A Travellerspoint blog

The House

Rations.

sunny 30 °C

Much to our disappointment we never made it to Dubai so are still residing on the isle of Samui. We have upgraded our living standards quite dramatically, now living in a 3 bedroom villa, with kitchen, plasma tv, swimming pool and maid. (Many thanks to the generosity of Yvonne and Aen) Not sure why anyone believed us when we said we were going backpacking, it was never really going to happen was it... 

Getting a taxi up from Chaweng was relatively pain free and we managed to find the Villa with ease where we were graciously met by Dean who runs it who gives us a quick tour and lots of information about Samui! He also brings us a token gesture of banana's which is lovely when we are on rationed food. After cooking up some pasta it's straight into the pool for prime tanning time, this time it's Blin's turn for slight burn. My skin is just peeling of in sheets, it looks like cling film. Really minging I know, but copious amounts of Aloe Vera and body lotion haven't seemed to help. :-( Feeling very tired we go to be early, and I yet again can't sleep, tossing and turning for hours I then realise Blin is doing exactly the same, so up we get for midnight snacks of pineapple and chocolate whilst watching 'Mr Darcy' in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. 

The next day consists of Blin reading by the pool, in the pool, in the house, back in the pool etc for hours, whilst I watch the   TV from my prime tanning spot on the Lilo in the swimming pool. Asian Pop is my new favourite, laterz Eminem. :-/ That afternoon I decided it is definitely time to get out the house so off we trundle on what imagine is a 3km walk to some shops, wifi and we can view Big Budda but we don't think we are appropriately dressed to go closer. On the way back we organise with the neighbouring shop to get a pineapple delivered  which is exciting, when it arrives we can barely lift it, it's that big!!! 

The next few days have consisted of much the same, eating our rationed food, (I have literally been counting out pasta bows to occupy myself), swimming, sunbathing and listening to music. Hopefully the sound system shall be fixed soon and I will no longer have to risk my life by using my iPod headphones in the swimming pool! Missing my Dr Dre headphones really badly, music is not quite the same without them. :-( (I hope they are being well looked after?!) 

The weather is set to turn rather shabby in the next few days which shall be a shame but hopefully all shall be okay for the full moon party on Saturday and our stay at David the Dancing Elephant Man's hostel. :-/ 

Lots of love 

Gaby xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

P.S whilst making the 3km walk to get wifi to post this, we happened to be stopped by 2 Arnold Schwarzniger type characters in a jeep offering us lifts. So we hop in the back of the truck as they think we are mad, questioning wether we have any idea where we are, and how far it is to the shops! Haha. We have decide that maybe hitchhiking is the way forward? :-) 

  • Blin's knew has also gone septic :-( 

Posted by Bensten 03:57 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Chaweng part 2

Surviving the Tsunami...

overcast 25 °C

So we arrived excited at our bungalow early on Monday morning, only to be met by the harsh reality of what our quaint little hut really was. A dusty old spider shack, last used in 1995 and teaming with termites. All very exciting and made up by the fact that we get free use of sun loungers on the beach. So after making our packed lunch of tuna filled rolls (one of our many money saving techniques) we head down to the beach bright and early ready for a day of sun soaking. Big mistake that was, as at 3pm we retire back to spider central for showers and sunburn relief. Gaby comes out of the (rubbish) shower and reveals her freshly roasted skin- a delicious shade of crimson complete with blisters and pain. The rehydration sachets come out once again and we head to Boots for aftersun in abundance. 
That evening we took a looong stroll down the beach, (one of our new found hobbies) and decided on dinner on the sand by the sea which included free salad bar, Anything free we LOVE! Here we met Vicky, another fellow traveller who joined us for our rice and pasta dinner. it was all very lovely and weird to think I was casually laying on a cushion eating my 40baht crab rice over looking the Pacific? Ocean. 
That night Gaby battled the spiders in the shed and it was a very damp smelling ordeal- not quite the beaut of a beach bungalow we expected. That morning (pancake day!) we decided to move out from our hut and have a day out of the sun so got moving up to an area on the northern side of Samui, Bo Phut. that yet again was a Big mistake and after a couple of hours of (in gabys case painful) traipsing round various posh resorts we have no accommodation to show for it as it is all too expensive. We did however receive a pity bottle of water from one hotel who clearly understood our situation. Gaby now suffering from her sunburn we decide to head all the way back to Chaweng to find somewhere there. A very educational trip and life lesson learnt that the more remote, less touristy places are in fact, much more expensive. 
So back in Chaweng and after a bit of hunting we settle on a VERY exciting place to stay. In a spa (there are alot of them here) we settle down in the shop front on a podium behind a curtain. Clearly an old massage area but so nice! The spa smelt amazing and it had air-con which we hadn't experienced in sooo long so it was a lovely treat and for the sane price as the dormitory with the boys the previous Sunday. Also featured really lovely girls who ran it, a ten percent discount on massages and to Gaby's delight.. Free wifi! So we had a nice time there and were joined by a nice german girl who was travelling too, it was really good to have an all girls environment (with the occasional man coming in for massages). 
Still suffering with sunburn we decide another day out of the sun on the beach would be wise so we go off and arrange a trip to the Angthong National Marine Park the next day for snorkelling  AND it included free breakfast and lunch. 
So on Thursday morning we are up with the crow and are picked up from our spa at 7.30. After an hours minibus ride we get to the pier where we board the boat and have our photo snapped by papparazzi like man perched on the side of the boat, thinking nothing of it we settle down to our free croissant and tea and coffee and set off for the 2hour boat ride to Angthong. Overcast and rainy the day's not looking bright but we arrive at the first island and are welcomed by sun, and a 150m climb up a mountain to a viewing point of the famous green lagoon. Panting and close to asthma attack we arrive and take the photos from the platform, then go back down the ladder life stairs escaping death narrowly- health and safety would have had a field day. But it was cool and we set off for the next island, on the way we made the most of the free thai buffet lunch. 
The weather is turning but we're staying optimistic and our new friends, the welsh journalist and two eyelash extensioned south African girls, are too. However on arrival at the snorkelling island we all discovered that snorkelling would definitely be off the agenda as the storm came into full form. The rain starts and all 40 of us pile into the mini longtail boat which takes us back to our big boat. However once on the boat the boatman decided it was too dangerous to return to the big boat so we bobbed in the longtail in the middle of the sea on the giant waves, others finding it more amusing than gaby, who with her boat phobia, was becoming more and more agitated. So finally we board the boat and make our way back to Samui.. But the storm thickens and my stomache turns. After throwing up over the edge seven times I'm not feeling on top form, and the rainstorm does not help matters. We're all crammed into the drivers cockpit like sardines (tourists and Thais alike) and I struggle through the sickness. Gaby and our new found friends get slightly nervous when they realise the driver can no longer see where he is going, he is panicking and so are we! (no sign of a gps navigation system) Finally, disembarking the vessel we are greeted with CHINA plates with our ore trip faces on, clearly the work of our pap friend. We did not purchase these fine Souvenirs though you'll all be sad to hear. 
We arrive back to the spa and decide to move on to a place we've found for alot cheaper, which is where I write from now. We hike our backpacks down through Chaweng to Pott guesthouse (run by a lovely thai dwarf man) with a beautifully hot shower and DVD player in room! Which we have discovered has pirates of the carribbean in! It also comes complete with moulding soup bowl under the bed! :-/ so we ventured out that evening for a wander And Gaby spotted the transvestite who paints nails on the street.. Ever the fashionista she sits down for the manicure of her life. I wander off to find another bookshop and manage to fall flat on my face, alone, off the pavement into a puddle and slice my knee up and a suspected fractured toe. The guards at a nearby hotel where very helpful and sterilised my wounds with their freshwater hose which was nice. All very traumatic but very happy to break into my mountainous first aid kit to get the weight down of my rucksack, recently renamed the bains of our lives. 
Gabys nails are amazing, they are painted to intricately they could be stickers it's so cool. Photo soon to come, also of our bungalow! 
today we booked our bus to Kuala Lumpar and went food shopping ready for our move into the house tomorrow! Hopefully the weather shall pick up so we can get back to tanning. We find this slightly more important than the breaking news of a Tsunami heading our way, rather exciting to be involved in a danger zone! If the stormy weather is anything to go by we could be using the emergency credit card to make our way to the man made beaches of Dubai at the weekend! :-) 

Gaby has also ventured into the land of reading settling for one of her all time favourite Lord of the Rings, might be something go do with the fact she now actually has a place to do literature at university so reading may come in handy. Lol. 

Anyway love to you all, we'll keep you updated from Dubai! 

Love B xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S- in reply to your kind comments

  • Louise, yes the Green mango is still here and is still the place to go, I think it definitely has changed a lot here and we probably stayed in one of the bungalows that was last used 20 years ago when you were here! Having an amazing time tho! 
  • Claire, Chris, Tom and Harriet we have yet to hire a scooter you shall be pleased to know, hope you are all well! I wish I ha been there to laugh at Ben for his audition! And Claire when will you be meeting up with us? You no doubt have your next holiday booked? :-) 

Posted by Bensten 06:46 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Chaweng Beach

Dormitory adventures..

sunny 40 °C

So this morning we left for Chaweng beach from Lamai in the back of a jeep.
We have discovered that Lamai beach is pretty mingers compared to the delights we have found elswere on Samui and Chaweng beach certainly does not dissapoint.
Looking for somewhere to stay (walking down the street in the baking heat with out 70L backpacks in tow) we opt for dorms where we can skimp on costs.
10 minutes later and we're well aquainted with the 6 other Aussie guys who we're sharing the room with and life is sweet, so we head to the beach for more tan time.
After a 20 minute monsoon type downpour the skys are clear and beautiful and we go for walks up the coast discovering more options of places to stay. We've found a bungalow we can rent on the beach at a place called Lucky Mother which is only 50baht more a night than our dorm! so we will be transfering there tomorrow. There were alot of cats there too which swayed the decidsion.
Pretty grossed out at how touristy Samui is and this main street inpaticular which houses 2 Mcdonalds, a burgerking, pizzahut, subway, starbucks and boots. We're staying strong and sticking to our guns eating nothing but Thai food, getting fat from Pad Thais and Green Currys which are major cheap but FAT.
We've found Samui alot more expensive than what we're used to in India Nepal and Laos as i guess they're used to lots of tourists (hence the Mcdonals) but we have some free accomodation to look forward to next week (Thank you so much!!) Cannot wait.
We're finding budgetting very hard and Gaby loves getting tempted in by all the shops and fake channel stalls but all is good and life is sweet in Thailand.
We'll keep you all updated as to what escapades we get up to on these couple of weeks on Samui in preperation for the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan!!
Speak to you all soon
B
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Posted by Bensten 04:28 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Photos

just for your viewing pleasure..

sunny 40 °C

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Posted by Bensten 04:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bengali Tiger Show

Not so well trained!

sunny 40 °C

Sincere apologies to all who have found our lack of english skills rather offensive throughout this blog, yes I am going to uni to study englih literature but owell, typing on a phone is not the easiest and there is no time for spell check or re-reading. :-)

So, since we have been on Koh Samui we have occupied our time by sunbathing (tans are coming along nicely), swimming in the sea and generally perusing the surrounding area and obviously trying the local delicacys. We have had the best pad thai on Samui apparntley, for a mere 40baht! Today we thought a break from the sun was in order so thought a trip to the local tiger sanctuary(Zoo) would be exciting. Big mistake after spending 2 days worth of buget on the ticket for tigers and aquarium. The fish were nice but rather boring and looked kind of sad. The Tigers and leopards were rather cool but not sure wether we believe the sign that says they spend the majority of their time outdoors in a pen not available for public viewing. We soon discovered that our tickets also included use of a swimming pool, sea lion show and tiger and bird show. Whilst waiting for these attractions we ventured to the beach which was amazing!!! The nicest we have seen so far. The sea lions were very well trained which is more than can be said for the Tigers. It was very clear that Tigers are just not ment to be trained ad the ran wild in their pen, leaping around off cue, searching for food. One Tiger also thought it would be more fun to attack it's trainer, going in for the swipe in countless occasions. The birds however were amazing!!! Never knew such spieces existed, they were basically dinosaurs or could have been related to the DoDo!

On returning to our room we kept ourselves upto date with the latest english music before heading off for food (pad thai) and fresh fruit!! We are staying healthy and not eating to much junk! Tomorrow we are going to relocate to Chaweng beach and explore it's delights which we are very hyped up for. Blin has also managed to gain a new book by trading one in that we stole off a bus that was in german so all is good on that money saving front. :-)

Lots of love, keep you all updated soon!

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bensten 05:13 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Koh Samui

Chilling after all our hard travels..

sunny 35 °C

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So we left Laos on a mini plane headed for Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (all very dodgey but we arrived in one piece that afternoon). Then headed across Bangkok via the public bus (which i contorted my body onto to fit my rucksack in and since have very painul bruises on my bum) to Don Meung airport for our next flight at 6am the following morning.
Now the experienced backpackers, we decided to keep costs down by laying on the floor of the airport all night in the FREEZING air conditioned empty departure area. All a very surreal experience but very exciting none the less. Thankgoodness i packed my fluffy bed socks.
Checking in with Nok airlines (ryan air type thing) at 5am the following morning we were told that our bags were severely over the baggage allowance weight but the lady gave us a cheeky wink and worked her magic and we got away without being stung by any hefty charges. We have grown to love the Thai people, they are majorly friendly and helpful. Yeah anyway we have grown to LOVE plane food too because it's free (despite paying thousands of pounds for our airfares) and we loveeee experiencing tuna puffs and thai currys.
Arrived at a mini airport in the south of thailand then got a coach to the ferry then a ferry to Koh Samui and here we are, living the sunny life in touristville Samui. Thinking of hiring motorbikes and joing hells angels. Our second tattoos are healing nicely!!
We officially have THE WORST shower in the world at our hostel. A flow the rate of 5 drips per minute approximately. But we embrace any form of shower as if it were our last.
VERY OVERTIRED but learning to love it. Aloevera gel coming in handy too :)

appologies for rambling and the lack of sense but i havn't slept since tuesday night i think?
Will keep you all updated, hanging out here for a couple of weeks :)
B
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Posted by Bensten 08:08 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Sunstroke

Too much fun!

sunny 38 °C

Firstly we moved guesthouse due to a room smelling of damp and landing ourselves a sweet deal in a bamboo villa in stilts with breakfast and wifi! Very picturesque and has really made us feel like we are away from home. Departing for tubing Blin and I manage to lose Sarah our new found friend again due to walking 4 laps of vang vieng having left our money in our room and spotting lots of tubing in Laos merchandise which was obviously a must have! Eventually we our thrown in to the back of a Tuk Tuk and heading up river. Arriving at the Nam Song river tubing start we are greeted by free shots and lots of ribbons to tie onto us to get us in the spirit!! We both agree that it is one ofthe most beautiful places we have been! The river is lined with bamboo bars and loungers, free shots flying left right and centre, the bass is pounding from every bar stationed about 100 metres from each other down the river. The Laos people are positioned in the river to drag people into the bars on their tubes with people waiting with more ribbons and more drinks. So you get the jist that tubing is an all day activity ending with a 3pm stretch of rapids and flat bits to take you back into vang vieng where there are sunset bars! Anyway we are enjoying the sun and don't notice our slowly reddening bodies. Waterproof suncream really should have been an essential! :-( bit owell, burn turns to tan if enough moisturiser is applied?! We finish our exhausting day feeling rather ill with what I guess is sunstroke, both rather ill but we find strength to position ourselves in one of the many cafes that play Friends on repeat all day and night. To make myself feel better I manage to convince the waitress that she needs to go to the neighbouring shop to get me a tin of Tuna, she failed to understand I wanted the Tuna sandwich without the bread but owell, I felt like a cat eating from a tin in a restaurant. Haha. Today was another fun filled day on the river with more free shots and more bandanas!! Tanning was essential with our suncream in tow! Yet again we both manage to burn, I think I am just to pale to go brown so another evening of sickness was back. Very excited by the fact the rehydration saches worked wonders and we were soon returned to full health and have decided more water is definitley in order! All in all wears fine and having an amazing time, I may have slightly over exaggerated the burn... We have booked our flights to Koh Samui in the south of Thailand which is very exciting, bring on the sea and beaches! Will be sad to say goodbye to Laos, they have a saying here that "you never leave Vang Vieng you only take a holiday from it"! We are flying with Laos airlines and needless to say the guidebook says "they have no safety rules and not for the feint harted flier" so we shall see. Our VIP bus to take us to Vientiene shall be he at the hotel at 9.30 so I think some sleep is in order. Not that I have got over the jetlag in the past month as we have actually been out here for 28 days now! Time has flown!

Lots of love

Gaby xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bensten 09:08 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

Vang Vieng

Thai sleeper trains, our new favorite things..

35 °C

We set off from Bangkok on our sleeper train (2nd Class) on saturday night at 8pm. Getting on the train we were in awe as it was the cleanest most beautiful sight of our lives. A man came round and made our beds for us, the breakfast lady came and asked if we wanted to place an order for a morning wake up call and it was all in all a very royal experience, compared to our Indian 3 tier sleeper train, and we were in heaven.
Gaby had the best sleep of her life and we were loving life.
Got off the train this morning at 7.30 at Nong Khai, the thai-lao border, took a tuktuk with a babe canadian guy to share costs and then did all the visa formalities and crossed the beautiful 'friendship bridge' to Laos. After being swarmed by taxi drivers when we arrived in Vientienne, we decided to opt for a cheaper, more local, mode of transport and asked to go to the local bus station instead of purchase a hugely expensive tourist ticfket. However all the tuktuk drivers love taking you to travel agencies where they recieve commision (after agreeing on a destination, which they ignore once set off) but we stayed strong and fought our corner, being dropped off finally at the local bus station at 11am for a mere 100baht.
After the dilema of taking the local bus at 1.30 for 40,000kip or the Aircon minibus gfor 50,000kip we decided on the later and flew off for our 3hr trip to Vang Vieng, party town.
Met a Dutch girl called Sarah who we're sharing a room with. She's so funny and has been chilling with us all day. Although we've seemed to have lost her this evening after showering (Yay finally). I'm sure we'll rendez vouz later on in the room. Probably after she's cleared our rooms of all our belongings.
BREAKING NEWS. I have submitted all my india clothes (freshly redundant jumpers, jeans, scarves and fur hat) and other generally skanky smelling articles to a washing service. All 4.5Kgs of the beauts. this is an indulgence for me, but the cheapest i've found washing services so far of all the countries. 5000kip per kilo. So very exciting. Not so exciting for Gab who's now on her 2nd wash of the trip. I am a gross person.
Anyway.. the plan for tomorrow is a day of tubing. This is why we came to Laos.. and we are raring to go! this is the start of intense tanning.
See you soon when we've turned arabian!
B
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Posted by Bensten 07:05 Archived in Laos Comments (2)

Bangkok

Oriental city...

sunny 35 °C

Sooo after our brief update the other day due to the expense of Internet access, think it is time for an in detail low down of our shenanigans since Nepal...

Kathmandu was a lovely city and we spent our time perusing the hundreds of shops and eating copious amounts of doughnuts from the many bakeries. Searching for the hotel we booked on line before leaving England proved to be rather a drama as no one had heard of it but seemed to think they had so dragged us off all over the Thamel area. After about 3 hours of walking with our rucksacks on dripping with sweat we arrive at Kathmandu view hotel and start to climb the 10 sets of stair to our room! Needless to say we are exhausted so choose to reside in the hotels roof top garden reading. Wuthering heights is still yet to be finished however :-( We also discover that when approached by men in leather jackets offering tours their well rehearsed speel turns into "you like hike? You like trekk? You like water raft? You like to smoke something? We have what you want! Some hash maybe?" rather scary but all part of the experience.... Do not Fret we are still clean not even touched alcohol yet! 

The start of our journey to Thailand was rather epic. 8 hours in Kathmandu airport due to delays was horrific but the snacks on the plane made up for it and we managed to steal water after having nothing to eat or drink all day due to lack of funds. On arrival in Delhi the passport control finds it hilarious that we spent a day getting re-entry stamps at the Indian embassy as we were assured we would not be allowed back into India by many trustworthy sources. We were rather annoyed but it seemed to make the passport mans day. We also felt like we now know India so found it less daunting to return. We also have ghandi airport down to a T. Flying to Bangkok was pain free which was lovely, as was the food dished out by Jet airways. 

On arrival in Thailand we went straight in for some pork soup noodles at the airport food court  which ment we missed our bus and had Manu thai women shouting at us to run for it. They then laughed at us when i asked the time of the next one. We have now learnt thai time is anytime. This was drilled into us by a pro drunk traveller who befriended us outside the airport. I swiftly left Blin to deal with his ramblings spotting 2 English boys down the road. Te found it rather amusing that we where staying at the Hilton, we manage to come across rather often a 2 daddy's girls who have no idea what they are doing. We are enjoying ourselves however.

So the taxi pulls into our hotel and we feel like tramps and smell like it too but our daddy's girl image is continued by the many looks other guests give us when they are dolled up to the nines tottering out to dinner in their heels. Anyway the hotel is amazing and we find ourselves swimming at the beach on level four! The surround sound in the bathroom with touch screen controls keep us amused for hours. (thank you daddy) 

Checking out today we made our way up river on the public boat costing us a mere 14 baht to arrive at the back packing district of koah San road and take up residence in guest house bella bella! Cost us 150 baht each which is lovely pricing. Been chilling out all day discovering the markets, street side fruit venders are our new favourite things. Took a trip to the fish foot spa which was very weird but amazing. My feet have never been so soft... I think we should trade in the pond at the front of the house! Also had a back and neck massage to cure the pains my rucksack has given me, I never want to see it again!

We have also been having slight issues packing our rucksacks opting for new methods each time. My bag is overflowing but Blin has somehow managed to get it all in one latering the small rucksack. May have something to do with the many items of clothes and shoes that are now owned by hotel cleaners due to their purposeful abandonment!

Currently chilling in a fruit shake bar on cushions on the floor, yet to see a ping pong show due to the numerous warning calls from various Ensten family members and friends. But there is still time... 

Getting the night train to Laos tomorrow evening so bye bye Bangkok, it will be emotional, I have decided that I may come and live here. The night markets of fake designer clothing, jewellery, bag and purses has drawn me in far to far! Blin is keeping me on the straight an narrow preventing any rash purchases such as barbie pink plastic handbags and such chavy items I love. The Barbie t-shirt was a must however. 

My typing was just momentarily stopped by the emergence of a cockroach scuttling along about 10 centre meters from my leg, I have never moved so fast the pair of us leaping to the nearest table causing much commotion in the cafe and many unwanted onlookers. The most disgusting thing so far! 

How could I forget, whilst sitting in a cafe earlier today unwashed befriended by a  man who loved the colour of my hair. Turns out he slept in a lift last night, his t-shirt was on inside out and he was off his face. He didnt seem to like our advice to stay of the beer and go and find somewhere to sleep. Then this evening a 40 year old Australian decided Blin was his wife to be... Haha. We have also seen many "thai brides" since being here which us rather horrible but yet again part of the experience... :-/ 

Love to you all, will keep you updated if we survive tubing -YouTube it but it's not for the feint hearted! :-) 

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Posted by Bensten 06:41 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bangkok

and a good shower!!

overcast 31 °C

So here we are in Bangkok, just a quick update as we havn't long left on the internet.
Thankyou all for your comments!! keeping us very entertained and happy :)
Journey here was looooooong from Nepal to Delhi to Bangkok but finally we arrived, missing our airport bus bus then finally getting it a zillion hours later.
Hilton is AMAZING and we spent hours buffing our grimey bodies to cleanliness.. and a beautiful nights sleep.
Took the boat up the river today on our first outing and i get shouted at for touching a monk, a big no-no in thailand.. you have to give up your seats and stuff for them.
but yeah we've been wandering around taking in all the sights, topping up our tan on our first day here, i have to say i am very shocked as to how developed it is. I was expecting the same type of poverty as India but here they love toterring around in high heels and prisitne makeup.
Managed to nap a free drink each from the ice tea parade that was covorting down the street. (who needs to pay for drinks) off to see a pingpong show later. (google that one!!)
Loiving life as new clean girls.
street food smells amazing!!!
Included a photo of us in Nepal at the school with our new aussie friend Duncan.
sorry its short.
Big huge love to everyone and thankyou once again! Will try to update ASAP with better details. But please give us rings on our new thai numbers!
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Posted by Bensten 01:48 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Too Kathmandu

Bus bus bus....

sunny

It's 8o'clock in the morning and we already have a lot to tell. Watching the Grammys last night was cut short by one of the frequent power cuts we have become acclimatised too, so it was bed at 9.30 for us. Only to be woken by the power returning at 1.30am turning everything back on. The Grammys was back in our life, Gaby was sad at having missed Eminem so resorted to sitting outside for hours getting signal on her phone in the freezing cold whilst Blin slept like a baby missing the party that appeared to be happening with the hotel lads in the courtyard bellow. 

So after a much disturbed sleep we arise at 6am to be received by said Hotel lads waving us off from our room, down the 4 flights of stairs, across the courtyard and out the gate. (we have backpacks on both sides of our bodies and are already beginning to sweat) but it's only a 20 minute walk saving ourselves 150rupees that the hotel man was convincing us was necessary for a taxi... 45 minutes later we arrive on the other side of Pokhara at the tourist bus park to see everyone else arriving by taxi eating croissants they have definitely not earned! We get out our digestives and tuck in sitting in our luxurious coach compared to the local bus that we took from Sunauli. Gaby's shoulders are in agony so Blin try's her hand at massaging to be interrupt by a Chinese lady asking if Gaby's shoulders hurt because we have been to ABC!? We look blank thinking she is referring to a massage parlour in town. What she actually thinks we have been doing is the trekk to the Ana.... Base Camp, which we found highly amusing. We are convieniently positioned on the left hand side of the bus so we can discover the Himalayas through the window during our trip to Kathmandu, the views are insane. Now 8.12 and we have just had a short blast of Bieber through the speakers which pleasantly surprised us and is definatley a move up in the world from the sitar player and The Lords Dance!! Bieber has featured rather a lot in our trip actually yesterday by the lake were serenaded by some Nepali boys with a guitar singing Bieber and Blin had previously had a dream that he was her boyfriend which is helping het get through her illness. 

We have opted for shared bathroom and balcony here is Kathmandu to save money, it's okay but nothing special, a taste of things to come in the dormitories of Thailand. Another money saving tactic we have adopted is not buying drinks and eating minimal food in restaurants, we get dodgy looks for ordering soup ohne garlic bread. To save money on washing we sit by fires so the smell of sweat is masked... Not sure if this is really beneficial but Gaby's eye ointment shall definitely come in handy now to solve our dry eyes and reduce the weight of our bags. 

Kathmandu is filled with tourists which is reassuring but we don't wish to see any temples which is probably the main attraction. Our room also appears to be a next a nightclub so we shall enjoy that this evening as are far to tired to be venturing in. 

All in all a good day really! :) 

Lots of love 

Gaby and Blin 
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bensten 06:59 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Garlic

Very ill!!!

sunny 30 °C

So arriving at Dinner our ponytailed waiter suddenly goes into out life story accounting our every move from the past 7 days as his restaurant overlooks our hotel. He even knows what book we went and bought on arrival!! When I ask what we did today his reply is "I'm not sure I was sleeping but you should come down to busy bees with me and 17 friends tonight for a few drinks"? This obviously startles us even more but we laugh it off. The confusion he caused ment that Blin decided garlic lasagne with a side of garlic bread wa a god idea whereas I went for chow mein, garlic bread and potato and cheese momo's to share. So the food arrives and as we may have already mentioned garlic bread in Nepal comes with whole cloves of garlic stuffed in it but so does it appear the lasagne does too or spaghetti with no less than 2 bulbs of garlic mixed in. Blin crunches her way through it starting to eat my ridiculously spicy momo's to try and get rid of the garlic but it is unremovable. My chow mein however was very nice but I too start too feel the effects of raw garlic! Anyway waiter is back for more chats trying to convince us to come out with him. We decline and I decide to comment on the spiciness of the momo's so he promptly leans over and takes one off my plate. His verdict is spicy and we can not believe our eyes so sit in a state of shock but the promise of 10% discount stops us making a fuss.

After paying we search down mints to get rid of the garlic. After a traumatic night of Gaby having a melt down when the power goes of and her skype conversation is cut short and Blin falls severely ill never wanting to see a garlic again! A day of severe illness results in the rehydration saches surfacing for the first time and Gaby powering through Wuthering heights and writing yet more postcards to the same people. Ha. Be prepared for more pointless accounts of my life in Nepal. The lucky receivers actually have a blow by blow account of each day this week on separate postcards which will probably no arrive in order of time but this will no doubt add to the fun :-)

Upon paying for the hotel we manage to nab a free loo roll as that was are only complaint. Not sure what the hotel lads will do without is as of tomorrow when we depart in the early hours for Kathmandu! There will be no one to laugh at and our room will not be as entertaining to stand in with pots of creosote. Also not sure what waiter boy is going to do without us to stalk might have to go back to college like he was telling us he normally does...

Our tans are coming along nicely... my freckles our out in abundance my skin staying pale as ever and Blin becoming more evenly bronzed! My hair has also turned a shade of orange in the sun which really does not become me. Not that I am expecting to look nice sitting here typing in the same hoody jeans and t/shirt that I departed England in, have travelled India and Nepal in and will probably see a washing machine on my return to England. :-/

All is good and we are looking forward to Thailand next week after experience Kathmandu

Lots of love

Gaby xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bensten 05:43 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Dinner at the farm!

Wednesday and Thursday

sunny 26 °C

Excuse the mix of tenses and people speaking- originally written by gaby but adapted by blin. Quite a team effort... Let's begin. So early yesterday morning we had a knock on the door and our friend the junior hotel boy came to inform us that there was a man waiting for us downstairs. After a lot of confusion we go down to find Amitt waiting for us to tell us about our volunteer work and our lift will be at the hotel at 6.30am this morning!!! I am very excited by this, Gaby however will have to get over her fear of children.... Probably will be the worst experience of her life but she'll learn to love it. I have turned to a soup diet as it is super cheap and sometimes comes with lots of raw garlic!!! As they seem to love lots of it piled onto bread. We have welcomed garlic into our lives, and friends out as our breath is now Mingers.
Anyway After our unexpected visiter we went out for another walk in the rain discovering the cheapest place to buy chocolate and new found fave drink slice. Which is an alfonso concoction  (my father will be very pleased to hear)
Returning to our room with our snacks we hide away for another day of monsoon and bed rest. One thing we have noticed is that however dingey cheap and grimey our rooms are they always seem to fit a tv in, so we are very up to date with 'the bachelor' (very worthy of a google!!) and hindi soap operas. 
The Internet was not an option yesterday either as Gab somehow  managed to wipe her i phone and it's not looking promising of returning to full use any time soon. (is now) Feeling sorry for ourselves we head out for what turns out to be a very entertaining dinner. We spot a 'restaurant' (we love the prices of the more basic eating establishments) with a nice fire coming out of an oil barrel centered in the room with a collection of people and animals warning themselves round it.(nepal is freezing whenever the sun isn't up) So we start to eat (soup) and a rabbit decides join us at the table as does a dog who decides to take up residence on the neighbouring chair. the rabbit has eaten through Blins shoe laces which is vair entertaining but not very nice either. 

6 o'clock wake up call and we are in the taxi on the way to a school on the outskirts of pokhara with our new Aussie friend Duncan (also volunteering) Upon arrival we have super sweet Nepali tea thrust upon us and are told what ever style of teaching is fineee and we are seperated off into the classrooms or concrete rooms with no windows. Blin seems to have a knack for it, being asked if she has done it before. The children loved her stories of pook!!! (if anyone wants a little nepali penpal, with severely limited english, contact blin for any of the 5000 addresses she acquired) Gaby on the other hand gives me horrified glances through the wall and the head of the charity is quick to discover that I have a phobia of children. Anyway it was all very lovely and I had a whale of a time embarrassing myself in front of the kiddies and came out afterwards to find gaby a nervous wreck, having moved into the preschool dot to dot class so she didn't have to make conversation. more tea calmed her down in time for physical contact with the kids during photo time in front of the school sign. I think gaby was very thankful of sanitising her entire body beforehand.. We were presented with flower bouquets (rather droopy) and similarly shabby pashmina type material in a ceremony on a podium under a thatched roof. All very quaint and cute despite being freeZing! Gloves have come in very handy! 
We were dropped back at lakeside afterwards (about ten this morning) both gaby and I praying for some sun after our 3 day monsoon recluse. Our prayers were answered so we trundled off to hire a boat on lake Phewa. Well that was adventure.. Only the 2nd largest lake in nepal and we decided to row out (with one oar) to the very centre to recline an read our books. (I'm now on my fourth this trip, gaby still determined to struggle through wuthering heights) after 2 hours we notice our boat begin to fill up with water, so decide to call it a day and make our way in land. How very wrong we were. One And a half hours later we reach the shore panting a puffing due to a very strong current. (not sure lakes have currents but it was strong, maybe the wind?) sun kissed (ha) and with bigger arm muscles. Just returned to our room to shower.. I am loving the cold ones, and thinking of heading out for some soup soon... Missing everyone lots, b xxxx

Posted by Bensten 05:38 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Thunder and lightening

A day in bed :-(

storm 6 °C

After our paragliding extravaganza we thought a day of rest was in order. Lying in the sunshine down by lake Phewa reading, listening to music and writing postcards whilst obviously eating loads of 'healthy' food sending us too sleep but nevertheless we are having a lively time. In a bid to wake ourselves up we plan to take a short walk to the post office... It turns out to be somewhat miles away and what I would describe as a treck, you should all be readily awaiting mail now however!!! On our return to Pokhara lakeside we take up sunbeds in a cafe overlooking the lake and continue to do nothing. Blin steadily going pinker now has some very attractive tan/burn lines and perhaps sun stroke but nothing an  evening of more rest, internet couldn't solve. And how could I forget Skype, it's bad we rely on technology and can't seem to last a minute with out keeping everyone updated but o'well. 

Arising early this morning we were looking forward to a dag of sunbathing in a boat on the lake however the overcast wether convinced us a small northern trek may be more appropriate, so off we head ignoring the signs of rain... Obviously we got bored after about 30mins so decided to turn back the rolls of the thunder were also rather off putting on the grounds the raincoats we dragged the whole way put here were keeping nice and dry in our rucksacks in the room. Unsurprisingly torrential downpour hits us and we find ourselves attracted into the "Hard Yak Cafe" where 4 boys are casually hanging with nothing to do but bring us lemon tea which is our new favourite!!! Now back in the hotel in another power cut trying to get warm after our walking ordeal looking forward to some luxurious dinner later, the sound of thunder and rain surrounding us. :-( 
It's now 5pm the rain ha stopped and intense is back but we have no energy to do anything. Probably relocate ourselves from bed tons restaurant shortly :-/

Much love

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bensten 03:02 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Extreme sports

Chundertastic!

overcast 15 °C

So thought we would update you all after our paragliding experience. All in all a 10/10 experience knocking of at least 5 pointe for the sickness feeling. Apparently this gets better the more you do it :-/ running off the cliff was not as bad as anticipated and flying with the birds was really cool. Gaby landed at a different place by accident but then got to watch 2 people crash into the lake which was rather amusing. All the fishermen race out to save them as the first person to arrive gets payed! Just arrived back at our hotel to find a gang of 6 teenage boys hanging in our room with a can of creasoat claiming they are painting our door... The cleaner has also joined them as has a man in a leather jacket. We are watching them conspicuously across the balcony as they seem more pre-occupied with taking photos of themselves in various feminem poses, probably looking at our clothes drying on the travel washing line that is strung across our bathroom! Just ventured out to try some 'momo's' which were rather nice but taste of curry, we can not get away from it... Also decided water rafting may be on the agenda for this week as well... Extreme sports are our passion bungee jump is looking slightly more promising too... But for now it is sleep seeing as it looks like it's about to poor with rain. :( 

Love Gaby 
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Posted by Bensten 04:08 Archived in Nepal Comments (2)

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