Hola Buenos Aires! – South America Part 1

The Obelisk, Buenos Aires.

 

Hola my friends, how are you all? I hope all is well! I have been a little delayed with getting back to my world of blogging, but am now back to catch up and fill you in on all my on goings!

I have loads to catch up on and fill you all in on. The most important thing I want to share with you all now, is my awesome adventure to South America!

As some of you may know travelling to South America has been a goal of my ever since I became unwell with ME/CFS. The fact that I was able to get to this point and visit was huge!!!  I will be writing about my adventure over a few posts, so let’s get started and onto the good stuff……

After a 12 hour flight, from Sydney to Santiago, then a 3 hour delay at the Santiago airport and getting to know it (spoiler alert it’s not that big), then our connecting flight of 2 hours to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had finally arrived at our Destination! Welcome to BUENOS AIRES BABY!

Feeling very tired, foggy minded and only just managing to keep our eyes open, we jumped into a taxi and headed to our hotel in downtown Buenos Aires. The drive was an experience, but we were yet to learn that was nothing compared to the Bolivian drivers in La Paz.

Luckily, we arrived during the evening, so as soon as we arrived at our hotel it was heads to pillows. Due to travelling through 12 time zones in the opposite direction, our body clocks were all over the place, this lead to a lot of ridiculous early rises over the next few days.

The weather was mostly wet and rainy and it was the middle of Winter. Thankfully we invested in some waterproof windbreakers and made good use of them, by hitting the city and exploring the streets of Buenos Aires.

Some of the attractions and areas we explored were;

The colourful suburb of La Boca, worth a visit to enjoy the atmosphere and markets. If you’re a football fan this is definitely the place for you with this suburb being the home ground to the famous Boca Juniors.

Plaza de Mayo, the government square, usually there are protest’s etc. It appeared we had missed the on going’s, however when we visited, the riot squad were still lingering around.

La Recoleta Cemetery, the famous cemetery where the rich and famous are buried. This cemetery is located in the suburb of Recoleta, it is a lovely suburb to visit and looks a lot like New York city in the movies. The tombstones at the cemetery are out of this world!

Palacio Barolo, it has beautiful views of the city. It has a lighthouse on top of the building that is worth climbing up the tiny staircase and into as the city views are amazing. During this visit we enjoyed a tour of the building and this is where I started to really learn about the Spanish and their inquisition.

Puente de la Mujer Bridge, enjoy a walk along the river set among some lovely restaurants.

Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world. The road has 7 lanes running on each side, whilst also having trams and buses run through the middle.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, the beautiful book shop that once was a theatre. Having lunch at the cafe on stage was a lovely treat, while admiring the beautiful store.

Floralis Generica and the Obelisk are also must see attractions.

One of my favourite things about Buenos Aires was the cafe culture. I don’t usually drink coffee, but I found myself indulging in coffee and enjoying the cafe culture the city bought. I have heard people say Buenos Aires is the Europe of South America and I can now see why.

Buenos Aires, you were a real treat, you were friendly and chilled out, you were patient with us while we struggled with our Spanish! You were the best start for the beginning of our South American adventure. You also introduced us to Dulce de leche aka caramel sauce (which goes on everything),  Maté Tea aka yerba and proved that Argentinians know how to do amazing Steaks.

Until next time, Adiós Buenos Aires and Adiós my friends! I need to get writing about the next part of my South American adventure!

Ps: Here’s a couple of snaps below.

Lennae xxx

 

La Boca.

 

Puente De La Mujer

El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

Plaza de mayo.

View from the top of Palacio Barolo.


South Coast Getaway

Culburra Beach

Culburra Beach

Over the Christmas holiday break, I was fortunate enough to spend some lovely time on the South Coast of NSW, in a small coastal town called Culburra beach. Culburra is located 18 km to the East of Nowra, in the Shoalhaven area or for all you Sydney-siders or those of you that aren’t very familiar with Australia it is 182 km’s south of Sydney.

Fortunately for us we travelled down a few days before Christmas and when we arrived we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. The beaches were practically deserted, the streets were empty and all you could hear were birds  chirping and the ocean waves gently crashing. The supermarket and cafes were fairly empty, even come Christmas Eve. We left a few days after Christmas and that’s when Culburra started to experience the migration of Sydney-siders invading this secluded piece of paradise.

We shared this beautiful place with some of our family, including my in-laws from New Zealand. It was lovely to share this beautiful part of the world with them. We enjoyed many walks along the beach and in the national parks. We are very spoilt for choice with beaches and national parks to explore.  On one of our walks, the Abrahams Bosom track in Currarong we came across a snake just chilling in the middle of the walking track. Thankfully, a couple of people had just walked past Mr Snake and helped him peacefully make his own way back off the track.

We ventured down to the surrounding coastal towns including Currarong, Orient point and down to Jervis bay. We shopped in Huskisson and the other local shopping hubs including Berry and Nowra. Visited Hyam’s beach which has claimed to have the whitest sand in the world (according to the guinness book of records). It also has another claim to fame for all you Kim Kardashian fans, she did a photo shoot there when she visited Australia a few years ago.

During our stay down the coast we also got to witness the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Binoculars were needed of course and I have to confess we were only able to see one boat, the rest were too far out to sea.

Overall it was a lovely getaway filled with new and happy memories.

Have you been on a getaway currently? I would love to hear about!

I’ll love and leave you with a few happy snaps!

Lennae xxx

Looking over Hyam's beach.

Looking over Hyam’s beach.

Merimbula wreck, Currarong.

Merimbula wreck, Currarong.

Honeysuckle beach, Currarong.

Honeysuckle beach, Currarong.

 

Fam Bam!

Fam Bam!

Snow enjoying Culburra Beach.

Snow enjoying Culburra Beach.

 

 


Singapore Cruising Adventure

Sunset on the Malacca Sea.

Sunset on the Malacca Strait.

Hello beautiful souls, long time no hear!

Apologies for the lack of posts, I’ve been off and on with the online world over the past few months. All has been going well, I actually returned from my cruising holiday over a month ago (I know, so slack that I haven’t posted about this already).

I really want to share this experience with you all. This was a huge milestone for me, filled with a lot of surprises and happy memories to go with it. It’s amazing how well you can cope when you are out of your daily routine and comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong there were a few curves balls, but its part of the experience and how you deal with it at the time. You can either fight it or roll with it.

A good friend of mine turned 30 this year and it was decided that we would along with another friend, do a 7 day cruise from Singapore. Our cruise set sail through the Malacca Strait up into the Andnaman Sea, stopping off in Langkawi (Malaysia) Phuket, Krabi (Thailand) and Sabang (Indonesia). With also spending a bit of time in Singapore, either side of the cruise. All up I would be away for a whole 14 days and I would also be flying to Singapore and back. That’s an 8 hour flight one way!
I must confess, this trip sounded scary to me, but deep within I knew it was achievable for me. I had a bit of anxiety about this trip in the beginning, as my health had been playing up when I made the booking. But I was committed to seeing this through, especially for myself. Thankfully the health issues I was experiencing were not ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) related and towards the time of the cruise, I was ready and embracing this trip with open arms.

I won’t bore you with all the details…… but here’s a little summary of how I got on. I’ll leave the rest up to the holiday snaps, they speak for themselves!

The first few days were spent enjoying & exploring Singapore. Naturally I wasn’t able to see everything, but you never can see it all in just a couple of days. After spending a lot of our days walking around shopping, eating and exploring my legs were about to fall off. I had pushed things to the limit and if all the payback I was getting was from my legs, I’ll take it! Gardens by the bay are a must, we visited them at night, but I would definitely go back to see them during the day.

Next was time to board the cruise, by then I was needing a good rest. It’s hard work being a tourist! Thankfully the first day on the cruise was just a sailing at sea day. I was able to bounce back well.  I enjoyed the luxuries on the boat and had everything right at my fingertips. A few party nights here and there with a sneaky drink or two in between. Dancing the night away like I was a care free 18 year old again, that’s what it’s all about. Yep the old body pulled up well.
Day trips weren’t too hard, I opted for the easy options and that seemed to work out well. I was extremely surprised with how well I managed it all. I guess when you’re on holiday, you don’t have to worry about day to day things or anything else for that matter. The biggest worry is what to eat, there was so much food to choose from!

The last few nights of our trip were spent winding down in Bugis, Singapore. Enjoying the local sights and exploring the area, including visiting the Meomi cat cafe. Conveniently located across from our hotel.

This nears the end of my Singapore cruise adventure, I had a wonderful time and have proved to myself that my ME/CFS days are now more like a distant memory. Bring on the next adventure, I hear South America calling!!!

I’ll love and leave you with a few of my holiday snaps, enjoy!
Do you have any holidays planned? I would love to hear about them!!!

Much love

Lennae xxx

Sunrise view from our apartment in Singapore.

Sunrise view from our apartment in Singapore.

Playing tourist, heading down to gardens by the bay.

Playing tourist, heading down to gardens by the bay, Singapore.

Gardens by bay, Singapore.

Gardens by bay, Singapore.

Breakfast at the Meomi cat cafe, Singapore.

Breakfast at the Meomi cat cafe, Singapore.

Pacific Eden, in Sabang, Indonesia.

Pacific Eden, in Sabang, Indonesia.

Langkawi, Malaysia.

Langkawi, Malaysia.

Krabi, Thailand

Krabi, Thailand

Enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Walking the plank.

Walking the plank.


Cruising Holiday

Credit Pixabay

Credit Pixabay

As I’m getting better with my illness (ME/CFS) I’m starting to feel more confident and adventurous. Last year the husband and I went on a NZ adventure which was a huge success. I’m now more than ready to push the boundaries a little, plus I need to test the waters and see how I’ll pull up for my big 30th trip next year (I have huge trip goals)!

One of my beautiful friends is turning 30 soon, she decided that she wanted to go away and I was more than happy to tag along and celebrate with her. After a number of conversations across the ditch with her, we came up with the idea of going on a cruise!

I have always heard people rave on about cruises, my thoughts however have been that they are mostly for old people, or the thought of being stuck on a boat out at sea would be boring. I guess it’s one of those things that you shouldn’t knock until you’ve tried it.

Having chronic fatigue has made me think that a cruising holiday will be quite ideal for me and my holiday goers. I have done some research and educated myself on cruises and I want to share with you all why they could potentially be a great way to holiday! Especially for my fellow friends out there, that suffer with an illness that restricts you from doing things.

  • You have everything available to you on board, it’s like a mini village on a boat, but moving and at sea.
  • This means you can basically do what you like on board. If you want to have a nice meal and get dressed up you can, or if want to lounge by the pool all day you can. If you’re not feeling up to the day trips or don’t feel like doing much while on your cruise that’s fine.
  • If you’re having a rough time, no problem chill out, do what you need to do. No need to worry about your cruising party, there’s plenty to do and plenty of new friendly faces to meet.
  • A medical team is always on board and are there to help if you require it.
  • Food, there are so many options available, did I see a smoothie health bar somewhere!?
  • The best thing about a cruise is that you’re not missing out, your still holidaying and getting away, sometimes just a change of scenery is all you need.

As I haven’t actually cruised yet or cruised before, I got talking to the lovely Sophie from the Cruise Agency. She informed me of a lot of exciting healthy and relaxing options that are available while on a cruising holiday.

Here’s what I can look forward to on board;

  • First and most importantly there’s a day spa on board. Take your pick from massages, hot stone, facials, body wraps, scrubs, spray tans, you name it.
  • If you have a love for alternative medicine/ natural therapy you can find acupuncture or reflexology on board.
  • Experience and enjoy the many different relaxation rituals available at the Thermal Suite, with heated beds, showers and a collection of exotic steam vapours throughout. Or try Rasul, an Arabian cleansing ritual of chakra muds and aromatherapy.
  • Exercise classes are on board as well as yoga, pilates and a gym! If you need to keep at your  daily exercise routine there are plenty of options to choose from. I know I love to keep my daily steps up on my fitbit and I’m a huge fan of yoga!
  • Healthy food options and dietary needs can be catered for. The food options are endless with a selection of cafes and restaurants on board.
  • Library, if you enjoy a good book and looking for a relaxing quiet place to read you have options.
  • Crafting, scrap-booking and board gaming, are quiet enjoyable activities to relax too.

Wish me luck on my cruising experience, I’ll be sure to share it all with you once I’ve had my cruise in a few month’s time. It could not come any sooner!

If you’re interested in cruising head over to the Cruise Agency website and chat with the lovely Sophie, she will point you in the right direction.

Much love,

Lennae xxx

Credit Pixabay

Credit Pixabay

 


South Island Adventure

Queenstown

Queenstown.

Hello my lovely readers, long time no see! I’m well and truly long overdue for a blog update.
In case you were wondering where I had disappeared to, I’ve been keeping pretty busy with life! Exciting right!?
I’ve been focused with study and work, taking it slowly with them both, but am making good steady progress. I also recently took a much earned holiday to New Zealand! So let’s skip straight to the holiday part, woohoo!!!

Being as Cameron & I are both kiwis and have family back in New Zealand, we were long overdue for a trip home. Since I’ve had quite an improvement with my health, we thought we would make a holiday out of it. I had never visited the South Island before, so we thought why not head there. Then towards the end of our trip make our way up to the North Island and visit family.

I was feeling confident that I would manage our trip well, but of course with suffering from ME/CFS, I couldn’t help but worry and think whether it would be too much. Will I be able to manage everything? My mind starts running wild. We decided that if we booked a camper-van, it would be an ideal way to holiday. Rest whenever and wherever you want. How good does that sound? SORTED!

Everything was booked and we had a plan to spend 10 days down in the beautiful South Island, then the last few days spent in the North with family. I won’t go into too much details of where we went, I’ll let the photos do all the talking.
All I will say is it that if you ever make a trip out to New Zealand, the South Island is an absolute must see. The scenery is beautiful, the streams and rivers are turquoise blue and the amount of snowy mountains is breath taking. The views are spectacular, we found ourselves pulling over every 5 minutes to take snapshots of the amazing scenery.

I pulled up well too, I still can’t believe how well I managed it all! We covered just over 2550 km’s in our camper and managed to visit all the places we wanted to see, which included Milford sound, beautiful Queenstown and Wanaka, as well as the Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers. We also got to do some fantastic activities, a bus tour through Fiordland National park with a boat ride through Milford sound, the shot over jet in Queenstown, a helicopter ride over the glaciers also seeing Mt Tasman & Mt Cook. AMAZING! Even a few gorgeous walks, one up to the Fox Glacier which was one hour, taking on a mega hill!

It was lovely being able to explore and visit new places. After all that adventure, it was up to the North Island to visit our family.

Overall I did need a rest day here and there, but then who doesn’t! It feels good to be able to do normal things again and feel normal! It’s achievements like these that open my eyes up to see how far I have come, every day I keep getting closer to taking back my health.

I’ve tried to pick out my best holiday snaps, but as always I have far too many to choose from. Anyway I hope you enjoy them!

Much love,
Lennae xxx

Up in the Mountains on our helicopter tour. Between Fox & Franz Josef glacier.

Up in the Mountains on our helicopter tour. Between Fox & Franz Josef glacier.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo.

View from Lake Tekapo Hot Springs.

View from Lake Tekapo Hot Springs.

Fiordland National Park.

Fiordland National Park.

Naughty Kea eating the tour bus, Fiordland National Park.

Naughty Kea eating the tour bus, Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park.

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park.

Shotover Jet, Queenstown.

Shotover Jet, Queenstown.

Lake Wakatipu.

Lake Wakatipu.

Our Camper, Lake Wakatipu.

Our Camper, Lake Wakatipu.

Makarora, Lake Wanaka.

Makarora, Lake Wanaka.

Franz Josef Glacier, view from the top on the helicopter tour. Your can even see the West Coast & Tasman Sea in the background.

Franz Josef Glacier, view from the top on the helicopter tour. Your can even see the West Coast & Tasman Sea in the background.

West Coast.

West Coast.

Look out from the top of the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown.

Look out from the top of the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown.


Byron Bay

Lighthouse at Cape Byron.

Lighthouse at Cape Byron.

Birthdays & Anniversaries always call for celebrating! This year Cameron & I decided to go away to celebrate our 2nd Wedding anniversary & our birthdays. They all fall within 3 weeks of each other, fun times right!!! We thought what better way to celebrate, than to chill out at Australia’s beautiful Byron Bay!

Byron Bay is Australia’s most easterly point, filled with beautiful beaches. The food choice is amazingly healthy and yummy. Byron is filled with backpackers, hippies, surfers and green lovers. The vibe of Byron is very chilled, are you feeling the vibe yet?

I’ve had a little anxiety of flying since I’ve been unwell. Byron seemed like the best choice to test out a flight. It’s only an hour long flight from Sydney. I can assure you I nailed it & there is no more anxiety towards flying.

Up in Byron the weather was beautiful and warm. I felt like we were on a island. The vibe was refreshing and relaxing. The food was amazing and so was the shopping. We hired a car and went on a few roadies, even visited Nimbin! The unique place that is pretty much dedicated to promoting marijuana. Before you get excited it’s no Amsterdam and still not legal.

Cameron did a skydive, I was more than happy to watch. I don’t think my energy levels would have tolerated that much excitement. I was grateful for what I was able to manage energy wise, which was a lot.

I’ll leave you all with some pictures of our trip, I hope you enjoy! If you’re thinking about visiting Byron Bay, I would highly recommend it. It’s like a whole different world!

Lennae xxx

Looking out East from the Byron Lighthouse.

Looking out East from the Byron Lighthouse.

Belongil Beach in the morning, looking back towards Byron Bay.

Belongil Beach in the morning, looking back towards Byron Bay.

Belongil Beach at sunset.

Belongil Beach at sunset.

Belongil Beach, looking towards Byron bay.

Belongil Beach, looking towards Byron bay.

Regular customers at a local juice bar.

Regular customers at a local juice bar.

Selfie at Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Selfie at Cape Byron Lighthouse.


A Little Getaway

InstagramCapture_446dce2d-30b6-4f0d-be60-4106f48f2a4a_jpgI was keen to venture outside of our little home, sometimes I feel like a caged animal always stuck inside our house. It was time to have a little getaway for a couple of nights. I was feeling a little scared but at the same time super excited about going away. I was getting out! FREEDOM! Determined to make this happen, hubbie and I jumped onto lastminute.com, and started searching for a good destination.

We were after somewhere quiet, relaxing, close to the beach and not too far to travel. We found beautiful Mollymook, 2 nights down the coast here we come! It was approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes drive. Perfect!
I felt like I was going abroad, I hadn’t been anywhere for almost a year. I had stayed a couple of nights at my parents a few times, but their place was familiar to me It wasn’t out of my comfort zone. Going somewhere new was exciting, yay for a holiday!!!
I started having a lot of questions running through my mind! “What if I’m not well enough and we can’t go, what if I can’t do anything? What if I’m fine, what if I have an amazing time? So many what ifs!!!”

I wasn’t going to know these answers until I tried………Bring it on!!!

Leading up to our little getaway, I started having a few horrible symptoms that lead into a setback. One week before we were to go away I was stuck on the couch feeling, nauseous, extra fatigued and had a strange burning sensation in my stomach and throat. I was struggling to eat and just wasn’t having a good time. Things weren’t looking to good, I was starting to stress and panic I really wanted a little holiday. Setbacks can come and go at anytime. The cause of this one was unknown, I suspect I may have come into contact with some sickness that was going around and it was affecting me very strangely.

Two days before our little getaway things were looking up. I was magically feeling a lot better, I paced myself and started planning for our little getaway. I got some great tips from my spoonie friends online about traveling with an illness. I packed up my little bag a day before hand, and sent hubbie down to stock up on healthy snacks.

The day arrived for our little getaway, I was feeling a little foggy headed, so I took a big shot of my herbs for a pick me up. We dropped our little furbaby Barry off at his grandparents and off we went on the road. It was a good drive down to Mollymook, I was in and out of fatigue but overall it was good. I didn’t feel nervous, anxious or stressed. These are some of the feelings that can come over me when I haven’t been out in a while or going somewhere new.

We arrived at our destination, I had a little freak out and panicked. I gave myself a mental slap and told myself to harden up and relax!InstagramCapture_a68b31db-9ecf-43ce-ac78-cf68394ca781_jpg

After a rest we strolled down to the beach which was close by. It was a lovely and lazy afternoon, soaking up the warm sun rays. The weather was gorgeous. We strolled along the beach front and had a lot of rest stops. The beach was only scattered with a handful of people. Later on we enjoyed a little drive, read a couple of gossip magazines, got addicted to a game on my phone called 2048 and enjoyed the outdoor spa bath. The water felt so good on my muscles, I felt alive and pain free. We also were lucky enough to have a spa bath in our room. Relaxed anyone?

The next day I was feeling a tad bit sore, thoughts of over doing it were running through my mind. It took me a little longer than usual to get up and get started. I was determined to make a day of it and not let this end my enjoyable holiday. After a little rest we drove to the local shops in Ulladulla I wanted to go shopping and do normal stuff. We browsed through a few shops and bought a few things. It was fantastic. I was slowly running out of steam, every time I would look around I was unable to focus on anything. After an hour and a half of shopping, it was off in the car for a nice drive around.

I honestly felt like this was the best holiday. Everything I was seeing made me feel so lucky and appreciative of everything I had and was able to be doing. I was feeling so grateful that I was able to get out and about, 10 months ago that was the impossible!

Driving around we saw some lovely views of Mollymook beach, the water was so calm and clear. We headed back to our motel for a big rest. My body was becoming pretty fatigued and sore. I swear it’s like being in an old person’s body. Over all I was still surprised that I was still feeling good. After a good rest it was back to the beach this time in my bikini, those poor people on the beach were going to be blinded by my pale skin!

Enjoying the warm sun, feeling the warm sand on my feet was lovely. I wasn’t game enough to swim, but I walked around in the water for a bit. I laid down for a while breathing in the fresh sea air. For a moment I wasn’t a sick person, I felt almost normal.

That evening I knew I had done enough, after another little drive I enjoyed another spa outside then back into the spa bath. The water was lovely on my muscles. The next day I was pretty tired, I soldiered on wanting to enjoy what was left of our little getaway. I was sad to be leaving our little getaway so soon. We stopped off at a couple of places on our way home, I was lucky enough to have a tiny bit of energy to do some shopping.

The next few days I was kind of dreading, I knew that I would pay for pushing myself. Surprisingly I didn’t pay too much, of course I was very fatigued and felt a moment of lowness but that was more from coming back down from a massive high.

I am amazed of how this little getaway made me feel, its the smallest steps that make me so grateful!

Bye for now
Lennae

xxxx
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