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Aug 27 2012

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The Philippine Eagles

Previous entry: Butterfly Sanctuary

Date: 15th June 2012


The next destination, after the Butterfly Farm,


Yes… we were here to meet the infamous Philippines Eagles!

But, let’s do some homework first:


The eagles are an endangered lot  :(


The pictures I had seen so far gave me the impression that they are cute:


We had to walk deep into the park:


These are the cages for the eagles. The cages have to be big enough to allow them to stretch their wings (fly). There’s one here, can you see it:


More lessons:


They are also known as the monkey-eating eagles (yes, they eat monkeys!)


Their wing span is 7 meters!


This was the closest we could get to one:


This one was  just curious of us as much as we were curious to see him:


This park is definitely very educational :)


This one is in a cage:



There was a donation drive some years ago, and donors’ names are etched on the blocks of cements:




On our way out, we were “greeted” by this Brahminy kite :)




The road back to Davao:


Except for the public transports, the ambience really reminded me of the villages back home in 1970s..


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Jul 25 2012

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Clark, Here I Come!

Date: 13th June 2012

A few months earlier DH managed to get some cheap tickets on Air Asia for the (then) newly launched Clark-Davao route. Davao is the capital of Mindanao, Philippines.

In order to fly Clark-Davao, we had to fly to clark first :-) .


En route to Clark:


Just before landing at Clark (formerly airbase) Airport:


We booked for our stay in Clark at this cute homely hotel:

Well-kept room too:


During our walk that afternoon looking for lunch nearby the hotel (though we walked for over 1km, one way!):


The adventure had just started… :)


Jul 18 2012

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Coffs Harbour

Previous entry: Port Macquarie

Date: 5th June 2012


We arrived the night before to this cosy cabin:



Woke up to a breakfast of  “the leftovers from the previous day’s shopping”



Our cabin from outside:


It was bright and sunny outside:


We later had a proper breakfast (of coffee and muffins) at the nearby McD. We spent some time there because of the free wi-fi :)

Once all the updates on Facebook were done and emails all checked (and responded where necessary), we headed to the sea front:


I just had to get my feet wet:


The water was pretty warm, really!


Trying my best not to get my jeans wet:


This is THE Pacific Ocean, OK?


Now you know why my jump was without shoes:


We later drove to access the beach (seen in the far back of the above picture).


The lifeguards on duty:


Nice eh?


A slightly different jump (shoes still off):


We later decided to go near the harbour:


first was the coastal walk:


Then we went closer to the harbour:


boats and yachts everywhere:


To be continued…

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Jul 07 2012

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Port Mcquarie

Previous post:Port Stephens


Date: 4th June 2012


After enjoying Port Stephens, we pushed on for a long drive:



Our destination was Port Macquarie. One of the little towns that we passed by:



It was a clear day:


quite a scenic drive (as long as I was not driving :) )


We arrived at Port Macquarie and headed to the water front;


Ah… The Pacific Ocean again:



The clouds had been brewing for a while now..



That didn’t stop me for having this pose:


We were hungry and looked for the town centre to get some late lunch:



Found a halal fish/chicken and chips shop and had a quick chow. We then looked around the harmless town centre:


At the bay:


Just before sunset:


Almost sunset (we are suckers for sunrise and sunset!):


We then pushed on, and arrived at Coffs Harbour that night (too dark for any photo shoot)



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Jun 29 2012

Posted by under Trips,Uncategorized

Port Stephens

Previous entry: Sydney to Port Stephens

Date: 3rd June 2012


We headed towards the nearest town centre:


We arrived at a McDonald’s at Salamander Bay, and promptly ordered our breakfast:


That was the first McD that we came across that does NOT offer wi-fi services :( .


We then went to the nearby shopping mall, and stock us up with some food. I was happy to find something familiar :) :


We spotted some palm prints:


Oh, some charity work being  immortalised:



This place is a holiday town for sure:


Yachts and boats in abundance:


Nice beach:


A lot of proper signage like this one:


A nearby boat ramp:


Some guidelines on what can be caught and how many:


A bit about Port Stephens:


We went to another spot, known as Soldiers Point:


Admiring the water:


More signage:


Bigger and better ramp:


And we saw a boat being taken out of the water! First the trailer reversed towards the ramp:

Into the water:


And out the boat being pulled:


We then left the place, because our destination, Coffs Harbour was still very far way:


Our destination was not even on the signboard!


It’s between Kempsey and Brisbane :)








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Jun 28 2012

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Sydney to Port Stephens

This is the first entry to my recent short trip Down Under..

Date: 2 June 2012


(We took a late night Air Asia flight bound for Sydney on 1st June 2012, arriving the following morning)


I woke up to a beautiful sunrise:


Just before landing:


Busy Sydney Airport:


A “Flying Kangaroo” was about to depart:


Waiting for DH to collect our car for the next 3 days:


Breakfast stop:


Our immediate destination (caught in a Sunday morning traffic jam):


Visiting my former student, Alma. Alma was my second batch of students when I was a teacher way back in the 1980s.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Statistics (oh, am I proud of her, or what!).We later found out that her hubby is my primary school friend’s  younger brother.

That day she cooked sumptuous lunch for us. Here’s a photo shot before we left them:


We arrived at our  cabin at Birubi Beach Holiday Park late at night. We only took a pic of it the following morning:

Like most cabins in holiday parks around Australia, the cabin has 2 rooms, and fully equipped with fridge, tv, stove and cooking/meal utensils! no, we didn’t cook. We just had some coffee with banana (that we bought the day before) for breakfast, before we checked out. We needed to get some proper breakfast soon.


A quick morning walk at Anna Bay:


Long sand dunes (the longest in Australia!):


Strange (to us) shaped clouds:


When we were about to leave, a young girl asked if she could jump-start her car using our car battery:


She said she went for a jog earlier without turning off the lights. We tried a few times but failed, so she had to call for help. We then left the place.



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Jun 28 2012

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St Petersburg Again (Last Day in Russia)

Previous post: Goodbye Moscow


Date: 17th April 2012

By that day, we were very tired and had had enough of the cold weather. After breakfast, we contemplated, and eventually (heavy-heartedly) decided it would be a waste to just stay in the hotel room.

So, we started another walkabout in St Petersburg. This is a common view of Piter:


A statue of Peter The Great at Senatskaya Square:


A nearby (government?) building:



He sure looks majestic:


St Isaac’s of Dalmatia Cathedral:


St Petersburg is fulled of bronze statues:


Walking back to our hotel along another canal:


Regularly reading the big map (to get our bearing) whenever we found one:


Nice building:


We went to a nearby metro:


Since it was well-signed in English (and also with the previous experience in Moscow), we decided to take a ride to the Netro station closest to the Alexander Nevsky monastery:



Just outside it are the Tikhvin Cemetery and Lazarus Cemetery:


The cemeteries house tombs of many famous figures like Tchaikovsky and some renown Mathematicians too (including Leonard Euler ) :-


Some extra information on who’s there can be seen (read) here:

The Metro lines are very deep (to go under the rivers and canals, I guess) hence the escalators are long too:


We walked back to our hotel, waited for our cab, and in no time we were back at the airport, waiting for our flight to Dubai (see if you can find it here?) :


Final look at St Petersburg Airport:



Goodbye, Piter:


Arriving in Dubai:


We arrived at Dubai International airport at dawn, and it was already packed with people. Look at the scheduled flights:


Our arrival at KLIA concluded our trip. THE END :)


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Jun 24 2012

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Goodbye Moscow

Previous entry: Moscow in an Afternoon


Date: 16th April 2012


We only spent one night in Moscow, staying at the Izmailovo Beta hotel:


It was part of the Moscow Olympic village in 1980:


Sunset as viewed from our hotel room:


The following morning view:


Checked out, and waiting for our “guides” (to come and take us to the Airport Express) at the lobby:


Our luggage were not big nor heavy, but Amzar and Afiq definitely helped a lot in carrying them, and guiding us to the right platform of the Metro and stopping at the right station.

Once we reached the station for the Aeroexpress we bade goodbye to them, and settled in the ultra-modern train:


When we arrived at the Sheremetyevo airport:


This photo helps me remember the iarport name! :)


We were at Sheremetyevo Terminal D


to take an Aeroflot flight bound for St Petersburg:


A final look at part of Moscow:


I doubt if I will everr come back here :)



Jun 24 2012

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Moscow In An Afternoon

Previous post: Vilnius to Moscow


Date: 15th April 2012

Moscow Metro (underground trains) would be intimidating for people who do not read Russian (like us). We were lucky we had 2 Malaysian students, Amzar and Afiq, to help get around. They bought the tickets (at the machines which are all accompanied with instructions in Russian) for us, and read the directions for us too.

Missed the train but not too worry because soon after another one would come:

Some of the stations are quite beautiful, like the two shown in the previous blog entry, and this one too:


After taking 2 types (lines) of Metro trains  and walked for  can’t remember how long) arrived at the Kremlin:


Guards and The Tomb of The Unnamed Soldiers, in time for the change of guards:


I wish I can swing my legs that high (& straight!)!


I wanted a pose like this but that girl stood too long there that I couldn’t wait :(

(maybe the pic is better with her instead of me there?)


We moved on to the infamous Red Square:


Enjoyed watching the landmarks:


and  people-watching :)


Back to the buildings… The Kazan Cathedral:


A nearby shopping block that we never bothered to enter (though it’s a very nice building from outside):


It was Easter Sunday (The Russian Orthodox Easter is 1 week later than the rest) hence so many people;


The over-photographed St. Basil’s Cathedral:


The State Museum, right on the other end of the huge square:


A photo shot with our generous guides, Amzar and Afiq:


And a closure with what else but a jump!








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Jun 21 2012

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Vilnius To Moskow

Previous entry: Trakai Walkabout and Back To Vilnius

Date: 15th April 2012

That morning we were to make this journey:


It was our first time on an Aeroflot flight :) (heard so much about the airline since my varsity days!) :


Since it was not a budget airline, we were served some snacks:


The pastry contained chicken fillings, so we only consumed the cake, coffee and juice.


While airborne:


Just before we landed (And I thought it was supposed to be the beginning of Spring?):


We were lucky that two Malaysian medical students came to wait for us at the airport (will tell you why in the next entry). They did their secondary school at my alma-mater :) (hence fellow alumni).

They helped to buy the express train tickets for us, and carried our luggage too (I am sure they pitied this aunt and uncle :) ):


After the fast train we had to take 2 other metro (underground) trains. Here a pic of us waiting for one of the trains:


every Metro station is unique, and sometimes nice:


We went to our hotel, checked in and had some rest (we left our Vilnius hotel in the wee hours). The boys agreed to come back again a few hours later to take us to the famous placve in Moscow….



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