Road Trip Our Journey – Part 1

Couple goals, Tartha NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We started our road trip leaving Jindabyne and heading towards the coast for a NSW mini road trip, our first stop was Bega! We originally were calling it Beggar but we soon learnt it is pronounced Bee-ga. We drove from the Snowy Mountains and straight through the flattest land we have ever seen. We came to a mountain we had to drive through and stopped off at this beautiful look-out at the top, the views were amazing. This lookout was a memorial to a bus driver who drove this route for 26 years who passed away while shovelling snow off his front garden.

Olly, Fred Piper Memorial NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

As we now had 3 weeks until we can head back to the mountains to start work, we have to be very careful with money. We were hoping to find some cash in hand work along the road trip but as its winter, not many places were looking to hire people. This meant saving as much as we could but still enjoying our time on the road.

We researched places to stay and found the cheapest place, which was in a caravan park in the town of Bega. This little town had a lot to offer us in things to see and do. We drove around to Tathra and explored the beaches there. The best thing about travelling with Olly is we both love photography, so a day exploring taking photos and drinking coffee is enough for us. Not to mention it only costs us $8 for the whole day. We walked around exploring all the lookouts we could find, driving through the national parks and walking through amazing forests.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We spent a few days in Bega and found a local McDonalds to plan the next part of our road trip. Taking into consideration us not earning anything while being on the road, we tried to cut costs as much as possible. The biggest outgoing for us was accommodation so we decided to head to Kmart to buy a blow up mattress. Sleeping in our beaten up wagon was always in the back of our minds, we were just expecting it to be a lot later in the year, when it wasn’t winter. We bought all kinds of camping gear and Olly was very excited, me on the other hand, not to much!

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

We left Bega and headed to Biamanga national park close by which we could camp in for free. Camping laws are very complex and annoying at times but we found a spot with no one around, looking out over the sea. We got to our camping spot only to find out its illegal to burn wood from the park with the threat of a $3000 fine if caught. We had literally just unpacked and blown up the bed in the back of the car, so I offered to stay put while Olly drove half an hour away to buy some wood. While Olly was doing this I sat on the beach, in the freezing cold, watching Netflix and a baby wallaby came to join me. He followed me from the beach back to the camp and pretty much spent the whole time with us.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

This spot was beautiful but as it was right on the beach it was extremely windy! Olly returned and we got a fire going and attempted to cook dinner on an open fire. This was the first test, to see if we could do this for the next few weeks. This night was by far the coldest I have ever experienced in my life. It was so cold I nearly cried at how much I was hating it. This first night camping taught us a lot. We knew for the next night it would be better to have everything ready such as thermals, cooking equipment and portable chargers. The next morning when we woke up we herd someone on the beach shout ‘whales’. We opened the boot and jumped out taking the drone with us. The whales were so far out but we sent the drone out anyway and it was worth it. The pictures and videos we got of this family of whales made the whole night worth it.

Family of Whales in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Our next night camping proved to be 100000% better. We drove to Mystery bay and this camp site was huge. We drove right to the top of the camp site which was like a peninsula with huge cliffs at the end. The site was guarded from the wind due to the amount of trees. We found a huge log to sit on which was already so much more comfortable than sitting on the damp ground the night before. We set up our camp, making a stove and organising our bed and belongings before it got dark. We also spent an hour gathering wood to keep the fire going. As I have never camped before I had no idea how much upkeep a fire needs! It really takes all your energy to keep warm! This night was so much better and we bought marshmallows and chocolate to have round the fire and then we wrapped up warm in our sleeping bags and got into bed and watched a film on my IPad, perfect!

 

Day three of our road trip we headed north along the coast to the beautiful town of Narooma. Although this site was quite exposed as it was basically on the beach, it was a small sacrifice for everything else that came with it. Not only was it the cheapest campsite we could find, but it came with fire pits, changing rooms, toilets inside and warm showers! This small aspect of your life you take for granted, such as being able to pee indoors, or actually have a fresh water shower. It really makes you appreciate everything a lot more. We explored Narooma taking photos along the way. We even managed to spot some Seals along the harbour wall.

Australia Rock, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Australia Rock, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma

We were saving money and having fun which was what we wanted to do on this road trip. Sleeping in our car which did I forget to mention didn’t have a roof lining due to the previous owners ripping it, again something you take for granted. Due to this lack of linking the orange foam insulation is exposed. This mean every time you climb in or out of the car and sit up to much you are greeted with a hair full of itchy foam. Additionally being freezing every night and having to buy food that we could easily cook over a fire was taking its toll. We treated our selves to fish and chips which we ate in front of our fire. It was so worth it and so nice not to have to spend hours making dinner.

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Stay tunned for Part 2 !

 

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

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Philippine Travel Itinerary

Planning your next trip to the Philippines but not sure where to go or in what order? We have you covered!
The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands, this can make seeing everything challenging if you are on a time limit. Wether you prefer parties and beaches or rice fields and history, the Philippines will definitely have something to offer you.

I would recommend anything between 3-5 weeks in the Philippines. This will enable you to take a slow pace around the country and enjoy it to the fullest! 

Below I will outline roughly the top tourist attractions for each area I have visited. As well as both of my own personal itineraries. I would recommend factoring in a single day for travel to each new destination, some hotels will only let you check in around 2pm or public transport can be unreliable and you are in the Philippines after all. 

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For an in-depth guide on each area click on the titles below.

Manilla – The capital city, mainly used as a hub to fly to other islands or to get to the Banaur Rice Terraces in the north of the island. 

Cebu – This for us, is our adventure island. With lots of waterfalls and physical activity here it is a must see for active people! On the south of this  island you will find Oslob where lots of people swim with the whale sharks. To the West of the island you will find Moalboal which is famous for the sardine run, snorkelling and turtle swimming. Kawasan Falls and lots more waterfalls are in this area too. 

Bohol – Accessable from Cebu city by ferry. Bohol is famous for the chocolate hills and the tarsier monkeys. Tagbilaran is the most popular area for tourists and it is where you can plan most of your trips around the islandThere is a lot more to Bohol than just the chocolate hills, you can visit the other side of the island. Check out this guide for more info on that –>Click here.

Siquior – This island is very slow paced and relaxing with lots to explore and see. Instagram worthy waterfalls such as Lugnason Falls, Cambugahay Falls and Lagaan Falls can be found here, as well as Mt Malabahoc and Cantabon Cave.

Siargao– Want to try surfing? Siargao offers some of the best surfing around! Cloud 9 is world famous for surfers as well as the beautiful beaches.

Boracay – You want to party on one of the whitest beaches? This place is for you! You have 2 options, fly to Caticlan which is expensive, then get a 10 minute boat from Caticlan port over to Boracay or you can fly to Kalibo, which is cheaper, and take a 3 hour taxi & ferry to Boracay. The party island of the Philippines which is probably the most western island in the Philippines.

Palawan – Beaches and topping up the tan more your thing? Palawan is home to island hopping, limestone cliffs and crystal clear water. Flying to Puerto Princesa which is the main airport. This island is home to Port Barton, The Underground River and El Nido. There is also an airport in El Nido if you didn’t want to stop in at Port Barton. From El Nido you can catch a boat to Coron. Both El Nido and Coron offer island hopping tours, crystal clear waters and great snorkelling. El Nido has a few beaches on land where as Coron doesn’t and to access the beaches you will need ot take a boat trip. Coron is home to several Japanese ship wrecks from WW2, making this island very good for new or experienced divers.

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My first trip to the Philippines 

Manila – Boracay – Cebu – Oslob – Moalboal – Cebu – Puerto Princesa – El Nido – Manila

This was an intense 2 weeks with not a lot of time for resting. I got very ill after this trip as I squeezed too much into two weeks. We did manage to see all of our top bucket list items but I would recommend taking an extra week to do this trip.

Day 1 Manila – Boracay. Flight from Manila to Kalibo, then a Taxi (2 hours) to the port, then a boat (10 minutes) to Boracay.

Day 2-4 Boracay

Day 4 – Cebu – Travel dayLeave Boracay and get to Kalibo airport, to fly to Cebu.

Day 5 – CebuFerry from Cebu for a day trip to Bohol

Day 6 – Cebu, Oslob and Moalboal. Taxi to Oslob to swim with the Whale Sharks, then another taxi onto MoalBoal

Day 7 – Moalboal. Sardine swim, turtle spotting & Kawasan Falls canyoning. 

Day 8 – Moalboal – Cebu – Travel Day. Taxi back to Cebu and explore the city.

Day 9 – Cebu – Manila – Puerto Princesa – Travel Day. Flight from Cebu to Manila, changing and catching a flight to Palawan. Staying over a night in Puerto Princesa.

Day 10 – Puerto Princesa – El Nido. 4 Hour drive to the Subterranean River, a few hours there and then another 3 hour drive to El Nido.

Day 11 – El Nido – Island Hopping

Day 12 – El Nido –  Las Cabanas Beach 

Day 13 – El Nido – Nacpan Beach 

Day 14 – El Nido – Manila -Travel Day – Manilla. 6 hour drive to Puerto Princesa, flight to Manila.

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Second trip in the Philippines 

Manila – Cebu – Oslob – Moalboal – Siquijor – Kanbankalan – Bohol – Cebu – Puerto Princesa – Port Barton – El Nido – Coron – Manila.

This time I had learnt from my mistakes of my first trip. I had given my self more time to explore, be spontaneous and chill out. This route is one I would highly recommend, it had us starting out exploring waterfalls and doing lots of activities and ending up on beaches to relax and soak up the sun. This way round, we kept doing new activities, seeing new sights and it felt like each day was getting better. Some parts were spontanious and unplanned which is why we stayed in some areas longer than you would need to. 

Day 1-2  – Manila

Day 3 – Manila – Cebu. Flight to Cebu and taxi to Oslob.

Day 4-6 – Oslob – Swimming with Whale Sharks, Tumalog Falls, Aguinid Falls 

Day 6 – Travel Day – Local bus to Moalboal

Day 7-9 – Moalboal – Swimming with Sardines, Turtles, Kawasan Falls, White beach.

Day 9 Travel Day – Local bus from Moalboal to Liloan, ferry to Sibulan, tricyle to Dumaguete, ferry to Siquijor.

Day 10-13 – Siquijor – Lugnason Falls, Cambugahay Falls, Lagaan Falls, Mt Malabahoc, Cantabon Cave. 

Day 14 – Travel Day -Siquijor to Kabankalan.

Day 15-16 – Kabankalan.

Day 17 – Travel Day – Kabankalan – Dumaguette – Bohol.

Day 18-20 – Bohol, Tagbilaran. Dolphine watching, snorkelling, Viring Island and Balicasag Island. 

Day 20-21 – Bohol, Guindulman. Can- Umatad Falls & Eleuterio rice Terrace

Day 21 – Travel Day – Local bus back to Tagbilaran, 2 hour ferry to Cebu, Taxi to hostel.

Day 22 – Travel Day – 1 hour flight from Cebu to Puerto Princesa, 3 hour taxi to Port Barton.

Day 23-26 – Port Barton – Island hopping, beaches, relaxing.

Day 26 – Travel day – Port Barton- El Nido. 3 Hour taxi to El Nido.

Day 27-31 – El Nido – Island hopping, Las Casbanas beach, relaxing. 

Day 31 – El Nido – Coron – Travel Day – 5 hour ferry to Coron

Day 32-37 – Coron – Island Hopping, boat trips, relaxing.

Day 37 – Coron – Manila – Travel Day – Over night 15 hour ferry back to Manila.

Stay tuned for my Getting around the Philippines blog post coming soon!

El Nido – Our Journey

El Nido Text - Our Journey

My favourite place in the world is El Nido and I am finally back! As soon as we get closer to somewhere I recognised I instantly am in awe of how much El Nido has changed. I was thinking maybe my minds playing tricks on me and I don’t remember as much as I used to. We arrive at the hotel and I want to go and explore to see if I am right and again I am shocked how much everything has changed. There are so many more hotels, restaurants and generally more western looking shops. I was only here a year and a half ago, how could it of changed this much in that time?!

El Nido  - Our Journey

That evening we met up with Sasha and Simon and headed to the Outpost hostel for some food and drinks and to book our trip for the next day. This place is amazing, brand new, great food and cheap trips! I was beginning to think that change was a good thing for El Nido. Unfortunately the next day it rained all day and we postponed our island hopping trip but as we had a private boat we didn’t loose any money. We spent the day in bed, watching films and updating the blog and doing ‘Life admin’. 

 

Island hopping day!! First stop was to the Big Lagoon, which our boat literally drove in and drove out as it was very busy. We then went to Shimizu Island for some snorkelling but the current was so strong I thought I was going to drown!

El Nido  - Our Journey

Our highlight of the day was the secret  lagoon, we arrived here later than we expected and we were the only ones here. Me and Olly became the dream team and kayaked though the cave to reach it. We stopped paddling and just floated around, amazed at how clear the water was and how blue it was. It was amazing!!!

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

We kayaked over to a secluded beach and of course a photo shoot broke out. This boat trip was amazing and I was reminded why I loved this beautiful place so much. 

El Nido - Our Journey

The next day I demanded a beach day to top up the tan, we headed to Las Cabanas beach which was the closest one to El Nido and spent the day chilling and swimming and not really doing much. As the sun was setting we headed to Beach bar to grab a bean bag and a few drinks and this is where we met Ali, Mo and Patricia. These guys had a drone and drone wars took place which was cute to watch as Olly and Mo were teaching each other about their drones. I didn’t care too much as I found two puppies and instantly my day was made.

 

We figured out that we were all on the same ferry to Coron together and planned to see them there. The ferry was a 5 hour fast boat at 7:45 am which I wasn’t too happy about but once we got on board it actually wasn’t bad. I couldn’t even feel the fact I was on boat and passed out while Olly took photos of me 🙃

El Nido  - Our Journey

El Nido is so beautiful, but I can already see how it will slowly lose some of this beauty. The amount of tourists they put on boat trips, the amount of new hotels going up and the amount of money things are costing, not to mention they now have a functioning airport. It’s loosing it’s untouched feel already and it is 100% due to how much the Philippines has blown up on social media and bloggers promoting it. This place is still as popular as ever, the hotels are still booked up weeks in advance and it’s still people’s number one place to see here in the Philippines. Not all of it is bad, every restaurant is adamant on not using plastic straws and reducing their waste. This can only mean good things and hopefully the government won’t have to close it like they have Boracay.  

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

Coron is the last island we are visiting before we head back to Manila to catch our flight to Sydney. We tried to look for flights to Siargao as Olly really wanted to go surfing here, but Boracay has closed and everything has sky rocketed in price. Coron is also another island neither of us have visited. I enjoy going to new places much more as I don’t have any expectations or anything to compare it too. So far every place we have moved on too has seemed to top the last place. Hopefully Coron doesn’t disappoint and tops what El Nido has to offer. 

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6 Things to do in Bohol, other than the Chocolate Hills

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So everyone goes to Bohol and visits the Chocolate hills mainly because what they have seen on Instagram, a great picture of someone sitting on top of one, with no one else around. Unfortunately you can’t do this. There is one hill everyone walks up and it’s the look out point, not so great.

Equally the tarsiers sanctuary is very controversial as some people don’t agree with endangered animals being put on display for the paying publics eyes.

So here is a few things to do in Bohol which you might not know about.

Take a local bus to Guildulman which costs 85 peso per person and takes roughly an hour and a half.

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Accommodation

Guildulman Tourist Inn – I guarantee if you speak English you won’t find nicer hotel owners than Derick and Anne. They are by far the most welcoming, funny and helpful people we have come across. They helped us rent a moped, gave us maps and local information and generally amazing people. The food at the hotel is out of this world. From struggling to find decent food, we then were struggling with how much food we could consume. Anne is the chef and wow is she good! The rooms are beautiful and spacious and by far the cleanest we’ve come across in the Philippines. The WiFi is great and there is a tv with lots of English channels and the air con is an extra if need be. Extremely reasonably well priced for a couple. We had a deluxe room and we didn’t want to leave !

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This is where you get off the bus, look for the sign to the cemetry and the big white sign to Guindulman Bay Tourist Inn.

 

Things to do

1. Anda Beach – beautiful white beach with hardly anyone around

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Anda Beach

2. Lungsodaan fireflies and river boating

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Fireflies

3. Cabagnow cave pool

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Cabagnow Cave Pool

4.Canawa cold springs

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Canawa Cold springs

5. Eleuterio rice Terrace

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Eleuterio rice Terrace

6. Can – Umatad Falls 

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Can- Umatad Falls

For our travel tips on Port Barton, Click here!

Want to read what we got up in to Port Barton instead? Click here