Machu Picchu – Finally!

Todays the day! The sun is shining , the tank is clean (actually it was pouring rain but I just wanted to use a Finding Nemo reference) and we were going to Machu Picchu! I had barely slept a wink all night because I was too excited. Before last night I hadn’t really thought about seeing Machu Picchu because we were doing some many activities but after wandering around Aguascalientes and knowing we were so, so close the excitement got to be too much.

We packed up and walked down to the meeting point about a 15 minute trek out of town. Despite the  pouring rain, nothing was going to ruin my good spirits – I was going to see Machu Picchu! At 5am they opened the entrance gate and we were off, it was a race to be the first up there. What I stupidly hadn’t realised that the hike to Machu Picchu would be a direct uphill ascent. I was still half asleep and my body couldn’t comprehend standing up, let alone tackling stairs! Within minutes I was out of breath and sweaty from the humid jungle temperature. Peeling off my jumpers and jacket, I hiked in just my singlet top and plastic poncho – it wasn’t exactly the most fashionable way to trek!

The hike took about an hour and I was one of the first of the group to get to the top to the next entrance point. It was such a relief to be there, despite my wet hair and soaked through clothes – the photos later on were going to look interesting! I met with some others from the group and we waited until the entrance point was open and the rest of the group arrived. The sun had come up by now but the morning air was still chilly, I rugged up again in what dry clothes I had left and we entered the gates to Machu Picchu.

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Walking into the Machu Picchu site

I can’t describe the feeling of seeing Machu Picchu for the first time. It was a combination of elation, amazement and excitement. It was like a scene out of Avatar, the massive mountains floated around the misty clouds and Wayna Picchu stood majestically in the background. It was funny because the most common touristic image of Machu Picchu is actually of Wayna Picchu Mountain. But it is such a grand looking bit of stone; so its understandable why they promote using this view. We had a two-hour tour around the Machu Picchu site but I didn’t take a word in, I was too busy soaking up the atmosphere. I was finally here! By now the sun had come out fully and the cool air had disappeared. My hair and clothes dried out and it was obvious that we had picked a perfect day.

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I’m here!
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Soaking wet and super excited!

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Beautiful, so beautiful!
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Machu Picchu

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Work of the Incas

We walked around the site for for awhile and I took more photos than necessary but nothing could capture how it really looked. The tiredness from this mornings hike started to kick so a group of us found a perch n the sun to lay down in until it was our time to hike Wayna Picchu. By now the sun had fully come out and the heavy clouds were now just small blobs of white fluff floating in the sky and the entire site was now clearly in view. We sat and people watched for an hour or so before putting our bags in the lockers and mentally preparing for the next hike.

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Excuse me sir, you’re in my picture!
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Having a break from walking

Wayna Picchu or Huayna Picchu means ‘young peak’ in Quechua and is 360 metres higher than Machu Picchu. Only 400 people a day are allowed to climb up the steep and dangerous mountain and after slowly making my way to the top using the cables provided I can understand why. It was a tough hike to the top but once we got there, the view was more than worth it. Looking out over the Machu Picchu site, we could see everything from a bird eye view and it was amazing to see how big the site actually was.

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Hiking Huayna Picchu
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All smiles at this stage!
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Rest stop

We sat on the edge of the mountain for awhile, letting our eyes take in the landscape and our heart rate to slow up. The people milling about below looked like ants and the heavy flowing river that we hiked along yesterday looked like a small creek. Even the zig-zag road from Aguas Calientes looked like a small path, it was unbelievable how high we were really were.

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Views from the top of Huayna Picchu
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Machu Picchu looks so tiny!

Climbing up further past the stone buildings, I sat on a rock at the highest point of the mountain and basked in the hot sun. At this point in time, there was no place else I’d rather be. The picture of Machu Picchu that I had seen for years was finally a reality and I wasn’t about to let that go quickly. As I made my way slowly down the small and narrow steps to the first lookout, I didn’t even want to blink so I wouldn’t miss any of the view.

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At the very top!

Hiking back down Huayna Picchu was considering quicker than hiking up, though it didn’t mean it was any easier! I’ve always thought hiking downhill was worse than going uphill – not only because you know how far you have to go but its also a killer on your hips and knees! (thanks Mumma for the dodgy knees! :p) We made it down to the starting point within an hour and by then the hunger pains were out of the world. With my housemates E and C, we took the lazy way and caught the bus down to Aguas Calientes, which went super quickly because I slept the entire way.

We were starving by the time we reached the bottom so we found the closest restaurant and ordered a feast of Mexican food. It cost a bomb but I wasn’t bothered, we deserved it after our massive day! After lunch we walked one street to a French patisserie and had coffee and chocolate cake to completely put us into a food coma. Luckily we didn’t have to go far to get to the train to head back to Cusco.

I was sad that the trip was over, we had seen so much and done so many cool things in such a short period of time. I’d made new friends and a bunch of new memories.. And I’d been to Machu Picchu – nothing was going to make me happier at this point! By the time we got back to our home stay it was 11pm at night and we all fell into bed without even getting changed. Real life could wait until tomorrow!

J. x

 

 

 

Aloha Hawaii! Day 1 in O’ahu

We arrived into Honolulu at 5:45am after a rather lovely flight from Brisbane. The plane was only about half full so as soon as the seatbelt sign switched off, K, L and myself dispersed and claimed a row to ourselves. For an el cheapo Jetstar flight that we’d been dreading, it was actually one of the easiest flights I’d been on!

The three of us made it through baggage and customs quickly and hailed a taxi to take us to our hostel in downtown Waikiki. We were staying at the Waikiki Hostel International, which was about a 25-minute drive from the airport. Even though it was nearing 6:30am, the sky was still covered in a blanket of darkness and we could only see the outline of the palm tress and skyscrapers. By the time we reached our hostel, the sun had made an appearance and the city started to come to light. We were way too early for reception to be open, let alone checking in time so we did what every self-respecting human would do. We went to find food.

Walking towards the water and the main strip, the city began to come alive with a mix of street cleaners, shop owners and early birds who came out to watch the sunrise. We walked right out to the edge of the sand and looked out at the blue water, relishing the fact that we’d arrived. Waikiki was exactly how I expected. Palm trees swayed in the slight breeze, surfers and paddle-boarders floating on the azure coloured water and high rises lining the beach from one end to the other. It had a similar atmosphere to the Gold Coast, but a little more island-y.

Instead of forking out a bunch of dollars on a restaurant breakfast, we had too much fun in an ABC store (like a 7/11 on roids) and picked out heaps of random things to sample for breakfast. Making a little picnic in a grassy area by the beach we devoured our food and watched Waikiki wake up. There was a slight chill in the air, which stopped us from jumping into the water then and there so we settled for watching the surfers catch the tiny waves until our hostel opened.

Around 7:30am we meandered back to our hostel and dropped our gear off that we wouldn’t need for the day. Going with the theory that if we stayed up all day we would miss the whole jetlag situation, we got changed into swimmers and headed for the beach.

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Streets of Waikiki

By the time we were down at the beach, Waikiki had truly come to life. There were people everywhere. We found a patch of sand to call ours and made a beeline for the water. The water seemed saltier than back home so we floated like buoys under the increasingly hot sun. We laid out on the beach, enjoying the sun until the itch for coffee got too much. Wandering down the strip to the nearest Starbucks we got our caffeine fix, we wondered why people were starting to line the streets with sun chairs and eskies. As it turns out, it was Martin Luther King Jnr day (ignorant Aussie right here) and the city of Honolulu was here to celebrate him!

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The beginning of the Martin Luther King Jnr Day parade

We watched the parade for awhile, impressed with the passion and vigour of these locals. They knew what they wanted and weren’t afraid to say it. Group after group of people chanted and marched down the busy main street, adamant in their beliefs. We watched the parade for awhile before heading back to the water to cool down again and deciding to do something productive for the day.

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L taking in the views of downtown Waikiki
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Ah the things you find in the ABC store – A Jagermeister lei!

Walking through the streets with the intention of finding stand up paddle-boards but this quickly changed to bicycles after finding a good deal. We took off in the direction of Diamond Head and hoped for the best. After working out which side of the road to ride on and a brief lowdown of the road rules from a local, we pedalled off on an adventure. What we found was a very steep hill, which just seemed to keep going. The bikes weren’t exactly Tour de France worthy, making getting up that hill a workout and a half! However we were rewarded with constant view of sapphire coloured water and swaying palm trees so it’s hard to complain. At the top of the hill, we found a path down to the water, which we gladly walked down and leapt straight into the waiting ocean.

This little beach was much quieter than the busy shores of Waikiki. Full of surfers and body boarders this seemed like a local jaunt as the gnarliest looking guys kept coming in and out of the water. We swam, sun-baked and checked out the surfers until our stomachs started to grumble.

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Our little secluded beach
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Much quieter and peaceful than Waikiki Beach!

Riding the bikes down the hill much easier and quicker and we reached downtown Waikiki in no time. Taking a different route to last time (not planned) we ended up finding an ocean blue food truck offering some local Hawaiian fare. Not one to pass up on freshly cooked food, we ordered coconut shrimp and salmon and shrimp poy bo and sat at the makeshift tables in the shade.

The food was delicious to say the least. The shrimp and salmon were fresh, crunchy and full of flavour. We devoured the food in minutes, totally satisfied with our choices. If this was an indication of the food we would be eating, I was absolutely okay with it.

Deciding to ditch the bikes for awhile, we got back on the foot falcon and walked around the streets a bit more. Ending up in the more upmarket part of town, we quickly discovered our sandy feet and wet hair wasn’t really welcome in the likes of Jimmy Choo and Tiffanys! Luckily it was time to properly check in to our hostel so we hoofed it back and had some down time in our room to recuperate a bit.

Wanting to catch the sunset, we showered and dressed up ready to watch the sun fall below the horizon. It seems like everyone else in Honolulu had the same idea as us, making finding a spot on the beach near impossible! We found a spot just as the sun dropped below the water line. It disappeared so quickly, but we managed to catch the final rays. The crowd erupted into applause and exclamations of the sunsets beauty. It was nice to see that in this crazy concrete jungle of Waikiki, that Mother Nature was still appreciated.

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Sunset at Waikiki Beach
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Looking out to Diamond Head
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Such a glorious end to our first day!

Just as quickly as the sun went down, the city lit up in blinding lights. Nighttime in Waikiki had begun! We searched the strip for somewhere to eat and ended up at a Mexican restaurant one street back from the strip. Cheers-ing to our first day in Hawaii we discussed plans for the next few days. Despite the fun and hustle and bustle of Waikiki, we decided it was too touristy for us. Making plans to head north a day early, we rearranged our plans a touch so we could escape the busy strip and discover some of the real Hawaii..

It sounded like a solid plan. I couldn’t wait!

Until tomorrow..

J. x

Birthdays, countryside and one really big pie.

This morning was a bit of a special one – my birthday! I turned the big 23, however I like to think of it as 21 + 2 years :p I actually wasn’t too fussed about my birthday, it just felt like another day. I guess that means I’m getting old! After a quick brekkie and Skype with my sister back home we checked out of the Farmyard Inn and drove onto Bakewell for a quick poke around the local markets. The small township was jam-packed full of people checking out the goods for sale. Because we needed a birthday cake (and caffeine), we dropped into the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for a slice of their famous Bakewell tart and a coffee. If you ever happen to be in Bakewell, definitely get your mouth around one of these bad boys. The caramelly, cakey goodness is absolutely lekker! Definitely was a good choice for a birthday cake!

Happy birthday to me! Dad and I devouring the delicious Bakewell Tart
Happy birthday to me! Dad and I devouring the delicious Bakewell Tart

We continued onto towards our next perch for the night, Starbotton. Mum is a genius at finding cute little B&B’s in cute little towns and this one didn’t disappoint. The drive there was another bendy one with miles and miles of lush green paddocks and rock fences. The English countryside sure is growing on me!

This.
This.

 

..and this.

 

..and this.

Starbotton is a small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of town in the Yorkshire Dales but the stony houses, manicured gardens and random red telephone boxes made it memorable. We were staying at a place called the Sweet Briar B&B for the night, which was run by an youngish English man. We were literally staying in his house, but had a totally private section of the house.

Developing a bit of an obsession with these telephone boxes!
Developing a bit of an obsession with these telephone boxes!

There were all these painted yellow bikes hanging off buildings and on top of roofs. We couldn’t work out why there were so many, sure the roads in the Yorkshire Dales were reasonably bike friendly, but these people must be more bike obsessed than the Dutch. It wasn’t until we commented on the amount of bikes that we discovered Le Tour De France had been held in this very place just two months earlier! Apparently the race holds a stage or two in a different country and this year it was England! Well, the yellow bikes suddenly made sense!

Some of the locals recommended heading to the next town for dinner so we drove the 2 minutes down the road to Kettlewell to the adorable Blue Bell Inn. Dad was starting a trend of ordering a pie in every town so he went for the steak and ale pie. Mum and I went for steaks, though when Dad’s pie came out, we abandoned our steaks and helped him devour his. This was no problem because the pie was the size of the entire dinner plate and the best pie I’ve ever tasted! We rolled back down to Starbotton and passed out in another food coma. English pub food is ridiculous; I don’t know how much longer I can indulge in such goodness!

Yellow bike and giant pies. Welcome to Blue Bell Inn!
Yellow bike and giant pies. Welcome to Blue Bell Inn!
Just a steak and ale pie they said, you don't need to share they said..
Just a steak and ale pie they said, you don’t need to share they said..

Our next stop on our very rough itinerary is the Lake District. I’ve heard lots about the area and am keen to see what all the fuss is about!

J. x

Meeting the Folks – Back in London Town

My time in Turkey came to an end quicker than I had anticipated and before I knew it, it was time to leave and meet my parents in the UK. A solid 15 hours of travelling including three airports, five hours sleeping on an airport bench, two dodgy airplane meals, one expensive box of Turkish Delight and several screaming babies, I arrived into London Luton Airport.

It was noon once I got out of the airport and Mum and Dad were due into Heathrow at 2:50pm, I had almost two hours to find them. I caught the National Express to Heathrow and waited at Arrivals. Another hour later, I spotted their familiar faces in the crowd. After nine months apart, it was so good to finally see them again.

We headed for the Underground towards Hammersmith where our new home was for the next three days. After a wrong turn (first of very many!) we found our little AirBnb place, in a quiet street just five minutes from Hammersmith Station. We settled in and made ourselves at home by quite literally empting our bags everywhere. Not sure whether we just had too much stuff or we’re just messy, but we sure spread ourselves around! As it was about 6pm by the time we got ourselves relaxed, we headed out for dinner by the Thames River at a pub called the Rutland Arms. It was a typically English pub, with plenty of Union Jack flags and a menu full of hearty dishes, which delighted Mum and Dad no less. Mum and I shared a steak and Dad went for a chicken potpie and we washed it down with cider and beer. The jetlag was starting to kick in for all of us, so we headed back to our place and got ready for bed.

The following morning we all woke up early due to us coming from different time zones. After stuffing around for awhile, we set off into big old London town for a day of sightseeing. As I’ve been to London several times, I self-appointed myself as tour guide, which is potentially a scary thing. After getting slightly misdirected we headed for the Buckingham Palace, to see the much hyped changing of the guards.

M and D at Buckingham Palace
M and D at Buckingham Palace

Following the crowds to the Palace, we found a place between the Queen Victoria Memorial and the Palace and waited patiently for the guards to change. Honestly, it seemed to be a lot of fuss for what is was. A group of guards marched in with their fluffy hats and apple red coats, followed by a brass band and a few guys on horses.

Changing of the guards
Changing of the guards

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We didn’t actually get to see the changing because the crowd was too large. It may have been the lack of coffee in my system, but I wasn’t that fussed on the event. Mum and Dad seemed to be in the same boat so we pushed through the crowds into St. James Park and wandered through the much more peaceful park. Finding a little café in the middle of the park, we refuelled our caffeine tanks and continued on.

Walking along the Princess Diana Memorial Walk
Walking along the Princess Diana Memorial Walk

Heading in the direction of Westminster, we first stopped at Horse Guards Parade and got the obligatory photos with the guards on their regal black horses. Walking on, we reached the Thames past the Battle of Britain Memorial and to my all time favourite, Big Ben.

Battle of Britain Memorial
Battle of Britain Memorial
Oh hey there, Big Ben.
Oh hey there, Big Ben.
Just a bit more Big Ben appreciation..
Just a bit more Big Ben appreciation..

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I could have sat all day and admired old Benny Boy, but the list of things to see was far too long for dawdling. We made our way through the busy streets to Westminster and St Margaret’s, where we had a sticky beak at the old church. Finding a red double decker bus, we rested our feet and did some sightseeing from the bus. Stopping at St Paul’s Cathedral for another quick look before crossing the Millennium Bridge, past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and found some lunch by the Thames.

Crossing the Millennium Bridge, looking out to the Shard and Tower Bridge.
Crossing the Millennium Bridge, looking out to the Shard and Tower Bridge.

Jumping on another big red bus, we crossed over the Thames on the Tower Bridge and stopped off at Tower of London.Another favourite spot in London, the grass surrounding the Tower was covered in red ceramic poppies for the anniversary of WWI. It made the Tower look like it was placed in the middle of a blood red sea. Both haunting and beautiful, the poppies represented every soldier who died in the war. It was a truly astonishing memorial.

The hauntingly beautiful Tower of London
The hauntingly beautiful Tower of London

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We had a stop in Starbucks before making our way to Trafalgar Square to see the blue rooster and watch some very talented buskers. Continuing on to Piccadilly Circus, I dragged the parents through M&M World, which I was much more excited about than they were and past the many, many posters of theatre productions.

The blue rooster in Trafalgar Sqaure
The blue rooster in Trafalgar Square
The good old London double decker bus
The good old London double decker bus

It was nearing dinnertime by the time we caught the tube back to Hammersmith. We met up with B, who was staying with us for the next two nights, and had a quick bite to eat at Tortilla, a rather delicious Mexican chain restaurant. Worn out from a hardcore day of playing tourist, we all headed off to bed early ready for another busy day tomorrow.  

 

J. x

The Blue Lagoon – Not Quite What I Expected.

Alright, if you read my posts a bit (and ginormous thank you if you do!) then you will know that I’m a little bit of a Pinterest lover. I do get a lot of my travel inspiration and ideas from there and it is also the sole reason why I have such high expectations of certain places. The Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz is one of these places.

Pictures of sapphire blue water, snow white sand and absolutely no people laying on the beach flooded my Pinterest feed whenever I searched ‘Blue Lagoon Turkey’. So as one would, I gathered up high hopes that I will witness paradise and total tranquility. Unfortunately, the Pinterest curse strikes yet again.

The Blue Lagoon is a small inlet bay connected to the beach of Ölüdeniz. Now don’t get me wrong, the beach and lagoon itself are some of the prettiest I’ve seen. The water truly is a combination of aquamarine and turquoise, and the white pebbles reflect in the sunlight.

Ölüdeniz and the Blue Lagoon.
Ölüdeniz and the Blue Lagoon.

It’s just the masses and masses of tourists that flood the lagoon which are the biggest turn-off. Of course, I came in the middle of peak season. Hotels are booked out, restaurants are overflowing and prices are double to what they usually are. I expected this. However my experience with the Blue Lagoon left me a little salty.

After reaching Ölüdeniz from Kabak Valley, I walked to the right (facing the ocean) about 200 metres where I reached the entrance gates to the Blue Lagoon. After waiting behind a large group of British folk, I paid 6TL to enter. Like I said before, I was expected it to be busy, I just didn’t expect it to be this busy. The path goes from the entrance gate right around the inlet and its about 300 metres to the point of the inlet. In this stretch, hundreds of people were rushing about, trying to find an empty sun bed, which was no easy feat, even though the sun beds were lined up side by side and about five sun beds deep. The place was a madhouse.

This was the start of the umbrella packed lagoon. It got exponentially worse.
This was the start of the umbrella packed lagoon. It got exponentially worse.

Not wanting to pay the extra Lira for a sun bed, I kept walking hoping to find a spare bit of space to park myself. No such luck. Every inch of the Blue Lagoon’s pebbled beach was covered by human flesh. I made my way down to the water, stepping over a few children and bags and looked for the paradise that Pinterest promised me.

Realising I wouldn’t find it here, I walked back down the path, out of the inlet, past the restaurant and the banana boats, to where there were only a few sun beds and about half the people. Dripping with sweat by this stage, I dropped my bag close to the water and dove in.

They weren't lying about the water colour.
They weren’t lying about the water colour.

To be fair, it was beautiful. Despite the hordes of tourists, the view beyond was pretty amazing and the water was still had that crazy clearness that I couldn’t get over. Babadag and the other huge mountains loomed over the bay and the sky was and endless amount of blue.

From where I sat, between the Blue Lagoon and Ölüdeniz.
From where I sat, between the Blue Lagoon and Ölüdeniz.

I stayed for a little while, before the scorching sun got too much and headed back towards the busier Ölüdeniz to take refuge in some shade.

What I Suggest For The Blue Lagoon:

  • DON’T GO IN AUGUST! Unless you enjoy enjoy playing tinned sardines with other tourists
  • Go early to beat the crowd and the heat.
  • Don’t go right into the Lagoon. The water is just as pretty outside on the other side of the inlet, with slightly less people.
  • Enjoy it from above. Check out my paragliding experience for a big fat reason why 🙂

J. x

Euro Roadtrip (Part Two) – Predjama Castle and Krk Island

After successfully navigating our way out of Ljubljana, IB and I headed south towards the Croatian border to find our home for the night. Before we passed the border though, there was a little bit more of Slovenia that we wanted to see. Another Pinterest discovery of mine was the Predjama Castle. Situated about 10 kilometres from the famous Postojna Caves, this incredible castle is perched in the middle of a vertical 123m high cliff. Built over 700 years ago, the Predjama Castle’s most famous occupant was the knight Erazem of Predjama. The story goes that Erazem rebelled against Austrian emperor Fredrick III and eventually killed his kinsman. This outraged the Austrian leader, forcing him to stage a manhunt to take down Erazem. For a year and one day Erazem was bound to the castle and befuddled Austrian soldiers in how he was surviving without any supplies. What the soldiers didn’t know was that Erazem had built a secret tunnel leading out of the castle, therefore giving him access to the nearby village. However stealthy Erazem might have been, unfortunately for him, the soldiers had the last laugh. Successfully bribing a servant to wave a flag to show wherever Erazem was in the castle, it was when he was on the toilet that the flag was waved, causing Erazem to be literally caught with his pants down.

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Today, the castle is used as an historical monument where people can go inside the castle and see how occupants lived and how the castle was built. IB and I were short on time so we passed on the tour through the castle, opting to eat lunch in front of it and trying to get a half decent selfie. I had been slightly obsessed with seeing this castle ever since I first read about it and was elated to finally witness it firsthand. It’s truly an architectural miracle (from my very amateur architechtural point of view) and a hidden wonder of Slovenia. Actually all of Slovenia is a hidden wonder. This small country is very underrated and should be higher on people’s must-see lists. I can’t recommend visiting this country enough. The hospitality we received, the sights we saw and the things we experienced make Slovenia one of my favourite countries and one I definitely have to return to.

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After pulling ourselves away from the Predjama Castle, we jumped back in the car and headed towards Postonja Caves where we grabbed a quick coffee and had a wander around. Because of our time limit (we were still 3 hours from our destination and it was late afternoon) we didn’t go on a tour through the famous Postonja Caves, however it gave us all the more reason to return! We headed towards the border and this time were met by an official border crossing at Rupa, where we crossed through with no issues and continued down towards Rijeka. The drive towards Rijeka where my Aussie bogan accent pronounced it as Ri-jeka, was beautiful and I nearly jumped out the window when we first saw the Adriatic Sea. The blue water and the white rocky mountains were postcard perfect as we cruised along the motorway. Bypassing Rijeka we continued towards Krk Island where we were finally a place to stay for the night. Crossing the huge 1400 metre bridge to reach the island was slightly daunting but we safely made it to the other side. I hate to admit how shriek-y IB and I got, passing the beautiful coastal landscape of Krk Island, but what more can you expect from two excited girls? We drove the 45 kilometres down the island towards Baška, where we planned to camp. We arrived into the small town just before the sun was starting to set, creating a perfect sight for our first view of our home for the next two nights. Racing out of the car and down to the clear water we stood in amazement at the beach surrounded by huge rocky mountains and wondering how we managed to land ourselves in such a beautiful place.

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Finding a camp was easy and we scored a spot at Camp Zablaće just metres from the pebbled beach. A quick shower to freshen up, we grabbed a bottle of wine and headed down to the water to enjoy being at the beach. We stayed there until late, when raindrops started to fall, forcing us to retreat to a nearby restaurant for a tea. The rain started to get harder and we decided to call it a night, mainly because the waiters were slying indicating they wanted to close. As we walked back to our tent, the heavens opened up and the sprinkling turned into a massive storm, complete with thunder and lightening. We got to our tent totally drenched and laughing our heads off. The storm lasted a while and it was a bit scary being so close to the elements as our tent lit up every few minutes and the grounded rumbled with each bit of thunder. Tiredness got the best of us though and we eventually fell asleep, praying we wouldn’t get fried by lightening.

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The following morning we woke to a clear sky and warm weather. We survived! We climbed out of our tent and our German neighbour asked if we were okay. We realised we were rather loud last night, squealing at each lightening strike and laughing at our bad luck. Our neighbour thought it was hilarious though, saying he did the same thing when he was our age. The sun was beaming down on us so we left Mr German to his reminiscing and pulled out our scary white legs from hibernation and for the beach. We rented two sun beds and made it our perch for the day. Fully intending to see more of Baška, we ended up sun baking for the entire day, enjoying the sun and rest. It was long weekend in Croatia for Labour Day, so the beach was quite busy with families taking advantage of the public holiday and the hot weather. A Croatian band was playing right near our sun beds and the beach bars were filled with locals getting absolutely wasted. Around 4pm we finally decided to move from our sun beds for some ice-cream and some time in the shade. Having spent about six hours in the sun, IB and I were the colour of tomatoes and certainly did a ripper job on our first sunburn of summer! We decided to finally check out a bit more of Baška and walked down the beachside streets, deciding on what to have for dinner. We found a gorgeous little restaurant called Garofulin, whose speciality were platters with gourmet meats and cheeses. The wrought iron tables outside gave us a perfect view of the sun going down in the distance and we gorged ourselves on different cured meats, washing it down with chardonnay. Suffering a small case of heatstroke, we were absolutely knackered from a day of doing not much. There wasn’t a huge night scene in Baška, especially only being the start of May and the majority of holidaymakers being families so we didn’t feel too bad for heading to bed early – this time without the huge storm.

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Waking up the next morning to a dreary, cloudy sky we were stoked that we managed to get in a beautiful day yesterday. We packed up camp and had breakfast on the waterfront before heading towards our next stop – the Plitvice Lakes. More on them as well as our last days in Budapest in the next post!

 

From the girl who has some funky looking sunburn lines.

J. x