Sorry that we have not provided an update in a while but here it is.
The adventures have continued from the last blog and have varied from attempted extorsion by Thai minibus companies to surfing with dolphins via some champagne celebrations in Singapore!
We left Koh Tao via an overnight Boat and an overpriced Bus which were it not for some good old british stubborness would have cost us more. there is not much point of reliving it but needless to say that I stand by earlier comments regarding buses. That aside after another cancelled and reorganised flight we made it to my cousins in singapore and happily quaffed a bottle of champagne (veuve cliquet no less) with mark and curly in our first celebration of our engagement.
The following day Kirsty attempted to give me a heart attack. In doing the tourist thing and visiting the Raffles hotel in Singapore, Kirst felt it necessary not just to point out that they 'had a tiffany and co" but then to procede directly inside and start to talk to the assistant all about diamond rings! luckily shes knows at least the range of the budget and the only thing we left with was a booklet all about diamonds and a strong conviction that as i played George Peppard to kirsts, Audrey Hepburn even if Tiffany's did do breakfast, I would not be able to afford it.
Following Singapore we have made our way to the land down under which after SE asia also appears to have been priced by Tiffany and Co. We arrived by night, promptly put on at least 60% of the clothing we owned and then caught the ferry out to Manly from sydney centre to stay with friends, the trip takes you out straight between the bridge and the opera house and it was a great first sight to see. The following morning one of the first things I saw was an aussie bloke unloading tools out of the back of his Ute, Neighbours is a documentary I tell you....awesome!
The thing that stands out about Australia so far is how convenient and abundant the wildlife is, this we have theorised is due to the fact that unlike Borneo and Laos there are no little lads with catapults with an unhealthy interest in eating everything, (in Loas the only thing they don't eat in the countryside is the scorpions, but not to worry as they pickle them in homemade whiskey and then drink it.. medicinal apparently?). Anyway where the UK has crows Sydney has cockatoos and parakeets and bats which are basically the size of a terrior but with wings. The best experiences however were the spotting of Whales from the headlands and the paddle boarding with dolphins. The latter I would love to tell you was as I was hanging 10 or carving a graceful arc down a wave on the board whereas more likely they showed up to investigate the strange animal that kept falling in the water was that was clearly in distress. That said as my friend Towny surfed of down a wave, the dolphins surfed the wave with him all about 3 ft from me (i happened to also be vertical at this moment by shear chance).
From sydney we have travelled to melbourne and then driven nearly back to the new south wales border to see Brett and Robin whom we met in Boreno all those months ago. Orbost is more like the Australia we expected I think as we have driven through the bush, and seen deserted beaches that go on for miles and miles as well as kangaroos and a possum.
Finally, those who were worried that kirsty's talents as both a naturalist and co-pilot after the pig spotting in vietnam were on the wain, fear not as today the narrowly avioded wildlife during a road trip prompted a shout of ... LOOK OUT... HOPPY THING! (Thanks Kirst but they call them Wallabies here).
Next stop, New zealand and with the fittness of your average donut taste tester, the prospect of a few days of skiing, pray for snow folks!
Hope everyone is well