We are travelling for 6 months for a bit of world education for Lila before she starts school + we like travelling :)
  • Day187

    Arriving home

    November 22, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

    After an amazing 6 months away we arrive back to Sydney airport on a cold and windy day. There have been many amazing moments, lots of beautiful people and stunning, breath taking and humbling places and experiences which have enriched our lives and our little family.

    Lila has learnt some phrases in different languages like 'chu arai ka' (what is your name in Thai), 'makan di sini' (eat here in Bahasa), 'sidikit rusak' (little broken in Bahasa) and our favourite 'chello' (let's go in Hindi), which have stuck to the end of the trip.

    Here is a beginning and end of trip photo of Lila in her 'travelling outfit'. One of the best things about coming back is seeing family, including Lila's 2 little cousins who were only little babies when we left. After little sleep on the flight home, Lila falls asleep quickly in the car in the way home (after excitingly reuniting with an outfit she got in India and we had sent home).

    Here is a little summary from each of us from our last 6 months:

    Lila
    Favourite place: Hanoi, Vietnam
    Favourite food: Che in Vietnam
    Memorable experience: playing with the twins in Hanoi
    Favourite thing you saw: temple in Hanoi and seeing starfish in the sea

    Jean
    Favourite place: Between Lower Mustang (Nepal), Rajasthan (India) and Ha Giang region (Vietnam)
    Favourite food: eating in Sabah, Malaysia
    Memorable experience: walk between Jonsom and Kagbeni

    Angie:
    Favourite place: Nepal
    Favourite food: Yoghurt coffee in Vietnam and street food everywhere
    Memorable experience: trekking in Nepal, markets in Northern Vietnam and Lila learning how to snorkel and her excitement seeing sea stars

    We give huge thanks and gratitude to everyone we met along the way and to the beautiful lands we visited :)
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  • Day185

    Quick stop in KL

    November 20, 2018 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We make a 2 day pit stop in Kuala Lumpur before our flight back to Sydney. It's so great to have so much yummy food here! We all get hair cuts, do some shopping and enjoy great food. Lila does some batik painting and finds lots of places to pose for photos!

  • Day184

    Leaving Flores

    November 19, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Today really marks the end of our trip as we take the plane from Labuan Bajo to Denpasar before flying to Kuala Lumpur for a few days before flying back to Sydney. Lila loves taking photos at the airport of all the things we didn't see!

  • Day183

    Ruteng to Labuan Bajo

    November 18, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 31 °C

    This morning we visited a nearby cave Liang Bua / hobbit cave, where in 2003 they had found the remains of an ancient species 'homo floriesiensis', also nicknamed 'hobbit' (60,000- 100,000 yrs ago).

    We visit the local Ruteng market before getting back on the road for our last day of our motorbike trip to the eastern town of Labuan Bajo. We pass beautiful rice paddies along the way, before we almost race storm clouds across the mountains. It was probably the most windy roads of the trip going up, down and between mountains.
    The rain finally catches us when we are about 25km from Labuan Bajo. Our rain gear (which Jean saved from being forgotten in a motorbike we had rented in Thailand) comes very much in handy now!

    We arrive in Labuan Bajo just before dark, return the motorbike and visit the port, before having the most expensive and worst meal of our time in Indonesia.
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  • Day182

    Bajawa to Ruteng

    November 17, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Today we leave Bajawa and head towards Ruteng. The road takes us towards the coast again with some lovely views of the coast as well as lush mountains.
    We stop on the coast for the last swim of the trip before heading back on the road which takes us back inland and to the mountains. As we approach Ruteng we pass lots of beautiful terraced rice paddies in varying stages of growth, showing colours from young green to ripe yellows. The beautiful landscapes together with the low clouds are a nice way to end the day as we find our homestay for the night, located in a village surrounded by rice paddies.Read more

  • Day181

    Religion and Faith

    November 16, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    Indonesia is an interesting place for religion. It is a secular country, however a majority of the population identify as Muslim. However in Flores a majority of the population identify as Catholic, mostly due to colonisation by the Portuguese in the 16th century. In Alor a majority of the population identify as Protestant, as they were colonised by the Dutch.
    You will often see a simple village with bamboo and wood houses, with a huge massive church (made of bricks and concrete) in the village.
    However you will still see mosques around and hear the call for prayer.
    In Bajawa we pass a huge mosque and church in town which are right across the road from each other.
    Lila has been quite interested in different religions during this trip as we have been exposed to a range of different religions and have seen quite a lot of temples, mosques and churches. Tonight after dinner at a small local restaurant, Lila asks one of the ladies to wrap her scarf on her head, she is very proud of wearing her scarf like this tonight.
    The next morning she says 'i like wearing this scarf because I believe in Buddha. When we go back to Australia I'm going to visit the mosque to pray'.
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  • Day181

    Visiting local villages and hot spring

    November 16, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Today we stay near Bajawa to explore the area which has lots of traditional villages and hot springs. The surrounding area takes us on some more windy sometimes steep roads and we see lots of coconut, bamboo, mango, banana, papaya, cassava, coffee, cloves and cocoa plants. There are villagers preparing the rich volcanic soils for their next harvest and we can see them growing tomatoes, salad, corn, pineapple. Most villages have some if not a majority of traditional structures like houses, huts, gates.
    Lila and Jean enjoy a hot spring which was located in a river of a local village.
    We visit 2 traditional villages and see women doing 3 different processes of making their ikat. Someone preparing yarn for dying, someone lining up the yarn to prepare for weaving and someone weaving. We have seen quite a bit or carpet making and weaving during our trip and Lila says this is what she wants to do when she is older.
    We also help someone seperate their drying corn from the cob (which Lila loves doing too).
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  • Day180

    Ende to Bajawa

    November 15, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    We leave Ende this morning, taking the highway along the coast with nice views of the southern coast and the bay west of Ende.
    We stop by the beach for Lila and Jean to have a quick swim. The beach was known before for its blue pebbles, but now it seems they have been collected in piles along the road next to the beach, maybe used for making the road surface or selling?

    The road leaves the coast and there is almost an instant temperature difference from hot and humid to very cool mountain air. It's nice for a moment, but then on the motorbike it gets quite cold, so we get out our wraps and sarongs to shield a bit of the cool air.
    The continuously windy roads bring more great views of surrounding volcanos, rice paddy fields, bamboo, coconut and banana trees. We pass many cows and goats grazing by the roadside and we see buffalos with the increasing number of rice paddies.
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  • Day179

    Volcano Kelimetu

    November 14, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Today we stop to visit Kelimutu National Park, home of Kelimutu volcano and it's 3 different coloured crater lakes (which also change colour depending on a number of factors eg. Balance of volcanic gas vs rainfall). Today we saw mostly shades of blue green, one lighter, one deeper turquoise and the other like and emerald jade, however apparently they can become red, black, brown, white! Each lake has its own local name, 'Tiwu Ata Bupu' (lake of the old people), 'Tiwu Koo Failed Nuwa Miri (lake of the young men and maidens) and Tiwi Ata Polo (bewitched or enchanted lake).

    You can drive to the parking area which leaves an easy paved 1.5km walk to the viewing platform to see these spectacular big lakes with very vivid colours.
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  • Day179

    Paga Beach to Ende

    November 14, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 31 °C

    Today we leave the lovely relaxing Paga Beach towards Ende, probably the second biggest town on Flores. We take the scenic and windy roads through plantations of banana, coconut and cocoa trees. We stop at Kelimutu National Park, before continuing on to Ende. We make a quick stop at a traditional village before getting into Ende just before it gets dark.Read more