I AM THE % – An Apology To My Blog

I hold my hands up.

I have disowned my blog. My fault 100%.

I read somewhere before I started A Long Way From Home that most bloggers give up blogging with a year of starting – I told myself that I would not be part of that percentage.

Hell I was wrong.

Since my last blog post I have driven around Australia for 10 weeks from Perth to Melbourne to Uluru to Darwin to Broome and back to Perth. Rented a new apartment and I have been working as a team assistant at an engineering firm in the heart of Perth’s City centre for the past 4 months. We have planned and booked our trip home passing through Vietnam, the Philippines, Tokyo and London before heading home to Scotland for Christmas. And also a cheeky trip to Paris in January for Rhys’ 26th(old) Birthday.

Have I documented any of this?

Not. One. Bit.

God dammit Becky.

So I’m back, lets do this and lets do it properly 💪🏻

Esperance & Cape Le Grand National Park

Day 10 – Wednesday 19/04
Esperance / Cape Le Grand National Park


We left Raventhorpe and took 2.5 hours drive in to Esperance. Drove around The Great Ocean Drive, a scenic drive that follows the local coastline and then loops back into town. Highlights along the way include the Rotary Lookout, Twilight Beach, Observatory Point, the Wind Farm and Pink Lake (no picture of the pink lake… I was really looking forward to seing it but it wasn’t really pink when we got there, probably due to the weather being cloudy)

We decided to see if we could get a camping spot at Cape Le Grand National Park, even though we had read that camping spots get snapped up pretty quickly at both Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grande Campsites, we thought because its passed Easter maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. Arriving at 4pm we paid the $12 entry fee for the park and set off to find the camp site, it was easy enough to find just following the signs. We drove past the turn off for Lucky Bay as we had read Cape Le Grand was better. We couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces when we arrived, the views really are breathtaking especially with these little guys hanging around for the whole night.

A nice ranger, who later told us that every few months another ranger covers the position, met us at the entrance to the camp site. We paid $10 each for the night and was shown to a little alcove where we could park. We set up the tent, made a cup of tea on the stove and walked over to the beach where we saw there was a lookout point over the beach so we climbed it and were not disappointed by the sunset views.


Day 11 – Thursday 20/04
Cape Le Grand National Park

We left Cape Le Grand Beach campsite and went along to Lucky Bay, as I mentioned before we didn’t stay there because we read that the campsite wasn’t as good… it has a much bigger campsite and looked really busy, but that beach, wow, squeaky white sand that rivals Whitehaven for sure and turquoise blue water. A bit cold for a dip in April but it would be amazing in the summer.

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We saw straight away that folk were piling in either because it was a nice day or its nearly the weekend, some may have just been day trippers but there where way more cars driving around at 10am than 4pm the day before.

Also, thought I’d add… Frenchman Peak – one of the big mountains in the national park,  looks like the Grinches mountain in Whoville, right?!?

When we left Cape Le Grand we drove back to Esperance to stock up on food and water at IGA and left for the Nullabor at 12:30pm. We stopped at around 4:30pm and stayed at a road stop called “10 Mile Rock” (no rocks, but plenty of trees) just after Norseman at the beginning of Eyre Highway that had a drop toilet and a shit load of mosquitoes who liked me a lot…. 

*sad face*

Perth to Albany

And we are off!! I haven’t decided how I’m going to document my Highway1 Loop of Australia trip yet… I thought maybe at first I would do daily, or maybe town by town, but its now Day 10 and I have yet to post anything. So I thought a short spurt of daily activities would be fine…

Day 1 – Monday 11/04
Perth to Bunbury

We waved goodbye to Perth and headed South. Arrived in Bunbury and parked at Koombana bay. When we arrived, I found out I had won a competition for a free trip for myself and Rhys to go to Rottnest. So made the decision to stay in Bunbury until we could go on the trip. Saw passing dolphins whilst walking along the beach near dolphin discovery centre. Spent the night at a road rest stop in Bunbury.



Day 2 – Tuesday 12/04
Bunbury back to Perth..

Spent the day back at Koombana bay swimming and snorkelling. Drove back to Perth @ night and stayed at a friends as we were up early the next morning. 


Day 3 – Wednesday 11/04
Rottnest Island

So… I won a competition to take over Rottnest Express’ Instagram for the day all I had to do was document throughout day by taking pictures and posting them on their Instagram also a quick live video on their Facebook, easy peasy! Leaving at 7:15am from Fremantle B shed, the boat trip over was fine, I had heard that it can be pretty choppy. We were given bikes and snorkle gear when we got off the boat and got our tickets for a snorkel tour at 1:30pm. It was pretty chilly and cloudy when we arrived but by lunchtime the skies were blue and cloudless. Woohoo! Had the best time snorkelling and cycling around (sore bum in the morning) and taking selfies with the hungry but friendly quokkas.

Had $5 dominos and slept Roadside stop outside Bunbury as we didn’t want to drive any further we were shattered and slept like logs.


Day 4 – Thursday 12/04
Busselton 

Back to the trip!!! Drove to Busselton and walked along the Jetty (longest jetty in the southern hemisphere) saw loads of dolphins. Drove to Cowarump near Margaret River. Watched 2 episodes of American Crime Story then drove back to Busselton and stayed at a free campsite in the forest called the Pine Plantation because we shat it in a parking layby spot on the side of the road incase we got a fine, realised in the morning we would have been fine.

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Day 5 – Friday 13/04
Busselton/ Margaret River

Showered in Busselton at the beach showers. Drove to Margaret River, Rhys had booked us into Glenbrooke campsite a little farm that used there land as a campsite, was a nice place that has hot showers, a camp kitchen, horses, a donkey named harry and kangaroos in the padocks. We put the tent up for the first time. Had a walk through the centre was super busy because of the easter weekend.


Day 6 – Saturday 15/04
Margaret River

Spent the whole day in Margaret River, went to the farmers market, the chocolate factory and over indulged in the free (white yum) choco buttons and went to cheeky monkeys for a drink.


Day 7 – Sunday 16/04
Augusta

Left Margaret River, stopped off at Augusta, drove to lighthouse and water well and it started raining. Boo!! Grabbed a coffee back in Augusta. Drove through the national park on the way to Albany which was really pretty. Drove through Pemberton got a wee. Lol. So many hilly roads. Driving through you don’t get a signal or radio signal so take cds or prepare a playlist like we didn’t LOL. Road reminds me very much of Scotland, it’s April and everything is so green. Walpool, Tingly trees, drove through Denmark, stopping before Albany cooked noodles and watched American Crime Story before bed.


Day 8 – Monday 17/04
Albany

Raining!! Went to McDonalds for Wifi, pancakes and a coffee. Did washing @ a Laundromat. Lunch at Emu Beach consisted of some strange crab that was still in its shell, burger that I couldn’t finish. Went back to rest stop outside Augusta and watched Goodfellas.

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Day 9 – Tuesday 18/04
Albany

Raining again!! Dropped car off at 7:30 to get two new front tyres. Went to Dome and had a vegie breakfast and a coffee. Picked up car and went to Middleton Beach for a free hot shower. Went to library to get wifi and watched episode of Broadchurch. Left Augusta at around 2pm after stocking up on discounted easter eggs at Woolworths mmmmmm. Stayed in Raventhorpe 24hr rest stop overnight.

Car Camping and Getting Creative

I wrote in my previous post and also havent stopped talking about, how we bought a 2006 Ford Falcon Station Wagon that has its very own bed built in the back. We are going to take said Station Wagon on a trip, not just any trip, the full circle around Australia, following Highway1 from Perth to Perth… no biggy, right?

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The car when it was first bought… Keep reading to see what it looks like now!!

Well… All those years spent as a child infront of the T.V after school watching Art Attack – shout out to Neil Buchanan, SmArt and Changing Rooms (sorry to any non UK folk reading this) back in the 90’s have really being paying off these past few weeks since buying the car and getting ready for our next big trip!

Ever since I can remember I have been able to picture something in my head and come up with a weird and wonderful way of creating it. My grandad is really creative and he was definitely and still is, a massive influence on me growing up. Hi Grandad!! I have always found ways to make things to look cute and cool if it’s looking a bit outdated. And I have always managed to make the best out of what I have available. In school I took Art, Craft Design & Technology, Product Design and Graphic Design. Basically I should have went to Art College… but of course I never.

Hense thinking putting curtains up in the car was a good idea… Little did I know that a bit of trial and error would occur and I’m so glad I started a few weeks before leaving to give myself time to make it right.

I made the curtains out of a $10 queen bed sheet from kmart in a mint geometric pattern, I measured up the inside of the car and wonda webbed (adhesive iron on strips) the bed sheet into rectangles. I had already done some research on Pintrest and I knew that I wanted to make a roll up style curtain and have the ties hanging to sercure the curtains up when they weren’t in use.

To actually secure the curtains in the car was a different story. I tried velcro (see above) which failed miserably after 2 days where I would get in the car and the curtains would be hanging off. So I got some pins and pinned them up to be more secure. After a fews days I got annoyed at how untidy it looked, so I took the advice from a friend which I should have done in the first place and bought myself a $6 staple gun from Bunnings. I ripped off the velcro and started again, also changing the ties to a loop and hook style fasten as my previous idea to use velcro to secure the ties to keep the curtains rolled up didnt work either, hopefully you can see in the pictures…
Because the interior to the car is fabric, the staples have worked a treat, it looks so neat, tidy and secure.  I’m really chuffed with the result!

So here is the finished result!

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I had to add in some fairy lights too!! The mint storage boxes are from Kmart (see theres a pattern here, all about those savings when your a backpacker).

You might have already noticed the wood is now a different colour too… The wood didnt look very attractive and I thought it could do with a bit of sproosing up. So bought some sticky vinyl in a light wood finish for $3 from Kmart and wrapped around the front of the bed to make it look more modern and clean. You can see the bed fully down here too. We have the back seats up at the moment until we are ready to put bedding in and the bed down for the trip.

I also bought this cute marble vinyl ($3 from kmart) that everyone is obsessed with right now and updated this dingy broken camping table instead of buying a new one.

 

#projectmakethecarahome is almost complete and we leave Perth in 8 days, stay tuned, I think the next few months are gonna be fun!!

Feel free to join me on my journey by following me on Instagram & Snapchat where I post most regularly and of course Facebook!

Insta: becky.tindal
Snap: teckybindal
Facebook: A Long Way From Home
Twitter: beckytindal_

 

5 Places To Eat In Bali ​

OK, so you’re in Bali… You gotta eat right??

Ubud

Mamas Warung – If you have been in Bali for more than 10 minutes by now you will have noticed this word “Warung” on every street. Basically it’s a little restaurant, sometimes no more than 2 tables, that does yummy Balinese food. You will eat at a Warung at least once if not every day on your trip. Mamas Warung in Ubud boasts a certificate of excellence on Trip Advisor, Mama cooks for you herself, she is a lovely Balinese lady who has been making food for her customers for years. Nasi Goreng for 18000 Rupiah ($1.80AUD) who can say no? I had Nasi Campur ala Mama.

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Kuta

Coffee Corner – I think we came here every day when we were in Kuta. We didn’t stay in a Balinese family home-stay in Kuta, so no pleasure of having the lovely Balinese banana pancakes and Lombok coffee every morning. Instead we opted for a nice skinny hazelnut cappuccino and some good old bacon, poached eggs, avo on toast!

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South Kuta

Single Fin – Get ready for that Instagram ready pic of the day. This place is perched on top of a rocky hill where Blue Point Beach is, looking onto the Indian ocean, enjoy some Peanut Satay Chicken whilst taking it the sea breeze and if you stay long enough of go for dinner, this place is the best for watching the sunset. What a dream.

Edit: Somehow I managed to misplaced my photos from Single Fin, but check them out on Instagram @singlefinbali and you’ll get the idea 😉

 

The Smoothie Shop Cafe – I wrote about this place for We’re The Travellers. If you are looking for a Vegan and/or Organic bowl of goodness. This place is for you!

 

Cafe La Pasion – Mexican food, dip pool, cake and good vibes. Need I say more?

#6… 

Karma Beach Club – Ok so I’m cheating with this one. But I will tell anyone & everyone to visit here if they are going to Bali. Karma Beach Club is a posh hotel, non-hotel stayers can pay $50 to be taken down to the private beach by cart. And when you get down there you spend the whole day no longer a backpacker, you are an A-lister for the day. Being served young coconuts, beers and food whilst snoozing on a lounger soaking in those Bali rays enjoying the beautiful sea views. I ate prawn linguine and sipped cocktails. Backpacker who???

 

Thanks for reading!  – A Long Way From Home

 

A Successful Week In Pictures

Hello…. It’s me.
(sorry I had to)
No but seriously, what a week its been!

MONDAY:
Rhys bought us a car, check this out this little beauty, a 2006 Ford Falcon Station Wagon. It has a fold down bed in the back!!!! It also runs on LPG gas so is super cheap to run. He bought it from a backpacker couple who’s Oz trip was coming to an end. They have given us everything that they used to travel with including camping chairs, a tent, bedding, two stoves, pots pans and cutlery and a bunch of other random stuff! This is super exciting for us as this will be our home for the next few months as we travel all over Australia for the second time when we leave Perth in April. Watch this space as I will be blogging about our experience living in a car and our travels!


TUESDAY:
My eyeballs and ears where blessed from ADELE at the Domain Stadium, I honestly have no words other than she was absolutely fantastic, hilarious, beautiful and if you ever get the chance to see her it is so worth it!

WEDNESDAY:
I bought a tent that we will attach to the back of the car when we are at campsites on our road trip. It will make the whole experience a lot more comfortable than just sleeping in the back of a car. I bought it on EBay as I contacted the supplier of Napier Australia and they didn’t have this style in stock until the end of April so I am having one shipped over from America. I paid $310 for the tent and $110 for the postage – The Australian distributer was charging $450 including postage so I’m glad I’m not out of pocket from buying from the US and I got the one I wanted to fit our needs and our car WIN WIN!

THURSDAY:
Me and TOH went to see Matilda the Musical at the Crown Theatre, Rhys bought me the tickets from my Christmas as a surprise. We both really enjoyed it! Perth’s own Tim Minchin song writing is fantastic. My fave character was Miss Trunchbull who was played by a guy – he was hilarious!

FRIDAY:
I received the most beautiful iPhone 6 Plus case I have ever laid my eyes on. LOOK AT IT!!!
6 Dollaroos from EBay  – Woohoo!

Thanks for reading! – A Long Way From Home.

Australia Second Year Visa Farmwork FAIL

When backpacking in Australia, most backpackers find regional farm work for 88 days to gain there second year visa that will grant them another year in this beautiful country. This regional work can range from, picking and planting all kinds of fruits, fishing, working at winerys and lots more. My experience with finding a fruit job wasn’t the greatest…

After doing some research I found that Bundaberg was a popular place for backpackers to go and work on fruit farms to get 88 days signed off. I looked at getting into East Coast Backpackers as Rhys’ friends did there farm work there the year before. I called them but they couldn’t guarantee we would get a room let alone work when we arrived, just to show up on the day and see.

So I caught a flight from Sydney to Bundaberg anyway and hoped for the best. When I arrived in Bundaberg  I called East Coast Backpackers again to say I had arrived in Bundaberg but was told that they had no room. Thankfully I had read about another backpackers called Cellblock – a renovated police station,  that offered farm work to backpackers. We arrived and paid $250 for what was an actual cell with a double bed for a week, we asked about farm work but were very vague on if they had anything, we were asked to fill in various forms and to wait.

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Obviously, this wasn’t what I was expecting, I was probably very naive thinking I would be handed farm work the next day. Maybe this doesn’t happen all the time or maybe thats just the way it is but after speaking to people staying at Cellblock there were girls who had been staying at the hostel for 6 weeks and still hadn’t been given any work. Boys on the other hand were getting work, which meant if Rhys got work and I didn’t this I was was going to be here for a long time. This scared me. I for one couldn’t afford paying $250 a week and getting no work.

I heard there was another backpackers in Bundaberg called Cherri Backpackers who were apparently giving out work to people the next day. So I called them and they agreed work would start tomorrow at 5am. I got a refund from Cellblock with no issues and rocked up to Cherris. Realising pretty quickly that it was an Asian run hostel. A pale ginger girl and a Mexican looking bald Scottish guy – we stuck out like sore thumbs, but everyone was lovely and made us feel at home. We were promised a double room but when we arrived we were put into a 4 dorm room with a bunk and two singles but not sharing with anyone which was fine – the shower and toilet was very sketchy but we made do, we paid $180 for the week. 5am the next morning we met outside not knowing what to expect and boarded what can only be described as a “berry bus”.

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For 3 days we planted rows of strawberries. Handed a black bag full of strawberry roots and planted them in the holes that we had pierced into the black polythene mile long rows with our fingers. QUE RED RAW BLISTERS! and finishing at 11am before it got too hot for everyone. I probably sound like a pussy but it was seriously back breaking work, by the 3rd day we struggled to get out of bed from the constant squatting. For every row we got $15 and had to split it between us as two people worked on a row each. OUCH!

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After the 3rd day I got a call from a farmer who saw my farm work ad on gumtree who was looking for a couple to work on his cattle station in a town in QLD for the full 3months. But thats for another blog 😉 We jumped at the chance and left Cherri Backpackers. We got $90 for 3 days, 2 weeks later.

I really should add that regional farmwork really isn’t a walk in the park, you might find yourself getting messed around a lot from hostels and farmers. Speak to people before you throw yourself into something you aren’t sure about and stay safe, there are some horror stories out there I’m sure you will hear about! 

Here’s a link from the visa bureau with much more info about your second year visa work

photo credit:
cherribackpacker facebook page

Thanks for reading! – A Long Way From Home.

Ask Me! – Backpacking in Australia Questions & Answers

 

If you are currently planning to travel to Australia whether it be on a Working Holiday  417 Visa or a Visitors visa, or maybe you are already here but still have some questions, feel free to ask me anything…

The list is endless!

I have been in Australia for a year now and I’d like to think I know a bit about being a backpacker here 😜

So ask away and I will be happy to help, comment below, tweet me, or dm on instagram, whichever way I love chatting to my readers!

Go on, ask A Long Way From Home!

5 Life Hack Items For Backpackers

Being a backpacker or traveller can be tough, especially if you are one who loves home comforts and wants to pack everything including the kitchen sink. Some might say backpacking just wouldn’t be for you, but I’ve got some ideas that will make your backpacking experience a lot easier!

#1. Microfibre Towel 
EVERY
backpacker should own one of these, nice and fluffy, gets your body dry quick and you can roll it up or fold it flat into basically nothing.

#2. Torch
Staying in hostels can be a bloody mare, especially if you are sharing a room with folk, maybe you need to be at work really early but your roomies are loving the unemployed life. A torch will help you find your work clothes and stay on your roomies good side instead of turning on the room light and wake up the sleeping beauties.
In the words of Beyonce, Turn the lights out.

#3. Shampoo Conditioner Shower Bars
Aint no body got time for carrying heavy bottles of products around. Lush make these amazing bars that lather up really good, all you need is a soap bar container to keep them in. Grab this “Honey I washed my hair” bar, NO MORE SHAMPOO EXPLOSIONS!

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#4. Solar/Rechargeable Battery Pack
You’ve got to keep everything charged right? No plug? No problem! (hopefully  you are in a country that has sun… if not, a rechargeable battery pack will obviously be for you) find one that has more mAh’s (whatever that means) but this will keep you going for a few days without having to recharge it.

#5. Speed Skipping Rope
Gym Memberships are expensive right?? Or maybe you are never in one place long enough to even bother with a membership. Grab yourself speed skipping rope. You can attach it to the side of your bag so its taking up zero extra space and voilà you’ve got yourself a portable high- impact cardio workout. No excuses!

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