Kota Kinabalu

Up at 5.15, 5 min walk to airport, all bags dropped off and sorted in record time, hour to spare before boarding, boarded early…. 40 min delay ‘unscheduled maintenance’ 😳

Al asleep, me, fed up, no in flight movies, what’s all that about?!? Me and Al will have o talk to each other between the nodding 😀

Actually found an iPad app that allows for blogging offline, Al was so pleased. Just noticed, there are loads of local people wearing what looks like puffa jackets!!! Me and Al are sat in shorts and tee shirts and even then I feel a bit on the warm side, what’s up with these nesh Kuala Lumpians?…….. still sat on the tarmac, joining Al for a kip.

Eventually took off about half an hour late, they have just announced that they will be serving pre booked meals followed by the sale of food and beverages and that no outside food is permitted….. me and Al just wolfing down some Timtams!

Flight was pretty straightforward and SHORT at 2 hrs 15 mins, there was a chap waiting for us with our names on a card, I wanted to take a picture of him but Al said ‘don’t give me a red face’

We are now transferring essential Borneo stuff to one bag only and are then off out to explore, local time is half 12 on Monday afternoon.

Kota Kinabalu ( Borneo)
Kota Kinabalu ( Borneo)
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Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo)

Up at 5.15, 5 min walk to airport, all bags dropped off and sorted in record time, hour to spare before boarding, boarded early…. 40 min delay ‘unscheduled maintenance’ 😳

Al asleep, me, fed up, no in flight movies, what’s all that about?!? Me and Al will have o talk to each other between the nodding 😀

Actually found an iPad app that allows for blogging offline, Al was so pleased. Just noticed, there are loads of local people wearing what looks like puffa jackets!!! Me and Al are sat in shorts and tee shirts and even then I feel a bit on the warm side, what’s up with these nesh Kuala Lumpians?…….. still sat on the tarmac, joining Al for a kip.

Eventually took off about half an hour late, they have just announced that they will be serving pre booked meals followed by the sale of food and beverages and that no outside food is permitted….. me and Al just wolfing down some Timtams!

Flight was pretty straightforward and SHORT at 2 hrs 15 mins, there was a chap waiting for us with our names on a card, I wanted to take a picture of him but Al said ‘don’t give me a red face’

We are now transferring essential Borneo stuff to one bag only and are then off out to explore, local time is half 12 on Monday afternoon.

Had a lovely gander around, bought some long sleeved tops, long bottoms and anti leech socks ( as advised by the trip organiser. Went into the adjoining shopping Mall that seems light years ahead of anything we have got. Al had a neck and shoulder massage ( best she’s ever had) and I had a foot rexlexology massage, slightly painfull but soooo gooood.

Rounded off the evening with a lovely meal and 2 for 1 drinkies, Cuba liber and a Kinabalu sling? tasted of grenadine and other strong drinks?

We waited for the sunset and even though cloudy, was pretty impressive, visited a near equally as impressive night market before heading back to the hotel. Now back in the hotel, re packing and bed, ready for a 5.15 start 😳

To my reader(s) maybe no updates for a while, heading for the jungle.

Kota Kinabalu ( Borneo)
Kota Kinabalu ( Borneo)
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Enroute back to Kuala Lumpur.

The flight from Brisbane to Sydney was delayed by 15 mins. Dan has just whatsapped to see if we fancy a Thai but I think we are Thai’d out as Al. Beth and Lou have had Thai for the past two nights. Think the plan might be to get back to the rental house, get washed, packed and ready to leave, final tidy up before tackling more beer that is left over from the New Year.

We will see….. at the moment, half way through the Brisbane-Sydney flight trying to stop myself ripping the head off of a little twattut that keeps kicking the back of my seat!!!
Next stop Sydney and seeing the Oz Umphs and our Ange again.

We got picked up by our Sheen and were soon all reunited at the ‘big house’ ordering yet another Thai. Thai, drinkies and a full discussion of everything we had done over the past three weeks. It was soon time for Milly and Enna to go home to bed.
We then started the unappealing task of cleaning up, washing and ironing for me and Al’s next encounter with Orangutan ( you have to look your best when meeting your first Oranga) and generally packing everything up ready to leave this beautiful place.
At 2am we were all done and sat around again rehashing our holiday adventures.

The next morning was a quiet affair with everyone not admitting it but feeling a bit down that our amazing holiday was finally coming to an end and we wouldn’t be seeing the lovely Oz Umphs in the flesh for quite some time. 😩
We eventually said all our goodbyes along with plenty of hugs and tears ( I didn’t laughter for a change) and waved goodbye to the lovely Oz Umphs.
We are, at the moment of typing this, traveling diagonally across Australia, right to left and are due to be flying over the sea again shortly heading towards Kuala Lumpur, 2800km done 3783 km to go, 4 hours 30 mins to go.
Highlight of the flight so far ( for me, not our Ange) she is sat about 7 rows behind and I could she she was trying to sleep and was opening and shutting her eyes while nodding at the same time, I know it’s not big or clever but I went over and put my face about an inch from her’s. She jumped a bloody mile!!!!
4 hours 10 mins to go but not sleeping as we land 8.00pm Kuala Lumpur time.

Now just less than 2 hours to go, watched a film called ‘Midnight Special’ what ever you do, don’t watch it, it’s the biggest pile of shite I have watched in years, in fact, please do watch it as you can then experience the torturous feelings I had at 36000 feet!!
Also watched Tarzan, dead good.

Landed safely and said our goodbyes to Ange, Lou, Chris and Beth (Ryan and Kee on later flight) and got a free bus to the hotel which is opposite where we fly from tomorrow (yay) 

Plan for tomorrow, 2 1/2 hour flight to Kota Kinabalu where we get a day to chill before we start Orangutan and Turtle spotting 😊

Mooloolaba (en-route from Fraser to Brisbane to Sydney)

We got dropped off at Mooloolaba by our brill driver, Martin, who dropped us outside the Mooloolaba Beach Backpackers which we had pre booked and were’nt disappointed. £20 each per night including brekkie, nice and clean with free use of paddle boards and surf boards. Me and Chris tried the paddle boards, I was crap, Chris was good.

The weather in Mooloolaba had been terrible but we were so lucky and missed most of the rain, that night we all went for a Thai meal apart from Chris who gave it a miss as he was pooped. Possibly due to no sleep on Fraser and too much beer? 

The following day Lou, Beth and our Al hit the beach as me and Chris tried Paddle Boarding. 

Then it was lunch followed by a visit to the water park  by me, Chris and Al.

The night was rounded off by several beers, a card game called ‘shit head’ (I couldn’t pick it up fast enough and the Kidlets were getting fed up with me) and pizza/Thai take away.

After a good nights kip we got a bus back to Brisbane where Shaun, Ryan and Kee met us to say goodbye before we jumped on our flight back to Sydney.

Plan for Sydney is meet back up with our Sheen, Dan, Ange, Milly and Enna, have more food, one last stay at the brill rental house before we enjoy our last day in Oz. ( not uploaded Beth’s pics yet, more to come)

Mooloolaba
Mooloolaba
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The truly amazing ‘Fraser Island’

We had booked the ‘Uber’ from Shaun and Alison’s, bright and early and arrived at the bus station in plenty of time. A few chunky looking four wheel drive busses and whizzed by with happy looking people inside and we couldn’t wait for our turn to board. Lou set off to find the correct bus stop and was soon waving to us all to join her. We were all looking forward to a few hours kip on the bus, especially Beth who had pulled an all nighter finishing off her Uni assignment which had been duly emailed about an hour before we left in the Uber. 

Bus stop 63 check………. no bus! But what stood there in the place where we thought a bus should have stood were 2 Crocodile Dundee looking dudes (Our driver, Martin and the other driver. Steve) and two dusty off white battered looking landrovers. Reading Alison’s and Beth’s faces couldn’t be described as ‘oh goody. a more natural mode of transport!’

With us 5 encamped on the two sideways facing benches with lap belts  and an elderly German chap in the comfy co- pilot’s seat, we’ll call him ‘Herman’ we set off. I would have taken the co-pilot’s seat but there was a bloody towel on it! 

After about an hour and a half”s driving we stopped at Mooloolaba to pick up a lovely Japonese couple, the bloke could speak no English but the lovely lady who was about 4ft tall at a stretch, spoke very good English with an American accent that she had learnt from watching tv.  She proved to be so entertaining as we hit the bumpy roads and sandy tracks of Fraser Island with chants of ‘again, again’ echoing round the landrover. We arrived at camp and as we were the first there we had pick of the best tents and mattresses. Tent with a pole in the middle were 2 man tents ( me and Al) tents with no pole were 3 man tents (Chris, Lou and Beth)

After a quick bite we all set off on an hours landrover ride across the beach and on to Lake McKenzie via some very bumpy and enjoyable roads, expertly driven by our driver/guide Martin. The walk to the lake was about 20 mins through beautiful rain forest but even though the weather wasn’t fantastically sunny, the lake itself was breathtaking.

We eventually returned to camp and a huge BBQ was the order of the day accompanied by drinkies and a bit of star gazing on the beach, taking care to stick together, scanning for Dingo’s. Earlier on we had come across a single young Dingo eating what looked like some sort of shell fish an the beach and later on, just before we turned off of the beach into our camp, we spotted a female and a young cub scampering up the dunes  

The following day was an early start, visit to a lump of rotting steel on the beach which everyone seemed to find interesting? then a small walk along a boardwalk before floating back down to the beach via a slow moving fresh water lazy river ( so refreshing)

Our final activity of the day involved leaving the two land-rovers and the drivers to have a 40 min kip as we all walked slightly up hill, through the rain forest until we came to some amazing sand dunes in the middle of nowhere and sat in the middle of the dunes was Lake Wabby, a unique ‘Perched Lake’

The hot sticky 40 min walk was definitely well worth it, fatally different to Lake McKenzie but just as mind blowing for different reasons. After a 20 min dip and another 40 min walk back, we set off back along the beach so we could get the ferry back across to ‘stralia’ and leave beautiful Fraser Island.

Martin had been very animated rushing us to get into the landrover as the other one had left already and we were late. Beth and Laura were the first ones to notice how fast Martin was pushing the landrover as we clung on for dear life listening to the high pitched shouts from the lovely Jalonese lady. We all couldn’t help notice how close the sea was to our left as we raced along the beach towards the ferry waiting area.

Finally, the ferry was in site, heading out to sea, we had missed it and between our section of beach and the section of beach where the ferry had just left was sea, the tide had best us!

As a group of drivers stood round scratching their heads, Martin decided to make his own way off the beach for 100 yards and then back onto the beach again to where the ferry had just left. After one failed run up with a lot of bouncing around in the back, we made it and were soon followed by more land rovers who would be getting the ferry with us..

A half hour topping up of the tan was followed by our second and final ferry trip that msrked the end of our amazing visit to Fraser Island.

 

 

Frazor Island
Frazor Island
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At Shaun and Alison’s place in Brisbane.

Our plane arrived virtually on time and Shaun had given us a key as we were arriving  an hour before them, we unlocked the front door and hopefully the forthcoming photos will do the place justice. Apparently it’s a typical  Queenslander house, we spend the next hour just wondering around ooooohing and aarring. after we had followed Shaun’s instructions to the beer fridge! 

once Shaun,  Alison, Kee, and Ryan had arrived. Alison knocked up some plaza and nibbles before it was time to crash out for the night.

The following morning as Shaun and Alison did their own thing, we went and visited the ‘Lonesome Pine Koala Sanctuary’  well worth a visit but the temperature is definitely a lot more humid than Sydney, we were all dripping and making sure we drank loads of water.

For the first time in ages the blog is up to date apart from the addition of a few more photos, everyone is round the pool, beer in hand and Shsun and Alison are preparing an amazing lamb dish with morrocan rice and side dishes 😳❤️

Quick update….. the meal was amazing and Shaun and Alison even ordered a lightening storm just before we went to bed  Think I will sleep well as Shaun has introduced me to a ‘rusty nail’

Shaun & Alison's Brisbane
Shaun & Alison's Brisbane
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New Years Eve Oz 2016/17

The celebrations started with the setting up of our Ang’s ’60’ balloons, the opening of pressies and ‘a bit of a tea’ This was followed by more chill out time, pool time and in my case ‘siesta time’ This was then followed by a military style operation loading all the booze ( enough to sink a small battleship…. well, a small ferry operating out of  Manly Wharf) we all set off for Manly. We had got our unique wrist bands for the trip, earlier that day ( arr Dan got em) so it was just a case of settling into the Bavarian Bar on Manly Wharf until it was time to board. The amount of alcohol we were taking with us plus loads of nibbles cooked by Alison ( Shaun’s Alison) would truly be enough to trouble even the most hardy pack animals! We eventually boarded and headed off towards the Opera House and the bridge. A nice moment was the whole of the lower deck joining in with us as we sang Happy Birthday to our Ange, it.s fair to say she was dead chuffed. By the 9 o’clock display it was fair to say that we were all tipsy and as the midnight/ New Years fireworks started, virtually all of the passengers had hit the dance floor at one time or another.

The fireworks were truly amazing and everyone was in agreement that it had been the best way to see a New Year in…….ever!  (More pics to follow)

The next step of our brill hols is a flight up to Brisbane (Shaun & Alison’s) where we would be spending 2 nights before getting an early bus to Frazor Island……. watch this space.

New Years Eve Oz 2016/17
New Years Eve Oz 2016/17
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Girlies night out/Boys to see StarWars

This turned out to be a very chilled out sort of day once I had done over 40 miles on the racer with our Dan and Grub (Chris) Dan had hired a proper racer for me to try out as I had bought my helmet, gloves and cycle shoes….just in case!

We had an absolutely amazing ride and all I wanted to do was stop and take photos as the views were so amazing.

Once back at the house and recovered it was a serious case of chilling out before all the girls disappeared for a girlie night out for our Ange’s up and coming birthday, Ryan, Sean and Chris disappeared to see Star Wars, I dashed off to pick Beth up from the airport as she was returning from 2 days in Melbourne and our Dan was babysitting.

Not got a lot to say about the night out as I wasn’t there but by all accounts it was dead good.

Ange - 60
Ange - 60
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Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb and the arrival of Shaun and Alison.

This was so worth doing, far better than we could ever have imagined. Me and Chris got kitted up as our Al and lou meandered round Sydney and also walked over the bridge while waiting for us.

The highlights were obviously the amazing views but Chris so nearly became my personal highlight as we approached the apex of the bridge where when you looked down through the steel mesh, you could see 6 lanes of fast moving traffic.

Chris was attached securely to the safety wire and moving naturally just in front of me, suddenly he must have glanced down through the steel walkway and saw the traffic…… he made a sort of moaning/sinking sort of noise and nearly sank to his knees, at his point I was very supportive and was doing my best smash monster impersonation while trying to encourage Chris to keep moving by grabbing is bum, nearly said arse then! 

Chris eventually carried on in a some what jerky twitchy sort of fashion until we had crossed all the lanes of traffic and then he seemed to sort out his walking/shuffling problem?

All continued fine until our decent when I noticed Chris’s knuckles when his hands were wrapped around the ladders were white as he hung on for grim death.

Once we reached the bottom and had unclasped the safety harnesses I asked Chris if he was ok and he replied in a slightly shaky voice ‘I’ve had better days’ Oh how we laarrffed… well, me mostly.

We met back up with our Al and Lou who had had a lovely morning and headed back to the house where an afternoon of chilling round the pool was the order of the day and copious amounts of beer as Alison and Shaun arrived about one ish. Having spent the afternoon gradually supping and listening to Shaun and Ryan take the p#ss out of one another. we knocked up some fish kababs. steak. sausages. Joanies fan potatoes and some scrum my looking salad. 

It was then time for the youngies ( including Shaun) to head out for a night in Manly as Me, Al and Our Ange stayed with Milly and Enna at the ‘big house’

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
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Enna’s Birthday and Watson’s Bay visit.

As planned, we all jumped in the car to whisk off to Dan and Sheena’s for Enna’s birthday, this was followed by a general laze about in our pool before all disappearing to Watson’s Bay for their famous Fish and Chips.

Verdict, Watson’s Bay, amazing, beautiful and picturesque, Fish and Chips, I wouldn’t give them to Beau! Not at all like ‘proper’ Fish and Chips.

Enna's Birthday and Watson Bay
Enna's Birthday and Watson Bay
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