KANDY

Kandy was a little chaotic city surrounded by huge green hills. The train trip from Ella was absolutely beautiful as we passed so many tea estates and saw so many gorgeous views. Kandy is the cultural hub of Sri Lanka with lots of things to keep you busy- 3 days was enough for me. I spent time walking back streets and looking at the various goods for sale had – saris, homewares, electronics and souvenirs. The food in Kandy I found was not as impressive as the rest of Sri Lanka, and food is always very important to me! After a few hours of walking around the city I like to return to my little guess house – Garden Rest, a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and just sit back and listen to birds. 

As I write this I am in Colombo, it’s my last day and I fly out at 11.15pm tonight. Sri Lanka has been an amazing place to visit and at the end of each day I go to sleep with a smile, thinking of all the kind hearted people, beautiful scenery and delicious foods I have met, seen and ate along the way. I’ll be sad to leave but happy to return to my little home on the beach. 

Thank you Sri Lanka.

Advertisements

ELLA

After a 6 hour train journey I finally arrived in Ella. After Midigama, Ella was quite chilly, rainy and misty; but also a nice change from the muggy heat. Ella is a small hill town surrounded by lush green mountains. I climbed mini Adams Peak here, which is about a 45 minute walk from town. The walk to the peak is through beautiful tea plantations and windy little roads surrounded by amazing views. The view from the top is divine!!!

MIDIGAMA

I’ve been in Midigama for the last 6 days and it’s been very slow paced. Life here consists of waking up when you feel the sunlight in your room and the outside noises slowly start to hum. I usually have breakfast at a small little family run place called Cafe Pleasure. They do delicious ginger tea and tasty coconut rotis with dhal. They also do fruit salad with yoghurt although I’m quite certain the yoghurt is actually creme caramel – I’m definitely not complaining.

The surf has been average and quite crowded over the last few days. It’s okay though as I’m still finding little places to explore and enjoying just watching the days go by – people watching and observing.

I am staying at a little place across from the beach called Dolce Vita. It is run by a husband and wife who are so helpful and kind. Today I have woken up feeling like I have the flu and right away she has prepared me an ayurvedic tea.

I spent yesterday afternoon wandering through the back streets of Weligama – a small fishing town not far from Midigama. I could walk the streets for hours, just meandering down back streets and watching people go about their lives. There are Muslim jewellers, fabric sellers, fishmongers and everything in between. The people love to smile and on every corner there is something interesting happening. Sometimes it’s a dusty corner with a door ajar;  light seeping in on an old man’s face while he squats and goes about his business. Other times it’s kids laughing and playing on the streets. The Sri Lankan people are very interested and love to stop for a chat.

I am here for another  4 days then I’m heading inland to the hills..

GALLE FORT

What a day.. I am so overwhelmed by the kindness of the Sri Lankans. They are always ready with a genuine smile and a friendly hello.

Today I started the day with a delicious breakfast at a place called Koha Surf Lounge and Cafe. They do delicious simple healthy meals. I had poached eggs and avocado on toast with fresh tomato and red onion salsa and a tasty cup of chai. They also do muesli, fruit, coffee etc.

I then put the vibes out there that I would meet a friendly tuk tuk driver who would take me to Galle Fort. Just as I walked out the door I was greeted with “taxi madam?” and a lovely, smiling, plump man named Darma who was ready to take me. He took me to find an adaptor and also agreed to take me to Midigama tomorrow. I spent the day exploring and wandering around the fort, people watching and taking pictures. The Sri Lankans love to have a chat but stay just long enough in order to not annoy you.

After walking around for awhile and sweating my guts out I thought it was time for a freshly squeezed juice. After ordering I was having second thoughts about my decision, as the cups definitely weren’t sanitary and the straws were most likely reused. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to hurt the poor guys feelings so I swallowed the sugar filled drink down and went on my way.

It’s an easy walk around the fort with lots of little streets to explore. Just remember sunscreen and a hat, as it’s extremely hot and I was left with a nice camera strap mark.

I had a delicious Morrocan meal at a place called Chambers Restaurant. The chicken spiced spring rolls are so tasty and the ginger tea works wonders for those who may be experiencing stomach issues from too much curry.

I then got coaxed into buying a bag of masala tea and wandered through the streets that had been hit by the tsunami. I was unsuccessful in finding a tuk tuk so decided to sit down and wait for awhile. Soon enough a security guy was to the rescue. He asked me what was wrong, hailed me a taxi and negotiated the price I wanted – thank you little man, you are amazing.

After a long day in the sun I’m sitting in my tranquil garden wondering what my next meal will be. The joys of travelling..

SRI LANKA

I arrived in Colombo late last night from Kuala Lumpur. Colombo is one of the easiest airports to get through. Customs didn’t really even exist and I walked straight on through.. actually not even sure if I got an entry stamp. I stayed at a cute little airbnb place last night, with the lovely lady waiting up to greet me. It’s always a little dicey arriving to a new city at night.. when the driver makes a turn down a strange and dark looking alley you can only hope they have your best interests in mind. Although the alley was dark and dodgy it did lead me to the right place and everything was fine. Due to the time difference, I was up early with the chirping birds and the neighbour coughing up a lung. Buela (my host) made me fresh coffee, had a bit of a chat, and sent me on my way, reminding my driver to stop so I could get some breakfast.

I arrived at the train station at around 10.15am and just made the 10.30am train. It was a rush to get a seat but I managed to get one next to the sweetest Sri Lankan family. They offered me food, let me hold their baby, and play peek a boo with their son. The little one was pretty impressed with my eyes and tried numerous times to gently take them out. With no language we managed to communicate through lots of smiles and laughs. When I got off the train they blew me kisses and waved goodbye. Bless them.

After a short tuk tuk ride I was in Unawatuna, and finally after pretty much starving for the night, I had my first Sri Lankan meal. It was delicious – dahl, spinach curry, papadums and sweet potatoes, topped off with a desicated coconut, tomato, onion and chilli sambol. I then trekked up through a mini jungle to a little hidden away beach stopping on the way back for a fresh coconut. I am now getting eaten alive by mosquitos listening to the distant honks of tuk tuk horns.

Looking forward to exploring more of this bright and colourful country.

MEXICO CITY

Wow what a place Mexico City is. It’s huge, full of people and bustling. Taking the metro at peak time is absolutely crazy. Everyone Is squeezed and packed into each carriage and when the train stops people spill out while more push their way in just before the doors close. I had to wait for three trains to come past until I could safely make it on. Once on, there is a lot of people watching to be done. Mainly this consists of watching woman pile on the make up with one hand while skilfully keeping balance with the other. One lady managed to do a face full of make up- including silver dusted eyes with blue shimmer (very 80’s) blush and mascara in about 5 minutes flat. She then pulled out of her Mary poppins bag an array of fancy jewellery that made her look fit for a meeting with the queen. I was quite impressed. Next is the hop on hop off sellers who have a range of gadgets for sale. Forgot to brush your teeth this morning? Don’t worry they have it covered- mini toothpaste and brush $1. Need to tidy up your cuticles, learn English or feeling like something sweet? You can find it all on the metro for solo (only) 10 pesos!!! My favourite is when a seller gets on with a backpack full of speakers, music blaring trying to sell the latest pirate mix cd. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone- including older people, that the music is PUMPING.
Next I have to mention the food. Obviously tacos are very popular in Mexico but there is more than one type. My favourite are the Tacos de pastor. To make them pork is marinated on a kebab like spit then thingly sliced onto fresh tortillas, covered with coriander, onion, pineapple and then squeezed with lime. They are absolutely delicious. For something sweet after, you can find a place that will make you fresh crepes with nutella and Strawberries. YUM!
For my last four days in Mexico I stayed in Condesa. A really nice neighbourhood, with leafy green parks, art galleries and boutique stores. I stayed with a lovely Mexican couple through airbnb in their beautiful apartment which was awesome. On my second last night I went and watched the Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling). I had such a fun night watching the heavily staged masked wrestling luchas battle it out. There was even an Australian wrestler named thunder!
But after 3 months of traveling, it’s time to say Adios Mexico- I will miss you…
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©

GUANAJUATO IN PICTURES

If you ever go to Mexico make the time to see Guanajuato. Visually it is right up there with one of my favourite places in Mexico. When you look down on the city from up on the hillside it looks a lot like the favellas in Rio. There is so much colour but also a real European vibe that makes the place so special. I had the most delicious falafels, almost daily, at a little place called Habibti Falafel, such a nice change after eating a lot of tortillas and tacos. I went to a crazy mummy museum filled with..well mummies! It was actually pretty amazing. There were so many of them and they were all so well preserved that you could still make out their private parts as well as body hair! I spent a lot of time walking the many streets and underground walkways, and as always sampling the delicious abundance of foods. On my last day I treked up the surrounding mountains- in thongs actually, finding a beautiful view of the whole city. I stayed with a lovely couple called Buzz and Maria who I found through airbnb. I would highly reccomend them and their gorgeous cosy place. The bed feels like you are sleeping on a cloud and the place is absolutley spotless. On my last night Maria invited me to watch the sunset go down while we sipped fresh mango margaritas and snacked on homemade salsa. Every morning I woke up and looked out my window feeling so grateful to be in such a beautiful place.
image

image
image
image
image
image
"image<br
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©

OAXACA CITY

Oaxaca City is a beautiful happening city filled with colour, tradition and great food. I spent my days exploring around the cobblestone streets stopping in at cute little cafes or street vedors for tasty tacos or hot chai and carrot cake. Walking through the Benito Juarez markets is an adventure. You can find fresh fruit and vegies, meats, sweets, mescal and and a huge range of local handicrafts. When your legs get tired sit down for chocolate caliente (hot chocolate) with sweet bread. The chocolate is made with cacao, cinnamon and sugar, then mixed with either water or milk to make a delicious drink that you dunk your sweet bread into. At night the streets are filled with people young and old eating ice creams, chatting to friends or just people watching. On my last night in Oaxaca, a friend and I had a delicious dinner on the rooftop of a building with a beautiful view of the city. When I got back to the hostel I fell asleep to the angelic voice of a Mexican man singing and playing guitar in a little restaurant downstairs. I will miss Oaxaca- its cobblestone streets, the delicious food, the bright colours and rich culture.

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
imageimage

Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©

OH MEXICO HOW I LOVE YOU

Its been an amazing 3 weeks. Even though it was difficult to say goodbye to the kids in Tapachula and the people I have met along the way it is always nice to see somewhere new.
I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks in a beautiful, relaxing and peaceful place where life slows down giving you time to appreciate the simple things. I’ve enjoyed showering with a bucket under the stars, laying in a hammock between surf sessions, playing uno and unwinding with yoga before bed. I’ve had some of the best waves of my life, improved my Spanish, with the help of a very kind friend (yes Saul that’s you) and eaten lots of delicious food. Tacos, Tlyudas, Tostadas and home cooked meals by the wonderful Coco (of cocoleoco surf camp) have kept my belly full. I have been so lucky to experience the kind way of the Mexicans who are always happy to help you- from fixing a flat bike tire and giving you a seat while you wait, to taking you ALL the way to the bus stop and waiting until your bus leaves. I am sad to leave this special little place, but I’m sure I will be back. Next stop Oaxaca City.

IMG_9604 image IMG_9579 IMG_9593 IMG_9573 IMG_1001 IMG_0950 IMG_9600 IMG_9525IMG_9546

Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©

BUENOS DIAS AMIGOS

After five weeks in Tapachula I am now able to make my way around the streets without worrying too much about getting lost or not being able to find my way home. I have grown to love Tapachula and the friendly people who live here who are always ready to greet you with a smile.

Mornings are my favourite time of day in Tapachula. The air is a bit cooler and the streets are peaceful with a clear view of the volcano in the distance. I’ve been starting my days with a huge bowl of oats, topped with bannana, cinnamon and yoghurt. The fruit and veg here is plentiful and cheap.

Tapachula has impressed me with its food options and its general style and character. Here you can find delicious quesadillas filled with zuchini, chicken, beef or mushrooms. The tortas (rolls) are packed with lettuce, sausage, bacon and topped with all the condiments your heart desires. Orange juice and choco milk can be found on just about every corner and if you are craving something sweet, a stop at one of the cupcake shops for a jam filled strawberry cupcake is bound to satisfy.

Next I want to tell you all about the Mexican people. Even in the scorching heat the Mexicans have a way of smelling like they have just jumped out of the shower, with their fresh smell lingering for a few blocks after they have passed. They can pull off jeans and long sleeved shirts without even breaking a sweat. The woman cruise the dusty, uneven streets in sky high heels with grace. I am hoping by the time I leave Mexico, I will have learnt a thing or two on the art of being CRISPY no matter the circumstances.

Trips to the beach are the highlight of my week. We wake up early jump in the van, get the music crankin and head to the beach. Everyone is happy and peaceful as we drive out of the city waiting to see what the waves will bring. When we arrive at the beach, we grab our boards and walk to ‘the spot’, we paddle out and I smile as I feel so lucky to be surfing with only a handful of people. Here in Tapachula the kids don’t complain about the surf, they just get out there no matter the conditions charging any wave that comes their way.

My stay here is nearly coming to an end. I have two weeks left in Tapachula, then onto Oaxaca to chase the waves.

image
Mexican man
image
image
image
Tapachula
image
image
image
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©