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I’m a great fan of monkeys and apes. Back home my mum and I often visit Monkey World, an ape rescue centre in Dorset; when we went on safari in Kenya my favourite animal wasn’t one of the impressive big five, it was the gangster of the animal world – the baboon. So, I was pretty excited at the prospect of getting up close to some Macaques at the Monkey Forest in Ubud – that was, until they started attacking us.
No trip to Indonesia would be complete without visiting Bali, the most well-known of all the country’s 17,000 islands. We spent more than half our six-week trip to Indonesia in Bali exploring the beaches, rice paddies, volcanoes and temples. We ate tasty vegetarian meals, trekked and cycled in Ubud, experienced the bright lights of Kuta and chilled out in Kerobokan – here’s the story of our trip to Bali.
Despite the nightmare of our first few days in Java, we were determined to do one more thing before we fled to Bali – hike up to watch the sunrise over mighty Mount Bromo.We were moving fast through Java, an island half the size as the UK but infinitely more challenging to get around. Our second sweltering train journey took us six hours from Yogyakarta to Surabaya, a city almost as huge, ugly and difficult to negotiate as Jakarta. Visits to Mount Bromo are popular with tourists since it’s the most well-known active volcano on the island, but in typical Java-fashion, it still took us hours to find and book a tour.

I couldn’t stop them any longer – flopping down on the hotel bed I buried my miserable face in the pillow and let the tears flow. I’d been holding them back for days, trying to ignore the disquieting feeling in my gut that I’d made a terrible mistake coming to this country. We’d been in Indonesia less than a week and I was already longing to leave – what had gone so horribly wrong?

I can hardly believe that it’s been almost a year since we set off on our travel adventure. The memory of getting on that one-way flight to New Zealand last March with a new, uncertain life of indefinite travel ahead of us is still so vivid to me.  When we first set out I thought that we’d be able to explore the main sites of each country within a few weeks or a month, tick that country off our list of places to go and move on. I was completely wrong; instead we’ve left almost every single country we’ve visited wanting to come back and see more of it in the future.
Australia; home to kangaroos and Neighbours, koalas and crocodiles, was the second stop on our adventure. We travelled from Melbourne to Byron Bay via Port Douglas stopping in many places along the way including Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane and Townsville.
The second stop on our travel itinerary was a country we’d both been longing to visit for years – Australia. We were expecting a land of sunshine, beaches, chilled-out people and wonders as incredible as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. So, did it turn out to be everything we thought it would be? Here's our experience of backpacking in Australia
One of the most anticipated stops on our three-week road trip along the East Coast of Australia was Airlie Beach, where we had our sights set on sailing around the famous Whitsunday islands. So, almost as soon as we arrived in Airlie we went on a search for Whitsunday sailing adventures, wandering around the harbour and checking out the beach and swimming lagoon while we were at it.