Thank you Tenzin Blind Massage Centre

P1100489 (2)We arrived in Lhasa feeling tired and breathless due to our lack of altitude acclimatisation. With two days until our first tour activities we had always planned to rest and adjust before doing any serious sightseeing.  What better way to spend the time than by having a massage. Lonely Planet had recommended the Tenzin Blind Massage Centre and so we took ourselves there.  The outside appearance was not particularly inviting or attractive and I almost backed out however, with some trepidation, we went down the narrow hallway and up the dingy stairs.

P1100493We were greeted by a friendly blind young man, who introduced himself as Sarin. He spoke excellent English and explained that they offered two types of massage: Tibetan, clothes off with oil and soft pressure or Chinese, clothes on and harder. We chose the Tibetan massage and were guided up a steep staircase to a Continue reading

Spoilt for World Heritage choice in Beijing

P1090096You’d think that as seasoned travellers we would have a bit of an itinerary worked out for each place we plan to visit and be prepared for our time there before we arrive.  Well that’s not really how we operate. Our style is much more to look at TripAdvisor or the Lonely Planet Guide the night before, or maybe on the plane to our destination, and get some ideas about what we should see.

P1090102Consequently, we arrived in Beijing to see Karin and Wei with minimal understanding of the amazing choices that would be offered to us.   Beijing has seven Word Heritage Sites, putting it right up there with Rome and Paris.




To stop us dithering about which ones to see, our hosts directed us to start our sightseeing with the Forbidden City, and follow it the next day with the Temple of Heaven.  One advantage of our laissez faire style of travel is that we Continue reading

A serene introduction to the cacophony of China

We flew into Guilin, China in the evening and were taken by car, along a four lane highway with minimal traffic, to Yangshou. The Yangshou Village Retreat was along a dark, quiet country road and we retired for the night, lulled to sleep by the sound of frogs croaking, in a surprisingly palatial room decorated in classic French style.

P1080876The morning greeted us with a stupendous view of the mysterious karst peaks and we grabbed bikes to explore the countryside. We rode past old men ploughing the fields with bullock’s, small children playing and women carrying buckets of water to the garden.

P1080877The road was quiet and we were seldom interrupted by the friendly toot of a passing motorbike. We sat on the banks of the Li River watching empty tour boats glide up the river. A serene first morning in China. Continue reading

Floating down the river at Coolendel

The 29th of March 1986 (Easter Saturday) was memorable for two reasons in our family.

  1. Steve and Anne got married
  2. Steve’s Mum and Dad purchased Coolendel

P1080402I could choose to write a story about our wedding, but I’m going to share my Coolendel tales instead.

Coolendel is a unique, and naturally picturesque 52 hectare bush camping ground, bordered by the Shoalhaven River and the Morton State Conservation Area. It’s 30km west of Nowra on the New South Wales South Coast, and only a 3 hour drive south from Sydney.

Over the 29 years that Mum and Dad have Continue reading

No Easter Bunny, but…………..

P1080303I can’t believe that I didn’t see one rabbit on our Phillip Island Easter break, and that’s a good thing. But what I did see on this Island sojourn was spectacular. Grey geese, penguins, koalas, kangaroos, draught horses, vintage caravans, a grand prix motor cycle circuit, cavorting seals, Aussie surfers, foreign tourists, tangerine sunsets and a lunar eclipse. What an eclectic mix!

No visit to Phillip Island is complete without Continue reading