Monday, 8 February 2010

Bye Bye Bondi...

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I haven't updated my blog for a while...I have been working pretty much non stop and any spare time i've had hasn't been spent on the internet (understandably!)

I hope you're all well & are having a great start to 2010! I had a quick look at the last thing I posted and since then we have moved from Bondi (sob sob :-( to Clovelley). I have come back to Bondi at every oportunity and could definitely see myself living here! I miss Bondi Beach every day....

We are now living above a pub (handy!) with a girl I used to work with. We have gone from having an amazing apartment with 2 bedrooms, living room, bathroom and kitchen to sharing a bed!! It's not great but will do for now...

I am still working at the Tea Gardens in Bondi Junction although I now work upstaires in the cocktail bar! Most of the shifts upstaires you work on your own so making cocktails is always fun when you have a queue of customers....!! Apparently they "don't just put anyone up there" as it's unsupervised...but I don't know if that's just what they say to people to make them feel special haha! We had our "Christmas party" the other day which was a good laugh! We were on 2 boats, cruising around the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House! (something I really wanted to do, although I had to take some travel sickness pills haha!) Everyone got really drunk but I had to work after so I was Mummy for the day!

Our plan is to move to Cairns before the end of Feburary but Ceri still hasn't got a job so we're playing it by ear at the moment.

We have tickets to Good Vibrations this weekend which should be awesome! The Killers are headlining and Basement Jaxx, Friendly Fires and Armand Van Helden are just some of the other acts! I managed to get Friday, Saturday and Sunday off work! (woohoo!) so I can finally have a weekend to relax :o)

As some of you may/may not know, my Mum has been in hospital for the past week so things have been pretty tough out here - the last place you want to be is on the other side of the world! It sounds as though she's doing well at the moment though & I managed to talk to her from Intensive Care the other day which was amazing! I also figured that when she can't sleep at night, she always has someone to speak to, with the time difference over here! :o)

Anyway, I will have to keep this one short i'm afraid as...I need to go back and get ready for work!! I can't wait to hear from you all & see what's been going on back home!
Speak to you all soon, lots of love! Rach xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon & Christmas in Bondi!

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!

(We're listening to old songs on Youtube - who remembers Honeyz - Finally Found haha!!)

It's like a blanket of heat!
It's been a little while since I last updated my blog (understandably as it's been Christmas!) Since I last blogged we have been to Alice Springs on our Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon Tour!
We got up at 4.30am (lovely!) so we could have a shower, breakfast & finish packing before Adventure Tours picked us up at 6am! Our tour guide was Miles & our cook was Mark - great Auzzie lads! There were 6 other people - quite a small tour this time! We had Yta (from Israel who was lovely & loved to talk!) Doris & Alfred (an Austrian couple), Jess & Matt (a couple of friends from the USA) and Guiseppe (an Italian bloke).
Our first stop was a camel ride! This was at about 8am & it was already boiling hot! Getting on the camels was like a roller coster & I got stuck at the front which is apparently worse! We were on a ride with an old English couple next to us & they were hilarious!! All you could hear from the old lady was "ooo dear, ooo I don't like Frank I don't like this he's going a bit fast!!" - I had tears down my eyes & was trying to wipe them away when all of a sudden the guide starting running with the camels!!! I was cracking up watching this lady's face but my legs were burning from the seat!!
It definitely woke us up...
We headed to camp to have lunch (& stop at a viewing point for Uluru, which is also known as Ayers Rock). From here, we headed off for a 'Cultural Walk' where we saw all the Aboriginal paintings in caves & learnt a bit about their culture & why they don't like people climbing Uluru as it is sacred for them...We then got back in the van & headed to Kata Tjuta for a 30 minute walk. It was boiling by this point but luckily Miles brought a plant spray bottle filled with water with him which was a God send on a day like that!! We learnt that you can only publish a photo of Kata Tjuta if you include both rock faces, otherwise you can't...(little fact for you all!)
After we'd had enough of walking, we headed back to a spot near Uluru for a champagne sunset (ahh yea, bonus of being upgraded!!) The sunset was beautiful & we all enjoyed nibbles & drinks before heading back to camp for dinner.
Mark said he was cooking burgers on the barbie so we were all up for that! Until he came out with some suspiscious looking burgers....kangaroo burgers and camel sausages!!! Just after a camel ride that morning - talk about great timing!! You'll all be very impressed...I ate the whole camel sausage! I tried to eat the kangaroo but only managed a couple of bites as it was still practically jumping around my plate...apparently they like it raw, bleugh...!!
We were up at 4am the next day to head to Uluru to see the sunrise but it was a really cloudy morning so we didn't see a lot unfortunately! We had to head straight to the National Park from the sunrise as they don't let people in for the base walk after 8am as it reaches over 36 degrees!
The walk was 9.4km around the base of Ayers Rock & it was stunning but you are prohibited from taking photos at quite a few points as these are sacred to the Aboriginals...The walk took about 2 hours & from there, we met Miles and he took us on a little cultural walk - The Mala Walk. There was a lot of stopping to tell us about each rock & although it was interesting, I think a lot of us were flagging in the heat & just wanted to sit down! We went back to camp for lunch & Miles went to pick up a Japanese couple who were joining us for one night, before we all headed to our base at Kings Canyon.
Twinkle Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are...
Mark cooked up a great casserole & then we lit the camp fire & sat around laughing & telling stories whilst we toasted marshmallows on the fire & made smores courtesy of Jess (yummy!!!) One of the tour guides heard us all laughing & left his group to join ours as he said his group weren't as much fun, ha!! The sky was really clear & absolutely full of stars so we were trying to work out which patterns we could find & Mark spotted Jupiter which was cool! (Although I called it the party star as it was the sparkliest!)
Some of the group chose to 'swag' it outside - in a sleeping bag type thing but we took advantage of the tents & got a good night's sleep away from the dingos!
Fingers on the Rim & spotting pigmy koalas!
Our wake up call was 5am the next morning (lovely, again!) because we had to get to Kings Canyon before it got too hot! The walk was was only 6km in total but we walked all the way around the rim of the Canyon & there were sheer drops down to the bottom! During the walk Miles would stop and tell us little facts...we stopped at one tree and he told us to look up into the branches where we saw a teeeny little koala clinging on! We all thought it was adorable & took loads of photos! He also told us about "drop-bears" that apparently wait until people walk underneath the trees, then drop on them and cling on...not nice!!
...About 30 minutes later, Miles admitted the whole thing was a joke & there were no such things! So I told him I wasn't going to believe anything he said for the rest of the tour (as I really loved that lil pigmy koala :o( ) and everytime he tried to tell a real fact from then on, we all laughed at him!
The walk was pretty demanding & it was getting hotter & hotter...we stopped for a snack & this is when Miles got out his shortbread fingers...he then proceeded to ask "does anyone want a finger on the rim?" and for the next 2 hours there were endless jokes flying about!! (None of which I can possibly repeat!)
You wanna Tim Tam?
By the end of the walk, we were all really sweaty (nice!) so we headed back to camp & jumped into the pool after some lunch! We didn't have long before we headed back on the bus for our 5 hour journey back to Alice Springs & it decided to rain nearly the whole way so it took us longer :o(
When we got back, we all decided to meet up in the evening for our last night of tour - @ Annie's Place.
"Cross over the road my friend..."
Me & Ceri went back to our "luxury twin-bed room" and it turned out to be a skanky caravan!! We did laugh but it was horrible...we didn't have much time to complain though because we showered & went straight back out again!! The night was a really good laugh & we all had a few too many Jagerbombs....there was a live band on for a bit but then it was dancing & showing everyone how "oops upside your head" goes....then came the drinking games....
Ceri managed to fall asleep in a chair at the end of the night (pretty impressive) & when we made our way out I had to guide her to the cab, saying "cross over the road my friend" and then we remembered the song from school haha!! Drunken fun times...
The next day...
We woke up & got a cab to the airport - where we bumped into the whole of our tour haha! It was funny to catch up on the dramas of the night before! Our flight to Sydney was delayed for a little bit but when we got on it wasn't too bad (considering the hangover!) We watched a couple of films & before we knew it, we were landing in Sydney! We stayed for a couple of nights in different hostels, mainly catching up on sleep & chilling out, then we booked into Sinclaires b&b for a week so we could base ourselves somewhere! We spent a week solid handing out CV's & I had 2 job trials & got a job, wahoo! I work in a bar which is pretty cool - it gets packed & with no bar experience, i'm learning quickly!! It's hard to understand half the customers & they ask for "Schooners, stubbies, tinnys and handles" which is different from home! Australia is also reaaaalllly strict on alcohol abuse so we had to take an exam so we got our RSA certificate (Responsible Service of Alcohol). It's so different to home, where drunk people are served everywhere - here, if you are seen to be even slightly drunk, you're thrown out without warning!
We managed to spend a couple of days down the beach, before it started raining (and hasn't stopped since!) and we also saw a photo-shoot with Lara Bingle - there are pictures on my facebook for all the guys ha!
We then moved to Xanthe's place for a week which was loooovely! We really enjoyed just chilling out & watching Christmas movies! We also had the company of Bindi - their cat :o) I started working a couple of days before Christmas so I wasn't getting in until about 5am (which was tiring as I didn't want to sleep through the whole of the next day so I was getting up at about 10-11am and then starting all over again...) we made it down the beach a couple of days and even treated ourselves to the cinema to see The Invention of Lying! (A very strange film!)
On Christmas Eve, we got up early and moved all our things to Judy's house (a friend of Xanthe's) we're renting her apartment for 5 weeks & it is LOVELY!!! The view overlooks Bondi Beach & the living room is lovely & big, we each have our own room, we have a full kitchen & even a bath in the bathroom! It's luxury for us.. :P
I worked Christmas Eve, so after spending the day chilling out & watching Christmas films (and a quick trip to Westfield in Bondi Junction to buy some santa hats! :P) I got showered & ready for work....with glitter & the full works!! Ceri didn't want to sit at home all night so she met me in work at about 1am and ended up getting very merry from other guys buying her drinks!! Standing at the bar by yourself is obviously the way to go! :P
Christmas Day we woke up at about 11am and had some breakfast before I burnt and then managed to recover the Christmas cake (with lots of chocolate icing! :o)) We then attempted - and somehow managed by a Christmas miracle, to cook a full roast dinner!!! This might not seem a lot to many people, but to give you an idea of our cooking skills, me & Ceri have been living off pasta and toast for the past 2 months!! It all came together perfectly & the roast potatoes were fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside - perfect!!
We were really sleepy after lunch so we snuggled up on the sofa & watched The Grinch & ate cake :o) Later on, we freshened up & headed down to the internet cafe where I managed to speak to home on their Christmas morning!! It was lovely to speak to them all but for the first time since we've been away I think we both felt a little home sick...
I told lil man to go to my room & directed him to where i'd hidden Christmas presents :o) They all opened them whilst I was on Skype so I felt part of Christmas hehe! Mum had managed to send photos in to Dan from The Feeling and she sent me the link to the video of a special Christmas song he'd recorded and as I was watching, a photo of lil man appeared holding a banner saying "Happy Christmas Rachel in Auz, love & miss you lots" from everyone! It brought a little tear to my eye....then as I carried on watching, a photo of me & Nanny popped up!! It was so thoughtful & amazing that they'd managed to do it :O) - you can see the video on facebook!
We headed back to the apartment after speaking to home & chilled out on the sofa for the rest of the evening - until my family called from Sarah & Paul's house at 2am :o) It was lovely to speak to Sarah as I didn't get the chance in the morning & it was only the start of their Christmas when ours was nearly over!! I also opened a parcel from home which was lovely! I didn't even know mum had our address - sneaky lil thing!! In my parcel there were lots of lovely little prezzies and some PERCY PIGS!!! We have a video of me opening them and I can't remember the last time i've been that excited over a bag of sweets!!! haha
We spent Boxing Day unpacking our big backpacks in our pj's! It's so nice to be able to hang clothes up and have things out rather than rummaging through your backpack every time you need something! We headed down the internet cafe again & I managed to Skype everyone at Sarah's which was cool! :o)
For the past few days we've loved doing nothing! It's been raining non-stop but we're hoping it stops in time for New Year! We're planning to be next to the Opera House for New Year & I managed to get the day off work (yay!!) so we're going to get there nice & early :o)
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas & enjoyed all the snow!!
My next blog wont be as long as we're based here for a little while! Look forward to hearing from you all, take care & lots of love!
Rachel x x x

Saturday, 5 December 2009

What do you want for tea? I want crisps!!

Hi everyone!!

I have just finished cacthing up with The Hills so now i'm ready to catch up with my blog! :P
- (for all the girls - omg, what has Stephanie done to her face??)

Ok, since I last 'blogged' we have been on another tour! We had a 19 hour bus ride to Broome (yuck!) and then had a couple of days chilling out at the hostel. The humidity was crazy - apparently they were suffering from a heat wave on top of the usual heat so one day it reached 49 degrees!!! It was too hot to sit out & sunbathe so we made the most of the air-conditioned tv room and generally chilled out reading/writing our diaries etc! We went down to Cable Beach in the morning before the sun got too hot & it was stunning!
We had our flight to Darwin a couple of days later - we got to the airport the standard 2 hours early and there was only us and about 3 other people there! It was the smallest airport i've ever seen and after we checked in we spent the other hour & a half watching The Ellen DeGeneres show haha!
The first flight we got was lovely - the plane was teeny so it was a bit like flying in a tin can (smaller than easy-jet, if you can imagine it being possible!) but we flew over the beaches & I got some great photos of the 80 mile beach! :o) We then had a quick stopover in a place called Kununurra where all of a sudden a storm picked up! Before we knew it, we were back on the plane & this time it wasn't a nice flight!! You could see the big, thick black clouds approaching & we were heading straight into them! The turbulence was really bad & I think the pilot tried dropping every now & again to see if he could avoid the clouds but I had my fingers in my ears and my eyes closed for the majority of the flight! I managed to get some photos just before we entered the storm (& even caught some lightning in one pic...!)
When we got to Darwin, we got the shuttle to our hostel & had 1 night before we started our 2 day Kakadu tour!
We had to meet the group at 6.30am & after handing in our vouchers, we were told we couldn't take our big backpacks with us (something we were never told!) and we had 5 minutes to re-pack! You should have seen the panic...clothes flying everywhere, it was like digging for gold trying to find my toothbrush & bikini!! We made it on the bus just in time & headed to Kakadu...
After a few hours in the van (me & Ceri in the front with the air-con, ahhh yeaaaa!!!) we arrived at an Aboriginal Camp...where the fun began!
We met our guide (who seemed to have all his teeth except the front two!) who explained a little bit about how he'd grown up in the community and spent his whole life living there, with the same people, doing the same things each day, before he said he was going to 'baptise' us into the Kakadu region...
Ok, so when he got the tin of water out we thought maybe a quick splash and it would all be over...oh no no no, how wrong we were....
No one wanted to go first so after a little bit of awkwardness, Tess (an older lady from Scotland) stepped up.......the guy took the tin in his hands, took a big gulp and sloshed it around his mouth for a while (you can imagine the look on my face!!! "maybe he's a little thirsty I thought??") - then he grabbed hold of Tess's head and pulled her forward before planting a huge spit on her forehead!!!! By this point I think a little bit of sick came up in all our mouths...
As if he hadn't just spat straight on Tess's face, he then felt the need to rub it in, like reaaaaaaaallly rub it in!! The poor lady stepped back, looking traumatised!!

Next it was our go......

I tilted my head so far forward he practically spat on the top of my head! I thought at least this way, it wouldn't dribble down my face...*shudder*!!
So after this we were all a little bit wet, and confused!! We walked through the forest and met his family & we were taught how they make didgeredoos, weave mats & bags, and how to shoot spears!
As we were being taught how a didgeredoo is made, I noticed the toothless man mixing some paint together....uh oh, round 2!!!! As he came round I thought we were in for the full trible face painting but luckily he just put the stripes on our arms (few!)
We were taught an Aboriginal dance where all the girls had to stand opposite the guys and whilst the guys marched, we had to move one foot to the side and back and shimmy our hands to the right, then to the left....I have honestly never seen such a funny dance move - we felt like prize idiots but it was a good laugh!

Our next stop was the Mary River Wetlands where we went on a riverboat tour in the croc-infested waters! This was good but a little scary as the guide kept letting us know that "in the space between here and the tree 50 meters away, there are about 100 crocs!" - I kept well inside the boat!!
After the boat tour, we stopped for lunch before we headed to Ubirr Rock where we had to treck to find a waterfall - we were literally dripping with sweat when we reached it! I thought one of the guys had fallen in the water & was asking him if he was ok - it turned out he was just dripping with sweat haha!!
Most of the group went for a swim but me & Ceri had left our bikinis back in the van & didn't fancy trecking back in wet denim so we just had a paddle!
When we got back to the van, we headed for our campsite - and found a pool, yippee!! We thought we'd go for a dip to cool off & the pool turned out to be heated to about 30 degrees so it was more like a bath, but still nice nonetheless! :0) After dinner we got some sleep as we had to get up for breakfast at 5.30am (ouch!)
The humidity was crazy and as the sun comes up at 6am, we were quite glad when the alarm went off in the morning! We had breakfast before heading off to Jim Jim Falls before the sun got too high in the sky! We had another treck after leaving the van & then got to a beautiful plunge pool! We remembered our bikinis this time & jumped straight in! It was beautiful but the average depth of the pool reached 60 metres so it made you wonder what you were swimming with!! We spent a good 3 hours at the pool, before trecking back to the car before stopping for lunch nearby. After lunch we headed to some rocks to see Aboriginal Art that was painted up to 2000 years ago! The paintings were cool but the heat was so crazy and you lose count of the amount of flies flying around your face!!
After the rocks, it was time to head back to meet our van taking us back to Darwin!
We got back & decided to use our free meal voucher we'd been given for the nearby pub! We didn't bother showering or getting changed as we thought we'd only be half an hour....
It turned into us getting home at 4am after Ceri won a jug of beer in one game & the dj gave me 2 bottles of champagne!! The other drinks were bought for us so we ended up having a great night out for near enough nothing! We met up with some of our group too so it was a good night out!
We planned on getting up the next day but were so tired (not hungover for some very strange reason!!!) that we had a duvet day!! I think i got dressed at 4pm :o) We then went & got a slice of pizza for dinner before coming back & watching Santa Claus:The Movie (proper slob day!)
Yesterday we decided to have a productive day so we got up relatively early and went to Crocosaurus Cave! Here we held a baby crocodile (kind of slimey!) and went "fishing for crocs" - they give you a fishing rod with some lamb's heart on it & you dip it above a pool of 100 3 year old crocs....they go mental!!
We watched lots of reptiles being fed, including a snake being fed a rat...yummy!
There was also a "cage of death" where people can pay to be lowered into the croc-infested tank in a perspex box! (Not for us, that one!) We watched live footage of a couple in there though which was funny!
The rest of yesterday was spent uploading photos, as my memory card was full & I need space for Ayers Rock tomorrow! :O)
That's about it folks! Tomorrow we fly to Alice Springs - as Adventure Tours messed up our coach and didn't book us on it so they agreed to pay for our flights after we kicked up a fuss :o)
We then get down there and start a 3 day Uluru tour to Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon etc! :)
That is a very detailed blog of what we've been up to & now i've uploaded all my pics, hopefully you have a better idea of where we are & what we've been up to!
Look forward to speaking to you all :o)
Lots of love Rachel xxxxxx

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Holmes & Anderson - The Solicitors!

G'day Yall!!

Firstly I must apologise for taking so long to update my blog - I know lots of you have told me you've been checking it regularly and nothing has changed! We have been soooo hectic and haven't had a chance to sit down and tell everyone what we've been up to!
Secondly...I must aplogisise for the fact this is going to be a short blog! I have a stinking headache which hasn't cleared all day and we have a 19 hour bus journey tonight (yuck!) so the less time spent on the computer, the better i think!
Today we are in Coral Bay, WA. I hired some snorkelling gear & went and took some underwater photos of some huge fish! (before I freaked out and did some sunbathing instead!) Ceri got some good photos of me in the water so we will get them uploaded asap!
Before that, we spent 5 days in Monkey Mia - which was abosolutely stunning & by far the nicest place we have been yet! On one of the days, the temperature soared to 40 degrees which was a bit much! We had the added bonus of going down to the beach each morning (which took 2 seconds as it was literally on our doorstep!) and watching the dolphins get fed! :o)
Since we have arrived in Australia, we have been on a mini tour around Perth, Busselton, Margaret River, Pemberton, Albany, Denmark etc etc etc! This included wine, cheese and chocolate tasting, seeing lots of "look-out points" and generally stopping at all the touristy bits along the way! Me & Ceri then spent about a week in Perth and actually managed to walk around Perth and Northbridge TWICE! This wasn't on purpose...we were looking for a bed for the night!! (get the violins out now... haha!)
During that time we nipped down to Cottesloe for a couple of nights which was a lovely little seaside town but not a lot was happening! We then went back to Perth and met up with Nina's brother Edward who is out here & had a good night out with him!
From Perth, we were due to stopover at Geraldton for a couple of days but after the driver told us he was heading to Monkey Mia after, we changed our plans and stayed on the coach! This meant we ended up staying at Monkey Mia for 5 days which was beautiful! We then headed straight to Coral Bay (where we are now) and arrived at 2.30am! We entered our shared dorm to a rather old, interesting character waving at us from his bed....what a treat!! Luckily we only had a few hours sleep - which was actually shortened by the blissful noise of diggers that woke us up at 8am :o) Nevertheless, the beach is stunning so we quickly got ready and spent the day down there!!

I will try to update my blog on a more regular basis as it is so hard to reply to everyone's emails all the time....
It's great to hear what you're all up to so definitely keep me posted! I can't believe Katie Price went back into the jungle? and FINALLY Jedward are out of X Factor? hurrah!!!!!! :oP
Speak to you all really soon, look forward to hearing from you all!
Lots of love, Rachel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

p.s according to the coach drivers, Holmes & Anderson is the perfect sounding solicitor firm - so we are going into business!! :P

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Malaysia - rain, rain, rain!!!

Hi Everyone!

We are now in Malaysia after spending a couple of days in the south of Thailand. We went to where "The Beach" was filmed in Maya Bay on the PhiPhi Islands but it rained most of the day which was very disappointing! We thought Malaysia would be sunnier (as we are heading further down South all the time!) But it seems like we've brought the weather with us as it it chucking it down and the sky is grey & miserable!! Luckily we are only at this hotel for 1 more night (as the air con is broken & our toilet floor is flooded...travelling doesn't seem quite so luxurious after all eh!!) We have been bitten alive again so tonight I think I may risk being cooked alive & sleep in my cotton sleeper!!

Tomorrow we head to.....(somewhere else in Malaysia!) I have just asked everyone who is sitting at the computers and no-one actually knows!! but we are praaaaying for some sunshine as there isn't much to do in the hotel or this area!!!

We went out on our last night in Thailand on Wednesday & somehow ended up in the "ladyboy" bars - although it turned out to be a really good laugh!! We requested Sean Kingston - Me Love & it reminded us of home, ahhh :o( We also met a young girl who was only 16...she was dancing with us and we were all having a really good time although she let it slip that her parents had sold her at 16 to become a prostitute because they needed the money & she wasn't sure where she was going to stay from one night to the was really heart-breaking and made you realise just how lucky you are!! She was soooo sweet yet had to grow up so quickly...

I will have to keep this blog short & sweet but I will update it at the next opportunity! :0)

Let me know what is going on back home, miss you all lots!

love Rachel xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Hello from Thailand!!!

Hi everyone!!!
This is my first official blog from Thailand!! A BIG thank you to mum who has been posting for me as the internet was slow in Chiang Mai & I didn't have enough time to send emails and post on my blog!! xxx
Luckily you haven't all been left in the lurch and you've got the gist of what we've been up to over the past week! It feels like so much longer than a week...I can't believe I have stayed in mud huts, climbed a mountain, had an elephant ride, rafted down a river and had my feet sucked by fish in a week!! Yep....we have just got back from a "foot massage" where you put your feet into a tank of tiny fish who apparently nibble away at all your dead skin....delicious hey!! :P I am the tickliest person in the world so I spent the whole time laughing my head off!! We've just nipped into this internet cafe to update blogs/photos finally!!! (and also to watch Stacey & Olly from X Factor on!!) - you can take the girl out of Watford but you can't take Watford out of the girl ;) what was Cheryl wearing?!!?!?!?!
We are boarding yet anooooother sleeper train tonight (12hrs) and heading for the beaches, yay!!!!! We have spent the past week roughing it so it's about time we started working on our tans :P We changed groups yesterday as most of our original group is on the 16 day tour and we are on the 21 day tour so they go down the other side of the coast to us :o( It's crazy how close you can feel to people after just one week! I think hanging off the side of a mountain together definitely bonds you....!! :P We have become really close to 2 girls called Kate & Jo and they're going to be in Oz near Christmas so hopefully we'll meet up with them! :0) One couple from our original group are coming into our new group so that is really nice - they're called Damien & Laura and are the cutest couple ever to come out of Northern Ireland! Except when Damien gets drunk I have noooo idea what he's saying as it all turns to slurs haha!
I hope everything is going well at home! Let me know what you're all up to, missing you all lots and lots!!! Speak to you all in the next few days....from the south of Thailand!!
lots of love Rach xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 30 October 2009

Elephants and Kittens

I'm sitting in an internet cafe (the one where you cant upload photos -argh!! the other one was closed as it is now 8pm so i will go in the morning and upload them for you to see :) )
im sitting here scratching and scratching as we have just got back from the 3 day hill triibe treck & i got bitten alive - even with deet 50 and 2 mozzi nets!! i counted 23 on just my legs....yikes!!
since we last spoke we went up to the hills - the truck is one with no back, where you all sit sideways and cling on - we were going up the tiniest road on the edge of the mountain all screaming!! (haha!) then we got to the waterfall which was beautiful - very cold but worth it to see the amazing scenary!! we went swimming in it to cool off which was lovely! then we got back in the truck and when he dropped us off (on a cliff egde!) we started trecking....
when i say this was the scariest experience ive ever had, im not exagerating! we were literally climbing over logs, up slopes that were practically vertical and along logs that had a straight drop hundreds of feet down - we were all terrified and a couple of people came close to tears but it was beautiful at the top! we were trecking for 3 hours with 1 bottle of water so we started to feel very faint - which wasnt good at that height! eventually we got to the first hut and it was literally a bundle of huts in the mud!! its amazing how people manage to live like that because it stunk and the whole place was filthy - i said to ceri "my mum would have the antibax out!!" hehe!!
we showered in the river and slept in the hut after some traditional Thai food (i am soooo sick of rice already!!)

(i am keeping this pretty brief as i dont want to run out of time but i will fill you in with detail later!!) :)

we then woke up, had breakfast and started trecking again - this time for 3 hours, by which time we were absolutely knackered and could barely walk a pace - it was never a flat road, it was constant climbing/swinging/jumping/sliding down things!! I think i managed to conquer my fear of heights and spiders in that day alone - it was terrifying!!
luckily, when we felt like we couldnt move another inch, we were met by the elephants!!! :) they took us down the rest of the mountain (literally paths the size of the breakfast bar with sheer drops down the edge of the cliff!) it was soooo scary but amazing to think we were on the back of an elephant and on top of a mountain!!
we reached the bottom eventually and had lunch at some huts by the river....there was a teeeeeny kitten there who was soooo cute!! i know you're not meant to touch them but she came and sat on my lap and reminded me of keegan so much i couldnt resist a cuddle!! i checked for fleas and she very slightly scratched me whilst playing but i think im rabies least i hope!! :P
we then trecked to the next hut (which again was like tight-rope walking over a cliff!!) we had one bamboo stick to help us...haha!! we got there and it was a bit nicer but not majorly....the toilets are squats and i think we have finally got the technique right!!
this morning we got on a raft and sailed down the river (it was literally bamboo strung together with no sides or back or front) we had to stand up without holding on and sit down when it got too choppy!!) it was loads of fun and so peaceful!! we then got a 2 hour truck back to the hotel and had a dip in the pool before us girls showered and came here - i cannot tell you how filthy we were!!!!"