A Travellerspoint blog

Kuala Lumpur

Urban Jungle

sunny 30 °C

Arrived in KL from Java and first thing I did when we landed was head straight for the duty free and bought a litre bottle of Irish Whiskey (unable to specify particular brand due to contractural reasons)!!!!!

Arriving in KL after six weeks in Indonesia would be comparable to suffering an episode of unconsciousness in Ireland circa 1930's and awakening in the 1990's. KL was big, bold, bright and boisterous. It is very modern. We booked into a lovely hostel called Explorers Guesthouse in the neighborhood of Chinatown. We spent 4 nights here and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.

Kuala Lumpur is short on must-see attractions: beyond the Petronas Twin Towers, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, China Town, Little India, but the real joy lies in wandering randomly, seeing, shopping and eating your way through it. And boy did we try to do just that.....
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2013-09-05 18.33.10

2013-09-05 18.33.10


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2013-08-28 21.31.49


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2013-09-05 18.32.50

KL is hot, humid and crowded, so we scheduled some cooling off in air-conditioned shopping malls where we purchased a new digital SLR camera for me and the very latest ipad. We inevitably found our way to either chinatown or little India for the most tasty and cheapest gastronomic indulgences among them, kedai mamak (curry houses). Along with full-blown curries, these places also serve roti canai (generally About 50 cent each), a filling snack that is almost half chapati, half pancake but certainly wholly delicious. It is served with dhal and curry sauce.

As luck would have it my birthday fell on the day of our arrival and Aine had a truly wonderful surprise in store for me. She had taken the liberty to book the legendary 5 star Mandarin Oriental. The meal was awesome and we were satiated almost to the point of gluttony. After copious glasses of premium Irish whiskey (brand name withheld) in our hostel, followed by champagne (on the house), white and red wine at the restaurant, I was pretty well sozzled before the night finished.

wagu beef......

wagu beef......


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2013-08-27 22.13.16

We did the usual big city hop on hop off bus tour and saw all the sights in a day. Nothing to write home about really.

The highlight of our trip to KL was a visit to Sister Enda Ryan (our friend Eidin's aunt). Sr Enda has been in KL since 1955 and is still a power house of energy and good humour. Only that day there was a radio program dedicated to her, following the publication of a book all about her aptly called The Singing Nun. We had tea with Sr Enda and her fellow sisters and finished the evening off with a few tunes from Seamus on the tin whistle. The sisters are a fantastic ad for hard work, prayer and clean living.

Sr. Enda and Aine

Sr. Enda and Aine

Seamus and the Sisters with Sr. Enda on right.

Seamus and the Sisters with Sr. Enda on right.

Posted by Loodersatlarge 20:15 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Java

Volcano Land

sunny 38 °C

Java is the world's most populous island, located in Indonesia. With a population of 135 million, it is home to 60 percent of the Indonesian population. It is about 650 miles (1,050 km) long and up to 130 miles (210 km) wide (so not much bigger than Ireland). Formed mostly as the result of volcanic eruptions, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in Indonesia. The most active volcano in Java and also in Indonesia is Mount Merapi (2,968 m). Though probably the most well known one is Krakatau.

Fossilised remains of Homo Erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man", dating back 1.7 million years were found along the banks of the Solo River in 1891.

Having left Sulawesi we flew to Java and arrived in Surabaya on the western part of the country. We stayed in this city for a few days and took our first train journey of our trip to Probollingo. It was a nice comfy ride which gave us great views of the countryside. When we arrived there we were herded into a tiny bus where I was unable to sit erect. As my head was touching the roof I had to sit with my head bent forward staring at the floor. A 15 minute bus ride to the local "bus terminal" ensued. I use this term bus terminal very loosely as we could see a bus terminal in the distance which we later found out to be the largest bus terminal of Indonesia. When we alighted seeking out a bus to take us to Cemoro Lawang high up in the mountains we noticed 3 french people and 5 touring Indonesians hanging around. When we asked them if they were waiting for a bus to our destination they replied that the Indonesians had been waiting there since 4am. The 3 French people were waiting since 9am. It was now 1pm and I thought this is not a very good sign. I wandered off to another few bus drivers who were hanging around. I tried hard to convince them to take us to our destination but they either ignored me or pointed at the bus where the French and Indonesians were waiting. I went back over to the group and after some 5 minutes haggling a bus driver appeared and we leapt onto the bus for fear they would change their minds. Off we went, we were glad we had not been waiting as long as the others had or our nerves and temper would have been well and truly tested in the 40 degree heat. We headed up the mountains to the town of Sukapura to check in to the Yoschi Hotel. Nestled high up in the cool mountains, our perch gave us incredible views of the surrounding fog blanketed mountains, with agricultural plantations, meticulously tended, rising up on the surrounding hillsides.
sunset at Mount Bromo

sunset at Mount Bromo

sunset at Mount Bromo

sunset at Mount Bromo

Aine and I spent the evening walking around the small farming villages, As Aine was tired she went back to the hotel leaving me to walk all the way to Cemoro Lawang where I was just in time to see the sunset over Mount Bromo. It gave me a sense of what to expect the next day as we planned to take a 4 wheel drive tour to the area. I got a lift back down the hill to Yoschi which is about 5 km away on the back of a motor bike being driven by a 13 year old boy, and then had a quick dinner at the hotel before going to bed early. Another 3am wakeup, and we were off in our Toyota Land Cruiser (short wheel base) towards Bromo. Notably, the mountain guides in the area have maintained an absolutely enormous fleet of old school original Toyota Land Cruisers, circa 1980, which are almost exclusively used on Mt. Bromo. The vehicles are in good condition, despite their age, and have fresh paint jobs. We drove through high up into the mountains, finally arriving pre-dawn at Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft) overlooking Mt. Bromo . It was very cold at 4.30am as we waited for the sun to appear. Aine wasn't happy till she rented an oversized 'designer' coat for equivalent of 1 euro. The viewing platform area was packed with both tourists and Indonesians on holiday. Despite the crowds, I managed to work my way to the front for a perfect view of the valley below. As the sun started to rise, the beautiful valley was revealed, with the smoking Mt. Bromo crater in the distance. The changing colors as the sun rose were beautiful.
sunrise over mount bromo

sunrise over mount bromo

enjoying the sunrise at mount bromo

enjoying the sunrise at mount bromo

sunrise over mount bromo

sunrise over mount bromo

Aine's designer coat?

Aine's designer coat?

The volcano is actually one of many located within another extinct supercrater. The landscape looks nothing like Indonesia - more like a lunar landscape or the highlands of Tibet or Mongolia.

As the sun had finally settled in the morning sky everyone made a mad dash back down the hill to get to Mount Bromo where one can climb a series of steep steps to the crater lip. As we drove in a line of never ending Toyota jeeps we eventually arrived at the base of Bromo. When we alighted from the jeep Aine counted about 150 jeeps lined up in 2 rows. We were quickly approached by a number of locals on horseback inquiring if we cared to hire their ponies to ride up to where some 200 steep steps ascend to the crater. Definitely looked like both inner and outer mongolia. We declined their offer and trudged wearily (as we had not yet eaten since our early departure from the hotel) in the cloud of dust put up by the hundred or so ponies rushing by with their unstable tourist mounts clinging on for dear life.
pony for hire

pony for hire

Toyota Landcruiser Jeeps

Toyota Landcruiser Jeeps


The view from the volcano edge gave a different view across the caldera with the jeeps and rushing ponies looking like little ants going about their daily chores. While Aine stayed to look into the crater, I wandered up along the very loose scree and dust on the shoulder of the volcano. The odour of the sulphur fumes wafting up out of the crater was at times eye stinging and overwhelming. Having taken the obligatory photos we retraced our steps back down to our awaiting jeep. As I had not got my fill of adventure I stayed put while Aine and the Toyota fleet made their way for a well deserving breakfast. I decided to do some trekking in and around the caldera. I walked and climbed for another 5 hours and was in awe at the vastness of the place. I climbed another extinct volcano and happened on a cave near the summit where locals obviously trek as some kind of pilgrimage. For I discovered a place with statues and altars where recently some worshiping had occurred. I rested and took in the all encompassing view. I trekked back to the hotel fully content and ate heartily.
looking into mount bromo crater

looking into mount bromo crater

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20130821_094746

Caldera surrounding mount bromo

Caldera surrounding mount bromo

cave at top of volcano

cave at top of volcano

swirling winds in caldera

swirling winds in caldera

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20130821_103536

BROMO FACTS

  • The last eruption was 26th November 2010
  • The eruption in 2004 killed 2 tourists and injured 17 whilst visiting the Bromo crater.

On the fourteenth day of the Hindu festival of Yadnya Kasada, the Tenggerese people of Probolinggo, East Java, travel up the mountain in order to make offerings of fruit, rice, vegetables, flowers and sacrifices of livestock to the mountain gods by throwing them into the caldera of the volcano.

We spent a total of 3 days in this beautiful mountainside retreat relaxing. Again trying to get a bus back to Probollingo proved to be rather difficult and having booked 3 different buses, each in turn cancelled on us. We were getting slightly anxty as we had booked our return train ride and with a little more coaxing we managed to get a local bus to convey us. Phew.... crisis averted and caught our train with minutes to spare.

We had to book the 'super' executive carriage to Yogyakarta as it was the only one left. So after reducing the thickness of our wallets we arrived in Yogyakarta at 11pm at night. Yogyakarta is well known as home of Java's universities. It is definitely a happening place and totally different to what we had experienced thus far in our Indonesian travels. Up bright and early the next day ( not) we had a lazy breakfast and took to wandering the neighborhood. The main shopping street is about 2km in length, with stalls out on the pavement the entire length on both sides. This took us a full day to complete as you can imagine.......

We visited Prambanan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It has a towering 47-metre-high central building inside a large complex of individual temples. We got there just before sundown and it was a really spiritual place. An eruption of Mount Merapi volcano, located some 20 km north of Prambanan probably contributed to its downfall. This marked the beginning of the decline of the temple. It was soon abandoned and began to deteriorate. Originally there were a total of 240 temples standing in Prambanan. The temples themselves collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. Today, all of 8 main temples and 8 small shrines are reconstructed, but only 2 out of the original 224 pervara temples are renovated. The majority of them have deteriorated; what is left are only scattered stones. Whilst there we went to see the Trimurti open-air stage which hosts the Ramayana ballet. This traditional Javanese dance is the centuries old dance of the Javanese court, performed every full moon night in the Prambanan temple since the 1960s.
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Prambanan Temples

Prambanan Temples

looking for devine inspiration

looking for devine inspiration

some intricate carvings

some intricate carvings

sunset at Parambanan

sunset at Parambanan

The next day we went on a tour to Borobudur, which is a 9th-century Buddhist Temple. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument and ascends to the top through three levels symbolic of Buddhist cosmology: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). The monument is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is constructed of andesite (volcanic) stones whixh were taken from neighbouring stone quarries to build the monument. The stone was cut to size, transported to the site and laid without mortar. Knobs, indentations and dovetails were used to form joints between stones. Reliefs were created in situ after the building had been completed. Again this was a very beautiful and spiritual place.
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20130826_071950

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Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

On a final note (AIne here). I had been complaining about our host in our hotel in Yogyakarta. Ray was a little bit too cool for school. Ex TV executive in his 30s. All he wanted to do was talk about 'me, me, me'. When he asked us something and we attempted to answer he would start talking over us about himself etc etc. I was very irritated by him and avoided him like the plague. Meanwhile Seamus continued to make an effort and seemed happy to put up with his ego. On our last morning, there was a knock on our door and there was Ray with a batik painting in his hand which he presented to me. I was absolutely stunned. He said to Seamus that he had seen me admiring it (I wasn't!) so he asked his wife if he could give it to me. It was of a local scene with boats and volcanoes and finished in gold. So, the moral of the story is 'Don't judge the book by the cover'. Sorry Ray and Terima Kashih (thank you). Aine.

Posted by Loodersatlarge 19:24 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

North Sulawesi

Togean islands north to Manado

sunny 28 °C

N.B. THIS BLOG CONTAINS SOME GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF DEAD ANIMALS WHICH MAY BE OFFENSIVE. (BUT WE ARE JUST RELATING WHAT WE SAW)

Our days at Sunset Beach were pretty busy. NOT. We could only walk about 15 metres in any direction as the beach was very short and the surrounding jungle was steep and impenetrable. It was nice though because we had enforced R&R and wound down to a snails pace. The days revolved around meal times. We were a little like prisoners wondering what our next meal would be. Inevitably it was rice, noodles and fish. Being on an island one would think that the fish would be great. But no. We were usually served up small fish, like small mackerel, which had the life cooked out of them and were as dry as a boot. We generally heard them going on the pan about an hour before the meal was served. Breakfast usually consisted of plain pancakes or rice. And is that was not bad enough our host, Uni, never brought enough beer and many evenings we went without. But we survived with tunes from Seamus on the tin whistle and from our neighbours Fabien and Melanie on the ukulele. We met a lovely bunch of people there.
Melanie, Bart, Christina, Fabien, Seamus

Melanie, Bart, Christina, Fabien, Seamus


We went snorkelling most days and one day we went off on the boat on a snorkelling trip. It was lovely. The togean islands are just recovering from over a decade of dynamite and cyanide fishing. Crazy I know. There are some beautiful corals but we noticed that in places they are being eaten by the dangerous looking crown of thorns star fish. Its predator, the Napoleon fish, has been all but fished out for foreign markets.
Our scatter brained hostess Uni

Our scatter brained hostess Uni


On day 5 we tried to make an escape to another island. We also wanted to meet up with Éidín's sister Helena and family who were on another island. After a 3 hr boat ride to their island we found that they had gone on a day trip and even worse, there was no accommodation for us on the island! We tried a couple of places but all were full. So we had to go back to our wee prison on Sunset Beach where we were lucky to get our beds back as more tourists were just pulling up as we landed!

Two days later we made good our escape and boarded the overnight ferry to Gorontalo, a 13hr ferry ride. Uni, our ever disorganised hostess had told us she had bought tickets for executive class seats, all cabins being booked. On arrival on the ferry, it was absolute bedlam. The car deck was full of families with blankets, the upper deck was full of backpackers and locals trying to find a spot for the night and every available space and seat was taken. And we had no seats! Meanwhile the wiley Seamus had opened a door to a cabin which was empty. And it was no ordinary cabin - it belonged to either the captain or one of the officers! Two single beds too! After feigning ignorance and pretending we had booked a cabin, we managed to secure it by greasing the hand of the officer in question. There is a god!! We felt kind of guilty so I went on deck and asked 2 girls from Slovenia (Masa and Ursula) to join us. Both gorgeous so Seamus was delighted.
Bedding down for the night on deck

Bedding down for the night on deck

The escapee on the ferry

The escapee on the ferry


The passage was rough, noisy and smelly but it was infinitely better than sleeping on deck. In the morning as we disembarked we paired up with a Dutch girl and an American lady and chartered a car for the 12 hr drive to Manado. All I can say is that we were glad to arrive in one piece, the driver having a penchant for overtaking only on blind bends. Three days later, my behind is still sore after the journey!

Manado is a nice city (by sulawesi standards) located by the sea. People are super friendly. Genuinely so. So many people wanted photos with us and to practice their English. The city was gearing up for independence day on 17th Aug so the national colours of white and red are everywhere. Of couse Seamus is convinced they are all Cork supporters! The highlight of our visit to Manado was a visit to of all places, Pizza Hut! After a month of rice and noodles we were chomping at the bit for more European carbs. Even though I haven't set foot in a PH for 25 yrs we were like kids in a sweet shop. Several cokes, one meaty pizza, chicken carbonara and a big bowl of salad and we were in seventh heaven. The simple things in life :-)
Cork Abú

Cork Abú

Tacky trackkie

Tacky trackkie

Up Cork

Up Cork


After Manado we travelled inland to Tomohon, which is located in the cooler mountains and situated between several volcanos several of which are active. We shared a mini bus with the Slovenians ( who we met again - I think Seamus secretly organised it!!) and a German couple to the crater of 2 volcanoes spewing out sulphurous fumes. The land here is so fertile and it is lovely to see all the ridges of carrots, onions, chillies and cabbages. We stopped for lunch at a lake and then at another mad green lake bubbling with sulphur. Volcano behind our guesthouse at dusk

Volcano behind our guesthouse at dusk

View to crater

View to crater

crater in distance

crater in distance

green sulphurous lake with volcano emissions like clouds in sky

green sulphurous lake with volcano emissions like clouds in sky

On Saturday we visited the (in)famous Tomohon market, where all kinds of everything is for sale. Of course there is the usual fare: coconuts, fish, veggies, bamboo, and sugar, spice and all things rice. This market is also famous for its more unusual fare namely bat, rat and dog. There was even snake and monkey but thankfully we didn't manage to find them. If you think you will be upset by seeing roast dog, don't look at the next few pictures. Theses animals are part of the local food culture and who are we to question that with our western values? Though we (ie Seamus) went to the market with the intention of maybe sampling some of the traditional fare, having seen it first hand we suddenly lost our appetite and opted for fruit salad for dinner that night!
Rat skewer....

Rat skewer....

Anyone for bat?

Anyone for bat?

Would you prefer the wing or the leg?

Would you prefer the wing or the leg?

Yes you're right, that is dog.

Yes you're right, that is dog.

Caged dogs await their gruesome fate. Not nice.

Caged dogs await their gruesome fate. Not nice.


To recover from the market we walked into the main town and waited for the Independence Day parade. Indonesia is celebrating 68 years of independence. The latest invaders were the Japanese (preceeded by the Dutch). It really is a big day out and the parade consists of mainly school children all dressed up and playing instruments. It appears that almost all Indonesian kids can play some instrument or other. Even the 5 and 6 year olds were playing. V cute. Of course at the end of the parade we bumped into 2 of the local cops. They were both baby faced but it turns out that the guy on the right of the photo is only a year younger than (grandpa) Seamus and had served 23 years in the force!

Independence Day parade

Independence Day parade

I want to be in the parade Daddy

I want to be in the parade Daddy

The local bobbies

The local bobbies

Posted by Loodersatlarge 20:13 Archived in Indonesia Tagged islands sulawesi manado tomohon togean togeans Comments (1)

Togean Islands

Just about got there...

sunny 35 °C

You know the tv images of the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970's, or more recently, the Indonesian boat people trying to get into Australia?  Well, that's what we looked like on our boat trip to the Togean islands in Sulawesi.Once we saw the boat we knew there was no point in even asking about life jackets. I (Aine) busied myself looking for something buoyant to cling to in the seemingly likely event of a capsize. My money was on one of the many 20 litre fuel drums which littered the deck!

We had expected a car ferry with seats etc but our boat was several notches down the evolutionary boat building scale. Because of the week that was in it i.e. the end of Ramadan, all of the boats were canceled due to the holiday. But a few of us unsuspecting tourists were literally herded onto a small boat with some locals on one of the last boats to the islands.The passenger space consisted of a 1.2meter high space below the deck so you had to bend at 90 degrees to get in and move around. Seating arrangements were simple enough i.e. the floor which comprised wooden planks. Of course the wiley locals knew where to park themselves and were lying out on most of the available floor space which meant that us tourists had to plonk ourselves by the engine and the generator used for pumping water out of the boat. The decibel levels were seriously damaging!

Of course to start the boat the crew needed to lift the planks on which we were sitting to crank the engine using various spanners, hammers etc.  Peffect! But things could have been worse: we could have been tied together at the feet like our companions the live chickens.As we departed the 2 deckhands were busy emptying the 20 litre fuel drums into the engine, all the while spilling diesel all over the floor. Afterwards they relaxed by smoking several fags whilst sitting on the remaining full fuel tanks! Our panic levels were somewhat alleviated when we realised thing could be worse - the fuel could have been petrol. I had also noticed that the drums had originally contained hydrogen peroxide so we were hoping there wouldn't be some sort of adverse chemical reaction. It seems our lives were in the lap of the gods so we decided to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Seating arrangements on the 'ferry'. Premier class....

Seating arrangements on the 'ferry'. Premier class....

Help! stop the boat I want to get off!

Help! stop the boat I want to get off!

Stewage class....

Stewage class....

Having a fag on a diesel drum after refuelling

Having a fag on a diesel drum after refuelling


Three hours later we stopped at the little village of Bomba and all the locals disembarked. The water was so shallow that the boat was hitting the reef underneath.  Another nail biting moment! Off we headed again and now with the locals gone we managed to get the choice planks on the bow of the boat. Lovely and breezy. At one stage we looked to the wheel house and noticed that the captain was asleep on the deck! Thankfully one of the deckhands roused himself and took the helm. Another 2 hours later we arrived at our destination of Sunset Beach on a little private island.
unloading the ferry

unloading the ferry

Our boat couldn't dock as there was no jetty so we had to transfer onto a smaller boat with all our luggage etc. Not easy. A few minutes later and we were checked into Hut No. 2 complete with resident bat, open eaves and a single hammock to fight over. We ran into the sea to wash off the sweat and engine oil and enjoyed the sunset over a bottle of Bintang beer and a dish of the now ubiquitous nasi goreng. (The freeze dried dinners we bought for hiking in NZ are beginning looking more appealing by the day....) Never mind, for the moment we have a little slice of heaven at the quirky Sunset Beach.
Hut Number 2

Hut Number 2

The four poster...

The four poster...

The delux ensuite...

The delux ensuite...

Seamus learning the ukulele

Seamus learning the ukulele

tropical rain. view from boat on snorkeling trip

tropical rain. view from boat on snorkeling trip


Beached Looders.........

Beached Looders.........

Posted by Loodersatlarge 18:16 Archived in Indonesia Tagged islands sulawesi togean Comments (0)

Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie the Bush Vangaroo

The Life and Times of "Vinnie the Van"

all seasons in one day

A mode of transport? a trustee chariot? a house and home? a recreation ground? a sauna? a meditation centre? a marriage counsellor? a way of life? a friend? ................. It's hard to conjure up all the above happening at one time but that is what we got during our 3 and a half months ownership of Vinne the Van, a 1994 Toyota Townace, 2 litre petrol commercial van.

Vinnie the Van pre revamp

Vinnie the Van pre revamp


Vinnie interior needing some TLC

Vinnie interior needing some TLC

He was in need of some TLC when we came across him in Sydney at the beginning of April. His then owners, 2 Danish lads in their early twenties had somehow managed to neglect Vinnie, and his physical and mental condition was very poor. Somehow, even though Vinnie looked tired and mistreated, we saw beyond that and decided to rescue him and bring him back to good health and nurture him so that he could share joyous and wonderful memories with us as we travelled throughout Aussie. We bargained for the best price and when we reached the price where we were happy to hand over the readies we whisked him away to a "top spa" in Menai, on the outskirts of Sydney. We met with Trent and Teisha and while they plied us with TLC and shelter, so too Aine and I gave life saving treatment to Vinnie. A full medical was undertaken and after some minor surgery - new radiator and brake discs and pads - we gave him a make over which Gok Wan would be proud of.....

His new makeover

His new makeover

After his Spa treatment

After his Spa treatment

Vinnie's new interior

Vinnie's new interior


His newly polished interior

His newly polished interior


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As we were winging it as we travelled we sometimes relied on Vinnie to lead us to our destination. Inevitably he always took us to a memorable spot. In total he carried us for 13,000 Kms. We had one or two scares with him as he ran a high temperature at Bruny Island in Tassie.
His breakdown in Tasmania

His breakdown in Tasmania


When his fever finally broke he was back to his normal cheerful self in no time and had us back on the road singing Skippy Skippy Skippy the bush Kangaroo..... His sound system had been severely affected in the war and his output was below par and when he lost reception in the outback Aine and I sang to him and even played a tune or two on the tin whistle to soothe him. I even managed to play a tune while I was driving while Aine steered the trused steed from the passenger seat.
The 'Oh Jesus' Handle

The 'Oh Jesus' Handle


Breakfast time at the zoo

Breakfast time at the zoo


a night cap

a night cap

His first ferry crossing

His first ferry crossing

Vinnie at Uluru

Vinnie at Uluru


There was no fear of me receiving a speeding fine as I had while in NZ. Vinnie was just not up to that. We more or less coaxed him along and masaged him to get every last bit of economy out of him. His appetite was ferocious and he drank every penny we put into him as though it was his last gasp. Still, we didn't mind, " a van is not just for Christmas, its for life" - or for the duration we were going to own him. He wanted for nothing throughout his short and fulfilling life with us.
Aine making good use of the 'Jesus' handle

Aine making good use of the 'Jesus' handle

David V's Goliath

David V's Goliath


Who let the nut job out?

Who let the nut job out?

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We gave him another medical in Victor Harbor when we landed with Denis, Sarah, Georgia and Mikey. Thanks to my bro who took care of Vinnies needs and had him checked into the health spa. With the necessary pampering Vinnie was looking better and whats more he was sounding and feeling better in himself. It took a few years off him and Aine and I were grateful - thanks Denis. Georgia even managed to brave a night in Vinnie on her own. Having left Victor Harbor en route to Darwin Vinnie drove the best ever and was now singing and purring as we drove along. The red centre and the outback was a piece of cake to him and we arrived safely in Darwin with just one glitch. I managed to break one of the bearinggs on the slide door. This was unfortunate as the only part I could acquire was in Darwin, almost a week away. As the door could not be opened from the inside Aine had to climb in and out over the front seat to open the slide door from the outside. Not ideal if an emergency arose, but thankfully it didn't.
No ordinary love affair

No ordinary love affair

When we arrived in Darwin we advertised Vinnie on gumtree (a website that backpackers travelling around aussie use to buy and sell cars, vans etc) and in a few hostels. Within 2 days we got 2 calls and the second callers were a young German couple who immediately showed interest and eventually the deal was done - we had found Vinnie new owners - Julia and Matthias from Germany. Hopefully they will get as many memories together with him as we did. Aine was inconsolable....... I had to pry her fingers from Vinnie's bumper as his new owners drove away. A shot of whiskey and a few pints and she felt better. Though we are now in Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia, we still recall some of our adventures in Vinnie which brings a smile to our faces.

Celebrating Vinnie's sale

Celebrating Vinnie's sale

Handing over the keys to new owner

Handing over the keys to new owner

Posted by Loodersatlarge 04:10 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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