Tag Archives: Canberra

Putting Everything into Beautiful Perspective

9 Jun

It’s amazing how easy it is to forget how spectacular the places we live are when we spend so much time traveling. Traveling is and hopefully will still be one of my greatest passions for several years to come but when we are stuck in the more dreary cycle of work, study and every day life, the great things your home offers can be completely overlooked. This becomes even easier after seeing some of the great sights of the world- Angkor Wat, Merapi, The Colosseum, tropical beaches in Thailand, the list is endless. I would be kidding myself if I said anything in my hometown could really compete with those places but there are still some pretty amazing places.

This morning I went hiking with a couple of friends down in a National Park which is only about a 20 minute drive from my house. In no time at all we were deep in the bush with no sign that the capital city of Australia was only a short drive away. We were able to hike to 3500 year old Aboriginal rock art, see all different types of wildlife and vegetation and eat lunch sitting on a waterfall overlooking a sprawling valley. The sky was clear and blue and it was surprisingly warm for winter and it really made you realise how lucky we are here.

I will always love travel- I love exploring new places and discovering new cultures and cannot wait to be back on the road again for another adventure (27 days until I head back to Asia!) but this sort of perspective really is an amazing thing and definitely makes passing the time stuck in the daily routine much easier.

Canberra Living- Groovin The Moo 2012

21 May

Living in Canberra which at times can seem like a large country town, it is a bit exciting whenever any big names in music come to town. One of the best festivals to emerge in the last few years isGroovin the Moo which presents some awesome Australian acts as well as some decent international ones.

I wasn’t planning on going this year but after a bit of convincing by my friends I decided to head along. This year saw some big names like Kaiser Chiefs, Hilltop Hoods, Kimbra and incredibly old school Public Enemy team up for a great line up. Stand outs on the day included 360, Hermitude, City and Colour (chilled out), Bluejuice (a lot of fun) however the two last acts Hilltop Hoods and Kaiser Chiefs definitely made the $100 tickets worth it. Hilltop Hoods were great playing some old stuff mixed with some of their newer songs and really made you realise how much of an influence they have had on Australian Hip Hop. Kaiser Chiefs were one of the best acts I have ever seen live. They had so much energy in their performance and had the whole crowd singing and dancing.

One of the best parts of GTM was the set up. Despite the fact there was 15000 people there, none of the stages felt overcrowded which left a sense of intimacy in the performances. One massive downside is the time of the year it was on. May in Canberra is cold, realistically too cold to stand outside for 12 hours but with some clever layering, a lot of dancing and a drink or two it was much more tolerable. Also the inclusion of a Nandos van was amazing. Can’t go wrong with some delicious Portuguese Chicken to keep you going throughout the day.

The crowd this year was much better than other events I’ve been to in Canberra with everyone being fairly relaxed and willing to have a joke as opposed to some of the more aggressive crowds in the past. So all in all it was a brilliant day all up despite the massive wait for the taxis, the cold or the ridiculous 9am start at work the next day (festival on a Sunday- bad idea). Really looking forward to next years event.

What are some of the best music festival experiences you’ve had? Let me know below!

 

May Madness… I need travel advice!

9 May

So it’s been a while since I last posted and I do apologise for that- I have a big list of upcoming blog posts as well as a number of posts I have started and not finished so just thought I’d write a quick update on what’s going on.

May is a ridiculously busy month- work, thesis stuff due and (while a poor excuse) a lot of other events from gigs to various other parties making my time to write things other than stuff for uni very limited. I will however endeavor to post at least one written post a week from June onwards and start posting Photo of the Week on a more regular basis again. I also plan on doing a bit of a Canberra series- it’s not as boring as people say!

On the travel front- I’m currently planning a trip to the South Pacific to escape the depths of Canberra winter in the next couple of months! Fiji or Vanuatu are looking likely so any suggestions post them below.

The other big trip is India at the end of the year. I’m tossing up between some G Adventures and Intrepid trips and could really use some advice. The options so far are a more Rajasthan based one traveling to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur and Varanassi OR heading up north into the mountains and going to Amritsar, Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Agra which is winning slightly at the moment (I really like mountains). If anyone has been to India and can recommend places post it below! It’s my first time there so all suggestions are welcome!

That’s it for me- Post your travel ideas below!

Black Gold Around the World

7 Mar

Life’s too short to drink bad coffee! Or so they say. I must say in my travels I have been granted some of the best and worst coffee experiences that I’ve ever experienced. So what are the best countries (and worst) to chase that caffeine hit?

The Good

Italy- Some of my favourite memories of travel are sitting in the piazzas of Rome and Florence and throwing back anespresso. Before I went to Italy I was a super sweet, caramel latte drinker but Italy taught me to love coffee in it’s simple, pure form. While I still indulge in the odd latte (skim to cut down on the milk taste) my coffee machine definitely churns out espressos on a daily basis.

The Surprise

Vietnam– It’s not really that much of a surprise when you look back to the French colonial days that the Vietnamese can pull off a good coffee. There was nothing nicer than sitting overlooking the valleys of Sapa on a cold winter day sipping a glass of the thick, nutty cup of coffee (with some sweetened condensed milk to mix in) perhaps accompanied by some delectable French pastries. Another surprise was down in Ho Chi Minh City and some of the great cafes where you would be transported out of the city into cool gardens indulging in brilliant Iced Coffees and forgetting that the bustling traffic was only a few metres away.

The Bad

Cambodia- As much as I love Cambodia the coffee was rather bad. Dishonourable mention goes to our attempt to have a caffeine hit at 4:30 am when waiting to see sunrise at Angkor Wat. In the darkness we drank what can only be compared to mud and despite how tired we were I couldn’t force myself to finish it. Other than that it was a case of instant or 3 in 1 mix, drinkable to satisfy the cravings but not something that sticks in your memory. Better to stick to the juices or Angkor Beer!

The Strange

Indonesia-There’s no doubt that Indonesia has some fantastic coffees to offer (Aceh and Bengkulu beans are new favourites of mine) and a lot of rather bad ones. However there is one that draws mixed reactions from people- the infamous Kopi Luwak.

Kopi Luwak- Expensive but not spectacular

Gathered from the faeces of a civet cat after it eats the beans it is the most expensive coffee in the world. I paid $10 to give it a try one day and despite my amusement at the ceremony in serving it, it was mostly disappointing with a real earthy flavour, tasty but not worth the ridiculous price tag. It’s worth a try- you might like it.

The Best

Canberra- I know it’s not the most exotic place or known for its coffee but truth is we have a lot of good cafes thanks to the thousands of public servants and university students. One place worthy of mention is Lonsdale Street Roasters which gets rave reviews for good reason. Consistently great coffee and quick, friendly service, what more could you ask for? Maybe some delicious paninis or reasonably priced beans roasted on site? They’ve got that covered too!

That’s just my opinion. What are some of your best and worst coffee experiences from around the world?