Monday, February 27, 2012

Sicko

Flashback

he said: You need to stop reading the health and dangers sections of the Lonely Planet. You're just going to scare yourself.

she said: No, what's going to happen is if something happens to you I'll know what to do. If I get sick though... I'm dead.
she said: 

Considering our tendency to eat whatever is put in front of us it's incredible we made it as long as we did with nothing more then a bit of indigestion. And then came the sickness...

he said:
 
It started around 18:30.  I was cooking some pasta after diving and she was resting after a brutal first day of climbing.  At first glance I was fairly certain she had heat exhaustion but she was under the fan and taking in lots of water so I figured it would be fine in a few hours.  Boy oh boy, was I ever wrong!

Once the actual getting sick commenced I started leaning towards food poisoning.  I knew there wasn't much I could do other than keep her comfortable and keep her drinking fluids.  In my head I was doing a little dance.  This was one of the first days that we hadn't had lunch together so I'm thinking that I'm completely in the clear.

Fast forward to 23:00.  My eyes pop open and I run to the bathroom.  Begin 720 minutes of wishing for death.

Never Again Please.

she said:

Since, according to the books and various online resources, most stomach bugs/food poisoning/dysentery clear up on their own within 48 hours, the best thing to do is rest and keep hydrated (thankfully this was our course).

If after the first 24 hours nothing is staying in, it's time to visit the nearest clinic, or if that's impossible, start a course of the emergency antibiotics in your med kit. Which you packed because you read that section of the Lonely Planet.

he said:

Stop pointing out all my faults and give the people what they want, pictures.  YAY, PICTURES!

Hello Med Kit:

 Topical Applications: Anti-Fungal/Anti-Bacterial Powder, Bug Spray (100% DEET if possible), Sunblock.

Bite sized Delights: Indigestion Medication, Aspirin, Various Cold and Flu Meds, Throat Lozenges, Antihistamines, and Small Stash of Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics for Emergencies.

,
First Aid: Antibiotic cream, Alcohol, Various Bandages/Gauze, Tape, Scissors, Tweezers, Safety Pins, Wet Wipes (dried out wipes double as gauze in a pinch).

Other: Super Glue, Petroleum Jelly, Re-hydration Solution, Eye Drops, Ear Drops, Zip Lock Bags, Eye Mask/Ear Plugs, Copies of Prescriptions and Travel Insurance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Good Year

they said:

Well folks, the day has arrived, exactly one year since we packed things up, jumped on a plane, and started this crazy adventure.* To celebrate here's our favorites from the past year...

*Travel tip - for oddly significant discounts, book international flights on Valentine's day.

FAVORITE HOSTEL
The Flying Fox
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

A close second: Cool Bananas
Agnes Waters/Town of 1770, Queensland, Australia.


FAVORITE BIG CITY
Singapore - more...



FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORT
For long distances: The Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train).
For short distances: Singapore's MRT system.


FAVORITE PLACES TO FIND CHEAP FOOD
Ready-made: Sanur's Night Market. 50 000 Rupiah (about $5 US or CAN) for two full bellies and a fresh fruit juice or Teh Botel (the local brand of ice tea).
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia.

Groceries: Adelaide Central Market.
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


FAVORITE DIVE SITE
The S.S. Yongola - more...
Queensland, Australia. 



FAVORITE DRINK
he said: Cooper's Sparkling Ale.
Made in South Australia, consumed mostly at the Flying Fox in New South Wales.
she said: Coconut shakes - fresh coconut, ice, a blender - my new true love.
Available in Thailand, but Singapore and Indonesia have their own variations.



FAVORITE NATIONAL PARK
For the unique landscape: Undara Volcanic National Park. - more...
Queensland, Australia.

For the feeling of accomplishment getting there and the spectacular volcano views:
Gunung Rinjani National Park.
Lombok, Indonesia.


For the plethora of trails and activities available: The Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site. - more... more...
New South Wales, Australia.


FAVORITE BOAT TRIP
Whitsunday's Island Sailing - more...
Off the coast of Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia.


FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Probably the hardest category to choose just one, but since it's still pretty fresh in our minds - the Melting Wok. (they don't have a website yet, so here's a physical address for anyone planning to visit the city of Ubud: 13 Jl. Gootama 80571, Ubud, Bali). - more...
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.


FAVORITE ISLAND
Koh Tao, Thailand - Small enough to traverse on scooter in a couple of hours, but big enough to boast a range of activities to keep us here for a month. Diving for him, rock climbing for her, trapeze classes for all!



Please let there be more contenders for the favorites on this list. Thank you to everyone who's supported us at home and on the road. Hello whatever the next year has in store.

Monday, February 13, 2012

City Slickers

she said:

As a break between our month in Indonesia and the two to three we plan on being in Thailand and beyond, we stopped for a week in the modern delight that is Singapore.

The change could not have been more drastic.

From fan-cooled bungalows, where if we splurged we'd get hot water and flushing toilets, to the Matchbox the Concept Hostel with its individual cubby beds.


Potholes surrounded by asphalt where scooters and hawkers reign supreme, to a public transportation system that runs every six minutes in the slow period and is connected by fully air conditioned underground tunnels (where you can sometimes find bmx bikers and break dancers getting some extra practice).


Stray cats vs catty office girls.


Other travelers we met told us we'd only need three days to see Singapore, but it took me three days just to get used to the change.

he said:

Good ol' Asia lite.  I had already been to Singapore in 2008 as the GFC was kicking off.  At the time Singapore was in a period of rapid development.  Nearly every neighbourhood that I visited seemed to be building a massive shopping and accommodation centre.  When I was leaving I remember wondering how the financial status of the whole western world would impact the progress.  It didn't.  Singapore is even cleaner, nicer, and more efficient than when I was last there. 

A few of my personal highlights include:
  • Hawker centres, particularly Golden Shoe, Lau Pa Sat, and Golden Mall.
  • Boat Quay Now upgraded it has lost some of its charm (read: prices have increased). What were once upgraded hawker stalls are now full on restaurants.
  • Finally, (sorry planet earth) Air Conditioning.
she said:

After adjusting to the changes I found a couple highlights of my own:

Chinatown's Year of the Dragon decorations.

Our good timing (Chinese New Year) meant we got to see the amazing Guangzhou Acrobatics Troupe of China perform at one of the free outdoor shows at The Esplanade Theaters by the Bay.

Please can I see them every night?

he said:

Thanks to all the guys who I used to work with for coming out and catching up with me.  It's always nice to see familiar faces when on the road. Hello Dive Master training in Thailand.