Florence's Blog

What I am most excited about on our big adventure.

I am excited about that we are going to meet lots of people from different countries and cities and that my mum is going to teach me. Also I will spend lots of time with my mum my dad and my sister and I won’t have to rush to school.

I will meet my Gran and Da, Jess (my other sister), Australian uncles and aunts and my cousins.

Home At Last

Date: 31/08/2007 | Author: Florence

I am finding this blog difficult to write because we are home now and I haven't written one for a long time. We spent the school summer holidays in Bristol and Cornwall and only moved back in to our house last week. Things have changed a little bit, for example I've got my own room now. It's great being home, playing in our garden and with our friends. I am a little bored of people asking me which my favourite place was on our travels (if you are interested it was New Zealand, Laos and Tasmania). Now we are back it feels like we've never been away.

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On The Plane

Date: 10/07/2007 | Author: Florence

We are now on our way home and are soooooooo excited about seeing our friends, our cat and our school. We are hoping that we bring back the sun with us! Ella and I were running around, jumping on the bed at our hotel last night, soooooo excited about getting on the plane and going back to London. I expect Mum and Dad are excited too but in a different way. Mum and Dad said we could have a few friends for a sleep over when we get back to London. It is quite late here and we are all very tired. Ella is just watching the end of her film and Mum and I are just falling asleep..........waiting to get back to London!

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The Dalai Lama

Date: 08/07/2007 | Author: Florence

After Manali we had a long drive to another part of the Himalayan foothills and stayed at a nice place called Norling Guest House at the Norbulingka Institute. It had a very big garden that fitted a dolls museum and an art gallery! It was a holy place and had a very nice garden with Tibetan prayer flags and prayer wheels. Because the garden was soooo big we went on a tour around the garden. We saw things like a big Buddha in a temple in the gardens and we saw people making thangkas which are big paintings but with lots of detail put into them - it looked very hard (I expect it is!). Norbulingka was a holy place because the Dalai Lama visits every now and then. The Dalai Lama is the head of the Tibetan Buddhists. In our guest house, upstairs where our room was, there were lots of pictures of the Dalai Lama during his life from the age of three to now. The Dalai Lama decided to be a monk from the age of three, the Tibetans call him Your Holiness. Ella and I were very excited when we went to the Dalai Lama's puja! We got a good space in the front and waited a very long time until he came. He was very close to us when he walked past and had lots of other monks around him. It was very hard to see him but I got a quick glance.
The next day we moved from Norbulingka to Mcleod Ganj. Mcleod Ganj is the home of many Tibetans because the Chinese invaded Tibet and the Tibetan government moved there. We stayed in a lovely hotel called Chonor House. There were lots of Tibetan prayer flags in the garden and lots of thangkas painted on the walls in our room. While we were there we learnt a lot about Tibet and how China invaded the country. We stayed there for 4 nights but we were really looking forward to going to Delhi to go back to London.
Another mad drive to Delhi THEN HOME!!!!!!!!! Apart from one night's stop over at the Vaseela in Chandigarh (which we spent ages trying to find), we only stopped for the occasional camping wee! The drive was long, but we finally reached our posh hotel, with a swimming pool and big rooms, near the airport in Delhi. We only stayed there for one night - we didn't sleep much because we were soooooo excited about getting home!

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Manali and the Mountains

Date: 01/07/2007 | Author: Florence

Instead of looking in New Manali, we decided we wanted to stay somewhere more out of town. So we searched and searched in Vashisht. There were absolutely no good rooms in Vashisht, you had to share toilets or they had squatty toilets and all of them were full of flies! Vashisht was no good so we looked in a bigger village called Old Manali. We looked in a place called the Red Dragon which had big and lovely rooms, I thought it would be a good place to stay. But if there was a better place we would stay there. Just in case we looked just along the road and there was a lovely but small hotel called Veer Guest House. There were some lovely people to chat to and also it was much cheaper than the Red Dragon. It is 400 rupees per night which is about five pounds. Still, if I was an adult I would have stayed at the Red Dragon!
We liked our last trek so much we decided to do another one. This time we went with a different guide called Baggy and our helper was called Arun. We drove over the Rohtang Pass and into the Spiti Valley where we set up camp. It was the same height as our last trek but it seemed higher because there were no trees where we were camping and no wood either so there was no chance of having a fire. We went on a walk up the rocky mountain. We saw a big mountain up there covered in flat thick smooth snow. It is called White Sail Mountain because the snow on it is blown in the shape of a sail.
That night, Ella and I slept in a separate tent from Mum and Dad. We couldn't sleep and we started to get a bit scared. So we secretly crept into Mum and Dad's tent trying not to wake them up but in the end Mum woke up (so did Dad) and got our sleeping bags from our tent. We snuggled up with Mum and Dad but before we went to sleep Mum said "I am not feeling very well"
In the morning Mum still wasn't feeling well so we snuggled up in our tent and ate porridge for breakfast, discussing that if Mum and Dad (but Mum mostly) were feeling ill we shouldn't go much higher. We thought it was altitude sickness so after a long discussion we decided that we would definitely go back to Manali.
We helped pack up the tent. Ella and I were desperately trying to help but the wind was too strong and the tent puffed up like a gigantic balloon!!
We drove back down to Manali but on the way Dad felt even more sick. We arrived in Veer Guest House with Dad extremely sick!
For the next couple of days we didn't do much but we had a lovely time chatting to the people at Veer Guest House.

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A Trek In The Himalayas

Date: 24/06/2007 | Author: Florence

After my great birthday came another wild adventure - we were going on a trek high up in the Himalayas. I had been talking about it since Vietnam. There were porters, who are people who carry your bags each day. Our main porter was very nice, he was called Rajul and our main guide was called Shalu. It is much colder here than in Manali because we are higher up and there is less air for the sun to heat up. We slept in a little clearing in small tents. We saw lots of caves and streams while we were there, it made some great hiding places. It was a 3 hour walk to our camp but if we got tired there was a horse walking with us. Our horse was called Sheeru, he was very friendly. Every night it got colder and colder so each night we got a fire going. I scrambled into bed the first night feeling quite snug amongst all the blankets we had bought.
On our 2nd day we had quite a long walk, but not too long, to a dried up lake called Beas Kund. There were still some streams and rivers where the lake had been, but the guide carried us over those. It was a big lake and took quite a while to get over it. We walked over a little bit of snow and sat next to a small mountain and ate our packed lunch. For packed lunch we normally had things like tomato sandwiches and egg, chocolate and potatoes. We were right at the snow line and had lots of opportunities to walk on the snow. After lunch we started heading back to our campsite hoping for a fire that night. Sooner or later we had a nap, after all that walking - Mummy and I had the longest ;0)! After our long nap we were wide awake so Ella, me and Daddy had the longest game of hide and seek ever! We camouflaged amongst all the rocks and hid in small caves. At last, after all that running - bed time! I crawled in to those sleeping bags waiting for tomorrow to go back to Manali.
'Morning, breakfast', Shalu said waking me up. Shalu and Rajul cooked porridge for us, my favourite, it was very nice (but a bit runny). We had a different horse for the walk back, he was called Neelu. We really wanted a black horse but Neelu was friendly too! Finally, we started heading back to Manali escaping from the cold Himalayas!

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Date: 21/06/2007 | Author: Florence

We arrived at Nature Notes agreeing to spend my birthday there! There was a very nice area for playing in. There we lots of hammocks near the Beas, which is a very cold river like the Ganges, flowing past our resort. Beside the Beas is a little, freezing swimming pool. Ella and I dared each other to swim in it - bit it didn't look very nice!!!!!!!!! I loved playing on the lawn, there were so many fun things to do at Nature Notes and I was glad I was spending my birthday there. While we were there we went white water rafting - it was dangerous and much more urgent than last time we went (in Laos)! It was a short ride, Ella wanted to do it again - but I found it a bit scary! Next I learnt how to play badminton, Dad says I'm really good but I'm still learning.
One day we drove for 45 minutes to Manali. It's crazy there and sometimes it gets really annoying when people come over and squeeze your arms. In Manali we looked at a few hotels. The first one we saw had a lovely big, cosy (remember it's cold up here) cottage. Ella absolutely loved the cottage - I did too. We had lunch at Johnson's cafe (the hotel cafe) and everyone said I should be the one to decide which hotel I was going to have my birthday in! Everyone tried to persuade me to have my birthday at Johnson's Lodge. At first I wasn't sure but then I thought that I would meet lots more people there - so I decided I definitely wanted it at Johnson's!
The next day we moved out of Nature Notes - we were staying in Johnson's one day before my birthday and one day after. Ella and I wanted to stay longer, but Mum said it's just toooooooo expensive (ggrrrrrrr!).
Finally, my birthday came - I woke up quite surprised seeing birthday balloons! For my birthday, I had 4 Indian dresses, loads of bindis and a few clothes. After breakfast we went to Vashisht. I kind man owning a shop gave me a bell he was selling as a present! We also bought some ankle bracelets (Ella has already lost hers!). We went to the tailor so he could put some elastic in my Indian dresses. We didn't do too much in Vashisht so soon we headed back to Johnson's, time for cake!!!!!! The cake was a bit too big so we shared it with other people in the restaurant, including a 2 year old girl from Russia, called Sonia.
I had a fab birthday but it would have been much better with my friends here! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!

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A New Country - India

Date: 15/06/2007 | Author: Florence

We have travelled...........
from London to Thailand to Australia, then to New Zealand, back to Australia for a week then Asia. In Asia we went to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I was always really excited about going to India and now I am here.............
We arrived in Delhi, it was very hot compared to Vietnam. A very nice, tall man met us at the airport. He led us to his car, thankfully it was air conditioned. At our guest house we slept in a small room and just as we were about to fall asleep the air conditioning broke...............ggrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The overhead fan was just swishing around hot air. Early the next morning we got the train to Rishikesh. It was about 4 hours till we got to Haridwar. When we got off the train our taxi we had booked wasn't there. After a while we found a car to take us to Rishikesh but, unfortunately, the driver took us to the wrong side of the river. So we had to drag our bags across the footbridge, through cows, motorbikes and pilgrims. It was very hard. At one point one of the bags got hooked on to a motorbike and Daddy got pulled backward with our bags.
In Rishikesh we stayed at Peasants Cottage. There was a little girl called Yogda who lived there - we played with her a lot. We did lots of yoga in Rishikesh. After Rishikesh, Ashlie, who was staying in our guest house recommended the Glass House. The next day we waved goodbye to Yogda and our taxi driver took us there (not the taxi driver who took is to the wrong side of Rishikesh, of course!). But we had to come straight back because the Glass House had no rooms.
So the next day we drove to Manali. It was a TWO DAY DRIVE along wiggly, windy roads. We stopped in Shimla for one night and stayed at Little Inn - Little Inn wasn't very nice.
On the second day I was sick about 4 times but I was really excited about getting to Nature Notes because that is where I am having my birthday!

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Date: 08/06/2007 | Author: Florence

Our hotel in Hanoi was in the very old part of town and the streets were really dirty. You kept flicking mud on the back of your legs. The pavement was very narrow and all the motorbikes were parked on the pavement and the toy shops went right down to the road. We didn't mind, you just have to be careful walking on the road. We did lots of shopping there, well, Mum did the most.
In Hanoi we went to a water puppet show. The puppets were in the water and they did lots of things that the Vietnamese have done. It was really clever and some parts were very funny too. I liked it a lot.
A few days later we arrived back from Sapa to Hanoi very early in the morning. But not everyone was in bed, most of the Vietnamese were doing exercise by the lake. Ho Chi Minh told the Vietnamese people to do this and they still do. Later that morning we saw Uncle Ho in his tomb. He looked a bit waxy. We had to queue for a long long long long long long time. Loads of people were filing past his body.
Kate lives in Hanoi and she is a friend of a friend of mummy's. When we got back from Halong Bay we went to stay at her house. She has three boys called Martin, Benjamin and Thomas. The youngest is Martin, he is 11. Their house is next to West Lake and they have a swimming pool in the attic. We swam in it a lot and Martin even went in with his clothes on!
I had a great time in Hanoi and the best part was staying with the boys and Kate.

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A Trip Around Halong Bay

Date: 05/06/2007 | Author: Florence

We travelled by bus to Halong Bay. Our boat was called the Lagoon Explorer. We had a very nice cabin, Ella and i had our own toilet. The boat slept 7 people, there were islands surrounding our boat. We went through a little cave into a completely enclosed lagoon. Then we went on a walk to a viewpoint on an island - it took 420 steps to get there. At the bottom of the island was a beach but the water was a bit dirty. We went to some clean water and swam off the boat - the water was very cold. After that we went in to a cave. Our guide showed us parts of the cave that looked like broccoli - Ella and I said we wanted to eat some but of course we didn't! We saw a shape of a Buddha on a stalagmite. The only thing that was disappointing about the cave was that we saw a teenager drawing on the rocks. Finally we headed back to Hanoi. We didn't do much in Halong Bay but what we did was a lot of fun!

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Children in Sapa

Date: 01/06/2007 | Author: Florence

We left Hanoi and got the overnight train to Sapa, high up in the mountains. The train stopped at Lao Cai and we took a long bus journey up the mountain to Sapa. When we got to Sapa we went to our hotel and had a nap because we didn't sleep well on the train. We felt wide awake after that so we went to an English Pub across the road. It became our favourite bar. We went for a walk to Cat Cat village and met there a little girl called Chu. She was very nice. Chu is an H'mong girl. H'mong people live outside Sapa in small villages. Chu lives in Ta Van. Well, her parents live there, she sleeps in Sapa and spends the day selling things. She sleeps with Ha. Ha is fifteen but she is smaller than Ella. Every day we saw Chu or Ha standing outside our hotel waiting to play with us when we come outside.
Chu doesn't go to school so she learns all of her English from the tourists. Chu speaks very good English. We gave each other a big hug when we left.
We didn't do much so I really want to go back there again!

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From Hoi An to Hue

Date: 27/05/2007 | Author: Florence

We left Hoi An and got a taxi to Da Nang, then got the day train to Hue. At our hotel in Hue (The Saigon Morin) they had really comfy beds. It was a nice posh hotel. We had our biggest room since Bangkok and a big pool too. First we went to the Citadel on cyclos to see where the Emperor once lived. There wasn't much there because the Americans bombed it, but what was there was very pretty. We saw the Emperor's throne in one of the temples.
We took cyclos back to our hotel. They are bicycles with a little carriage on the front with a sun shade. It only fits two so we have to get two of them and it was a very hot day so the drivers put the sun shade up.
There wasn't much for us to do in Hue so later on we left to go to Hanoi.

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City of Tailors

Date: 24/05/2007 | Author: Florence

We arrived early in Hoi An. Hoi An is the city of tailors, there are about 1000 of them in the town.
Our hotel in Hoi An was called Thanh Xuan (Long Life). Two very nice ladies worked there called Phi and Hoa (Fi and Flower). They were sisters and looked very similar but weren't twins. They were very pretty, I liked them a lot. Our hotel wasn't posh but it was really nice.
Our favourite tailor shop was called Yaly, there were very nice ladies there too. They were called Gloria, Mary and Mimosa. Yaly was really good at copying your clothes, I had 2 dresses made there.
One day we visited Cua Dai beach, it was really nice. There were some puppies at a restaurant on the beach. They were tiny, they didn't even have their eyes open. The sand was really hot, it had been boiled in the sun all day and you had to run to the sea as fast as you could. You could hear your feet sizzling as they touched the water. The sea was really cold, it was very very clear and there were great waves.
We also went to Cham Island. We stayed for the night and camped on the beach. We slept on really hard mats (like Vietnamese people sleep on), it wasn't that comfy and I didn't sleep very well. We woke up very early the next morning and had a nice swim in the sea. 30,000 people live on Cham island and after our swim we walked to one of the villages and visited a school there.
We did lots of things in Hoi An. My favourite thing was definitely experiencing camping on a beach. I can't believe how Vietnamese people sleep!!

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Date: 17/05/2007 | Author: Florence

We got the overnight train from Saigon. The movement rocks you to sleep, it was very comfy. We arrived in Nha Trang very early. We had booked a trip to Whale Island. Well, it actually isn't called Whale Island but is called Hon Ong Island. It was very nice. Sadly we arrived in the rain, but we had a lovely family bungalow. We went snorkelling in the bay. We saw lots of clown fish and jellyfish. I love snorkelling. It looks fun being a fish swimming amongst the coral. The resort had planted ceramic pots at the bottom of the sea. They attract lots of fish and some coral grows around them. The fish like it because they make good hiding places.
The next day was a nice sunny day. We loved snorkelling in the bay so much that we went out on a boat the next morning to do some more. We had to stop off and pick up the crab we were having for dinner. It was quite a surprise to see a man doing karaoke on the beach. Ella and I had a go and kept on snatching the microphone from each other. That evening at dinner Ella felt sad for the crab and wouldn't eat it, but actually it tasted quite nice.
After that we went sailing on a Hobie Cat which is a type of boat with no sides. Daddy and I went fast and one side was high in the air and one side was getting soaked. When it was Ella's turn to go with Daddy, the boat capsized (ha-ha). Soon two men went over to help get the boat upright again.
I liked Whale Island Resort a lot, especially snorkelling.

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Busy Saigon

Date: 12/05/2007 | Author: Florence

Saigon is the old name for Ho Chi Minh City before 1975. Ho Chi Minh was a very important man, that is why the name was changed to Ho Chi Minh City. A lot of Vietnamese people call him Uncle Ho. In Saigon there are lots of motorbikes! There are lots of motorbikes because it is a cheap way of getting around. The maximum number of people you can fit on one motorbike is ummmmm........ six! Mummy and Daddy won't let us go five up on a motorbike including the driver so we have to get 2 motorbikes and go three up on a motorbike and that's the boring way :0(
Saralinh, the girl we met on Phu Quoc island, invited us over to stay at her house in Saigon. She has 2 Vietnamese ladies who look after her when her mum is working. The cook is called Madame Ha. All of her toys were overtaking her house, in her playroom, bedroom and living room. It was lots of fun playing with all her toys and it was really nice staying in a Vietnamese house.
While we were in Saigon we went to the water park at Dam Sen. There were rides by the entrance that didn't involve water. The real water park was on the opposite side of the entrance. It was great fun - there were lots of water slides. Saralinh knew where the best things were because she had been there before.
On another day we went to the Cu Chi tunnels (the Vietnamese built them during the war). They were tiny so the Americans couldn't fit through them. At the end of the tunnels were little underground houses. The Vietnamese made lots of booby traps for the Americans to step on like spiky bamboo underneath leaves.
I was sad to leave Sarlinh's house but I was glad we didn't get knocked over by a motorbike while we were in Saigon!

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A Friend on an Island

Date: 08/05/2007 | Author: Florence

We took the ferry going to Phu Quoc Island. Ella was feeling a little bit sick so we made a bed for her to lie down on. We watched a Charlie Chaplin movie on the ferry - it was very funny.
When we got to Phu Quoc island we arrived at Mai House and unpacked our bags. Then we walked to the beach - we just had to walk through the gardens by our bungalow to get there. Then we met a little girl called Saralinh, she was 7 years old. I loved swimming in the sea with Saralinh and Ella - we were duck diving under the waves and swimming in on the waves. I liked Mai House a lot - they made really good Spaghetti Bolognese and we ate it nearly every night.
One day, for a day trip we went to Bai Sao Beach. It had lovely white sand and there were no waves at all, it was perfect for floating. The sea was a fabulous colour - it was really clear, you could see for miles!
The down side about being on the island was just after Ella's sickness I got sick the night before we left. Mummy was glad we were going to Saigon so she could take me to the Doctor's.
I liked the beaches on Phu Quoc a lot, but most particularly, Bai Sao.

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A New Country: Vietnam

Date: 05/05/2007 | Author: Florence

We left Phnom Penh and crossed the border to Vietnam on the Mekong River. We arrived in Chau Doc and were picked up by our new guide, who was called Hui. First we went on a short boat ride to the floating fish farm. Well, it wasn't really floating - it was just a fish farm on stilts on the Mekong River. We could feed the fish their food, if you threw a handful in, the fish fought over it. One fish made a wet mark on the side of the platform because it bounced off the other fish and hit the side of the tank. After a while we left the fish farm and went to see some crocodiles! They were all squashed up in cages, some of them were only babies. At one stage we were walking in between 2 cages. One crocodile jumped up at us, we weren't scared, it just made us jump! Some of the crocodiles were huge but this one was only a baby - phew!! Then we went to a place where they made incense sticks, you use rice flour and the sap from a tree to make them. One lady gave us a twirly incense stick. She used her fingers and span the incense stick around to make it curly. We also visited a rice factory which was just across the road, there were sacks and sacks of rice there.
We did lots and lots of things on the Mekong Delta and there were lots of things to see. We also went to a floating market in Can Tho. Instead of market stalls on the Mekong Delta there were actually boats. Each boat had a big stick with the fruit or vegetables they were selling hanging from the stick so everyone could see what they were selling. We bought a pineapple juice from a man. It was fun buying things from other boats when you are already on one!
That night we stayed in Hung Homestay. We went to a school, they were doing long division! Some of the children were my age and I don't do long division yet. Then we went back to the Homestay, there was a tiny puppy there but by the end of the day it was covered in chewing gum and his own poo so we didn't get to cuddle him before we left for the ferry!
Next stop, Phu Quoc Island!

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Phnom Penh

Date: 01/05/2007 | Author: Florence

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia on the Mekong River. We stayed at the Scandinavian Hotel. Our room was right next to the swimming pool. One of the places we visited was the Killing Fields, you could see some bones and clothes in the ground. Lots of people were killed there. There was a temple with bones and skulls inside it. The Killing Fields was a very sad place but I am glad we went there. We also went to the Grand Palace. We saw lots of Buddhas and Monks but we didn't see the king. One of the best things about Phnom Penh was riding around on motorbikes. Most people in Phnom Penh ride 3 up on a motorbike with no helmets. I liked Phnom Penh a lot.

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Beaches at last

Date: 28/04/2007 | Author: Florence

It was much cooler here but sadly there was rubbish in the sea and rubbish everywhere. The jellyfish hid amongst the plastic bags. We tried to clean the beach but the waves kept on bringing plastic bags onto the sand. Soon we decided that this beach was toooooooo dirty so we decided to move beach. Otres beach was much cleaner. I got stung by a jellyfish on Serendipity beach but here we only saw one jellyfish dried up on land. Although I had been stung I was very brave about going back in the water. We stayed at Queen Hill Resort Bungalows and the sea was very warm. Ella and I got stung all over by sealice so we organised a boat trip to an island where we went snorkelling. There were lots of fish but no sealice. It was fun snorkelling but soon we saw a big grey cloud coming over the horizon so we started to go back to the beach.
The next day we went to Bamboo Island. All the houses were hidden amongst the palm trees. It was beautiful. Sadly we were only staying there for one night. The beach was really clean and the sea was really clear. The waves were a normal size and we were duck diving under them. I love the sea.
The next morning we went snorkelling. The tide was going out while we were snorkelling so we had to be careful of sea urchins, which are black balls with spikes coming out of the ball. I squeezed my tummy in when I swam over a sea urchin because it really hurts when a spike goes into your skin and I didn't want to know how much. Sadly it is our last day so we had to get on the boat. Before we started to leave we saw a big dark cloud coming over the horizon so we ran into the restaurant and outside there was thunder and forked lightening. I am glad we were not on the boat yet. When the thunder and lightening stopped it was still raining a bit but not that much. On the boat it was really cold and we went a bit faster than on the way there. Soon we got to the beach and the boat didn't park near the sand. We had to swim to the beach and the sea was really warm. (Well compared to how cold we were on the boat.)
I love Cambodian beaches, only if I don't get stung.

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Meeting Cambodian Children

Date: 24/04/2007 | Author: Florence

We have left Laos now and are in Cambodia. We flew to Siem Reap which is near the Angkor temples. Angkor is very old. Some of the temples are over 1000 years old, they are broken and all of the Buddha's heads have fallen down. Angkor Wat is one of the seven wonders of the world. Nearly one million people lived in and around the temples when London was just huts. Children sell things around the temples so that they can buy food to be healthy. At the top of one of the temples was a little boy called Chai. We bought some bracelets from him and gave him a book and a compass. Chai was very smart. He could say words like "lovely jubly" and "top banana". Chai was 12 years old and very small but a lot of Cambodian children look small for their age because they didn't eat much when they were little.
Then we went to a cafe near Angkor Wat. Lots of children followed us so we played with them till our breakfast was ready. We drew pictures and gave them some. We gave one of the girls our bracelet and made boxes for other children. They gave us postcards that they were selling and wrote us lots of notes.
Next we went to an orphanage. The children sleep in the same place as their classroom. When we visited them they were having a maths lesson. It costs $20 to feed all of the 40 children for a day. When we go out to dinner we pay at least twice that amount.
It was so hot that the swimming pool in our hotel was like a bath so we decided to go to some beaches instead. Next stop Sihanoukville.

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Tubing Down Rivers

Date: 19/04/2007 | Author: Florence

I was very sad to leave Khone and Khune's guest house but Khone's brother was taking us to the next place. it was a long drive to Vang Vieng. We stayed in Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalows. Ella and I shared a bungalow and Mum and dad were in a different bungalow.
While we were in Vang Vieng we went to 4 caves. First we went to a cave where about 400 people lived during the American War. The second cave was smaller than the first cave and no people lived there. The 3rd cave we went to had a river running through it so we had to go in rubber rings to explore it. At the end of the cave there was some mud that made your skin soft.
After caving we went tubing, which is floating down the river in a rubber ring. Ella was in her own tube but then I got to have a go in my own tube. The guide stayed with me until we got to some rapids and then let me go. It was a lot of fun! There were lots of restaurants with high swings on the river but we didn't go on them.
The next day we drove to Vientiane and stayed at the Settha Palace Hotel. It had a big pool, we swam in it a lot!

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Laos New Year

Date: 15/04/2007 | Author: Florence

Coming up to new year everyone starts throwing water. They rub powder into your skin and you have to keep your eyes peeled for people with waterguns and big buckets of water. Our guest house has a jeep that we drove around in. It seemed like it was raining and by the time it was evening you had loads of water in your ears.
There are lots of activities to do at Laos New Year and this is one of them: We built a stupa which is like a sand castle made out of mud. When we finished the stupa we put little balls of mud around the stupa and then we sprinkled flour over it and put a Laos flag at the top. If you build the stupa quickly it is more lucky. Then we paddled in the Mekong River.
We joined in the water fight for two days. It was a lot of fun.
I liked Khoun and Khone's guest house and I was really sad when we left.

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Khone and Khune

Date: 13/04/2007 | Author: Florence

We arrived at Khone and Khune's Guest House and Ella was very excited because there are 4 dogs (3 puppies and a mother). There are also 4 cats, 2 mothers and 2 kittens called Tiger and Chicken. Khone and Khune have 2 daughters who are away at school, but they have a son here to play with us, his name is Fly. There are lots of temples in Luang Prabang and we went to visit them. Most of the temples are gold and have carvings of the Buddha inside them. Monks go in the temples a lot and devote their lives to the Buddha. Monks don't wear what we do, they have to wear orange robes all the time. Their orange robes are a really nice colour. But monks aren't that different, you can find them in restaurants, temples and even internet cafes. Women are not allowed to touch monks. If you want to give something to the monks you have to get up early so they can collect it in their alms bowls.
One day we went kayaking. The kayaks weren't plastic like the ones we used in New Zealand, they were inflatable. There were rapids on the river. The first rapids were the biggest, it was like kayaking over waves because you slid up the rapid then splashed back on the flat water. It hurt my bottom! I also really liked swimming in a waterfall, it was very cold. It was very close to Khone and Khune's bungalows. Lots of people had built small dams and Daddy and I built a dam there. Then we broke the dam and made miniature rapids with the rocks. Another day we went to some other waterfalls - they were much bigger than the ones near our bungalows and had lots of pools to swim in. In one of the pools a tree had fallen over and landed in the water - but not while we were in it! It made a really good jumping spot!

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Mekong River - Burning Hills

Date: 02/04/2007 | Author: Florence

We were in Huay Xai and we were going to go on a boat trip down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. When we got on the boat we did some drawing. I drew a picture of the boat sailing along the river. The cook on the boat came over to see what we were drawing, so I drew a picture of her at the back of the boat (that's where she cooked). She drew pictures of a little town where she lived in our books. On the way we stopped in 2 Hill tribe Villages. There were lots of children selling things like cloth and bracelets so they could earn some money. We went to see an old fashioned blacksmiths.
When we went back on the boat we played a game of Jenga. The Jenga was very tall and we were playing it while going over some rapids on the river so we had to be extra careful. It wasn't the best time to play Jenga because the rapids were a bit bumpy.
We stopped half way on our river trip at our accommodation called Luang Say Lodge. We slept in our own bungalow, the beds were very comfy. We made friends with 2 people on the boat, their names were Mark and Erin. They had been on the Gibbon Experience and were very nice.
On the 2nd day it was very smoky because the farmers were burning fires on the hills by the river. It looked very hot! We could hear the fire crackling.
The boat stopped at the Cave of 1000 Buddhas. There were 2 caves full of thousands of Buddhas, some big, some really tiny. I took lots of pictures.
After 2 days on the boat we arrived in Luang Prabang.

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Our first days in Laos

Date: 31/03/2007 | Author: Florence

We drove to the Thai/Laos border. We crossed the border by going on a boat across the Mekong River. When we got to the other side I felt a bit strange because we were showing our passports but weren't at an airport. We were planning on going to a Gibbon Experience which is not a hotel, it is a treehouse experience. Before we went there we stayed one night in the Thaveesinh hotel in Huay Xai. We got the hotel very late so we had dinner and went to bed early so we could go to the Gibbon Experience the next day.
We are now at the Gibbon Experience. We are staying in treehouse number 1 and a few other people are staying with us. We drove a long long way and had to do lots of walking to get here. Ella and I were tired out when we went across our first zip line to get to our treehouse. We drink lots of water here but it is warm! Our first day we sat around the table and played cards and had some food before we started zipping again. The highest zip line is 150m above ground. I was scared when we were getting ready but it is a lot of fun when we are in the air. Ella and I go zipping with the guides and they make us feel very safe. Every day the guides come zipping to our treehouse with our food. They don't say anything, they just leave our food and then go. Our treehouse has a small kitchen and 2 bedrooms sleeping 7 people. There is also a shower and a 50 metre 'long drop' toilet, at the bottom is a pig who eats all the poo and the left overs from our food! Ella and I loved throwing down all the food to the pig. I liked the Gibbon Exerience a lot but I know we are going to have a lot more adventures!

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Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Date: 28/03/2007 | Author: Florence

We are staying in a lovely place called Lanna Mantra. We are staying in a little house and just around the corner is a pool with water trickling down a step to a very cold pool (we swim in it a lot).
On the first day we just stayed near the pool, did school work and played in the pool. The next day we went to see an elephant show. Pong took us there, he is our taxi driver. There wasn't just an elephant show, there was an elephant hospital and you could go elephant riding. There was also a tincy wincy elephant, he was born on 7th March. He was abandoned by his mother and he had a step mother beside him.
I was feeling a bit poorly in Chiang Mai because I had a really bad cough - I was coughing all night and didn't get much sleep. It was soooooooo bad Mummy took me to the hospital. The doctor looked inside my throat, ears and listened to my chest. They gave me some medicine and we left - I feel much better now!
The next day Pong took us to a lovely white temple [here is a picture].
We stayed one night in Chang Rai, our last night in Thailand before we head to Laos.

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Our time in Bangkok

Date: 24/03/2007 | Author: Florence

When we landed in Bangkok it was the middle of the night but it was really hot! We had to get the taxi to our hotel. Our hotel room was quite big, it had two balconies over looking the river. The river is called the Chao Phraya.
On our first day we visited Wat Pho. It is a temple which is like a Thai church for Buddhists. It had lots of pagodas and Buddhas. Inside was a golden Buddha, he was lying down. They built the Buddha before they built the temple around him because they might have built the temple too small. After that we had a wonderful Thai massage. I love having massages. We had our massage on a hot day but it was in a cool air conditioned room. We had it as a family. Ella's masseur had an extra thumb on each hand. After that we got a tuk tuk to the King's Palace but we didn't go inside because it was too hot!! Instead we went for a nice cool swim.
The next morning we went to a big market. We walked in to a bag shop. It had lots of different bags, Daddy bought himself a man bag (that's what he called it). It was really hot so we got a nice cold smoothie - it was really cold!! After that we went to see some cute animals - they were for sale! We didn't think it was a kind way to sell animals because they were in crowded cages and it was too hot in the market. We didn't buy any because we can't travel with them. If Ella was a millionaire she said she would buy them all!
I liked Bangkok but it was really hot!

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Back to Sydney

Date: 21/03/2007 | Author: Florence

We are now in Sydney again and staying in a youth hostel. Things didn't go too well. For a start we were in a tiny room and there wasn't much to do around there. To make things worse the fire alarm went off at about 5.30am. Ella got a little bit scared when I told her the dangerous things that could happen if there was a fire. She put the back of her hand against the door to make sure there wasn't a fire outside our room. We decided the youth hostel wasn't the place for us.
At last we are staying in a better place called Manly Lodge. It is near a very nice beach and I am learning to body surf. Unfortunately Ella and Mummy got stung by a bluebottle but that didn't stop me from swimming in the sea. The waves looked really big, they were really big but they were really gentle!!
While we were in Sydney we went on race on the exact day that the Harbour Bridge was turning 75. Fact: the
Harbour Bridge is 75, our street in London is 100. So our street is older than the Harbour Bridge.
We had fun in Sydney and I really liked Manly - it was the best sea I have ever swum in. It was also great because our big sister, Jess, came to stay with us there.

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Sand Dunes

Date: 10/03/2007 | Author: Florence

We drove up 90 mile beach. As we were going up we saw some beautiful sand dunes on the way. So we went to a shop to hire boogie boards. I had a yellow one. When we got back to the sand dunes we climbed half way up one and we slid down. Then we climbed back up it again and we climbed to the top of the dunes. It was hard work and I thought I was nearly going to faint at the top. Then we slid all the way down on our boogie boards. About a quarter of the way down I was going too fast so mummy was trying to slow me down but she accidentally tipped me over and I had a face full of sand. Sand doesn't taste very nice - it's all crunchy and yukky! But I did have a fantastic go tobogganing with Mummy down the rest of the big sand dune. Daddy climbed back up to get my boogie board and slid down really really fast. I washed my face at an oasis and then slid down the smaller sand dunes. It was a lot of fun (see the video!).

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North of the North Island

Date: 05/03/2007 | Author: Florence

Daddy drove us to a town called Russell. We are staying at a house where we can walk to the beach on our own. It is only out of the house down the hill across the grass and to the beach. We went sailing on a boat that looked very old. It has sailed all around the world. We climbed on the bowsprit. You could sleep on the boat but we liked our house toooooo much. It was a big boat and Daddy got to help sail and Ella steered the boat. We went back to our house then we went to a posh restaurant and played a lovely game (Boggle) while we were waiting for our dinner (yum yum).

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Rocky Point

Date: 02/03/2007 | Author: Florence

We are staying at a wonderful place called Rocky Point. There are lots of things to do. It is Greg's and Mary-Ann's holiday home. They have a little boy called Truman. The first day we went for a walk around the beach. We played in a little hut and pretended it was a cafe. I like getting people things that is why I like making a cafe. We picked our mums first (they do say "ladies first"). We worked in the cafe until dark. Then we made a fire and went to bed.
The next morning we watched 'Babe Pig in the City', mum said we could watch Rocky Point Morning Movies - it's a bit of a mouthful. It was a lovely movie and Babe the pig became a hero. Then we went kayaking and I didn't have to paddle (haha). Ella went on her own and I went with Dad then Mum. After kayaking we learnt to drive a car. It was built so people could learn to drive, it was very simple. We also went on a motorbike but we didn't drive, Greg did. At last Daddy said 'kids activities over'.........aaaaahhhhhh!
Sadly, little Truman and his family had to go but the good news is WE CAN STAY LONGER! The next morning we went sailing with Daddy. The boat was tiny. One side got soaked and the other side stayed as dry as a peanut. I didn't enjoy it much, water went over the side of the boat.
We haven't seen anyone here apart from the farmer and some sheep.

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Thermal Wonderlands

Date: 25/02/2007 | Author: florence

The crust of the earth is not one piece like the skin of an apple. Instead it is made up of many pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. These pieces are called tectonic plates. New Zealand is located where 2 plates meet, one is called IndoAustralian and the other is called Pacific. Because of this there are lots of volcanoes and mud pools. We went to a place called Wai-O-Tapu where there was a lovely green thermal pool. It was called Devil's Bath and these are some facts about it. The Devil's Bath is a large crater. It smells of rotten eggs!! But It is a beautiful green-yellow colour.
When we went back to our cabin at our campsite we played in the playground, then we had a swim. The water in the pools was heated from the land and earth. I went on a great slide, it was the biggest slide I have ever been on. First it was very scary but then I got used to it. Once I turned and turned and turned. I had a lot of fun on that slide. Another thermal pool we went to was a waterfall. It was too hot to sit down. I had just got used to it when we had to go.
Mummy was going to do a bungy jump but changed her mind so we just went swimming in the river instead. I think that was a much better idea. I went snorkelling and I saw wood, seaweed, logs and lots of other things under the water. We were swimming by an island called Cherry Island, it was a private island and someone lived there. There weren't many people there.
One evening we went to a special Maori show and dinner. The food wasn't very nice but I had a very good time. We saw some Maori dances called the Haka and a Poi dance.

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Back to the Flying Fox

Date: 22/02/2007 | Author: Florence

We went back to the the flying fox and saw Billy the dog (he likes the smell of Daddy). First we unpacked, second we went on a walk with Billy, then we did a little bit of our scrap books. After that we did a fashion show for Mummy and Daddy. We dressed up as different people from different countries and we used the hats from Mummy's and Daddy's bedroom. We made up funny names for ourselves. It was lovely to be back at the Flying Fox - I really liked it there! Billy is the best!

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Date: 21/02/2007 | Author: florence

Today I learnt " A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine". I read this at Highfield Estate Winery and mummy told me it was true. We got there by bike, I was on a tag-a-long with mummy she said I was really fast!
Ella and I looked at all the different rows of grapes and we played races down the vines.I wanted to eat some!
I learnt about Rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines. I smelt lots of wines and I could smell lemons and passion fruits and pear. But I didn't taste any wine because I didn't think they would taste very nice.

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Swimming with Dolphins

Date: 18/02/2007 | Author: Florence

Mummy and Ella went swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura. I couldn't go because I was too young. They had to swim in the deep ocean without life jackets. I just had to stay on the boat and watch but I took lots of photos (this is one of mine!). We saw so many dusky dolphins. The dolphins jumped up and down and did lots of somersaults out of the water. A group of lots of dolphins is called a pod. It was a big big pod, it was more dolphins than I have ever seen before and more than my mummy and daddy have ever seen before too. There were lots of dolphins, they were surrounding the boat.
In Kaikoura we stayed in a Top 10 Holiday camp. We met some friends named Emily and Orlando (they had a big brother called Ben). There was a bouncy pillow we went on. It wasn't that bouncy, it was impossible to jump but it was great fun! Emily and Orlando are from Bristol. We have lots of other friends in Bristol. We liked them a lot. Emily even came for a sleepover to our deluxe room (cabin)!

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Mount Cook

Date: 16/02/2007 | Author: Florence

We went on a long long walk near Mount Cook. We bought some snacks so I didn't get hungry. On the way we saw a little hut and saw that lots of people had written their names all over the walls. We also met a little boy called Thomas. We walked over 2 swingbridges, we then walked past Thomas. We walked and walked and walked. At the end we met up with Thomas again and invited him to play with us. We made a little house while our mums and dads sat in the sun. We made some pretend food and invited our mums and dads over for dinner. We then walked back the same way.

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Boats and Dolphins

Date: 12/02/2007 | Author: Florence

We went on an overnight cruise to Doubtful Sound and slept in a cabin with 2 bunk beds. The top bunk beds were to high so Mummy and Daddy slept there :-( It was a lovely cruise, a kind lady gave us a lolly pop each. Then we did some great activities. First we went on the tender (the small boat used to carry people to and from the big boat) and we cruised around the fiord and were told some things about it. Then we went kayaking - mummy paddled and pulled me along. Next we went swimming off the back of the boat. Some people jumped off a high platform but I just went off the easy way. Ella tried to jump but she stood there for too long so she got a bit dizzy! We then went out to the open sea, it was very rough but we saw some seals on the rocks. Later on, after dinner, we saw some dolphins swimming around. They were bottle nosed dolphins and were jumping by the side of the boat. We then watched a slide show and learnt about kiwis and other New Zealand birds. Then we went to bed.
In the morning we saw some more dolphins and had breakfast. After breakfast the captain stopped the boat and turned everything off so it was really quiet and we could hear all the sounds of the birds - it was very peaceful.
We loved the cruise.

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More adventures in Queenstown

Date: 10/02/2007 | Author: Florence

We went to watch Daddy's bungy jump. We went in a flying fox to a cage high above the river. We went across in order from the heaviest to the lightest so I went last. I watched all the bungy jumpers through the glass floor in the cage. Everyone screamed except Daddy. He was very brave. Ella and I had harnesses on too - we clipped our harnesses to a rope and had a swing in the cage while everyone jumped off the cage!
That afternoon we went on a jet boat. We were twisting and turning around. It was very fast. We saw an old engine on the banks of the river, some people had found it in a tunnel. The man who was driving our driving our jet boat made a special sign before the boat turned so we knew it was going to turn!!!!!!! I was snuggled up with Mummy on one side and Daddy and Ella on the other side so I felt very safe.
After that I felt very hungry so we had dinner in a lovely Italian restaurant called Fat Catz. I had pasta, it was delicious. The restaurant was all about cats. We drew pictures of cats and we read books about cats too. We had a lot of fun in Queenstown.

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Date: 08/02/2007 | Author: Florence

When we arrived in Queenstown we unpacked our bags (because we are staying a whole week) and had a lovely time looking around our house. We made a pretend cafe called Oasis and invited our Mum and Dad over. We also practised cartwheels and handstands on the grass. It's a really lovely house and Ella and I have got our own bedrooms.
The next day we looked around Queenstown to see what activities we could do because there are lots of exciting things to do here. We went to a cafe where Ella and I pretended we were called Pickled Onion and Tomato Ketchup - it was very funny!
We went Hang Gliding the next day. It was very funny but very scary at the same time. My pilot's name was Rick, he made me feel very safe. The most exciting thing was landing. The day after hang gliding we went on a luge (like a go cart). There was a choice of a scenic track and a fast track. We had to go on the scenic track because I was too small to go on my own and you can only go on the fast track if there is only one person in a luge. I went with Dad first (he goes really fast) then Mum. Then dad went on his own on the fast track - it was too fast. Then we went home and practised more cartwheels - Mum does the best.
Another trip we have done was to go to a farm. We got to the farm on an old steam ship. At the farm we saw a sheep dog rounding up the sheep. The man was whistling to the dog to make him stop and he whistled again to make the dog go to the right places. The sheep were really big as they had lots of wool. When they have lots of wool they don't run very fast. Then the dog rounded up some sheep who had their wool shorn off, they can run much faster so the dog has to run much faster. Next we saw sheep shearing. The sheep had lots of wool, the man held it between his legs. The sheep was on it's back so it couldn't run away. The wool he cut off was very dirty but it was very soft.

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Date: 03/02/2007 | Author: Florence

When we arrived in Wanaka we went to a lovely house, it had a jacuzzi and a swimming pool. We were staying for just 2 nights. The first morning we had a jacuzzi then walked on the Rob Roy track. We walked a long long way to the glacier. My legs ached after that. We arrived home very late but we watched TV because we weren't tired. We watched a very nice film about a lady who had children. We watched it until the end and were so tired we went straight to bed. We were going to Queenstown the next day but before we left we went to Puzzling World. We went to a maze where you had to go to the red, blue, green and yellow corners but the hardest thing to do was find your way back to the start. There was also a room that made you look bigger and smaller. I loved Puzzling World.

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Let it snow............

Date: 30/01/2007 | Author: Florence

We are staying in a village called Franz Joseph which is named after a big glacier near the village. Yesterday I went on a helicopter for the first time! I was too young to go with Ella and Daddy on a heli-hike (they went on a helicopter ride and had a long walk on the glacier) so I went with Mum on a helicopter ride where we had a short time on the ice and snow at the top of the glacier. It had snowed the night before so the snow was very smooth. We had heard that it snowed a little bit in London but there was much more here (the snow & ice is about 400 metres thick). The snow was so deep your feet sank right in to it! The helicopter ride is the most exciting thing I have ever done and it was really cool to be on the top of such a big glacier.

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West Coast sculptures

Date: 29/01/2007 | Author: Florence

We went to Punakaiki which has rocks that look like pancakes. The most amazing thing about the rocks is that scientists don't know why they look like pancakes piled one on top of the other. The west coast is way different from any other beaches we have been to on the South Island because the sand is black and the beaches are really wild and the sea is really rough.
We then drove on to Hokitika where we looked at a sculpture competition on the beach. The sculptures were just made out of sand, seaweed, driftwood, pebbles and other things you find on the beach. There was a turtle sculpture but my favourite was a house you could walk through (see my picture). The turtle won first prize in the competition.
Hokitika is famous for jade and we went to a shop with lots of jade jewellery and sculptures. In the shop I found a door that lead into a very dark room with beautiful sculptures lit up. I showed my sister and she told mum and dad. It was a great shop with lots of interesting things.

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Date: 24/01/2007 | Author: Florence

We went by boat to Awaroa because you can't get there by car. Our boat was an Aqua-Taxi. There was a lovely waitress called Bessie. We stayed in a lovely house. Ella and I slept on the sofa bed. On the first day we walked to a lovely beach and we saw the tide coming in. We were surrounded by water. We had to swim across. Ella and I made secret club houses and it was a lot of fun. We invited our mum and dad over. On our last day we had a big big big big walk. We walked across millions of shells. My legs got very tired.

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The South Island

Date: 23/01/2007 | Author: Florence

We got the ferry from the North Island to the South Island and met up with Jez, who is my Godfather, and visited him in his campervan. We stayed in the same campsite in a little hut - it was awful, it was the size of our wendy house.
On our way to the next stop we went on some really exciting quad bikes. There was a fun track and we went through water. We had to keep our legs up so they didn't get wet.
Now we are staying in Old MacDonald's Farm. We are staying in a really nice house with our own kitchen and bathroom. There are lots of animals here, we have seen llamas, alpacas, sheep, horses, peacocks, baby ducks and chickens. We even found a rotten egg!

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Snow and Water

Date: 20/01/2007 | Author: Florence

After Raglan we went to the mountains and we saw some snow! We got on a chairlift nearly to the top of the mountain. We got so high no more trees grew. The mountain was a volcano but luckily it didn't erupt while we were playing there. After the mountains we went to the river. We got a jet boat up and canoed back down. Then we went to the Flying Fox which is a hotel you can only get to by flying fox. It is not a flying fox like the one in Holland Park - it is one with a basket. At the Flying Fox we met a dog called Billy, he was lovely. When it got dark we had an outdoor bath that was warmed up by burning a fire underneath it. The water was fresh from the river.

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Flower Girls and Dogs

Date: 16/01/2007 | Author: Florence

In Raglan we were flower girls at Victoria and Marcus's wedding. There were also 2 dogs wearing flowers around their necks. We had a lovely view of the sea from the wedding. I was really nervous about being a flower girl, but once I had done it I wanted to do it again. This is how I feel when we have a class assembly at school. I liked Raglan a lot.

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New Zealand beaches

Date: 12/01/2007 | Author: Florence

After Auckland we went to Karekare. In Karekare we went on 2 big walks, they were very nice. But I liked it best when we pretended that Celeste's treehouse was a restaurant. We made a menu and invited our mums and dads over for their dinner - but not really!
After Karekare we went to Hahei. It rained lots but we still got to go sea kayaking. It was a lot of fun. We caught lots of waves to get us to land. One wave made us go up then down on the kayak.

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The trip so far.......

Date: 08/01/2007 | Author: Florence

My favourite place so far: Tasmania
Reason: I enjoyed playing with my cousins.

The best thing i have done; Going to Kylie's concert in Melbourne.

Thing I like the most; That we are seeing the most beautiful things and places.

Thing I like the least: Biting insects!

What I am looking forward to: Marcus and Victoria's wedding!

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New Year

Date: 01/01/2007 | Author: Florence

We are now in a new country. (New Zealand)
I had a very nice New Year. it was the first time I stayed awake till midnight! Before midnight Mummy and I went to a beach with black sand called Karekare. On our Aunty Loo's birthday we went to a moving restaurant in a very tall building called the Sky Tower.
Next morning we went to Kelly Tarltons which is an underwater aquarium. Mummy and Daddy went sailing so we had a baby sitter called Tanya - she was lovely.
On Thursday the fourth of January we went to Auckland Museum. While we were there we saw a Maori show called Manaia. We learnt our first Maori word 'Kia Ora'. It means lots of words such as 'Hello' 'Good Health' 'Awesome'. We saw some Maori dances including a Poi dance and the Haka. At the Museum we bought a book and are going to learn more Maori words. Our Granny Pad has now left New Zealand and is on her way home.

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Our 3 walks

Date: 28/12/2006 | Author: Florence

First we went on a medium rated walk, we had to go in to the forest for some of it.
Second we went on an easy rated walk - most of it was a boardwalk but it was a very long walk - it was 9km long. I walked most of it on my own. Daddy carried me for a little bit right at the end. I fell asleep after the walk because I was so tired.
That evening we went on a spotlight tour in a jeep. We were hoping to see lots of wild animals and we did! We saw wombats, a quoll (these a very rare and extinct everywhere but Tasmania), wallabies, roufus wallabies and lots of possums. One possum even tried to come in to our cabin that night!
On our 3rd walk we saw lots of waterfalls.
I liked Cradle Mountain a lot. I enjoyed all the walking and seeing lots of wild animals.

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Merry Christmas from Tasmania

Date: 25/12/2006 | Author: Florence

Gran, Da & our cousins & Aunty Wendy met us Launceston airport and then we got our luggage and went to Gran and Da's house where we are staying in Tasmania. I have 3 cousins, Brennan (13) Carley (nearly 12) and Sarah Kate (8) they are all very friendly. We have been playing with them lots and have had a sleep over at their house. They have a lovely house with lots of land and loads of animals - 2 ponies, so many goats, a few ducklings, a rabbit called Izzie, chickens and many more.
We spent Christmas day at our cousins house. We played outside because it was just the right temperature - not too hot & not too cold. We made Pavlova (a traditional Australian dessert) for all the family. We ate this after our barbecue.
We got lots of presents for Christmas. My favourites were my locket, my underwater camera, my tamagotchi and my bracelet with my name on it.
Merry Christmas everybody!

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The drive to Melbourne.....

Date: 21/12/2006 | Author: Florence

On the first day of our drive we stopped at a zoo called Symbio. We fed kangaroos. There was a greedy goose who ran after us trying to get the kangaroo food. Ella said it was scary. I did too. We saw a koala, a Tasmanian devil, two emus, a wombat, and many more Australian animals. The first night we stayed at Mollymook. There was a place called Mollymook golf club where we had dinner. We had a nice house with a big balcony. Our house was very near to the sea.
Our second night we stayed at Eden. We have got a friend called Eden so we bought some things for her with her name on it. It was very fun! We went on a boat trip we saw a seal and lots of dolphins. It was a lot of fun! We made a new friend. Then we carried on with our drive.
Next we stopped at a town called Sale. It was funny because it said that on most of the shops. We had a very nice cabin. We liked it but there were lots of flies. In Melbourne we stayed at a posh hotel. Last night we went to Kylie's show. It was much better than Robbie Williams show. I loved all her costumes. I liked the red one the best when she was coming down on the moon. We left early because we were tired. I wished I could see the end but I had to go to bed.

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In Australia

Date: 13/12/2006 | Author: Florence

In Australia a lady showed us to our house by the beach. First we had a sleep because the aeroplane wasn't comfy then we went to Bondi beach for a swim & we had a shower on the beach. Then we had lunch. The next day we stayed in bed until midday!!. On Saturday we went to a market and then to Robbie Williams' show. The next day we went to the zoo by ferry it was great fun.

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We are in Thailand

Date: 01/12/2006 | Author: Florence

We've got a lovely house by the beach. We visited a few other beaches and at one of them we saw lots and lots of monkeys. We are having an amazing time. We swam in the sea to cool us down. Me and Ella run around in the rain when it rains. It is a lot of fun! The rain is very warm.

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not long now........

Date: 23/11/2006 | Author: florence

Tomorrow it is Ella's 9th birthday and I am really excited so is Ella.

We have already moved out of our house - we stayed at Aunty Loo's for 2 nights & for the next few nights we will be staying at our friends, Evie's & Daisy's house.

We leave on Monday. First we are going to Thailand! We are going to meet lots of people while we are away. We are very excited and can't wait to start!

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