Thursday, 22 May 2008


Just to say, we got home safe and sound, having had a really great time on our trip. It feels strange that it's over and we've done it now, after the months of planning and working in order to do it!
It really was a fantastic journey and we've both got lots of great memories that will stay with us forever.
We're both really glad to be home though. Thanks for reading, everyone!
Jack and Sarah

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Hey y'all! We're now in Los Angeles for our last few days of the trip before we head home. The flight from Fiji was very long and we're both a bit jet-lagged. Our hotel is ok, though, with lots of interesting original 1920's features but it's in a bit of a scary part of town- everyone keeps warning us not to go out at night! There are sirens outside all night, but we're fairly sure that there's a fire-station down the road from us. Fairly sure.

Yesterday we went to Hollywood, and walked along the Walk of Fame, with all the movie star names in the pavement. We went to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which has all of the handprints in the concrete in the forecourt; Jack has the same size hands as Kevin Costner, and Sarah's are the exact same size as Julie Andrews' hands. Then we went to into
Hooters for some cake; quite an eye-opening experience! :D

Today we went to Venice Beach, and Sarah, having managed to avoid getting sunburnt in Fiji and Australia got burned on our second-to-last day. Grr. No sunbathing, though, we spent the day walking up and down the promenade looking at all the weird and wonderful stalls- not to mention the interesting people we saw too!There was an old rastafarian on skates playing the electric guitar all day, a body-building man/woman in a gold bikini, and a guy who came up to us and said, "The tracks were huge, man! I mean how did all those tiny Chinese people build such big tracks?!". Needless to say, there were quite a few shops selling 'bubble pipes', and a guy sitting on the floor with a sign saying 'WILL WORK FOR MARIJUANA'.

Unfortunately there weren't any bodybuilders at Muscle Beach today- they must've seen Jack coming and felt intimidated.

That's about it for today... we're
hoping to go to Universal Studios tomorrow, and we're flying home after that!

We've had a really great time on our travels, everywhere we've gone, but we're both really looking forward to getting home and seeing everyone again!

See you really soon!

Lots of love

Jack and Sarah

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Fiji photos

Jack at 'Castaway' Island


Our second cruise, the old sea-dog, 'Seaspray'.
Sarah on Mala Mala Island

Mala Mala Island

In the jungle!

Fire dancing

Our first breakfast in Fiji- coconuts on the beach!

Fijian sunset :D

Sarah writes, as Jack is hiding from the rain in our beach hut.

No pictures in this one... Just thought we'd let you know some of what we've been up to in Fiji so far! Well, our second cruise was not as successful as we could've hoped- the weather was terrible, and we'd decided that morning not to bring our raincoats with us, as they'd not been needed the day before. Big mistake. The boat, built in 1928 in Glasgow apparently, was smaller than the brochure had led us to believe, and it was pretty packed. This wouldn't have been a problem, but the rain was so strong, only the seats in the middle of the canopy were anywhere near dry, so Jack and I sat on a bench right at the front and just got completely drenched straight away.

We sailed to a group of islands called the Mamanuca's, and stopped on a small island to visit a traditional Fijian village. We were taken into a large hut where it seemed most of the men of the village had turned out to greet us, and the women were all sat in the rain waiting to sell us shell jewellery. We were then part of a Kava ceremony- Kava is a traditional narcotic drink that is greatly valued amongst Fijians, and is often presented as a gift in return for being allowed into the village.

It looked like dishwater, and it tasted a bit like mud. But, it would've been rude not to drink it, and they say you haven't been to Fiji until you've tried Kava.
The narcotic aspect of the drink had no effect on me, as I remarked to the flying pink weasels as they leapt out of the sea.

We then got back on the boat and sailed to the island where they filmed 'Castaway', the Tom Hanks film. By this time the rain had stopped, but we were all completely soaked, so we jumped in the sea to dry off. It was fantastically warm and the island was just beautiful. We did a bit of snorkelling- even me! For those of you who don't know, I hate swimming in open water, and I freak out if a fish swims near me. This stems from a traumatic incident with an angry turtle, which I won't go into right now.

But it was just lovely- the fish and the coral were just beautiful, I even chased the fish around. Jack said just the snorkeling made the whole (thus far, a bit soggy) cruise completely worth it.

We arrived at our new hotel, The Beachouse on the Coral Coast, yesterday. It's just lovely here- Danielle and Megan recommended it really highly too. It's right on the beach which is fantastic- white sands, huge palm trees, hammocks, a pool. Our room is very cool too, it's a large wooden hut. That's pretty much all there is to it, but it's lovely; painted bright yellow and green on the outside, and wooden shutters to keep the (now pretty persistent) rain out.
Today we both had a full body massage for an hour for only about GBP 7 (there's no pound sign on this keyboard), it was just fantastic. And the ladies were really lovely, they fussed over Jack (as ladies tend to do), and put some lotion on my numerous mosquito bites.
The problem with this humid, wet weather is at night the place becomes overrun by toads- they chased Jack back from the bathroom last night, so now we don't go out without a torch!

Now that we have pretty easy access to the internet, it gave us a chance to have a look at all our accommodation again on, where we originally booked them. We had written a pretty unfavourable review of the hostel in Beijing, and when we checked the site again, we saw that they had replied to our comments accusing us of slander-Luckily, we don't have the option of replying again, or I would probably be engaged in a full-blown argument with some random Chinese person they obviously pay to do their internet business. You know me. It made me pretty cross for a while, but now I find it quite funny- check this out:

"This a slanderous statement based on the guests own belligerent motive rather than the true state of our hostel."

Fine, I admit it... my belligerent motives do move me to slander from time to time. I just can't help it, ok?!
Jack found a Praying Mantis in the bathroom here; he tried to blow it away but it just stared him down until he left, only to be attacked by legions of toads.

I think that's all for now, we'll add some photos from Fiji soon. Jack will be back too, he just didn't want to encounter any toads on the way here.


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The one you've all been waiting for...

...if you read our last post. Readers of a sensitive nature, turn away now.

Now we've got that over with, here are a few pics of our trip back up the coast in Australia.

An amazing viewpoint on top of a mountain near Kangaroo Valley

Sarah driving off without Jack...

Back on the beach at South Durras.

Jack made friends with a flock of Orikeets.

This waterfall was vertical... I just downloaded the picture wrong.

Sarah at her old house in Ingleburn! :D

Monday, 5 May 2008


Bula! Yep, we're now in Fiji.
On our way back to Sydney we stopped off at a couple of different places, but we made sure we went to South Durras again... although we felt we were being treated a little frostily by a couple of the locals. Jack had just come out of the sea and was talking to Sarah who had been reading her book (Lord of the Rings, by the way... no chick-lit trash for me! :P). A couple of elderly ladies approached and so we both smiled and said hello, expecting the usual "G'day" in return... however they just glared at us and mumbled some sort of greeting, and hurried away. We were both a bit puzzled, but soon forgot about it until a bit later when Jack turned to walk back down the beach, and Sarah noticed the huge rip in the back of Jack's swimshorts exposing his little white bum to the world (and, apparently, those two old ladies). Heeheehee.
(Illustrations are on the way)

Our last few days of our Aussie adventure were a bit different from the rest- we headed inland to a place called Cambelltown, where Sarah's lil sis was born, and then we drove up the road to Ingleburn to see the house the Baillie's lived in, and the club where they saw Rolf Harris perform. Ah, joy.
Then we stayed at a caravan park on the outskirts of Sydney for two nights, and Jack went a bit stir crazy... it was a pretty horrible site; in fact it was more of a 'trailer park' than a holiday park (lots of people with mullets and checked shirts living there full time). What's the point of a caravan if you don't move it?! Some (such as the Top Gear guys) would say, what's the point of a caravan at all? But actually we really enjoyed our little campervan holiday, and Sarah is now the queen of cooking Spaghetti Bolognaise in the back of a van.

We handed the van in the next morning (driving through Sydney during rush hour is not for the faint-hearted), and pegged it to the airport with only an hour or so to spare.
But with only a small amount of time before her flight, Sarah managed to buy... her SECOND pair of Uggs!!! Extravagance! For those who are interested, they're tall black ones. :D

The flight was fine, and Jack charmed his way into an exit seat to accommodate his long legs. But when we got there, Sarah's seat was smaller than any other seat in the whole plane, as she was sat behind the bulk of the emergency door (Jack assures me that this is where they keep the slide), and could only stretch her legs out diagonally. To top that, our tv screens were the only ones on the plane that didn't work, and the air hostesses kept forgetting about us. Other than that, the flight was fine!

Eventually we got to our hotel in Fiji, and we didn't really know what to expect, as it was only a small backpacker's digs. However, it has been lovely- the fact that it is small means we get the pool to ourselves most of the time, and the staff are really helpful. We were sitting by the pool yesterday when the manager came out and pulled a coconut off a tree for us!
Last night we went for dinner at a hotel along the road and were treated to a Samoan Fire Dance show, as well as some traditional Fijian dances- lots of bottom shaking involved there! At one point, we were amongst the helpless 'volunteers' pulled up to the front to join in a dance called the 'Snake Dance'. It was embarrassing... nuff said.
The fire dancing was pretty spectacular, too.

The weather has been lovely, although today was a bit overcast. However, that was perfect for our trip out to Mala Mala Island today. It's a 6 acre, uninhabited island with white sand beaches and a coral reef surrounding it. We were part of only a small group, which made it much more enjoyable and sociable- we got chatting to everyone there.
We relaxed on the beach, snorkeled, played volleyball, explored the island, swam, kayaked and had a massage on the beach- not forgetting the fantastic Fijian BBQ buffet.
It was a really good day, and neither of us are too badly sunburnt (although Sarah is being eaten alive by the mosquitos).

Speaking of being eaten alive, we went to a shop the other day that sold traditional handmade cannibalistic (is that a word?) artefacts- such as a 'Skullbreaker', and a four pronged fork used to pick the brains out of the skulls. Yummy! Our BBQ buffet today didn't involve any of that, though...

Tomorrow we're going on another excursion, this time on a 86-foot schooner called 'Seaspray', which I'm sure is the day we'll both get hideously sunburnt. Jack wants to assure you that he is beautifully tanned. Sarah wants to assure you that she is ridiculously freckled.

We'll try and get some photos up soon!
Jack & Sarah

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Some Aussie pics...

Rainbow at Mystery Bay yesterday.

Jack saw the sea and jumped in, even though it was in the middle of nowhere, with not a person to be seen for miles around.

Sarah at our site on Phillip Island

Jack on a completely deserted beach, that we only found by getting lost and trekking through some scary woods.

Out on the highway!

Sarah's shell.

Evening on the beach

Kangaroo Jack!

Our favourite beach, South Durras (we know the photo is blurry. Oops.)

Sazzly at Kiama Blowhole!

Jack driving the campervan for the first time.

Storm at Sydney Harbour!

Sarah's beloved Uggs.

At the Opera House! (The baby's not ours....)

The calm before the storm...

On the beach again!

That's all for the moment, but no worries, we still have HUNDREDS of photos to delight you with when we get back!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

South Durras

Hi everyone. So, we've got the van and have been on the road a few days. By far our best stop so far has been at a place called South Durras. The beach there was empty, and stretched for about two miles. The waves were amazing- Jack exaggerates them to be about 6 metres high. But they were really big! We went for a bit of a swim anyway, which was really good fun, we had to watch out for the strong 'rips', which were amazing because they really did pull you into deep holes which we discovered towards the end.
It was absolutley beautiful. TOday we're on our way down to Eden, which is our last stop in New South Wales before we cross over the border into Victoria. Sarah's phone lost any signal the moment we left Sydney, but we'll try to stay in touch when we can.
Lots of love
Jack and Sarah

Sunday, 13 April 2008

On the road again...

We're off this morning to pick up our campervan and begin our drive down to Melbourne! We think we've worked out our main stops and stuff; first stop, Nowra! Eeek!
Our plan to go to the zoo yesterday was ruined by the most awesome thunderstorm- we were having lunch at the Harbour when suddenly the sky just clouded over, and within 10 minutes the storm was over us and the Opera House was almost hit by lightning! The tourists standing on top of the Harbour Bridge got down pretty quickly!
It's a shame we didn't get to go to the zoo and see the Opera House from the water, but maybe another time.

Write again soon
Jack & Sarah

ps. How do you clean Uggs?

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Sydney, Australia

So, we've been in Sydney a couple of days and thought we should update you on our adventure.
The hostel is nice enough, it's very lively and backpacker-ey. We also get free breakfast and internet, so that's good.

When we first arrived, we thought we'd just wander to the end of the road to see what was around, and were met with a view of the Harbour Bridge and the top of the Opera House! Made us realize we were actually in Sydney. So the next day we decided to walk to it, through the Botanical Gardens. We were wandering through the park when we heard some very noisy birds; we turned a corner and the sky was almost completely blotted out by huge fruit bats, circling the trees. It was a pretty amazing sight and they didn't mind posing for photos as they hung around in the surrounding trees!

We walked a bit further along the harbour when, again we turned a corner and discovered the Sydney Opera House, right in front of us! We hung around there for a bit and looked at Harbour Bridge (with some very intrepid tourists climbing the side of it!), before moving on and walking through the city to find the shopping area!

When we found the shopping zone (how many shopping centres can one street hold?!), we decided to do our one big splurge each, and both splashed out. Jack bought himself some very nifty Bose headphones (even Sarah was impressed by their quality, and Sarah is not a gadgety person), and Sarah bought herself some genuine Aussie Ugg boots! Smiles all round.

Today we went to Bondi Beach (some pronounce it 'Bonsai'...) It was lovely but not quite hot enough for a swim!

Off to Taronga Zoo tomorrow, see you all soon.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Just so you know what you're missing... 3

The Great Wall...

...and the zoo...


Just so you know what you're missing... PART DEUX

Sarah insisted on taking a photo of this little girl at the Temple of Heaven, just because the colours and the frogs were so cool.
At the Temple of Heaven
The Temple
The '70 year old door'.

Some sort of flag-waving-dance-type lesson in the Temple's park.

Just so you know what you're missing...

Off we go!

Outside the Forbidden City, posing in exchange for food!

Inside the first courtyard of the Forbidden City, being happy.

Jack met a Zea look-a-like.