Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 6, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Nothing prepared me for the strangeness of the village that is Nimbin, nestled in the middle of the mountains of northeastern New South Wales. In fact, I told Fabio that I wish he had told me where we were going so I could have looked it up beforehand and prepared myself for the shock of finding such a strange strip that is Nimbin.

The street starts in the middle of nowhere and ends abruptly. It is colorful, lined with emporiums, strange shops, and filled with people that in other places might have been shunned. One old man with unkempt long white hair and an equally long shaggy beard actually just dropped in the middle of the sidewalk after Fabio spoke to him, and some locals rushed to give him first aid. A father and two kids jumped out of their truck, all barefooted, and walked into a nearby shop. A lady with a nearly naked baby sat in a stool next to a shop door. A tattooed, emaciated-looking woman whispered almost to no one, “Cookies? Brownies?” as she walked by while a man sprawled on the pavement looked up to us and said, “You need anything mate?”

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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 3, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

I wouldn’t say that Byron Bay in the northeast of New South Wales is a popular tourist destination. I have never heard of it before I found myself there. Still, Fabio said that’s where we were going because a friend of his told him it was where we should spend the longest time of our trip together and it is a wonderful place for surfing. He had only taken up surfing in Duli Beach in El Nido with my friends from Surf El Nido, and in La Union with my friends from Four A’ces Surf School, but he was already hooked.

Byron Bay is 772 kilometers north of Sydney and 165 kilometers south of Brisbane. To get there, there are three airports within 2 hours drive.

And why were we in Australia again? Because Fabio, ever since he was young had told himself he would never every get married, not even if he fathered a child. He did not believe in marriage. And yet, he wanted to complete his bucket list. Apparently he had a bucket list he wanted to complete before settling down, for this man whom I met in the middle of his travels and have been traveling for nearly half his life, was on his way home.

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Blue Mountains Three Sisters and Lincoln’s Rock, New South Wales, Australia

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 27, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

From the Botanic Gardens we drove to Blue Mountains to join the hordes of tourists at Three Sisters at Echo Point. Blue Mountains is approximately 50 kilometers NW of the Sydney CBD. Since it is a mountain range, several established towns are situated on its heights, including Katoomba, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Springwood.

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark and is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone.

From Blue Mountains, we drove to Lincoln’s Rock, a scenic lookout in Wentworth Falls. Sometimes it is closed and we were lucky to have been able to visit it. “As well as the all-encompassing views of Jamison Valley, which change colour throughout the day as the sun and clouds move overhead, the drawcard of Lincoln’s Rock is the impressive optical-illusion photo you can get as a memento, which makes it appear as though you’re sitting literally on the edge of a cliff.”

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Milano Torino Restaurant Sydney, Australia

Australia, Lifestyle, New South Wales, Travel By June 26, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

There is a restaurant in Torino called Milano Torino. According to its website, it is named after “a cocktail, first served in the 1860’s, made by equal parts Campari, the bitter liqueur, from Milan (Milano) and Cinzano, the vermouth, from Turin (Torino).” It is located mostly out of the way out there in Epsom Road in Rosebery.

Milano Torino serves “Northern Italian cuisine with a focus on regional food from Piedmont, and Vermouth Bar. Their philosophy is seasonal, organic and fresh food, using only the the best produce available on the market, including many goods imported directly from Italy.”

It is a fairly small and private restaurant good for couples, friends, and families with kids.

Although the restaurant has a regular menu, it also prides itself in having a dish or two that is dependent on what’s available on the market and the chef’s inspiration.

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Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 25, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Sydney is a beautiful city. Australia is amazing. But so are the prices! Prices of accommodations and food are nearly off the charts, and that’s coming from someone who has been to Denmark and Switzerland. Well, they’re all expensive but still, compared to these countries, and cities like Zurich or Singapore, Italy seems even affordable.

We took the ferry at the Manly Wharf to get to Sydney Harbour, getting off at Wharf #3 at the Circular Quay. The Fast Ferry takes one on this route from Manly to Circular Quay affording one beautiful views of the Sydney Opera House from nearly all angles.

We walked along the Circulay Quay to get to the Sydney Opera House, past numerous sitting areas, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

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Diving in San Teodoro, Sardinia, Italy

Diving, Italy, Sardegna By June 23, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Sardinia is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the French island of Corsica and to the west of mainland Italy. The water is surprisingly pristine and clear with amazing visibility. Sardinia is best for diving in the summer months!! The dive site Secca del Papa (or The Pope’s Drop-off) in the Tavolara Marine Protected Area is probably one of the best dive sites you’ll ever dive in the Mediterranean!

Blu Infinito Diving Center, located in Capo Coda Cavallo in the town of San Teodoro south of Olbia, is a five-star PADI dive resort that is now on its 11th season. It can be found in the Village of Porto Coda Cavallo fronting Salina Bamba Beach and is one of the few dive centers accredited for diving in the Marine Protected Area of Tavolara.

The dive center has consistently received a Five-Star rating on Trip Advisor since 2015.

“Blu Infinito Diving Center since opening in 2006, has one goal: the pursuit of EXCELLENCE, in the relationship with the customer, in the quality and safety of equipment and procedures, the personalization of services.” It offers PADI diving courses at all levels, snorkeling trips, accommodation+diving packages, transfers from/to airport or between hotel and dive center, as well as Scubapro equipment rental.

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Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 21, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

From St Kilda Beach, we took the light rail back to the city center, back to the Melbourne Central station where we had stashed our bags in a locker, and took the bus to the airport. We flew from Melbourne to Sydney that day and arrived shortly before dinner. We were picked up at the airport by my sister’s entire family and we had dinner afterwards. It was the first time Fabio met my sister and her family and it was my first time to see them again after five years.

The next day, we decided to take an Uber car from our flat to bring us to Manly Beach. Manly Beach is a great Sydney beach for the whole family. The Manly Scenic Walkway meanders around the harbour foreshore from The Spit Bridge via Dobroyd Head to Manly through some of Sydney Harbour’s most stunning scenery and bushland. It takes about three to four hours to complete.

We could hear loud live music playing from the beach and I convinced Fabio to come check it out. We were lucky enough to watch one of my favorite Australian indie bands perform! I was so happy! Hahaha!

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Vacation Rental Apartment, Sardinia, Italy

Italy, Sardegna By June 20, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Let’s take a moment from reminiscing my Australian trip from March last year to announce that we currently have a beachfront apartment for rent in San Teodoro, Sardinia, Italy. The flat has a balcony overlooking Salina Bamba beach where you can enjoy the sun, breeze, and view while having lunch or dinner or simply reading a book. It has a common area with two sofas that can be converted into sofa beds that can accommodate up to three people. And a bedroom that can accommodate up to three people in three single beds. Or you can put the two single beds together to make one queen-sized bed good for a couple and a single bed for a child to accommodate a family.

The basics:
1 bedroom apartment with balcony and toilet and bath
Amenities: fully equipped kitchen with ref and oven, washing machine, hairdryer and necessities
Good for up to 6 people.
Good for couples, families, and group of friends.
Located in Villaggio Porto Coda Cavallo in San Teodoro, Sardinia, 20 minutes south of Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport
Supermarket, pharmacy, bar, salon and spa, boutique, diving center close by in the same village.
Parking space available in the village. Accessible by San Teodoro beach bus if without a car.
In front of and 5 minutes walking from Spiaggia Salina Bamba
600 meters, 21 minutes walking to Cala Brandinchi
10 kilometers away from La Cinta Beach, 20 minutes by car.
2.6 kilometers away from Punta Est, 7 minutes by car, 35 minutes walking.

If you want some privacy, and all the comforts of a relaxed home while having a summer getaway, this is the closest thing you can have. If you are interested, leave a comment below and we will get back to you via email with the details and availability.

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Melbourne, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, Victoria By June 19, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Three and a half hours after departing Perth, I arrived at the Qantas terminal in Melbourne where Fabio was waiting for me. He had come with his friends all the way from Pearcedale, more than an hour’s worth of drive. Due to the differences in time zone, I arrived before nine in the evening even if I left Perth at three in the afternoon.

We took a walk around the Docklands, and got ourselves in one of the free City Circle Trams at the stop in Docklands Drive for a free ride to see the overall sights of the city. I took some pictures of some interesting buildings along the way. The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. It travels around the city and links with other tram, train and light rail services in and around Melbourne.

There was not enough time to see everything but this is not the last time I would find myself in Melbourne. In fact, I went back and forth Melbourne two more times, staying at least a week each time to explore different parts of this beautiful city. Any crazy hipster and artist would tell you that Melbourne is probably the best city in Australia

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