Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back to the Grind!

Well reality hit the day after Labour Day-Back to School! Back into the frantic Canadian pace of life. We miss that layed back Aussie style. Our close family unit scattered in all directions. Hannah started grade 9, Noah grade 7 -flag football, x-country, nordic Devo dryland training, Kev coaching football, Michagan tour, Wendy -number one dog trainer!! And it's only been 3 weeks, yikes!!


















Noosa-Growing Fast!


Then Came Noosa!







Well lots of chatting in Oz about getting a dog. We figured we need something to ground us for the next while kids head through high school. So here she is.......


Named after a favourite surf spot and weekend destination. Great memories of early morning and sunset family surfs.


We got Noosa at about 11 weeks and have been busy with puppy training.





BMX
















Well we were back in Ontario for about 4 days and we loaded up the good ol party van and headed to Quebec City for BMX Nationals. We stayed in residence right on site. Great view of the course right from our room windows. Congrats to Hannah and Noah for National 2nd and 6th respectively.

Back in Canada-BC


































































Great to be back in Canada. We had a fantastic time with all the BC "rellies" (as they say in Australia). A big thankyou to all our hosts and tour guides. Noah thought some of these snow pictures would be good for his classmates back in OZ.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back on Canadian Soil

There is something unique about landing back in Canada and following that "Canadian Citizens" sign that makes you feel totally comfortable. Our travels have been amazing but its nice to be back in Canada! Can't believe a YEAR has gone by soooo fast!

Landed Safely in Vancouver and met by Riley, Sharon, Lizzy & Geo. First order of business was.... 60 Timbits! Second order of business.... BMX bikes! Third order of business.... visiting all the cousins and family in Vancouver!

Did the Grouse Grind today and off to Stanley park tomorrow with a couple BMX races mixed in there at Ridge Meadows BMX. Then off to Vancouver Island to see Sister Wendy and company.



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Monday, July 11, 2011

Newsflash.. Wendy Stars in Elephant Show

Bali Safari & Marine Park was our stop after a surf this morning. Worked out well because surf was really small today (everybody hunting/driving to different spots in "search").


Arrived at a gorgeous safari facility with animals galore and had an amazing day wondering around and deciding that AFRICA should be our next teaching exchange.







Wendy proved to be the STAR today. She volunteered and was picked to be in the elephant show. Up on stage, THEREZA ( the elephant) demonstrated picking up a wreath and hanging it over Wendy's head. Following this, the elephant gave Wendy a kiss on the cheek! The crowd enjoyed the action and so did we!














Another highlight was the elephant ride. We got to travel through the jungle on the backs of these huge elephants.

The kids and Wendy met a cute little Orangutan (sp?) who enjoyed hanging out with them for a few photos.



Amazing day in Bali again.! Couple more surfing days left, then on to Vancouver!













Sunday, July 10, 2011

ULLUWATU Surf Session

We have been ranking the surf destinations across Australia and now here in Bali. By far, today was the best and most unique surf spot we have been exposed to.... ULLUWATU!!!







We arrived at Ulluwatu hearing stories of 12 foot double over head waves and that ONLY when it has a small swell do you ever venture out! Today was our lucky day.! The swell was perfect for us and an opportunity to surf one of the most famaous surf breaks in Indonesia.


The famous surf site is below an ancient Hindu Temple where locals use as a spiritual place. The temple over looks these huge cliffs out into the Indian Ocean.




Surfers have a gradual descent down a steep windy path through a variety of 'Warungs" (surf side eat site that are built into the side of the cliff on overlook the surf). After dropping some gear at Nyomen's friend's Warung, we continued downward.

At the bottom, the cliff walls give way to a min cave entrance to the ocean. Felt very surf movie for sure. We paddled through the cliff gap and through the rock cave out into the surf. We had an amazing sunset surf at ULLUWATU. It wasn't 12 foot but 5 foot and clean.....perfect for the whole family!!

















Fabulous day and No.1 ranking for unique surf location. Definitely a destination to remember.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lembongan Surf Shop



Wicked day on a boat tour today. We took a cruise out to a remote Indonesia Island called Lembongan (pronounced... Lem-Bo-Nan). The boat ride took 75 minutes from Nusa Dua boat ramp and pulled into the beautiful tropical island paradise. We were anchored at a Pontoon with kayaks, tube rides, slide, snorkel ling etc... which was relaxing and fun. Lots of kids around so good for H & N. Amazing meal at lunch after snorkelling and looking at coral and fish.











We got a tour of the local village of 200 (Lizzy would have loved this part) where the primary job for the locals is the harvesting of SEAWEED. Apparently Japan buys up all this seaweed and uses the chemicals for cosmetics and skin lotions.




During the village tour we saw an old school possibly illegal COCK FIGHT ("chicken fight" for those little readers)! Check out the video below. The chickens really go at it!! Not to worry, noby was fighting to the death today.




















I have always thought about owning a small SURF SHOP of my own once retired from teaching.... well..... I found it! Located in the little village with a world class collection of surf breaks out front.








"Playgrounds", "Lacerations" and "Ship Wreck" are all famous surf breaks that pros, locals and tourists like us come to visit all year long! Apparently, lacerations at low tide comes by its name honesty as you potentially could get trashed on the coral reef!


Fantastic day cruise that returned up back to the harbour and then our Villa after a full day of exploring and playing!



















Canguu

Surfed at Canguu (pronounced...CHAN-GOO) today. Very cool to hook up with fellow Aussie guy named SHANE whose wife was shopping and was was looking for a surf family to join up with.


The swell dropped off a bit so the waves were smallish but super clean.


Here is a variery of photo's from the session.



































Friday, July 8, 2011

The ART of BARTERING!

Who knew that I was actually a MILLIONAIRE! ...... only in Bali! When you take $100 dollars out of the ATM it magically turns into $1,000,000 dollars when you change it over to RUPIAH!

If you want to anything in Bali, you need a lesson in BARTERING!

RULE #1 - The suggested price provided at the beginning of negotiation is approximately inflated 75% of the actual price you should pay.

RULE #2 - The locals (the opposition) enjoy the opportunity to Barter as much as you should. They will totally "spar" with you! Have fun with it!

RULE #3 - If you don't see what you want at one shop, don't worry it will be two shops down the street.


PRICES....
$15 - Gourmet Dinner for Family of four
$25 - Guided Surf Tour for the day
$1 - New Release DVD of Transformers 2
$17 - Rip Curl Watch (Noah's Purchase Price)
$2 - Fancy Coffee that is normally 5 dollars in the Gold Coast








Noah had a good Barter session for VANS shoes and his Rip Curl watch (he looks PRO SURFER for sure now). Kevin is called in as the "hired gun" when a big barter session is required. Wendy calls it a "donation" to the local economy when she settles on a price. And Hannah has yet to buy anything, she is a looker and has the words "NO THANKS" easy spat out of her mouth when somebody approaches.