Hong Kong, Big, Bright, modern,traditional, and everything in between. Loved it.

We landed in Hong Kong and it was one of the smoothest airport transitions we’ve had. Hong Kong is fairly high tech and it was like magic, everything just worked.

We bought a SIM card and it instantly worked. We bought an octopus card and took the express train into Kowloon train station where you link up with a free bus shuttle to your hotel.

Our hotel room is more luxurious than we’ve had the last month and there’s a few extra facilities and amenities to make it all a little more comfortable. And I’m sure the power works 24/7 here.

After unpacking a little we were keen to get out and explore a little.

We walked for too long to be honest and we were pretty tired when we returned home to rest. Saying that we passed a little cafe about 100 metres from our hotel that looked great for breakfast.

Waking up slowly and getting our internet fix over with, we headed to that little cafe and had an awesome breakfast and I had my first cup of coffee for quite some time. Apart from a few sips of James over the last month and 2 at Buzz cafe in Coron I’ve not had my own due to not liking the brewed style mostly on offer.

We had also passed a little hair salon also close by and I was keen to get a cut as my hair literally felt like straw after all that swimming and sun in The Philippines.

I’ve never had a hair dresser like it. So casual with how he cut my hair not even combing it down properly smooth before cutting. In the end after he blow dried it, it looked pretty good, but to be honest it’s a bit of a hack job and my darling Susan will sort it out I’m sure when I’m back in Australia.

The hotel here runs a free shuttle service so we hopped on and got off for Mong Kok station.

Where we decided to take the train over to Hong Kong Island to check out where we were meeting Angela and Duncan at 4pm that afternoon. These two are legends we met on our Cruise earlier this year. They lived here for 20 years and gave us so much information on what to do here and then coincidentally were here on a port stop on another cruise!

We checked out our meeting point on Lockhart street and then took an Uber up to Victoria Peak.

Great views to be had here and we were so lucky as Angela had told us about a one hour loop walk to do.

Finding ourselves going down instead of around we asked a couple passing if they knew if we were going the right way. “No” they said but come with us we’re on our way to do it now. We spent a great hour walking and chatting with them as they pointed out landmarks along the way. It was a great time and we’re so grateful for the company and conversation.

Finding ourselves going down instead of around we asked a couple passing if they knew if we were going the right way. “No” they said but come with us we’re on our way to do it now. We spent a great hour walking and chatting with them as they pointed out landmarks along the way. It was a great time and we’re so grateful for the company and conversation.

We took the bus down to meet our friends and we were just a few minutes late but all good and we enjoyed another hour and a half having a few drinks and catching up before they had to start heading back to their ship.

It was fantastic to see them and to see someone familiar, with Andrew, Jung Won and Jett being our last ones in Korea.

We stayed at the pub after they left and the manager came over to chat, she was from the Philippines believe it or not and not the first Filipino we had met that day. We had a great chat about her life there and now.

Once we left there it was time to think about food, we’d only had breakfast and our drinks at the pub all day. We found a Thai restaurant close by and had a great meal. Would you believe we started talking to another couple who came in and she was Filipino and he was American, another couple joined in and they were identical to the other couple in that the man was American and wife Filipino.

Everyone waved us off when we left and we took the train back over to Kowloon to Mong Kok station and walked home, stopping to talk to some woman and their dogs who were so spoilt, they even had a dog pram for them and of course they were Filipino!

A great first day in Hong Kong.

Our second day we again didn’t leave hotel till around 10 am to go for breakfast at our little cafe.

We then took the hotel shuttle down to the waterfront where we bought tickets for The Star ferry, one hour harbour tour.

Weather was cooler and were glad for our warmer clothing.

The commentary was just enough without being boring and it was an enjoyable hour.

We decided to walk back to our hotel via Kowloon park and Nathan road.

Had one stop at the store selling all things Chinese and I was able to purchase some more of the magic potion that is great for stomach upsets.

We were tired when we arrived home and only ventured out to eat dinner almost next to the hotel. Delicious Chinese and we shared a big bottle of Chinese beer, which was good!

Another good day.

Day three and another later start, back to our cafe for breakfast and then walked downtown to go to uniqlo. We intended to go on to the waterfront and catch a couple of local ferries but after our shopping we headed back for a rest before heading out again in the evening. It was Sunday night and in one of the main streets it became like a buskers paradise etc just like you’d find in most cities during the day, but here it was Sunday evening.

We ended up back at our little cafe for dinner and we started chatting with a lovely young local couple Katherine and Alex whom live near by. They gave us a few good tips for other local restaurants and day trips.

We left the restaurant together and walked up the road till they waved us off at our hotel

This is what we love, chatting to locals and getting their tips and views on life.

Day four, actually got to breakfast by 10 am! Chatted with a family from Sweden who also go to the cafe every morning they said.

We took the hotels free shuttle downtown to the waterfront and caught the ferry over to Central station, HK island. Our idea was to catch a ferry to Lamma island but we missed the ferry by “ that much! Next one wasn’t for two hours so we decided to ditch that idea and take the bus to Stanley. Great bus trip, excellent views and freaky trip when on top deck of us right up front.

We walked the markets, the Boulevard, had a snack of dim sum and took a walk around a track that lead us to a little beach, two Buddhist temples,


viewing platforms and a park with wild pigs, ( which we thought was a bit of a joke until we came across them).

Walking back to the beachfront of Stanley through residential area and bus back to Central. Caught the train to Mong Kok station on Kowloon and walked home via a delicious meal of Vietnamese food.

Better have an early night so we can leave earlier than today to get that ferry to Lamma island.

Oh and our breakfast cafe is shut tomorrow so they told us of another place to go. Tick, tick another great day in Honkers.

Day five, having our usual lie in we decided we best not miss that ferry to Lamma island and headed down to the waterfront to catch a ferry, stopping just long enough to devour a McDonald’s breakfast which to be fair is cheap and they make a flat white as well.

Once off the first ferry at Central we boarded the ferry to Lamma island and were quite surprised at one, how long a ride it was and two, how much bigger the island was than we surmised from seeing it from on top of The Peak on our first day.

Lamma island turned out to be a very pleasant experience.

After arriving at the ferry terminal at Sok Kwu Wan and walking past the sea front with the different restaurants offering some great offers on seafood, we took the track to the other side of the island to where the other ferry terminal back to Central is.

The walk/trek to Yung Shue Wan was extremely pretty and interesting with plenty of side paths to explore.

Yung Shue Wan is the more eclectic side of the town with a little slice of Old hippie and new hipster vibe going on, mixed with considerable old traditional charm.

There were old villages, beaches, pavilions, look outs,and great scenery along the way making it well worth an add onto your itinerary of Hong Kong.

Stopping back in town for an late lunch/afternoon tea meal of noodles we arrived back at our hotel for a few hours break before grabbing the free shuttle down to waterfront again to watch the nightly light show.

AQuite a few of the big buildings along the waterfront have some really impressive Christmas lights on them so when the actual light show started it was well to be honest a bit ho hum. Had we not made the effort we would have always wondered if we’d missed something special as it is we enjoyed seeing the Christmas lights around the city so the trip out was a success in that regard.

We had so enjoyed our Vietnamese dinner the night before we bought a serve of takeaway spring rolls to eat back in our room, we think they’re the best we’ve had anywhere and you wrap them in a lettuce leaf to eat them. Along with a individual airline size Aussie red, dinner was done and dusted and we went to sleep for our last time in Hong Kong.

Day six,

Our usual cafe gave us a pleasant final breakfast and the waiter even made me a flat white as he had been on a working holiday in Melbourne. They waved us off like old friends and we were again reminded of why we like to establish a rapport with local eateries by finding one we like and visiting frequently.

Some may say it’s not adventurous of us, but it gives us a sense of being part of a community and that is what makes slow travel appealing to us.

Hong Kong does this remarkable thing of being able to check in and drop your bags off at several of the train stations, great if like us you have a long wait between hotel check out and your plane leaving. Of course we could have left our bags at the hotel and gone back up to get them later but our plan was to spend the day over on Hong Kong Island once we checked out at 2 pm.

Having all that sorted we headed to Hong Kong park and a little late afternoon lunch.

We had so enjoyed our Vietnamese dinner the night before we bought a serve of takeaway spring rolls to eat back in our room, we think they’re the best we’ve had anywhere and you wrap them in a lettuce leaf to eat them. Along with a individual airline size Aussie red, dinner was done and dusted and we went to sleep for our last time in Hong Kong.

Strolling back to the waterfront as the sky darkened into evening then night, as the lights came on and the working day over for the locals, we found ourselves a little rooftop bar, celebrating happy hour and ordered ourselves a couple of N Z reds to pass the time for our last moments of this city.

Hong Kong has been a delight, the city is an eclectic mix of big bright lights and modern skyscrapers while still holding on to some old traditions and its working, just wish they’d all walk on one side of the path, walking the streets here is like playing body dodgems.

Next stop Frankfurt, Germany.


Sometimes travelling is hard work like the day we travelled to Manila from Puerto Princesa. James was back from the dentist and our flight was scheduled for 3:40 pm. We had already had a message that the flight would leave an hour late.

It was also stipulated they wanted us at the airport 3 hours before the flight!! This is a domestic flight we’re talking about.

So thinking ok we’ll not have lunch and grab something there we arrive at the ridiculously asked for time and guess what? It’s delayed again and then again! We ended up at the airport for 5 hours before we got on the plane.

We had decided to stay close to the airport and are glad we did as traffic in Manila is horrendous.

Our stay was at Alicia apartments less than a kilometre from the airport and as only opened four months ago was although fairly bland was comfortable enough. We were a little weary as it was clearly in a shantytown village.

Luckily the new presidents extremely hard stance on crime has cleaned up the city considerably and violence seems to be at an all time low. No beggars and we were once again impressed with the friendly locals.

For our one day in Manila we took the advice of several Filipinos we met and took an Uber into Intramuros which means inside the walls. This area has some of the buildings from the Spanish era here and there were quite a few that were reminiscent of our visit to Cartagena on our cruise.

We took a horse and carriage ride for an hour and got some great ideas of where to go for the rest of our day.

We went and visited gardens, the fort and museum of Jose Rizal. Had a yummy lunch and walked through lots of character full streets.

Not sure if there’s a building code here or not! I’d say it’s a safe guess NOT, when you see some of the structures around. It’s truly surprising they are inhabited by families and trades and haven’t fallen over in a domino effect.


It was a great end to our month here and we left the next morning with one million photos and great memories.

Next stop Hong Kong.


We didn’t have to catch the ferry from Coron to El Nido till midday, so we had a nice lie in before packing the bags! I had a minor meltdown when I couldn’t find my credit card stash, but found them right where I had put them, remembering at the time that I’d probably forget that I’d put them there.

We’ve bought a few things along the way, snorkeling gear, drybags, (which have been the Best Buy with all the trips on the boats and on the back of the scooter on wet days),reef slippers and I bought a new sun hat to replace the $60 US Panama hat that was supposed to be a buy one hat last a lifetime buy! Pfft lasted a month in Bali just.

My new hat cost the equivalent of $4 Aus.

Trying to squish the extra in the bag is getting harder, but we manage somehow.

After packing we decided to shout ourselves a great Aussie breakfast at buzz, where we met a nice couple from Newcastle probably about our age.

The ferry had reserved seating and movies playing so the almost 4 hours passed quite easily and we were snaring our first glances of El Niño before 4pm.

The entry in is awesome and in fact the whole trip we were surrounded by islands making it a very visually interesting trip.

ElNido is a more lively town than Coron and caters for the young tourists with lots of eating and drinking places.

We instantly loved the vibe and are excited to discover this new town.

We got a tricycle to our hotel The Columbus Inn (strange that we will be sailing on the Columbus ship in February ) we were thrilled to discover that although not expensive it was far far far better than our Fawlty tower experience in Coron.

The view out the window is worth it alone.

After unpacking we grabbed a tricycle back into town, our hotel is in Corong a few kms out of the ElNido town.

The tricycle driver dropped us at a restaurant he thought we’d like and we did. And as we’d only had breakfast did justice to the food and drink we ordered.

After a stroll around we headed home as we had a boat tour booked for the next day.

For our first trip we picked tour A one of the two that are highly recommended. To be honest we had a great day but felt it wasn’t as spectacular as the ones we had done in Coron and way more boat/ people traffic.

Saying that we did still enjoy the day mixing with the other people on the tour.

After a shower we decided to head into the town of Corong to look for dinner and buy a few supplies. James had seen an Italian restaurant as we came off the boat trip and we went to check it out. So glad we did, had probably the best meal we’ve had in the Philippines and the wine was the cheapest we’d seen here ever, and was excellent. It was the first wine we’ve had here in Palawan as cocktails are cheaper usually. We will definitely go back.

We had a margarita each, a red wine each, I had a sofa water, James a bottle of plain water, we shared an entree, had a main each, shared a desert and James had an espresso and it was around $45 Aus. Ran into a young couple from our tour who also have recommended a French restaurant so somewhere else to check out.

The hardest part about being in the Philippines is the lack of internet, it just either doesn’t work at all or too slow to download or google.

That restaurant we said we’d go back to, try four nights in a row, to be fair we did try to go somewhere else but they were full.

Not one evening were we disappointed with the food, drink or music at the restaurant, in fact the music was so good we asked the manager one night where he got it, he said just music he’s liked off the Internet, he told us bring in a USB stick and they can download it for us, which we did!

We hired a motor scooter for two days after our first tour on the water and potted around going into El Nido and Dos Cabanos a beach near us.

and we went off heading north to a waterfall.

This was a great experience you hook up with a local guide, about $10 Aus for the two of us and then head off across farmers fields with cows, goats, pigs chickens all running free, cross over streams many times, walk through native vegetation and after around 45 minutes arrive at the waterfall with a beautiful cool refreshing pool to soak in before heading back.

These waterfalls have not been commercialised yet with stalls etc and the track hasn’t been upgraded and I hope it stays that way.

We booked tour B for our next on water adventure and we were pleased as it wasn’t anywhere near as busy at the stops and really quite stunning.

On our tour today we had a couple from Canada and their 7month old son Rowan. What a happy little chappie he was and smiled all day.

Palawan is a tropical paradise and there’s an amazing vista everywhere you look.

It’s different from Bali, there’s not the infrastructure here yet nor the shopping except for wet bags, sun hats, snorkeling sets, reef shoes and a few tee shirts.

Tour shops are everywhere and there are massage spas here as well.

We booked a scooter again for our next two days and have booked tour C for Thursday 16th November.

The first day with the scooter again we went into El Nido and were thrilled that the SIM card we had topped up in Coron but which hadn’t worked at all was suddenly working in town yay! We were able to book accommodation for our two nights in Manila before we fly out to Hong Kong, enjoy a lovely Mediterranean lunch overlooking the water, take the scooter to Dos Cabanos for sunset drinks and a swim before showering and heading back into Corong town for dinner at a restaurant for taco Tuesday with live music and margaritas buy one get one free, what a top day!

Oh and if you didn’t bring your dog on holiday don’t worry the restaurant will let you adopt theirs to sleep at your feet or give a pat too.

Our second day with the scooter we headed to Macpan beach.

This is north from El Nido and we passed the waterfall guide stalls on the way. We had been warned once you get off the National highway that the track road to Macpan beach was boggy after heavy rains, But we went anyway and James did a brilliant job of off-roading riding with me keeping still on the back. Like everyone else who ventured there by bike we were mud splattered on arrival.

The beach is a long stretch of white sands, coconut tree lined beach front with lush green vegetation covering hills at one end and little islands dotted off the coast. The water is turquoise clear and warm enough to dive into but still refreshing. We hired a couple of sun lounges with an umbrella for $10 Aus for the day and settled into a day of reading, swimming and relaxing in this visual paradise.

A couple of little native beach huts selling food and drinks supplied us with a snacking type of lunch, one thing we’ve loved about most of the food outlets here is if they offer fries, they are hand cut and soo delicious.

It was a very happy couple who rode back through the rice paddies with the caribou working the fields with their owners, passing little townships and passing tricycles with sidecars with their livestock of a couple of pigs in each.

The more we stay here away from the big town of Puerto Princesa the more we are falling for the charms of the Philippines.

Of course we ended our day with a shower, had to wash the motor scooter too as was dripping with sloshy mud, had a little nap then headed to our favourite restaurant for some more of their sensational pasta.

Thursday the 16th is tour C Island hopping day. We wake to the sound of roosters every morning and then the little chirps of the baby chickens scratching around in the vegetation at the back of our accommodation, we are snuggled into a hillside here with about 50 steps up to our 2nd floor room (hence the great views).

Tour C was a great day and our pick of the tours here in El Nido.

Another great day mixing with people from all over and we met some totally great ex pat Filipinos living in California for the last 37 Year’s. Will definitely be looking them up when we’re over that way.

Great locations with an awesome reef for snorkeling and excellent company made for a great day.

we decided to walk along the beachfront when we returned in the afternoon for drinks and a few tapas snacks watching the sunset over sunset beach,

back home for a shower and back for a pizza at our favourite restaurant. Another brilliant day.

Having booked the scooter for the next few days, we were hoping to get up to Duli beach but the first day we woke up to torrential rain and we relaxed, reading and dozing off again till midday. Headed into El Nido for lunch and ran into Carlos and Mina, a gorgeous young couple whom we keep running into, Carlos invited us to join them and some other young travellers at the bar for drinks, we had a great time chatting and exchanging tips and stories. Thanks for making our day.

Saturday the 18th November and second day with scooter again, still not looking like a beach day so we decided to head south and just see the countryside. In the end we rode to TayTay a seaside town with a fort, huge Catholic Church and lots of markets. We spotted one other non Filipino there and we did stand out a bit, but everyone is friendly and we found a Pensione that had a restaurant for lunch. As we were leaving a truck with army soldiers came in for lunch. They were all carrying massive automatic rifles AK47 style. If they hadn’t been smiling and said Hello would have been really intimidating, well it probably still was a little to be honest.

The loveliest part is waving to all the smiling kids as they wave to you as you ride past. Even older people wave to us, young folk on backs of trucks even (probably wondering what Lola and LoLo are doing).

Back home we had hot showers as we had plenty of rain on the trip, luckily we had taken our raincoats.

We went into El Nido to pick up the USB stick with the music on from the restaurant manager (they have several restaurants), the town was heaving with people and the busiest traffic we’ve seen here.

Went back to our favourite restaurant and couldn’t believe just as we were finishing up Carlos and Mina walked in. It’s bizarre how that happens, this isn’t that small a town. They were out celebrating Carlos’ birthday.

Our last day in El Nido and the sun was shining so we decided to spend the day at Dos Cabanos beach, we got there early enough to score free sun lounges(with cushions) and spent the day reading,swimming,eating and drinking.

That night we headed out for our last dinner at Tratoria Altrove. The staff gave us a warm welcome and even the manager was there and came over to say goodbye and thanked us for our custom.

Off course we ran into Carlos and Mina again up the lane way and another of the couples we’d met came into the restaurant for dinner.

That’s what we love about staying longer, you make a connection to places and with people.

Our van trip to Puerto Princesa was fairly gruelling considering it was air conditioned, they squeezed too many people in and it’s a long 6 hours from being picked up from our hotel. Never mind we arrived at Floral Villarosa along with another couple on the van and enjoyed the well appointed room and hotel.

Next day Tuesday 21st James got his tooth work finalised and we flew to Manila for our last two nights.


Like all good plans, sometimes things don’t quite go quite as expected. Then you have to improvise and make it work.

So we arrived at the Port at 9:30pm on Wednesday to be turned away. The ferry hadn’t arrived due to a typhoon off the coast of Coron where we were headed.

So back to our hotel Floral Villarosa to see if they had a room for the night.

We have extended our stay here several times which has required us to move rooms and this time we were able to get another room upstairs.

We ended up booking it for two nights as we weren’t going to catch the ferry till late the next night with a 1:30 am Thursday sailing time.

The staff here are fantastic and have really looked after us, helping with phone calls etc whilst we find out what’s happening.

Anyway we arrived at port around 10pm the next night as requested and were pleased everything was going ahead.

It was interesting to watch all the shipping containers being loaded on. This is a goods ferry as well as for people .

We opted for a private cabin, there aren’t many on the ferry but seeing that the alternative is either share a cabin with 2 strangers or sleep in the main sleeping area with 100 or more others in bunks and little facilities we took the more expensive option.

At 5000 pesos around $130 Australian we decided it was great value.

We actually have our own bathroom and there is a set of bunks as well as the queen size bed.oh and a window! Or porthole I should say.

We were pleasantly surprised that they had a nice area at back of ship on top with a bar and live music, and the singers were fantastic. People were writing them requests with a little thank you money so it was very entertaining.

Back in our cabin, with a seasick pill just in case,I slept right through the night and the ferry is so smooth it’s only the engine vibration you can feel.

Just as we were going to sleep there was an announcement with a prayer for a safe trip. And at 6am we were woken with a prayer for the new day and there was a prayer when we arrived as well.

Our tickets include breakfast and lunch and as stateroom guests we went to the Horizon cafe for our breakfast early the next morning as it was served between 7-8 am. James had coffee and I tried one of the two options forgoing the hotdog sausage (now I know why there is so much refrigerated space allocated for them at the supermarket, it’s a staple breakfast item).

To be fair if the chicken and rice served had been hot it would have been quite an enjoyable meal, but cold and served so early I could only manage a few mouthfuls. Looking forward to see what lunch offers, there’s a little kiosk which sells noodle bowls, just add hot water and you’re laughing, so that’s our backup meal.

People have bought all sorts with them on the ferry and quite a few will be going onto Manila. There’s roosters,dogs and potted shrubs and massive boxes of goods.

Again we seem to be the only non Filipinos on board.

Most tourists do the van to ElNido and fast ferry onto Coron before flying back to Manila.

We decided on this option as we need to come back to Puerto Princesa for James tooth repair, but if the impression wasn’t any good and we weren’t going to come back, we were going to be able to fly out of ElNido for Manila. With the ferry only twice a week from Coron, making ElNido our last stop meant we can get a van back to dentist in Puerto Princesa any day of the week.

(Hope you can understand all that).

Anyway back to the travel log, we made it to Coron and hopped on a tricycle to our hotel. The tricycles here are a little different and also have a rear cabin so to speak with bench seats so easy for piling our luggage in and the two of us.

From the outside the hotel GMG looks like a fairly nice establishment in the hub.

But the reality is it’s Fawlty Towers Philippine style.

The pub over the road is called No name, but the GMG hotel should be called No idea.

It’s so farcical it would be funny if it just wasn’t soooo bad.

The free wifi, well you can connect but nothing happens. The included breakfast is practically nonexistent. The room would appear ok but has a bad damp smell, sheets that a too small for the bed, see through towels that seem to be made of Teflon, dust etc. then there’s the bathroom so manky, I had to insist on them cleaning the mound and mildew off the walls while we went out.

We would have left if we hadn’t booked ahead with a travel agent, paying in cash on non refundable booking. To be honest this is not how we normally book accommodation and we only did it as at short notice there wasn’t a lot available.

We certainly thought it sounded ok and the pictures looked ok and it wasn’t that cheap. Certainly more than our hotel in Puerto Princesa so thought it would be fine.

Well the good thing about bad accommodation is that it makes you go out A LOT! And we actually enjoyed all the tours we did immensely.

You come to Palawan for the scenery but mostly for the stunning waters. And Coron certainly delivered in spectacular days out on the water, this is really the place if you love snorkeling and diving and white beaches with tropical outlooks.

We had four days on the water tour A, tour B, reefs and wrecks, and an escapade trip. If you were here on a limited time we would suggest tour B.

We also did an afternoon town tour which was fun going with people and we had a few laughs, the highlights were climbing the 721 steps to the top of the hill behind the town where the big cross and sign for Coron are located, we caught the sunset there and then onto the hot springs which were very hot around 41 degrees and good for those muscles we just gave a workout on the hill climb.

The springs have a beautiful setting at night. We were in a van and I know our friends the Porters did it in a tricycle, I know why Mel said it was scary.

We’ve had some bad food here and some excellent food, check out “ buzz express”for good coffee, even do a flat white, big breakfast, and great meals at night. Its pricier than a lot of places around $30-$40 for two meals with a cocktail, but worth it. You can get fried rice for around $2 at some places.

Something we’ve discovered is Turon banana wrapped in spring roll wrapper and deep fried, delicious!.

Beer is cheap especially at happy hour $1.25 and cocktails too, around $4-$5.

What we have enjoyed is mixing with all the people on the tours. We are usually the oldest but we’ve met people from the Philippines, Taiwan, USA, Canada, Iran, Uzbekistan , Poland, Norway, Spain, England, Slovenia, Russia.

Our next adventure is the fast ferry to El Nido where we have 11 nights booked.


it’s only four hours from Seoul to Manila and another one and a half hour flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa our first stop in the Philippines BUT! it took us almost two days to do this travel.We had breakfast with Andrew Tuesday morning in Songtan ( poor JungWon was back at doctors, she had originally taken sick a few weeks before in Brisbane,tonsillitis).

Andrew drove us to the bus stop and we took the 11:15 bus to Incheon airport.

We just missed the hourly shuttle to our hotel so had a coffee at the airport before the next shuttle.

The hotel had been refurbished since our last visit and was extremely comfortable, a nice last night for our South Korean stay. We reorganised bags and tested weights as we were to be on strict restrictions from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Had a lovely curry and a couple of reds for dinner and set our alarm to make sure we would make the first 6am shuttle to airport  our 8am departure to Manila using Philippine airways.

We had a long wait at Manila for our flight onwards and it was around 7pm that we arrived at Floral Villarosa our hotel for our stay in Puerto Princesa.

This is a lovely little complex, around 11 villas with a great garden and pool. The staff are fabulous and all would be perfect if it was just closer to town. This was going to be a fairly quick four night stay, to unwind and settle into Filipino culture, do a few day trips and discuss our next move.

However James dental work has required us to stay a few days longer and then  a return later to finish it off. We’re waiting to see if the impression taken and flown to Manila is ok, if not another impression will need to be done. The dentist James found online came with some good testimonials and was listed as Vanilla smiles. In fact when we arrived there was no sign for vanilla smiles and we were at a community hospital where doctors each have their own “shop” we did found the dentist (still no sign for vanilla smiles,but they were expecting James).  NEVER NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE WHERE YOU LIVE. That’s not to say they don’t have good medical practitioners here, just that they’re working under hard conditions.

It was two hours before he came out and we were happy to get a tricycle home. A tricycle is a motorbike converted to accomodate up to five people. Every ride around here is 50 pesos around $1.25 Australian. We had gone into the town a bit earlier and found the SM shopping Mall. A 21st century western style shopping centre that was to be honest a welcome sight. It’s hard to say BUT sometimes it’s just nice to find something totally familiar somewhere you wouldn’t expect it, that’s all I’m . We found out a few days later that it only opened last month.

We have had breakfast and dinner every night except one at our hotel as there really isn’t any other options without going into the town centre, too far to walk so we’ve been extremely happy that the meals served are of a good variety and cheap enough. It seems most people staying here are of the same mind and we have all chatted along happily swapping tour advice etc. We’re happy to see that quite a few have been our age group.

Our first full day saw us having a walk around the area around the hotel and quickly realised that there’s not a lot to do here without getting a tricycle somewhere. So after our trip into town and dentist we were back to hotel for a swim in the pool and relax before dinner.

We decided on a Honda Bay tour for our second day and the hotel organised everything, they’re very good. We were picked up in a comfortable van and joined a great group of people for our days outing to three different beaches for snorkeling, swimming, with lunch included.

We visited starfish beach, Luli beach and Cowrie island.

Cowrie Island was our last stop and the one marked for just swimming and sun baking or sleeping, there are beach massages available and a bar serving very reasonably priced drinks, about $4 for a frozen margarita or daiquiri.

Unfortunately when we arrived so did the rain.

However we enjoyed a drink and sat out of the rain after having had a great day already with some good snorkeling.I had taken a seasick tablet and was fine all day, so I was happy.

They had quite a few of these life size sculptures of people, some we recognised, Beyoncé, Hulk Hogan, and others we didn’t, like the football player, golfer, surfer dude, but it added a bit of fun to the place.

Everyone on the tour was lovely, and we had some great chats about where people came from, one couple she was from Uzbekistan and he was Iranian, but they met in Japan and both did their University doctorates here in The Philippines and now live in Colorado.  Anyway everyone waved each other off at the end of the day thanking each other for the good company and wishing safe travels  each other.
Our third day we were thinking of just relaxing poolside but after our breakfast the rain started and we decided to go to the mall and pick up a few toiletries we were running out of.

We were mooching around in our room reading when our neighbour kiwi Kate knocked on the door and asked if we wanted to go out for dinner, she had a few choices and we decided on the Baywalk for dinner. This is an area by the port where pop up seafood restaurants open at night. We couldn’t say yes quick enough.

The poor tricycle all but died with three European sized people in it.

Much to our surprise and pleasure there was a scooter show and shine competition on. These scooters were their owners pride and joy and several had the prerequisite showgirl on their stand. Kate and I tried to do them out of a job with our showgirl pouting skills (don’t think we will get a call back somehow).

Our dinner wasn’t that great and it was really down to thinking a set menu with different tastings would be great value when we should have just chosen a fish and a few of the magnificent looking tiger prawns and had them grilled. Oh well the conversation and company was great and the atmosphere tops.

We have booked a tour of the underground river tomorrow (Sunday)and there is also a city tour you can do so may do that Monday afternoon. Well we had a fabulous day at the underground river, a unesco site and one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. The drive was extremely scenic and reminiscent of Bali with its coconut trees and rice paddies. The exception being NO RUBBISH littering the countryside. There is a fine for first two offences then a higher fine and six month Gail term for a third. Clearly working.

It also had a look of French Polynesia with its mountain ranges as well.                                                                                                         It was delightful to be part of a group where we were the only non Filipinos to enjoy this incredible day.

We arrived at Sabang harbour and distributed into outrigger boats for the trip to the beach where the underground river begins.

The strict conservation regulations put in place have kept this area pristine and I congratulate the Filipino community for their strong stance. It’s like a lost paradise and the trip through the river is one we will remember as a highlight of our time here.       It’s breathtaking and I can’t recommend this trip highly enough for anyone visiting this area.

Once at the beach you walk through the forest to an area where you are given a safety helmet along with the life vest you have been wearing since the Sabang harbour and into a boat with a guide with a strong torch and the tour begins.

They warn you not to open your mouth and go WOW as the cave is inhabited by bats and you could get a mouthful of bat 🦇 pee. They also ask everyone to not talk and not touch anything to keep it pristine for future generations.

This allows for a beautiful serene and awesome experience where the headphone guides you are each given relays all the information you need as the boatman glides you through the one and a half kilometres that tours take you. The river is in fact over 8 kilometres but that’s restricted. Not a bad thing for preserving something so special.

The stalagmites and stalactites and other rock formations including cathedral sized areas just showed why this has natural World wonder and unesco listing. Photos didn’t come out so well but we will remember it forever. Lunch was included and at around $55 Aus great value.

We did indeed book the city tour for Monday afternoon. Another thoroughly enjoyable day as yet again we were the only non Filipinos on the excursion. It’s been great to talk with everyone  and laugh and enjoy our tours together.

Once at the beach you walk through the forest to an area where you are given a safety helmet along with the life vest you have been wearing since the Sabang harbour and into a boat with a guide with a strong torch and the tour begins.

They warn you not to open your mouth and go WOW as the cave is inhabited by bats and you could get a mouthful of bat 🦇 pee. They also ask everyone to not talk and not touch anything to keep it pristine for future generations.

This allows for a beautiful serene and awesome experience where the headphone guides you are each given relays all the information you need as the boatman glides you through the one and a half kilometres that tours take you. The river is in fact over 8 kilometres but that’s restricted. Not a bad thing for preserving something so special.

The stalagmites and stalactites and other rock formations including cathedral sized areas just showed why this has natural World wonder and unesco listing.

Photos didn’t come out so well but we will remember it forever.

Lunch was included and at around $55 Aus great value.

We did indeed book the city tour for Monday afternoon. Another thoroughly enjoyable day as yet again we were the only non Filipinos on the excursion. It’s been great to talk with everyone and laugh and enjoy our tours together. I think the highlight was the butterfly eco garden and tribal village.

We were guided around by I’m quite sure a ladyboy who was as tall as James and so enthusiastic about what there was to see.

We saw beetles, scorpions, unique geckos, millipedes, crocodiles, butterflies etc but the highlight was the tribal village. This is a place where The tribespeople from the highlands come and stay, sometimes a few days sometimes a week or more and sell their handiwork and catch up with family.

They also show visitors parts of their way of life. Musical instruments and singing, blowpipe demonstration, how they make a fire with flints, (if I go on survivor I’m taking one of these people).

Anyway it was a very special time and they were truly lovely and friendly. And no big sell. They just wanted people to know about their culture. You could buy some of their handicrafts but there wasn’t any pressure.

This is in the butterfly enclosure.

Another great sop was at Binuatan creations. Here they make fantastic bags, wallets, lanyards, coin purses etc and you can all have a turn trying to weave.

James also found a new musical instrument there.ter the tour finished we asked to be dropped off at the SM mall as we had to finish paying and pick up vouchers for our next adventures in Palawan.

We visited a local travel agent in the morning to purchase tickets for the overnight ferry to Coron.

We leave midnight Wednesday Nov 1st and arrive at 3pm Thursday. We booked a private cabin and including breakfast and lunch at about $130 Aus we thought good value.

We will have a week there and we booked accommodation with the travel agent for Coron and also ElNido where we will take the fast ferry to on the 9th November staying till the 20th when we will return to Puerto Princesa for the fitting of James dental repair, it’s like a crown but not.

We have filled our time here quite easily as it turns out and are looking forward to the next chapter of our month in the Philippines.

On a side note I just had to include this photo of the fridges at the supermarket and how much space is used for hot dogs! The same amount of fridge space is used for all those other incidentals like milk, cheese, yoghurt etc.

James also found a new musical instrument there.ter the tour finished we asked to be dropped off at the SM mall as we had to finish paying and pick up vouchers for our next adventures in Palawan.

We visited a local travel agent in the morning to purchase tickets for the overnight ferry to Coron.

We leave midnight Wednesday Nov 1st and arrive at 3pm Thursday. We booked a private cabin and including breakfast and lunch at about $130 Aus we thought good value.

We will have a week there and we booked accommodation with the travel agent for Coron and also ElNido where we will take the fast ferry to on the 9th November staying till the 20th when we will return to Puerto Princesa for the fitting of James dental repair, it’s like a crown but not.

We have filled our time here quite easily as it turns out and are looking forward to the next chapter of our month in the Philippines.

On a side note I just had to include this photo of the fridges at the supermarket and how much space is used for hot dogs! The same amount of fridge space is used for all those other incidentals like milk, cheese, yoghurt etc. And these new flavour ice creams, avocado macchiato, and avocado and peanut butter, didn’t try either so can’t give it the thumbs up or down.


Leaving Sanur feeling that we would be happy to be here again we headed to the airport for our two flights which would take us to our next and much anticipated stop Korea. I was very excited to see my son Andrew and his family, my lovely and oh so good to us daughter in law JungWon and our only grandchild Jett, whom is fast approaching 9!
So our flight from Bali to South Korea was fairly cheap but I have to say we weren’t impressed with Malaysia Air. The tray tables were filthy and there was someone’s used toothpick stuck to the back of the seat in front of me. The toilets smelt and the food was just inedible, in fact it looked like cat food.

The only great thing was that we made our connection from Kuala Lumpa with plenty of time and we landed on schedule into Incheon early Friday the 13th.

Very happy mummy and Halmoni to see my big boy Andrew, JungWon and Jett, waiting for us at the airport. It was very good of them to get up at 5am so they could pick us up before having to start work early afternoon.
It’s quite a drive from the airport to Songtan where we stay at The Pacific hotel. 

The hotel is pretty decrepit but the room is big, it has a bath! and it’s close to the Osan, American airbase so there is lots going on around the area.

The owners an older couple (mama usually has her hair in curlers) are very friendly and helpful. Our room is about $64 a night and you can get your laundry done for free and use the hotel van for free locally.

After we had dropped Jett off at his school and Andrew and JungWon dropped us off at our hotel, we walked up the street for a coffee at McDonalds, haha who should we see there but Andrew and JungWon.
Later we walked around the town and through the traditional markets where I organised for some trousers to be taken down, $3 what a bargain, this was all organised by our second language which we’re fluent in, CHARADES.
After a snack at local street stall and a rest we headed back up for pizza and called it a day.

Saturday morning we decided to walk to the traditional weekend markets (Which the English speaking pizza shop owner had told us about) we wandered around happily for several hours before heading back for our 2pm pick up from family.

We had a lovely afternoon at a large 

Before heading off to Korean BBQ.

There was a festival happening in the area around the restaurant and whilst his mum and dad did a quick speed shop we took Jett off to play a few side show games which he blitzed and won himself a couple of soft toys. He also had a ride and feel asleep along with poppa on the way home.

Sunday was my birthday and as a treat we were off to Everland, a Dreamworld come Movie World, come animal park.                   What a day! And what a night!

Fairly tired little vegemites that night as we headed home around 8:30pm with an hour drive ahead.

We popped up to the corner of our street for a shared kebab before we went back to our room to start packing for our trip to Busan starting the next morning Monday the 16th.

We were able to leave our suitcases at the hotel and only bought the barest minimum with us for our four nights in Busan.
Andrew and JungWon picked us up and took us to the station in the morning and we were off….

The train travels at up to 300 km an hour and it was just over two hours later that we arrived at Busan train station at 11:50 am.

We easily found the bus stop we needed and our bus came along in less than a minute. This is where the internet really comes into its own! Finding transport and timetables.

James showed the driver a photo from the hotel we were going to and he asked if anyone on bus knew which stop. Yes someone did and they made sure we got off where we should, unbelievably right outside our hotel door.

Everyone is friendly and helpful in Korea especially if you smile.

We have also decided Koreans are big on CUTE, cute little puppies, animations, and neon signs. Outside our hotel here in Busan it looks reminiscent of Times Square New York.

Citadines hotel is fantastic!

Great location, from being close to beach, shops and hospital.

Why the hospital you say!

Well 3 hours before leaving Bali James had a tooth break! (His turn for needing a dentist).

With no time there, when we reached Seoul he made contact with our hotel in Busan and they set up a dentist visit at the local hospital which also unbelievably had a foreign guest department! What’s the chances of that all within 150 metres from our hotel on same side of the street.

We were stunned at how efficient it all was and NO WAITING. James’s appointment was for 3:30pm but getting there 20 minutes early they saw him there and then with an English translator.

$42 how great is that. He needs a crown and since they couldn’t get that done in the time we have in Korea, smoothed the edges and gave him his records to take on. What service, totally feel that the dentist god has been shining down on both of us this year.

So to top off an already great start we were upgraded from a room to a full apartment, LUXURY we have not had so much living space since we left home in May and it’s been fantastic.
We’ve even bought a few groceries and will cook bacon and eggs tomorrow for breakfast.
James is soaking away in said bath as I write this, I’ve already had mine and I’m sitting at the office desk in provided dressing gown with a glass of red.

NOT TOO BAD, oh and eating Camembert infused roll.

After the dentist we had a huge walk all along the sea front and past all the tall buildings and onto fishing village before heading back towards hotel.

After walking through the traditional markets with a lot of very weird and not “quite” our thing seafood dishes we ended up at a Saigon cafe eating Pho and shrimp cakes for the grand total of less than $8.00.

We have a movie complex inside the hotel building and we purchased tickets for Bladerunner, the movie was the original English version with Korean subtitles and at $9.00 each we had a great end to our first day in Busan, oh and we had a little party in the theatre with potato chips, chocolate peanuts,popcorn and ice creams. I know SO SO naughty but we loved every mouthful, (small sizes obviously).. it was after midnight when we turned off the light after looking at all the neon signs out the window.

I was knackered the next morning and was a late start before we headed off, for brunch and onto the information centre.
In the end we did a loop of the hop on hop off bus (the shorter one) leaving the longer one for another day as we had started so late.

A great day! 

We got off at the first stop at Moontan road and went off walking through the bush which we thoroughly enjoyed. Sea was peeking through the trees and it was so peaceful.

 We ended up walking some of the ancient railway of Donghae Nambucca line, now not in use they say you can walk it with your family, lover or friends. 

We ended up in the fishing village of Cheongsapo where we were able to reconnect with the bus (slightly relieved 😅 would have been some steep climbing back otherwise)

This also looked like a place we could spend more time in and could have walked to the next stop had we not wanted to get to the Haedong Yonggungsa temple.

What can I say about this Buddhist temple, WOW just doesn’t cover it, really was beautiful and in such a magnificent location.

Back on the bus and past all the other stops including the largest department store in the world!! (I know right, what discipline) till we arrived back to the start and off we went for a little walk around the town/city some more.

We bought our wine etc and after stopping in for a little Saigon fried rice and dim sum from our little cafe from the previous night headed home.

We are feeling very relaxed and thoroughly enjoying our life on the road. 
The luxury accommodation doesn’t hurt I have to say.

Wednesday arrived with cool brisk winds and the odd sprinkle of rain, considering its half way through autumn here we’ve been very lucky, so we decided to take the hop on hop off bus again doing the other available route and not get off but use it to get our bearings and file away ideas if we visit here again.
After a loop we stayed on and got off at Centum where that huge department store was.We weren’t really interested in shopping but like looking at what’s available and after a while we decided to head back to our apartment and catch up on a few office chores before heading out for dinner.

Thursday was sunny and after our home cooked breakfast, (second day running) and a coffee stop we took the small local bus back to the fishing village we had walked to through the Bush on our first day of using the hop on hop off bus. 

From here we Walked to Songjeong Beach.

On the way there is this awesome viewing platform where we had to wear slippers over our shoes. It had glass floors in parts and was just a great thing, all free and with an attendant as well.

James with one of the friendly locals, wearing his best country and western outfit.

We caught a different bus company home, but very pleased with ourselves for working out how to use the local buses from our phone apps.

Tomorrow we head back to Seoul for our final five nights in Korea before we head to The Philippines.
We have really enjoyed this side trip to Busan and are thankful for all the friendly people we have met along the way, many just simply wanting to find out where we’re from and why we’re visiting Korea and have a little chat using their English before waving to us as we all go off on our separate ways.


We usually find a place we’re happy with for breakfast or mid morning coffee and tend to keep returning, this is also a way of making us feel more of a local as much as knowing that what we get is consistent.
In Busan it was Holly’s coffee shop. Here is Songtan it’s the local McDonalds.                             Don’t judge us! It’s also about the wifi too.

We made it back to Songtan, remembered to bring our travel card ( like our opal card) from last year, and transferred from fast train to the subway then walked the final couple of hundred yards back to the hotel Pacific.

We had arranged to catch up the next day with family so went up street for the best calzone ever before settling in for the night.

Saturday family picked us up and we drove to Suwon another large city in the Seoul precinct. 
There is an old Korean fortress and the largest local markets ever, imagine The Grand Bazaar Istanbul.

Sunday family picked us up at 1:30 and we all went to the movies together. GeoStorm English with Korean subtitles so easy for us.

Actually better than we expected and no one was complaining about the caramel popcorn either.                                                                                                                                                              We actually got to get the pirate kite up in the park nearby the theatre but the wind was swirling and inconsistent so will keep it for a beach day I think. It did cause some interest though, one guy asked James where he got it and thought Bali, Indonesia was a brand name..

One little guy about 7 was fascinated and probably the most excited when it did get up for a while.

JungWon and Jett had bought a boomerang back from Australia and that also got a workout.

James and I had had Mexican the night before and the family were happy to go there for dinner so it was a margarita each for James and I for the second night in a row. 
We ended up with desert at MacDonalds for those who were keen, I was full of Mexican and not even slightly interested, but Jett enjoyed his ice cream.

That was to be the last time we would see Jett this trip so it was a teary Halmoni kissing him goodbye till next time. 

 Andrew and JungWon will come Tuesday morning for breakfast before we take bus to airport area for our last night, we have an early flight Wednesday for the beginning of our next adventure to The Philippines. We will arrive in Manila late morning and take the 5pm flight to Palawan, staying at least 4nights in Puerto Princesa where James has an appointment about getting a crown at the dentist there. We will play it as it rolls from there.
While we have been here we’ve been corresponding with mates from our 2010 Cosmos tour and organising a reunion trip in 2020. Obviously won’t get everyone onboard but there are enough interested and we look to have decided on a tour which we can extend to include another exciting destination and that seems to be equally exciting to some of the others as well. Seems like a long time to go but we know it will be an awesome trip with some of the greatest folks we’ve been lucky enough to meet.


After spending our first week socialising we began our second week settling into what long stays are all about, ambling around finding new favourite coffee,drink and food places, walking different roads and organising our next ports of calls.
We are still trying to sell a property in Australia and having no interest in the one we have on the market at the moment have been trying to arrange the paperwork to list a second property with the view that which ever one sells we’ll keep the other.
Along with insurance renewals being sent to old no longer in use emails and the most frustrating to date problem, trying to arrange where we can pick up visas that we need for our second cruise we have realised why it’s essential to have these longer stays. You need to have time to get the nitty gritty of life sorted which believe it or not still happens even when you’re retired and living on the road.

( more on our visa hassles as they come to hand, let’s just say the cruise company have a lot to sort out due to bad planning and we may need to rethink our plans a little and at this stage we may be doing less of the trip than we thought).

You also want the time to enjoy where you are and make sure you’re getting the most of what this life of travelling is all about.

We’re really happy with our accommodation whilst cheap due to a monthly discount rate of 6,500,000.00 Indonesian rupiah ( around $650.00 Aus) we still have a pool, aircon, fan,hot water shower, water cooler,fridge, cleaning and breakfast daily.

We’ve been here long enough to see people come and go and although we get a few our age it’s mostly young couples or friends travelling together and they’re predominantly from Germany, The Netherlands, Poland and France.

Its nice chatting with them all and there’s a friendly vibe around the place. We often might spend an hour or so in the afternoon reading and dipping in the pool before having an afternoon nap before heading out for dinner.


We have had the same breakfast every day at our guesthouse, James scrambled eggs and I have an omelette. You get fruit and toast as well and there is the option of Indonesia breakfast but we keep that for lunch or dinner.
Not only do we like our Luhtu coffee shop on the waterfront where if we’re lucky we can get two of their four sun loungers with umbrellas and spend 2-4 hours there taking a dip and ordering something to eat or drink every hour or so to keep in their good books but their food and drinks are good value and tasty, ” win win for us”.
We have another couple of favourites, one called ‘The Owl’ a groovy cafe/restaurant just a few shop fronts from our accomodation where the coffee is good as is their chocolate milkshakes and food. We’ve been known to have coffee there in the morning turn up for lunch then backup for dinner.

We often share a meal so we’re not actually being as gutsy as it sounds.

PANCAKES at The Owl, $2.50 

The great thing about having regular spots is they now recognise us and at The Owl they say “2 flat whites” each morning we pop in, and wave if we’re just walking by.
Same at the Whitesands bar where we’re at right now watching the NRL grand final ( maybe I’m not showing as much interest as I should! Nah no NSW teams) when we walk past they always wave and say hi. We usually book two seats for the games so they know who we are and today as soon as we turned up without having to say anything they said ” table six” where there is the sign James 2ppl.

At The Owl we have met a guy originally from Belgium an artist now living in Sri Lanka, and having to do a visa run decided it was time to revisit Bali. He’s well eccentric and often has feathers pierced through his ears but he’s quite the character and we’ve had a few laughs with him and been quite amazed at his recollection of world events etc.
The other night we went to a restaurant down the street as James fancied a Weiner schnitzel lol anyway we had a great night drinking half price cocktails after I made sure they made them with real alcohol and not local homemade, and singing along with the live singer/ guitarist who was calling out for requests. 
Most nights though we eat at the local traditional markets where the meals cost between $1-$3 Australian dollars, unreal! The big Bintang beer is more expensive at $3.50!

I’m thrilled the stall selling Martabak an Indonesian favourite of mine is back at the market after the owners have had their holiday. It’s delicious and it’s great watching the owner get a ball of dough flatten it out then start whirling it and slapping it down till it resembles an extremely thin see through circle ( like pizza base ) which he then places into boiling hot oil in a flat bottom wok/pan and pours in a beaten egg and vegetables mixture before folding the outside of the dough over each other making a square which is deep fried until golden and sliced up into the delectable pieces of food heaven that it is.
There’s a great vibe and atmosphere here and as you sit at tables on plastic stools vying for a spot at the table with people from all over the world you usually get involved with a conversation with someone. 

Every one is on holiday, jovial and we’ve been surprised at how many are here for a month or longer like ourselves.

Most are European here but we did chat with a couple of nice guys from Sydney the other night. They both were bored with their jobs and decided to chuck them in and are here for 2 months and then going onto East Timor. Then home to build a cottage on back of their property so they can rent both and maybe travel more. 

Another older German couple are here for their 18 th visit to Sanur and are as sunbaked brown as you can get, something we don’t see much now in Australia but here we see people lying out in the sun for hours and we just marvel at how “sun educated” we’ve become in Australia. We shared a table and tapped glasses with a cheers and skol. 

It’s great hearing other people’s stories and plans, it excites the wonder/ wanderlust in us and we’re gathering ideas and hints as we listen.

Someone we’ve met and looking forward to catching up with in her home near Bordeaux, France is Brigitte, we met at our guesthouse and when she moved onto Kuta we got an uber over and we walked along the beach, paddling our toes until we got to Seminyak where we enjoyed lunch together, laughing and sharing stories. 

Brigitte is home now to her little dog Lilly whom she was missing.


Staying at our budget priced guest house allows us to take off for a few days and not worry about the cost of still paying for our base accommodation and that being the case we booked the D’camel fast ferry to Lembongan for a three night stay. What was great is they picked us up here and delivered us to our home stay on Lembongan as well and the reverse on our return.

We took a recommendation for Perdana homestay at Mushroom beach on Lembongan and were surprised when we went to pay that the price was cheaper than quoted on Booking.com, not only that but we had a free upgrade for the first night.

In the end it worked out at about $31 a night including breakfast.

It was raining on the first day so we had a walk around and just relaxed reading books.

There was a restaurant at homestay directly across from ours and we dined there the first night where we met a lovely couple Bert and Louise whom live in The Netherlands. We ran into them again the next night when coincidentally we all chose to eat at a restaurant overlooking the waterfront beach. 

We had gone there with Lisa a Canadian we met at our homestay. She is travelling for six months on her own with friends and her husband joining her at different places along the way.

Our second day the weather turned sunny again and we hired a scooter from our accommodation and rode of exploring. We had a fantastic day riding around and over the yellow bridge to Ceningan where you can’t take a car so the scooter was brilliant. So many great spots and views.

Back over the bridge to Lembongan we travelled around the island going through Mangrove bay, circling back to our guesthouse.

On our third day we had a snorkelling trip organised through the guesthouse and off we went to snorkel with Manta Rays and then on to coral, infested with a gorgeous range of coloured fish.

I believe the third stop was just as great but I had succumbed to a bit of seasickness and didn’t feel up to swallowing anymore sea water as my snorkel wasn’t the best and part of the reason I wasn’t feeling so great.

Lesson to self: always carry some seasick tablets for just in case!

It didn’t spoil my day and the ride back was fine.

Those Manta Rays are MASSIVE!!! 

What an experience this year swimming with stingrays in Bora Bora and Manta Rays in Indonesia.

After returning and having a little rest we went off again on the scooter finding more secluded or beautiful spots and we really enjoyed our time on Lembongan.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so great the day we were leaving and instead of spending a few hours on the beach it was only a short time we got but were surprised at how cool the sea temperature was at Mushroom beach compared to where we had gone snorkelling.

As arranged they picked us up from our homestay and it was time to wave the friendly staff goodbye and to reluctantly leave this little cutie and her sister. 

Teddy and Beary are the cutest little mini Pomeranian puppies you’ve ever seen.

We arrived back “home” to Sanur and after a shower headed off for a cocktail at The Glasshouse then went off to book a stone massage, as they could fit us in then we decided why not! Cannot highly recommend this place enough Sanctuary spa in Sanur. Very professional and great experience each time.

We have booked in for a facial each today ( Wednesday 11th October) our last full day here in Bali.

After our massage we floated off to the market for dinner.
Today we revisited out favourite Owl Cafe and had a manicure for James and a manicure and pedicure for myself on way back to our little home.

We have our facials in a couple of hours so have been catching up on office work for James and my blog for me. 

I’ve also coloured my regrowth this morning and sewn up the edge of my Panama hat which was coming adrift… “buy a Panama hat”they said, “it will last a lifetime” they said haha two months later I’m already repairing it. 
What can I say! We’ve had a great time again in Bali and if we didn’t have more adventures planned would be a sad couple leaving tomorrow.

Instead we’re very excited to see our family in South Korea. 

Yay the dream keeps unfolding.

You’ve heard of the yellow brick road, below is our trip over the yellow bridge.