Eight Months on the Road

Our eighth month of full time travel saw us in three countries and ten cities! Here’s what we’e been up to…

Elephant, Udawalawe National Park, Safari, Sri LankaMonth number eight started off in Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka – our base for a wildlife safari to Udawalawe National Park. This was without a doubt the highlight of our travels in Sri Lanka – we had an absolutely amazing time on our safari seeing everything from endemic Sri Lankan birds as well as peacocks and eagles, a chameleon, water buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys, a mongoose and the all important elephant – lots of them! You can read about the experience in full here.

Onto Mirissa on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, we strayed off the beaten path to discover a ‘secret beach’ – a little patch of heaven away from the tourists and touts where we spent the day swimming, sun-bathing, reading and ultimately frying into a crisp… #whenwillwelearn

The 'secret beach' in Mirissa... we won't spill the location, but ask the locals...
The ‘secret beach’ in Mirissa… we won’t spill the location, but ask the locals…

Galle was our last stop in Sri Lanka before heading back to Negombo. This was definitely one of my favourite stops in all of Sri Lanka – Galle Fort being built by the Dutch originally still has a very European feel about it, and I think that’s why we both loved it so much. Good food, ample booze, pretty streets and a chilled atmosphere – a little unlike the rest of the country! We spent a day there exploring, as well as catching up with our friends Sebastien and Britta – whom we’d met in Borneo last September. We’d learnt the night before that we’d be crossing paths for just one day, so we organised to have lunch. It was fabulous catching up!

Snaps of the streets of Galle, Sri Lanka
Snaps of the streets of Galle, Sri Lanka

After one long month in Sri Lanka, it was time to say goodbye – Mike and I flew out at the same time on the same day – he to Perth, and I returned to my beloved Kuala Lumpur for some much needed respite. I can’t even begin to describe how good it was to be back. I absolutely loved my time in both India and Sri Lanka but three months in those two countries was a looooooong time. It was nice to have some modern conveniences again – like air-con, and hot water! Plus, eating raw vegetables and salads and GREEN food was actually heavenly.

My time back in Kuala Lumpur was largely spent getting a substantial amount of planning for our upcoming trips done, rather than sight-seeing as I’ve done a lot of that already. I’ll continue to use KL as a base for most of this year between travels with Mike, as it seems to be a transit hub for all our flights as well as being safe and familiar for me whilst on my own – plus it’s cheap!

However, to break up the long stay in KL, I decided to spend a week in Penang. During our travels through Malaysia last year we stopped by the island for a few days, but I didn’t see as much as I’d wanted. Upon learning that there is now a super fast, comfortable train that takes you from KL to Penang in under 4 hours for just 59 RM / $20.00 AUD, as well as finding a single room at a hostel right in Georgetown for just $11.00 AUD a night, I thought it’d be a great way to break up the time in KL.

Unfortunately despite having a long list of things I’d wanted to do and see whilst in Penang, I wasn’t able to do a lot of them… it was just TOO hot. Like, seriously hot. I also struggled to find street food like I had last time – it must have been the area I was staying in. This resulted in a lot of time in air-conditioned cafes – the only reasonably priced places to eat I could find. I did however hire a bicycle for a few days and took myself on an adventure to find street art in Penang, as well as visit the new Upside Down Museum – both of which were a lot of fun!

One of my favourite murals in Georgetown, Penang.
One of my favourite murals in Georgetown, Penang.

Back in KL, I started getting ready for our travels to Japan, stocking up on some winter clothes and leaving the summer ones behind at the hotel – the perks of staying in the same place each time! Mike flew in to KL on the Friday night, and together we took off for our adventures in Japan the following day!

Japan. Wowsers. It’s day five, and we’ve already been to four cities, and currently on our way to the fifth. It’s going to be an action-packed couple of weeks that’s for sure. We’re actually struggling to find ‘down-time’ each day, to do things like get photos edited to share, write these blogs as well as plan our other travels (I have to get our China trip completely booked this trip to apply for visas!). It’s a first world problem though… too busy having fun and seeing amazing things in an amazing country to plan more amazing things for another country…

Taking in the sights in Dotonbori, Osaka...
Taking in the sights in Dotonbori, Osaka…

I’ve written all about our first impressions of Japan in this post here. It really is a whole other world. Clean. Efficient. Fast. Organised. Full of beautiful, friendly people. It’s actually amazing. Every time we discover something new, Mike and I just turn and look at each other, shaking our heads in amazement…

We’re currently headed to Hiroshima for a few days, before heading into the Japan Alps. From there, we’ve got a few days in Kyoto, before Hakone (to explore Mt Fuji) and then to Tokyo! We have so many cool things planned and places we’re hoping to see – can’t wait to share them with you all!

In case you missed them, here are the other articles we posted this last month for your travel-planning pleasure!

Add us on SnapChat: nomadsmikenamy
Add us on SnapChat: nomadsmikenamy

Be sure to follow us on SnapChat – nomadsmikenamy – to see our adventures each day whilst we’re here in Japan! We’re basically like virtual tour guides…

Til next month,

Mike & Amy

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