Monday, February 25, 2013

Postcard: Bali

Offering
Remnants of an offering, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud Bali.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunrise Takeoff

Sunrise Takeoff
After some debate, we decided to fly to Perth instead of fire-blighted Tasmania.  It was an early morning, and the sun peeked above the horizon just as the nose of the plain lifted.  Adelaide was wonderful, and we we’re sad to skip Tasmania, but also excited to see Perth and the remote west coast.  This was definitely a case where it was wonderful to have the flexibility of choosing where we want to go based on local conditions, and what we’re feeling like doing, instead of being locked in to a pre-planned itinerary.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kangaroo Island, Australia

Lighthouse
While checking in to our hotel in Adelaide, we made a snap decision to book a tour of Kangaroo Island for the following day.  There were only two spots left on it, and the weather forecast made that day the best option.  We had moments later when we wondered if that was the right decision, especially when we saw the large tour bus we’d be on.  Our other option was to take our rental car across on the ferry, and take the self-guided approach, but the cost to take a car on the ferry was more than tickets for both of us on the fully guided tour, and we didn’t have any specific info on the Island to guide ourselves with.  The tour experience ended up being a mixed blessing, but mostly good.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bad Photo Friday

Emu

No, not bad hair day. Bad photo day.

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It’s never a good thing to let the photographer fall behind you.  Thanks David. Posterity thanks you very much.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adelaide Central Market

Banana
We loved city markets in Australia; we’d wander, take pictures, and assemble a picnic lunch, and find a spot to eat.  Cheap, healthy, and quite fun.  In this particular market, I decided to try some more abstract close-ups, after documenting the market a bit.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Great Ocean Road

Koala
At the end of our stay in Melbourne, we rented a car, and headed out of town on the Great Ocean Road, with our ultimate destination being Adelaide. We decided to just take our time, stop when we wanted to, and not try to do the whole thing in a single day. It was a perfect day in Oz—the sun was shining, the traffic wasn’t too bad despite the fact that the school holidays were on—and we just tooled along, listening to music and enjoying being on another road trip.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Melbourne

Bud
Melbourne has been ranked as the Most Liveable City in the world for three years running, and we can see why.  It’s tram system may appear clunky compared to other cities’ subways, but in many ways it was a lot more practical and useful to the average city dweller.  We found it very easy to navigate, even if the hook turn it requires of automobiles at some intersections terrified us, when we had to perform one in our rental car, leaving the city.  We enjoyed some great meals here; some cooked in our kitchen, some made at the market, and even a very nice afternoon tea.  In our ongoing game of “could we live here?” the answer was definitely “yes.”

Monday, February 18, 2013

Australian Plumeria

Plumeria
We’ve seen lots of pretty plumeria before, mostly in San Diego, but in Australia, they seem to be Australian Big—very few have blossoms that we could reach, even if we were crass enough to pluck them from someone else's plant.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Graffiti

Grafiti
Just some pictures of graffiti we’ve seen in New Zealand and Australia—all of it condoned.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Luna Park

Moon Face
While we were staying in St. Kilda, just south of Melbourne, we discovered an amusement park a few blocks from our apartment.  Luna Park recently celebrated it’s 100th year, and we decided to explore it a little before sunset one evening.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Bad Photo Friday


We have enough bad photos to post one every day for, oh, forever. But we thought we'd share a real humdinger each week, as a counterpoint to the steady diet of gorgeous landscapes and attractive travelers posing with smiling faces. This is how you know we're not faking this trip like the moon landing. No one would ever fake these photos.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Goodbye Bali, Hello Singapore

Bali Blooms
While Singapore appears to have plumeria too, we’ll miss finding blossoms on the sidewalk everywhere as we walk.  We’ll miss the beautiful, friendly locals, and the ornate and ancient feeling buildings on every street.  But we’re excited to explore Singapore now.  It’s just waking up.
Singapore Dawn

St. Kilda, Australia

Alley
We were sad to leave New Zealand, but excited to go somewhere completely new: Australia.  We landed in Melbourne, and after a short shuttle ride arrived in St. Kilda where we’d be staying for our time in the Melbourne area. St. Kilda is a pretty, ocean-side community just to the south of the city.  We decided to rent an apartment for a few days so we could spread out, and  control our calories and our costs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Lana Kayak
The first thing we wanted to do, when we arrived on the South Island of New Zealand, was to hike or kayak in Abel Tasman National Park.  In fact, we did both.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

You might have noticed, if you come to our blog directly to read the updates rather than just getting the emails or reading it in your feed reader, that we set up a Twitter account: @2bumpsontheroad. Feel free to follow us on Twitter if you want, but don't feel obligated. We're not trying to get into the social media racket. We're primarily setting it up as an easy way to encapsulate each day in 140 characters or less, which will give everyone a bit of an idea of our day to day, especially when I can't get a good internet signal or time to update any further. David will be tweeting from this account as well with observations about things we've seen.  I personally don't understand exactly how all the hashtags and such on twitter work, so I'm not really interested in that culture. But I like the idea of a brief daily update. They'll be basic. but will hopefully give some insight into our day to day experiences.

Also, I've updated my journal in Indonesia, but haven't done any of the month we spent in Australia (sorry! the internet sucked there and I also got lazy!). I'll go back and punch it in at some point, hopefully.

Anyway, that's all I want to say. We hope that you like the new features and changes we've made. Let us know what you think!

Movie stars

Troll
We met some celebrities at the Te Papa museum. Incidentally, if you ever find yourself in Wellington, make sure you see the Te Papa. These guys were in town for the premier of their latest movie.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cats and chickens

3leggedcat
Have you ever seen a three-legged cat before? Us either. We’ve seen plenty of dogs, but this is a first. This guy found us at a holiday park in Baylys Beach (their version of a KOA campground, but with cabins and ensuite rooms). Interestingly, he still felt his phantom limb—we saw him trying to scratch himself with his non-existent leg.  He was a lover, though. We gave him a scritch since he couldn’t reach that spot on the side of his neck.
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We also came across some spectacular chickens at a roadside rest area on our way up the Kauri coast from Auckland. Just hanging out, hoping for a handout.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kiwi Prefab

Bach
We decided to rent a car and drive wherever we felt like for our two weeks in New Zealand. Doing this gave us the freedom to change our minds and follow a whim if we wanted. We decided to detour along the west coast on our way down to Wellington, and stayed in New Plymouth over the New Year’s holiday (which spans both the 1st and 2nd in New Zealand, for some reason).  While staying there, we visited the Puke Ariki museum, which had a fantastic exhibit on prefabricated architecture: Kiwi Prefab.  While the portion of the exhibit inside the museum was great, with history of prefab construction, design examples, and practical details from quick-assembly shelters for disaster relief to designer, eco-friendly cottages, the best part of the exhibit was outside, where four prefabricated buildings were open to visitors.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Meals in New Zealand

BeachLunch
This is a typical lunch in New Zealand (or anywhere that sells peanut butter, for that matter).  The view wasn’t always a beach, but it was almost always gorgeous.  Generally there would also be an apple or yogurt, and some kind of cold drink, which are not completely visible here.  Simple, cheap, and reasonably healthy.  Also, very flexible—we didn’t have to plan our day around being somewhere we could buy lunch.  When we started to get hungry, we’d keep our eye out for a pretty spot.  When we found one we liked, we’d pull off, make our peanut butter (and Jelly too, for David) sandwiches, munching away while watching the scenery and reading.  

Boats

Three Boats
One of our favorite things to do (and why our trip to New Zealand was so much fun) is just to find a medium-sized town that may not, on the face of it, be much of a tourist attraction, and simply explore it for what it is. In Whangarei, on the eastern coast of New Zealand, just below the Bay of Islands, we spent a couple of days driving around the peninsula, eating some pretty great pizza, and walking along their riverfront.  These dinghys were all parked, waiting to ferry their owners back from town.  The one on the left is going to need a bail out, though.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

The view from New Zealand

Baylys beach
In case you were wondering why we wanted to come back, here’s an answer. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gear additions

Portable Speaker
In a previous post, we talked about how the Nexus 7 has been the only addition to our electronics gear, during our travels.  That’s not quite true, and we have since added once more piece.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Zealand Flowers

One great thing about being in New Zealand in late spring/early summer, is that everything is in bloom.  We saw hydrangeas growing everywhere—out in the middle of fields, in home gardens, in parks, and in botanical gardens.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shoes: February

Shoes Feb
The Ecco’s are still holding up nicely, and we’ve had some extreme temperatures to test them in.  My feet were still reasonably comfy in them in the high 90s, with 80% humidity.  Goretex is amazing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog makeover: help us!

Wharf
We’re frustrated with the limitations of our current blog design, and are mulling a complete redesign.  Is there anything that you’d like to see that we’re not doing now?  Anything about the current design that is annoying (we have a long list there, ourselves), or that we are doing that you would like to keep?  Shoot us an email, or comment here, on Google+, or on Facebook. We know what bugs us, but we don’t know what is annoying, or lovely, from a reader's perspective. Help us, help you. Thanks and stay tuned!

Sign post

Warning
What exactly is this sign warning us about?  Bad dance moves ahead?  Tip-toe ahead?  Lana loves a good sign, and we’ve been collecting pictures of them as we see them.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Us in the Cave
When we came to New Zealand in 2005, we stayed for three weeks and took in the majority of the tourist sites, stretching from the Bay of Islands in the North Island, all the way down to Invercargill in the South Island. But the one thing we didn’t do, and regretted missing, was the glowworms in Waitomo.  You can see them by walking through one of the caves on a walkway, or in a rowboat, or by abseiling down into them. But the way we wanted to do it was with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. With them you don a lovely two piece wetsuit, grab some gum boots, a caving helmet with a light on it, and a big ol’ innertube.  You’ll be walking through the cave, floating through the cave, and oh yeah, jumping backwards off two waterfalls about 2-3 meters high, with that inner tube (hopefully) on your butt.