Hello, my name is… well, actually I don’t know what my name is, because mummy and daddy are still deciding, but I know I’ll be a Siracusa, and I will most likely be born in Siracusa.
I was made in Sanur, Bali, 3 months ago with tons of love, and I traveled in mummy’s belly ever since, even though mummy and daddy only found out about me in their last days in Australia.
Mummy managed to keep traveling and never felt sick, but by the end of it she was dying for more comfort and my grannies Deolinda’s and Antonella’s delicious homemade food.
Mummy and daddy saw me for the first time last week in Portugal. They were very emotional when they saw me through the ultrasound scan machine and heard my heart beat. They are not sure yet, but they think I’m a boy. Mummy said I looked like my daddy because I was moving my hands a lot like a real Italian. I’m not sure what she means.
Now the 3 of us are in Siracusa (where else could the Siracusas be?) and we are getting ready to kick start our new lives.
Mummy is drinking almond milk and eating good food, while Daddy spends his time drinking espresso, eating aubergines (eggplants) and catching up with old friends. We are looking for a cozy home for the 3 of us, but not too cozy because as nomad spirits we might be on the move again at some stage in the future.
Well, that’s it for now. Mummy and Daddy will keep in touch, as for me… see you in 6 months 🙂
Greetings from Portugal! Those of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter know that our big journey is over and that we’re spending some quality post-trip time with our Portuguese family and friends before we head to Italy. We’ll make new posts on the blog very soon as we have loads and loads of stories and photos to share, however we are taking it real easy for now 🙂
This is also one of the reasons why the blog has been quiet over the last couple of weeks… Hovewer NomadBiba, a fellow travel blogger, gave us a buzz the other day nominating us to participate into Tripbases’s 7 links project – how could we turn down her invitation?
So here are our 7 links:
1. Most Beautiful Post
Well… While it makes us uncomfortable to nominate our own best post (sounds kind of pretentious :)), if we have to choose one, it’ll be Beautiful, exotic, spiritual, colourful Bali– it was written with the hearth and we are particularly proud of most of the pictures featured in that post.
2. Most Popular Post
Ok, this is not a real blog post but our About Us page – once we started the blog our About Us page received loads of encouraging comments from our friends, making it one of the most popular sections of our website 🙂
3. Most Controversial Post
We don’t think there is any particularly controversial post on our blog. However, if I am to pick a post that covered a potentially controversial subject it’s Chiang Rai: Meeting hill-tribes in Northern Thailand. During our time in South East Asia we saw the pitfalls of the ethnic minorities tourist business and came across many tour companies whose practices were less than ethical, therefore whenever we chose to visit any of these hill-tribe villages we did it through companies who showed a commitment toward the local communities, or, as it was the case in Sapa, North Vietnam, independently.
When, at the beginning of our adventure, wandering through the streets of Jodhpur’s old town, we met this little girl called Hemlta, she invited us in and introduced us to her family. In the following days we came back to her place to spend some more time with her and take some photograph. The post is Photographing Hemlta’s family
It’s been a while since our last post, but we haven’t forgotten about our blog and you guys! Australia kept us busy and we will eventually share some stories and pictures about it as soon as we get a chance to catch up with our posting activity.
We’re now in New Zealand, enjoying some stunning scenery and travelling across the country in a cosy portable home 🙂 Soon after having arrived in Christchurch we picked a previously booked rental campervan and so our road trip began. I guess this is the best way to enjoy New Zealand’s most unique features: its landscapes and its natural beauty.
The camper-van was cheaper than we thought and its rental price includes full cover in case of accidents and other inconveniences. Once we can sleep and cook in the camper, we don’t have a lot of extra expenses (apart from grocery, fuel and camper-van park fees) – which helps a lot keeping our budget under control. On top of that we are completely free to make our itinerary day by day and change our plans as we see fit. To complete the package, we also bought a Vodafone USB stick that enables us to connect to the Internet (and therefore to the outside world) as we move from one place to another. We couldn’t possibly ask for more 🙂
As our Facebook followers know already, we first drove a campervan in Australia (we did a rental-relocation from Sydney to Melbourne) and we simply loved that experience. Not only is having freedom and flexibility great when travelling, but also Australia and New Zealand have great roads, infrastructures and facilities for campers, which make your life (and your road trip) easier.
We are now exploring the south island and we quickly came to the conclusion that our initially planned 10 days won’t be enough to fully enjoy the spectacular sceneries this country has to offer. Therefore, we might extend our stay by few more days, even though the cold temperatures (the winter is just starting on this part of the world) are challenging us after more than 6 months travelling in the tropics.
Anyway, here are few pictures of some of the places we have seen so far in our road trip. This is just an appetizer as we have the feeling that we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’ and the best part has to come. In fact, for a start, tomorrow we are going to Milford sound and from the pictures and reviews we have seen, it seems one of the most stunning places in the world. We are also planning to head to the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers after this, which promise to be pretty amazing sights – way ‘more amazing’ than what we’ve seen so far.
We hope to be able to do more posts and share more pictures in the next few days so stay tuned!
Yesterday we moved to a little seaside place called Amed, on the east side of the island. As I’m typing this post from our guesthouse balcony, I can hear the waves crashing in the sand and I’m enjoying a stunning view of a volcanic beach and thinking just how beautiful this island is.
The other day, on our trip from Ubud to Lovina, we met a Dutch couple who told us that they didn’t like Bali.”It’s too touristy“, they said – yeah, it’s true, some parts of the island are crowded with tourists. Just like Thailand, Bali is probably one of the most advertised destinations in Southeast Asia. So what?
“There’s always someone trying to sell you something” – yes, that’s true also, but this happens everywhere we have been in Southeast Asia, where there are tourists around. I guess we got used to it and we don’t let this spoil our experience. Also, as annoying as it can be, we need to understand that this people are only trying to make a leaving and feed their families – most hawkers don’t have a different way to earn money (the other day on the beach I had a very interesting chat with two ladies that sell stuff to tourists – spending an hour chatting with them was really interesting as it helped me understand more about their world and the way they see us foreigners).
In the end, I just don’t care how touristy this place is. I fell in love with Bali from the moment we stepped out of the plane. We felt a great vibe and we knew immediately we would enjoy our stay here.
During our taxi ride from the airport to Ubud, we got almost emotional with the scenes passing in front of our eyes through the car’s window – young girls dancing in traditional costumes in the school yard, entire families in colourful Balinese attire on their motorbikes, houses that looked like temples with shrines and statues of Gods, beautiful stone and wood carvings everywhere on the roadside, lively temple festivals, old women walking around bare-breasted… and this was just what we saw on a one hour drive. We were both full of excitement to see what else this exotic island had to offer.
Some people who visit Bali prefer to hire a driver with car to move around, but beside being significantly more expensive, having a driver can be limiting and sometimes frustrating. As we’ve heard that some of these people who offer to drive you around for a fee can act as ‘informal guides’ giving you a perspective on Balinese culture and traditions, we thought we would try the experience. So we hired a driver for a day at the beginning of our Balinese adventure in Ubud. First off, he didn’t seem to know much about his own country – of all the many questions we asked about culture and traditions, most of them remained unanswered or if there was an answer, it was confused and (in some cases we found out later) rather imprecise. Second, communication was a major problem because we don’t speak Balinese or Indonesian and he didn’t have good English. Lastly, he drove us to all the tourist traps around Ubud, rather than helping us discover what’s beyond the beaten path.
I don’t doubt that there may be good drivers in Ubud, but it just didn’t work out for us. Actually, we soon realized that if we wanted to see something interesting we needed our own transportation, so we rented a motorbike and since then we got hooked on it. It’s quite easy to drive in Bali. The roads are ok and with Emanuele’s experience driving in Sicily, which is where he is from and where he was raised, Balinese roads don’t seem scary at all 🙂
The motorbike is allowing us to see a different Bali, sometimes even outside the tourist areas and the guidebooks. Most importantly, it’s enabling us to soak up this island at our own pace and with enough independence.
I can say, whether it’s ‘gatecrashing’ a temple festival, mingling with the locals and hearing their stories, waking up at sunrise to enjoy spectacular views, or just driving our motorbike through the rice fields and the luscious vegetation, the Bali we are experiencing is proving so energizing, inspiring and rewarding, that we’ve moved the date of our next flight to Sydney to the 18th of May… Australia can wait! 🙂
Now, I’ve selected a few pictures we shot in the past few days, which I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoy them.
The rice fields
Temple festivals and religious rituals and celebrations
…In the next few days I’ll post more pictures on our Facebook page, so stay tuned if you want to see more of our Bali images 🙂
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