Tuesday 29 August 2017

Aussie Adventures with Quokkas and Ice Cream

My travel itinerary has been jam packed and almost totally wifi free for the last week or so so I'm just posting a short(ish) but pic heavy post today. When Nick and I were looking into flights from Bali to Australia we realised that we would be able to fly into Perth and then from Perth to Melbourne for far less than it would have cost to fly straight to Melbourne. It made sense to have a little Western Australia adventure! We stayed in Fremantle and the way that our cheap flights worked out meant that we were there during the week, unfortunately all of the vegan spots there are closed during the week! If you want a foodie adventure then try to visit from Friday to Monday when most of the cafes and the markets are open. We went into Perth to visit museums (I loved the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts), drink bubble tea, explore the Asian food stores, eat at Lord of the Fries, and to watch The Big Sick at the cinema on Cheap Tuesday. Have you seen The Big Sick yet? I loved it! I'm a huge rom com fan but as a feminist they definitely push my rage buttons. I don't think there were any moments that made me angry in The Big Sick though! There was even a decent joke about mansplaining and the whole movie was laugh out loud funny as well as cute.

Another of my very favourite thing about the Perth / Fremantle area was 100% vegan gelato spot Gelato 101.

This epic ice cream spot is located in Cottesloe which is right between Fremantle and Perth on the main train line and we were blown away by their ice creams.

Friday 25 August 2017

Vegan in The Gili Islands

When Nick and I were planning our trip to Bali I knew that we had to visit the Gili Islands. These tiny islands seemed like the most amazing place to live out our dessert island fantasies so we blocked out ten days and got researching. We decided that Gili Trawangan wasn't for us, it's too loud and too much of a party hotspot and it definitely doesn't have the chilled out vibe we were looking for. We decided to split our time between Gili Air and Gili Meno spending a few nights on mellow backpacker hotspot Gili Air and then the majority of our time on the even smaller and quieter Gili Meno.

Our trip to the Gili Islands didn't start wonderfully as I started to feel unwell on our last morning at the resort we were staying at on Lombok. I wasn't sure if it was food poisoning, a stomach bug, or a colitis flare up at this point but it wasn't great. We managed to get to our Airbnb on Gili Air without too many dramas but because I wasn't feeling good we took a speedboat which cost far more than we were hoping to spend on the journey. It got us from A to B as quickly as possible though which was all I cared about.

Friday 18 August 2017

Reducing My Plastic Consumption

I've been into the whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing for as long as I can remember. I'm always the person encouraging everyone to bring their own plates and cutlery to the vegan potluck and removing your juice bottle from my kitchen bin as soon as you turn away. Yep. That's me! When I lived in Brighton I supplemented our kerbside recycling with monthly trips to recycling points dotted around town to recycle things like tetra paks of soy milk (did you know that you need to remove the plastic spout and lid before recycling these?) and textiles. I also paid a little bit of cash each month to Magpie Recycling Co-op's opt in scheme so that I could recycle things like yoghurt pots and tofu tubs. So I was kind of a champion recycler and I always washed out my zip seal bags so that I could reuse them until they fell apart, but the whole reduce thing? Not so great!

Since taking a tour of the Sea Shepherd ship the Bob Barker in Melbourne and reading a few articles and blog posts about the impact of plastics on our oceans I've been trying to do more. By putting more of a focus on reducing my plastic consumption I feel like I'm stepping up my game! It definitely isn't an easy thing to do when you're travelling; you can't buy in bulk, often have to avoid drinking the tap water, and are given plastic bags and straws all the time but here are the steps that I've taken so far.

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Vegan Eats Ubud

If you read my last blog post you're probably already dreaming of a trip to Ubud and this post might just push you over the edge. The food in Ubud is excellent and even I managed to find enough to eat - no mean feat in a country where everyone loves chilli. One of the spots that Nick and I ended up visiting the most was Alchemy. It was located around 10 minutes from our gorgeous Penestenan Airbnb (seriously if you haven't already check out my previous post!) and we headed there for breakfast most days. They have a smoothie bowl bar which I was deeply suspicious of because I don't even enjoy smoothies let alone pretending that they're a meal. It turns out that smoothie bowls are actually amazing though! Who knew?!

The options were different every single day and you could mix and match your smoothie, fruit, and topping options to mix things up and keep breakfast exciting. My favourite days were the ones when they had strawberries in the fruit section and blueberry or turmeric whipped coconut cream in the topping area. I always went for chocolate granola because it's the best and I was wild about the bright purple dragonfruit soursop smoothie.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Blissed Out in Bali

After volunteering at the farm animal rescue for two months followed by a fun filled and action packed road trip up the Australian coast from Brisbane to Cairns Nick and I decided that Ubud in Bali would be our next stop. We chose Ubud because it has a reputation for being a laid back kind of place with plentiful vegan options and it's not too far from Australia. It sounded like a great place to rest and recharge our batteries and I'd say that it exceeded our expectations quickly becoming one of our favourite places in the world. 

We chose to stay in Penestenan at an amazing Air BnB located a little way into the rice terraces. We were about a 40 minute walk from Earth Cafe in the centre of Ubud but if that's not your vibe taxis were around 70,000 and we took them once or twice. The area is beyond gorgeous and I think that we'd have had a very different experience if we'd chosen to stay in the bustling, traffic filled, touristy centre of Ubud.

Monday 7 August 2017

Vegan in Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

After spending two weeks road tripping north up the Bruce Highway from Brisbane Nick and I arrived in Cairns and camped there, at the Cairns Coconut site, for two nights. We had a trip booked out to The Great Barrier Reef for the day after we arrived in town and the tour company we booked with were picking us up at 6:20am. Sadly unlike our amazing experience with Whitsunday Bullet the vegan options on Reef Experience were terrible. We started badly at breakfast time with a spinach, carrot, and cucumber roll with some balsamic drizzle (what the what?!) whilst everyone else ate bacon and egg rolls. Lunch was just more salad with some roasted pumpkin in place of all of the meaty things everyone else was eating. I was getting pretty irritated by this point especially as the woman in charge kept calling us her "little vegans" which felt super patronising. Ugh!

There were also snacks for after snorkelling, cheese and crackers I think, and they didn't even try to find us a vegan option for that. It was definitely one of the worst vegan catering experiences I've had in recent memory and I was pretty annoyed that they'd told me that they can cater for vegan guests. I brought emergency snacks with me, ate all of them, and was still starving when we got off of the boat at the end of the day. When you have hours of physical activity ahead of you you can't just eat salad! It's ridiculous that in 2017, in a country with plentiful vegan options, people still think vegans basically just eat vegetables.

Thursday 3 August 2017

Vegan Road Trip - Brisbane to Cairns Part 2

This is part two of my Brisbane to Cairns vegan road trip series, we already picked up our Hippie camper, visited Noosa, ate a whole bunch of delicious vegan food, and spotted a koala in the wild so if you haven't read that post already you can catch up right here

The Whitsunday's were somewhere that both Nick and I had crossed off of our list of places we'd be visiting on this trip because they aren't exactly a budget friendly place to get to and we just didn't think that we could afford it. The closer we got though the more we realised that we were both thinking that we wanted to go but thought that the other wanted to stick to the original plan. A frantic afternoon of planning and organising ensued and the next day we were off in a boat heading to the Whitsunday Islands with Whitsunday Bullet one of the more budget friendly options whose day trip included visiting a snorkelling site (great practice for me before our planned trip to the Great Barrier Reef) as well as a lookout point and the famous beach itself.

The peep's from Whitsunday Bullet even pick you up at your hotel / hostel / campsite and take you to the port so you don't have to do any pre planning you can just book and go.