Bye bye, Australia…

So last night was my final supper with the boys. We started with drinks at the Opera Bar, right by the water by Sydney Opera House. Possibly one of my favourite places in the whole world to be. And extra special to be there with my best boys – Dr Dan and Scott. And the lovely Matthew and Will completed my male quartet.

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It was then on to a cheap eats nearby, where Julia made a cameo appearance. There was eating, drinking and even some dancing. Scott and I murdered the dancefloor (according to reviews)…

I have many happy memories to take with me as I head to Asia: open mic nights in Cairns, managing to stay alive on my first instructor-free scuba dive, painting the town red after qualifying with all my new scuba friends, playing guitar on the roof-top on Bribie Island, xmas with the lovely Roberts family, sing-a-long Grease, new year/birthday invasion by Lou Lou, tears at midnight watching the new year fireworks on Dan’s balcony, and far too many giggles and good times with Dan and Scott.

But now the adventure really begins…

 

2013 travel plans…

So the last two days have been spent locked in a darkened office at Dan’s place trying to organise the Asian leg of my grand tour. I seem to be making progress. I leave for Bangkok tomorrow and have a long weekend there with accommodation booked. I’m going for the flashpacker option.

Then on 8 January I fly to Rangoon and out again on 28 January. I’m hoping while I am there to take in the capital city, the golden boulder at Mt Kyaitiyo, do the 2-4 day trek from Kalaw to Lake Inle, head up to Mandalay, take a boat from there to Bagan, fly over the temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon, and then if there is time fit in a few days on the Bay of Bengal before flying to Siem Reap in Cambodia on 28 January. Just hope I fit it all in and that Burmese hotels and transport systems are kind to me.

I’m starting to get a little nervous about how difficult it may be to get around and find my feet in Burma. As it’s a cash only economy it’s difficult to book much ahead of time as they have no means of guaranteeing your stay. But a challenge is exactly what I wanted, so I’ll give it my best shot. This is where the quartergapyear adventure really starts – just me, the guitar, some pristine US dollars, and a Lonely Planet guide.

Happy birthday Louise!!

Normally on new year’s day, I am unlikely to be seen before midday. But this year was different because I was spending it with Louise, whose birthday is new year’s day and also happens to be the person I know who gets MOST excited about their birthday. It would have been cruel to have stayed in bed…

This is Louise’s excited it’s my birthday face.

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We headed over to Darling Harbour for some lunch at Cargo bar with Bec and Michelle.

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After finding a nasty birthday bug in her salad, Louise got us all free drinks for practically the whole afternoon. Not just at Cargo, but at their sister bar along the harbour, Bungalow 8. The photos speak for themselves…

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A very good day/night was had by all…

Happy new year

I saw in the new year at Dan and Scott’s place in central Sydney. We were joined by Louise who jetted in from Melbourne to join the party, along with her sister Bec and friend Michelle who had come over from Canberra.

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Also in attendance were Tony, Will and Will’s friend Richard.

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As the clock approached midnight, there was only one thing to do…

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And then we settled on to Dan’s balcony to watch the fireworks. Truly amazing.

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2012 has been a whirlwind year – plenty of highs, and a few lows. So it felt good to say goodbye to it with the best fireworks display on the planet. And look ahead to 2013, which is already filled with many adventures and plenty more I don’t even know about yet.