alilou's Adventures in Wonderland - all over the map.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by alilou, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    To all the Vancouver crew who wanted to hear about my travels, and anyone else who's interested, here's the first installment.

    I'm sitting in Sydney airport waiting for my flight to Canberra where my family lives. It will be the first time in 7 yrs that I've seen them.

    But I'll start at the beginning - a flight from Vancouver to LA, and a few hours in LA - so we went into town to see what we could see and found Olvera St - the historic heart of LA and a little slice of Mexico in downtown LA. It was fun - a couple of Latin bands, and lots of little stalls. I really wanted to see the Walt Disney Concert Hall (an incredible building designed by Frank Gehry) but it was about 15degrees and raining. In LA! We were freezing so went back to the airport.

    From LA we flew to Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, a gorgeous South Pacific tropical dreamland. We'd seen the pictures, but nothing prepares you for the reality. Whatever those pictures of tropical paradise look like, the reality is 100 times better.

    We rented a little cottage on poles right on the beach. The entire island is surrounded by a coral lagoon. I hardly know where to start to describe it. Later when I get to my sister's I'll post some links, but I can't seem to find them atm. All the stuff about white sand beaches and coconut trees and azure seas and blue skies and endless sunshine is true.

    I'm going to try to post this now. I tried to preview it but when I click on preview post is tells me I'm not logged in.

    More later.
     
  2. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Shame you are not coming to Melbourne. It would be great to catch up.
     
  3. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I don't remember the chronology, it doesn't matter. One day we did the tourist thing and went on a lagoon glass-bottom-boat cruise out to the edge of the reef and went snorkelling with an amazing array and quantity of tropical fish in every colour imaginable. It was like being in a giant aquarium. And the guys who took us out had been "taming" a moray eel for a few years by feeding it chunks of fish. Sure enough they managed to coax it out of it's hiding place in the coral - it's about 8 ft long - amazing to see so close. And then they took us to an island in the lagoon and made us a fish bbq lunch and gave us a demo of how to tie a sarong and husk a coconut - the latter of which I'm bound to find extremely useful in everyday life :lol:

    Another day we went for a hike across the island. It's listed as Raro's most popular hike but we saw no-one probably because all the tourist info says it's dangerous and you need to be experienced hikers and go with a guide. Mr alilou and I are pretty experienced hikers but I must admit we found it challenging - very narrow path, very rocky, very slippery, lots of creek/river crossings. It was really hard work, but totally worth it, even the anxious moments when we thought we'd be swallowed by tropical jungle and never seen again. Honestly there were times when we really didn't have a clue where the track went next. It just seemed to end in the middle of the jungle. The eventually we'd discover a tree marker or a bit of an opening in the greenery. We finally made it out the other side about 3 1/2 hours later hot tired and filthy. Time for a swim. In water that's always about 25C degrees :swoon:
     
  4. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Hey Aussie Willy I'd love to come to Melb but just not enough time. What was supposed to be a 5 week trip turned into over 6 trying to fit in all we wanted to see. Come up to Canberra!
     
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  5. deedeelocks

    deedeelocks xx

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    :cheer2: write me more! :D
     
  6. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot! Cannot wait for another instalment. :respec:
     
  7. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    alilou, back home it's 11 degrees. And raining. I will try to bottle this all up and save it for you upon your return to Vancouver. Wouldn't want you to miss out on any of this.... ;)
     
  8. Celine82

    Celine82 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I hope the rest of the trip will be just as great! Keep enjoying! :)
     
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I would if I could. I actually have to go to Sydney for work in a couple of weeks.
     
  10. SandraMGfan

    SandraMGfan Active Member

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    you were in your very own Lost episode! :lol:
     
  11. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    This may seem a strange question, but were there a lot of mosquitoes around your cottages on poles? I've always wanted to go on a tropical vacation but I'm horribly allergic to mosquitoes and holidays are not much fun when your limbs have swollen up like eggs :(
     
  12. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Vicariously enjoying azure skies and warm waters Alilou.
     
  13. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thank you so much Peter. You're so kind :lol:

    It def felt like it at times. A bit scary but really really worth it.

    Yes there's mosquitos - daytime ones and nighttime ones. The day time ones are the ones that carry dengue fever but we were told there hadn't been an outbreak of dengue in the Cooks that year so we weren't too worried from that perspective. The nighttime ones are the malaria carriers but afaik there's no malaria in the south Pacific. So....... if you don't go into the jungle, but stay by the beaches you don't need to worry about the daytime mozzies. They are only inland in the jungle. When we were hiking in the jungle we used Deet because altho I don't come out in big red lumps or get egg legs :( mozzies love me and I hate scratching. At night we just stayed indoors in our cottage that had screens on the windows, otherwise you'd need to use some kind of repellent.


    I have remembered I have a blog! My neice set it up for me several years ago so I could send some pics of our Vancouver apartment to my sisters in Australia, and I haven't used it since. I have another sister who is currently housesitting for us in Vancouver so I hope to be able to talk to her in the next 3 hrs or so and get the user name and password for my blog. I shall then post a link to it and continue stories of my travels there. I'll be able to include pictures (which I hope will make my ramblings a bit more interesting).

    So hopefully sometime in the next day or so I will post the next instalment on my blog. With pictures! :cheer2:
     
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  14. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update Alilou!!! Glad you are having a good time and be careful. :cheer2:
     
  15. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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  16. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Those photos are absolutely gorgeous!!!! Keep 'em coming! :cheer2:
     
  17. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Alilou - lovely 'make you want to be there' photos and interesting commentary.
     
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Alilou - is that you in the grass skirt and coconuts?
     
  19. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Awww, alilou, you've made me homesick! If you visit the ice rink, please let me know so I can PM you with shout-outs to stirling and some other friends there!
     
  20. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    glad you like them. We just have one of those little point n click digital cameras so we're delighted when we get half decent photos

    yep! That's me! :lol:

    Are you from Canberra?! We won't be visiting the rink (not enough time). And I didn't know stirling was here.
     
  21. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Glad you like them. I'm often amazed when they turn out.
     
  22. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm from Adelaide, but I moved from Canberra to Beijing. My family moved back to Adelaide after I moved here. I went to uni in Canberra and worked for the ACT government. When I go home now I only go to Adelaide, but I miss my friends in Canberra, the good roads, Tree of Life, and Cafe Essen a lot.
     
  23. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    alilou, if you don't have a lot of time to read and go straight to this thread, V&M are in for next season and are taking one year at a time, and they have a four-year sponsorship deal with Roots.

    Hope you're having a grand time, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.
     
  24. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    It's always amazing and wonderful to hear of people who know Canberra. Most people outside Australia haven't even heard of it.

    Thanks for this info. I've hardly had time to look into any of the threads. I did know there was a news conference coming up but hadn't heard what they'd said. Very very pleased to hear they're continuing. :respec:

    Finally got my next blog post done. We're having a fabulous time :cheer2:

    Here's the link
    http://alisonarmstrong.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy.
     
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  25. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Cool blog. Nice to see what you and Don look like. Looks like a great trip.

    BTW - are you coming back to Sydney? I am up there next weekend and then have a two day training session for work on the Monday and Tuesday.
     
  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

    You and Don look great. :cheer2: I could hear your voice narrating your blog :)
     
  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Wow! and Wow!
    Thank you for sharing this with us.
     
  28. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

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    Thanks for sharing. :) I would freak out if I saw that spider in person; the picture is making me shudder.
     
  29. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Enjoyed it Allison - thanks for taking the time (though I don't know where you found it).

    Your photos and commentary about the wildlife upped my own excitement for the trip we're taking to San Diego (leaving in just a few days). The main purpose is to go the zoo, wild animal park, and seaworld.

    That spider freaked me out as well, I must say.

    And the photos were great, you and Don look like you are having the time of your life. Look forward to the next installment.
     
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  30. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Alas no. We go from Port Douglas to Uluru to Perth to Vietnam, then home to Vancouver.

    The time comes in the evenings. Plus there is an excellent internet cafe in PD so it's a fun way to spend the evening. Don't know how it will be from now on. There may be an internet cafe in Uluru, and hopefully we'll find one in Perth.

    Have a great time in San Diego :cheer2:


    And thanks everyone for your nice comments. It encourages me to keep going. I'm also emailing it to lots of friends/family too so it's a good way to share our trip.
     
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