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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Next week we are off to California and will be working hard on our surfer dude Beach Boys impersonations. US FlagThe trip is inspired by a wedding, MBH’s little girl has grown up and is tying the knot with her long time love and very own surfer dude.

Its 6 years since I lived in the US and I’m wondering how the US and I have changed. A lot has happened to us both, maybe we wont recognize each other, maybe we wont get along like we used to, or maybe we will be like old friends and take up exactly where we left off. Clearly I have questions.

-Will I meet a Super Delegate and what do Super Delegates look like?

-Have all Americans turned into pulpit screaming crazies or is this just an image portrayed by CNN?

-Might I be renditioned? If so please do not rendition me to a ship, as I get seasick.

-Do all women in the US now wear pantsuits that don’t fit around the tummy?

– Will I be finger printed, retinal scanned and phone tapped?

And the big question, what if I no longer fit in?

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Another rainy day in Catalonia, time to indulge my own private travel porn fetish. I recently heard the phrase food porn used to describe a TV cooking show and travel porn works for me as a term to describe travel websites, shows and magazines where the destinations are very much in the realm of fantasy.

My favourite beach in the world is Injidup Beach in Western Australia and it falls head first into the travel porn category. It is a 4-hour drive South of Perth in the Margaret River Wine region of Western Australia.Injidup Beach

We found it when we were searching for a surf break that I had read about, which is exactly how many great things are found, when you are actually looking for something else. If you don’t look you wont find.

Injidup is totally unspoiled, there is one mega mansion being built by a Brit (bloody typical) and a small low-rise unobtrusive spa retreat.

The sand is clean, pure white and fine with a massive dune in the corner, excellent for working off some excess energy or doing Lawrence of Arabia impersonations. The water is crystal clear, there is no pollution and in the summer it is warm.

There is no café; no hotel and no gift shop only the most magnificent natural beauty that you could imagine.

There is a car park with steps down to the beach or you can sit at the top of the steps in the lookout area and watch the dolphins playing in the surf, the humans playing in the surf or on a no swell day simply lap up the natural beauty.

Many days you will be alone on the beach unless the swell is up and you will have a bunch of laid-back surfers for company. The surf break is a point break and needs some swell to get going, it is usually uncrowded.

Flies can be a problem in the summer, more specifically if you do go on a day when there are flies they can be unbearable. Luckily most days are no fly days and the Aussies are working on a dung beetle program that apparently should reduce the number of flies?

If you are in search of natural beauty this is the beach for you.

PS I will post some more photos on the photo link.

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It had hardly rained here in Catalonia all winter and our reservoirs were running at 20% capacity so a rainy weekend is technically good news for us. Meanwhile the rest of Europe is having great weather so we are off to visit Mama and Papa in sunny Carlisle, England tomorrow morning.

We are flying Girona Blackpool with my # 2 favourite airline Ryan Air at a cost of 100 Euros roundtrip including all taxes and priority boarding. There aren’t too many airlines where you can book the day before and still get such a low fare.

Girona (listed at Barcelona- Girona on their website) is a hub for Ryan and has a great choice of destinations including Marrakech (wonderful place), Paris, Dublin, Fez, Rome and Venice. The terminal has been revamped over the last few years and is clean and modern, worthy of comment because it used to be old and dirty. The airport is small, easy to get in and out of and has a very low hassle factor. Having said that…I would avoid it like the plague in August where the whole world, France and the population of several other universes descend on it for some fun in the sun.

I am super excited (if the US election has super delegates I can now officially be super excited) to be heading to the UK the land of Marmite, hills, lakes, daffodils and my Mum’s home made cookies…mmm.

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The most important part of this question is the “choose” bit. There are times when the choices on offer are not so great but it occurs to me that most of the time we would rather keep doing the same old thing / bury our heads in the sand rather than actually make a choice.

A few years ago choosing to live in a different country seemed like a really big choice so instead we started with a small one and chose to take a long vacation. And after a while a long vacation becomes a move to another country. A small choice is still a choice.

This morning we had another small choice to make…it went like this

Me “I wonder if we will settle down one day?”

MBH “but think of all the learning we would miss”

Me “Yep, I can’t imagine not travelling”

So today we made another of those small choices, I wonder what tomorrows small choice will be?

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We’ve visited Western Australia often over the last few years but it is a mighty long way from most places and is sadly no longer cheap. The Aussie $ has strengthened against both the US $ and the British Pound, they have rising inflation and food prices went up ridiculously last year, so why are we here?

An endless supply of unspoiled white sand beaches, great surf, excellent windsurfing, golf, kangaroos, whale sharks and the BIG bonus………..summer. The South West corner of WA has a Mediterranean climate and is in the Southern Hemisphere so if you live or spend time in the Northern Hemisphere and are looking for a winter escape…. WA fits the bill.

Accommodation is expensive (relative to the US and Europe) and the same goes for restaurants, even good ol’ fish and chips have gone thru the roof. The Margaret River house we used to rent isaacsridge (they are beautiful and do have great hot tubs) has gone up more than 3 fold in the last few years. Each US $ used to be worth almost 2 Aussie $ and now it is worth 1 Aussie $

So Home Exchanging is the way to go. I stumbled upon a Home Ex website last year after my Cuzz suggested trying house-sitting. I signed us up for HomeExchange.com ( (1 year annual membership is $100USD but you can check out their listings without signing up) and within 2 days had set up a 3 month exchange in Perth! I suspect it is especially good if you are a Brit (or have a house to exchange in the UK to be more precise) because there are lots of Poms in WA who regularly go back to the UK (maybe just to check that it is still cold and rainy). We exchange with our house in Spain and have been able to set up several exchanges over the last 2 winters.

In summary, it can be expensive unless home exchanging but surfing with dolphins …… priceless, playing golf with kangaroos…. priceless and swimming with the worlds largest fish …… priceless.

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