For my daughter’s 10th birthday she requested that we go see the Equine Expo in Toowoomba, Australia. At the end of the first day’s show they had a showing of some of the finest Arabian horses found in Australia. Arabians are a very unique looking horse and I can see why people value them so. Here is a photo of one of the Arabians.
Archives for October 2014
If you have ever seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love then you will remember Julia Roberts’ character riding a bicycle along quiet streets in the Balinese city of Ubud and living in a house overlooking beautiful rice fields. While quiet streets in Ubud are far from reality, and you probably can’t ride a bike through the sacred monkey forest, the house used in the movie is very real and I can tell you where to find it.
During our recent stay on the outskirts of Ubud we rented a typical open Balinese house overlooking rice fields. It was so open that in the evening we had to duck as bats flew through the non-existent wall and into our living room. It was a beautiful setting and it reminded us of the open Balinese house from the movie Eat, Pray, Love. And as it turns out, the actual house used in the movie was behind ours. And our house was also shown in the movie during the scene where actor Javier Bardem gives Julia Roberts a ride home in the Jeep. Behind them is a rice field with a house. That house was the one we rented. As Julia Roberts starts walking down a path you can see another house in the distance with the trees. This was the house used in the movie and is the Eat, Pray, Love house.
We first found out about the Eat, Pray, Love house from an expat who lived in the area. He pointed out the house to us and mentioned that nobody was living in it and we should go check it out.
Finding the house can be a little tricky so I thought I would put together a guide to show you how to find it. The house is privately owned, so I would advise to not trespass without the owner’s permission. You can see the house nicely from the rice terraces behind the house and you won’t be trespassing.
How To Find The Eat Pray Love House
From the Ubud Palace follow Jl. Suweta north for 3.8 kilometers. You will see a sign on the left for “Restu Bumi” and this was the house we stayed in.
Just past this is a rice field with the path leading down to the Eat Pray Love house.
Follow the path down and turn left at the bottom
If you would like a better view of the house, turn around and you will find a path that goes into the rice terraces. From the rice terraces you can see the house clearly.
This would be a great house to rent, and if anyone knows how to rent it, we would love to know.
This blog is going to be about permaculture. But before we start with the facts, I want to tell you about my experience with permaculture. We were helping out on a family run farm. There were 5 people living on the farm: three kids and a mom and dad. It turns out they are a permaculture farm. We stayed there for a week.
Since their water comes from the rain, I could only take a 3 to 5 minute shower. Besides the quick showers we had lots of fun. But my parents complained about getting up early. But of course, I was up at 6 am. After breakfast, we would start our chores. I would check for any eggs and then we would have to do other stuff. The chores always changed.
First day of work, mom and I cut paper towel tubes into smaller pieces making seed starter pots. The family would ask for paper towel rolls from friends to make the seed starter pots. While we were making the seed starter pots, dad was making watermelon and pumpkin mounds. When dad was done I planted pumpkins and watermelons. Then we covered the mounds with straw to help keep the moisture in. Then we filled the seed starter pots we made with dirt. Next we planted zucchini, okra and other stuff. When the kids came home from school I went on a hike. The farm is 100 acres, so there are lots of places to hike.
I collected eggs in the morning as usual. I watched how to milk a cow and then we built a spiral garden. First we stacked bricks into a spiral. Then we put hay into the spiral. Later we put seeds in it. A spiral garden is a garden in a spiral shape. It allows you to plant lots of plants in a limited space.
Today we got a day off. Mom decided, we were going to climb a mountain. We were going to climb Mount Warning. We hiked and hiked and until there was a little ways to go. Mom was carrying the food. When we were almost to the top there came a part where there was a rock scramble. We were almost climbing straight up. Mom said she was too scared to do it. But Dad and I did it. I was starving at the top. I could not eat because Mom had all the food. The view was amazing. We saw all the way to Surfer’s Paradise. When we got down, mom was eating away.
Day 4 and 5
Today we worked extra hard so that we could get an extra day off. We scooped up lots of cow manure and put the manure on the garden beds. We also built a chick box. A chick box is where you put the chicks when they hatch out with a heat lamp on top. They were trying to incubate both chick and duck eggs. We also got to candle the eggs. Candling is where you see if there are any chicks or ducks in the eggs. Most of the eggs had chicks in them and all the duck eggs hatched.
On our day off, we just drove around looking at stuff. We also saw whales.
Today dad built a workbench. I also helped build the workbench. We also planted strawberries, asparagus and beans. I fed the animals and collected eggs.
Today dad finished building the workbench. I got to milk a cow. It was really fun. I also collected eggs and helped feed the animals.
We surprised the kids’ dad with a workbench. This is our last day so we went to the beach with the family. I will miss the farm.
Facts about Permaculture
Now onto facts about permaculture. You probably know what permaculture is, but if not I will tell you. Permaculture is growing your own food in a sustainable way and helping the earth keep healthy. The word permaculture comes from the words permanent and agriculture. Permaculture started in Australia.
The three main things that you need to know about permaculture:
- Earth Care: Keep the earth healthy. Do not use poisons or pesticides on your crops. Treat the earth as you would treat yourself. Grow things that grow well in your area. For example, you would not want to grow something in the desert that takes a lot of water.
- People Care: Take good care of yourself and be more sustainable.
- Fair Share: Fair share is sharing what you have left with others. For example when you harvest crops, you might have too much food. Share it with others that may need it more. The other people will love it.
Things that everyone can do
- Walk or ride a bicycle.
- Turn off lights when you are not using them.
- Even if you don’t have a place to put a garden, you can help the earth by installing rainwater tanks.
- If you do have space, grow a garden.
- If do have a yard, you should raise chickens. All they ask for is a place to eat bugs, a place to sleep and food and you can get your own fresh eggs.
- Compost your kitchen waste.
- With the food you grow, you can also make your own foods such as using the strawberries you grew to make jams or preserves.
- They also had a saying on the farm. It was if it is yellow let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down. This is a good way of saving water. 🙂
If you do a lot of this, you could help mother earth a lot. If everyone tried doing this the earth could be a lot healthier.
Before we started our around the world trip we asked our daughter, Sydney, where in the world she wanted to go. Without pause, she said Sydney, Australia. Sydney, the city not our daughter, is renown for being one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit and can easily wreak havoc with anyone’s budget. After looking at costs of accommodations and other peoples budgets we were very nervous about how much it would cost and even considered skipping it. But after much discussion we decided we just couldn’t skip Sydney, as this was on the top of our daughter’s list of must see places. So, we decided to limit our time to only 3 nights and set a budget of $200 per day. So how did we do? Thanks to our friends Jane and Duncan from To Travel Too, we were able to come in under budget for a total of $429.18 USD. They gave us lots of great ideas of cheap and free ways to see the beautiful city of Sydney and still have fun.
When we first looked at lodging in Sydney it was a bit of a shock and found it very difficult to find accommodations in the city center for the three of us for less than $100 per night. Even accommodations outside the city center were around $100. After much searching, we were able to find our hotel for $286.92 USD for three nights. We choose our hotel, the Lido, because it had a mini kitchenette with fridge and microwave and was in a good location within walking distance to many of the sites. Having a kitchenette in our room helped keep our food costs down, as we were able to prepare our own food. Also being within walking distance to the sites helped us save money on transportation, as public transport in Sydney is not the cheapest. The Lido was definitely located in one of the more “colorful” areas of Sydney, aka the red light district, but we found it to be safe and it kept things interesting.
On our first full day in Sydney we woke up to rain. As it turned out, we happened to visit Sydney during the heaviest rainfall in 16 years. Being undeterred, we set off with a borrowed umbrella from our hotel to explore the city and we’re able to stay mostly dry. We had initially planned to take the free walking tour of Sydney, however we misread the schedule and didn’t make it to the meeting point on time. So instead we decided to do our own walking tour. From the park we headed towards the Royal Botanical Garden and the Sydney Opera House. Near the entrance of the Royal Botanical Garden, we noticed the Art Gallery of NSW. Curious we stepped in to see about the cost. As it turned out, the museum is free and even has a few paintings from well-known artists such as Picasso and Van Gough. It also contains art by Australian artists, Aboriginal art, and offers some beautiful views of the harbor. We really enjoyed wandering around the museum. After visiting, I realized that the Art Gallery of NSW offers children activities to help make the gallery more engaging for children. The activities, called children’s trails, can either be printed before visiting or picked up at the help desk. The museum also offers free performances for children on Sundays.
After wandering around the Art Gallery of NSW, we strolled through the Botanical Garden slowly making our way to the Sydney Opera House. Strolling through the Botanical garden gave us beautiful views of the harbor and we enjoyed seeing some of the birds that are native to Australia such as the sulphur-crested cockatoo and great ibis. As we walked the famous Sydney Opera house slowly came into view. Once we arrived, we marveled at seeing one of the best-known works of architecture in the world and we of course had to take some cheesy photos. We also enjoyed admiring the view of the Harbor Bridge and Luna Park from the Opera House. We then walked over to the Rocks, the area of the first European settlement in Australia. Around the Rocks many historic buildings can still be seen and offers a great view of the Sydney Opera House from a different angle. From there we thought about walking across the Harbor Bridge. Walking across the Harbor Bridge is free and is a great way to save money instead paying big bucks to climb it. However we decided against it, as it began to really pour rain. We instead returned to the hotel to relax and watch movies.
The next day we met up with our good friends Jane and Duncan in Manly. We took the commuter ferry to Manly from the Circular Quay costing a total of $14.40 for the three of us. Taking the commuter ferry allowed us to see the city from the water without paying a lot of money for the tourist boat. The Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge looked even more impressive from the water and was well worth the cost. In Manly, Jane and Duncan took us on a walking tour showing us the beautiful beach of Manly and the pedestrian friendly city center. Just as a side note, the famous Manly beach is not the tiny beach next to the ferry. Jane and Duncan also took us on the Cabbage Bay Eco Sculpture walk that goes along the coastline towards Cabbage Bay. As we walked along the path we had fun searching for the sculptures of marine life, plant life and animals of the area. While walking we also stopped for a coffee near Fairy Bower Baths and enjoyed watching the sea crash against the sea wall. Manly is definitely one of those places that we could have easily spent the entire day or even several days playing on the beach, walking the many of trails in the area, and hanging out in the pedestrian friendly city center.
After our tour of Manly, Jane and Duncan were so kind to drive us up the coast to show us some of the other famous beaches near Sydney including Shelly Beach and in the evening they took us to Blues Point Reserve. Blues Point Reserve has a spectacular view of the Sydney Opera House, Luna Park, and the Harbor Bridge.
While we only had 3 short days in Sydney, it was definitely worth the time and cost to see the city. If you are interested in more ideas for free or cheap ways to see Sydney, please contact To Travel Too, as this is their stomping grounds.