Tag Archives: travel

Why I love London

7 Jan

My favourite things about london…thoughts sitting by the canal with a cawfee.

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Squirrels.much cuter park fauna than our scrawny pigeon and ibis, same goes with foxes- didnt know there were foxes running about in the center of london at night!

The Postal vans are exactly like the ones in the cartoon-everytime one goes past I cant help but sing postman pat..postman pat…

The beautiful  old streets and trees and canals.

The people-people from everywhere hence accents from everywhere, anyone can be whoever they want here and I love it. So many cultures, people here are so open and I absolutely love everyone here I’ve met <3. (Even though ive been warned the charm will wear off soon after a year and London is where all international dreams come to die).. (this is where mine came to life)

Mulled wine. Only just discovered this gem here. Why have normal red wine in winter when u can have warm red wine with yummy spices and fruits. A hot and flavoursome sangria.

Primeark, iceland, poundland. Enough said.

Markets.Camden markets, Spitalfield markets, ex mouth markets,bricklane, christmas markets, any weekend, any festivity there are awesome markets of any kind and they all put our markets back home to shame.

The Lexington. One small pub for London. One giant array of weirdos brought together for the love of American bourbon and shit music.

Feeling like a legend cos I can speak fluent English.  Then realising im actually not a legend, because everyone else here speaks at least 2 other languages. Which then inspires me to learn more languages.

The fact that I can casually get a 2 hour train ride to Paris at my local train station. Or in a few hours I could be almost anywhere in Europe by plane. Whereas back home, you get on the plane/train and nek minute..(5 hours later)  you're still in Aus.

Being an ex convict. Using the excuse if I dont know something.. oh im Australian.. we dont do that /know that/wasn't taught that back home.. when in fact it's just me.

My new found appeciation of sunshine and blue skies. Its an amazing day if the skies are blue and the sun is out. Even if its 4 degrees outside.
Singing Lilly Allens song "ldn" in my head, and feeling 100% more british- and actually getting the references like knowing what Tesco is..

4 months later..11 countries later..and 2 weeks of couchsurfing.

21 Oct

Holy moly.. here I am,  writing this entry from my bed in London.  With 3 amazing months Worth of memories from all over Europe..ive been in London for a month and I can really feel winter setting in now.

Anyway, looking back on my travels…I had so much fun, and I dont think anyone regrets the experience

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of travel,  it’s only a gain gain situation.
Here are a few photos for eye candy. I dont think I will be blogging about specific countries until much later, but the countries I went to were….
France(twice)
Spain(3 times)
Switzerland
Monaco
Italy
Greece
Turkey
Czech republic
Hungary
Austria
The Netherlands

Then I head to LONDON where I met some amazing people through  couchsurfing.

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Mallorca

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My journey

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Essence of “yolo”

25 Jul

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ohh..you only live once

Bonjour from Paree! I haven’t posted in aggges due to working 70+ hours a week, months before my holiday, and since leaving in June, have been flat out enjoying this “gap” travel time in Europe.

I don’t even know where to begin.. I have hands down had the time of my life, starting with a 29 day topdeck tour, met friends for life, partied with them as if we’d been best friends forever..and made memories to last me till my nursing home days..so cliche, but so effing true.

here’s a quick snapshot of my favorite memories… I’ll just post photos,and captions..In no particular order..

Bear with the photo quality,all taken with my phone..

Currently in my second month of travel and loving it! This is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

xx ciao for now

Overall, one of my favorite memories has  been skydiving over the swiss alps, hung over with a good friend after partying all night with marines,then getting one hour of sleep before getting up…

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a sigh of relief …
(before i puked later)

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getting upto no good

getting upto no good

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meteora

meteora

night out in Switzerland

night out in Switzerland

Dinner on a rooftop in instanbul, blue mosque in the background

Dinner on a rooftop in instanbul, blue mosque in the background

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love valley in cappadoccia

love valley in cappadoccia

hot air ballooning cappadoccia

hot air ballooning cappadoccia

sunset from the Eiffel tower

sunset from the Eiffel tower

billionaire cocktail lounge, monaco

billionaire cocktail lounge, monaco

last night in instanbul

last night in instanbul

gardens in meteora

gardens in meteora

the louvre

the louvre

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louvre panorama

louvre panorama

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nearly getting eaten by a camel

nearly getting eaten by a camel

shooting in Turkey

shooting in Turkey

quad biking in mykonos

quad biking in mykonos

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the basilica cistern ,Istanbul

the basilica cistern ,Istanbul

A trip to remember ( on a budget)

28 Apr

Howdy howdy, long time no post. 🙂

I’ve been so busy working and saving for this long awaited holiday I’ve been fantasizing about since year 10.

So I’ve been earning every penny the hard way- working two jobs… and here I am 5 years after high school, also completed uni and about to embark on this trip.

Since i’d like to be travelling for 5 months i’m considering couch surfing for some of the trip as I really want to stretch what little savings I have- I’ve read and heard mixed things but overall good. I’m interested to see if anyone who stumbles across my blog has tried couch surfing? Where did you do it? and how did you find it?

I can’t wait to meet so many new people!

Some of the places on my hot( and freezing) spot list

ICELAND:

Blue Lagoon

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Credits to : Yoni Brook/The New York Times

Northern Lights in Iceland / or Scandinavia

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Credits to: kpm blog 2011

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Credits to: HotelRanga and Marie Kerr

 TURKEY

Cappadoccia

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Credits unknown

Blue Mosque

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Credits to :allposters.com

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Credits to: Argos in Cappadoccia

 SPAIN

COSTA BRAVA COAST-

Santa Clotide Botannical Gardens- created in 1919

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Credits to: Landlopers.com

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Credits to: Landlopers.com

MALLORCA- es calo des moro Beach

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Credits to: twiga_ Scala Flikr

SCOTLAND

ISLE OF SKYE

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Credits to: holidayspots4u.com

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Credits to: thezoom.com

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allthatisinteresting.com

PORTUGAL

BEACHES

BELEM TOWER

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Credits to: Recommend.com

ITALY

Tuscany- Mineral Baths

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UKRAINE

Tunnel Of Love

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Credits to: Vitalii Sak

A very sprawled and random list- but yes I have an obsession with natural beauty, gardens, hot springs and beaches. Will I see all these places? ha.. I can dream 🙂

Anyone got a spare room for me?

Beach Club co.

7 Jan

At the resort, we could go on day trips to our partner beach clubs for the day- for a beach picnic, some snorkeling, wind surfing and cocktail sippin.

The two were called Entalula and Dibuluan.

The beach club- Entalula

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Picnic

Trying to look relaxed

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aannnd Dibuluan.

Each had their own charms, with Dibuluan having an old bamboo forest trail, and an army of hermit crabs!

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Just a few of the many hermit crabs

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baby hermy- it was amazing; when we stayed still close to the ground we noticed all the little shells were moving; nearly EVERY shell had a hermit crab in it!

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As we signed another waiver, I asked if there were any snakes or tigers in there,just to be sure.. they laughed and assured us all we had to worry about was a recent storm that had damaged the look out point, so we were strictly advised not to go on it. We were guided by a blue rope….which we discovered somewhat vanished part way through once we came across some mangroves.

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The lucky guess path back to the beach club

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The moment of relief, spotting the beach club after wading through some water

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I’ve been daydreaming ever since I got back.. it was a year ago now

The Philippines -Part 5 Secret beach, El Nido

29 Dec

In the Philippines,you can rest assured you will constantly be surprised.
You thought a motorcycle was for one or two people ? Well not here apparently. I’ve witnessed families of five  quite comfortably cruising along a road looking pretty blase about it. Oh, and also the ones on motorbikes  AND mobiles , i was sitting there constantly comparing and whining… this IS SO ILLEGAL IN AUSTRALIA.!
Amazingly enough it seems these sort of places never have as many accidents as drivers do here.
I like to think of it like this; just as ants appear to the human eye as a chaotic, scattered mess of a bunch- it only takes a closer look to realise  they work in perfect harmony as a community. Just as the traffic in Manila looked  somewhat chaotic to me, i felt pretty safe in the end growing accustomed to the last minute  swerves and lane changes, they had they own system, different.
A horn would be used here to show your annoyance  at another  driver, but it seemed  a beep had many uses over there-another communication system. From saying hello to warning others you were overtaking-as you were doing it. When we were suck in traffic the drivers formed some sort  of horn acapella, i couldn’t figure out for the life of me why they were all beeping, i think it was for their own amusement.
Anyway, just as the people of the Philippines had their own charms  and surprises, the landscape of el Nido was full of just as much mystery to keep us in awe for our entire stay.
What seemed like just another a limestone cliff from the outside,later revealed there was so much more than meets the eye.
I felt a rush as a I jumped into the water, a mix of excitement and adrenaline, getting ready to witness this place  i had Google imaged the shit out of since the start of my travel plans.

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How someone discovered secret beach must be one hell  of a story,because i can’t picture why anyone would randomly stop there among the kms of lime stone cliffs and swim underwater in that spot.
The activities guy swum ahead if me,we ducked underwater for a second and resurfaced to crystal crystal clear  waters and warm white sand.
Like a private pool,in this safe little haven we were protected from any rough  seas.
You could picture memaids  bathing here in this magical cove. In a legend where some lucky sailor would end up washed up after his ship had wrecked.
Secret beach.

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Underwater Entrance

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Paradise

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Philippines holiday- Part 4 Matinloc Shrine/ Island – (where I want to get married one day !)

24 Dec

Towards the end of our stay at Miniloc Island we asked the staff if they could  take us somewhere different a because we had seen most of the other local icons/scenery and wanted to make the most of being in that area.
I think my boyfriend had heard or read about Matinloc Island or one of the activities staff mentioned it (can’t remember) but since we had been on the island for the longest out of everyone else (most people stayed 2-4 days) I think they got to know and like us and were very hospitable. 🙂 So Matinloc Island it was. This was probably the longest trip we made out for a day activity, which is why I can understand they wouldn’t want to take other people out who were only spending a day or two there when they would probably rather see things like big lagoon etc.

The staff pointed out islands where turtles bred, and told us  heaps of interesting stories about the area and their lives. One guy told us about how once they saw pigs swimming in a single line; each one with their head on the back of the other while they all trod water, till the one at the front would get tired and swim  to the back of the line!!
Haha this was highly amusing as my boyfriend and I are obsessed with pigs, and we couldn’t imagine ever seeing a pig in the area, let along a conga line of pigs swimming!
We also saw a gigantic Manta Ray on the way, unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it.

As you may know the Philippines is predominantly a Catholic country, and Matinloc shrine holds a Catholic festival/feast day for Our lady of Matinloc Island in May I think for locals in nearby islands.. (Thats what I recall the guy saying anyway- almost a year ago.)
However it is somewhat run down, and abandoned.  No-one lives or stays there to maintain it its mainly just tourists coming by and I suppose the locals for a feast day.
Boats of tourists come by during the day and have a look around/ snorkel around the area- but don’t worry there was only one other group of tourists when we were there- it’s not one of those places flooded with people because it isn’t well known.

The trip there
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This was our view pulling upto Matinloc Island,

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I know I’ve spoken about the water before in general there and how beautiful it is, but this really was a beautiful place. As corny as it sounds, the sun flickering off the water reminded me of diamonds or glitter shining in the light- it was so so pretty! If i had a dollar for every time I was like wowwww this is sooo beautiful/pretty/amazing over there- I would be a very rich lady.

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See how the water goes from a light blue to a deep ocean blue?- we snorkelled around there and maaan the ocean floor just dropped down into nothingness it scared the crap out of me, I made sure my boyfriend was swimming on the deeper side beside me in case anything scary decided to appear, such as but not limited to hungry sharks.( great gf, yea i know..)

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Matinloc shrine

 

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Sittin on the dock of the bay. Wastin timmmmmmeImage
This was an old abandoned building, I lost the group for a bit so decided to explore it, there was some broken glass on the floor and not much in there- but it had a nice view.
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Here is the said view from in there.

Later on I caught up with the others who were checking out the underground shrine.
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After that, we walked up some rock/ makeshift staircase to one of the best views i’ve ever seen in my life!

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lol this aint passing no safety tests in Australia

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The View

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wow. just wow. I would love to be a bird and just glide over that amazing water.

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Water shot.

After Matinloc we head to secret beach  on the way back to the resort which ill blog about next
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Good night.

One more day till Christmas 🙂

Philippines-Part 3 Lagen Island

17 Dec

Howdy!
I just realised I hadn’t mentioned this earlier, but the resort we stayed at was called Miniloc Island Resort. All are under El Nido resorts- http://www.elnidoresorts.com/
It had a partner resort called Lagen Island, where we could spend the day, to eat their buffet, go on a little hike through the forest, use their pool, go to their bar etc.
It was something refreshing if you got sick of the scenery at your resort (*cough*  which wouldn’t happen) and only a boat ride across the bay. In fact, you could jusssst make out their lights on at night in the distance.
Call me biased in saying I preferred Miniloc better, but yeah we had a beautiful  reef out the front to snorkel with their resident turtle, and the lovely authentic looking bungalows right over the water. 😉

We spent one day at Lagen, and did the walk. We were told to sign a waiver, which made me question if there were any snakes, tigers etc we should know about haha. It was just us two on the walk. Through that still, lush green forest.
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Me with my Gandalf stick to break up any spider webs ahead.

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Do I look big in this butt?

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And finally! The trail out to the beach- where we had to kayak back around to the resort front.

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My Boyfriend had a look at this photo we took, and thought it seemed soooo familiar but couldn’t work out where we had seen it before, we figured it was on the cover of Lonely Planet or something.

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Just casually doing yoga poses on a remote tropical island.

Afterwards, we made out way back canoeing, after a little dip from being so sweaty and hot from that walk. ( yes, unfit)

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Photos of Lagen Island from the front.

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Fascinating camel shaped rock..

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This is the resort pool, ok this is one thing we didn’t have at Miniloc, but hey you can’t have everything- even on paradise. I really adore how the palm leaves look like peacock tails.We were told by staff that Monitor Lizards( Big lizards) often came by and swum in the pool. I was shocked and said “then what?!!- how do you get them out?” He just laughed and said they let them swim because it was their home before we got here- which is true, and I respect that. They are pretty harmless and don’t cause much trouble- unlike the monkeys haha. Naughty bastards.
The wonderful bar man said he would make me any sort of daquiri, provided he had the fruit-so I requested a papaya daiquiri  Not bad, Not bad 😉

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you put the lime in the coconut …

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The massage room. Ahhh.  Sweet Memories…
The massages were amazing at the resort(all resorts have massage places), you could go to their massage tent such as this, or request them to come to your room. At a fraction of the cost for a massage in Sydney you can’t complain, but thats how it all add up when we got the big bill at the end lol. “Just one more cocktail, one more wine, one more massage..”
Even cheapness is only cheap in moderation.

Random memory flashback but I remember this day I had a grain of sand stuck on my eyeball under my top lid- let me tell you this was the most uncomfortable sensations i’ve ever experienced- the resort nurse tried multiple times flushing it with eye wash, I really wanted to cry. It felt like anything I did made it worse. In the end I got it out by opening my eyes in the salt water and moving my eyelid around with my finger. * note to yourself for future*
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I’ll end with a picture of dolphins we came across on a boat ride back from one of the islands, apparently if you stop the boat ( which we had) and clap, the dolphins come closer in. They were curious little friendly fellows and probably loved the attention.
They would pop their heads up every now and then. This made my afternoon as i’ve never seen dolphins that close before 🙂

Good night everyone

oxxo

Philippines holiday- Part 1 Manila, Arriving at El Nido (more like el paradise)

9 Dec

Alohaaar!

Finally i’ve decided to start a personal blog, so I can share things like my holidays/travel to look back on. My bf and I decided to go to the Philippines for a long awaited tropical holiday! ( realllly needed a break after 4 years of uni and no holiday)

In mid January we left miserable rainy old Sydney to Manila, via Hong Kong.
This was my first time on Cathay and I was impressed! I think previously I had taken Philippine airlines and I don’t recall having my own entertainment screen, so I was more than happy to enjoy 8 hours of movies.

We Stayed in Manila for a night to get enough rest before our little flight to El Nido, Palawan. I.E PARADISE!!!
I think it will pretty damn hard to top that holiday. ( *nostalgic sigh)

In case you were wondering where El Nido is… it’s the South West diagonal Island down towards

Malaysia.

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The resort we stayed itself was in the lovely haven of Bacuit Bay. We took a little plane, and I admit I was a little scared having only ever traveled on large planes, but it was just a short flight
(just over an hour.) There were two single rows down the plane and we chewed mentos to relieve any potential ear pressure haha. All in all the flight was lovely, and it was very interesting flying over different areas of Manila, then over the beautiful islands along the way.

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This was our plane. Posting photos is making me so nostalgic dammet..

This is a shot I took from the runway where we landed, I thought the long grass looked quite pretty and it was refreshing being away from the smells and pollution of Manila.

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We took transport known as a Jeepney there (Sort of like a little bus) to El Nido Town where a boat was waiting to take us to the resort.

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On the Jeepney we passed a school, lots of little houses, a church, people out and about on the street, some pigs, chooks, and there were a few tourists about.
This is where the boat was waiting to meet us 🙂

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A church on the ride there.

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A primary school ( beautiful scenery!)

So these were the style of boat we spent all of our island trips out on.
I can’t even put in words how excited I was at this stage and in awe of all the scenery.
We were finally here  at this amaaaazing place and still knew there was a plethora of things we were yet to see and experience.

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We passed a few islands on the way with some named after their shape, (or some other story behind it) such as helicopter island.
( Which was shown in the Bourne Legacy at the end when they escape- they were actually filming in the Philippines when we were there)- cool little side fact

Here’s Helipcopter Island we passed
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We were greeted to the Island staff(Who I promise you,are the best people you will ever meet when it comes to customer service!) singing us a welcome song accompanied by guitar and we were given this leaf based necklace, sort of like their version of a Hawaiian Lei.

What happened next is probably one of THE most embarrassing moments of my life. So we stepped off the boat, and this man was holding a tray of something folded very nicely. He said “cold towel mam?” – What I HEARD was Cold Taro??…  I was jet lagged, and hungry, I thought ( wishful thinking) it was some sort of sponge cake and bit into it…my teeth told a different story,
……it friggen hurt! He said, no mam, that’s not food, I was confused. I looked around, and to my horror I saw people around me using it to wipe their hands and face.. it was just a cold towel for refreshing, yup. Not one of my brightest moments.

Anywayyyys.. back on track

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Naww first selfie at the resort.
By this stage it was dark, we had our first buffet(out of the 19 more to come)- the food here was heaven, sooo much choice, From sushi, fresh seafood, stir fried veggies, steamed veggies, various dishes with chicken, beef, omg too much to name, the food was a little different every day, plus some things typical of the Filipino diet like fried fish, rice, vinegar.
– and gawd damn, the bar had some very attractive happy hours at two cocktails for the price of one ( equivalent to $4 AUD.)
We had entertainment some nights, like traditional dancers who got some of us to join in ( As i did!) and other nights information on the flora and fauna of Palawan, I loved how eco-friendly and sustainable this resort was. This will hopefully prevent it from degradation due to large flocks of tourists as other South East Asian places have been, like Bali, and places in Thailand.

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We went to bed full, and tired, to find a little birdy folded from leaves on our bed, a goodnight message written on a leaf, and a bedtime story from the village locals passed on through generations. Some nights were about ghost legends haha, great way to go to bed.
They also left us a little sweet treat.

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We woke up to the picturesque scenery around the resort, edgy limestone cliffs, crystal clear water, the smells of our buffet breakfast being cooked! I was already starting to dread the fact I would be leaving in a week, haa. We also had some friendly morning monkey visitors, I had been warned by staff to be careful sitting near the porches and eating Pan de sal(their Spanish bread) as the monkeys were notorious for stealing it.

So what did I do?
I grabbed some bread and sat near the porch for breakfast with my bf.
I love monkeys ( …and pretty much every other animal) so I  was pretty excited to see one as I hadn’t yet.
We were well into conversation, and before I realised what was happening……
a monkey had crept along the porch from behind me ( I don’t know how my bf didn’t see it) and I felt like something was next to me so I turned, saw the monkey which had carefully picked up my bread( thank god not the camera beside it) and it ran off and up into a tree.
I swore reallly loudly and offended an older couple nearby, who didn’t realise what happened to me lol.

Haha…it was funny but I was in shock for a while.
I should have known something was up when this American tourist sitting outside the buffet area had planted himself on a deck chair, had his eye on the roof above me, with a big grin on his face. I just thought he was a bit weird and carried on.
After the monkey raid he was hysterical.. I wonder if he filmed it. Lol i’d love to see it..
Here’s one of those naughty monkeys with a mango

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Just a few photos of the resort..

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Lunch time snack!

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We did so much snorkeling just in the reef/ area in front of the resort..
We were lucky enough to see a turtle, some beautiful clown fish,big Jack fish, dangerous lion fish, a cuttlefish, flutenose fish, stick fish, starfish and heaps more colourful fish down there!!
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Here’s a  big jack fish!- was hard to get a shot with them before they took off.

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We also spent some time kayaking to neighboring little beaches/islands, which were uninhabited.. so we had it practically to ourselves!
A luxury you couldn’t get many other places 😉

Me (attempting) to do the splits on the little beach we had..

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I’ll end with my favourite photo of the holiday FOR NOW as i’m getting sleepy, in conclusion i am in love with the Philippines and it’s people!
I’m half Filipino myself and very proud, Filos are so lovely, as is the country in various areas.

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Ever been anywhere tropical?
Where’s your favourite tropical holiday destination?

Goodnight internet,

hello eye bags tomorrow.