My long London walk

I have just had an amazing couple of days in London. Got back home on Saturday night and felt like my feet might actually drop off. I thought that when I plotted my route on the map that it may have stretched to 25 miles, okay perhaps a little optimistic, but it really did feel like the marathon walk.

London is just the perfect city for discovering something new, something amazing… Around every corner there are things to see. I can honestly say that my trek through London helped me rediscover the brilliant Buckingham Palace, secrets of Soho and the towering heights of the Shard.

I must head back down to London soon.screenshot-2017-01-30-17-57-53

Advertisements

Dirty pants? No problem!

UNBELIEVABLE!

Just when you thought it was safe to check out the washing instructions…

We were on holiday earlier this year in Cyprus and decided to do a spot of holiday washing. When we checked the washing machine manual it showed this…

Read the first line of notes.

Always read the instructions

Just what are they expecting? In fact, no, I don’t wanna know…

GRIM!

Our Tandem Ride

On our recent holiday in France we decided to try something new as part of our ‘outdoors’ experience. Living in The Netherlands, we love cycling. It’s a national hobby for the Dutch and possibly the most-used form of transport.

But…

We didn’t want to hire ordinary bikes while we were staying near Lake Annecy in the south east of France – so we chose a tandem.

Big mistake.

Looking confident? We were anything but…

Riding a tandem is so difficult! My co-ordination and balance is pretty good, but this was so tricky. The fact that there were cars and other cyclists nearby didn’t help either. Cycling along we looked like something reminiscent of a Laurel and Hardy film.

After hiring the tandem for about 4 hours we decided that we wanted to live a little longer. Time to take the tandem back and reluctantly take two normal bikes.

I wish I could do this…

If any of you have tried cycling on a tandem then I would LOVE to hear about how you got on.

Jumping off a mountain. Simples.

What better way to remember a birthday than by jumping off a mountain. That was how I celebrated my 32nd birthday.

It could have been my last.

I said that to the guy…

…He laughed.

I survived – clearly.

Paragliding is a must. I am now converted the wonders of the jump.

I’ve just got back from a two-week camping holiday in France. It was amazing. Lac d’Annecy is a stunning location for a holiday for all tastes. Relaxing if you like. Sporty if you want. Adventurous if you dare.

We dared.

Our paragliding experience was well organised. A team of instructors picked us up (me, Bas and A.N.Other). We headed up a windy and very steep death trap mountain road. The madman driver clearly hadn’t taken his tablets knew the route and we whizzed around bends on two wheels. Oh the joy. We reached the summit and grabbed the gear from the back of the minibus.

What was the gear being strapped to my back. I asked no questions.

I didn’t really want to know.

We walked a couple of metres up a pathway and then on to a steep slope of astro-turf (fake grass) which led over the edge to nothingness….. Long grass could be seen poking up, but beyond that…nothing. The lake, hundreds of metres below, was shimmering in the mid-day sun. Stunning. Terrifying, but stunning.

My instructor lay the wing (or canopy) out across the grass, while I looked at at the view and contemplated the drop.

Gulp.

There were loads of ropes called lines (yes, I’ve read up on it now that I’ve done it and survived). He untangled the whole lot and prepared it, then attached his harness to mine. Once secured he said “Right, now we just run”.

What!!??

That’s the extend of my pre-flight briefing?….”Now we just run!????” (I thought this part – I didn’t want to sound panicky).

We ran…Off the edge of the mountain.

I was expecting a sudden drop. It never came. Unbelievably, we glided off the mountain and into the air. It was the most gentle take-off I’ve ever experienced. The view was amazing! I was silent. In total awe of the view. The lake below looked incredible.

The instructor was busy controlling the wing (fiddling with the lines). I just grinned and enjoyed the view. I looked across and watched Bas and his instructor floating ahead of us. I didn’t hear any screams. All was good. For thirty minutes we floated down above the lake, the trees and roads below.

Sheer bliss.

There had been no wind at the top of the mountain. It was eerily still. Once we were a few hundred metres from landing we hit a rush of wind. With a jolt we were carried higher and higher. It made landing quite a challenge. Our landing field was too far to reach and the wind was too strong. Plan B – land closer. We ended up in a field nearby.

The landing was smoothe. Until a gust of wind caught the wing and whipped us backwards across the field. What a sight. The instructor was laying on his back trying to regain control and there was me, on top of him, wondering when we’d stop. I couldn’t help but giggle some more.

I survived. I loved it!

Enjoy my slideshow…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Want to read more? Some links you may enjoy.

Happy Camping

Camping is great! Fresh air, back to nature, living life freely… What more could you ask for? (Okay, so some of you probably said ‘a hotel’……. I agree that hotels and cozy holidays are nice some of the time, but camping is fab – especially when you find the right spot.

I’m hoping that our camping trip to France this summer goes without any problems. I want a chilled time. Total relaxation and time to complete many of the things on My List for 2011. Reading the Harry Potter series in on my list as well as dancing in the rain and writing a poem. I’ll have time to tick off those things…. Wish me luck.

If you’ve ever been camping then I am sure you can relate to the next bit.

Here are some great camping one-liners:

“I thought you packed the toilet paper”.

“Shhhhhh….. Did you hear that noise?”

“Just one more hill to climb, it’s all flat from here”.

Of course I packed the tent poles”.

 “I love camping. You haven’t lived until you’ve cut your way out of a sleeping bag with a Swiss army knife”.

Searching the internet for things about camping has been fun. Here are some good blogs about camping:

Love in a Tent

Kyla40’s Travel Blog

Beautiful Bali: Where calm meets chaos.

When you arrive in Bali (at Denpasar airport) there is an immediate feeling that you have stepped back in time. The airport has a 1980s/1990s feel about it. Things just are not as modern here.

Once you have shown passports to security, who are seated by little wooden crates (bizarre I know), you collect your bags and head out. Next you are faced with a row of cubicles (all glassed in) with money exchange workers all frantically waving and smiling to get your attention. It feels as though you’re in a red-light district with ‘ladies-in-the-window’ and is somewhat unnerving. It’s difficult not to stare (or laugh) at the weirdness of it all and so you find yourself quickly dashing along. I managed to avoid being lured in to any of the stares. Phew!

Outside the airport there are streams of taxis everywhere. Luckily we had a pre-arranged minbus transfer arranged to take us from the airport to our villa, but it seemed easy enough for people to flag one down. The carpark is chaos and if that’s anything to judge Bali by…..it gets busier. The road from the airport to Seminyak (normally 20 minutes drive) was packed and the journey took over an hour.

Seminyak is one of Bali’s hotspots. Located on the south of the island, by Denpasar (the island’s capital), Seminyak boasts a huge number of private villas, restaurants and bars. It draws in tourists from all over the world, but in particular Australians (many of whom are enjoying their hen-weekends or stag-dos).

So many of Bali’s visitors stay in private villas. I can see why. Behind the doors, away from the chaos of traffic and tourists passing by is a tranquil and harmonius villa. Inside the villa, my eyes quickly did the dream-holiday-checklist. Pool. Open-space. Lounge. Kitchen (I don’t plan on using it, but still….). Bedroom one (huge). En-suite (love it). Bedroom two (also huge). Another en-suite. Decking around the pool. Water feature. My eyes at this stage are flashing from one place to another. I’m greedily taking it all in. Heaven.

Staying in a villa in Bali can be a dangerous move. It’s not life threatening. It’s culturally dangerous. You might become so relaxed and ‘chilled-out’ behind the closed doors that you end up spending your time there instead of exploring. Don’t be too chilled. You must explore.

The nightlife in Seminyak is mixed. It doesn’t have the feel of a stag-do and hen-do holiday destination. It’s not like Blackpool (UK) or Amsterdam (Holland)….. or anywhere else that you find pre-wedding groups drinking their last moments of freedom away. It all seems slightly more classy here in Bali. There are security guards EVERYWHERE. Do not panic. They stand at the road side by every villa, bar and restaurant. If anything you feel safe with them all around, but I did wonder whether they were security or hotel staff (the strict uniform can be quite deceiving). They all carry lightsabers which I found very amusing. Not quite up to the standard and length of Darth Vader, although they still light up red and look great fun at night.

A day trip is a must. Taking a taxi for the entire day is easy and innexpensive in Bali. The staff wherever you stay are more than likely to assist in the arrangement. Our three butlers were brilliant at helping to organise our days. The service is always at its best. The taxi ride is a mouth-opening, extreme sight-seeing and epic journey. The roads are crazy. Busy. Packed……

There are cars. Bicycles. Motorbikes. Mopeds…… For every car there are about 10 mopeds zooming beside you. Think mayhem. Controlled mayhem, although I wouldn’t dare get on a moped in Seminyak.

Next, you see what they are carrying. We’re talking full loads. Mopeds with 4 passengers (oh, plus the driver)…..and one of the passengers is carrying a adult-sized bike on the back. It’s crazy!

Along the road side there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of shops selling wooden carvings, stone work, mosaic bowls, kites and more….and more…..and more. The shops repeat and repeat and repeat themselves along the longest straightest road. My poor camera.

There are lots of hot spots to visit. We choose to visit Ubud with the rice fields. If you have never visited places like this (like me) then all expectations are blown out of the water. The rice fields were great! I wasn’t expecting the slopes to be quite so steep. The driver let us wander and explore. We sat by the edge of the rice fields and had something local to eat. Yum.

The journey back was just as interesting – more shops and sights to see.

In Bali, aside from the wonderful Ubud and the shops we also ventured along the coast. The sandy beaches are beautiful. Palm trees line the coast and add to the holiday feel.

Bali. Simply brilliant.

Fit to fly: The campest flight safety intro EVER.

You have never seen a flight safety video quite like this one. Richard Simmons, US oddball fitness legend is Air New Zealand’s safety ambassador for inflight safety videos. Does it make you want to fly with Air New Zealand? Well, I’ll let you make up your own mind.

The video really should come with a warning. There are some scary looking outfits. Colourful lycra, fluorescent leg warmers and sweat bands are back to haunt you all. The male instructors are clearly having a great time.

The music track featured on the inflight safety video is a specially recorded version of Yazz’s 1980s hit record ‘The Only Way is Up’, performed by New Zealand singer Leza Corban.

You may also enjoy these funny posts:

Whipped on the dancefloor.

A flight to remember.

P.S. If you enjoyed reading my blog then feel free to explore more. Click ‘Like’ if you liked it or comment below. I’d love to hear from you.