Nepal Prep Update.

77 days now until we leave for Nepal (less when this blog actually posts) so thought I would give you guys a bit of a update.

I am still on Optifast having the two shakes a day and a low cal meal for dinner. I have had a few nights out with drinks but very few in the past few months. I also feel I am in control of myself more. If I do go out I do not go crazy. The weight came off very fast at the beginning but now its crawling off so really need to put my best foot forward exercising. I have set myself a goal to have another 6KG off me by MK’s birthday, lets see how I go. MK has also given up carbs until we go now so as you can imagine our fridge is just meat and veggies at the min…the healthiest our fridge has ever looked.

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Exercise wise it is still running, swimming and hiking. Since the last update we have completed two more hikes Mt Kosciusko and Ruined Castle. We have noticed our bodies are not in pieces after the hikes and we can keep exercising. I have a few more hikes I would love us to get done before we go. I really enjoy the winter walks at the moment its great to be outdoors in the cold breeze and even see some snow. A lot of stretching is being done at home as well we are both being careful the last thing we want is to pull a muscle after our exercising. I also did my first F45 class which was so tough but so good and something I will look into after Nepal. I do have City2Surf in August as well which will be a cool challenge to complete before we go.

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I got a list from the travel company on what we need to bring and wow it is a lot longer then I imagined. At first it was a bit over whelming looking at all the items we need to take with us. After studying the list its not a lot of stuff its just a lot of stuff you would not normal need on a trip. I think I am going to hit up Ebay for a few items and also the Kathmandu store in our local outlet mall, it always has a great sale on. I currently have the list typed out in Excel and once complete I shall share it with all the prices and where I bought the items. I do find every time I buy something I want to go out walking to try it out, which is going to keep me exercising. Started to look for travel Insurance which is a bit tougher then I originally thought. Most sites I have been on so far only provide for EU residents. I am struggling to find a Australian company. I think it will take a bit more research to find the right cover for us. July we are off to the doctors to get all the jabs and pills we will need for the trip. I will blog on what we get once that has been completed.

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What to do this weekend (Queens Long Weekend 2018)?

One plus to living in Sydney is there is never a long weekend to far away. The June long weekend for the Queen’s Birthday (we don’t even have this off in England) is just around the corner. I am staying in Sydney for this long week… I decided to put a list of some of my favorite things on this weekend.

Vivid: The light festival is still going over the long weekend. The bridge, the opera house, circular quay, the rocks, the botanical gardens and even more will be lit up with huge displays. Take a night to wrap and wonder around. Also have a go on the hands on exhibits in the rocks.

China Town: The China Town markets are on the Friday night. Go for dinner in one of the great restaurants and if you are feeling brave try out one of the karaoke rooms in China town. Recommendation for food would be the Noodle King.

Lunar Park: Go and be a big kid at the theme park on the harbor. Looking over the lights of vivid as you go on the Ferris wheel or play in the big fun house. There are the old fairground games as well if you are feeling lucky and want to win a big stuffed animal. There are lots of places to grab something to eat as well.

Cockatoo Island: It is your last chance to catch the 21st Beinnale of Sydney art festival. Catch the ferry over and wonder around the exhibits before having a hot drink taking in the city skyline views. There is a really clever mirror exhibit which is very trippy.

Watsons Bay Hotel: This long weekend the famous hotel is holding a Rose brunch. Grab a few of your girlfriends and head over to watch a winter sunset while sipping on some Frose.  Brunch and bottomless rose for two hours….a great way to spend afternoon with the ladies.

Merivale Bars: For all of June Merivale are offering 49% off drinks every day between 5PM-7PM. Check out their website to see were your closest bar is!

Newtown Chili Festival: The event is being held in The Bank. The day will consist of chill BBQ’s, chill cocktails and a chili eating contest. If you think you are brave enough. You will be warmed up that day for sure with all the chili activities planned.

Farmers Market: Inner West has a new farmers market. There will obviously be delicious food on offer throughout the market but they will have live music playing as well. The market has a pasta making demonstration this weekend. They run every Sunday 8AM -2PM and all of the market is under shelter.

Blue Mountains: Hiking in winter is possible. Jump in the care and head up to the mountains to do a bit of hiking. Some great trails to look up would be the Grand Canyon Loop and the Ruined Castle hike. Always prepare for hikes and make sure someone knows where you are heading and don’t hike alone.

InstaTravel

Like everyone else I follow a lot of travel accounts on Instagram. When I am at work wanting to escape the desk for a minuet or looking for some travel ideas this is where I go. I think there amazing all of them…but it is always on the back of mind, how real are they?
I have traveled a lot and I decided to try and stay in Australia which meant finding a job, visas and saving money. My travel list was put on hold. I also have student loans to pay back and just general living cost. I am so baffled on how these young people travel around the world for most of the year in what looks like the most glamours way. I think it’s a great life they have but just wonder how they keep it up with the pressure of daily demands.
I have a month off work to explore Nepal and I can’t wait but it has taken a few months to save for airfare and deposits. The rest of these months I am working I will be saving up the remainder of my trip. It also uses all my annual holiday as well. I would like to know how people do so much travel and keep a job?
I do admire how glamours the photos are and the person in the photo looks flawless. I have to say when I went round South East Asia I was so far from flawless more just sweaty and hoped my clothes did not smell.
I would love to know how people do this please get in contact.
Shout out to the instagrams who are working the 9-5 grind but love the travel.
Any information on how that lifestyle works would be great.
Below is me and my not so Instagram flawless photo covered in mud and possible elephant poop!

Nimbin and Lillian Rock

The end of our Easter break was spent visiting Nimbin and Lillian Rock. I had not planned to go to Nimbin but as it was on route to Lillian Rock we decided to stop off. Leaving Byron behind us we headed up into the hills. It did rain most of the drive to Nimbin but it did not ruin the views looking over the valley.
Nimbin
Before I arrived at Nimbin I had in my head that this place would be a hippie, earth loving town which had cookies to share. I’m not into drugs so was not fussed at all about the cookies. I was however excited to experience the laid back hippie town after having such a good time with Byron’s vibe. As soon as we parked up we were straight on to the main street which was full of colourful rainbow and in your face shop signs. The shops looked very hippie but when you walked in they were owned by your average Joe and the shop all of a sudden turned into a novelty gift shop. On one part of the main street people would walk up to you whispering “magic cookies” it felt very dodge as we were just searching for a bottle-o to  purchase a bottle of wine for the night. When we had done a quick sweep of the main street we had seen enough and headed back o the car. In the car park we found a man wondering around the cars peering in and holding a narrow metal rod in his hand. This place did not give me any good vibes at all. Maybe I am old and boring now, Nimbin I will not be going back to visit.
Lillian Rock
We had the afternoon in Lilian Rock. We were staying at a Air BnB which was a farm called Whisingwell Farm. We turned down a dirt track and made our way to the house. We met our host who was lovely. Jenny showed us to our room and around the house. We had an ensuite room and access to a deck with a big BBQ and sink. We settled into our lovely rooms with no TV or internet just the mountain fresh air. The room was full of board games, we played a few rounds of ‘Guess Who?’ At 4PM we joined Jenny and the other 2 gusts for a tour of the farm at feeding time. If you stay at the farm this is worth doing it was a lovely thing to do especially when you live in the city. On our feeding tour we fed the ducks, ponies, goats and held baby ducklings. It was a lot of fun meeting the animals and hearing about how they came to be on the farm. MK and I took a stroll around the farm down to the river…it was short lived as MK saw a snake so we made our way back to the house as the sun set. Once we had made dinner we settled into bed reading and writing before having a early night. It was very relaxing and exactly what we needed before the big drive home the next day. We had purchased a breakfast off Jenny for $5. We were supplied bacon, eggs, tomatoes and bread in a basket. The next morning we cooked our breakfast on the deck and packed up the car. There were a couple of things we did not get to see in Lilian Rock as it rained on and off the whole day and night we were there.
 The last day of our Easter break was spent on the motorway driving back to Sydney. It was a pretty smooth drive with minimal traffic and one giant thunder storm just outside of Sydney. I think we both came back very refreshed from the weekend and ready to hit the city life once again.

Jervis Bay Long Weekend

For the long weekend September 2016 MK and I went down south to the Jervis Bay area. We rented a lovely AirBNB in Berrara. It was a house in the back of a property with a outside area to eat and cook. The town is a 30min drive from Jervis Bay The weekend was the first bit of summer weather we had that year.
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We explored the coastal town and we had dinner at The Huskisson which is great pub food and is set looking over the water. The days where spent laying on Hyams Beach or exploring the different areas around the National Park. You can drive round the park in a day and see all the beaches and walk up to the view points. When we went in September it was whaling season and we did see a few from one of the view points. It was a very relaxing weekend we did stumble into a country fair where I held a snake and we got some good food.
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On the drive to and from Jervis you do go through a town call Berry. It is worth a stop to grab a drink at the local pub and grab a bag of the famous Berry Doughnuts. Be prepared to sit in traffic on the way up and down from this place it is never a clear road.
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Hunter Valley

I have been to Hunter Valley three time now and all three trips where very different.
Hunter valley Gardens
I did my farm work not far from the Hunter valley region. I met a friend for lunch at the Hunter Valley Gardens one weekend whilst I was farming. He was on a tour for the day and this was their lunch spot. We ate at one for the cafes and had a walk around the beautiful grounds. There are a few shops to browse and of course wine shops. I did call in at the British Lolly Shop for a few treats to take back to the farm with me. All year round the Hunter Gardens has lots going on the best source is there website with all the up to date information.
Wine Tour
When my Mum and her partner visited us we booked on to a wine tour. We booked with Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour. They picked us up bright and early from central Station. After a pit stop we were at the first stop the Chocolate Shop. If you have a sweet tooth you will be in heaven in this big shop full of goodies. After the chocolate shop we did two wineries before lunch.  Also at lunch you can check out The Smelly Cheese Shop. Each winery had a tasting and there own unique twist or story to tell. We had lunch then headed off to our last wineries. The great thing was we did not feel pressured to buy wine but were more stressed about choosing our favorite as they were all so good. They always change which wineries they visit. The tour guides really looked after us and it was a great day out with the family.
Weekend Away
The weekend away in Hunter was for a Hens Do. We stayed at the Crown Plaza Resort in a apartment. Bring your swimming gear if it will be warm enough, there is a lovely pool. We had a leisurely lunch at the Broken Back Bar. It was beautiful tapas style lunch with a amazing view and tasty wine. After a tasting we headed back to the apartments to get ready and head to Harrigan’s. The night was spent in the pub which had a live band. A few sore heads the next morning we had breakfast at the resorts cafe and had to head home. It was a great weekend with the girls and not to long of a drive home.

 

Avoca Bech

Avoca Beach is a small coastal town just a hour outside of Sydney.
I visited the town once for a friends Birthday. We booked into apartments in Avoca Palms Resort  which were modern and clean. There was also a pool and small gym on site. Not much use for the pool because you are on the door step of the beautiful Avoca beach.
The town has lots of little cafes and shops for all your weekend needs. We had breakfast at Point Cafe which is right on the beach and always packed. I would suggest booking ahead for this place. There are also huge markets every fourth Sunday the Avoca Beach Markets. They were very busy and full of colorful stands. I did not get to check them out as we headed home that morning.
In Terrigal we ate at a Indian restaurant called Rajdhani . It was one of the best Indian meals I have had in Australia. After dinner we walked up the street to a pub on the corner of the round about. Once that closed there was a courtesy shuttle to a street full of bars. After a few drinks we headed home which was a bit of a nightmare. The taxi services are pretty small and Uber was not available when I went. There was a bit of a wait for a Taxi to get back to the apartments.
For a cheap city escape which isn’t camping this is a perfect place to try during summer. Also on long drives back into Sydney Mk and I have stopped off for a swim and a break from the car as its not far off the motorway.