Lifestyle Post – Goodies & sale items I love or am trying…

So… Christmas is next month. Which of course means I have once again done the complete opposite throughout the year and gained weight, not saved money and not meant the goals I had hoped to throughout the year. Ah well. Nothing like a last-minute dash towards goals, am I right?

SKIN SPECIALS

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Sand & Sky – Natural Australian botanical goodness – my sister got me on to the Australian pink Clay Porefining Face Mask and honestly, it is gorgeous. So is their Exfoliating Treatment. With summer here basically already – it is time to get summer ready! From 15/11 – 21/11 you can get 25% off their Exfoliator kit, 35% off their Mask Holiday Kit, 35% off the Combo Holiday Kit, save up to 40% on general products! What have you got to lose? No nasties and beautiful, soft and noticeable results.

Lady Bits & Pieces

190840ae-81fa-4687-a64c-34436755e33a[1]Boody Eco Wear –  I am going through a real eco-friendly change and I have been a long-time lover of bamboo and hypoallergenic gear. Boody Bamboo wear is eco-friendly, ethical, antibacterial, anti-fungal and fits well. They also have more than just underwear, they have underwear, active-wear, baby clothing etc. With a sign up for Boody news and receive 10% off your first order and in Australia, you will get FREE express shipping on all orders over $100 and free standard shipping on all orders over $60.

2d8440be-3115-4f35-b6e9-dc8760f0f89dModibodi – Again, here is another brand I love, particularly when it comes to sustainable and absorbent, sweat-proof, curve-friendly and super absorbent underwear. Say goodbye to ugly period-panties and guess what, they are Aussie designed and owned! They are currently having 15% off storewide all day on 13-November with the code QUICKLICK and 15% off store-wide on 11/11 – Single’s Day with the code SINGLESLOVE. You can also get 10% off orders over $100.

Health & Fitness

180 Nutrition – I don’t know about you but when I f7fed75a-5e31-4251-b484-364b0b4863c5want protein or other blends, I do not want it to be full of nasties, no point getting results if you are poisoning yourself. 180 Nutrition originally began working with a small charity for people with chronic diseases, and so was born an incredible group of products without chemicals, artificial flavourings and sweeteners. My favourites? The Organic Greens Plus and the Low-Carb Vegan Protein bars (seriously, delicious!). You can save $92 with a box of super-food at the moment (8 x 1.2kg bags of superfood + free shipping!).

5.45.4 – I first came across 5.4 when I was attending my Hypoxi sessions and for macro-nutrient controlled meals they are delicious. Their meals are designed to improve wellness, increase energy and burn fat. They are protein packed, low carb (or good carb), low sugar and low saturated fat. The meals are snap frozen and have a 12-month shelf life. My favourites are the Shredded Mexican Chicken and the breakfast egg bites! Also you can use ZipPay! From 12/11 – 14/11 you can purchase a meal plan (as a new customer) and get $25 off any meal plan with the code CLICK25. You can also order a meal plan and receive 7 Free breakfast meals with the code EGGS.

Take a break..

 

9fc82e16-5a45-4d4e-bbd5-a92f683d9401P&O Cruises – honestly I love P&O, I love that you can go on a 3-day cruise up and down the coast of Queensland and barely need any time off of work to come back feeling refreshed! I love that we can get the all-inclusive package, I love the staff, love the ocean, love the trivia and bingo, love it all! For my Christmas present to Grant a couple of years ago, I bought us a three-night cruise, it was the best. They currently have a sale on a select group of their 3 Day cruises and for cruises of 7 nights or more, you can book and receive your free premium drinks package (this is so worth it, we have done it twice!).

contikiContiki – do not be intimidated by the age-demographic of this one, you can travel on Contiki up until 35. I have been on three separate Contiki trips, each a completely different trip to the other and I was thankful to have everything organised for me. I also met some of my very best friends in the world on my Contiki trips.  They have some amazing specials at the moment, with 30% savings & flight and trip deals.

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

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Travel Promotions & Discounts – August 2018

Good morning everyone!

Can you believe it is August already? G and I can now officially say we are heading off on our five-week holiday NEXT MONTH!!! Our excitement levels are off the chain at the moment, I almost feel like I have ants in my pants, just trying to sit still and do my work!

Given it is August, I thought I would share a few promotions running this month with you!!!

Contiki AU Adventures

Australian residents can save up to $1,315 on USA and Canada deals, 10% on Europe trips, 20% off all Iceland and New Zealand winter trips!

I could not praise Contiki more, I have been on three Contiki trips and each one I have made lifelong friends, seen more of the destinations we visited than I would have if I travelled alone and had an incredible amount of inclusions in my booking!

Booking.com $20 discount

$20 refund with every Booking.com reservation made (for you and I!), just follow the link above.

When you book and pay with Booking.com you are guaranteed the best prices and also unlock personalised travel guides to your destination – which is amazing.

Scoopon Australia

Save 35% on your next holiday in Australia, 45% on your next trip to Bali or 50% on your next vacation in Vietnam!

Exclusive offers on extraordinary everyday experiences from luxury travel to local activities with Scoopon:

P&O Cruises

$1 deposits are back! Check out the Ship Yeah! sales running until 14/8/18.

Enjoy not only the $1 deposit per person but the free room upgrade. G and I have taken advantage of this and it is absolutely worth it! P&O Cruises – stress free travel, loads of inclusions and the friendliest people you will ever meet. They have some really amazing promotions at the moment and you can book up to three years in advance and pay it off!

Europcar

Enjoy 15% off the base rate for 5 days.

We have booked our hire cars for our adventures through Scotland and Norway with Europcar, we have found that their prices, inclusions and fine-print have been the best.

Travel Insurance Saver

Save 15% to 33% with Travel Insurance Saver.

Finally, but possible MOST importantly – your Travel Insurance. Do not forget to book your travel insurance. For competitive prices, check out Travel Insurance Saver for your next trip.

Let me know how you go and if you get any discounts!

ENJOY!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

My 2009 Europe Adventure – at 23

My first solo overseas adventure – naïve, unprepared and a little shell-shocked

Brisbane – London

When I was 23 I had my first overseas adventure. I would love to say I packed a backpack and travelled the world for 12 months, coming back a hardened and seasoned traveller, with empty pockets and a head full of memories.

The last two are true (ridiculous actually) but the first part was a dream which quickly fell to the wayside. My mother basically insinuated that I would be locked in a room if I attempted my solo backpacking trip to South America. So at her requests (read: demands) I was booked on a three week Contiki journey around Europe. I know that sounds terrible (I am sure there are some intense eye rolls happening right now along with “that’s not travel!”).

I disagree though, I packed a bag and went overseas. That’s travel. We need to stop judging each other on our journey’s, the way we judge pain or experience or loss or achievement. It is all relative, who are we to judge others? Some people go overseas and volunteer and sleep rough, that’s amazing. Some people travel luxury and never leave the resorts in the countries they visit, that’s amazing. Some people hitchhike, that’s dangerously amazing. Some people go on a different Contiki each year that is also amazing. Travel is travel, as long as you come home with some awareness of how fortunate you are for being able to travel and you don’t behave like an over-privileged and insensitive jerk, then good on you!

So, back to my Contiki. Regardless of this being an organised tour with one of the world’s most popular tour companies, this trip was something I set off on alone. I had never travelled to Europe, did not speak any other language and the longest flight I had been on was around five hours. I had been to NZ, but really that is just ‘crossing the ditch’, so the journey is still less than it is to fly from the east to west coast here in Australia.

My trip was from London to London, a 21-day adventure took me from London to Paris, Lucerne, the French Riviera, Florence, Rome, Venice, the Austrian Tyrol, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and back to London.

I bought my flights only a couple of months before departure, flying from Brisbane to London, I flew Emirates with stops in Singapore and Dubai. The trip itself (door to door) took around thirty hours. I made the mistake of not getting off the plane to stretch my legs in Singapore and in Dubai I only had time to run from the plane, to the toilet, to my next plane. When I arrived in London, I felt like my head was spinning, I had lost all track of time, realised I had left home without a phone (in 2009 I just didn’t think I needed one?) and caught a shuttle bus into London.

I arrived at the Royal National Hotel in London which has a 3.3/5 star rating on google, but in 2009 it probably would have been 2 stars, if it was lucky. When I made my booking, I had zero idea that I had been booked into a hostel/share-room type situation. I arrived quite late and by the time I was given a swipe card which gave me access to my room (x3 visits back and forth to the front desk with my gigantic pink suitcase in tow), I went into my room, saw the two beds in the dark, saw a suitcase unpacked near the door and actually though I had been given the wrong room. Nope. I was in a share room. Weird, why did I not know that before?

I was so rattled that I just climbed into bed and made zero attempts to let my family know I had A) arrived in London; and B) was okay. Jet-lagged as I was, I was beyond excited to be somewhere else other than Australia, I was in LONDON!

So, first day in London. Woke up, got dressed and went for a wander. Found a delicious little eatery called Giraffe in Bloomsbury (which is still there if you can believe it!) and tucked into a gigantic English style breakfast. Once I had eaten I realised that I should probably find some way to let my Mum know that I was okay (seriously, 23 – can you be any more ridiculous?!), I went to the Contiki Basement back near the hotel and sent a few emails, checked Facebook – you know the usual activities.

I had been booked into the hotel for three nights, so I spent the day wandering around and doing my own thing. Later that afternoon I met up with another Brisbane girl who was booked for the same tour and we made a plan to explore the next day. It was a really weird holding space, waiting for your tour to begin, it was both comforting and limiting spending the first amount of tie with someone from your home town (was this the travel experience I was looking for?). We ended up having an amazing day – we walked from our hotel, down to Big Ben, across Westminster Bridge, down to the London Bridge and back again. It was a really lovely day out, sun shining, beautiful weather and a really nice intro to beautiful London.

We had our tour group meeting that night and as at 6am the next morning we were on the road!

Now – if you are thinking about your first trip overseas, on your own and you’re late-teens /early twenties I have some (probably super obvious) advice for you! This may seem ridiculous but this actually happened and if anything it should give you a laugh:

  • When you are travelling overseas, take a phone or something you can communicate with people through. Checking into Facebook 48 hours after you left home, is not the loving contact your parents are after;
  • When you pack your bag and you are happy with what you have, remove 2/3rds of it. Seriously, you do not need it;
  • Make some attempt of learning basic phrases of another language. Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, toilet, how much? This WILL make your life easier;
  • Have some currency on you. I know this seems really obvious but in 2009 I was kind of just winging it. Learn from my mistake;
  • Have some idea as to where you are staying and if someone will also be in the same room.
  • Pack more than just thongs and runners. This is not enough footwear. Not at all.
  • Pack a wallet or a purse. Again this is so obvious it is cringe-worthy.

Do you remember you first trip? Did you do anything ridiculously naïve like me?

x C x

A love for travel <3

One of the most amazing things to occur after you have been planning and saving for a trip after many months/years is when you arrive at your destination. You are no longer glued to that photo somebody else took and which you downloaded or screen-shotted many moons ago. You are there. Finally.

And you know what? Nothing is more beautiful than that moment. I say this a lot, but honestly the most breathtaking moment I have ever had whilst travelling was when I was in South America and I saw Machu Picchu. Anyone who knows me, will vouch for the fact that I am rarely without words, but Peru…Peru silenced me. I had planned the trip for almost two years with my girlfriend Jemma and to finally be there was just amazing.

The first time I knew I wanted to explore the world, I was not quite six years old. I had the most vivid dream. I was exploring waterfalls and caves with my Dad, I think we were in Africa or Asia (or whatever combination my brain had concocted at such a young age). When I was telling Dad about our adventure and he told me I had just been dreaming, I actually thought he was having me on. How could I have dreamt something so detailed? Also, how was I going to deal with the disappointment that I had not been there?

I became obsessed. I WAS going to travel the world. One day. When I was six we went on our first overseas family holiday, to Bali. I have really lovely memories of this trip. Catching the plane with my family, coming across people who neither spoke English or Anindilyakwa, as was spoken on Groote Eylandt where we lived. It was one of the most exciting weeks of my little life – so many beautiful things to see and smell and taste, people to meet. Amazing!

I came home with braids in my heart, a hundred new stories to tell the kids at school and a burning desire to travel. Being a mining brat, I had the ability to see a fair bit of the top end and east coast of Australia, because we typically moved every two years for Dad’s job. I used to pour over and harbour any travel articles I could get a hold of and I wished for a subscription to the National Geographic magazine for years and years.

Then puberty happened. High school. Jobs. Wagging School to go to the beach. Parties. The usual. Sure enough, by the time I was 17 I had planned my next big adventure, I was going to live in London and work in a pub, like nearly every third or fourth Aussie at the time. I went to uni instead.

Then I dreamed of teaching English in Japan, which then changed to working in a ski field in Canada, then back to possibly landing a job in the UK. Then I changed jobs, changed degrees and decided to travel on leave instead.

I must have planned three or four big trips which never came to fruition. I always had friends with the best of intentions, but when it came down to the crunch, they just were not willing to part with ever spare dollar to save it for a holiday. My friends didn’t want to wear the same clothes all year, miss out on parties and dye their own hair. Which was completely fine, my dreams didn’t need to be my friends dreams!

Eventually at 23 I decided to bite the bullet and just go away on my own. I had my sights set on South America. My Mum gave me a firm and resounding “NO” to her 23 year old daughter running off overseas on her own. So instead, at the pleading of Mum/Friends/Employer, I booked myself onto an arranged Contiki tour instead.

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, I met some amazing people, experienced the high of travel I had been seeking and knew that every sacrifice I had made in the past was worth it :).

I am pretty sure I would have had Dad over my shoulder (who had since passed), carrying me along my journey – remembering the five year old who animatedly “remembered” an international adventure all those years ago xx

When did you know you had fallen in love with travel?

x C x

Pure Awkwardness

On one of our travel days in the mid-west we were driving from Madison/Milwaukee through to Sioux Falls, South Dakota – which is around a 6-7 hour drive. We had visited the Harley-Davidson Museum that morning so figured we had a decent drive ahead of us to get to Sioux Falls.

Unfortunately, around Chippewa Falls, our bus blew a tyre. So we had to pull over into the nearest car park. Which just so happened to be that of the Pure Pleasure Adult Entertainment Store (no, I sh*t you not).

We spent over three hours, in the carpark and out in the backlog of the adult store – waiting for the tyre to be fixed. It was hilarious. Who knew throwing pebbles onto a roof could turn into such an interesting way to pass time? Some people went inside and some of us stayed the hell out!

Travel….where sometimes the unexpected turns out to be some of the more memorable days.

All I know is once we got to Sioux Falls we had all had enough sun and mayhem to last a lifetime. Drinking games. Rising plastic cattle and consumption of pints of Ben & Jerry’s in a little college town 🙃.

XCX

The end of our America’s Trip!

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March 2014

Our huge 10 hour journey from Rio De Janeiro to Miami had been one of the more horrific flights of the trip. So it was nice to touch down in Miami – Miami airport had begun to feel very familiar to us, isn’t that funny about travel? We are an Aussie and a Kiwi, who have both been to Florida a handful of times, yet it feels as familiar as our own towns!

We couldn’t believe it had been a month or so since we had left this very same airport. Our layover was a couple of hours and we were both incredibly sleep-deprived, by the time we boarded our flight back to Los Angeles we were well and truly sick of travelling.2014-03-03 14.35.07-1

I think we both managed to sleep on our flight back to Los Angeles, which was small mercies. L.A was a hub of activities as it was Academy Awards season!!! I had always enjoyed watching the Academy Awards on tv at home, but it was pretty cool to watch it in L.A.

We checked into the cutest little hotel and in comparison to some of the places we had stayed in South America – may as well have been the Shangri-La! Comfy bed, cute hotel, cute view, nice location – total bliss!

We again went and stocked up on drinks and snacks to have in our room – have long hot showers and watch the Academy Awards! The BEST! Was it glamorous? No – was it amazing to have this level of comfort, YES!!

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We went for a walk along Venice Beach, which got increasingly creepy the further down you went – by some bizarre coincidence, we ran into a girl who had been on one portion of our Contiki trip a few weeks before, who hadn’t said one word to us on the tour – but then ran into us on the street and it made for possibly the MOST awkward five minute talk you’ve ever imagined.

At one point she flat out asked ‘Why are you here?’. Um, because we are on holiday? Someone spat at us, someone tried to sell us drugs and someone was using the street as their bathroom. Oh Venice Beach, classic! It’s super eclectic though and if you’re careful and there during the day it’s not too dangerous. I wouldn’t recommend anyone strolling around there late at night though, as socio-economically it’s not very nice area.

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My highlight was my Kimmy-K crying shirt, it is legitimately still one of my favourite shirts. Oh Kimmy – I love you and your crying face. I also had chicken and waffles at the restaurant from I Love You Man – a first for everything!

We spent our last day in L.A exploring Santa Monica, going to Bubba Gump’s, drinking booze and also had dinner at the Olive Garden.Jemma and I have seen so much of the world and have done so much together, but some of my favourite times with her have always just been hanging out with her.

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Thank god we met all those years before on our European Contiki, thank you for always being up for any around-the-world adventure. Our lives have changed and we don’t see each other as much anymore, but I know that our time together will always be amazing :).

It would be impossible to out-do such an amazing trip, every single holiday we have ever taken together has been amazing but this trip definitely brought us closer together as friends.

We probably should have learnt Spanish before we went though, that definitely would have been the appropriate and smart thing to do. We met so many amazing people and had seen things in our lives that many people don’t get the opportunity to see.

When you spend your twenties focussing on your career and working really hard, making sacrifices in order to save for holiday’s, then you have to embrace every experience which comes your way – which we certainly did!

Our flight home was bitter-sweet, we did not know when we would travel overseas again. What an amazing adventure we had had together though! Special thanks to Koru club and our invented cocktail – the strawberry-kiwi (me and Jem) :).

Thank you California, Florida, Peru, Argentina and Brazil for an amazing adventure! You were worth every $, every sickness and every travel story (good and bad)!

x

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – February 2014

Day 1 – I couldn’t believe the end of our adventure was here. We arrived to Rio quite early. A cleaner in the airport came up to me to ask me if the food had been ok. I said yes, then she asked why my friend has said it was not ok. I had not idea what she was talking about, she pointed at one of the guys from our tour who was eating. It turns out he had said to her “this is the sh*t!”. It took a little bit of explaining to let her know it was a compliment and really highlighted what a stupid saying it is ha-ha.

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We went to Rio’s old cathedral, visited the historical buildings around the city and then visited the Lapa district and other areas. After the orientation we checked into our hotel and then went out drinking. We were staying in a pretty good area, I think. The hotel we were in was super dingey but we were all together and safe – which is what matters!

Day 2 – Today was the day! The day we finally set our eyes on something we had been dreaming of, the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of the Corcovado. The statue is huge and the view is astronomical – it has soooo many tourists though. To the point where you would be physically pushed so someone else could stand where you were for a picture!

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After Christ the Redeemer we headed to Sugarloaf Mountain for the 1300ft climb up to the summit. Again – the views were amazing, so beautiful and camera really just does not do it justice.

We then had free time so we walked around town and hunted down THE havaianas store, big fans of “havi’s” here in Australia / N.Z and I had lost my beloved golden ones year before when they broke. I think we each left with maybe 6 or 7 pairs? I got x2 pairs for me and the rest were gifts – including a little teeny tiny pair for my newborn Niece :).

We did also find ourselves a beach bar and got our drink on, visited the markets and watched the sunset whilst eating McDonald’s (cheap, near our hotel and easy to order). Some people chose to do the favela tours, but it was not really for me – as Jemma aptly worded it ‘poverty tourism’ – so we used the money the tour would have cost and gave it to our tour guide to pass along to a charity in Rio De Janeiro instead. It might just be me, but taking selfie’s with homeless children for your Facebook profile picture to get likes and then walking off doesn’t make you charitable. It makes you kind of a huge jerk.

Jemma went out to the football and I stayed in and ate an impromptu snack plate and watched movies – I was exhausted and needed some ‘me’ time. Also, in South America – Club Social biscuits – oh my god, amazing. I want some now and it’s been years! That afternoon of reading, texting, looking through my photos and at one point napping – was amazing.

I was missing home, missing fresh food, missing my home and missing speaking English. You never want to sound as though you are not appreciating your holiday but I think there comes a time where you are just exhausted and that’s a really long time to spend with people.

Day 3 – It had arrived! Our last day in Rio – not really knowing what to do. We hung around with our travel buddies, ate Mexican food, drank margaritas, went to the beach again. Found out the biggest guys on our tour had been robbed by a kid with a knife – so, we were a little hesitant about going out that night.

Our amazing tour guide from Peru had arrived at our hotel as she was running the Carnivàle festival. So that was pretty cool that we were able to see her but also being able to experience the vibe and excitement of the upcoming Carnivàle.

Day 4 – This was it! South America was over, it was time to head back to L.A before our holiday was officially over. We were in two-minds about this. Yes, we were ready to be home but no, we weren’t really ready to have our adventure end.

When we headed to the airport to fly back to the States, we were lucky enough to be having similar timed departing flights with a couple of our travel buddies. One by one it was our turn to leave though, so there were quite a few tears!

The flight was HORRENDOUS. We had the back, back row – which as you know – the seats don’t decline. That and a 5″ nothing guy sat in front of me and immediately declined his seat into me. Also, I am not sure I have seen planes as filthy as American Airlines – just grubby, dirty, slimy. Absolutely revolting. At one point I had several pills ready to knock myself out for the 10 hour flight, as I went to take them – we hit turbulence and they all went down the side into the grotty abyss. Not pills.

2014-03-01 21.55.20I was super uncomfortable and incredibly annoyed about old-mate in front of me. I am sorry but you’re teeny tiny, the seat next to you is free – you don’t need your seat ALL the way back. When he jumped up and went to the toilet I moved his seat forward 2 inches and then locked my legs in behind his seat.

He ended up working it out and stood up, turned and looked at me and said something in not-Spanish and not-English, I’m assuming “please let me continue to squash you into oblivion because I’m an ar$ehole”. Anyways, it didn’t happen. I didn’t move. Jemma went between being super sympathetic to being worried we would be detained haha, so I couldn’t go super crazy.

Then…..Miami – the gorgeous Florida coastline at 6am in the morning. Our South American journey, was over. Thank you South America, you were amazing!

x

Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil

21 & 22 February, 2013 – Iguazu Falls – Brazil & Argentina

Ah the tropics, a nice warm heat, light clothes – maybe a splash of suncream and generally enjoyable, right? NO. Not in the middle of February, in Iguassu Falls! I honestly felt like my body had been placed in an oven, surrounded by steam cleaners. I lived in the Northern Territory as a kid, so familiar with humidity, but this was next level heat. Quite frankly, we had no right being there at that time of the year!

 

Our bus was slightly delayed as one of our tour members had decided it wasn’t really necessary to obtain a Brazilian Visa before her trip (like the rest of us had). To be honest it seems like an innocent mistake but it really isn’t when this same person really needed babysitting the entire trip.

We took our little bus from the Argentinian side – back over the border to visit from the Brazilian side. The falls were amazing – absolutely magnificent in their power. Cute birds and lizards – everything was lovely. The 40-odd degrees and 90% humidity was on the other hand, not so great.

I think it’s crazy that waterfalls can span across two different countries, then again I live in Australia – which you know, has ocean all around it – so it is hard for me to appreciate countries can join each other. I think we spent four or five hours there – there was an eatery but again, too hot. What we wanted was booze – but we were flat out of luck so we must have had 2 litres of water each.

We went back to our cute little hotel, the Hotel del Ray, had some room drinks – FaceTimed our loved ones (first WiFi availability in a couple of days!) and headed out for what was, a unique evening at the Rafain Churrascaria Show. It was what I think was meant to be a tropical/cultural dinner and a show. It certainly gave us plenty of laughs!

2014-02-22 13.46.52Day two of the falls was spent from the Argentinian side and I found to be much more enjoyable! We had all of these different bush-walks to do, rode in these open-roofed trucks out to catch our boat ride out to the falls. Which was fantastic! In such heat, the delicious relief of the waterfalls was amazing :). We got totally soaked which was like having a nice cooling jacket on.

Fun facts about these waterfalls are made up of more than 275 falls, with the most scenic one being the Devil’s tThroat, which has 14 separate falls and drops from a heigh of approximately 350 feet. The rainforest has over 2,000 species of plants and there is a rainbow (which I have a picture of above) which is formed by the waterfalls refraction of light against the mist of the thundering waters.

We were absolutely wrecked by the end of the day, with the bush walks and the heat. We did end up going out that night, to a night-club but it was in the middle of the week and I don’t remember too many people being there. I think a month of drinking and partying had definitely caught up to us and I felt like my permanent smell was suncream.

Iguazu Falls were done! It was time to catch our plane and head up to Rio De Janeiro, the final stop on our incredible Contiki Journey!

That night as we were all drinking on the rooftop of our little hotel, I received a text from home to say my little Niece had arrived, with a gorgeous mop of red hair on her head! Celebratory drinks with the entire crew helped to make up for the home-sickness I had.

x

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina – February 18, 2014

 

Oh my goodness – let’s pretend I have not taken three years to continue my adventure stories! Okay – so our time in Peru was wrapping up, I was really sad, we were really sad to leave – it had been such an amazing couple of weeks and Peru was such a gorgeous country.

Our flight from Lima was relatively early and we needed to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As this was part of our Contiki booking – those of us who were travelling beyond Peru were all booked onto the same flight, though our seats were randomly assigned.

 

I was sat in the middle seat of the middle row – with Jemma I think a row behind me and Claire a row across. This tiny little chick sat next to me and I breathed a sigh of relief thinking I would not be squashed or have my personal space invaded.

Wrong. You know those news articles of flying nightmares and feet on seats? WELL –

this chick took off her Birkenstocks and lifted her right leg (I was on her left) up over her knee and played with her foot and toes for 5 hours – her foot was near my face. Also, now I may as well mention I have a bit of a foot issue. It was horrendous. Funny now but then I was absolutely #triggered and so annoyed.

Anyways, when we landed in Buenos Aires – we were met with a much bigger Contiki bus and a new tour-guide. It was sad that we no longer had Monica with us, but we were ready for the new adventure. We had also said goodbye to some really amazing tour-mates so it was bitter-sweet.

When we got to our hotel – we were blown away, considering we had slept in a jungle room without walls and other really budget/basic places – we were not expecting a giant hotel room!

Our first (and quite frankly most important stop) was to find hotel supplies, as in snacks and booze. Especially after our 6-ish hours travel time. We found a shop and then found a booze shop and, well – it took us a while to work out the conversation price but what we did buy cost us $17 Australian dollars, and yes – that is a bottle of vodka included (bad vodka but vodka all the same). We were nearing the end of our holiday so any saved $ was a good thing!

What I do remember about Buenos Aires is that we were completely out of our depths language wise, we had only just gotten a handle of Spanish so we kind of just, gave up – because in Argentina they speak soooo quickly. We ate and drank whatever we could pronounce. We did find a very strange restaurant near the hotel and I think it was meant to be Italian but I cannot be certain.

We did a tour of the city on one of our days – my favourite part was going through the gorgeous cemetery – Le Recoleta. It was absolutely beautiful! The Le Recoleta Cemetery is located in the Recoleta neighbourhood and has graves of Eva Peron, m

any presidents, Noble Prize winners and the granddaughter of Napoleon. It is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world and it is easy to see why.

We had an absolute blast doing tango lessons and then went to dinner and a tango show. Again, completely out of our depth language wise but had a pretty good time.

The highlight for me in Buenos Aires though was when we went to The Argentine Experience. Hands down, the funnest night for me. Drinking wine, choosing your steak, making empanadas’ and then the delicious dessert. It was like one big dinner party and was relaxing and fun and I think I nearly had an out of body experience when we got to make and eat our alfajor de maicena treats (corn starch biscuit, dulce de leche and grated coconut). Plus red wine and you had three very happy and content Australian girls.

We also got to wear adorable aprons and chef hats and make empanadas’ for each other. Jemma did make hers to look like my head and then stabbed it with a steak knife though…to much red wine, or too much me? 🙂

We only had 2 or 3 nights in Buenos Aires and I don’t seem to have too many pictures, I think after going snap-crazy in Peru I was a bit over carting my camera everywhere. What I do know is the morning we were meant to fly from Buenos Aires up to Brazil (for the border Iguazu Falls), we: A) missed our alarm, B) missed the phone calls from reception to get on the bus and C) missed the bus to the airport.

We woke up in an absolute MAD panic – we had never missed a fight – even that disastrous first night in L.A we still made the flight. We packed like maniacs, called a taxi and prayed we would make our flight (which was leaving in 60 minutes). We also found out one of the other girls had left their passport in their safe, so thankfully we were running late. We got out taxi, absolutely freaking out and then the taxi stalled on the motorway every 40 seconds and the taxi driver was screaming at the car in Spanish. We only just made it and I mean just made it. The girl who had left her passport behind barely even acknowledged us and actually made some sarcastic remark to us about having almost missed the flight (not sure she realised she almost missed it as well?).

Buenos Aires was beautiful, but it was time for the next part of our adventure!