Yes we are finally back!? Welcome to the last and pretty much final blog, just letting you wonderful blog followers find out what happened on our last 8 days of the trip!
It's never nice to be up before the sun, it just feels unnatural to be honest but this had become quite a reaccuring theme on the trip. Sometimes yes it was our fault but overall, getting buses or flights would make sure that we beat the sun up. Well this happened today as we had a long way to get from Alice Springs over to the red centre. After being picked up at 5.50 in the morning we drove around for an hour or so to pick everyone up and preceded to pass our hostel about 3 times more so blatantly we could have got up later!? Anyway our drive to the red centre took us to a camel farm first were we stopped for a coffee and a look at some camels funnily enough! Also there was a dingo chained up which some random woman went to go pat!? Obviously she hadn't been trained in dingo safety as if she had, she would have known to no go near it but cross her arms and stare at it! During the drive over to King's Canyon we had to stop at the side of the road and go get firewood. After a german found part of a tree, Price and i ventured further into the bush and found a tree that had died long ago so carried that one back. Had to break it down a bit as it was about the length of the trailer! Good wood though! Anyway the punishing 5 hour drive continued, stopping at a random little camping resort in the middle of nowhere were we stopped to have lunch, however the flies had other ideas and started to cover the food with, well flies! Quite disgusting but we had managed a sandwich before they could get at all the food. Carried on over to King's Canyon which is quite a spiritual site for the aboriginals. Stopped here for an awesome 3 hour walk in quite punishing heat. You weren't allowed to go without a litre and a half of water. Price and i made it up the hill first and started to recover and take photos. The walk was around the canyon rim and during part of it, you could shout at the opposite wall and hear your voice echo back at you. Obviously Price was the one to do it, after getting bitten by a snake nothing would stop him! Carried on with this walk around the rim which took us through a water hole which was called the garden of eden, quite cool as in the semi arid desert of the red centre, it doesn't often rain but here was this waterhole! Really random. After the walk it was back on the small coach over to our campfire where we set up a mahusive bonfire and roasted marshmellows and cooked on it. Star gazed for a while before jumping into our swags (big sleeping bags) and sleeping underneath the stars!
Up before sunrise again as it was a long drive to Kata Tjuta (a spiritual place of man's business, whatever that may be) and Uluru. Stopped for more wood along the way and around 1ish got to Yulara, our campsite for the night. Dumped the firewood and got some lunch before setting off to Kata Tjuta. Did a 9k walk through the windy valley, really sticks up to its name!? Walk took us through some of the hills of Kata Tjuta which was really cool. Price and i seemed a bit faster than everyone so got to wait a bit for the others to catch up. Rush to eventually get back to the coach as we were driving over to Uluru to watch the sunset. Got there with lots of other people already looking over the big red rock and cracked open the champagne and nibbles. After finally watching the sun go down it was back to the campsite for a bbq and a pretty awesome shower. Sat back round the campfire roasting the rest of the marshmellows and talking till we chickened out and stayed in a tent instead of a swag again!
Up early before the sun again!? This was because it was back to the rock to watch the sunrise. They say when the sun hits the rock it actually changes colour and we can say that yes, it does. Very cool! After seeing the sun officially up it was the base walk around the rock. This was very good but there were some parts where the rock was spiritual so you couldn't take photos incase the spirit got trapped in the photo. Also there was aboriginal paintings all round the rock which were really good. After we finished the base walk it was over to the cultural centre to find out about the aboriginals and how they care for the land. Then back in the bus for a 5 1/2 drive back over to Alice Springs. Eventually got back to the hostel and after checking in it was over to Bojangles bar for dinner where the group had kangaroo steaks!?! The bar manager decided to take out the snakes that were in tank and i nearly made a break for it as i can now admit a serious phobia of snakes! Bar was full of gags like in the toilet the door handle was the wrong side so you looked a bit of an idiot trying to get in. Also the taps didn't correspond to the sinks and the hand dryers buttons switched the other one on! Slightly infuriating but very funny. Bit of a dance as it was our last night in OZ then back to a nice clean bed!?
Up around 9ish this morning as our flight over to Singapore was about 12ish. Caught a shuttle over to the airport and then boarded the pretty good quantas flight over to Darwin. Quick stop off in Darwin (where i got grilled for not putting my full name on the visa, not allowed to return to OZ for a while) and then a four hour flight over to Singapore. I read HP7 again thanks to not having much else to do! Managed to get beer spilled over my lap as well thanks to an air hostess not noticing the full glass on my table, fun flight! Got in at 7 in the evening and it was 30 degrees!? Slightly hot! Caught a taxi over to our hotel which cost about £7 for a half hour journey, madness really! Settled in and watched a couple of movies before falling straight to sleep!
Slow start as we were enjoying the fact that we were in a proper bed. Decided at 9.45 we weren't going to make breakfast so went back to sleep for a while. Eventually made it up and got dressed to explore Orchard Road, the main road in Singapore. Wondered down and found a burger king before a little walk around in the stupid hot heat. Stopped to watch a band play some show tunes, found the internet for 15 minutes, got some books to occupy our time and eventually made it back to the hotel. Watched a bit more tv and wandered down to the restaurant for dinner before more movies and bed!?
Up early today so we could catch breakfast and Price had planned out and decided we needed to see Singapore so we walked a lot today! Walked over to Chinatown and had a wander through a temple and some markets. Then up through the Quays and saw the Merlion, famous fish/lion thing that is singapore's icon. Stopped off at Singapore cricket ground to watch a few overs before popping our head into St Andrew's Cathedral after looking at some war memorials. Then it was over to Raffles Hotel which i was sure we would get thrown out of! Up to the long bar to get a singapore sling (only one between us, we ordered a coke as well so not to look too poor). After Raffles it was over to the Sultan mosque and Little India which we stayed in only briefly (they set up a market in the middle of the road selling anything they could find and cars had to drive round them!?) Back up through Orchard Road from the beginning to end (a lot of walking) and then back to the hotel. Dinner at the restaurant again and then bed!
Today was recovery. Couldn't really walk any more thanks to the day before so after making it down to breakfast we literally sat on the beds for the whole day. Made it back up for dinner but then back to our room. This day was a pure mooching day as we had pretty much seen everything we wanted to!
Last day travelling effectively so checked out of our hotel and caught a bus into the centre. Then the very impressive subway over to the harbour front and a monorail over to the resort island of Sentosa. Sentosa apparantly holds all the attractions of Singapore you would want to see so after checking out the 38m merlion and the walk around we wandered down to the beach where we had a go on the Luge which Price managed to 2-wheel round a corner. Back up through the little rainforest and stopped at the earth dragon for a picture. Then pirates 4d, a 4 dimensional film experience with leslie neilson and eric idle, not their greatest work! Then wandered back into Imbiah (the lookout) and caught the monorail back into the city centre. Was about 5 o'clock around the time we got back to our hotel so even though we were flying at 11, we still decided to go to the airport as we had nothing better to do! Sat around for 6 hours (with a bit of dinner) and Price making card towers to pass the time. Eventually got on the flight which only took 12 hours to get back and then we were home! Met up with the parents over a coffee from starbucks and eventually got to our respective homes! Holiday was finally over!
Well there we go! That in varied detail was our holiday, beginning to end. Really hoped you enjoyed reading the blogs as much as we enjoyed writing them (when we got round to them!?) I know Price will be adding his own thoughts somewhere in this blog but i would like to say probably some of the greatest months of my life, doing things that i had never done before and i couldn't imagine anyone better to experience it all with!? Now just got to get through Uni! However i now have free laundry again so there is always a silver lining!
Much Love Lammingxxxxxx
Pretty much just going to echo the thoughts of my dear travelling bud, Lamming but we have had the most amazing time and I for one have definitely caught the travelling bug. I know that we have been to some of the more expensive parts of the world and have spent an appropriate amount of money there but I would not have swapped it for 10 times that amount in cash. It has been such an awesome 3 months and coming back it is pretty much impossible to describe half of the things that we have done, such an amazing experience.
Anyway it's lovely to be home and to see everyone again. Have missed a lot of people quite a bit but am going to miss travelling and all the brilliant people we met a lot too. It was the first time I have ever done something like that but I hope so so so much that it will not be the last and that I will get the chance to experience the feeling of what it has been like this last 3 months again.
Thankyou for sticking with us over the last little while, especially with the varying effort put into the blogs and time in between them. It is great to be back though and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Lots of Love James xxxx
OVER AND OUT :)