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Fiji

1 Sep

23 to 30 August 2015

On paper it all seemed like a fantastic idea, 1 week in Fiji. Beautiful views, delicious food, sun and warm weather. The reality of it turned out quite different.

We left Sydney on a rainy Sunday morning, the taxi collected us from our home at 6:15am. It was still dark outside and we were still all half asleep, waking up at 5:30am is not my idea of fun.

We got to the airport, went through check in than grabbed a quick breakfast before heading to the gate for boarding. The girls were well behaved, both kept busy on the tablets. About and hour into the flight Kimble points out that the flight has changed direction and is heading to Brisbane. WTF!

An announcement is made to say that there is a technical engineering issue with the airplane and we are heading to Brisbane for further inspection. The trip from Sydney to Brisbane took about 3 hours, the plane was travelling extremely slow. Upon landing in Brisbane we are told to get off the plane and head to the waiting area. Within 15 minutea of off boarding the plane we are all told that the plane is going no where and we are staying the night in Brisbane. It takes about 2 hours to finally leave the airport and head to the hotel as we have to queue up a number of times to claim bags and then check in for the room allocation. We hope on a bus and head into Brisbane CBD where we stay at the Pullman hotel. Funnily enough I had stayed at this same hotel a number of years prior on a business trip. We go out for a quick walk around the city visiting a few of its sites.  We each get a credit of $50 to spend on food and beverages. Kimble polishes off the mini bar and we have a nice dear at the restaurant downstairs.

The next day we once again have to wake up super early as the bus is picking everyone up at 6AM for the flight departing Brisbane at 10AM. After burning sometime walking about the airport we finally board the flight and this time we make it to Fiji!

We hope off the plane and see huge mountains, the airport is surrounded by beautiful lush mountains. The weather is not too hot, just warm enough. We walk across the tarmac to the customs clearance area. AS expected the airport is very basic, however we are welcome by fijian music. We clear customs and greet our taxi driver who will drive us the 90 minutes to our resort in the Coral Coast. His name is Elvin and is he a young Fiji indian men in his early 20s. Surprisinsgly he drives pretty safe and we make it to our resort at 6:30PM.

Bea had been sick since we left Sydney, however she was improving and seemed happier a few days into our trip. Camilla on the other hand had been fine the entire time, but started developing a temperature on Monday night (the day we arrived in Fiji). By Tuesday evening she started vomiting and did so most of the night. The following day she was lethargic but did not vomit and we were hopeful that she was improving. Geez were we wrong, she was drinking very little water and then started vomiting again at night time. Worried I contacted the hotel reception who suggested we had to hospital as she seemed dehydrated and was very quiet.

The hotel organised a taxi and one of the staff from the hotel came with us. The trip to the hospital took about 30 minutes and Camilla vomited in the car. There wasn’t much to vomit as she hadn’t eaten all day. Arriving at the hospital we were expedited through emergency and to the triage. The hospital and triage room were very basic and the staff appeared very disorganised. A man who I assume was a nurse took Camilla’s pulse and heart rate, temperature and checked her signs. Then the Dr spoke to us and gave Camilla hydrate to drink. It was a struggle trying to feed any of it to her as she would not drink it. The Dr was also very hand off, she didn’t even touch Camilla. We were given a private room where we stayed for about 1.5 hours. The 50mls of hydralite she had was well tolerated by Camilla and she did not vomit it. Poor Kimble was also feeling sick as he had a temperature.

AS she had ulcers in her mouth the Dr recommended giving her antibiotics, which the nurse did via a huge needle. the nurse administered the huge needle in her buttocks. She cried a little but was very brave.

AS she hadn’t drunk all the hydrate the dr wanted us to stay the night and put her in IV. But we felt that she had improved considerably as she had not vomited. So at 11PM at night we head back to the hotel, Camilla and Be a fall asleep straight away and stay asleep during the transfer from the car to the hotel room.

The next day Camilla is slightly better and hasn’t omitted at all overnight. I book her to be seen by the hotel Dr who is onsite from 12 – 1. At 12:15 we had to the “clinic”, this is a basic room with a bed and chair. The Dr is an indian fijian lady. She does the basic check and see that camilla’s back of throat is very pulsy and hear right ear had a minor infection. The Dr gives more antibiotics to take over the next few days. Camilla and Kimble, both sick, sleep a lot while me and Be a go off exploring the resort.

On the days where both Kimble and Camilla were in the room resting, Bea and I would go to the beach. Bea loved playing in the “sandpit”, which was really a bunch of beach toys on the beach. We spend lots of time in the kids club. Had breakfast, lunch and dinner together.

The weather during our stay was not the best, it was mostly overcast and super windy. At time it actually felt cold.

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Vanuatu with the kids

1 Nov

This was our first overseas holiday since Beatrix was born in December 2012. I ummed and ahhed for a long time trying to decide where to go.  I think I was traumatised from our last international flight in 2011, where we flew from London via Hong Kong to Sydney with Camilla who was 21 months old at the time. It was such a long flight that I couldn’t bear doing it again, especially not with two kids. So we decided to go somewhere relatively close to Sydney. We had been to New Zealand already, so that was out. So in the end we were left with Fiji, New Caledonia or Vanuatu.

We picked Vanuatu because…
1. It is less than 3.5 hours from Sydney.
2. It has more activities to do than Fiji. We didn’t like the idea of been stuck in a resort.
3. It is a relatively safe country with very low crime.

We went in late October (20 to 26 October) and the weather was hot and humid! May to October is supposed to be the best time to visit as it is the dry season. We had four overcast days and the rest were sunny.  We had rain on two days but it was the usual tropical torrential rain that only lasted a couple of hours. It was actually good that it was overcast, it didn’t feel as humid that way.

How did we get there?
We flew with Air Vanuatu. They have  three scheduled flights everyday. Great little airline, with good  food and baggage inclusive of airfare price.

getting ready to board the plane

getting ready to board the plane


Where did we stay?
I was looking for a hotel that had a Kids Club, as Camilla is now three years old and needed something else apart from the swimming pool to keep her entertained. After speaking to a few travel agents the Holiday Inn in Port Vila was suggested. As always I checked the reviews on TripAdvisor and decided it was the hotel for us.

The staff at the hotel were very nice. Be mindful that the Vanuatu people are very laid back and you will not get the welcome or warmth you are used to in Australia. We stayed in room 221 which was a standard room with two comfortable double beds and a  cot for Beatrix. It was spacious and met our needs. It also had a nice view of the golf course and lagoon.
Camilla loved the kids club and lived there for most of our stay. She made lots of new friends!

view from our room

view from our room


How much?
I found a holiday package with Holiday Specialists. I booked two months before so I probably could have found a cheaper deal if I had booked in advance. For two adults, one toddler and an infant we paid a total of  $2659.  This included airfares, accommodation and the transfer from/to Airport.

Food at the hotel was expensive, it was in par with what we pay in Sydney. The Buffet meal was VT 3700 ($40 AUD). A la carte meals were VT 1500 to 2800 ($15 to $30AUD). We had lunch in town most days. Our favourite place to eat was Jill’s Cafe, they served American type fast food food that wasn’t too expensive and was very tasty.

Transport is very cheap. Mini Buses are available everywhere in Vanuatu, flag one down, tell them where you want to go and hopefully you will get there quickly. Sometimes they have other passengers and it can take a while to get to your destination as they are picking and dropping other passengers on the drive. Cost per person on the mini bus is VT 150 ($1.65 AUD). The other option is to catch a taxi which will take you straight to your destination and only cost VT500 ($5.50) for the ride regardless of how many passengers.

Activities outside of the Resort
With two kids under the age of three in tow it was hard to get out and about. We did however manage to go to the town centre everyday for lunch. Vanuatu is not pram friendly, so don’t bother taking it anywhere outside of the airport or resort. We took our baby bjorn carrier with us and used it absolutely everywhere we went. There is a playground which we found towards the end of our stay, it was great for Camilla to hang out with the local kids. It’s at the back of Jill’s Cafe overlooking the sea.

Playground outside  Jill's Cafe.

Playground outside Jill’s Cafe.

The local markets are worth a visit, they are open 24/7. You will find a variety of local produce that vary according to the season. There is also a small section in the markets where the locals hang out and the national dish, laplap, and other Ni-Vanuatu dishes are served. We had a look but were not brave enough to try the local food.

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The tour guide made Camilla a hat out of a giant leaf.

We only did one tour, we visited the Mele Cascades with Evergreen tours, cost was VT3200 ($37 AUD)each adullt. Kids were free.
The walk up to the waterfall was fun and our tour guide was very informative stopping along the way to show native plants.
I took Camilla almost all the way to the top of the waterfall but it got a tad scary as the rocks were getting slippery. I was holding her so tight that her wrists were a little red once we got back down to the bottom. Kimble went all the way to the top and said it was very pretty. The water was very cold and not many people were swimming. It was great to get out of the resort and see the “real” Port Vila. There are many other tours but we decided not to do them as they involved either going to other resorts, or snorkeling. We were happy at the Holiday Inn hanging out by the pool, using the catamarans and kayaks at the lagoon.

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getting ready to walk up to the waterfall


Overall Feeling

We had a good time .We were only there for six nights. It took a few days to unwind and finally relax. But one week was more than enough for us. It was too hot and humid. We also weren’t impressed with the food at the resort or the restaurants downtown. The food was really average to what we are used to back in Sydney. We are very spoiled back home. We will probably return one day when the girls are older so that we can explore more and go on adventurous tours. Vanuatu is definitely a good alternative to places like Fiji and is perfect for young families who want to get away but don’t want to travel too far.

Back to Sydney

28 May

The 8th of May was our last day in London. Our flight back to Sydney via Hong Kong left at 10:30PM. We had a whole day to burn so we decided to rent a car and drive to Windsor for a quick visit. The day went by too fast. Kimble collected the car about 12PM, getting back to the Hilton at Canary Wharf almost 1PM. We then made our journey to Windsor getting stuck in London traffic for over an hour. We arrived in Windsor at almost 3PM. We popped into a pub near the castle and had beef and chicken pies. Afterwards we had a quick wonder around Windsor. It’s a really nice little town.

Next time I have to stop over in London for whatever reason I will choose to stay in Windsor, it’s closer to the airport too.

At about 6PM we made the 15 minute drive to Heathrow airport to drop the car off and head to Terminal 5 where we were catching our Cathay Pacif flight from. Check in was uneventful, we managed to get a whole row of seats to our selves.

We had to wait for a couple of hours before getting on the plane, so we had an early dinner at a pub style restaurant inside the terminal.
After dinner I popped into Zara. For 3 months in Europe I managed to buy NADA from Zara, partially because every time I went I was with Kimble and Camilla. Big shopping deterrents!  On my last day of travelling I managed to find a nice pair of pants and a top! Yeah!

The flight was LONG! The first flight took 13 hours, Camilla slept for most of it but I didn’t sleep well at all. We got off at Hong Kong exhausted, the stop over was a quick 1.5 hours. We took Camilla to a kiddie play area for some running around. The airport was ridiculously hot, Camilla was stripped down to just her pants.

So after a quick break from flying we got back into another plane for another 10 hours of flying. Camilla slept a little but again I barely slept.

We arrived in Sydney at 6AM on Thursday 10th of May completely exhausted. My parents were kind enough to pick us up from the Airport. It was a strange feeling arriving back. It felt like we had never left, but obviously in 5 months of travelling we had changed!

The following 2 weeks were a blur. We experienced the worst jet-lag we had in several years. I slept day and night. A couple of days after arriving we all became ill with a viral infection. It took me over a week to get over it. It probably made getting over the jet-lag that much harder because of it.

I think it will be a while before I jump on another long haul flight again!

 

Paris Week Two

24 Apr

Monday– We met with Kaori and Adrian at their place near the Eiffel tower. It was great seeing familiar faces again. The plan was to go to Montmatre and wander around, have a look at Sacre Cour and of course check the beautiful view of Paris from there.

The weather was terrible, pooring heavy rain, windy and cold. We rush up to Sacre Cour and run inside the church. We wandered around admiring the inside. We sat down and waited for the rain to pass. We leave and see that it is still pouring rain. As we are all hungry we decide to run for it and find somewhere to eat near the Louvre. We hop on a metro and get off near the Opera. We stop by a Baguette shop for a quick lunch before heading to the Louvre . There was a huge security queue outside, we got pulled aside from the main queue and let straight through, Thanks Camilla. I love having a toddler in tow, we always get VIP treatment at Museums, Airports, etc.

We spent nearly 3 hours there. Kimble was our tour guide showing us all the main art works and sculptures. After the Louvre we went for a walk across Jardin des Tuileries but it started raining again. We all went back to our place for drinks and dinner. The boys cooked a very nice meal, Adrian made a beautiful veggie soup and Kimble a roast a chicken. We decided to check out the sparkling Eiffel Tower, just before 10pm we headed down to Trocadero and managed to arrive just in time to see it lit up and sparking. The show went for about 5 minutes.

Afterwards we said good-bye to Adrian and Kaori as they were leaving Paris 2 days later.

Tuesday – The weather was again terrible, we stayed home for most of the day. Kimble’s parents came over in the late afternoon and went to Trocadeiro for a walk.

Wednesday-Today is Margaret and Robin’s last day in Paris before heading off to the UK to end their holiday. We met up with them at the Galleries Lafayette as they had never been to it before. We wander around for a while as it was raining outside. Around lunch time we decide to find somewhere to eat lunch, Kimble kept suggesting McDonalds, which we all said a BIG “No” to the idea. We return to a Vietnamese restaurant Kimble and I had been to on our first week but there weren’t many vegetarion options. So we settle on an Indian restaurant. This is our first proper restaurant meal since we arrived. The curries were nice but not the Indian we are used to back home in Sydney. The curry flavour were very mild and they seemed to use cream instead of coconut milk, apart from that the meal was very nice. Afterwards we visited Musée des arts et métiers, it was a bigger museum than I expected. We spent about 2 hours wandering.

We farewell Kimble’s parents and had home. Kimble cooked a chicken soup with the leftover chicken from the other night and to accompany it we have a baguette. For desert we had a yummy tartellete de fraise (strawberry tart).

Thursday – We visit to Le Defense.

We had been there before but it was good to go back and have another look. Now there is a huge shopping centre that we had to check out. Kimble finally bought a new hard drive for his dying computer. Camilla was not co-operating so we had to cut the shopping trip short.

On the way home Kimble tells that we should hope off the metro at the Arch the Triumph stop and walk back home. He says it will be quicker than the metro, no more than 10 minutes. After walking for 30 minutes we make it home .

Friday – We left just after 12, it’s hard to leave early when we don’t have to meet anyone. We walked to the metro and got off at Saint Paul. From here we walked about 10 minutes to Museum Carnavelt, the museum tells the story of Paris and also has art gallery exhibits. Camilla fell asleep as soon as we got off the metro so we had time to wander around the museum without been disturbed or having to chase her around. After the museum we head to Marais, there is a big Jewish community here, for lunch. We head to 34 Rue des Rosiers where the famous Falafel shop (L’As du Falafel) is located.
The place is extremely busy with a huge queue for takeout and eat-in. Two men outside the store are taking orders, Kimble is at first apprehensive to hand the guy 11 Euros as he thought he was a ramdon guy trying to rip people off.

Saturday – We woke up to a horrible cloudy and rainy day. As the day progressed the weather did not improve so we ended up staying home all day and only went out for a quick supermarket trip for dinner.

Sunday – Kimble set the alarm to 8am, the plan was to go to Marché aux Pucest early and hopefully find some bargains. Alarm went off and we hear rain, we went back to sleep and woke up about 9:30am with rain still pouring. We check the weather forecast and it looks like the weather is clearing up later in the day. We leave and make our way to Marché aux Puces. It took us about 30 minutes on the metro and 2 changes to get there. This area is insane! It’s a Paddy’s Market on steroids. There is everything from tacky cloting to beautiful antiques. We wandered around for a couple of hours, we didn’t buy anything.

The sun decided to make an appearance, after two weeks of horrible weather the sun is finally here!

It’s lunch time and Kimble wants a falafel sandwich again. Off we go back on the metro to Saint Michel to go to a little Falafel shop he read about online. This place is different from the first one we went as this one has a salad bar which you serve yourself. The falafel sandwich was really nice, but we didn’t put enough sauce or salad, rookie mistake I guess!

Afterwards we go to Jardin Luxembourg, the second largest public Park in Paris. This park is very nice! It feels like a smaller version of the park inVersailles.

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Week Two is over! We have another 3 days in Paris before we need to pack up and leave again. I have a feeling next week is going to be actioned packed.


Last week in Portugal

14 Apr

We have been in Portugal for two and half months. Tomorrow we leave for Paris.

Spending our last 10 days closer to the centre of Lisbon has been great. We went for walks everyday, there was so much happening everywhere we went. Especially over the Easter weekend where there were lots of tourists and the town was beaming with energy.

When we moved to the new apartment we were worried about what we would do, or the lack of things to do as we had visited most interesting tourist locations. We felt in limbo. Surprisingly the days went by very quickly. With six days to go we started feeling sad and contemplating our time in Portugal. I’m not sure if we were sad about leaving Lisbon or the fact that by moving on to Paris we are getting closer to the end of our trip.

Over the last two months we mainly ate at home. In the last week we chose to eat lunch out everyday and experience more of the Portuguese cuisine! We chose local little restaurants away from the tourist areas . The food was simple and delicious!

On Tuesday we did a day trip to Sintra. This town is beautiful, it’s 40 minutes by train from Rossio train station. We visited back in 2009 but there is so much to see that we had to return. This time we visited the Palacio National de Sintra, which wasn’t as impressive as we thought it would be. For 14 Euros we only got 30 minutes of entertainment. There were also numerous steps to go up and down, I think I saw a sign saying 100 steps! Camilla loved going up and down the stairs but by the end of it I was carrying her, my legs were killing me!

We had planned on visiting the Monserrate Palace, we waited at the bus stop for 30 minutes and the bus that was supposed to take us 4 kms up the hill was a no show. I asked the bus driver of another bus where the 435 bus was and he tells me it’s at the mechanics getting fixed and he has no idea when it’s going to be on the road again. Argggh, that ruins our plans of getting to the Park. The only option walking distance from the centre of Sintra, which we hadn’t seen before, was Quinta da Regaleira. We walked ten minutes up a hill and arrived at the entrance. We go about purchasing the entry ticket. For some reason the sales lady asks if we are under 26, which we  thought we were obviously not. She then she asks if we are students, which I reply “no”. Then she asks our proffession, which I answer “unemployed”. I think she felt sorry for us and gave us the tickets at student prices, a total saving of 4 Euros.

We started our visit to the Quinta da Regaleira, luckily Camilla had fallen asleep and we explored the gardens in peace and quite. Kimble took lots of photos with his vintage “old” camera. The Quinta da Regaleira was magical, two hours after we arrived we were still wondering around its gardens, I could imagine growing up here as a child. We saw a 27 metre tower but instead of going up in the air it goes straight into the earth.

We finished the visit by visiting the chapel and house, which were very impressive as well.

This place has an interesting history and over the years it was purchased and resold various times. In the late 80s it was owned by a Japanese corporation before being purchased by the municipality of Sintra where it really belongs.

On Thursday 12 May we did an overnight trip to the town of Evora. We caught a bus from the Sete Rios bus terminal, the return trip cost 45 Euros. I wasn’t looking forward to the one hour and 45 minute bus ride but Camilla did OK. Portuguese people are super nice about screaming toddlers. A lady gave Camilla a pack of chocolate biscuits which I’m not sure helped with her hyperactivity but it did keep her in her seat for a good five minutes.

After arriving at Evora we walked about ten minutes to our hotel which was located just outside the medieval walls that enclose a big part of the town. We checked in to our tiny hotel room and left for a walk within the walls of Evora.

We saw the Roman temple of Diana, which sits on the highest point of the city and is believed to have been built around the first century A.D. It’s an amazing site to see in Portugal, sometimes it’s hard to imagine the extent of the Roman empire but the Iberian peninsula were their most loyal citizens.

The following day we checked out of the hotel and went back within the walls to visit the Chapel of bones. The chapel is indeed surreal, it’s very strange seeing so many human remains attached to the walls.

Afterwards we stop at a  restaurant and have lunch,  sopa verde (green soup) and bacalhau lagareiro (salted cod fish with garlic and potatoes). We roamed around the central square and popped into a Cafe for cake and coffee before heading to the bus station to catch our bus back to Lisbon.

The bus ride was good as Camilla behaved herself and sat playing and eating for the entire trip. Again, she was her charming self and a lady gave her a chupa-chupa which she loved.

Today, our last day in Lisbon, we did some last minute shopping, Camilla and I both got new shoes!

We had two very nice meals at two different restaurants near our apartment. Dinner was a nightmare though. We think Cami was overtired as it was way past her bedtime. She wouldn’t stop running around pestering the other customers, luckily for us the owners, who also happen to be the cook and waiter, were happy to play with Camilla while we ate.

Tonight we go to bed early for a 6am start tomorrow!

Adeus Lisboa! See you again in 18 days time when we return for a quick layover before hoping on another flight taking us to London.

On the move again…

5 Apr

Yesterday we moved to our third and last rental apartment in Lisbon.

We checked out early at 10am so we had a couple of hours to burn before we moved to the next apartment at 12pm.

Kimble decided to finally get a haircut. After 4 months without a haircut his hair was out of control! It was funny because I was translating to the hairdresser what Kimble wanted. Then Kimble shows a photo on his phone. We had no idea how the haircut would turn out but for 7.50 Euros he got a great haircut. The hairdresser seemed good at what he did and used scissors for most of it.  I thought Kimble looked like Christopher Walken with his hair brushed back.

At about 11:30 we headed back to the apartment to collect our bags.  We had a nice chat with the landlady about Lisbon and life. We say our goodbyes, Camilla blows a kiss or two and we leave.

We took  a 10 minute taxi ride to the our new home. We are staying in a street called Calcada de Santana in the Frequesia of Pena. It appears to be a colorful suburb, with a mix of tourists, Portuguese, Indians and Africans. Location wise it’s great, about 5 minutes walk to the centre of Lisbon with lots of cheap restaurants near by.

staying in the yellow building on the ground floor

The apartment itself is a huge downgrade from our last. But that is what I  get for booking two weeks before Easter. The place is tiny and only has two windows, one in the living area and one at the back. Every single room is extremely small, with the bathroom being the smallest of them all. Thank god we are only here for 11 nights. 

Tagus River

small bathroom, it must be 90cm wide.

The first day was a bit of a pain as when we got to the apartment the TV and Internet weren’t working. Camilla was going crazy and we had nothing to keep her entertained. The landlord told us that the technician would show from 2-6PM. He turned up at 6PM and managed to get it fixed by 7PM.

We started cooking dinner, roast chicken, and the power keeps going out. Having the TV, heater, stove, oven and lights on doesn’t agree with this place. We turned everything off with the exception of the oven and waited for the chicken to finish roasting. Arghhhh, at this stage I feel like packing my bags and going to a hotel. But luckily once the oven was turned off  we were able to turn on the TV and other electrical equipment without the power tripping.

I almost forgot to mention…Kimble found his dream camera at the Flea Market  ,  it’s a Canon QL19. Kimble says it’s 40 years old. I bargained the priced from 45 Euros to 40 Euros. Not a bargain but Kimble says it’s cheaper than buying it on eBay. He has been having lots of fun with it.

We now have 10 days to kill before we move on to Paris. We have seen most tourist attractions in Lisbon so we really need to leave the city and go on day trips.  We are determined to go to Sintra and Evora in the coming days. Fingers crossed the weather improves as it has been cold, cloudy and raining for the last week.

Bad things comes in threes?

2 Apr

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted last.

We have been busy taking Kimble’s mum sightseeing around Lisbon.

Last week Kimble’s dad arrived from Sydney and stayed with us for three nights. We had two intense days of sighseeing. My feet were hurting so badly after day  one that on the second day I chose to stay home while they went out to visit the Fado Museum.

Kimble’s mum and dad left a couple of days ago. They have gone off on their own European adventure, travelling around Italy, France and the UK. The apartment felt very empty the day after they left. We didn’t do much for three whole days. It’s been hard getting used to getting up early again. Margaret was such an angel looking after Camilla first thing in the morning while both Kimble and I slept in until about 10am.  We are slowly getting used to our old life and have re-introduced the sleep in roster.

Over the last week lots of bad things have happened.
Anxiety levels are currently high!
[ordered_list style=”decimal”]

  1. Kimble’s laptop slows down to a halt and he can’t work. One day his computer decides to not start. We discovered that the hard drive had lots of bad sectors,  it took over two days to fix it. He still needs a new hard drive and we have no idea where to find cheap hardware in Lisbon. But for now his computer is working again.
  2. Car Accident. I get a call from my parents saying that they received a call from Chatswood Police Station. It appears that my 10 year old Daewoo Lanos which is parked outside Kimble’s parents home has been hit by a car. I  recently renewed the rego, spent almost 800 bucks for a car I probably won’t drive again. Luckily the idiot who hit my car is a Mercedez owner and has insurance. Fingers crossed the insurer writes off the old bugger and give us some cash. Annoying that we are not going to have a car when we get back but hopefully we will get more $$ than we would if we sold it privately. Check out the damage.  
  3. Lost 280 Euros.We had initially planned to stay in Portugal for 3 months, but we changed our minds and decided to go to Paris instead. Our flights are frequent flyer flights.  We decided that we didn’t want to use the Lisbon to London flight we had originally booked.  I went ahead and booked all the transport and accommodation for Paris.We decided to do a stopover in Hong Kong which we didn’t book before we left Sydney. So I rang Qantas to tell them of our new plans and advise them that I would like the Lisbon to London flight cancelled and use the unused stopover for Hong Kong.The very unhelpful Qantas staff says  It couldn’t be changed and if we didn’t turn up to the to London flight they would cancel our last flight back home (London to Sydney) out of the computer system. Everything I booked for Paris is NON-REFUNDABLE!! arghhh. We had no choice but to book a flight back to Lisbon so we can catch our Qantas flight and not have our flight home cancelled. Plus we lose the Eurorail tickets I had booked.  So on the 3rd of May we have to fly back to Lisbon to catch our original Qantas London flight leaving on the 4th of May. What a pain! I wish I had called Qantas before I made our plans for Paris. Oh well, live and learn.[/ordered_list]
Do you believe in the old saying “Bad things comes in threes”? We are feeling very annoyed with all these bad things happening,  fingers crossed nothing else bad happens.

Our time in Lisbon is running out. We have thirteen more days before we head to Paris.  In two days time  we move to our next rental apartment closer to the centre of Lisbon. We have been extra lazy ever since Kimble’s mum left and we still have a whole bunch of places we have been meaning to visit for the last 2 months which we haven’t. By being closer to the action we hope to actually get off our butts and visit these places.