sobota, 26. maj 2018

Kia Ora,

...I step through security "door" just watching the guy check the screen and inside of my bags, hoping for the best. My heart was in my stomach and all I could think of was how that dog is going to smell something, they're gonna take me aside, open my bags, pull those macaroni out and say I gave out false information.......oh gosh, I'm going down!! :O
My bags finally came out and the guy was still sitting calmly and silently in his seat...uhmmm, what now.... am I good to go?? Do I wait? Do I run?? I finally picked up my luggage and tried to leave as fast as I could. Thank goodness no one was running after me when I walked out to arrivals area. Holy mother of god...I cannot believe myself...what an idiot I am Hahaha
I finally got out the other side still a bit shaky, buuuut when I spotted Georgia that immediately disappeared and I just ran towards her...omgg we haven't seen each other since we lefe camp in August 2016!!! And now I was there, I was in New Zealand!!! How crazy is that??? The temperature outside was quite a shock for me for sure, I wasn't used to cold anymore..how fast you loose that cold resistance.. funny, hey! :O Amen to triple layers of clothing!! Haha we spent the following day preparing for our ultimate South island road trip and taking a walk around Christchurch. I was sooo happy to also catch up with the only two Germans that I (at that point) could stand hahaha it's only been a month but it was great seeing your annoying faces again Sarah and Pascal! Miss you loads!! :* Of course we went out to eat, that's what we do best :D
And so it began, on Saturday Georgia and I drove off on our little NZ adventure. The road took us from Christchurch straight to the west coast, driving past some really magical places like Castle Hill where they filmed Narnia, through Arthur's Pass to Punakaiki with unbelievable viewing points over the coast, blowholes and pancake rocks, and all the way to Hokitika. Must stop was a local fish and chips shop and catching a sunset at the beach. Of course we couldn't pass the opportunity to see some glow worms too...for free!! (no need to pay for glow worm caves and similar stuff). Morning of day two was reserved for a visit of some local natural sights including Hokitika gorge. Despite the shitty weather, this was just a preview of what all South Island has to offer. After a gourmet lunch from the trunk of our car (mmmmm wrapssss) we hit the road again, going south to the Glacier Country. We did a short hike for a closer view of Franz Josef glacier and the valley, but the best was yet to come, at least for me. 
Early in the morning of day three, we had to keep moving south where I booked myself in to do a helihike on Fox Glacier - helicopter flight with a glacier landing and then a two hour hike on the lower glacier. Soon after safety briefing, we were given wool socks, waterproof pants, jackets and proper footwear. Before we knew it, we were getting weighed up for the heli groups and off we went! First time flying in a helicopter AND I got the front seat! Hell yeah! :D as we were approaching the glacier, you could see how majestic it really is. What we saw at Franz Josef, doesn't even come close! After our whole group was dropped off and got crampons that had to be attached to the soles of our shoes, we were all ready to rock & roll. We found some beautiful ice caves, waterfalls and lakes. Light that reflected back from the ice appeared deep turquoise blue and it was just amazing to look at. But what shocked me the most in a negative way was seeing visible lines where the glacier used to be and how much it disappeared in the last couple of decades....to see something so beautiful and knowing it will soon be completely gone...very very sad! :(
Anyways, experience so unique, 10/10 I'd recommend doing and it's well worth the 450$ you pay!! When I got back in early afternoon, Georgia was already waiting for me. We weren't wasting any time and hit the road straight away to reach Queenstown before evening. This was by far the longest drive we've done more or less in one piece (around 5hours). Since it was raining we limited stops to a minimum and arrived to our destination late afternoon. Finding our hostel and a parking spot in the city was a pain but we did it (and parallel parked too, goo Georgie haha) so of course we had to reward ourselves with a scoop of oh so good gelato from a local dessert cafe...no self control whatsoever!! :o Queenstown was noticeably more cold and snow was in the forecast for the next few days. Yuppie, I finally got to experience winter again after a year of summer!! The city was so alive and vibrant, we almost weren't used to that anymore after spending past few days in smaller (dead!) towns. So much to do, so much to see that we spent the next day wandering around the area, had the notoriously famous burger from FergBurger and basically inhaled it within seconds. Animals!! I even got to experience some snowfall while hiking on top of skyline, and almost dying doing it (ain't nobody got money for the gondola!) :D
Anyways out of three days we spent in Queenstown, one was reserved for a trip down to Milford Sound. For all that had no idea (like meee), New Zealand really has it all...even the fjords!! The trip was full day of a beautiful scenic drive (like 600km all together wtf) and a lovely boat ride in the fjords. The landscape of that area is just jaw dropping. The waterfalls, the mountains, the glacier and a cute extra, SEALS sunbathing on the rocks!! *seal noises and clapping* ;)
For our next stop we headed back up the island (the piglets we are, we had to stop at several farms on the way to sample.....cheese!!!! hellyeeees, #getinnybelly)...and we arrived to Wanaka. One of my favourite places. So relaxed, so peaceful, so pretty. And the lonely tree, ohhhh I surely wouldn't mind being a lonely tree with that view! *.* Wanaka was extra short, extra sweet, but we still had a bunch of stuff on our plan so off we went further up north.

What was waiting for us there, how our South island trip ended and all about my North island adventures...you'll have to wait to find out :) :)

xxx


D

sreda, 23. maj 2018

Brisbane, you had me at hello

Here I gooooo! The end of my East Coast trip was approaching with lighting speed. Only a short drive from Noosa and I was in Brisbane. I always use bus rides for sorting out my gopro shots and finishing blog posts (if I don't get distracted :o). But this drive was the shortest of all so before I knew it, we were in the city. As usual, I grabbed my stuff and left the bus. My agency booked me a hostel and thankfully I went to check it the night before...it turned out it was this dodgy place out of the city with really bad reviews hahaha hell no, I've stayed in some interesting places, but that one just seemed too much (50 bed room?!?!?!). So I found a different one, very conveniently located just around the corner from bus station. I went to drop off my bags, put my "fake eyes" in my eyes haha and wait for Alex to pick me up! She's just one of a few camp friends that I was/ will be visiting throughout my whole trip. She took me right in the heart of the city, vibrant South bank with a lagoon and pools, bars and restaurants. It just hits me over an over again how camp brought so many beautiful peope in my life and I cannot be happier that I actually get to visit them all around the world!! Alex you're such a sunshine, thanks for a mini tour of the city and your lovely company, only wish I could've stayed longer! Until next time!! :)
I spent the rest of the day exploring South Bank by myself. I immediately fell in love with this city and all it has to offer. So much green, so much water, so clean and neat! All sunshine and rainbows until just out of the blue I figured I don't have my gopro on me...not in my pockets, not in my bag...don't panic, it might be in one of the bags in the hostel...I rushed back to check everything...only to realize I left the freaking camera on the freaking bus!!!! What an idiot. I know exactly how it happened and it is the stupidest thing. Left it on the seat and didn't see it when I left the bus (the first time I didn't triple check if I forgot something?!?!?!). What now..it was evening of Eastern Monday so of course bus office was closed. Shit....thinking of all the worst scenarios...I basically lost everything...every single video and photo that I didn't transfer...95% of my east coast memories. I nearly cried. Buuut yo, there's still a bit of hope the driver found it and took it to lost and found.....oh but that was not all, nonono, the evening was only getting "better" haha you know that feeling when you just get out of the shower, make yourself ready for bed and realize you misplaced your glasses...I know, blind people problems....but what the heck. Where did I leave them, I can't go around without them, wtfff?! .......Remember me putting my contacts in before heading out for lunch??? Yes, I left my glasses in reception toilets...and luckily they were still on the sink when I went looking for them. I mean....I'll blame it on the full moon (or maybe I was just really really tired haha). And to top things off...why not wake up in the middle of the night to some lovely sounds of your roommates having a bit of adult fun if you know what I mean....why, oh why??? #travelbrain #hostellife
Anyways, I was up very early next morning to run to the bus station and check if my gopro was hopefully brought to lost and found...Me to the lady behind the counter "I kinda forgot something on the bus yesterday..." lady: "oh, what was it?" Me: "a gopro..." lady: "ahh, hmmm, is it this?" Me (almost having a heart attack): "YAAAASSSSSS................" lady: "you're one lucky girl" ....seriously, whatever I did to deserve getting it back...it must've been something really really nice...KARMA IS NOT ALWAYS A BITCH! :) Oh my, oh my. I guess I need to start physically sticking my things on me...After the initial shock and when my hands stopped shaking I was able to calmly pack up and check out. I had a couple of hours left in the city so I went for a looong relaxing loop walk, had some lunch with a view and jumped on the train to North Lakes to spend a couple of days with family friends...unfortunately they were just coming back from vacation in north Queensland and the weather wasn't in their favour...sooo that ment a good six hour wait for me. Ofc everything was made easier when a security guy let me stay comfortably seated in a mall after they locked everything up already - "just call when you wanna get out" haha alright then :D so the hours went by and just after 9pm Milena, Igor and Iva came to pick me up. What a lovely change to spend some time with Slovenians again..felt very much like home. They fed me our Slovenia food (haven't had this much national food in a very long time!!), they showed me around their neighborhood, fed me some more, I even had my own room with oh so comfy bed. One of the highlights was definitely Australia Zoo, (used to be) home of the Crocodile Hunter himself - Steve Irvin....for those of you who don't know who he is, do the research, for those of you who do know him, congrats, your childhood was fabulously filled with his thrilling wildlife TV shows. :D the zoo is still operated by his family - wife and the kids aaand they still do crocodile shows, crikey!! Definitely a must see in Brisbane! I loved it despite a rainy day.
Annnd just like that my time in Australia came to an end...well only for the next three weeks while I jumped over the Tasman Sea to see what's on the other side. Milena kindly dropped me off at the airport, I checked in and there I was again facing the uncertainty of getting through all the checks without getting charged extra for my (to)heavy bag. Thank goodness New Zealand was expected to be colder so it wasn't too weird wearing three layers with extra jacket (with a hoodie and another long sleeved shirt tucked inside) in my arms....and I got through successfully, boom!! Only two more flights like this!
I safely landed in New Zealand...very very excited!!! But there were a couple more stops till I could finally see Georgia on the other side. I filled out the declaration form, I decided I rather throw my two apples away (suppper strict policy with bringing food in to the country)...I say I've got nothing to declare....get out through passport control...signs everywhere how you're supposed to declare everything, tick on the paper if you have any food at all or else you get fined 400$..ok I threw my apples away got in line and gave my paper to the guy...he asked more questions "you've got nothing, sure, no fruit blabla.." nop, nothing. It does make you feel very uneasy...he then gave me a stamp and sent me to another line....que for bag check. FUCK!!! ANOTHER BAG CHECK?!?!...I did not see this coming, wtffff?! Like, nowhere else are they taking this so seriously?!?! Not even America! Something in my mind didn't give me peace....things like this always make you a bit nervous to be honest... I was going through the past few days and at last I remembered I had an opened bag of uncooked pasta somewhere in my big bag that was there since I arrived to Brisbane. Omg. Shit. Shit, shit, shiiiiiiiit!!! I'm silently panicking and trying not to be too obvious. It's only pasta, right??? Aaaah, What do I do now?! Can't go back cause I've gone through pass control and the second paper check, got two stamps....no turning back now, I don't have a choice. Already thinking of the worst case scenarios...this is it....she took my paper, both my bags...here i go...I walk through and wait for the worst to hit me

....to be continued....

ponedeljek, 16. april 2018

Jump out of a plane they said, it'll be fun they said... and "White-h(e)aven" on earth

Another bus ride down the coast and four hours later I reached Airlie Beach. This tiny little town with absolutely nothig to do but sunbathe at the lagoon or drink and eat on the main road (which is about 8min45s walk beginning to the end). After a sunny start of my EC trip I came down to some fantastic cooling showers *eyeroll*. Did not look forward to spending three days on a sailing boat in the rain!! -.- but luckily I still had more than a day and a lot of hope for the weather to change by then. Buuut, no time to think about that as it was time for me to mentally prepare for what was going to hit me tomorrow. Skydiving. Everyone who know me also know that I'm not the biggest adrenalin junkie hence I rarely do anything super crazy (no, flying trapeze is not super crazy :D). If you asked me to go skydiving half a year ago, I'm pretty sure my answer would be "hell no, never, see ya later, bye." So why on earth did I book myself a skydive?!?! Believe me, I was asking myself the same question. But seeing so many of my friends do it here on the east coast or in New Zealand, sharing their experience and preaching abou what an amazing feeling it is, they got me all excited and pumped for it and it kinda was an impulsive decision - yes, I'm doing it haha and I also didn't want to regret not trying it, that was probably my biggest motivation. So I booked my tours, paid for skydive, now there's no turning back...it was either me or quite a good portion of my money flying out of that airplane. So a couple of three dollar tacos in the hostel bar and a good night sleep should prepare me for the D day. Or so I thought. Turned out a good night sleep was not gonna happen because I was super nervous and there was a crazy raging storm happening outside. Anyways, I got up at 5, had some breakfast and met my 6am group at the skydive reception. The weather was terrible, so we already had a big delay with a group before us. we filled in some forms and were sent to wait for a callback...3hours later..the sun started to come out and we were ready to be sent to the airport. If I was nervous in the morning, by the time we actually started to get equipped, I was very much done with waiting and just wanted to get it over with asap. Because the winds were really strong over the sea and it was still pretty cloudy, we couldn't do the jump over the ocean, but we had to go the other way instead. What a bummer. I guess even my pot of luck empties from time to time. All buckled up and escorted by our instructors we made our way to the airport. (We figured out later that one of the instructors was married to a Slovenian which was super super weird haha)
Alright, ready, steady, go! My agency booked me in for a 6000ft jump. I had the option to "upgrade" to 15000ft for additional about 100 something dollars...hell no, ain't got money for that haha so I had to be the last one going in the plane and first one out...but as I was the only one for the lower jump, my instructor was like naaaah, it's your lucky day, we're gonna go all the way up to give you that full free fall from 15000ft....sure, if I'm here already, won't really make a difference to me I guess hahaha so we're in, it's raining, everyone is squished tight togeter and we're waiting...watchig the ground become a big green blop (yes the only view was grass, marvelous)...and there you are just sitting and waiting for that red light to turn on so you can put your glasses on...it's happening, no turning back now, what goes up, must come down, I sure know that from trapeze...the only way down is to fly! So the firs person out (meeeee) is ready, they open the door my instructor pushes me to the edge and adjusts the sitting position. And we wait till we reach the required height...my legs were just dangling there in the air, head back, jump position, ready...wait, wait, wait, when is it gonna be?! And then you jupm. Your stomach goes *bluuuup*, a couple of rolls around your insides, but when they release the first tiny parachute, you stop turning and you fly. You actually fly. I have never felt a sensation similar to this one ever in my life. Never. It is such a unique feeling physically and mentally that it can't be compared to anything else. You let go of everything, you're free. And I really enjoyed that feeling. Same goes with the second part after the main parachute is opened. Then you can relax and enjoy the "view". What a fantastic experience...I did it, I, me, yes meee, this chick right here!!! But I'm pretty sure I won't do it again. Once in a lifetime :)
After the jump and for the rest of the day the weather finally went back to normal and I could spend the afternoon doing absolutely nothing but sunbathing and swimming at the lagoon.
Luckily my fellow Slovenian girl Anja, whom I met in Sydney lives in Airlie, so we had to throw a proper Slovenian reunion...and let me tell you, that was certainly something that doesn't happen very often! It was Anja's last night before leaving Australia for two months so she kinda had to go have some good bye drinks with friends..so we met up at my hostel, she brought her roomie and she happens to be a Slovenian too...crazy, hey! Remember I mentioned above how one of the skydive instructors was married to a Slovenian...I told Anja and Nika the story and it turnd out we were actually on the way to their place where I met Maja and Ben the instructor (again). I mean, how small is the world?! There we were four Slovenian girls in this tiny Australian town. What are the chances?!?! We ended up having a fabulous night, especially with Maja and Ben's little exotic zoo! :) loved hanging out with fellow homies soo far away from home :) thanks guuys!!
Next morning, after all that adrenalin still running from skydive, I was more than ready for a relaxed three day sailing in Whitsunday Islands. We boarded a nice catamaran, put our main sails up and sailed away. It was a boat called Wings II and it was literally the best thing ever!! They fed us every two hours,  (haha yaas), we snorkeled, saw big George the fish, some crazy corals and we all got away with no jellyfish stings! We managed to see a fantastic sunset but the weather didn't have the best intentions for us at night. Next day was pretty gloomy, we couldn't really see much while snorkeling. But hey, it was time for our tour to Whitehaven beach and Hill inlet! Possibly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I only wish it was a bit more sunny so the countless shades of blue would pop out even more! First we hiked up to the lookout point Hill Inlet where you get rewarded with a breathtaking view over the whole bay. The water was so clear we could even see a mantaray swimming around! Let me throw some fun facts at you so you can imagine how fabulous this beach actually is.... #1 if you took a photo of the bay every day, none of them would look the same, cause the it changes every day. #2 as this is a national park you're not allowed to take anything off the island, especially not the sand! It is 100% silica sand and the only one who was allowed to take it was NASA for some sort of construction purposes (or so we've been told :o). #3 the sand is really good for exfoliating your sking and hair (we were all covered in it haha) and polishing real gold/silver jewelry! I know, right! After the hike we made our way down to Whitehaven, one of the most famous beaches in the world. We even got a bit of sun out! Half of the team went in the ocean for a swim but I just couldn't be bothered putting on a stinger suit so I rather went exploring the area. The sand is sooo fine it almost crumbles under your feet, such a good feeling :) of course right before we left we got stuck in this crazy raging tropical storm that was following us the whole way back to our night spot and throughout the night as well. Not the most awesome time to be on a boat haha last morning was reserved for a final snorkel even tho the water was sooo mixed up and very gloomy from the storm. We still managed to see some fabulous underwater life, buuuut no turtles :( I gotta see them turtles once!! 

What an experience this was! Wings II thanks for such a fun tour, you all are a bunch of true legends!!

(Un)Fortunately same day in the afternoon it was time for me to board a bus again and continue my journey..this one was the longest - 14,5 hour night bus to Rainbow Beach. What happened there...? Come back next time to find out! ;)

xx

D.

torek, 03. april 2018

Magnetic Island, a real animal kingdom

Attention - backpackers rant ahead: What do you do when the island you're on has no signal and absolute shit wifi, but rock vallabies and possums are jumping around, koalas are a step away and you're pretty much living on the beach.......seriously?? I see too many 18-19-20 year-olds (older are no exception either, even I'm still like this way too often -.-) who cannot leave their freaking phone in their bag!! I mean, you're in this paradise, so much to do, so much to see....yet you can't be present in this moment, now! You go on a tour around koala and reptile sanctuary, your face says "ahh, why am I here," don't even pay attention until the guide says "photos", you lift your head, jump to be the first in line, put a fake smile on, take a snap and then bury  your head back into your screen...smile immediately disappears even tho your snapchat story is full of laughing and smiley emojis. Will you even remember the second you touched and held a damn live koala bear?? How fluffy it's fur was, the way it grabbed and held on to you? How amazing you felt when you finally managed to get up that freaking hill and got rewarded with a million dollar view?? Or is the only thing that matters to you getting that perfect insta shot to share with your followers the same second it happened.. it's 21st century, traveling is easier it's ever been, but people seemed to forget why they go on the road in the first place...shouldn't be about making other people jealous, bragging around and showing of, getting drunk every night and be hungover the hole next day, sitting around in your hostel chasing that terrible wifi so you can snap ten thousand pics of your "happy" face from countless different angles.....no, no, noo! It should be about experiencing stuff, meeting new people, new cultures, food, be present in the moment, having fun and making memories for life...sure photos and videos are a way of preserving those memories, but looking back at them years later you also want to remember the feelings you felt at that moment, the funny stories your guide was telling or a crazy thing that happened on the way to your destination....will you?? Probably not... because you're not paying attention, you're not experiencing it and you don't care. And honestly that is one thing that makes me furious. People who don't care, peope who take all of this for granted. Being able to travel is the best thing in the world and I feel so incredibly fortunate to have the guts and ability to do it. Yet not everyone seem to share my opinion and very few seem to understand the real meaning of traveling. Please please please enjoy the moment, be excited to explore new places and take home as much new experience, memories and stories as you can..it did happen, even if you didn't get it on camera or put it on snapchat. Be there, enjoy, LIVE!!! - Rant over. :)


Now that I got that off my chest I can relive my time on Magnetic island, this magical kingdom where Australia's most lovable wild animals are seen in their natural habitat, daily!! All the time actually. Having dinner? -Oh hello mr possum, I can't feed you my food but you're welcome to hang out with me (they're only really interested in food, hanging out is not their thing...kinda like me hahaha)...maybe you're having a relaxing afternoon by the pool, don't be surprised if a wallaby comes jumping around. Might even happen you see a death adder...this one is probably not top of the list of animals you wanna see, but it sure can happen. And my absolute favourite.... the Forts walk where you can spot wild koalas ! *.*
Magnetic Island is a popular stop along the coast. It's located 25min ferry ride from Townsville (damn ferry was 33$!!! -.-). I was staying in a hostel called Bungalow Bay. It's pretty remote but totally worth it. The little houses are very modern - think "glamping" style - and they all have AC, bingooo!!! The place also has camping site and the best thing,  on site wildlife sanctuary that offers tours and breakfast with koalas, boom!
The island itself is pretty small but it has over 20 bays and beautiful beaches to explore...countless amazing walks and you know...animals!!! I've only spent a day and a half there which was really not enough. I was rushing to do as much as possible. The most popular way of getting around the island is for sure a "Barbie" car or a motorbike. But there's busses too and you also have your legs for use 24/7 which is free of charge so.. :D I had enough time to explore our nearest beach-horseshoe bay the day I arrived and had to plan the one full day very strategically. Early morning wake-up so I could start the Forts walk before it got too hot (actually it didn't matter, because as soon as the sun was up it was just blaah, dying haha). It was time to put my  Steve Irvin/Indiana Jones/professional koala spotter/bush-walker attitude on and hit the trail. Honestly, you look like an idiot just staring up in the trees trying really hard to spot that highly desirable drop bear that sleeps 20hours a day and is basically the colour of everything around it. But my inner Steve Irvin surfaced and my eagle eye spotted one right at the beginning of the track....a happy "thank you universe" dance and a million photos later I had to move on if I wanted to stay on schedule for the day. Unfortunately I haven't seen any more these beautiful creatures on the way, but one is so much better than zero! Views from the top were pretty impressive with the sun still rising above the ocean...magnificent!! If only I was up for the actual sunrise! I continued my way from the starting point of Forts walk down (and very much up too) all the way to Radical Bay. Gosh, the heat. But it all paid off with a bunch of fantastic lookout points along the way. If I wasn't so short with time, I'd definitely have a relaxed couple of hours at the beach, buuut koalas don't wait for anyone so two km hike up the freaking mountain steps all the way back to horseshoe bay. Next on the agenda was the highly desired sanctuary tour in my hostel. It cost me 29 for entrance fee and extra 18$ for a koala cuddle dddddddd cause who wouldn't want to cuddle a koala?! Well we certainly got to pet a lot more unusual animals too, including a lizard, baby crock, turtle, snake aaaaand a vombat!!! Siick. It felt like I've done so much already and yet it was only 2:30pm. I caught a bus down to Alma Bay to have a look around that area. I ended up laying on the beach with occasional dips in the sea (very brave of me as I wasn't wearing a stinger suit...wooops) just sunbathing and enjoying the quietness of the area (until a very loud group of Brits came, Jesus!). So my last day on the island went by crazy fast. I ended up in this deep discussion with my roomies about travellers that we meet along the way...and we all came to the same conclusion that there is waaay more solo girl travellers than solo guy travellers! Guys that I (we) met by now were either traveling with their "better" half or in a group...whereas ladies just seem to love the freedom of exploring on their own...hmmmm why is that?! Guys???
Anyways I was up pretty early again the following morning as I wanted to stop at the other side of the island to check out another bay before hoping on the ferry and departing back to Townsville. Before boarding the bus to my next destination I decided to search for Woolies or Coles to buy lunch and some food for the journey. Of course the sun was soooo strong and of course I misread google maps directions and walked waaay further than needed. *properfacepalm* Coles and their AC *loveeeee*....Also what's up with a quarter of baked chicken being cheaper than 200g of "plain leaves and grass" called "a salad"?!?!


This stop was (too) short but very sweet! Loved seeing all the animals, magical sunsets and adding up another piece of adventure to this puzzle. My next destination was one I was dreading  the most (not just because the weather forecast was absolute shit) but also because I was about to do something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would ever attempt...but more about that next time. :)

Now hop to my Instagram (@dasazagar) to see some photos that again, I can't upload here cause my phone is stupid. -.-


xoxoxo

D.

nedelja, 18. marec 2018

Cairns, Tropical paradise in Queensland

5,5 hours on the bus...it would be a shame if I didn't manage to put together a lousy blog post so here ya go...

Does anyone remember that time when I negotiated my east coast tour for about 500$...yup self high five right there...well the time has come and I hit the road...actually I hit the plane seat with my bum (and waaay more "hand luggage" than it's actually allowed haha) and flew to Cairns as my first of many stops along the East Coast. Between the last 8 straight working days, 6 of them being morning shifs and everyday evening farewell events you may have figured out that packing and organizing my sh*t was probably last on my to do list (which usually is not the case as I always pack everything a week in advance haha there's a first time for everything hey :D). I'm not even going to start talking about sleep deprivation...you know when you're really really tired, your brain is playing mind games with you and the next day you kind of don't really remember how things went on before going to bed? That was me on Tuesday before leaving. Thank goodness I at least packed everything I needed (probably even more, you know how girls are ;) ). Wednesday 6am, after 4hours of sleep, I was more or less ready to get on that plane and fly back to summer! Said bye to my roomies and took off. For sure my backpack weighed more than 7kg (had to pack stuff for NZ too!!) But luckily some Asians in front of me got called on the side for bag check...have I mentioned what an absolute lucky bastard I am some times?! No? Well it's out now. I am. :D got off the plane in Cairns and the tropical heat just hit me (of course I was wearing long jeans, long sleeved shirt...I mean, I had to put all heavy things on me instead of in my bag, right?!)
After a pretty expensive shuttle drive to my hostel I'm back in the "backpackers" life - long time no see mate but I haven't missed you one bit! The weather was absolutely amazing and after I changed into a more proper attire for a tropical summer (at some point, taking my skin off seemed like a very good idea...damn heat!), I was ready to rock and roll......kidding, went sunbathing at the waterfront of the Esplanade Lagoon. To my surprise, the hostel had free bbq and pizza nights alternating every second evening...how can you say no to free food? You don't, so you eat whatever they feed you. 
It's funny how I'm "on vacation" now, yet I literally won't have a day to sleep in. Besides the fact that my body clock is still on 5:30am work mode and an hour time difference, all the tours also start at approximately 7am...now do the math. But not complaining, you don't get to go to the Great Barrier Reef every day am I right?!?! :D speaking of which, that was also my firs tour. I booked a sailing trip with snorkeling and an introductory dive. To say the Reef was beyond anything I've ever seen before, is probably an understatement. At boarding, each passenger got a pair of fins, snorkeling set and stinger suits. It took us aroun an hour and a half of sailing to get to the outer reef. Time did fly by while we were listening to diving and safety instructions. Sun was out, the sky was blue and before I knew it, I was sitting on the bench all buckled up with a set of weighs around my waist and a huge oxygen bomb on my back. I have to say, firs time diving, I was a bit nervous...especially because the last time I was actually (free) diving at UNI, that did not feel very pleasant to my ears with equalizing. As you jump in the water you go through a minor panick stage (at least I did hahaha) before you realize you're actually completely fine and also...you can breathe under water...duuuh. relax, you're fine. we had to demonstrate some safety tasks at the first line before diving down to the second where you also had to equalize the pressure for the first time. So far so good. After another set of safety tasks the instructor, using hand signals, asked us if we're ready to go down. Hell yes, now or never. I took my gopro with me of course...and the funy thing was, when we got down to the bottom, the pressure squeezed it to a point where it turned on by itself and instead of taking a video it was taking photos and I couldn't turn it off hahahaha (no idea how deep we were but the camera is fine as it can go down to 10m without a case). Half hour dive and 1578 photos later....hahaha the water was a bit gloomy because of the cyclone that just went past this area a few days ago, but nevertheless, the experience was just priceless. Although I don't think I'll seek professional career in diving haha after I got saved out of all that heavy equipment, I had some time for snorkeling before lunch. Oh gosh, what an exciting world there is under water! fish, corals, sea stars, and yes I saw a shakr, a baby harmless one, but it was a shark! :D unfortunately no luck with turtles. Next time! After lunch, we sailed off to a different reef where we spent a couple of hours snorkeling again...wau, wau, wau. Speechless. We concluded the day with a lesson on marine life, the reef and the surrounding area being the rainforest. Oh how excited I was to get back to the hostel for pizza night...again, never say no to free food!!
My third day in Cairns was reserved for a trip even more to the north of Queensland - Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. First stop on the way was Mossman where we attended a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony, got "marked" as the tribe from this side of Daintree river and learnt a thing or two about their culture. Then we took a bus to Mossman george before driving all the way up to the middle of Daintree Rainforest, oldest continuously living rainforest in the world, literally older than dinosaurs. Mindfuck. We went on a boat tour on Daintree river, spotted some crocodiles sunbathing on the edges,  and we were fortunate enough to see a couple of days old baby crocks! Cuties. We also learnt that crocodiles don't eat smart people...and if you do get attacked/eaten by one......that's called natural selection. Sorrynotsorry. Throughout the whole drive we hoped to see some "crazy killer chickens on steroids" as our guide would call them...in other words we were hoping to spot a Cassowary (if you're not familiar with this animal, and above description doesn't stimulate your imagination, google and learn a bit about them and why you don't want to face them eye to eye hahaha). Lunch was already waiting for us when we got to Cape Tribulation, in the middle of a rainforest at a tiny camp site (no idea why anyone would want to sleep there surrounded by all those not so nice animals....). Anyways, Carl showed us a spider that knits the strongest web and how aggressively it attacks anything and everything that tuches his web thinking it's food. Pretty impressive, almost like me attacking my plate of food. :D There's one more thing Cape Trib has to offer...a stunning sandy beach where rainforest meets the ocean. But the water is infested with crocks so...if you don't want to be "naturally selected", take a photo and run away. But seriously how amazing is this place?!?!
Last thing on our agenda was a walk in the rainforest. Before entering the path, we had to listen to a "brief" Cassowary safety talk..."if he gets you with his claw, your intestines become outestines", "stay together as a group, huddle up and put me in the middle", "don't run, hide behind a tree or a meat shield (yes, he called a person a meat shield)" hahahahahaha very useful. You walk in the rainforest, thinking to yourself "whoa, this is amazng, sooo old omg" and then you realize "oh, of course, no wonder this has been untouched for so long, even the freaking plants are trying to kill you"...Carl again: "Australia needs to calm the fuck down", I agree mate, I agree! 
At the end of our trip with everyone still alive, all limbs attached, no insides out, this day was estimated as an absolute success. We hit the road back to Cairns...I don't think I have to emphasize that I was exhausted and oh so ready for bed.

I did my reef tour with Passions of Paradise and Cape Trib with Active Tropics...and just have to say how amazing, informative and absolutely hilarious all the tours itself and the guides were...especially Carl, not many people walk around the "killer" rainforest bare foot...he did, what a legend!! Definitely couldn't recommend them enough!!

Alright, three days in my east coast adventure and I've done so much already...I spent my last day in Cairns wandering around Botanical gardens where I went back to the rainforest. The weather was absolutely bonkers, almost 30 degrees outside before 9am, gosh. Chilled day ended up with a dip in Esplanade lagoon and a FREE bbq for backpackers hosted by a local church (?!?!)...I feel like the biggest lesson of this blog today is "never say no to free food" hahaha

Well it was time to pack up again and leave to the next destination...

Maybe just a few words on my spending money...Considering the fact that I pre booked and paid majority of my tour, I gave myself a budget of 500$ spending money...will I make it? I don't know...I guess we'll see?!?! At the moment...it's not looking very promising hahaha I'm going to try really hard (who are you kidding?? you're not, if they ask to pay 40$ to hold a koala, of course you're gonna do it!) - oh the daily battles of the "rational" and the "yolo" side of my brain. Which will win??? ...stay tuned :D


Sunny kisses from Down Under

D*


P.s. sorry for no photos post, I'm currently stranded on a deserted island (I'll be happy if this goes through at all!) haha so bare with me, photos will come but feel free to catch up with things on my Instagram @dasazagar!!**

torek, 13. marec 2018

My ode to Sydney



As my adventure here in Sydney is coming to an end, I feel like I need to look back on my new life that I’ve created in this beautiful city. From the start to the end, the good, bad, ugly, amazing and everything in between. I arrived to Sydney just under SIX MONTHS ago (where does the time gooo?!?!?!) with no expectations or a solid plan. All I knew was that I needed an adventure, a change, push the limits, get out of my comfort zone, find myself and discover what I’m really capable of. And boy, I am not leaving disappointed! What a journey it was! Full of surprises, fear, doubts, some tears and uncertainties...but going through it all, not giving up and slowly getting my shit together, I got rewarded with so much luck, happiness, confidence, feeling of absolute freedom, pride and self-accomplishment – I’d do it all over again. Not to mention all the amazing (and not so amazing) people I’ve met along the way that have made such a big impact on my life here. I won’t say I loved and enjoyed every minute of it because I most certainly did not! There were so many times I really just wanted to pack up and leave, send my boss to hell (Mimi, not you!!! :D), question myself and my decisions, all the moments when I literally just wanted to quit....but I didn’t. Thanks to my new friends, amazing roomies and mostly my improved and strengthened character. I couldn’t have imagined a better start, thanks to my fellow Europeans Jasmin, Anna and Pakdat whom I met right at the airport before even placing my feet on Australian soil. Despite the fact, our little team started to fall apart after a week or so, we shared so many amazing experiences and made beautiful memories. As the weeks went on, I started to meet more and more people, but also realized I’ll have to say goodbye to many far too often. Living a “backpackers” life is awesome, really, but it also sucks...a lot!! As others were leaving to travel or find their luck in a different city, I stuck to Sydney and in the end I made myself extremely proud of how fast I actually managed to get on my feet. I still can’t believe how much I’ve learnt in the past months. Some jobs I had were an absolute JOKE hahaha...remember my door to door knocking career that lasted whole 3 weeks???? I CAN’T BELIEVE I ACTUALLY DID THAT! ME?!?!?! A genuine people hater spent three weeks talking to so many for more than 5 hours a day...I literally can’t hahahahaha I definitely learnt some good lessons the hard way, but hey, isn’t that what makes it fun to look back at. :D I was literally forced to leave my comfort zone even before I got off the plane in Sydney (hahaha Jasmin...14 hours sitting together on the plane...and we only started talking 30min before landing haha two scared babies :D). I can’t even count all the situations that made me feel so insecure and uncomfortable, or when I was too scared to face the challenges that were thrown my way...I did have to put all my fears aside and literally grow a pair of balls. And that’s exactly what I did. I proved to myself yet again that I am capable of anything and everything I set my mind to. 

Never in my entire life have I ever changed as many jobs as I have here in the course of about 3 months....but I did exactly what I was aiming for – try a bunch of new things.  I’ll definitely never forget my first job – My dear Proteini, that I was holding on to for the first two months...I’m so thankful to Megan who actually gave me a chance and a job despite the fact that I had zero professional experience in hospitality...oh how many banana breads I baked there and how many sweet potatoes, zucchinis, carrots and broccoli florets I chopped, the first time I took an order without having to write it down...it all sounds so funny and stupid now but at the time, it was the tiny victories like that, that kept me going. Of course I can’t forget the oh so long door to door fundraising career at Plan International...I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but  it actually gave me something positive too. Besides the newly acquired skills, breaking my personal mental boundaries, handling situations and learning some cool selling tricks...the people I’ve met and called them my team. Roxy, thank you for everything that you’ve taught me, whole – then –Roxy’s team – you guys are the best!, Melty, Sarah and Louise...I’m so happy I took the job at Plan, otherwise we would’ve never met...and legit, I can’t imagine how my life here would’ve turned out then! :D Luckily we’re all from Europe soooo....reunions!!! :D 

But to be honest I’d also say that 80% of this whole “jobs” thing was pure luck haha the stars have aligned, things have simply fallen into place. Exactly what happened with my last job at Bondi Wholefoods. When I left my job as a door knocker, I was basically unemployed for about two weeks (with weekends still working at Proteini). I was trying so hard to find another job, sent so many applications that were left unanswered, walked in to several cafes and had no luck. I was getting really impatient and scared. And then, one day I was making this really long list of every single cafe in the neighbourhood that I could walk to and leave my CV. Only one was still opened at that time. Bondi Wholefoods. Luckily Mimi (the manager) was still there (at 6:30pm, I know now that she never stays there so late so lucky meee hahaha). I left my resume but didn’t expect anything...she got back to me the next day and I was hired three days later. Luck, luck, luck, luck. For sure I won the lottery with this one as to this day I loved every second of it!! So thank you Mimi for giving me the opportunity to become your smoothie girl. You are the best boss I’ve ever had and such a wonderful human....I love you dearly and for sure I will miss your death stares from around the corner while supervising the whole place and all the laughs that we shared. Of course I can’t go past my amazing team of co-workers..Thanks to each and every one of you – my smoothie girls - Anabanana, Trini, Niki, Carla, Julie, Michelle, Eli and Ali...the amount of bananas we peeled, oranges we cut, the number of all freaking acai bowls we made (don't wanna see one for pretty long time now!!), yummy smoothies and those incredible walnut and macadamia crumbles we ate, sickening!! Thanks to the the rest of the smoothie, grocery and kitchen sections - Gusti, Edwin, Caroline, Rene, Tom, Chenny, Ogi, Quinn, Raj, Bishnu, Sabin and everyone else that I might have missed out...I love you all soooo sooo much and cannot express enough of how grateful I am to have met you and have the honour to call you my friends. Thank you for the best working environment, best food and best company at and off work. I hope we get to see each other again – someday, somewhere.  LEGENDS for life!! <3 <3

Lastly, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing roomies. Another lucky shot for me, getting this apartment. Yogitha, Amy, Monica and Pedro. You guys are simply the best! Thanks for all your help, words of encouragement, fun times, food that we shared and overall a wonderful place I called Home. I am going to miss you dearly but surely you’ll miss me more, well just because the shared food plate in the fridge will be empty from now on :( hahaha but seriously, never stop being awesome and crazy. See yaa in two months monsters! :D

BUUUUT, enough nostalgia! It’s time to get this show on the road. Onward to the new adventures, seeing a whole lot more of what this country has to offer. Then hop to New Zealand in between for an exciting CAMP REUNION with my two fave kiwis!! Can’t wait to see you guuuuys!! :) Off to Cairns in the morning; exploring the oldest rain forest in the world, tick Great Barrier Reef  snorkeling off my bucket list and so much more...fingers crossed the money won’t be too tight...we’ll see.

Sydney, I’ll always remember you as a city of “firsts”...first real experience of living abroad, first time house hunting by myself, first job search, first time renting a place, first time dealing with taxes, first time being a (responsible) adult. Oh how scary but wouldn't change it for the world. I will see you again and most certainly I will never forget my time and people here. Thanks for all that you taught me and all that you gave me.

With Love,

D*













ponedeljek, 19. februar 2018

Update!



Le kaj je razlog, da sm bla tako dolgo tiho od zadnjega zapisa? Nč. I’m just being lazy and that's it + mogla sm počakat, da se bo vsaj kej zanimivih stvari nabralo, da bom mela o čem pisat...ker kr nekej nakladat sam zato, da je, pa tut ni moj stil. V preteklih tednih se je življenje mal umirilo v smislu nekih posebnih dogodkov – ajde z izjemo Australia Day in kitajskega novega leta....pa praznovanje sodelavkinega rojstnega dneva na plaži, palačinke party za valentinovo, ko so me moje nore cimre presenetle v službi in me peljale na najbolj znano tortico v Sydneyu (strawberry watermelon cake iz Black Star Pastry aaaaaaaajjj!!).........buuuuut all in all predusem delam, delam in še mal več delam...da bo ja dovolj dinarčkov za zapravlat na ekspresno hitro približajočem se potovanju. zato tut nism mela kej preveč za spisat kar koli. Svojo službo še vedno obožujem in počasi mi postaja hudo, da jo bom kmal “mogla” zapustit. btw, sm že omenila, da sm v teh parih mesecih dela v BWF postala čisti acai bowl decorator profi?? Hell Yeah!
Se še spomnete, ko sm jokala, kako mi zmanjšujejo delovne ure? (Če ne klikni tu) No, končno sm nazaj na konkretnem številu – velik teženja in mau “groženj”, da bom primorana poiskat drugo službo, kar bi posledično vplivalo na mojo razpoložljivost v BWF. In sm spet mal bolj samozavestna, da mi ne bo treba na koncu mojga potovanja životart in živet pod kašnim mostom, ker ne bi mela dost keša za hostel (šalaa, nikol nism mela tega u mislih) hahaha še bolš, mislm, da lahko rečem, da bo dovolj za vse avanturistične zadeve, ki jih imam v planu.
No preden začnem tečnart o tem, kako težko mi bo zapustit Sydney, bom par besed namenila še vsem mogočim festivalom in praznikom, ki so se vrstili en za drugim v januarju in se nadaljevali še v februar, začenši z Australia Day praznikom, ki smo ga praznovali 26.1. Tale je verjetno najbolj pomemben in znan, saj je kot nekakšen ameriški 4th of July – torej poln dogajanja in avstralcem najljubši izgovor za en celodnevni “barbie” (če ne veš kaj je to, si osveži znanje v temle prispevku haha) ali obisk plaže (al pa oboje!). Po celem Sydneyu se je vrstilo dogodkov in prireditev – od aboriginskih obredov do dogajanja v pristanišču in povsod drugod. Js sm se že zgodej zjutrej odpravla na ogled “smoking ceremony”, kjer je aboriginsko združenje v Sydneyu predstavilo tradicionalen obred odganjanja zlih duhov, skupinske plese in čaščenje kulture staroselcev. Tukej take prireditve počasi spet jemljejo zelo resno, saj po stoletjih katastrofalnega ravnanja s staroselci, upajo, da se bodo na tak način “odkupili” za vse grozote, ki so jih “belci” povzročili (in to še vedno traja) aboriginski skupnosti....honeslty, čaka jih še dolga dolga pot, če sploh jim bo to kdaj uspelo. No, meni osebno so prikazi tradicionalnih obredov in predstavljanje kulture na ta način vsekakor zelo všeč in zelo poučni, sploh pa zato, ker Avstralija razen aboriginske nima absolutno nikakršne kulture, da bi lahko rekli: “to je pa naše”. Torej po mesecih življenja tukaj, sem bla prvič v stiku s “pravo” Avstralijo. Čez dan smo se s kolegi večinoma zadrževali v območju Circular Quay – pristanišču, saj se je tam največ dogajalo. Tekmovanja jadrnic, slovesnost nacionalne mornarice in večerni spektakularen ognjemet, ki je bil mogoče še bolj atraktiven kot tist za novo leto! Absolutno nismo mogl mimo “nacionalne” hrane – lamingtonov (k naši "čupavci" oz. kokos kocke na steroidih), fish and chips, sausage rolls in tim tamov haha sickening - in seveda nekaj čemur na takem dnevu out and about tule vsekakor ne moreš ubežati – sunburns hahaha! V glavnem po novem letu je bil tole res še en fantastičen dogodek, ki me zagotovo ni razočaral! :)
Na žalost pa ne morm rečt enakega za praznovanje kitajskega novega leta haha – definitivno nč posebnga,  fascinirale so me samo veličastne skulpture 12 znakov kitajskega horoskopa, ki so razstavljene po celem pristaniškem polkrogu od Opere do Harbour bridge-a. Ajde, pa mogoče dragon dance...sm vidla dva, tako da lahko rečm, da so prestrašl vse zle duhove okol mene...zdej pa rabm sam še en dobr kitajski fried rice pa bo! :D

Glede na to, da sta januar in februar peak summer season, se je v mestu dogajalo na polno praktično vsak dan in večer. Od mini koncertkov v parkih, do ogromnih festivalov (katerih se nism udeležila, ker so ble karte waaaaay too expensive haha). Vreme nam je bilo in nam je še vedno zelo naklonjeno, vroče, sončno, vlaga je pa na momente tut taka, da je blo kašne dva tedna nazaj nemogoče spat, ker se ti je zdelo, da se boš kr utopil v svojem švicu. Bljek. Še vedno pogrešam sneg. Sploh k videvam fotke in videe naše lepe zasnežene Slovenije :( kljub temu se z vsakim dnevom/tednom/mesecem tukej počutim vedno bolj domače. Končno se mi zdi, da sem se ustalila in ustvarla nek krog “stalnih” prijateljev, s katerimi lahko preživljam svoj prosti čas. Po pravici povedano – bolj kot razmišljam kako se nezadržno bliža dan mojega odhoda, bolj me žalosti, da bom (spet) "mogla" zapustit stanovanje, službo in moj lajf tle. Sploh pa, ko mi Mimi  (šefica) ves čas ponavlja, da noče, da grem, da me bo pogrešala, da noče novih ljudi najemat (sej vem, da sm zato k ve, da ji bodo ostale samo še dve zaposlene, k po večini nimata pojma kaj delata haha),  stoooop it! res bom pogrešala ta job, čeprov me ene sodelavke spravlajo ob živce, dobre stvari še vedno odtehtajo vse ostalo. Alo, sej mi neki časa še preostane tako da morm maksimalno uživat te zadnje dobre TRI (?!?!?!?!) tedne v mestu....a se še komu zdi, da gre februar takoooo hitr mim?!?! Timeee, stooooop!!! :o s cimrami smo že sestavle spisek stvari, k jih še mormo opravt predn grem: it v indijsko jest, it v dessert bar jest, js jih naučit spečt torto, Yogs mene naučit skuhat indijski curry, js jih naučit kako nrdit pico in pičiče, it na kosilo v moj kafič (ker mam 50% off pa kavo zastonj haha), it na plažo, it plavat v Ice Bergs pool na Bondi Beachu..........pa sam še tri tedne časa. Matr bo natrpan urnik! Ta teden me čaka še staff party s sodelavci (končno se je nabralo dost keša iz napitnin, da si zaslužmo večerjo haha) pa poln koledar dogodkov z ostalimi prjatli. Nč, mi ne preostane druzga kot  da izkoristim še ta čas, ki ga imam tu na polno preden se podam na nove dogodovščine! Wipiiiii!!
Naslednjič pa verjetno pride na vrsto že zadnji Sydney blog, tik pred mojim odhodom, tako da absolutno ne zamudite! ;)


Lupčkiii v zasneženo Slovenijo!***