A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Tina Bean

The United States of America (California anyhow!!!)

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Los Angeles

When you think of LA you think of all the glamor of Hollywood Blvd. Believe me i stayed in a hostel slap bang in between Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd and they are far from glamorous! They are pretty ace streets but the scale of types of people roaming them is vast! Lots of homeless and beggers amongst the stars on the sidewalk. Cutting through this crap however it was awesome to walk along the stars and check out all the hand prints and foot prints located in the chinese theater.

I went on a Hollywood stars home tour in a limo which was cool...saw Britneys, Johnny Depps, Paris Hiltons, Opera's, Kevin Costner, The Beckhams, Tom Cruises and loads of others. Also saw the Happy Days diner, the viper lounge and loads of other cool hangouts on sunset strip.

Visited Universal Studios which was a playground. The Jurassic park ride was welcomed as it was a water log flume and it was over 100 while i was there. Went on the famous tour and watched while they filmed Desperate housewives in Wisteria Lane!

Went to Venice beach, Santa Monica and checked out Rodeo Drive and the other well known Shopping streets.

San Diego

What an awesome city. Hostel was located in the Gaslamp district which was crammed full of amazing Cafes,bars and restaurants. Met some amazing people and caught up with a few guys i met in Fiji. Visited Balboa park and went to the Photographic arts museum, arrived in Pacific beach to see a labour day riot, went to La Jolla, and crossed the border into Mexico and visited Tijauna!

Lots of drinking was had in SD, so many great places to go out...one problem, they stop serving alchol at 2am, the silver lining you can party till 4am and drink water...hangover sorted!

Las Vegas

Not much to say....lots of Casionos on one massive strip in the middle of the desert. Was so very hot and to get from one casino to the next was a mission. Saw the tigers at MGM Grand, watch the volcano eruption at the mIrage, the water show a few times at the Bellagio but the pirate ship show at treasure island was cancelled! Also saw white tigers at the Mirage too. The casinos are out of this world...everything here is obscenely huge....it has to be seen to be believed.

Myself and 5 others hired a car for the day and went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. The 10hr round trip was well worth it...it takes your breath away, an absolutely must see place before you die type affair! The trip home was made more bearable by fast food and a thick shake in a 60's style diner on route 66!

San Francisco

Absolutely one of my favorite cities of my trip so far! Would actually consider living here. Stayed in North Beach right in Little Italy. The Green tortoise hostel i stayed at was awesome...really hippy vibe, lots of people had just come from the Burning man event....imagine Glastonbury 200x more hippy and drug infested in the middle of the desert with lots of crazy cars and you get about by bike!

Went to Alcatraz, Berkley (watched the cheerleaders and band in full swing on the lead up to the Bears game (American football) being played that arvo) and biked across the bridge and through to Sausalito and Tiburon.

Walked around most of the city, went to Golden Gate park - got involved in the drum circle, watched a production of a mid summers night dream in Presidio park, took in Fishermans wharf, climbed Coit tower and walked the windy Lombard street..san frans crookedest street! Decide to be cultured too and went to SFMOMA (SF Museum of modern art)..saw a electric powered car that had been stripped down and water had been pored over it in freezing temps so a 2 inch layer of ice had formed....i had to don a couple of blankets and go in a big freezer to see it.

An amazing place that has to be revisited!

Posted by Tina Bean 01:26 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Tahiti - Papeete & Moorea

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After travelling from the Cook Islands back to Auckland then onto tahiti, entering sunday just to go back to the evening of saturday i was a bit all over the place. Was very lucky and met a Kiwi guy and a local Rugby player who helped me find accommodation in Papette after everyone i asked where the place i'd booked was, gasped and pulled a face!

Once i finally got settled into Camping Nelson in Moorea i was happy. The prices here are stupid, catching a cab is expensive and the food is way overpriced sue to everything being imported. I lived on the traditional french fare of baguette and water!

The campsite was located right on a fabulous beach. I made friends with a cool couple called Cari & Matthew who were travelling with their 11 month old girl, Shanna. Was so impresssed with how much they had achieved with her, by her 1st b'day she will have been to 12 countries!

Also hung out with a guy from Cairns and a French guy. The french guy came in handy what with the 1st and only language spoken being French! It made it possible for us to hitch hike all over the island and see beauty spots such as Cooks bay.

Nights were quite on the island which is only approx 50kms in circumference. Star gazing and reading were the main passtimes, although watching the sun set over the sea with a beer in hand was

Managed to get a trip on a small catamaran for free with a french poloynesian guy & an Italian couple. We swam with stingrays and sharks. Couldn't help but be scared of the barb! Did some amazing snorkling out by the reef and exploring some submerged tikis. We were dropped off on a desert island and picked up on the other side...crazy to think people live on these small islands, all self sufficient. It was an ace day where i saw true beauty. Even got treated to a dolphin show.

Wouldn't probably return here in a hurry. Think French poloynesia has lots more to offerm just a shame it is so hard for the backpacker to get to the other islands.

Posted by Tina Bean 01:09 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

The rest of New Zealand

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Why should i change now...my lame attempts at keeping this up to date has failed miserably so here is just a quick list of where i went to after lake Tekapo. If you want to know more, e mail me or wait till i get home and ask me then!

Christchurch

Much like Canterbury...it has a church and everything!

Akaroa

Went on a day trip from Christchurch to this french colonial town. The weather was chilly so i took refuge in a cafe for a sausage roll...oh so french!

Kaikora

Went whale watching and was lucky enough to see 5 and 2 pods/school of dolphins. It was totally breathtaking seeing the tail flick up out of the water and dissapear.

Blenheim

Part of malborough sounds, hired bikes and went to the local winerys...partook in some tasting!

Picton

Liked it so much the first time i revisited the hostel with the ace hot tub and home made apple crumble!

Wellington

A friend i made on the magic bus managed to get us tickets to the Wellington vs Otago rugby match. Great to see and lots more fun was had in the pub crawl we

Napier

Art Deco tastic. Loved the place...of course being by the coast and the sun shining didn't sway my opinion at all. On the way to the Mt we stopped in Rotarua where Lindsay, Karl the magic bus driver and I did swoop....being raised to 100 meters in the air in what is in essence a sleeping bag on a harness all strapped togetehr and one of you has to release us so we swoop like a bird towards the ground and pendulum swing back and forth.

Mt Manguanui

Even nicer! The sun stayed out for me as i explored the coastline and the township. Great coastal walks with awesome views over the bay.

Auckland

Back where i started. Met up with Anna who i met when i first arrived. Also met a guy called James who i met in Cairns. Strangely, both times it was at the end of my time in that country and then saw him again on the yasaw flyer in Fiji...small world!

New Zealand is beautiful.

Posted by Tina Bean 00:49 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Fiji: Nadi, The Yasawa Islands and The Mamanucas

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So I booked myself on a 6 night ultimate lei package trip with 2 nights added on. I spent my first night in Fiji in the mainland of Nadi. The morning after my night staying in possibly the worst hostel in the world (however they did give us a welcome Kava ceremony) I got on the Yasawa flyer and travelled 4 hours to my first island, Tavewa. This is an account of each of the 8 islands in 8 days that i visited.

Tavewa

One of the most northerly Yasawa islands. My first resort was Coral view. Amazing staff, so much fod and a restaurant and bar with sand beach floor!

We (Laura, Jenna, Flick, Charlie, James and Kat) watched the sunset, did the fiji conga, bula dancing, ate lots...including yumy bannanna cake, snorkled and saw lovely fish and chilled in the hammocks.

Nanuya Lailai

In a cute wooden dorm and the best camp as a row of pink tents host we (Clare, Ali, Andy, Andy and I) drank lots of Kava, walked to the blue lagoon (as in the film) right across the lush island with stunning views to laze on the beach there. We were also treated to a bagpipe show by a fellow irishman!!

More banana cake and tea were consumed in Lo's Teahouse.

Nanuya Balavu

I stayed here for two nights at Manta Ray resort. Here is where I met Amy for the first time who is now living in Pakeman street...cool eh! Bit of a long way to go to recruit a new housemates but hey, i was never one to do hings the simple way!

Lots more volleyball was played here, snorkling galore and an eating frenzy as this is well known as being the resort to fill up in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all a buffet feast not to be missed.

Stayed in a 32 bed dorm where we shared our bed with a massive cricket! Mosquito nets were deffo needed. The dorm was awesome and so was the whole resort....not to mention the perfect white sandy beach and the tree hammocks.

Beth, this is where the luggage men must have ripped off the lovely luggage tag you bought me :(

Waya lailai

My 4th Island. We (Sam, Ed, Jeni, James, clare, danny and Sabrina) had an awesome time chilling on the beach, playing volleyball, and climbing the summit for sunrise.

We also had a fun evening of drinking games and limbo, and of course the bula dance!

Kuata

Just across the water (no literally...we could see it from Waya Lailai) but i still had to go onto the yasawa flyer by fishing boat just to cross to the other side of the flyer to get onto another boat!

Met another great bunch of people and we were treated to an amazing show of fijian dancing - strobe lighting and all! Drank under the stars and decide to avoid the kava ceremony this time.

Reunited with Jess, Freddy and Karen who I met in Manta Ray. We ended up skinny dipping in the sea in the middle of the day...very liberating, you should all try it sometime.

South Sea Island

There is one word for this island....small! I wasn't the sad one but apparently it take 630 steps to walk around the island...that takes under 4 mins if you were wondering. There is just the one resort on the island, the have a submarine (glass bottom boat) which they take out when the weather allows. When we arrived we played volleyball until the sun went down.

Dinner was awesome, a massive buffet of goodness! The best part of this island was being reunited with Ed, Sam, Claire, Danny, Lina and Chris. Teli...one of the hosts was so much fun (and the only fijian i have heard swear!) She got us all playing lots of games including crab racing and hide and seek. Now on an island this size it was quite tough! We continued playing drinking games and then i had to try and sleep with about 40 other people in a large room and where there was tarpaulin n the roof which was crashing about in the wind....all good fun!

Bounty Island

For some of you you will know this island from the reality tv show, celebridy love island. This is the perfect island for love, aqua marine blue sea, white sandy beaches and scorching sun. The swimming pool all still remains the same but the love shack is over the other side of the island to the resort ( 10 min walk). It has been totally trashed...the one way mirrors all smashed and graffiti all over the wall (tina bean, London & the date is scrawled on the back wall!). I watched the sun go down where the presenters sat.

The vibe on the island was very much one for honeymooners. Had a chilled out night and had a dorm room all to myself. The entertainment was both the welcome and leaving songs which are normally sung to you when you arrive and leave...different!

Treasure Island

Now i was never suppose to be going here but i had to visit this island before i was taken back to Denaru. Deffo not complaining and in the time i had i wandered along the shore trying to soak up the island 'fiji time' atmosphere. Strangely in this small traveller type circle i bumped into the group of irish girls who i shared a room with in Queenstown, NZ. They had met up with Dave who i knew from Manta Ray. Caught up with them and it was soon time to head back to the mainland

Nadi

Glad i only had a day here. Checked out downtown, did some shopping, or more like it was dragged into shops! Went to the temple and relaxed by the pool in the hotel. Had heard many a good thing about Nadi Bay hotel resort so thought i deserved somewhere better than the hell hole i stayed in on my first night in Fiji. Mass reunion with Karen, Sam, Ed, Danny, Claire and chris. Had a chilled out evening before my flight to the cook islands and watched a film. Doesn't matter what i did really, from 5.30pm i will be reliving it all again the next night due to the time difference..oh yes, 2 friday nights!!!

In a nutshell, i LOVED fiji and would recommend it to anyone...especially loved up couples, it really is paradise.

Posted by Tina Bean 13:05 Archived in Fiji Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Cook Islands: Rarotonga

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Despite the not so good weather i managed to have a fantastic week at Vara's hostel. The crowd of us residing here at the time was awesome...we had so many good nights of drinking games and general lazing around. I won a darts match at a local bar one evening, spent a day crusing the island in a red soft top sports car and another on the back of a scooter seeing the internal roads and museums of the island.

Other highlights include walking to the nearby island with my bag on my head and soaking up the sun on the white sand. You could even get married on this island!! Another was going to church (no i haven't gone religious, its just the done thing here on a sunday) met the locals and was welcomed to morning tea of fresh fruit and other local fare.

I went to the saturday market and took strolls along the miles of beach around the island...even watched one of the guys from the hostel play touch rugby with the locals.

Rarotnga is only 32km in circumfrence so it was a scary experience landing here!

Posted by Tina Bean 12:56 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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