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My slightly bigger wee adventure

Hi guys,
I'm off again and for a wee bit longer this time and to take in a few more places on the way so here goes... NYC, LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, well that's the plan anyway who knows what'll happen on the way. Keep in touch and let me know all your news.

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Location: Alice Springs, Australia

Hello lovely people,
don't really have much more to report really but thought i'd say a quick hello to any of you that are still checking in. still working from alice springs going on my 3 day tours round the rock, it's great fun, not something i could do forever but as travelling jobs go it's pretty darn good! one of the guys who did the same job as me has just quit to join the circus which is pretty cool and should mean i'll get more work too which is nice for the old bank balance :)
my main big news at the moment is that my lovely big bro's coming out this way in october, so all going well i'll be able to take him on a tour round the rock and show him the sights and sounds of alice, anyone else fancy it!?! you know you want to :)
hope you're all well, i enjoy hearing what you're all up to so send me updates, and i'll let you know if anything worth reporting happens,

Monday, 08 June 2009

Hello again!
i've added some photos of where i'm working and stuff so have a wee look, might help explain what i'm up to!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

well about time for another update i think.... not sure if any of you are still reading this but on the off chance here you are.

i moved back to alice springs, or 'the alice' as it is often refered to about 3 weeks ago and have been working away ever since, mainly doing my hostie work but other bits and bobs along the way to keep me busy, tomorrow i'm heading out to one of the perminant camp sites to do some cleaning cause we're pretty quiet tour wise so they're keeping us all busy, good on the money side anyway!! the jobs going really well, really not difficult and its always a bit different, the people i'm working with are great, so welcoming and helpful so all in all life's good. also ive just moved into a nice wee house, gone from sharing a 3 bed place with 7 others, 3 of which in my room to a 2 bed place with just two of us and my own room with my own big bed so i'm a happy lady, especially as it's all the same price!! so if any of you want to come and visit i've got a place for you to stay!!!!

other than that lifes just plodding along, i don't tend to know what's going on from one day to the next, it's all very last minute with what tours go out depending on what people book and that can be all rather last minute.

so that's pretty much what i'm up to, loving alice and the surrounding area, will get some pics up soon!

lots of love,

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Location: Australia

Hey guys,
It's been a busy few weeks for me over here, i'm currently in perth but have spent the past 18 days on a trip from melbourne (right at the bottom of oz for those of you that are geographically challenged) all the way up to Darwin (right at the top) going through various little places, national parks and different mountain ranges as well as stopping off in the middle to see that big rock everyone makes such a fuss about! it's been great, knackering but great, been up at 5am most mornings and spent a lot of time sitting on a bus on stupidly straight road, something you don't get much of in our fair homeland! but i loved it! met some great people and i've seen some amazing things. far too much for me to remember any of it just about right now, i need to sit and go through my photos and try and remember what i've done. i was on a tour which had a good mixture of hikes, swimming stops, history and culture and a few too many mozzies for my liking! for any of you coming to oz i really recommend going through the middle, the idea of the long drives is so much worse than the reality, not sure how much i'd have enjoyed actually driving it but being a passanger was great. i'll add photos and tell you more soon but just thought i'd check in and let any of you that are still reading this know what i've been up to.
and the next step... well as i said i'm in perth and at somepoint my plan had been to try and find work here, stay with my friend for a bit then see what happened, but as plans do that's all changed, i'm now in perth for just a few days then back up to darwin to then go back down to alice (yes once again the most stupid travel route i could think of!) where i'll be starting work as a host on 3 day bus tours round the rock, which basically means that for those who are willing to pay more money i will cook for them and make thier beds, hopefully it'll be good fun and will get some much needed money coming in! one of the main advantages being it's pretty hard to spend money when you're out in the outback 6 days a week! so that's my latest news, currently still enjoying the sunshine not sure how much longer that'll last though, hope you're all well, i'll be in touch again soon,

Sunday, 05 April 2009

Location: Australia

Hey Folks,
I'm now safely in oz and after one day of stupidly hot sunshine it's become rather chilly, obviously not in terms of home but enough for me to be thinking long trousers and a hoodie, quite a dramatic change from the day i arrived and thought there was a very high possibility i might melt! i'll be back to melting soon as i'm heading north next weekend up through the middle to see that big rock they have then up to darwin, the plan is then to fly down to perth and then who knows.... not all that much to report from melbourne, not been up to that much really, sorting myself out and the like, the comedy festivals on at the moment so hopefully i'll catch some of that before i go and i've managed to catch up with a friend whose over here too which is always nice! for those of you who are interested i have myself a new phone number which is... +61414103500 other than that i'm doing well and hope you are too!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Location: New Zealand

well folks it's been a week or two since i wrote anything on here, i'm just preparing to once again leave good old aoteoroa (new zealand to most of us). i've had a fantastic couple of weeks catching up with friends and family. i've been very lucky and had almost 2 weeks of beautiful sunshine in which to once again enjoy this beautiful country.

i spent just over a week back in queenstown visiting my friends there, was great to see them all, seemed to be even more people still there than i'd thought and all on good form. mainly it was just a nice relaxed week catching up with friends and enjoying the sunshine, but on top of that me and a couple of friends took a wee road trip down to invercargill, the city right at the bottom of new zealand, that is close enought to qt to visit in a day and it has often been known for people do make the 4 hour round trip soley for a burger king meal. we however did do some other shopping too but couldn't avoid BK, it is tradition after all! we also had a lovely drive along the beach and my friends managed to pick up some bits and bobs that aren't available in their wee town.

after this came what turned out to be one of the more exciting events of my trip so far. we decided while driving along the beach that it would be fun to do some off road driving once we got back to town out in the rivers by arrowtown so when we got back we swapped into lucy's truck and headed off. all was going well, exciting spashes, up and down steep slopes all very exciting, then as we were passing through one of the deeper sections of the river the engine stopped making its nice wee buzzing noise and suddenly we were surrounded by silence.... hmmmm what to do next, well me and lucy decided the best cause of action was to laugh and stare at poor ricky with blank expressions on our faces. the poor bloke then had to climb out the sunroof (the water was too high to open the doors) to have a look at the engine to see if it had properly flooded. at this point is should probably point out that we were about at least an hours walk from town, there was no cell phone coverage and it was getting dark, added to that the fact that we didn't have a torch and would have had to walk back through the freezing river at times, not sure we'd have managed to keep good humoured the whole way back. so... thankfully after a few minutes despite not being able to see much of what was going on under the bonnet the car began to make more promising noises and finally the car moved and was able to savely deliver us home. lessons learnt; 1. check the car is waterproofed when driving through water (turns out lucy's truck's engine used to be waterproofed but it was serviced the week before and they're removed the sillicon), 2. probably not a good idea to go off roading when it's getting dark, 3. maybe a good idea to have a torch in the car, 4. taking someone who has a vague idea about cars with you is always a good idea! we live and learn eh!

so that adventure over with we went out on the boat the next morning round lake wakitipu, good fun but less eventful that the night befores expidition. pretty chilly though, despite the nice sunshine nipping round the lake at 80kph whisks up a bit of a chill, i could hardly hold a cup of tea when i got home. i say home but i mean my friend sarahs home, she kindly had me to stay for the week. so i finished off my week of seeing my friends in qt then flew up to christchurch where i also have some friends who it was great to catch up with ( i know so popular with friends everywhere).

Then it was up to napier to stay with susan and robert, lovely to see them and the boys and relax for a few days. we went out for a lovely meal at a place called the church, which in fact used to be a functioning chruch but now is just a tasty restaraunt, poor sean was just about chewing off his arm with hunger as we waited for the food. i'm not sure he's used to going out for food where you get to sit out in the garden first to enjoy a cocktail, while they pass out rugs in case the customers are getting a little chilly as the sun goes down. the next morning susan, robert, roberts partner rod and me when out on roberts boat to do some fishing, not something i've done for many years but always good to go back and give something a go. turns out sea fishing was very different from what i remember of fishing on the lochs at home, we seemed to be just about constantly catching fish, i'm sure susan would like me to meantion at this point that she was the one to catch the most fish and i'm sure probably the biggest ones too. i did also manage to catch a few and quite a few sharks too, not quite great whites but they were sharks. and perhaps even more impressivly i managed not to get sea sick!!

next and final stop here is back to auckland, here i'm staying with a friend and have mainly just been spending time enjoying the beautiful sunshine we're enjoying at the end of summer and catching up with friends. seriously new zealand is the smallest country in the world, walk into a bar the other night, the barman looks up, looks at us and starts to walk away saying 'what the?! what on earth are you doing here' someone i know from when i first came over here a couple of years ago, it's a small world after all. always good to catch up with folk though so i'm not complaining!

today though was possibly the most exciting, me and louise headed out to Rainbow's End, new zealands PREMIER theme park, i have a sneeky suspition that it might be the only theme park but hey i'm not splitting hairs over it. was so much fun, pretty much all the rides were not the best in their field but all were great fun! added to by the fact that due to the fact that it's term time, a week day and no longer proper summer we were practically alone in this place meaning there were no ques, at the end of the ride they'd say 'if you want off raise your hand if not get ready to go again' so much fun! i'd highly recommend it to any of you, just don't come expecting too much and enjoy the rubbishness of it all!!!

tomorrow i fly to oz and who knows what's next, all pretty exciting really!!!! i'll keep you posted!!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Location: New Zealand

Now i've left Hong Kong and returned to my second home, good old aoteoroa! I had a great time in Hong Kong, got myself a good mixture of city life and also spent a day on one of the quieter islands Lama where there are no cars and not that many people, a stark contrast to life on Hong Kong's bigger islands.
I also decided to go and visit one of HK's biggest tourist attractions, the Big Buddha, which i think is the biggest seated bronze buddha in the world, or asia or hong kong or something, the biggest something anyway. so got the ferry over to lautua island then the bus up the hill towards the buddha. as we got further up the hill the wind seemed to be picking up and the cloud seemed somewhat closer than it had been earlier, reglardess we kept on up the hill. as we seemed to be nearing the top the cloud had decided to come all the way down to greet us,when the bus finally stopped we ventured out in search of this buddha which was actually much harder than i'd orginially thought because all the signs pointing the way had hidden behind the clouds. i finally made it to the bottom of the stairs heading up to the buddha, looked up and what did i see... clouds, clouds and more clouds, some of which accompanies by rain, proper horizontal rain! made me feel right at home! the buddha did begin to emerge as i got further up the steps, waving at me through the clouds. regarldess i'd say it was worth the trip even if the only way i could find my way back to the bus was to follow the bus noise through the clouds.
The next day, my last in HK gave me just about as sunny day as you can get there so i headed up the tram to the peak to take in the views, it is really a stunning place, stupidly massive towerblocks surrounded by impressive and steep peaks, surrounded by the sea, also a very strange place for exactly the same reasons.
As i said i'm now back in new zealand, another good flight over, a tip for any long legged folk planning to do long haul flights, airnewzealand definately have more leg room than qantas, i call fully streach out as planes go is a comfy one! despite this i din't manage to get any sleep on my flight so between that and staying up till nz bed time i was awake for about 30 hours yesterday or the day before or whenever it was! i'm heading back down to queenstown today to catch up with some friends after a night with a friend in auckland, and am currently sitting outside in the sunshine down by the harbour in auckland having a coffee, it's a tough old life eh?
lots of love,

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Location: Hong Kong

Hi Folks!

i'm back on the road again so back on here too, how much i use it remains to be seen but i've just got myself a wee laptop so that should help with keeping you all updated!

i'm currently in hong kong staying in what is probably the strangest hostel i've ever stayed in (probably stayed in about 50 of them so it's saying something). I arrived and i'd already seen from the website that it was part of a large building that contained various guest houses and the like, but i was a little surprised at the wee que's for the lifts (the british influence lives on!), one for odd numbers one for even then went up to the 14th floor where i'd been instructed to go. got there and there was no hostel to be seen, no people, no sign but lots and lots of doors and what looked like either peoples houses or laundrettes, or possibly just people with a lot of washing to do... anyhoo i wandered round for a bit and came to the conclusion that either i was far more jet lagged than i thought or the thing wasn't here. then thankfully a nice kind lady asked if she could help me and said that the place was downstairs, so down we went. down on the 13th floor there were people and a couple of hostel signs, none of which said the name i'd been given but at least there's people here! so the girl had my booking and eventually after a lot of confused chat and checking with me i was happy to be in a dorm room, instructed me to follow another woman to my room which was another 5 floors down and i have my own wee room. so all worked out well, still a very strange set up but hey i've got a bed and an unsuite all to myself.

Other than checking into this hostel i haven't really done much, it has only been a day or so after all! pretty jet lagged too, the only reason i managed to get myself out of bed this morning is because they put the hot water off at midday and i wasn't willing to face the day unshowered or frozen to the core, its humid here but not hot enough for a cold shower! i've had a wee wander round town, it's mad! buildings, signs and lights everywhere, not exactly surprising having seen pictures of hong kong before but still. i watched the light show last night, it looks pretty cool but also slightly like they've just trained a hell of a lot of people to stand in their offices and every night at 8pm they're insturcted to switch the lights on and off in time to music. today was really cloudy which was my excuse for going shopping, tomorrows supposed to be better so i'm off up hills or something like that.

hope you're all doing well,

Monday, 02 June 2008

i'm home!!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Location: Malaysia

just a quick one!

I'm in Asia now, Malaysia to be more exact and it's blooming hot!!! so humid as well so i can't move without sweating, and this computer isn't letting me see the words as I'm typing so any typos i apologise but I'm writing blind. up in the Cameron highlands at the moment and it's slightly cooler which is nice, went to see some people picking tea this morning, they make about 10 pounds a day and thats for picking about 300kg's of tea. off up towards some beaches tomorrow, can't wait!!! and Thailand in a couple of days. so far I've been good and not spending too much money, but not sure that'll continue once i get to bangkok...

right i really should be doing some slight seeing or something, especially as it's not too hot and i can actually spend time outside, my Scottish self really isn't used to this kind of heat and humidity!!

see you soon,

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Recent Messages

From susan
waiting for some more news please??
Response: sorry been a bit slack, will update soon
From susan
Glad to see you are still going well. Sorry havent text in a while but thought this might be easier. Great news about Douglas - dont forget you have to bring him to NZ as well (and of course come to us!) As you know, there is more to down under than just that big rock Did you know your cousin Luke is in Sydney at present - had a p.c the other day. think he's heading to gold coast soon then hopefully out this way sometime. Happy to have a get to gether here if you could coordinate!
Otherwise all well here. Work continues to be busy, Ive joined the gym and love the dance fitness class (not a pretty sight but great fun and gets me very sweaty!! Robert got 2 houses on the go. Richard will have surgery on his ankle ? sept time. Sean having great life! Passed his full driving licence now, hockey team came 3rd in NZ for age group and lots of parties!
Thats enough for now. Take care, look after yourself. Look forward to seeing you with your bro!! Love Susan
From Margaret

Just caught up on your photos.

Looks pretty cool to me. Sorry they won't let you drive the buses!

Pretty sophistocated camping I would say!



Response: yes, safari in style!! not really camping for the most part but makes them feel like they're in the outback!
From Mum
Yes, we are still reading and enjoying it. Also trying to use facebook more so now there will be no secrets!!! enjoyed the photos thanks. Hope to speak to you soon.

LoL Mum
From Margaret
Yes - us old foggies - at least - keep an eye on your blog. I have it on my "Favouries" so it's always worth a "Click".

Has anyone told you about Ali and Camilla's news? - baby expected in November.

I've just been to Estonia for 5 days with one of my choirs - 2 public concerts and also "Singing for our Supper" at a party at the British Embassy in Talin to celebrate the Queen's birthday. Most of the time it rained but today was sunny. How annoying!


Response: glad to see at least you are still checking this margaret! i'm just going to upload some photos to try and show you a bit of what i'm up to here. and i had not heard ali and camilla's news, very exciting!!! i was in talin last year and loved it, hope you enjoyed it too!
From susan
Sounds like youre getting to know Aussie pretty well already. Hope the job works out. Have tried 2 text you on both numbers I had but no luck. Can you text me on my phone then I will hopefully be able to reply. Not got a lot 2 say really but thought I should be a good aunty! and keep in touch? Work been frantic trying to keep swine flu out of H.Bay!
From Margaret
Hi Claire - Just back from a weekend in Auld Reekie - main purpose for being there was Betty Forbes' 100th Birthday party - held at MBC, Holy Corner. I was the McKinlay rep as your folks are on Arran and Tim is on a weekend trip to Galloway with his friend John. Party went well with lots of family and friends, card from The Queen, Polly i/c catering so it was V.G. I stayed at 62 and you will be glad to know that your bedroom is in happy chaos. Douglas came for lunch with me today (Sunday) and gallantly carried my bag to Morningside Station as I set off for London. As you probably know, he is thinking of visiting Japan to watch a Scotland v Japan friendly match in June. Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday - not that this means a lot for the unemployed! Good news about your job. Hope it's fun. Speak soon Lots of Love Margaret
From Tim
What a hedonistic life you lead. You write very well about H.K. Perhaps you could write a book about your travels some time. I'd like to be sitting outside in the sunshine drinking coffee.
Response: i know it's a tough life i lead isn't it!?! not too sure i'd be able to manage a book but could give me more excuses to travel.... :)
From BBD
But have you tried the passion fruit ice cream at the Ferry Terminal in Auckland?
Response: still not quite managed that one, will try and do it before i fly to oz!!
From susan
Looking forward to seeing you when you make it to NZ.
What a life.
Response: i know it's a tough one!
From Uncle Tim
I very nearly thought that you're in Malaysia! It's very confusing for us oldies with two blogs, one of them historic! However, I'm pleased you've got to H.K. which is a fascinating place. I didn't realise that the light show was in time to music - spectacular stuff.
Response: sorry to cause confusion, just go from the top and you should be ok! or by the dates, also some old photos on there too. yeah they've got big speakers over on the kowloon side of the bay playing music and there's some talking at the begining but on tuesday it wasn't in english so no idea what was said, i think they change the language depending on the night.
From Dean
HK is always cloudy and smoggy! ;)
So glad your off again babe...gambatte ne (good luck) x
Response: ah your japanese is improving!! yeah it's always cloudy and smoggy but yesterday was even worse, literally couldn't see the tops of the small buildings, good times!
From margaret
Good !!
From Auntie Margaret Shoe

Just to reassure you, the weather here - having been warm and sunny - is now cooling down rapidly JUST FOR YOU!!

Thanks Claire

lots of love

From Mum
Thanks for updating this - we enjoyed the read. Really looking forward to you coming home. Hope you enjoy Asia - the sun has stopped shining here!!

Love Mum
From Auntie Margaret
Lovely for us to know that you are on your way back in this direction. I agree it does not seem a year since I dropped you off at Kings Cross station. Safe travels and, if you are in Auld Reekie 6-8 June I will see you then



P.S. You will be AMAZED to know that, over this last weekend, I did a 210 mile charity cycle ride - a challenge and a half - and then a bit more! I am ACHING all over. Sitting down is a very mixed experience today and going up and down stairs is very painful!!
From Mole the Numerologis
I'm not sure if the title is quite right, but since I've already used 'comedian', I had to think of another one.

I was reading one of your older messages, and it reminded me of a joke.

An aide walks into the Oval Office and says to George 'Mr. President, last night four Brazilians were killed by terrorists.'

Bush puts his head in his hands, then looks up and says 'How much is a Brazilian again?'

Heh heh heh.
Response: not long till we meet again now mr!!
From Mole the Arghhhhh
Ma toof, wisdom to be precise, is giving me a bit of trouble, hence the moniker. I'm not even that bloody wisdomous.

Heh heh heh.

I'm sure that we of Internetland had not forgotten, but it's easier to reply to stuff you say.

I say this on my behalf especially because I've been doing little but work. And then some more work. Then work. I sleep on occasion, and sometimes I slee, which is like sleep, but shorter.

Some quick replies:

I like it that a big, bad city is somewhere that has traffic lights. Those damn red, amber and green symbols of Evilllllll.

A whole year? No way Jose Mourinho, it's never been that long. What have you missed most? Me? Yeah, knew it.

Since I doubt you'll have a chance to update your wee page before you come home I guess I'll say that I'll see you at the pub, once you've recovered of course.

I hope all is well and that the remaining weeks kick ass.
From Dean
All sounds wicked Claire! Can't wait to see you soon and hear about your Asian adventures! Obviously we can compare stories from NZ too ;-)
Travel safe x

See my journey at :-)
From bbd
any chance of an update in April??
From BBD
Even down to monthly updates you areoverdue story or pics. Go on give us all a treat.
Response: sorry running a bit behind here, but a few days at susans might help...
From Mole the Employed
Hooray! I'm employed again! I've got a new job at a place called Oscar's on Slateford Road.

I wouldn't worry about getting a job when you get back - if I can do it, anyone can.

What are the Brazilians doing?

Ooh, ooh, is everyone in Arrowtown called Arrow? Ok, that was a bit of a stretch.

I hope you're well and I'll speak to you soon.
Response: look at you, straight from one job to the other!! good on you! the thing is i don't want a job :o)
i'm afaid their not all called arrow but they do all walk round with a bow and arrow.
From Mole the Unemployed
Boo, I'm being made redundant.
From Dean
So we don't use facebook anymore then, we just talk here...just like we id on my site ay ;-) Least I love you!
The real world sees cool to me! Don't know what all this depressions about! However still having not started working and traveling around the UK meeting mates instead...hardly a tough working grind ay ;-)
Go of and tell me tales of remote NZ you! ;-)

See my journey at :-)
Response: so not really back in the real world but travelling round the uk... sounds good to me!
it would appear i'm officially rubbish at staying in touch these days, only about 3 months till i'm home, ahhhhhhh!!!!!!
From aunty fee fee
I think that I have been on this blog site only marginally less than you! well back home in Scotland two weeks now and still finding it hard to adapt to the climate and lack of Stewarts.We did have the most amazing time and it was good to see you so well and happy.How about emailling us some of your photos from Taupo as I would love to remind myself of how good it was before Robert and Susan attempted to kill me on waterskis.Leg healing.......slowly! but I can tell you that First class really is the way to
Response: I was sorry to hear about your little incodent on the waterskis, but glad you'd managed to do your skydive before hand! i've added some photos here but have put them all on disk which i am fully intending to send on to you, as you may have notice with this site though things seem to take me a little while at the moment...