Jánines personal water fountain

I just had to share this small tale as a personal reminder of the event myself.

So there we were travelling down to the start of our trip to for the ‘Classic Mekong Delta river trip’, we’ve been on the bus for about an hour, half nodding off, half watching the rice paddies go by when Jánine decided to take a sip of water from her bottle.

So, she unhooks the surgical face mask from behind her ears (which was standard attire for our trip), she raises the bottle to her mouth ready to take a sip and she tips the bottle up…just as we go over a rather large bump in the road…at which point I hear a small squeel as water’s gushing everywhere!

It seems as we hit the bump, Jánine jumped a little and at the same time squeezed the bottle which was untouched until this point ie full!…so now her face is dripping wet with the water running off the end of her chin, her lap is now soaked through to the seat below…and…her mouth is still full of water!

At this point, I did my best not to laugh, I clenched my lips together to try and hide it and hold it all in so she wouldn’t know I was trying not to laugh!

Once she managed to swallow the mouth full of water I could let it all out and I couldn’t help but burst into laughter which I can safely say must have lasted about 10 minutes. I believe it was the look on her face that made me laugh so hard, whether it was the sheer surprise of the water squirting all over her, or the look she was giving me that said don’t you dare laugh, but either way, one memory I don’t want to forget! 🤣🤣

Chicken with a snake!

We didn’t manage to get a photo or anything of this, but it was another one of those things you probably wouldn’t forget if you saw it anyway.

While on the Mekong River tour we’d stopped for lunch in a small area hidden in the woods and while watching some locals perform a few songs and entertain us, Jánine heard, then spotted this chicken going crazy and running around like a mad hatter, making a right old noise, closely followed by about another half dozen making similar noises chasing it.

It took us a second to pinpoint the source of the commotion, but when we did, we were a little concerned…

The chicken had a snake hanging out of each side of its mouth!…while running away from the other chickens…I guess to be able to keep it all to itself…I didn’t even know chickens could / would eat snakes!? But the snake must have been at least 1.5 feet long!

Choo Choo!

Tuk Tuk & Train

Jánine really wanted to experience a train ride and mingle with the locals, so after asking at reception what times they leave the nearby station, we set off with 5 minutes to spare!… Jumped in a tuk tuk and zipped through the back roads of Ahungalla.

Arriving at the station, we asked at the ticket office when the train is for Aluthgama, “one hour” we were told, well, this is a first, we’re actually early for something!

So with an hour to spare, we just wandered around the station, soaked up the atmosphere and watched the eagles (no kidding) soaring above the trees.

We did spot the funny translation above though, a “wormly” welcome as opposed to a “warm” welcome. lol

We met a couple of friendly people at the station, who we chatted to for a while about how we should have visited Sri Lanka…

“Don’t bother booking your hotel, just turn up, go down near the beach and go round each of the guest houses until you find one you like, barter on the price a little and you’ll get it faaaar better price than booking anything with a tour company”. 😁👍 … wise words if your the adventurous types, probably not so much for me though. Lol

So after jumping on the train and grabbing a seat, we watched the countryside go by.

Not exactly bursting at the seams with people, which wasn’t how I thought it would be, but pleasant none the less, they still seemed to employ the honk the horn every 30 seconds though.

I do feel health and safety in England would have something to say about leaving all the doors and windows wide open though!…But very welcome with the heat!

In order to mix it up and experience everything we could, we decided to get a local bus back instead of the train… what an experience that was!

Bus

If you’ve read my earlier post regarding the local driving conditions over here, you might have an inkling as to what’s coming.

First off, what does a bus stop look like?… Still got no idea on that one I’m afraid.

We managed to spot 3 number 2 buses, the first two came literally one after the other, bumper to bumper, but not knowing where / how to stop them, they just drove on by.

The third one happened to stop where we stood which was fortuitous. 😁 So we hopped on and sat down, nobody seemed to be bothered that we hadn’t paid at this point… Oh well.

I thought it might be a good idea to pay though, so I went up to see the driver, he waved at a guy outside, then continued to look out the window and go about his business, so standing there like a Muppet wondering what to do now, I start looking around, then I see a passenger waving at me indicating I should just go sit down… Okay, let’s try that.

After 5 minutes of waiting at the bus stop, we set off, what was quite surprising though, was that within about 5 seconds we were doing Mach 3!

To further enhance the fighter pilot feelings I was having, we occasionally, without warning, swerved sharply to miss the odd missile…errr….tuk tuk, cyclist, pedestrian or if the opportunity arose, other buses!

…Then, like in the film Top Gun, we just “hit the brakes and the bad guys would fly right by!”

Eventually, a stranger holding a wad of cash and a card machine came up the aisle, figured this must be the guy to pay… That or a random stranger looking for hand outs!?…”2 to Ahungalla please”, a grunt and a 20 note change was enough…. Sorted!

About 8 minutes into our ride, the guy pipes up with “Ahungalla…Ahungalla!” And points at us!… Errrrr, I think that’s our cue to get off!

Bearing in mind the train ride lasted about 30 minutes, we were back where we started in 8!… Must be Sri Lankan efficiency, that or the brake neck speeds we were doing!?… Jánine at one point thought we were recreating the film Speed! The part where you can’t hit the brakes and go round a corner on two wheels!

So, we jump off the back of the bus, take a look around and think…”where are we?”

Thinking there must only be one main road along the coast and knowing we haven’t passed out hotel yet, we start walking.

Thankfully our hotel was only around the next bend, so all good here!

Tuk tuk ride, train trip and a bus for about £3 pounds!

Pool Squirrel

There we were, just lounging in the pool with a drink in hand, when Jánine, who can spot movement of anything that can crawl, squirm, run, roll or slither and lives within 50 feet of us spotted movement!

After trying to focus for what felt like a week without my glasses, I found what she was looking at, running along the top of the pool side awning was a cheeky little visitor.

Our initial assessment was that it was a baby mongoose (as we spotted an adult the day before while on our travels).

Once I’d managed to clamber out of the pool, grab a towel and my phone, I was able to get a couple of photos and videos of the wee fella!

… And his buddy!

Upon closer inspection, I think we’re going with some sort of squirrel.

It looked like during the day they went foraging, but once the pool was closed and the awnings shut, he popped into his little hidey hole for the night.

Day trip to see Turtles (part 1)

We decided to take a little trip up the road today to visit a turtle conservation project and what better way to see the place than from the back of a tuk tuk!

The driver was kind enough to stop along the way to show us some of the sights such as fruit bats in the trees and a huge local temple which could be seen from down the road…

We were told at the gate we had to remove our shoes and hats and women must be covered, which is the norm when visiting buddhist temples etc, but as we weren’t going out out, we were just going out to see the turtles, we hadn’t exactly planned or prepared for this.

Anyway, as it’s about 12:10 in the afternoon now, the tiled porcelain floor was absolutely scorching!, I cannot tell you how hot it was, each step was a third degree burn on the soles of your feet!, and when you’re half way round, you kinda lose any other options other than to carry on!

You’ve never seen two people move so quick between each building, all with the locals watching us and having a right old laugh at us dancing the whole way around sounding like monkeys! Lol

Glad we saw it and all that, we just need to be more of a boy scout and be prepared for anything!, So next time I’m taking a life raft, fire starter, machette, change of clothes for a week, 6 bottles of water and a pair of thick socks!

I left the pet cat at the front to guard the place, he’s a big softie really and doesn’t take much feeding. 😂

Jánine’s Happy Again

This little tale comes from our gourmet restaurant booking where we were to have a typical Cape Verdean meal.

Since being in Cape Verde, Jánine hasn’t found a dessert she likes, and if you know Jánine, you’ll know this is no small thing 😭 tears before bedtime and all that. Lol

So as usual with us, we check out what the dessert offerings are before starting our attack run on everything else.

There were a couple of possible targets identified from our recon., but you never quite know till the moment you destroy it.

So after sampling the candidates, it appears one of the desserts ticked all Jánine’s boxes, well one really… sickly sweet with a ton of sugar.

So as we’re eating our meal the conversation turns to how do we get a batch of the amazing dessert back to our room without being seen?

After getting our fill and finishing the lovely meal, I came up with a plan… finish my drink, then simply fill the glass with the amazing white chocolate / coconut goodness that was the holy grail of desserts, then while the waiters / waitresses weren’t looking…do a runner with our illgotten gains. 😉

Mission successful!

Once we were back in the room, I’m then told we can’t have the maid in till it’s all gone as she’ll find out what we’ve done.

By the following morning, all evidence was gone…like a magic trick! Ta da! It’s safe for the maid to enter again.

The only problem left, is how do I persuade Jánine to not barge in there again tomorrow night with a balaclava and a celery stick shouting it’s a stick up!?

Update: the following night, I managed to brazenly walk into the restaurant (which we weren’t booked to eat in) and fill a plate of the same chocolatey goodness just for my daring. ❤️

Borneo Story Number 1 Follow Up

So, after getting a new lodge after finding a lizard in our room and us saying we cannot sleep in there with that thing, we’d settled in for the night, chit chatting about the day as you do, when suddenly Jánine says “Oh no”, “what I say”, “up there”… There’s only another lizard 🦎 literally about 2 feet from where the other one was in the other room! How can that be? Did it follow us just to mock us?

Figuring we’d be pushing our luck to ask for yet another room, I had to “put my big boy pants on” as Jánine would say and deal with it one way or another.

I opted for the throw a large pillow at it to knock it off the wall, then reload with another pillow to finish it off plan. In my head, the plan was flawless, in reality not so much.

The plan to knock it off the wall worked fine, the finishing it off part was much harder to accomplish.

It ended up on the floor taking around 3-4 hits with the pillow, then it ran up the door frame, then into the toilet, which I’d obviously be using in the evening at some point, so it can’t stay there! Then it ran into a corner under a table, at which point I had to go with plan B, throw a towel at it to cover it, then bash the towel with a size 12 trainer, then stick my flip flop on… and stamp on it, just to make sure.

I do feel bad doing all of the above, but I don’t think either of us would have slept properly knowing it was within easy reach of our heads while we slept for the rest of the night, and hearing it run across the ceiling in the middle of the night would result in us sleeping in reception!

Borneo Story Number 1

So, after staying in a room at the rainforest lodge for a night, we came in tonight to find a lizard in the room near the air conditioning unit (around 11-12 feet up), as soon as we spotted it it darted above the a/c unit where we couldn’t even see it anymore.

At this point, Jánine kinda points at it and says “go on then!”, I’m then thinking how the heck do I reach something 12 feet in the air with no long poking device to hand?!, I know I’m tall but c’mon?

So we’re at a crossroads, what do we do next? Either go and ask at reception regarding a “room related problem”, or try to find some sort of poking stick and a means to capture said creature?

As far as Jánine was concerned, it was one or the other as we’re not sleeping in here with that thing.

So we opted to go ask at reception for assistance.

2 minutes later a young girl turns up with a broom, however bearing in mind where this thing is hiding… The girl is no word of a lie around 4 feet 10 inches! She looks up at the a/c unit, then back to me (the 6 foot 5 inch hunk of muscle…I wish).

So now what do I do? I decided I really should try to help, being as I don’t think she could even reach the a/c unit even with the broom, so I poked the broom above the a/c unit and waggled it all about…no joy, this thing is hunkered down for the night now.

The young then called in assistance as we said it doesn’t leave then we are!

After the manager arrived 10 minutes later and rearranged the bedroom to try and stand on a table (still about 5 foot short) he decided we could move to another lodge.

So here we are in lodge number 2 for our final night before heading off to the next location on our tour of Borneo.

Jánines Birthday Night Out

So, we went out, then we ended up going out out! 🤔

The original plan was to take a walk down to the Beach and promenade to see the sights and see what Benidorm had to offer, maybe have a couple of drinks then head back.

We ended up walking to the beach dodging mobility scooters left and right, then we had a drink in a cafe (photo of the shorts above) where they had never seen a spirit measure, they just kept pouring, pouring and pouring the whiskey and rum, Jánines little eyes lit up at this point! I fancied a cider for the first one so I was fairly safe, but as we hadn’t had much to eat so far that day, they seemed to take hold rather quickly.

Above was the view from the cafe…it’s a hard life.  lol

After a few drunken texts back home to friends and family with us laughing our heads off at the toing and froing. 🤣

We then walked to the old town for a bit of window shopping and another drink by the sea while people watching and watching the sun go down.

We started heading back to the campsite and found a bar that looked okay, so we wandered in and ordered a cider and another whiskey diet coke for Neen.  This is what we were given…

…2 for 1…two shots of peach schnapps, two whiskey diet cokes (twice the size of a Neen measure) and a cider!

We then watched the Blues Brothers tribute which was okay…after the bevvies. 🤔

I ended up having the shots and another rum and coke while Jánine finished her two whiskeys.

It was around now we ran out of money so we actually went back to Doris…via both sides of the path we were walking along in a zig zag fashion.

Finally back at Doris, we simply collapsed into bed shattered after being out from about 3 in the afternoon drinking.

The morning after we both felt a little worse for wear and it took us till around lunchtime to finally surface and face what we could of the rest of the day, so we started off with a slow walk to the local market for a couple of hours.

Either way, I think Jánine had a great night, even taking the after effects into consideration. 😁

Happy birthday sweetheart! 😁

Our Little Walk To The Beach

We decided we needed to get out today and stretch the legs a bit, so we thought a walk to the nature reserve would be a good idea!?

After checking with reception which would be the best way to go, we set off into the woods. 

Very quickly we found ourselves trekking through dense undergrowth to get to the path shown above, we followed that for what seemed like miles and miles to eventually find the beach we were promised…hoorah!

Once over the sand dunes and on the beach, we noticed a guy a further up…naked!…just standing there with his hands on his hips, (thankfully for us he was too far away to see anything). 
At this point we wondered if the guy in reception meant naturist beach, not nature reserve? Hmmmm 🤔 

Jánine had a little wander to collect a few shells for a bit while I sat and listened to the waves crashing, then we headed back the way we came.

Realising we popped out through the undergrowth somewhere, we were trying to figure out how we would know when we’d come back far enough along the path to cut through the woods again?

As we got near to what we thought was the right place, we started looking for the small path back through the woods…this is where it started to get interesting…we couldn’t find it!…we were traipsing up and down and back again to find it, to no avail.

After putting the address into Google maps we had a clue, we were pretty much opposite the campsite entrance, but we still couldn’t find the path back through the trees again.

Jánine had a great idea…look for our original footsteps in the sand! 🤔

Eventually we spotted one of my fairly distinctive size 12 Adidas steps!

…Follow that big foot!

We finally found our way back to the campsite to a small sigh of relief…it is lunchtime afterall!

Right!…I’m knackered and definately getting that pizza from the cafe on site I’ve been hankering after for the last 2 days. 😁 …”The pizzeria is closed till Friday!”… maybe not then.  😭