I forgot to say that I am in New Zealnd for 2 months so there will be a lot of updates from here. After the Rotorua. the tour took me to Taupo which is another Geothermal town with hot springs. There is also a national part that contains a certain mountain that appears in Lord of the rings which you can hike. No I did not hike it why because it cost $59 and I am here for 2 months so I will be going back that way and I hope the weather is better as it was very cold and it was raining. Taupo lead to river valley yes you guested it its a lodge in a valley which has a river that runs infront of it one night there and onto Wellington. As I said before I haven't done that much here in the North island because I will be going round it again before I leave for my next destination. But hopefully expect more interesting thoughts and activities from the south island.
What I have seen of New Zealand so far is beautiful however its not fun travelling on your own especially after travelling with a fantastic group of people before hand. So far I have been to two museums in Auckland which were very interesting and I have now started my Kiwi Experience journey around both the north and south islands. However as many of you know New Zealand is the place to go for adreneline junkies which lets face it I am not. Especially after the accidents I have had in the last month and a half which were nearly drowning, spraining my wriste and twisting my knee. So I have decided its only the safe options for me. which means museums, parks and historical buildings. Having said that I have dug a big hole on the beach to create a spa and gone to see glow warms and this afternoon I will go to one of the parks which has boiling pools of water which I have to add are fenced in.
Musical instruments from the Polynesian islands
Example of Maori house in Museum.
View from the top of Mt Eden
Hole that I dug for spa which turned out to be cold water but managed to use someone elses which was empty.
Me hiking we had to go through a few tunnels.
The floor of the tunnel it was so dark I was using the flash to see the floor.
Stair well to the caves to see the glow warms.
Stalactites in the cave.
If you look very carefully you might just see a green wiggly line its a glow warm.
Moari lady demonstrating weaving at the cultural experience.
So what did I do in Aus that is simple I spent at least four day up dating this blog why because china did not want me to have a blog. I did manage to do I went to the rememberance statue in melbourne, the old Gaol that makes to gaols now one in dublin and now in melbourne. I also went to the museum which was as always very informative about the aboriginies. I also went to a couple of mountains; Mt Dandenong, Mt schank (I think how that is how it is spelt) We had a BBQ at Mt Dandenong with my cousin and her friends. The went to Mt Gambier with a friend and all od his friends. Now there are a couple of thigs people need to know about Sri Lankan's if you have not met many of them. They cannot eat food with out chilli and they need their cup of tea. This was evident as someone forgot to bring tea with them on the 6+hrs drive thank god I wasn't the one having to do the driving which is a change. We went to the Blue Lake which is amazing and is only blue during the summer months. At Mt Schank I hiked up to the top yes that is right people I hiked up to the top no complaining no wining I just climb up and back down. The only thing I didn't do was look into the crater as it is an extinct volcano. Then on the way back we went along the great ocean road which was beautiful. After all that it left me enough time to pack for New Zealand.
Just because its random
Giants chair at Mt Dandenong
View from Mt Dandenong if you look closely you can see Melbourne city
Old Melbourne Gaol
The group that I travelled with.
Blue lake in Mt Gambier area
View from Mt Schank
Sri Lankan style of travelling yes they took a cooker to make tea on the way.
As it was their Arts festival there were a lot of opportunities to see/hear live music, dance and drama some for free along the harbour. So what do you do in Hong kong when there is festival going on you follow the music so I spent most of my time at the harbour listening, watching and taking notes on performances and rhythms ok boring stuff to those not interested. I also went to a Cantonese Opera lets just say it was an experience I am glad I had the opportunity to see it but its not something I would do again for one simple fact I had no idea what was going on. When ever the audience started to clap I took that as my que to clap when they laughed I had no idea what was so funny. The singing was interesting by the use of cymbals went right through me and gave me a headache I know I should be used to all the noise considering my profession but I must be out of practice.
On my last morning in Hong Kong I went to my favourite cafe/restaurant called deli and wine lovely food and reasonal price. I also bumped into one of the girls from the trans siberian tour walking along the harbour. We also bumped into each other in Yangshou what are the chances. Next stop Melbourne.
Well when we got to Hong Kong we bought tickets to Disneyland as I have never been to one and the tickets were reasonable in price. So spent the whole day there as it was halloween there was a glow in the dark parade as well. Went on the Galaxy ride and felt sick once I got off. Met Donald Duck, Mickey, Pooh and Eeyore. There was also Tarzan's island. We went on a Winnie the Pooh ride twice so we could get a good picture. We also went into the haunted house and hotel which made us jump at every turn with all the actors jumping out at you from behind walls. I think the scariest thing was the fact that they were talking chinese so what ever they were saying we didn't understand. The pics say more about the day than I can.
After the tour finished I had a few extra days in Hong Kong so we end to the space museum, art museum and Kowloon walled park where a parrot said 'Hello'. Met up with a couple of people from the tour who were still in Hong Kong for a send off which resulted in nearly missing the last train back to the hotel. The following day we went on a hop on hop off bus tour of Hong Kong island looking at the old part then the financial area. Then another send off for one of the group.
The last train of the tour another overnight train again on the top bed. The train went to shenzhen which is the border of mainland China and Hong Kong. We arrived at 11am and had to go through immigration which was strange as we had to walk through the train station and fill in an arrival card the reason it is weird is because on the plane or train when I crossed borders the card/form has been given to us to fill in before we get to the border/country where are we had to fill it in at the station. After going through immigration one more train to the hotel so we had to get the underground/subway/metro. Once we had checked in we when on our last tour we went to the avenue of stars where the statue of Bruce Lee and other chinese actors have put their hand prints. Then it was off to Hong Kong central via the ferry then a tram to victoria peak for the light show which we didn't see because fog rolled in and it started to rain.
Another day of travelling by bus and overnight train to Guilin. The only difference this time on the train was that I had to sleep on the top bed which involves climbing a ladder. For those who know me they know I usually freak out when faced with steps but I made it after the rest of the group talked me through it because I froze, after the train it was another bus ride to Yangshou. Yangshou is my favourite place in china where you can see the paddy fields and mountains as we could not check in until 11am and we arrived at 6am we had a little tour around and then breakfast at the first place where they have menu written in english so it was scrambled egg on taost for breakfast yummy. After check in and a shower it was a bamboo boat ride up/down the river Li which is beautiful. We then went to watch the birds that fish at night think HSBC advert of the bird picking up fish and dropping it into the basket well think again it was a more agressive of hitting the birds and throwing them into the water and forcing them in. Not nice something I would not recomment for anyone to see. Day to I spent just chilling and walking round Yangshou followed by a light show which was nice. Last day in Yangshou was busy I took a Tai Chi lesson, Kung Fu lesson and a cooking lesson so I was up at 6am and finished by 1pm then waited until 6pm for the bus to the train station to get the train the Hong Kong.
Before we left Xi'an we had a dumpling lunch I have never seen so many different types of dumplings. After that it was back on a over night train which was followed by a day of travelling by bus then by van to get the boat to the 3 gorges. We had a very nice dinner in Yichang they seem to like their ginger there, then it was onto the boat which was ok apart from the massive wet patch on the floor and smelling damp. I spent the day relaxing on the boat watching the scenery passing by.
After Shanghai you guessed it another overnight train to Xi'an where the Terracotta Warriors are, this is also the location of the Bell tower, Drum tower and one of the largest muslim community in china so there is a mosque I tried to find it to take a picture but unfortunately was unable to as there was a very large market there as well. It was a little tricky getting to the terracotta warriors as it is at least an hour outside of Xi'an. Our tour leader wrote instructions down so we could get a taxi to the bus station could we get a taxi answer no, did we have to walk around for hours yes did we end up getting a bus to the station yes. We then found the right bus that goes to the terracotta site spent some time there. The warriors are actually reconstructed and the excurvation sites are still in progress as they are still finding more and more parts. The site was not a big as I expected it to be, but it turns out the warrior were painted giving them different colours for rank and also region they came from. After the warriors we headed back to Xi'an which was straight forward but then we had to get a taxi and you guessed it the taxi took us the wrong way but we managed to do some shopping at walmart ready for the train the next night and also the boat ride. Then another mission to get a taxi to the hotel but we survived.