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27 August 2014

CANADA SKI SEASON 2014








|| Snow | Ski | Fitness ||

After ten months living the life of a traveller my body has changed dramatically. The biggest change was firstly the australian summer climate, I was guzzling tones more water than I ever did back in the Uk. The second was walking, exploring, sight-seeing and the introduction of surfing, all having major impacts in dramatic weight loss without ever consciously planning on loosing any. 

At a height of 5'9 my weight was distributed at 11 stone, my bust was a generous 34DD and importantly I felt comfortable in my skin. I would exercise 2/3 times a week and still indulge in the sweeter things in life, mainly involving a slight addiction to chocolate buttons. Within weeks of my new lifestyle I had dropped to 9 and a half stone, I looked bony, i'm sure my head looked too big for my body, my bust had shrunk to a 32B and all my clothes that I had trekked to the other side of the world were hanging off me. When the time came to earn some money by working on a few farms, I managed to relax my bank balance add some more calories to my diet and have now stabilised my weight at a healthy 10 stone. 

This week we got the news that Andrew has finally secured his Canadian Visa, so in November we will be heading to Banff to work the 2014/15 season. Between working and the mountains, the biggest thing I am looking forward to, is being able to make the most of my employee discount at the local gym & having access to a kitchen again! Luxury. 

Already I have started making a list of my favourite nutritionists, Lola Berry being at the top, and female gym gurus to guide me on my journey. I never thought I would ever miss cardio...so in the near future, there may be the occasional post appearing with progress, goals and delicious meals! Exciting times to come. 

Holly

24 August 2014

UBUD









|| Rice Fields | Dance Performances | Coconuts ||

Looking back through my pictures, Ubud was the highlight of my trip to Bali. The Unique Homestay was our base for accommodation, the room we slept in had the most incredible carved door & mouth-watering banana pancakes which I would recommend to anyone.  Based right in the centre of Ubud, surrounded by markets, amazing places to eat, rice fields, monkeys and elephants up the road it was unlike any destination I have ever been too.

During our four-day stay we got to experience a traditional Balinese dance performance in the Water Temple. The music takes some getting used to and is a little repetitive, there are many performances on at different nights in the week and some are better than others so try to do your research. This one in particular had an orchestra that looked a little bored, but the costumes were colourful and the dancers were well rehearsed. An evening followed up with a Bali Bintang Beer was an evening well spent.

The Trip Adviser phone App became our Go-to device when choosing places to eat, it didn’t fail, we ate amazing authentic Italian, Mexican, and plenty of delicious Indonesian food at prices that would almost tempt a local.

I had my first experience of haggling and became quite the pro over the next two weeks. A few tips for haggling that I found useful were…

Go first thing in the morning when the stalls are opening. Balinese people can be very superstitious and would hate the bad luck of not achieving the first sale. They will offer you a good price and will be more likely to be flexible.

Carry a shopping bag up and down the market streets when looking for things to buy, the stall sellers will see you have made a purchase & that you have experience in haggling, their offers will still be high but you can enjoy the fun of bartering.

Lastly have an idea of what the item is worth before you get into a negotiation & remember the exchange rate, try not to get too hung up over 10-20 cents.  Remember once you have reached a deal you have to buy.

Holly


22 August 2014

MONKEY TEMPLE









|| Forest Life ||

Before arriving in Bali we had already heard stories about the legendary Monkey Forest in Ubud; A place of tropical trees, charismatic monkeys and ancient temples. What we witnessed were some intense scenes of fast violent mating and tourists being brave/foolish when offering the monkeys a delicious banana…then laughing at the mugging, snatching and fighting that followed.


The forest was beautiful. The whole area is covered in a rich green moss because of the climate, if your visiting, be prepared for a very green photo album. It was like stepping into a scene from the Jungle Book with monkeys chasing each other through the trees above you, running around on the temple floor, I waited for them to break into dance but it didn’t happen that day…


Tips for the forest…



Take NO food. They will smell it a mile off and the big dudes have attitude. Instead sit back and watch the terror unfold at the poor souls buying the bananas.


Watch your bags. The monkeys have mastered the art of opening a zip. Tourists have witnessed them working in a team to carry a large backpack away from its owner…

Lastly be wary of the bigger monkeys, they have a good set of teeth on them. The babies are very curious and will climb onto you regardless of food. My experience involved a bigger monkey scaring the baby away then biting my dress…

Holly


ELEPHFUN












|| Happy Soul ||


While on one of the most craziest adventures of my life I was lucky enough to come face to face with the most beautiful creatures on the planet. 

The Elephant Safari Park Lodge, located just North of Ubud, Bali, offers the most incredible experience for their guests. The park was created to protect the native elephants in the area, with the aim of preserving these magnificent animals in the most healthy way possible. 

Each day the elephants have a wash and swim, which the guest are encouraged to join in with. It was clear to see how much the elephants were enjoying themselves & to see how a creature so big can turn into such a big water baby was worth every penny! 

We were privileged enough to watch a unique wedding ceremony and had our own escort, the beautiful Tia Maria, take us to dinner that evening, set in the incredible landscaped gardens.

Thank you to the trainers who made our stay so enjoyable, with memories that we will never forget, and a huge thank you to the biggest personalities we will ever meet again, Tia Maria, Romana, Debbie, Daisy and family. 

Holly

20 August 2014

THE NORTH











 || NORTHERN TERRITORY ||

The past few weeks have blurred together in the wonderful warm city of Darwin. After a brief outback trip from Townsville to the Northern Territory, on a road that at times stretched so far straight it felt you would never get to the end.

The outback adventure started with a bumpy ride involving the largest kangaroo roadkill we could have ever rolled over. Seriously bad timing. We had just been overtaken by a four carriage road train, then a 4x4, then out from under them came Skippy. Luckily no damage on the car, Gus did us proud, but the guy behind us must have needed a lie down after a 7ft roo hurdled out from under us straight at him, legs and tail spinning quite energetically.

The trip took a few days, sleeping in rest areas off the road, meeting other travellers and getting tips on what to see in the outback. One of these tips led us to the Daly waters pub, a few hours north of Tennant Creek. The pub was filled with traveller memorabilia from underwear, to flags of the world, every single currency you could think of was nailed to the bar, number plates and more. Dinner was incredible & there is a place to camp next door, we loved it so much we have plans to visit again on the way South!

One last stop before Darwin took us to the natural hot springs in Katherine. The water bubbles up from the ground at a blissful 32 degrees. It was like stepping into a very public bath! Under palm trees shading from the sun the water hole is crock free and very safe for swimming, a luxury in the North.

Since arriving in Darwin we have seen some killer sunsets, after being on the east coast for so long it finally feels like we are right side up in the world! There are some pretty creative weekly markets, my favourite is at Mindil Beach. There are fire breathers and other street entertainers, plenty of food counters, a lot are influenced by Asian tastes, there are also stalls and stalls filled with jewellery, fashion and photography.  

Holly


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