Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TRAVELLING AGAIN?




taken at the airport during my recent trip to Vietnam

Hi All,
am baack...miss ya'all.  See I just couldn't resist it and so I just had to come back..teehee.  Now am a little free after all the 'hoo haa' in the preparations for the State Level  Harvest Festival Celebration and after tying up loose ends following that, am now not as occupied with deadlines and meetings and what nots..save for the Appreciation Dinner for our sponsors and supporters this coming Saturday.   Oh gosh, I am forgetting, we have yet to follow up on non-payments on our charity dinner tables from a couple of buyers and then there's that still outstanding from advertisers on the Charity Dinner handbook failing which, we could face a bit of problem in closing our accounts.  

Me travelling again? Nahhh.. not for the time being..  A couple of friends are enticing me a cheap direct flight from KK to Perth.  With  a luggage, the return fare is RM1,100.00.   Still thinking about it though I feel the duration there is too long from 14th to 21st September.. so maybe not. Even if the fare is reasonable, but to be there for that period could eat up them pockets even if we say,  stay at budget self-contained lodgings meaning we do our own cooking and stuff, we would still have to think about the fares for coaches, trains or even taxis, food and other miscellaneous.  My buddies are even talking about taking a coach and travel way down to Sydney, a rather attractive alternative, and I am even thinking that perhaps I could even bunk-in with my sis there.

Talking about self-contained lodging brings me down memory lane to my trip with these friends to New Zealand in 2012.  Planning our trip and hunting for cheap lodgings through the Net brought thrill, looking at all the lovely pictures and locations and of course the price, plus the freedom to pick and choose and the joy in arriving the place and seeing it for real is incomparable.   Ok, while some places brought us absolute delight, some experiences were rather daunting but I wouldn't trade the adventure it gave us for anything! 

There was this incident - we had rented a car and drove from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo where we planned to stay the night before proceeding to Queenstown with a stopover at Mt Cook.  Isn't GPS a genius invention?



 Christchurch


Our ride.  I was not the driver...:)


It was in dead of autumn and was brrrr freezing cold and windy, but the sceneries along the way were a sight to behold, simply exhilarating!  

We arrived Lake Tekapo, a popular tourist destination, a beautiful place by the Lake surrounded by snowy mountains (reminded me of Sounds of Music) around 9 pm.  We had not arranged any accommodation  beforehand as we read from brochures that there were several budget lodgings there. Upon arriving and inquiring several inns, we found one that was reasonable but charged guests per head. As we were on a budget, we reckoned that by cheating a little, we could save some dough...hahaha.. ok a cheat is a cheat no matter how small.  But back to my story, we gathered our wits and my 2 friends went to the counter and asked for a place for 2 while I and another friend crouched inside the car.   They managed to get a place and paid for two and we quietly checked-in. The lodge was a little way away from the reception area and also it was dark and so it was safe from anybody's sight.
  

 stop over at salmon farm..



we bought frozen ones too,  for our dinner..


 sceneries to die for




Lots of stop over, toilet breaks..




 the lodging, ours in the middle..

The room was big,  complete with a double bed and a double decker, a kitchen and dining table. It was gorgeous and to top it, it was fully furnished with complete kitchen utensils. Perfect! My buddy Teri squealed in delight when she saw a nice toaster. We were famished and so we thought before we had that dinner proper, we could have some toasted bread first. She plonked in the bread into the toaster and we went about unpacking and assessing what food to cook that night.  Then suddenly, we smelt smoke.. someone shouted "The house is on fire"!!      Then we realised, . it was the darned toaster.. it wouldn't pop the bread out automatically!  The bread was badly burnt and we again jumped up in shock when the fire alarm went off!  It was ringing so loud, I felt the that it echoed right through the mountains and the whole of Lake Tekapo!




 Most of the time we prepare or cook our own meals.  
Vegetables and meats are fresh and cheap.


that's us having our breakfast  


Mussels anyone? Can be found at any supermarket and quite cheap too..


meat is fresh and cheap.  More sheep than humans in New Zealand.


look at the view from our cabin..


 woke up early to catch the sunrise... it was frrreezing..

  

 wild flowers


taken from a moving car. That's Canterbury Plain.. 
on the way to Mt Cook. 
           
                         

... fire alarm went off!  It was ringing so loud, I felt the that it echoed right through the mountains and the whole of Lake Tekapo!






We nervously switched off everything and opened the windows to let the darned smoke out.. the whole house was filled with smoke. Then horrors, we suddenly remembered.. the people from the reception could come and check us out and if they see that there were more than 2 of us, we are dead for sure... hahaha.. That would be beyond embarrassment.  And so 2 of us ran helter-skelter to the car parked outside in the cold and windy autumn night and hid there for several minutes, cowering inside, giggling and peering through the car windows to see if anybody was coming to check us out...oh the guilt!! My friends managed to silenced the fire alarm and no one appeared..phew!  After several minutes, our friends whispered for us to come up and we had a good laugh that night. We were lucky, we had a narrow escape. God must have seen our plight .. but gave a good scare nonetheless, a good lesson learnt!  It never pays to cheat. To you guys who were manning the lodgings that night, please accept our sincere apologies.




So many more funny anecdotes during our travels and we were even spooked in one of the B & B in Wellington but that's another story. 

And so you wonder why I love travelling so much. I wish my pockets would let me do more...sigh..

Cheers and thanks for reading.




the rare times that we ate out at restaurants...very very expensive. 









A LESSON ON LIFE FROM DAD...

Just sharing this beautiful message received from a friend through WhatsApp which I think also received from someone. Guess it has been ...