fort. Very impressive buildings and a great history with legends of buried treasures. The architecture is amazing in all of the palaces with a mix of Hindu, Iranian and Arabic. There were Elephants carrying people to the palace and too many amazing sites for photos to include here. We will be sure to bore you all with the albums when you visit.

This photo was an opportunity not to be missed. Carol made a friend and got his name which will have to appear in the albums as we don't have it with us now. He was very funny and also very friendly. Check out those shoes!!

The Taj Mahal! What an impressive building. The architecture is again amazing and has been fantastically preserved. Shoes must be removed to enter the site and everyone was suitably impressed with the place. The gardens are in pretty good condition and the locals took as much interest in us westerners as we did in the Taj. We were asked to pose for photo's all the way through the grounds which was very amusing to all. Once again we have more photos than we know what to do with.

Well we have once again run out of time for more info but will attempt to add more at the next opportunity. We are currently in Nepal and heading to Kathmandu tomorrow. We hope you are all well. We have not had any health issues yet "Touch wood" and are managing to survive on Veggie diet.

Love to all.

Simon & Carol

Monday, August 31, 2009

And So It Begins

Oh Where to Begin?

Well we start with the obviouse choice of a farewell Aus beer in the Airport. The plane ride is not worth a mention as it is always boring.

We arrived in New Delhi airport to find our transfer awaiting us an were quickly bundled into a cab for the ride to our hotel. What a ride!!!
I promise I will never again complain about traffic in any country! The road rules are non existant and its a free for all at every intersection.

We got to the hotel to find our room not ready so left the bags and went for a stroll on the street to find a coffee and internet cafe. We made it to the end of the block feeling rather out of place with eveybody looking at us as if we were from Mars. After another 15 minutes of aimless wandering we returned to the hotel. Streets have no names here and it was very intimidating for the uneasoned travellers that we are.

We decided on hiring a cab for the day and managed to get in a quick shower before heading out to see the sites. By now it was full on Saturday traffic and chaos doesn't even start to do it justice. Our first stop was the presidents palace. Very nice buildings set around nice park lands.

Second stop was the tomb of the first Mogul king of India. The name escapes me as do most names in India. The buildings are fantastic and date back to 15th Century. The architects of the tombs were lucky enough to be executed after completion so that the structure could never be repeated. Nice one!

Next it was a visit to Gahndi's museum. Very nice and free entry made for all round happiness. The man is greatly revered here and was instrumental in uniting the country and bringing about democracy. I never knew he spent many years in South Africa including being imprisoned by the wonderful government of the time. This was actually the driving force behind his mission to unite people against racism and inequality.

After lunch we went to Gahndi's cremation "Ghat" and then back to the Hotel for group meeting. The morning was a 4:30am wake up and off to the train for our journey to Jaipur on the train. It only gets better from here on in but you will have to wait for the next internet oppotunity for that episode.

See you all again soon. Lots of love

Simon and Carol

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

We went to the Ku-ring-gai national park on Saturday and it was great. Not too cold and it didn't rain! We did a couple of walking tracks and had our lunch at one of the beaches. Really nice. It was all Simon's idea.

ESP: Este finde fuimos al Ku-ring-gai parque nacional. No hizo demasiado frio y tampoco llovio. Estuvo muy bien, nos tomamos nuestro bocata en una de las playas... muy bonito. Fue todo idea de Simon.

We did 2 walks on the day. The first went from a picnic stop at the top of the ridge down the hill side and along the coast with some short tracks down to the beaches. There were some very faint and not too impressive aboriginal paintings on some rock faces as well as rock engravings which were covered by water so not very easy to see. The area covers the south side of the Hawksbury river entrance and is full open water areas with great estuary views.

ESP: hicimos dos de los tracks. El primero fue el mejor, vimos unos muy antiguos restos de arte aborigena, aunque no estaban muy bien conservados. Pero en conjunto estuvo genial. Me encantaria volver antes de que nos vayamos y hacer otros dos tracks. Ya veremos si hay tiempo... madre mia! los dias se pasan volando!

Our Brief Aussie stay

Well as mentioned earlier, here is a brief view of the last 3 years spent on our "Brief" 8 year Aussie adventure. Hope you find some photo's that you like.

Tasmania May 2008

Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay, Montezuma's Falls.

Carols Visit to Spain 2008
Family Gatherings, Friends and a great summer in Madrid

More To Follow...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our New Blog Adventure

Hello Happy People.

Welcome to our new blog world where you will be able to see the latest and greatest from our upcoming adventures. We will be attempting to keep this space up to date as we embark on a whirlwind tour of Asia and Canada.

Our plans are slowly but surely falling into place and the 2 month countdown is well and truly under way. Vaccinations are being painfully administered and necessary equipment purchased. It's an exciting as
well as nerve racking time. Please check back soon as we will be posting a photo journey of our brief 8 YEAR! stay in Aus.

Hasta pronto amigos!