Location: Sharm el Skiek, Egypt
Rise and Shine at 6am this morning to take a quick veiw out over the dessert at Sunrise and believe me this was one sunrise that is a must see in a your lifetime. As our boat pulled in you had the sun comming up with the contrast of the dark blue ocean against the red of the Siani desert and even the full moon was still out to say goodmorning it was absoulutely beautiful and yes I did get some fantastic photos.
After a quick breakfast it was onto our coaches for an early departure out to St Katherine's Monestary. Now for you Theology buffs this is heaven. St Katherines Monestary is built in the Sinai desert at the base of Mt Katherine and Mt Sinai and is reportedly on the site where God talked to Moses in the form of the Burning Bush. It is also the site in which Moses after his escape from Egypt fled to a drank from the well in which he met Jerrico's daughters and his future wife to be.
Now St Katherines' Monestary all came about thanks to the mother of the famous Emporer Constatine's mother who wanted to build a church on the site of the Burning Bush. The original church however is now long gone. Centuaries later a girl named Katherine who was a Matyr of nobel birth had a boyfriend who managed to change her from her pagan beliefs to Christianity. Her father who apposed the idea of his daughter believing in Christ and a one true God sent her to a group of pagan priests to convince her out of this "phase" she was going through but as it truned out she ended up convincing them to become Christians or so the stroy goes. Now her father furious to the idea of his daughter being a Christian gave her the ultimadum either she renounced her beliefs and returned to her pagan worship or he would kill her by tying her to a wheel set her on fire and roll her down a hill but Katherine had no such intentions of renouncing her faith and so he did as he said and she was killed as a warning to other Christians and so was born the modern Katherine Wheel. Centuaries later still a Greek Orthodox monk had a dream in which St Katherine told him to travel to the Sinai desert and in the Mountains (at the now Mt Katherine) angels had transported her body to the peak of the mountain and that she wanted them to take her body a bury it in the church and so they pilgrimaged to the site and found a quite well preserved body of St Katherine and so they ended up staying on at the site of the church and built a monastary. So that is the run down of St Katherines Monastry.
When we got out there after our long, long bus ride (of which got a police gaurd complete with gun on board) St Katherines was a pretty amazing place, nesstled between the mountains of Mt Katherine and Mt Sinai it was amazing to see life thriving out here in the middle of the desert. There were camels around ready to take people on rides and vegetation and gardens which was nice to see after all the red desert, rock and sand that seemed to go on for miles in all directions.
Location: Mumabi, India
GREETINGS FROM MUMBAI!!
Where the curry is hot people trying to sell you stuff are everywhere and using the toilet to do your thing is unheard of.
Hi everyone here I am in Mumbai and before you get a bad impression of Mumbai from my introduction it really isn't that bad and I have to say if it wasn't for people trying to sell you something or beg for money at everywhere you turn and for all the men peeing in the street it would be great.
I have to say yes it is a third world country and as you can imagine there are alot of shanty towns everywhere jotted in between high rise buildings and you see alot of poverty from people bathing by the side of the roads and children as young as five holding babies asking you for food. Which yes is sad but everywhere you look people are smiling and yes it is a beautiful country.
So whilst I was in Mumbai I did the tourist thing a took my happy snaps at the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace, checked out the Queens Necklace which is the main street that runs along the harbour and saw the Towers of Silence (a place where people are put once they die to be eaten by vultures not good when you live near by and a vulture drops some of it's food onto you).
After my quick look at the city highlights I travelled out of to a national park (which is in fact surrounded by more shanty towns) where you can go on a safari and check out some asiatic lions and tigers or do what I did and go on the Budist Trail. What this entails is treking up a mountain to check out some very cool ruins dating back to the 2 Centuary AD back when the mountains where used as a monestry for budist monks. If your trying to get a picture of the place in your mind think an Asian buddist version of the Lost City of Petra in Jordan with mokeys everywhere.
It was intresting and when I get back of course I'll show you the photos.
From here we boarded onto our bus that whilst everyone was on board had a little stoleaway in the form of a monkey who decided to come on board and try and steal peoples food. Once he armed himself with a packet of choc chip bickies from someones bag amid the screaming passangers he managed to jump on a couple of peoples heads and made a quick escape out the exit. The whole situation was pretty funny but of course if he landed on me I would probably put in my fair part of the screaming orchestra playing out.
So in short Mumbai is great! I think so far India is my favourite place that I've been to but after saying that Egypt is my next stop so everyone Ciao for now and speak to you from Egypt!!!
Location: Cochin, India
I'm now in Cochin India and it's great!!! Compared to Sir Lanka this is paradise! It is in fact the richest state in India so as you can probably tell no beggers are on these streets.
There is are real Portuguese / British (with of course the obvious Indian touch) here and the it really shows in the arcitechture of the buildings and streets.
We travellled north to see some chinese fishing nets today which dates back a very long time ago till the Ming dynasty and are still here after all this time. I also done some great shopping at a local bazar and picked up some fabulous pressies for you all back home. YAYYY!!!!
After all that I headed to check out a Katakali show at this very suave hotel on the beach.
Katakali is a form of mime done by these performers that supposably go through a very rigarous training reigme to make them the artists they are today. They sit there for 3 hours just to get their make up done can you imagine sitting there for three hours? Anyways it was good taste of the Indian culture and finished up with these boys doing an Indian martial arts demonstration with daggers and sowrds which was cool.
After that I headed to the bar and got blinded lol just jokes.
Cochin was good but here I journey north onto Mumbai speak to you soon travel buddies!
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ok so here I am in Sir Lanka on my way to the Pinawarra Elephant Orphanage where all the cute baby elephants go when they've lost the mummy elephants sad by ooohhh sssooo cccuuuttteee!!!!
So the bus ride from the port took about two hours and we spent the day washing the elephants taking happy snaps and feeding the little (or should I say big) fellas.
It was sad to see as there also were some elephants there that were blind or showed the aftermath of the war having bits of their anatomey blown off by land mines that live there that wouldn't have had a hope if they lived in the wild.
But on another note Sir Lanka is pretty poverty stricken the town of Colombo isn't that nice and there is a never ending supply of traffic that seems to creep in at you from all angles. There are alot of religious sites everywhere from Budist, Muslim, Christian and Shiek which makes the town quite intresting.
Well from here I'm onto Cochin speak to you soon! By the way sorry Anna I've just got your emails then.
Lots of Lovy dovey things lol
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Penang was great we caught a taxi to a Taoist temple about 20mins out of town known as the snake temple and to put it bluntly if going to a place where there are snakes on the ground on the walls and basicly hanging all over the place doesn't seem like your cup of tea I suggest you go elsewhere. But I liked it we got to cuddle up to some of our slithery friends and take some happy snaps before heading back into town.
Once into town and after some shopping we boarded our rickshaw and for 10 Ringots he pushed us through the hustle and bustle of the city streets taking in sights of everyday life, buddist temples, mosques, hindi temples and some very cool chineese clan houses. As the Chineese did have a very strong influence in Penang there a loads of clan houses representing each family or clan with the obviously richer families with huge ornate buildings which are great to explore. By the end of the rickshaw ride our poor driver (who was about 80) looked like he was about to pass out especially heaving us to heffers in a 32C day who's to blame him.
Penang was great if your ever in Malaysia definately check it out.
See you in Sir Lanka!
Location: Kelang, Malaysia
So we pulled into Port Kelang this morning and headed into town. Town was about 20mins drive from the port and once we got there, it seriously was nothing special. We just looked around town feeling a bit out of place wearing just some shorts and a tshirt as it is a Muslim country we did get a few stares. Kelang was a bit boaring so we didn't stay too long and headed back to the boat for some much needed swimming and sun baking.
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Well we arrived in Singapore early on Saturday morning (3am to be exact lovely) and after much delieration on wether we should be tight asses and stick around and catch the MRT (train) into town at 5:30 which only costs $2 or slurge on a mercades taxi and pay $35 we decided to do the later which lovingly enough dropped us of at the wrong hotel as there are two Carlton Hotels in Singapore which is just what you need after a long plane ride and at 3:30 in the morning.
But on a brighter note Singapore is beautiful it is so clean it has great contrasts between ultra modern buildings and colonial style buildings of yesteryear. I seriously could live in Singapore. The people are great but can be a bit pushy especially in the shops however I scored some great buys and bought a camera and an Ipod Nano for dirt cheap which was awesome.
We went and done the tourist thing and went to Raffels and sat in the Long Bar and threw peanuts on the floor then searched for 2hours on foot for a true Singapore restaurant before giving up and settling for good old Hogs Breath Cafe across the road.
So to some it all up Singapore was fantastic but farewell to Singapore for now as we are off to boarde our boat the Aroura and head off to Malaysia. So bye for now and speak to you from Kelang Malaysia.