Backyard Tourist – Welcome to My Fremantle

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

Sometimes when your next big trip is too far away but the travel itch is compelling you to do something, anything! It might pay to look at your hometown through the eyes of a visitor.

The port city of Fremantle lies 22kms south-west of Western Australia’s capital, Perth. Initially, a separate town, suburban sprawl has connected the two in the past few decades.

There are four main reasons for visiting Fremantle, the history, the food, the beer and the art scene.

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Best Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Japan

There are many icons of Japan; sumo’s, sushi, weird sex robots, but my favourite would have to be cherry blossoms. Sakura (🇯🇵 桜, 🇨🇳 樱花), as they’re known in Japan, bloom once a year all over the country. The Japanese go mad for it! There are festivals, decorations, sakura-themed food and everyone flocks to their nearest park to sit under the trees to admire the blossoms. There will be lots of food and sake as they enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

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Going Bush…

The little, tin boat I’m in is starting to feel even smaller as I spot another giant tuna jumping through the water, chasing a school of bait fish. Hundreds of birds hover above taking turns to dive head first into the turquoise waters hoping to surface with a meal in their beak just as a dozen sea eagles swoop in and fly off with a tasty silver fish in their claws. The top of the waters bubble as the bait fish scramble to get away, but my eyes cannot see the larger fish below herding them towards the shallower waters.

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Machu Picchu Without The Tourists

Machu Picchu without the tourist crowds? It’s possible!

In a mountain jungle high above the clouds, I can look down upon a sprawling puzzle of stone, combined  like an ancient God’s lego stash. Most pieces resemble the walls of houses or terraces with loose stones lying in the emerald green grass waiting to find their place in the rocky mosaic.

The only sound floating in the breeze is the fossicking of llamas keeping the lawns trim. There’s also the scurry of furry chinchillas enjoying an evening dust bath and my mate yelling from a ledge above, “This is fucking awesome! I can’t believe we have the whole place to ourselves!”

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Bolivia’s Death Road

Nearly five kilometres above sea level, travelling 60 kmh+ down a highway in the Bolivian Andes, on a mountain bike competing with trucks, buses and cars, a solid rock cliff-face to my left and a 600m drop to certain death on my right, racing around hairpin turns and surrounded by the most beautiful scenery when I take the risk to look… I have never felt more exhilarated or had so much fun in all my life!

This is mind-blowing excitement at its best and I haven’t even hit the really dangerous section yet! Continue reading “Bolivia’s Death Road”

Palace-hopping in St.Petersburg

Russia is dodgy. Stunning architecture, fascinating history, but let’s get it out of the way first, it is dodgy. When a tour company has a budget for bribing officials at the borders, you know something is not quite right. Not even 20 minutes into the country and our Top Deck bus was pulled over by the Police, a pay-off amounting to AU$20 settled any potential prison visits and we were back on our way to St Petersburg.

Welcome to Russia!

That aside, Russia is absolutely beautiful. It is not like any other country in the world (besides the ex-Soviet States that have since claimed independence.) The bright colours of Cathedrals and Palaces provide a stark contrast against the grey concrete of the many communist apartments. When the sun peeks out, the gold highlights on buildings reflect the opulence of the country’s varied past. 

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