Friday, 30 November 2012

Hola Mexico City

If you listen to the media reports and to many (typically non backpacking travellers Mexico City is a very dangerous place. So I was a little wary about this city. I was joining an intrepid tour through the country but had a day to myself first. I headed out bright and early to see what the city had to offer.

Mexico City, the biggest city in North America is amazing. Not only did I feel safe wandering the streets, the locals are so friendly and the street food is amazing.

I checked out the street art, sculptures and random weird people. Wandering around the packed central square was a feast on the senses and also a bit humorous.




I headed to the 37th floor of some building and checked out this enormous city, it goes on forever.

It was a Mexican long weekend so the day I headed south to Belles Artes to have a boat ride it was jam packed. So many Mexican families had turned their boats into mobile parties, complete with mariachi bands. The numerous river vendors were selling everything you could think of, and a few things you would never contemplate.

My time in Mexico City was so much fun ...  hanging out with a mariachi band, kicking police shields, margaritas and a tequila shot or two. And fab travel buddies. By the time we left Mexico City it felt like we'd known each other for years.

 I love Mexico City ..... can't wait to see what else this country has to offer.

Mexico City photos
Mexico - Mexico city

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Malta ... my haven from travel

Many people think that I have taken a holiday, a bloody big holiday. But long term travel is very different to holidaying.

All my worldly possessions are in a 60 litre pack and home is wherever I manage to stay for a day or two. So much time is spent finding somewhere to sleep, working out how to get to the next destination and then researching what to do when you get there. Not to mention the constant budgetting, shared bathrooms, shared bedrooms, trains, buses, planes and whatever other cheap transport I can find.

And I'm travelling solo. This is a very good thing but it adds to the workload, there is no one else to make plans for me. It can also be inconvenient. I have to be alert when travelling to keep an eye on my bags, I have to lug said bags into the loo with me and around town if I land somewhere and need to find a bed.

But there is something so very exciting about not knowing where you will be next week or sometimes even the next day. I have done so many cool things, met so many amazing people and seen the most awesome sites. But I was moving around too much and pushing myself too hard.

Getting sick on the road when you are by yourself isn't fun.

I'd been sick with one thing or another since Venice (as I've said before, never go there!) So when I picked up the flu bug thingy in Lisbon I just couldn't shake it and after five days was getting worse. It was time to take a break from travel.

Malta was my destination of choice. The flights were cheap, the temperature was warm and I found a good hotel at a cheap price.

And my fab friend Hayles had given me loads of advice on what to see and do while I was there.

I landed in Malta and checked into my very nice hotel on the water in Sleima ... note hotel not hostel. Yes, that's right, I had my own room and own bathroom. Woo hoo! I also had fabulous views across the water to Valetta.

I couldn't speak as I'd lost my voice (not so handy when you are travelling) and I was aching all over but I was happy.

I spent the next five days doing absolutely nothing. I hadn't done this since I'd left Australia ... I'd forgotten how good doing nothing can be. I slept, I sat in the sun, I slept, I read and I slept. And I started to feel better.

I did manage to spend one day checking out what Malta had to offer, and it was good. Very good. I guess I'll just need to come back and explore a bit more one day.

While I didn't see much of Malta, I left feeling much better and so excited for what my next adventure would bring ...... Hola Mexico!


Sorry Portugal ... I failed you

Portugal was a country that I'd been looking forward to visiting for a long time. I'd heard such great things, so my visit should have been great.

But it wasn't.

I hit Lisbon after a hectic few weeks in Morocco where I'd struggled to shake off a stomach bug. I was staying at the fabulous Zuza Guest House so had an amazingly warm welcome and settled in.

I was given so many tips about where the locals go, which markets are the best and where to eat the best food, but by that night I started to feel very unwell. Sadly I had to let Lisbon down ... I wasn't going to be able to make the most of my time here.

My guest house was in Barrio Alto, this view is from the end of my street.Very cool.

Basically my five days in Lisbon were spent lying low with a nasty flu bug. But between the fever, constantly runny nose and cough, I did manage to rug up, dose up and get out and see a bit of the city.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in western europe and has some amazing architecture. It is also very hilly so there are some great sight seeing spots amongst the windy narrow streets of the old part of town.

There are so many buildings covered in mosaic tiles which look amazing. Touring around the hilly streets checking out these places in the rattly old tram was loads of fun.

I also loved the street art, the roasted chestnut sellers and seeing the locals out on the streets enjoying themselves despite the freezing weather.

These dudes wore helmets with blonde pony tails ... bizarre I know! And they stood so still all day, although I did manage to crack one guy up as I pulled faces at him as I walked past.

There is so much to see in this city and I feel that I missed most of the cool stuff. But there wasn't much I could do ... after five days of loads of rest I was worse than when I arrived. So rather than head off to see the rest of the country, I booked a flight to Malta ... the warmest place in Europe at this time of the year. It was time to take a holiday from travel.

All the pics from Lisbon
Portugal - Lisbon