Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Great Barrier Reef

We were looking forward to seeing the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but we were also a little worried that we'd be jaded after having had such fantastic snorkeling in the Galapagos.  Our concern was unfounded--the reef was amazing, and very different from what we'd seen anywhere else.

Pinnacles Desert, Western Australia

While we were on the west coast of Australia, we took a day trip from Perth up to The Pinnacles, in Nambung National Park.  It was a long, but peaceful drive, with beautiful scenery along the way.  It fell in line with much of our adventures in Western Australia, in that it was not nearby but close enough to reach as a day trip.  And when you’re that far away from everything else, you might as well see what there is to see. After all, you may never make it back this way.  We had read about how interesting and beautiful it was to photograph, and decided to plan it for maximum photo opportunity by planning to arrive for the afternoon “golden hour.”  On our way out we swung by the Aquarium of Western Australia (known as AQWA, that’s another post) and then ambled up through a pretty barren landscape for a couple of hours.  At first they don’t look like much, just a few rocks sticking up out of sandy desert.
But then the light began to get really pretty, and the rocks began to cast some interesting shadows, and well, we took a lot of photos.  We had to restrain ourselves a bit in the ones we actually ended up posting, but here is the cream of the crop.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

111 Meals in New Zealand and Australia

Here's the next installment of "The Bumps Travel On Their Stomachs."  The first installment, 180 meals in South America, is here.  For reference, we flew to Australia on January 9th--there is no specific cue in the pictures to that change.

Food was very expensive, especially in Australia.  And, kitchen facilities were much more common, so you will see a lot more meals that we made; especially breakfasts and lunches.  We're still struggling with consistently taking pictures of our meals, but we were really bad at remembering to take pictures of lunches we made.  So when you see just two meals for a day, the third was almost certainly a lunch of PB & J, eaten on the road somewhere.

Bon appetit!
If you prefer, this is a direct link to the album of pictures:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Career Search

Old David
This is exactly what David used to look like when he was working. In fact, when he’s working on blogging or picture development, it’s still what he looks like. But as we travel along he’s trying out some different jobs to see how they fit, in case he wants to strike out in a new direction when we get home.
This first business is ready made—the sign is right, and he does love tea.
Is professional rock skipper a thing? Because I think he could nail the audition.
We thought long and hard about chocolatier. It’s still in the running.
He looks really cute in a chef’s hat.
20121111_130432_SGP4_2012-11-11 13.04.32
Of course, he also looks really good as an adventurer/archeology professor.
Lake Titcaca floating island reed farmer was a bit of a stretch, considering he couldn’t even stand inside the houses (and that’s a camera, not a beer baby).
And while he did ok at ice climbing, it was difficult to find a pair of crampons to fit his feet. Although maybe you can write those off on your taxes?
Hindu priest?
Rice farmer?
Rice sorter?
Moto-taxi driver?
I have to hand it to him—he’s giving everything a shot.
This guy seems to think he’d make an ok coconut street vendor. 
However, he really does seem at home in the kitchen.
Me, I think this face says it all. Thai chef or fire daredevil.
But we’re still searching. If you have any suggestions for what David should do when he grows up, leave ‘em in the comments!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Western Australia Photo Potpourri

We took some pictures in Western Australia that we liked, but didn’t fit together in a cohesive post.  So here are snapshots of the west coast:

Postcard: Pinnacles Desert, Australia

Pinnacles dessert, south-western Australia.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bad Photo Friday: Dark Edition

This is really a composite of many similar photos:
Lenscap photos happen to the best of us. Also, that photo is copyrighted, so don’t even think about trying to pass it off as your own.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Things I Carry

I was packing up the other day when I realized how little of the stuff in my suitcase now were things I started out with.  So I thought I’d go through my bag as I packed things up, and talk about some of the cool things I’ve bought or replaced, and what is standing the test of time.

Postcard: Kangaroo Island

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, Kangaroo Island, Australia.

Monday, April 15, 2013

When the Bump in the Road is Being Sick on the Road (sometimes all too literally)

Sick David

For the record, we’ve both had our turns at being sick, although someone seems to be taking more than his fair share of turns. But, if we’re keeping score, then it’s only fair to say that while David has been sick more often, Lana has definitely been injured more often.

Postcard: Sydney, Australia

Queen Victoria Building interior, Sydney, Australia.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Into the wilds of Madagascar

Since we'll have sketchy internet for the next six weeks or so, we thought we would leave you with 6 weeks of regular blog posts--the only catch is that we can't share them on Google+, so if you don't have us bookmarked on your feed reader you might want to sign up for email notifications of blog posts under 'Travel with us from your inbox' page above. Or you can follow us on twitter @2bumpsontheroad, which will post links to each new blog entry that goes up. The twitter updates will post to Facebook, and we will write a daily tweet and push them out when we can.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The time I got my nose pierced

Lana with new jewelry
**This post is going to be a bit more on the personal side, so if you come here for the pretty photos of places we’ve visited, you can skip on. We’ll have something for you soon. Also if you're my mother, you might want to skip this one.**

So yeah, I got my nose pierced in Singapore. I guess the traditional thing to do is get a tattoo, if you’re a sailor.  But since I’m not a sailor, I went a different direction.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shoes: April

Over halfway there, and the Eccos are still holding up nicely.  They could use a little brushing though.
The Toms are reflecting the dusty, messy streets we’ve been walking, but the shoes are still doing great.
It’s been way too hot to run, so very little change on these guys.  Our last run was in Luang Prabang, Laos, so that gunk in the tread is probably some alms rejected by the monks there.
I think my flip flops are showing the most wear.  I’d worry about them lasting, but I suspect they’ll be of limited use in Europe, so they might get shipped home along with backup drive #3.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bad Photo Friday: Personal Care Edition

No one looks good with a cork attached to their nose.
David had his hair “styled” in Singapore. It’s a new look for him. You can tell by his expression that he loooooves it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bunbury Birds

We spent a night in Bunbury, on our way from the Valley of the Giants to Perth.  It was a practical stop for us and we didn’t have specific plans, but while there we found a bird sanctuary and had fun wandering and taking pictures.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kopi in Singapore

Ya Kun Kaya Toast
One of the things we loved most about Singapore was kopi and kaya toast.  We’ve been told we travel on our stomachs, and we won’t deny it.  Regional foods have consistently been one of our favorite travel experiences.  Kopi is made from beans which have been roasted with fat and sugar, then finely ground, brewed into a stiff, concentrated form, and finally mixed with sugar, hot water, condensed milk and evaporated milk.  There are a number of other variations, without one or both canned milks, no sugar, less water, etc., and we tried a few of those, but plain kopi was our clear favorite.  It is intense, a little thick, slightly sweet, and has a well mixed, complex flavor. 

Often kopi is served with kaya toast, as above, at Ya Kun Kaya Toast.  Kaya is a coconut egg custard, flavored with pandan, and it’s delicious.  In the ‘everything’s better with butter’ school of thought, the kaya spread is supplemented with a healthy—ok, bad choice of word—slab of butter.  

It was fascinating to watch kopi being brewed and served.  The video below only shows it being served, but the brewing involved pouring hot water from one of those metal pitchers through a long cloth bag full of grounds, fitted in another identical pitcher, then pouring that coffee back into the original pitcher, and back through the filter again several times, all with the pouring pitcher raised well above the receiving pitcher.  Once brewed, it's ready to be diluted based on the orders that come in.

There are variations on kopi throughout Malaysia, and even Vietnamese coffee is similar, in some ways (it is also roasted in fat and sugar), but the kopi we fell in love with seems to be unique to Singapore, more’s the shame.  One other thing we first noticed in Singapore, and found elsewhere in South East Asia, is this handy little sling for carrying your hot beverage. You get one of these when you order your kopi "to take away."

We had kopi at several different places, including lots of places that you couldn't get kaya toast, but our favorites were the ones with a more traditional, straightforward menu: Ya Kun Kaya and Toast Box. And judging by how busy they each were, at all hours of the day and night, they were everyone else's favorites too.