HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2009 Summary

Only 8 hours left of 2009 and it’s time to reflect on the year that was. I thought 2009 would be a big one for me, but I don’t think I realised how life changing some of the events would be. When you face the year ahead you make goals, plans and set targets for yourself, having direction is a great thing. Often though, it’s the unexpected and the changes, the things we never could have foreseen that really make us.

I’m not making any really big new years resolutions. I made a list of plans and things I would ‘like to’ achieve as I feel this is a much more flexible and approachable way to look at our future. The list of resolutions can often be reflected upon at the end of the year as a list of failed attempts. We shouldn’t feel discouraged and let down if we don’t get to do everything that we set out to do. So I’m saying for 2010, give it all you got, have a blast and make mistakes, it’s the best way to learn. Most of all, enjoy! Nothing is a waste of time as long as we learn from it and at differently in the future.

These are of few of my highlights from 2009:

  • Ringing in the New Year in London and spending New Year’s Day in Mexico
  • Spending 4.5 months in Monterrey, Mexico on Student exchange
  • Losing my Grandmother and having a tattoo done as a memorial to her
  • Doing an 18 day road trip from the Cancun – Oaxaca, Mexico with 3 Aussies and a Belgian
  • Visiting the incredible Mexico City, not once, not twice but 3 times!
  • Facing a pending Pandemic (aka swine flu) and fleeing Mexico for the United states In April 2009
  • Attending the Indy 500 qualifying weekend with my Cousin Bill and big brother James, May 2009
  • Sitting on a crocodile and riding an airboat in the Everglades, Miami, USA with my new German friends
  • Visiting all 4 Disneyworld parks in Orlando as well as the 2 Universal Studios parks over a period of 2 days.
  • Attending the FAPAA 36th Consecutive Council meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, for my work in Freight Forwarding.
  • Competing in the Easter Uni Games, Australian University Sports Competition in Soccer for UTS, and getting the Wooden spoon. Bathurst, NSW, Australia
  • Attending the UTS Ski Trip in Thredbo, Australia
  • Competing in the Australian University Snow Sports Competition at Thredbo Australia.
  • Breaking my back at the Australian Snow Sports Competition. Successfully fracturing 2 vertebrae, spending 1 week in hospital and 9.5 weeks in a back brace
  • Starting my blog – https://lovellyinc.wordpress.com
  • Attending my friend Khushboo’s wedding in Delhi, India
  • Riding an elephant in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  • Visiting the charity www.roomtoread.com based in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Seeing the Taj Mahal for the Second time in my life. Agra, India
  • Achieving my 5 yr dream of taking a vacation to the beaches of Goa, India
  • Returning to my beloved Mumbai and learning about the great history of India
  • Making it home in time for Christmas in Australia with family and friends

What a great year! 2009 has taught me a lot. I just can’t wait to see what 2010 holds.


Return from India and Nepal

Another trip over and another return to Australia. My fourth visit to India and my second visit to Nepal have yet to satisfy my cravings for these cultures. It appears that each time I return to this great country I call home, I am instantly ready to turn around and visit the foreign lands that I love.

Well for now, I am back in Sydney and enjoying the time with family. I will keep my love affair with India and Nepal going through my writing  for the time being.

28 days, 2 countries, 1 wedding, an elephant ride and a multitude of beds. This doesn’t even come close to summarising the great trip I have just had. I’ve been driven through mountains and laid on beaches, I’ve danced on river boats and sung with children, I’ve washed clothes by hand and eaten the finest Seafood of India, but still there is so much Iam yet to see or do.

Over the next month I will be reflecting on this trip with many stories, tales, recounts and tips, but for now here are some of the highlights:

– A fabulous 4 day wedding in Delhi, India

– 1 day trip to Jaipur with spur of the moment dance in Wedding Procession to finish the day off

– Return to the Magical Taj Mahal for my twice in a lifetime experience

– Flying into Nepal in the midst of Maoist Strike mayhem and a 6 day hold on Petrol across the country

– Visiting the most popular sites of Pokhara, Nepal, on the back of a motorbike

– Watching the sun go down at the serene Lake Begnash, just outside Pohkara Municipality, Nepal

– Taking a riverboat ride to the Elephant Orphanage Chitwana nd naming a baby elephant, Malachye

– Riding an Elephant through the Jungle of Chitwan National Park

– Making Momo’s and washing my clothes by hand in a real Nepalese home

– Learning to count in Nepalese from a 3 yr old and practicing the alphabet in English

– Taking the morning Everest Flight past the mystifying Himalayas

– Visiting two community schools built by the amazing organisation Room to Read, http://www.roomtoread.org

– Cruising the Bars of Baga Beach, GOA, India

– Staying with an Indian Family in the South of Goa, friends of friends I met in America- small world!

– Taking a tour of the senses at the Tropical Spice Plantation, Goa, India

– Being treated like a movie star on the Swastik River Cruise near Panaji City, aka being asked for many photos by Indian Tourists.

– 12 hour train ride on the Indian Railways from Goa- Mumbai. A meal and 4 cups of tea will cost you just over $1 and for less than $20 you have a sleeper in an AC compartment

-Watching a friend’s friend in a  Stand up Comedy club in Mumbai, only to be the butt of the Australia Jokes, thanks Rohan Joshi!

– Eating Seafood at the famous Apoorva restaurant, a favourite in Downtown Mumbai

– A weekend in Daman with a group of 5 young Indian Professionals

– Sailing at Sunset in front of the Gateway to India and Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, India

– Visiting the World’s largest Laundry- The Dhobhi Ghat, Mumbai, India

A fantastic trip with many more highlights to come. Please visit India and Nepal. You will not be disappointed by the diversity, beauty and interesting culture of these 2 great countries.

Please post your requests for stories below in the comments section and read about the destinations you most wish to see!


Natural Nepal

Here I am in the beautiful, natural and picturesque Nepal. I’m visiting friends and will only be in Nepal for a total of 10 days, sadly it’s already halfway through the trip. Time just goes too quickly when one travels. This is a quick summary of what I have been doing so far with many more detailed articles and tips to come from this interesting and dynamic country.

2nd Dec

  • Delhi- Kathmandu flight delayed 1.5 hours, arrived 9.30am.
  • Quick stop to the house I would be staying in with my friend Sundar.
  • Drive to Pokhara, approx. 5 hours. 200km from Kathmandu.
  • Drove through Dhading District, famous for supply of vegetables of all varieties.
  • Malekhu- Famous for fish, also a spot for young Nepalese to come and party.
  • Manakamana – 10 minute cable car to the top where there is a temple which is said to make all your dreams come true. Very Holy Place.
  • Arrived Pokhara 6pm. Walk to Lakeside.

3rd Dec


  • Western Region.
  • Lake Fewa, boat rides and temple Talbarahi.

  • Breakfast at the FEWA LAKE RESTAURANT.
  • Motorbike is a great way to get around the Pokhara and really see the 360 degree great view.
  • Devi’s Falls.
  • Gupteshower Caves (no photos allowed).
  • Bindabasini Temple – Saw a wedding take place.
  • Seti Gorge- See the raging river coming under Pokara from the melting       glaciers
  • Mahendra Caves.
  • Lunch at Thi’k Tha’k. Located in the Tourist Area. Great Nepali and western cuisine.
  • Saw Disabled Day March through a town of greater Pokhara.
  • Lake Begnash – Most serene and calm place with boat rides and fish farms.

  • Dinner at our lovely little hotel, HOLIDAY POKHARA HOTEL.

4th Dec


  • STRIKE in Damauli.  2 hours, no cars allowed to go through – UN arrived   and only ambulances allowed through. Regular occurence in Nepal these days.
  • Drove through Muglin, main HUB for bus and car transportation to the       rest of Nepal and the divide for Pokhara to the Southern and Western part of Nepal.
  • Souraha, CHITWAN. Chitwan National Park is a tourist hot spot for the       elephant riding, river activities- canoeing, fishing and boating, jungle treks and relaxing.
  • Boat ride in canoe down the river to ELEPHANT BREEDING CENTRE. Less than Aus$1 entry and I got to pat and name a baby elephant, Malachyte.

  • Cocktails at the riverbank – SUNSET VIEW RESTAURANT & BAR.
  • Tharu Culture Program at night. Stick and peacock dance which is specific to this region and the ethnic group of the Tharu people.

5th Dec


  • Breakfast in our hotel,  RIVERSIDE HOTEL, next to Budagandaki River
  • Go to Baghmara (translation Tiger Killer) for Elephant Ride, 1450 rps           (Nepalese rupees) for 1.5 hours through Jungle. We saw deer, peacocks,     kingfishers, 2 x rhino plus a baby rhino and more birds.

  • Drive back to Kathmandu at 12pm.
  • Noticed NARANYAN GHAT, this is where the road divides to lead to the  Western part (Lumbini, birth place of Buddha in this direction, road to        Kathmandu and the Southern and Eastern part. Interesting and busy section of the country.
  • Lunch at the lovely RIVERSIDE VILLAGE RESORT. Luxurious hotel on the river bank with white water rafting nearby, trekking, swimming pool and relaxation.
  • Return to Kathmandu 4.5 hours from Chitwan by car, perhaps 6 hours in   the bus with no strikes.
  • Dinner in the home of my friendSundar with wife, daughter and two nieces.  Amazing experience to stay in a real Nepali home.

6th Dec

HOME DAY, Kathmandu

  • Typical Nepali day at home\due to STRIKE. No cars, bikes or buses               allowed to move. Most shops closed. Cars were burnt in the centre of            Kathmandu in the morning as they were breaking the rules of the strike,     according to the Maoists.
  • Walk around the local area to visit the carpenter who is making the               families furniture.
  • Washed my own clothes BY HAND. Now I am true Nepali women. Washing  the clothes on the rooftop with the Himalayas in the background.
  • Made traditional Nepali food, Momo’s, in the afternoon with all the girls. Delicious!
  • After 6pm, strike lifted. Went to Thamel, the main tourist area, to visit my  friend from Australia, photographer Krystle Wright                             (www.wrightfoto.com.au)
  • Dinner and drinks at the famous RUMDOODLE 40,000 ½ feet. Trekkers   can right on giant foot placards and stick them all over the restaurant

The adventures in Nepal continue. Stay tuned!

NB: Strikes are currently occurring on a regular basis in Nepal due to the Maoist movement. The UCPN Maoist ‘political’ group plan the strikes across the country, stopping most trade, all transport movements and bringing the country to a practical standstill. Tourists and visitors from other countries should know that it is still safe to be in Nepal at these times and flights will still be operating out of most airports. The strikes are more of an inconvenience to tourists for transport reasons and lack of opportunity to see sites, rather than a threat or danger.