Archive for the ‘manna’ Category

Recipe for Relaxation

July 15, 2010

(Preface: We were so busy making bubbles and chilling out in Nha Trang that we only remembered to bring out the camera for the cooking class, pictures of which you will find interspersed throughout the following post.)

We had originally planned to follow Hoi An with a lazy few days in Mui Ne, a beachside resort town with sand dunes and wind. But with our newly acquired PADI certificates in our salty hands, we decided that some more scuba diving was in order and we opted to head to Nha Trang, Vietnam’s diving hub, for a few days instead.

Our cooking teacher, Madame Chuon.



Hot in Hue

July 7, 2010

Following our unexpectedly picturesque interlude in Ninh Binh, we continued our southward journey down the curvy Vietnamese coast to the old imperial capital of Hue (pronounced hoo-ay), which sits on the banks of the poetically named Perfume River.

The Hue Citadel by night


The Real Deal

June 28, 2010

Our Mekong region Lonely Planet, unlike our great Footprint South America Handbook, has not been of much use – in fact, more often than not, it has got things completely wrong, causing us to adopt a policy of using its accommodation listings as a guide of what to avoid. But it does suggest going to Ninh Binh, a small town south of Halong, as a way of seeing “the real Vietnam” and a gateway to Tam Coc, or “Halong on the rice paddies”. We heeded its advice and, for once, we were not disappointed. 

Limestone and rice paddies -- Vietnamese beauty as expected.



In the food for love

June 18, 2010

Hong Kong, what an extraordinary place!

Hong Kong night skyline

From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we got back on, we had nonstop fun in this feast to the senses, dazzled by the lights, soaking in the energy of the crowds, eating steaming dim sum, slurping oodles of noodles, awestruck by the buildings, getting soaked in a summer rain storm. Ten days in this incredibly energetic city left us wanting to stay for good, and pining over it over the next few weeks.


It’s different Down Under

June 4, 2010

It was with a heavy heart that we bade farewell to Argentina to fly to Australia.  Our first three months travelling, spent in South America, had allowed us to experience people and places we would never forget.

South America, and Buenos Aires in particular, were very much starting to feel like home. Also, Marc’s Spanish was getting good enough that I didn’t have to do all the talking anymore.  But time was ticking and new horizons were calling. And so we boarded our Qantas flight, armed with books and valium to help us survive the 15-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Sydney.

Never seen that before, whatever could it be?


Buenos Aires mi amor

May 16, 2010

By the time we were heading to Buenos Aires Marc and I had been on the road for two months. Sixty days of seeing new places, eating new foods, meeting new people. All of this discovery had been exhilarating but we were both missing the presence of familiar faces and conversation not our own.

Specifically, we were very excited to see of our friends Zaheer, Alex, Jethro from Paris and Brian from Hong Kong who would be in Buenos Aires to attend the wedding of Felix and Agustina, also Paris friends. And we couldn’t ask for a better location for a reunion.

Le Crew reunited


No Paine No Gain

May 2, 2010

Torres del Paine

Marc: We hadn’t planned to go trekking for four days in a national park in Chilean Patagonia. But after meeting so many travellers who were singing the praises of Torres del Paine we felt compelled to go. It was the best decision we could have made.


Cochabamba Getaway

April 24, 2010

By the time our Uyuni tour was over, neither Marc nor I had showered for – and this is where we give away that we have turned into total stinky hippy travellers – FOUR days.

If you sniff the screen you might be able to smell us.

In our defence, we didn’t really have a choice. We had showered in La Paz the morning we left, then took an overnight bus, then got off in Uyuni only to get straight onto a jeep to be taken to a salt hotel with no showers, then another hotel the following day again with no showers. I had already developed a close-knit relationship with my baby wipes, and we had bathed in the hot springs that same morning, but once our tour was over we were both gagging for a deep clean. (more…)

Salt and Sand

April 13, 2010

Many have seen the pictures but it isn’t until you are there that you can fully appreciate the complete other-worldly landscape of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world, fields of bright white expanse in south western Bolivia. The easiest way to see the flats for yourself is through a tour, which we organised from La Paz so we could just jump off our overnight bus from the capital onto the jeep in which we would spend the next three days, driving through salt and surrounding desert.

This is what we saw:

Welcome to the Salar de Uyuni


Conquering Colca Canyon

March 19, 2010

Following five days of frolicking among penguins, sand dunes and swimming pools, we decided to get serious and finally tackle the altiplano Peru is so well known for. According to our new route devised in Lima, this took us south through Nasca and up to Arequipa on the night bus that would limit our sleep to the rare flat stretches of an otherwise very bumpy and windy road. After nine hours of fitful sleep, we finally pulled into the Arequipa bus terminal at 6am.

Main square in Arequipa

Arequipa, a beautiful city sitting at 2300m above sea level, would serve us as the entry-point into the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world at 3400m, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. In our newfound quest to become “more outdoorsy”, Marc and I decided to go on a three-day trek in the Colca Canyon along with Lars, our new friend from Paracas/Huacachina. We booked our tour and went on a laid-back walk around town to the principal sites, nothing too strenuous, as we had been informed by our guide that we would be picked up at our hostel at 3:00am (!!!) that same night to bus it to Cabanaconde, where we would start our trek. An extremely early dinner at 6pm, and we were in bed by 8.