Thailand

American Touristers

It did not seem right to spend two months on the island of Koh Samui without hitting at least a few of the more popular tourist destinations.

A bit of background, the island has a ring road that is 51 kilometers (about 31 miles) around. The most common mode of transportation is a little motor scooter which rents for about $2.50 USD per day. You can easily ride two per scooter, we have seen families of 5 all on the same scooter. Without traffic and on decent road surfaces, you can average about 40km per hour on the scooter. So if your rear end can last that long on the bumpy roads, you could ride all the way around the Island in about an hour and a half. So, if you are brave (or crazy) enough, the scooter is your low cost ticket to almost all of the tourist attractions around the island.

Chewang Beach
Chewang beach is the most famous of the many beaches on the Island. It also the home to the most active nightlife, beach clubs and the party scene. There is a large Muay Thai fighting arena in the area, so on a regular basis you see panels vans with giant speakers blasting advertisements for the fights “TOMORROW NIGHT, TOMORRRROW NIGHT! The best Muay Thai fighters on the island compete….”

Fisherman’s Village
A much more laid back area. You can read more about this area in our post about it 

The Big Buddha
It is hard to go anywhere in the primarily Buddhist country without seeing alters to and images of the scared Buddha. As it’s name suggests, the one we went to see was big, we mean really big. It is located at the center of a Buddhist temple and it is quite amazing to see.

A note about the temples and the people of Thailand in general, unlike Rio or Miami, this is not the place to wander around the markets in short shorts and skimpy little bikinis. When you visit a temple you need to make sure you wear long pants (or a long skirt) and a top that covers your shoulders and chest. If you arrive at a temple like the Big Buddha without dressing respectfully you will be turned away, sometimes as with this one you can borrow a robe or wrap that is provided for you at no charge. Not sure how often these get washed and Thailand is quite warm, so you are wearing the same old sweaty clothes at the last several tourist before you wore….

Na Mueng Falls 1 & 2
There are actually two sets of waterfalls in Na Mueng, creatively named 1 and 2. Both sets of falls were actually really pretty but number 2 is much more interesting to get to. Regardless of how you get up the hill (either a 20 minute walk up some pretty steep hills or a paid 4 wheel drive truck ride), everyone has to hike to the top of the falls and that includes a really interesting (scary) Indiana Jones style suspended bridge that was made from scrap lumber and old rope.

 

 

The Reefs of Koh Tal
No trip to Samui would be complete without a boat trip out to snorkel or scuba dive the reefs off of the many surrounding small islands. You can read all about our scuba adventure to Koh Tao in a previous post.

The two things we have not done are:
• The Sacred Gardens:
o From what we have seen on the web, this actually looks like a pretty cool place, alas everyone says that you simply cannot get up the steep mountain roads on a scooter. Based on some of the places where we have been that were “scooter approved” we are inclined to follow their advice. So unless we want to pay a tour operator to drive us to the far side of the island and up the mountain we will not be seeing this….

Hin Ta Hin Yai:
o A giant rock garden that features a big rock that looks like a penis.
 Ummmmm, yeah…. pass

Thailand

Bonnie and George Return to the Ocean

In 1986, when the world was sill young, we got certified as open water scuba divers by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI for short).  Not long after we got certified we dove (among other places) in the Florida keys, The Turks and Caicos, on Bonaire and eventually on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

But then we got busy and our attention got taken up by other things like playing music or running a little neighborhood bar and we just didn’t get back around to doing any diving. More than 20 years slipped by without us strapping on a scuba tank.

Since we are in the Islands of Thailand for almost two months it seemed like to perfect opportunity to try it again.

Recognizing that it has been many moons since we were trained, and while a lot of it is like riding a bicycle (you remember again as soon as you jump on), there are a lot of important details that we knew we had forgotten. So, “being charitable and cautious” we decided to take a refresher course before we headed back out into the deep.

There are a LOT of dive operations in Koh Samui, when we sat down to research them. What we found, in one recommendation after another, is that one outfit stood out among the rest. It is called 100 Degrees East

Since it was not far away, Bonnie and I jumped on the scooter and visited with the folks at 100 Degrees East at their dive shop and were quite impressed. We signed up for our refresher course and also for a day of diving on Koh Tao.

The story would not be complete if we did not talk a little but about pricing for dive trips. You can go cheap for long full day trip on packed older boat (around 40 people) where the ratio of guest to staff is about 10 to 1. As you can imagine there is little personalized service with this option. You bring your own beach towels, pay extra for soft drinks and the included lunch is quite limited. As an example, snorkeling gear with many of these operators include mask and snorkel but not fins.

Or you can pay about twice as much and go on a new boat with a typical limit of 12 guest. Everything is included and the guest to staff ratio is 4 to 1. Your fee includes pickup and drop off from your hotel, boat trip, full gear, water, fresh fruit, fluffy towels, a nice lunch and an amazingly attentive crew. This would be the 100 Degrees East trip. We saw “the other guys” while we out diving and were very thankful we had chosen to go the more pampered route.

On the day of our refresher we arrived at the dive shop to meet our instructor, a master diver named Kurt from New Zealand. We spent the first 45 minutes doing paperwork and then talking through how the refresher was going to work. We also reviewed all of the classroom stuff we learned so many years ago.

From there it was off to the pool, where we assembled our gear, did our buddy checks and demonstrated most of the basic dive skills. We were a bit rusty, but it all came back. We also spent quite a bit of time just swimming around the pool, getting re-acclimated, reviewing hand signals and working on neutral buoyancy.

We were back at our hotel in time for a late lunch and an amazing tasty Leo beer – the air in the tanks have no humidity and tends to make your throat quite dry, which makes that first cold beer taste awesome!

The next morning our driver was waiting for us in the parking lot of our hotel with a big smile on his face. He drove us to the scuba shop where we had one of the most complete dive briefings ever. Every little detail of the trip was covered. That would typically be the time that any other dive shop would have had you assemble your gear and carry it and the extra tank down to the boat, but not at 100 Degrees East – our gear was all set up and waiting for us on the boat. They even remembered to swap out Bonnie’s regulator mouthpiece to a kids size to make it more comfortable for her.

There were about a dozen guests on the boat which could have easily held twice that many. We dropped our flip flops in a dry box and climbed onboard a fresh clean new boat with cold water, soft drinks and even a marine toilet. From there it was about an hours ride out to the dive sites.

Kurt, our instructor from the day before was there with us and ended up being our private guide for our dives. What luxury to have someone with you who knew all the best spots. Gear on with lots of help from the boat crew, buddy checks done and then it was into the ocean, which was a balmy 27 degrees C. (about 80 degrees F).

While the water was delightfully warm, and most of the coral was alive and vibrant, it was a bit cloudy from a recent algae bloom, so visibility did not compare to what we remembered from dives in the Bahamas. However, the number, types of fish, marine life and coral was amazing.

As soon as we came back on board the boat the crew took our gear for us and set it up for the next dive. Meanwhile we were immediately offered cold water and fresh watermelon.

In between dives we had a freshwater shower, toweled off and headed over the the amazing beautiful Mango Bay. It is easy to see what so many movies are filmed in this part of the world. Lunch was served on the boat: white rice, massaman curry, fried chicken, egg rolls and soft drinks. It was delicious.

Our second dive was clearer that the first, and we had a great time with almost an hour of downtime on relatively shallow (20 to 30 feet) reefs. Schools of fish, rays, and lovely live coral beds.

On the boat ride back we were treated to a pod of pink dolphins, a rarity in the Islands of Thailand, the crew redirected and then stopped the boat so we could watch these lovely creatures breach and play.

Two thumbs up for the pampered service we got from Kurt and the team at 100 Degrees East. Hopefully we will be back out with them for another dive before we leave Koh Samui.

Thailand

Hangin’ Out in Bophut

The island of Koh Samui is all about the beaches, but like anywhere else, the key is finding the neighborhood that suits your personal taste. After a couple of nights in Chewang Beach, the most famous of the island beach areas, we decided it was just not for us.

We opted to trade in the full moon beach parties, and the Thai fighting arena for something a little more our speed. So we made our way up to the top of the Island to an area called Bophut, and more specifically the Fisherman’s Village. This area is centered around a central street that runs along the ocean, and is packed with excellent restaurants, bars, and of course Thai message centers.

When planning a visit, your first task will be to find someplace to stay. As far as housing costs go, you can get a nice boutique hotel on the water, in the middle of fisherman’s village with an  amazing ocean view for about $75 (USD). Mountianview view rooms in the same hotel costs about about $45. If you move to the other side of the street, you can get a nice room facing a pool for about 2,063 BHT ($66 USD).

For those who are planning a longer stay and are willing to live a five minute walk to the beach; you can get a serviced mini apartment for around $10 USD a day when you commit to a month.

Here are some good examples, each has air conditioning, free Wi-FI and wonderful staff. We have either visited or stayed in each one and can recommend them all:

Beach Front Rooms:
The Hacienda: run by a very nice French couple, they go out of their way to make you feel at home, in rooms with a very Mediterranean feel. The hotel in on the beach but also sports a rooftop pool. Book in advance, this one fills up quick….
The Lodge: closer to most of the the restaurants and bars; this is a more traditional, but lovely, Thai style hotel with lots of dark woodwork. The long rooms front on the walking street and back on the beach.

On The Other Side Of The Street
The Elysia Boutique Resort: each room is surrounded by beautiful gardens reminiscent of a tropical rain forest, and they all look out over a amazing pool. Just as importantly, the delightful lady that runs this hotel is determined to make sure each guest is treated like royalty, and the rooms, the hotel grounds and the small bar are all immaculate.

For Longer Stays:
Rak Samui Residence: amazing value for the price when you book for a month or more. This residence hotel has the feel of a nice college dorm, but with large airy rooms, kitchen facilities etc. It’s not the ritz, but it is clean and bright and about 10 steps above a youth hostel.

Once you get your housing sorted out, then you will have a whole other set of choices, such as where to have sundown cocktails, which restaurant to have dinner and what type of live music do you want to listen to after dinner. Then of course there are the street markets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at the wharf. On Friday afternoons when the whole waterfront from village turns into one giant “walking street” market. But more about these later…

Thailand

Home Away From Home

Let us say right up front, we love Chiang Mai, the people are so friendly and helpful, the food is wonderful and the cost of living is crazy low. But there is also another side to most of this town, it needs work. The sidewalks are cracked, most of the buildings are crying out for a paint job and the electrical and telecommunications above ground cabling is enough to send an old phone company guy like George into hiding.

In the midst of all this deferred maintenance there is an oasis called the Wualai Sabaidee Boutique Hotel which is located very close to the Saturday walking street. At just 1,200 BHT per night (about USD $38) we were treated like family and shown to a large beautiful room that would have made any luxury chain in America proud.

 

The check list of things we loved about this hotel included:
• Fast, Free WiFi
• Plenty of hot water and excellent pressure in a large tiled shower
• Safe, refrigerator and cable TV in room
• Bottled water at no charge
• High thread count luxury sheets on excellent bedding with comfy pillows
• Well kept gardens with plenty of shady seating areas
• A laundry service right across the street – 1 weeks worth of  laundry washed, dried and folded for BHT 75 (about USD $2.40)

The hotel is managed by two delightful gentlemen one named Thep and the other his cousin Poo (along with a myriad of other cousins). Together they great guest, help with baggage and keep the hotel polished and shining. We were really surprised to hear that the place has been open for 5 years, because everyting looks so brand new.

“Where will you go today?” cousin Poo asked us each day of our one week stay, and each day Poo or Thep would suggest a festival a market or some other interesting activity. We followed their advice and had a wonderful time.

We never got a chance to take the bicycles offered to use at no charge out, but every morning we enjoyed the fresh juice, fresh ground coffee fruit and toast offered just off the lobby while worked away chronicling our adventures for the travel blog. 

To be sure if we ever get back to Chiang Mai the Wualai Sabaidee Boutique Hotel will be the our home away from home.

Thailand

Thai Food: 101

We are starting to get the hang of this half day tour thing. Yesterday we headed out for Thai cooking classes. Again there were a LOT of options, so after some web research we chose The Best Thai Cooking School. The price was well worth the 850 BHT (about USD $30) we paid.

As with the elephants, we were picked up at our hotel (this time about 7:30am). After a few stops for more students, we arrived at an open air market for a very informative talk on fresh ingredients. After the talk, we were given 15 minutes to wander around the markets and then it was back into the van for ride to the farm and school.

Our first stop at the farm was to a rice paddy and large set of gardens. Who knew there was so much to learn about rice? Suffice to to say if we ever get stuck in the wild we can now harvest, separate and cook our own. We also know how to identify several different types and which rice of best for dinner versus dessert.

After a tour of the garden we were led into the main school where we were each assigned our own cooking station compete with utensils, a burner, chopping block and several different types of pans and woks.

The first demonstration was on making curry paste, pounding a variety of chilis, spices and seeds into the consistency of ice cream. Throughout the class the instructors (both men) kept up an informative and surprisingly funny banter. We were advised that we would get cookbooks with the ingredients and instructions spelled out “if” we passed the class. On several occasions the instructors would see us doing something incorrectly and joking yell out “you fail, come back tomorrow”. The Gordon Ramsey of Chiang Mai.

We were invited to select from several dishes to make up each course of five course meal:
• Soup – George made coconut milk soup; Bonnie made rice soup
• Salad – made with green unripened mangos
• Curry – George made red and Bonnie made green
• Stir Fry –  George made Chicken and Cashew Nuts; Bonnie made holy basil with pork
• Pad Thai – made in a work, and cleverly served in a thin omelette
• Mango Sticky Rice – unlike the salad the dessert is made with yellow ripened fruit.

With our courses selected and technique demonstrations complete we set to work preparing our dishes. Everyone chopped, fried and stirred happily away, with only the occasional shout of “You fail, come back tomorrow!”. Both of the chefs and their support team were extremely friendly and genuinely seemed to enjoy what they do.

As each dish was completed it went under our bench while we worked on the next. During our first snack break we got to enjoy our soup. At one point in the prep, we were shown how to inject a bit of flair with a flaming presentation of the stir fry.

After the cooking was done we took our finished dishes out to the dining area and enjoyed them with ice cold beer and some great conversation. So good, so fresh and so much food.

I am sure that it will not surprise anyone who knows us to hear that that ride back to your hotel was followed by a nice long nap…

Thailand

An Elephant We’ll Never Forget

Any itinerary in Chiang Mai must include a visit to one of the many elephant sanctuaries on the outskirts of the city.

Nothing can prepare you for the experience of spending time with these gentle giants, but we will endeavor to provide some detail about the experience. As a tourist you must be aware that there are two types of elephant experiences available, one involves riding the elephants on a jungle trek of sorts and the other is visiting a sanctuary to interact with them in a more caring way. We will not lecture on either path, but suffice it to say we chose to visit a sanctuary.

With that decision made, the next big question was which one, there are so many. After quite a bit of web research and review we chose the Kanta Elephant Sanctuary. and we were extremely happy with our choice. There are several full or half day options available – we chose the Kanta tour that cost us 1,500 BHT each (about $48 USD) We both agreed afterwards, we could have paid three times that much and still feel like we got value for our money!

A van picked us up at our hotel around 6:30am (we chose the morning excursion as opposed to the afternoon). The ride to the sanctuary in a newer air conditioned van took about an hour and it was our first chance to experience the mountains outside the walls of the city. We chatted with people on the bus from Brazil, Canada, Russia, China and New Zealand during the ride.

Upon arrival, we were given very colorful clothes to change into and provided lockers to secure our stuff. Once outfitted the group of about 15 of us looked like rodeo clowns ready to hit the circuit. Our guide then spent some time explaining to us that the elephants we were going to be interacting with were domesticated and were used to being around humans. They also advised that they were very curious and nimble with their trunks, so we needed to hang on to our phones lest the elephants grabbed them from us to take a selfie. Other simple rules: don’t run away from the elephants because they may see you running and chase you. Stay out from under their feet, and try and stay in their field of vision so they can be aware of you and where you are.

With that, we were each provided with a sack full of sugar cane sections about a foot long each and we walked down into a large field to meet our new friends. The elephants were very friendly and approached us right away, of course the sugar cane treats helped to cement the bond. Before you know it we were feeding them, rubbing their trunks, faces and baggy cheeks and in general just having fun with these playful and very hungry pachyderms. They ate sugar cane and grass and every thing else we fed them….

After our “getting to know you” period in the fields, we retired to a small pagoda for a lesson on elephant eating habits and differences between wild and domesticated diets. We learned that domesticated elephants do not get the robust diet that wild elephants do and as such require supplements. We then where taught how to create large meatball sized lumps of supplements that included bananas, tamarind, vitamins and more. With our tray full of “meatballs” we headed out again to feed the elephants, but unlike before when they took the snacks from us with their trunk, we placed the vitamin balls directly into their mouths. You have never lived until you have stuck your hand into an elephants mouth and placed a meatball near the back of her tongue. A shout of “Bom-Bom” would cause the elephant to open wide to accept the sticky treats….

With their bellies full it was time for a bath so we all headed down to the lagoon where the elephants plopped down and rolled over and gleefully lounged as we poured buckets full of water over them and scrubbed their hides with soft bristle brushes. Occasionally one of them would trumpet and shoot a spray of water through their trunks giving everyone in the area a nice cool shower.

After about three hours it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and head up to the camp again. There we were provided with showers and a place to change back into our street clothes. After that we had a snack of fresh fruit, coffee and tea and a chance to exchange photos with the people in our group.

We were driven back to the city and dropped off at our hotels with a phone full of photos and memories that will be with us forever…

Thailand

The Number 9 Train To Chiang Mai…

If you haven’t seen the 1959 black and white classic “Some Like It Hot”, then it you need to check out this clip that takes place aboard the sleeper car of a train. In the film, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon dress as women and hop onboard a train full of girls headed for Florida to escape mafia bad guys. Tony Curtis does his best to pick up Marilyn Monroe, but his plans are foiled when an impromptu cocktail party breaks out in their berth.

Fast forward to the colorized version in 2019, as Bonnie and George make their way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the famous Number 9 overnight train, 13 hours in total leaving at 6:10 in the evening.

We booked our tickets (USD $41 each) via 12GoAsia and could not have been happier with the service. Fluent in English, they were very helpful, even when we had to change our dates. We picked up our tickets (they ask that you pick them up 1 hour before your train boards), at their offices across the street from Hua Lamphong station. From the station, go down into the subway via exit number 2 and walk back out on the other side of the busy road via exit number 1. Walk straight out of the exit and down two buildings and you will see the clearly marked office.

The waiting area at the train station was huge. People from all over the world were seated, mostly on the clean floor, in groups waiting to board trains. Once your train shows up on the big board, you drag your bags down the platform until you find your car number as indicated on your ticket. From there it is up and into the train to look for your assigned seats. Couples traveling together should try and book upper and lower berths. In our case it was car 5 seats 13 (lower) and 14 (upper). Every berth is equipped with a power outlet to let you charge your phones, tablets etc. The plugs are the same in Thailand as they are in the USA, and also have European slots built in.

Once you get onto the train and stow your bags, you sit on comfortable facing seats on the lower berth. Almost as soon as you sit down a lady will approach you to try and sell you meals (dinner and breakfast) to be served on the train. The food is good, but relatively expensive. We paid a total of USD $18 for dinner and breakfast. They sell food on commission but are not overly pushy about it. Many people brought their own food. No alcohol is allowed on the train, so unlike the movie, George had to leave his cocktail shaker in his bag.

Dinner is served a half hour into the ride and after about 1 hour a steward comes around to open up the berths and and make up the beds. By 9:30 most everyone is snuggled down with drapes drawn and the train takes on a completely different appearance. Just be warned, for security reasons they never turn the bright lights in the corridors off. If you need dark to sleep, bring along an eye shade.

So many songs, such as “City of New Orleans” and “Wagon Wheel” talk about being rocked to sleep by a train, and that is exactly what happens. Before you know it, they are turning the beds back into seats and bringing around coffee and fresh fruit as you get ready to pull into Chaing Mai promptly at 7:10 am.

Rock me momma like the wind and the rain, rock me like a south bound train, oh momma rock me….

Thailand

Hello Thailand!

Wow, what a whirlwind the last week has been! We left on a red eye out of Australia Monday evening. After our learning experience on bargain airlines on our Jetstar flight into Oz, we were better prepared for Air Asia. We purchased extra kgs for our luggage, upgraded our seats and decided, since we were planning on sleeping through both flights, to forego ordering any meals in flight. We chose to spend a little extra to upgrade our seats to the “quiet zone” and it was worth EVERY PENNY! Since most people choose either not to spend the money or just don’t realize it’s available, we each ended up with a row of 3 seats to ourselves. After a short layover in Kuala Lumpur we arrived in Bangkok around 8am. As we suspected, our hotel room wasn’t ready so we left our bags at the hotel (The Dream Hotel) and set out for our first foray onto the city.

Luckily, our hotel is in the neighborhood that our friend Tom used to live in and he gave us a list of places to look up. After the flight our first stop was for mani/pedi’s and massages. What a great way to recover from a long flight! Tom’s next recommendation was a little dive of a “restaurant” that serves the best crispy duck. As usual he was spot on – the duck was fabulous!  Back at the hotel the room was ready for us and we were ready for a nap.

Around 6pm we hopped on the subway to Bangkok’s famous Chinatown. It was a bustling swirl of color, and smells and crowds. We wandered the streets for about an hour and decided it was finally time to eat… no we did not try the bugs!

 

 

Finally, after roaming the streets for a few hours we decided it was time to head back. Since we we more than a little turned around and weren’t sure we could find the subway we hired a tuk-tuk for the ride home.

The next morning we headed out to see the  Grand Palace. We hopped onto the Skytrain, connected to the subway and finally boarded a riverboat ferry to the Old City. As we started across the street towards the palace we we stopped by the inevitable tuk tuk driver offering to take us to all the sights and sit and wait while we wandered around and took photos for a mere 500 baht. We decided it seemed worth it, so we climbed in.

First stop was the sitting Buddha followed by the Grand Bhudda followed by a “short stop” at a jeweler in between…it seems that shop owners offer the tuk tuk drivers fuel vouchers to bring potential customers to them. Since we were just touring the city with no real schedule, we decided to go along for the ride. After the Grand Bhudda we stopped at the tailor to have some clothes made – cause that’s what you do in Thailand, right?? All the while James, our driver, sat and waited…

Geo & our tuk tuk driver, James

After our busy day, we decided to have a simple dinner. We walked down to the grocery store (again recommended by Tom) along the same route we had taken the following morning, but at night the scene is completely different. After dark, the city street transforms into a night market. Every available wall space is converted into an open air stall selling every tchotchke and food you could ever imagine (and some you never even knew existed). We finally arrived at the store and ate at the “lunch” counter. The food was inexpensive but DELICIOUS!

FYI – Besides the fact that it is a crowed, bustling city,with insane traffic, one of the things I wish I’d been better 
prepared for before arriving was the intense amount of smog. It is so bad that a majority of the population wear surgical masks while walking or working outside and the week we were there tay actually closed the schools to keep people off the roads and reduce the amount of smog in the air!
Australia

Quality Ingredients are Important!

Ever notice how some folks will knock themselves out to get the very best brands of liquor and then mix it with some of the most awful stuff.

In this edition of Drinks with George we explore some key ingredients, and of course, make some excelllent cocktails.

Recipies for cocktails mentioned or made in this video are below:

White Russian

  • 30 mL (1 oz) full cream milk
  • 30 mL (1 oz) vodka (such as Titos)
  • 30 mL (1 oz) Kahlua

Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice, and add Kahlua and Vodka. Layer cream on top by pouring it slowly over the back of a spoon so that it does not mix with the other two liquors. Add a straw to stir with, but no other garnish.

 


Gin and Tonic

  • 30 mL (1 oz) Gin (such as Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray or Hendrick’s)
  • 60 mL (2 oz) Tonic Water (George suggests Fever Tree Mediterranean)
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Lime for Garnish

Fill rocks glass with ice. Add gin then tonic and a squeeze of lime. Stir gently and garnish with a lime wedge.


Moscow Mule

  • 60 mL (2 oz) of Vodka (such as Titos)
  • 30 mL (1 oz) fresh lime juice
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • 90 mL (6 oz) ginger Beer (George prefers Bundaberg)
  • Lime for garnish
  • 2 Dashes bitters (Angastora Orange)

Fill a copper cup with ice, add all ingredients. Stir gently and garnish with a lime wedge


Jack and Diet

  • 60 mL (2 oz) Black Label Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
  • 90 mL (3 oz) diet Coca Cola

Fill rock glass with ice, add all ingredient and stir gently.

Important – never, ever garnish a Jack Daniels drink     NFL – No Freakin’ Lime!

Australia

Springbrook National Park

As our time in Australia draws to a close, we decided to take advantage of one of the many opportunities here in Queensland to do so hiking. We choose a relatively short (about 2 hours) hike that was not too difficult, rated as a Grade 3 (moderate fitness required) in Springbrook National Park.

The park is about an hour south of Brisbane and is listed as a World Heritage site. It was a spectacular hike. We chose the Twin Falls Circuit which is about 4km or 2.5 miles. As the name suggests along the way we passed two waterfalls, walked through the rainforest and got some phenomenal scenic views.

I couldn’t decide which photos to include in this post, so I just uploaded them all…

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