Previous Posts23456

Horseback Riding on the beach of Mornington Peninsula

I’m quite convinced there is no better way to see a beach than to ride on a majestic horse across the soft sand during twilight.

I’ve always wanted to try out horseback riding, and when I was in Australia, I figured it was the perfect time to do it. Great weather and scenery – Australia has arguably some of the best beaches in the world. 
Hi little pony!
When Sam and I arrived at Gunnamatta Horse Trails located in the Mornington Peninsula (about 2 hours drive from Melbourne), we really weren’t quite sure of what to expect. I mean, how  difficult can riding a horse be? You just haul your ass onto the big beast, and hold on tight so that you don’t fall off and embarrass / injure yourself. Right? 

Wrong.
I think horseback riding is anything but easy.
Daunting, tiring, challenging, gratifying, exhilarating, yes… but it’s nowhere near as simple as it looks. 

Before our 2 hour ++ horse trail ride into the Australian outback and beach started, we were given forms to sign (something along the lines of, “If you die, that’s not our fault.”) and we had to pick our helmets. That’s when I realize Sam and I had massive heads! Random but true. We had to use some of their biggest sizes.
When we were ushered into the stables area, I was literally shitting my pants. These horses were HUGE, and some of them didn’t look that friendly, or obliging. I’m uncomfortable and skittish even around little doggies when I visit people’s homes, imagine me in front of big giant beasts. Ok maybe I shouldn’t call them beasts, that’s a little unfair since they didn’t hurt no one that day and don’t have a record for being evil, but they sure are strong, and intimidating. Yeah, they look big and horse-like in the picture, but they’re really fucking ginormous in real life. I almost considered backing out at the last second. I asked Sam in a wimpy voice, “Can we not do this please?” but he ignored me. I’m glad he did, because horseback riding must be one of the most thrilling events of my life!
We were in a group of about 7 people. When they asked, “Who has zero experience in horse riding prior to this?” Sam and I were the only ones who raised our hands. Great, so everyone else knows what they’re doing, and the nerdy asian kids are gonna be the clueless ones again…

“Now, who is nervous about today’s experience?”

My hand shot straight up without hesitation. I thought they were going to go easy on me, but to my UTMOST horror, they went, “Okay, it’s Jess right? Jess, you can have our biggest horse today, her name is Audrey.” 

Mortified. You should’ve seen my face.

They then led the LARGEST horse in their stables that looked like it weighed 2 full tonnes over to my direction. I gave Sam the ?!?!?! look, and asked the tour people why I was getting the biggest horse when I’m the newcomer.
Her reply: “Oh, don’t you worry! Audrey here is very gentle. Sometimes the bigger the horse, the better it is for nervous people. It’s not in the best interest for large horses to make sudden movements because they’re so big. It’s the small horses that can be pretty mischievous. Come on up here, I’ll show you how to saddle a horse.”
The next few minutes were a blur. I vaguely remember trying to get onto Audrey’s back, but she was so dang TALL, all I had a was a stumpy stool below my feet to lift myself off the ground from – I failed the first couple of times trying to get onto the horse. I was really scared to haul my weight onto the horse. I know a big horse like that wouldn’t mind my weight, but if I asked you to climb onto an animal, wouldn’t you be worried about their reaction as well? What if it doesn’t like me, and throws me off??? With some help from the tour guides, I was finally on the horse. I turned around to look at Sam, who was already on his horse as well.



And the horseback riding officially begun.

We formed a single line, all of us on our horses, and set off into the bushes. It was the first time I had really been IN the Australian bush – I’ve taken road trips into the countryside, but always remained where there were roads and beaches, so our paths were quite urbanized. Now we were crossing serious rural farmland – there were no roads, but instead, what we saw were hordes of mooing COWS grazing on lush grass right next to us, barely a meter away as we trotted right past them! How about that. I don’t know why I haven’t experienced this part of Australia sooner.

I think I’m quite the retard. I tend to mimic animal sounds when I see them, as if to solicit some kind of response from the animal. For example, when I see a cat on the streets, I’d walk up to it and go “meow.” Or, if I walk past a person’s house and their dog is barking at me, I’d sometimes shout “Woof woof!” back. I have even gone “churp churp” to a bird before. DON’T ASK ME WHY I DO IT. I just do. So, out of nowhere, I decided to turn my head and go “moooooo” at a black cow that was startlingly close to me, just for the heck of it. To my complete freaking amusement, it actually moo-ed back at me, in a very deep, LOUD and trembling tone, and moved towards me. LOL I was so surprised and partly terrified, I almost fell off my horse. Can you believe that?! I can speak cow!!! I am gifted. I tried moo-ing at other cows that we passed, but none of them spoke Cow as fluently as that big black one.
I couldn’t take any pictures during the bush ride because I had to hold onto my saddle tightly, but I wish I could, because it was such a unique experience! I’ve never seen Australia like this before – being surrounded by this much flora and fauna. I was grinning from ear to ear, and 20 minutes into the ride I was a lot more relaxed, instead of holding onto my saddle for real life I’d be looking around at the scenery, truly appreciating my environment. Reasons like this is why I love Australia. So much freedom, so much beauty! The terrain was also fun and exciting for horseback riding. We had all these little downward slopes, upward hills, nooks and crannies that we had to maneuver through, which was pretty thrilling for a first-timer.
So, the actual act of riding a horse wasn’t so bad – you just have to balance yourself on the saddle and move “in tune” with the horse, and bear the discomfort in between your legs. The difficult part is really controlling your horse and making it listen to you. Make the thing go where you want to go. It was hard to keep up with the pace of the other more experienced horse riders because somehow my horse Audrey seemed to know that I was a noob. Perhaps I wasn’t dominating enough. Because she would constantly bend down, stop in the middle of our paths to graze on grass. My tour guide would look over with a disapproving look and shout at me, “No!!!! Please don’t let Audrey eat, she knows she’s not supposed to do that. Kick her!!!! Kick kick kick!” 
That stressed me out. I don’t like kicking horses, but she meant it when she asked me to kick the dang horse. They instructed me to dig my heels a couple of times (HARD) into the horse’s abdomen (stomach? dunno what part of the horse that was) whenever it was doing something wrong like grazing on grass, or when it’s not going fast enough, etc. Basically, kicking it gets it’s attention. The tour guides said it doesn’t hurt them, because they’re so strong… if we just pat them, they won’t feel it. I was unconvinced. When they bend their heads down to graze on grass, you’re meant to tug hard back on the reigns, to stop it from eating. I failed at this because Audrey seemed really hungry and stopped for grass ALL the time. I think I held up the group awhile because they had to wait for Audrey a lot, but what do you want me to do?!  Look, this wasn’t a machine. It’s a living breathing thing, who is a hell of a lot stronger than me and probably knows it. I tried to pull back on the reigns with all my might, but of course this horse is stronger than me! Sometimes when I tug too hard, Audrey gets a little pissed off and neighs / snorts suddenly. I did finally man up, and used a lot more force eventually, and Audrey seemed to be better behaved after the first hour passed.
Just when I thought my horsey troubles were over, the tour guide informed everyone that we were going to learn how to trot.
Trotting is like jogging for us humans. It’s faster than a walk, but slower than a run. So to properly do horse trotting, you have to….. man I can’t even put this into the proper words. It’s like you have to learn forward, but not too far forward because you might lose your balance and fall off the horse. Then you have to sort of stand and squat, alternating between those two motions as when your horse trots, it will bounce you up and down, up and down, so you go up and down with it. You’re not meant to be just plainly SITTING your ass down on the horse as it trots, as that is uncomfortable and difficult for the horse, apparently it strains their back. You also don’t just stand and squat, stand and squat, I was told you have to stand, then squat (ass lifted off the horse without touching it) for like 3 seconds, then stand, repeat process. It requires a LOT of strength and co-ordination to do it properly!!! Not my two best qualities. Seriously, doing squats while riding on the back of a giant trotting horse that you still have to guide and trying not to lose your balance while the instructor shouts at you for doing it wrong was very very demanding. We didn’t do this for 5 minutes, think we did trotting on and off for half an hour. 

The aftermath of horse riding, pictures taken the very next morning!
I posted this picture on Instagram and this was my caption: “Patches of bruises over my inner thighs, which I forsee them turning surer and darker colored in days to come, my legs literally don’t work anymore, I can’t walk 3 steps without groaning.. And my back feels like an obese giant sat on it the whole entire night.”
Yeah… not gonna lie. One of the hardest physical things I’ve had to do, like rock climbing when I was in Vegas. Guess I’m just not cut out for sports, huh? But I’d do it all over again if I had the chance, any day! In fact, as I’m writing this post, I’m looking forward to the next time I go horseback riding. I’ll be more mentally prepared, and hopefully they will want to trot less!
The best part about the tour was when we rode our horses out of the warm Australian bush, and onto the beach. It was nothing short of breath taking, and to feel that sea breeze on my face was priceless. It is regrettable that my camera didn’t capture the full beauty of the beach, but it seemed to stretch on for miles, and the twilight sky was lit beautifully.

This is me, on ma horse, Audrey! Say hi to everyone, Aud!!! I’m almost 1.7m, so imagine how tall Audrey really is.
Don’t laugh at how I look like!! I was wearing leggings + a random dress + Sam’s hoodie over my dress… and I had zero make up on, I was wearing my glasses (transition lenses that turn black to protect my sensitive eyes from sun light) and also had my hair tied up. And I was wearing a helmet. In short, I looked like a boy from China.

This is Sam’s horse, Jet! Jet likes to pee and poop a lot. I think I’ve seen Jet pee twice and poop once during our 2 hour trail ride. I could have lived my life without seeing a giant horse penis having urine splash out of it, or lived my life without smelling fresh horse poop. But, well, that’s life for you.

Sam didn’t do so well with Jet either… apparently when he tried to stop Jet from eating grass (glad to know Audrey wasn’t the only one), Jet got pissed off and yanked the reigns out of Sam’s hand, which cut him! Yikes.

Guess the smaller ones are more feisty, Audrey turned out to be quite a darling at the end of the day. A hungry, slightly stubborn darling, but a darling nevertheless. I found myself stroking her mane and going, “There’s a good Audrey.”

Just two horses hanging out!

Horseback riding on the beach was so, so nice. The horses seemed to like the breeze as well, and were easier to handle. Their pace was relaxed and easy as they dipped their hooves into the sea water… and I had the complete luxury of soaking up the experience at ease. Like I said, there ain’t no better way to check out a beach than on a horse. It looks different from up there.
I love how empty and quiet the beach was, away from civilization, just Mother Nature in her true form. The sand wasn’t the whitest or the softest I’ve seen, the waters not a sparkling blue, but it was so raw, and real.

I cut out my face coz I looked beyond spastic but here’s a slightly closer shot of Audrey & I!

I can’t believe all the adventures Sam and I get up to. Looking at this pic reminds me of us riding ATV vehicles and elephants in Thailand a few years ago. We sure do like to ride on strange things!
On our ride back to the stables, I was thankful that this awesome opportunity happened to me, but at the same time, also thankful that it was going to be over soon. Couldn’t wait to be on solid ground again, walking on my own two solid feet, instead of bobbing up and down on Audrey’s back. Riding for more than 2 hours straight was more than my body could handle, I was exhausted, especially since we had to drive a long way to get here earlier in the day. I was so knackered, I just FELL off my horse. I tried to use my leg muscles to lift myself off the horse and glide down, but I just fell, ungracefully, and ever so clumsily. Thank god Sam was there to catch me, otherwise I would’ve landed straight into a pile of sand that was covered in copious amounts of horse poo & pee, for real.
.
.
.
.
.
.
We ended off this epic day with soaking in Mornington Peninsula’s Hot Springs. 

Soaking in a 35 degrees natural hot springs pool after a day like that…. JUST what we needed!!! I was floating in bliss. Something about that warm, natural spring water seemed to have magical healing abilities – I was feeling good as new after soaking in it for 45 minutes.

I was also really happy to get all that horse smell off me, and that I didn’t need to endure the 2 hour drive back to Sam’s home in Melbourne smelling of horse. The hot springs were only 15 minutes away from the horse riding place, and it was so so good – I’m going back there the next time I pop by Melbourne. They have different pools of different temperatures, and the whole set up and scenery was pretty mind-blowing. Too bad it was already relatively dark by the time we reached, I think it would’ve been the most beautiful around 5pm. 

Check out pictures of the hot springs here – and be very jealous!!! 
My favorite hot springs pool was at the top, where Sam and I gazed into the vast openness and the starry night sky…

The moon looked really round and red that night. It was lovely and serene out there.

It would’ve been more romantic if there wasn’t hordes of people around, but considering it’s such a nice place to be and that it was perfect weather to be out, I don’t blame those people for having the same idea as us.

xoxo,
Jess

Cottesloe Beach

I remember being blown away by this gorgeous beach in Western Australia a couple of years ago, when my friend Gwen told me I just had to check this beach out. It’s barely 40 minutes from Perth itself!!! I’d die to live so close to a place like this.

I haven’t forgotten it since then, and made it a point to go back there when I was in Perth recently!

Driving in Western Australia must be the best kind of roads you can drive on. Almost zero traffic and the scenery is amazeballs!!!!

Everybody look to your left~~~~ *sees the horizon*

everybody look to their right… *sees very expensive beachfront houses*

Along the way, we got lost but decided to stop at a random scenic look out and take some pictures and a breather!!!

Cool hair bro :P

Such happy, happy days in Perth!!! Missing it so much even though it was barely 3 weeks ago. I love looking at pictures like these. It always transports me back in time, into that moment, and I feel a temporary sensation of elation.

Spotted random bikini babes from afar, but this was as far as my DSLR’s zoom could go. Lol fail pervert moment.

Everyone in Perth is so dang good looking and FIT!!! Why is that so? They’ve all got like, this perfect tan, and toned bodies and long legs (especially the girls) is it the air that they breathe??? Or maybe the abundance of gorgeous parks and beaches promote a healthier lifestyle!

So idyllic. I just gazed into this for a good few minutes.

Hello Cottesloe!!!!! I’m so glad to you see again :D

It was a lot less crowded this time around. The sand was just as white and soft, and the waters ever blue as I remember it to be. I had expected hordes of people to be there! It wasn’t empty or secluded, but I guess it wasn’t packed because it’s not quite peak season although the weather was absolutely perfect for the beach that day.

My “beach” slippers have pearls and diamantes on them. I’m such a diva :P

No not really.. those are my “go anywhere” sandals. I even went to the Nuffnang Blog Awards in them HAHAHAH thinking about it now that was a pretty funny move.

Doesn’t the sparkly turquoise water look so inviting?? ♥

It took awhile to coax me in because I knew that even though it was a warm and nice day, the water would still be deceivingly freezing (it may look like a lukewarm temperature) That’s pretty much Aus for you, burning sun and freezing waters..

And here I am in the water, finally, freezing my tits off. LOL

Once you get used to the cold it’s the best feeling ever. We jumped and bobbed around on waves (not really, I actually mean getting dunked and trashed around like a rag doll) for hourssss!!! It was so rough but good fun. Saltwater up my nose and sand in my eyes wasn’t so fun though. Times like these I hate being short-sighted and having to wear contacts because contact lenses and beaches just don’t gel.

Surprisingly I didn’t get a sunglasses tan from my huge panda sunnies despite frolicking in the sun for over 3 hours!

Ahahaha Sam ♥

Me getting owned by a wave!!!!! :P After this picture I was probably immediately sprawled across the sand.

When in heat.. use nature’s free sun screen protector provided at every beach. LOL god damn we had to buy a bottle of sunscreen for $25 AUD in a mini mart opposite the beach. Soooo pricey!!!

Sam’s Baywatch moment. HAHAHAHA

I love everything about Cottesloe Beach. Even Taylor Swift loved it because she came here 2 days after I did and talked about it during her concert ♥_♥!!!

Cottesloe may not be world-famous like Bondi, or as popular a tourist spot as the Gold Coast (which are all beautiful beaches) but I think Cottesloe is my favorite. I have really fond memories here! Everything’s charming, from their hot white chicks suntanning topless on the grass to their awful communal open-cubicle toilets where people look at my butt and I am forced to look at others peoples butts. The last time I was here with Gwen we had the privilege of looking at 2 very elderly saggy women shower. LOL. They need to renovate their showers and toilets really soon and really badly. The good thing about their rustic shower was that you could still see the amazing ocean while you’re showering in your cubicle!!! By far the most unique showering experience in my life.

I haven’t been to many other beaches that are near Perth yet, if you know of other good ones that are worth checking out, let me know!! Sometimes the best things in life really are free.

xoxo,
Jess

So…. I did it!!!! I swam with Wild Dolphins. :’)

Before I begin with my post, I’d like you guys to watch this video!!!!! Sam roughly edited it for me, because the good lord knows I’m beyond hopeless at video editing.

….It has always been a long-time dream of mine to swim with wild dolphins. It was one of THE things in my bucket list, along with “skydiving” and “getting married on a beach” but I guess this has a lot more sentimental value to me. (ok maybe not as much as the marriage on a beach)

I adore dolphins. Their intelligence and playfulness amazes me to no end. I don’t think I will ever crease to be fascinated by them. Before I discovered orcas / killer whales, dolphins were my favorite animal. Well actually orcas are dolphins too but they’re totally different in a sense lol ok not to bore you with the science but yeah, as I was saying I TOTALLY FREAKING LOVE DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!

I’ve seen a lot dolphins, mhmm, even hand-fed and petted them, but that was in aquariums and in places like Sea World. Where they were captive, and bred to be accustomed to the presence of humans.. they were not wild and free. I never got the chance to see them splashing about in the big blue sea, although there was once I caught glimpses of them during a boat trip. When I say a glimpse I really do mean just a glimpse though.

…So imagine the inexplicable happiness I felt when I finally got the chance to swim with wild bottlenose dolphins in the gorgeous turquoise waters of Western Australia. ;__________; One of the most beautiful places on earth.

When I’m old and grey, sitting on a creaky wooden rocking chair and looking back on my life thinking about all the things I’m glad I did, this will be high up on that list.

My day started out early in the morning.

It was cold, and I had my jumper loosely draped across my chest. My stupid expression is a mixture of extreme excitement, skepticism and mild disbelief. Oh and also coldness. Was I really going to do this? After a 45 minutes bus ride out of Perth and into the small city of Rockingham where we were minutes away from jumping onto a boat that would take Sam and I out to sea, it seemed more real than ever.

Many thoughts raced through my head…. Most of them being “Dolphins!!! ^.^ OMG OMG weeeee Dolphins!!!!!!” while some were unfortunately a bit more sadistic, like “What if I don’t see any dolphins at all? I’ve been on supposed “100% chance of seeing dolphins / whales tours and didn’t see shiat before.

…Or worst still. What if a shark comes along and eats me? That would be sad.” (As of September 11, there’s been 873 shark attacks in Australia since records began in 1791. And sharks sometimes hunt dolphins so we could be in the middle of a predator-prey situation, what’s stopping the shark from eating me too?)

Sam, for some reason, wasn’t bouncing with joy like I was. Maybe he too, was thinking about sharks, like I was, lol. His expression pretty much remained the same as above until he actually saw some dolphins… Then it went from :| to …. :D

We arrive at our boat.

There were already other people on it.

Damn, the tour group was much larger than we had anticipated. Perhaps it was the peak period for this sort of activity.

About half of my boat. I’m not a people person so this wasn’t great… but I wasn’t about to let that get in the way of me having some of the best time of my life.

Sam maintaining his :| expression. He is one of those people who would go, “Yeah, I’m so excited” with a completely straight face. I don’t get it. Sometimes I feel sad for people who have difficulty handling their emotions, or expressing themselves. They don’t know when to feel emotional, or rather, feel no real need to be. Life is just… life to them. It isn’t necessarily spectacular. Isn’t it boring to be so “calm and collected” all the time? It feels good to smile till your cheeks go sore and to have your heart beat real fast. Sometimes it also feels good to cry your eyes out because at least that means you’re not cold inside. How can you live if you don’t feel?!

I randomly asked him for some tissue and he handed me this packet. No, it wasn’t intentional. IT WAS A SIGN. :D From then on I felt convinced we would see lots of dolphins. Lol.

They handed us some wet suits and our snorkel masks. I think putting on a wet suit must be one of the most physically unglamorous things you could ever possibly do… even flapping your arms around like a chicken while farting loudly would probably look more sexually attractive.

Leaving Rockingham’s pier behind… they said we wouldn’t have to go further than a few short miles before we’d be surrounded by dolphins!!!!!

They passed around some colored belts for us to wear around our waist. We were separated into small groups of about 4-6 people, and this guy was my instructor. Here he is going over the important steps of how to act when encountering wild dolphins…

And here I am pretending to listen when actually I was just trying to take a decent photo of myself in a snorkel mask. Something about snorkel masks makes your asian nose look even more bulbous and a non-existent double chin suddenly very present and obvious.

Anyways, here’s what they told us!!!!

1) When we yell your group’s color (mine was Black Team), assemble at the back of the boat as quickly as you can! If you’re too slow, you’ll miss the dolphins.

2) Get into the open water swiftly, but gently. If you make loud splashes, you might scare the dolphins away.

3) Always make sure you are in a single file and holding onto the belt of your team member in front of you

4) If I yell, “Left arm!!!” before entering the water, everyone jump into the water looking to your right, while holding onto the person in front of you with your left arm. If I yell “right arm”, look left while holding on with your right. If you look the wrong way, again you might miss the dolphins

5) The first and last person of your group will have to wear something called a SharkShield. (They are shark repellent products that repel the sharks via an electric field that induces spasms in the sharks’ snouts which are really sensitive)

6) Don’t try to touch the dolphins. They’re completely wild and we’d like to keep them that way.

Before I could even start processing their instructions properly, I hear someone scream out, “Black team!!! BLACK TEEAAAAMMM!!! At the back of the boat, hurry please!”

and I was scrambling to shove my snorkel mask over my face. I hurriedly waddled over to join the rest of my team.

It was serious business. Everyone had to act quick and smart. This was already proving to be more difficult than I imagined. I thought I’d find a pod of dolphins all obligingly ready to play and blow bubble rings at me only a couple of meters off the shore, while I slip into an expensive revealing bikini with my perfectly svelte figure and swim around gracefully with them dolphins like I was somehow a mermaid in my past life.

Yeah… right. Svelte and graceful I was not, in my skintight wetsuit I felt like a platypus out of water. Suddenly my feet are dangling off the back of the boat (that’s me with the chipped silver toenail polish) and the coldness of the sea water hits me. I am not going to enjoy jumping into this. Shit, it’s so fucking col-

“ALRIGHT, EVERYBODY INTO THE WATER! IN THREE!! TWO….. *splash*

Me, in my head: Omg omg now? Omg *hesitates before jumping*…. *finally jumps because person behind me pushed me in*

For the first 5 seconds I don’t think about anything else besides how cold the water is and how unaccustomed I am breathing through a snorkel mask underwater. Some water gets into my mask, and I am momentarily blinded and choked. FML I’m not good at this. It’s not something I do all that often.

I turn my head left and right. I hear the loud sea scooter that our instructor was using to pull all of us along the water with. The sea water tastes salty in my mouth. I don’t notice anything else in the water but bunches of floating seaweed and the people in front of me. Visibility wasn’t fantastic.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

…And then I see it.


This HUGE, AMAZINGGGGGGG
3 meters long bottlenose dolphin just appears out of nowhere right in front of me, in plain sight. It doesn’t strike you just how big they are, somehow sea creatures always look smaller from the top.

It then proceeds to swim DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH ME!!! Imagine yourself floating in superman position, but looking directly downwards and seeing this wild dolphin swim so bloody close, I was almost afraid it’s dorsal fin might poke into my stomach because it looked sort of sharp.

That was when I thought to myself, “This is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The lone dolphin then started twisting around in all sorts of weird angles (not sure why they did that, curiosity maybe?), posing barely less than 2 meters in front of us, and making interesting clicking noises through it’s blowhole like it was putting on a show almost. It was so so so mesmerizing to watch. Dolphins are fun to watch from on top, out of the water but A MILLION times better when you’re in the water with them!!! I’m sorry I didn’t get a lot of good pictures, it was very hard to at that point in time but you get to see some footage in the video!

So I don’t know how many seconds, or minutes passed by that I was observing the dolphin with my eyes as wide open as they’d go so I could capture every detail… (I was literally like this O____O underwater the whole time) But eventually the dolphin swam away, and it was time for us to jump back onto the boat so that other teams could have their go at trying to get some dolphin action.

….I hurled myself back onto the boat, and the first thing I said to Sam was, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD. DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!??!!??!” (like, duhhh :P) and he was like, “Wow, it was so close, I couldn’t believe it!!!”

I thought we were already lucky to get so close to one dolphin. Heck, I was even surprised we found any at all. Little did I know that throughout the day, we’d come into contact with over 20 different dolphins from different pods and the experiences would vary so much!!!

Our boat found dolphins by having a tracker situated on the top deck of the boat, looking out for dorsal fins in the water and then directing us towards them (not an easy job!)… for almost 20 minutes we couldn’t find any dolphins at all, when they said, “Hey guys, we’re going to create a wake behind the boat which the dolphins like to surf in, so hopefully they’ll be attracted by it and come to us in a more playful mood!

HEY PRESTO what do you know it worked like a charm!!!! Out come the playful dolphins! :D

Our guide said that the dolphins like doing this because it’s similar to humans being on a roller coaster and having gravity work it’s magic on us, giving us that surreal “air time” feeling when we’re going down a slope. The dolphins must be bored of zero gravity all the time in the water, so this is one of the few ways they can “surf”, besides of course the naturally-created surfs of the sea. I hear in Hawaii you can see LOTS of dolphins surfing off the beach!!! ♥_♥

All these shots were taken with my underwater camera, the Canon D10! (which is now discontinued in production unfortunately) Wish I brought my DSLR could’ve taken some awesome shots!

Still, I think these are pretty good! They were jumping in and out of the wake for 3 whole minutes. They loved it!

WEEE!!!! Flying dolphin!

Here’s 2 dolphins swimming towards our boat.

Do you spot something wrong with one of the dolphins?! It’s dorsal fin is missing!!! I reckon it got severed off by a boat propeller or maybe a shark bit it off…. Poor flipper :(

For the next 3-4 hours or so, we cruised the waters of Rockingham trying to spot more dolphins and swimming with them! Since we took it in groups to swim with the dolphins, everyone had a unique experience and some better than others.

I think we had it pretty good because there were lots of times the dolphins came so close to me I thought I could reach out and touch em. It surprised me how ready they were to come into human contact. They could tell we wanted to play!!! Sometimes they’re just not there no matter how hard you look for them, at other times they’re all around you.

We even saw a BABY dolphin that was under a week old!!!!! ;____; It was just the cutest assfdlkf0r93wkdslk; thing EVER. Ridiculous cute overload. I was disappointed that we couldn’t swim with it because the mother would get protective over its new born calf.

With each additional time they yelled, “BLACK TEAM!!!! It’s your turn!!!” we assembled and got ready faster. I jumped into the open sea with ease after the 3rd time. Each time was never less exciting than the previous. This one time I was too excited and hurried I totally forgot to put my snorkel mask on before jumping off the boat only to realize 3 seconds later that humans can’t breathe underwater. I learned how to strain my ears to listen to the clicks and sounds of the dolphins. I tightened the grip on my snorkel mask so water didn’t seep in anymore. My heart always exploded when I spotted a dolphin swimming towards me. Sometimes we also saw none at all. I was disappointed when we’d see none, because we’d climb back onto the boat feeling a little bit down but it makes the next time we jump back into the water THAT much more thrilling.

It was a HUGE adrenaline rush.

I definitely didn’t expect it to be such a pumped up activity. Somehow I always imagined swimming with dolphins would be relaxing… magical… and soothing to the soul? Well it was magical in it’s own way of course! But I’ve seen videos of other people swimming with dolphins and I was expecting something else. :P

There was this specific guide on our tour whose job was different from all the other instructors. Instead of leading different teams swimming towards the dolphins, this woman worked alone. With a sea scooter in her hands, she’d swim side-by-side with the dolphins to gain their attention, then bring the dolphins over to US!!! She must have what is one of the best jobs in the world. She’d make loops around the dolphins and do all sorts of cool aquatic stunts to spike their curiosity. I was soooo jealous, because she was literally rubbing shoulders and body with the dolphins and they didn’t seem to mind at all! In fact I figured they were completely intrigued with her.

Throughout the rest of our afternoon, it was jumping into the water, looking at dolphins, getting out of the water, watching other people jump in, enjoy the boat ride and soak up some sun while others were having their go, trying to spot the dolphins from on top… We saw all sorts of dolphins – from ones that were hunting, playing to even a group of kinky males chasing a single female to mate with her. Hilarious!!!

After hours of heart-pounding, breath-stopping dolphin action, our day had to end all too soon and it was time to head back to shore… I so didn’t wanna go back :(

I could have stayed for another 3 hours. Or perhaps forever. Our tour guides let us have some individual fun with their $6k sea scooters to end off a great day at sea. For a second I was mortified having to face civilization and human beings again instead of floating around with cool dolphins. When you’re out there, you leave every single thought of the rest of the world behind.

But back on land we were. And before I knew it, it was all over. I swore to myself this was something I’d want to do again. And again, and AGAIN!!!!

This was the tour company we engaged, if you’re interested in doing this too!! Which, come on, you totally should because it’s a life-changing experience. If you’ve ever thought about doing it, DON’T THINK, just do. It will be one of the best things you’ll ever did. Visit them at Dolphins.com.au.

We had lunch break at a beach side cafe before going back to the city of Perth. While I was eating my steak sandwich, I asked myself, “Did I really just do that? ..Yeah, guess I did, huh? Woah.”

It was weird that I went back home in Perth, which was only 45 minutes away, and did other normal humanly things like take a shower and then talked to my mother when she went “So, how was your day?” like it was just another ordinary day in my life. It wasn’t.

It was an incredibly special and surreal day for me – living out one of my wildest dreams. ♥

xoxo,
Jess

Rose Heritage Cafe

There’s plenty of good places to eat at in Perth. With their abundance of fresh produce, I don’t see why not!

But I didn’t just want nice food, you can find good tasting food anywhere in the world – I wanted to explore new unique dining experiences. Melbourne they actually have dining in the dark (!! they say your sense of taste and smell is heightened because you lose your sense of sight) but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to give that a try.

Nevertheless, before my trip, I asked around on Twitter for peoples suggestions on places I should go, and a nice follower recommended me this place called Rose Heritage Cafe about 35 mins from Perth city.

It looked so pretty from the pictures on their website, I just had to check it out! :)

From the inside, the place looks cozy, but humble. It’s the outside that is impressive – you’ll see later on!

Check out their desserts section!! ♥_♥ And Peter’s ice cream… Heaven on a Stick is orgasmically good.

My mum and Sam were pretty skeptical when I told them about this place, because it’s located in the outbacks of Australia despite being only 30 minutes from Perth. I guess Perth itself is already pretty isolated and deserted in a way, lol. You know it’s the outback when you run out of paved road, and it’s just sand paths.

The beauty of this place lies in its vast gardens!!! A cafe in the middle of a Rose Nursery makes a lovely sight. I think they have what must be acres of carefully planted gardens!

What people living in the outback do. :) Listen to the birds up in the trees sing their chirpy songs and talk about baking pies.

Lol I’m not even kidding. I overheard a pair of middle-aged women’s conversation, and it went like this:

*In a serious tone*… Woman 1: “Listen to me. You and I are going to do something this weekend.

Woman 2: “What is it?” *curious*

Woman 1: “We, are going to make chocolate pies. *dramatic 3 second pause*... With some sort of meat in them, I haven’t decided what type yet. Mary did a chocolate pie last week, but ours are going to be better than Mary’s. And we’ll enter it in XXX competition. (I didn’t get the name of the competition)”

And that was when I raised my eyebrows in complete bemusement and walked away. Meat and chocolate in a pie?!?

This buncha fake flowers hanging from the ceiling is so colorful and totally apt to set the cheery mood! Try spotting the rather unfortunate massive spider web.

We chose the indoor seating despite it being gorgeous outside because I’m afraid of butterflies, and there happened to be HEAPS fluttering around outside that day. I know, face palm incoming… a girl who’s deadly afraid of moths & butterflies and insects in general wanting to dine at a Rose Cafe.

What? I like flowers but not creepy crawlies. Ah well you can’t have everything in life.

I still haven’t seen never ending fields of the Wildflower Season in Western Australia yet! I bet that’ll be a sight to behold. One thing I’m looking forward to the next time I go! And Ningaloo Reef ;____;

Checking out more of the gardens while waiting for our meals to be served!


Lunch is served!!!

I get the feeling the salad on my plate was freshly plucked and washed from their gardens, coz our meals took quite awhile to get outta the kitchen :P

The food was so fresh! I mean, just look at it. It reeks of healthiness and home made goodness. For once I am eating non-sinfully. Freshness aside, taste wise wasn’t exactly spectacular, although decent enough.

Makes me sad to type this because in the 3 days I’ve been back in Singapore, I’ve already had McDonalds twice. Ugh I’m disappointed in myself, but I’ve been feeling sick so I haven’t found the enthusiasm to start cooking or going out to eat at nicer places yet.

But then of course, I go and spoil my healthy meal with a great big whopping dessert. Mango cheesecake with a huge dollop of cream on the side (which I didn’t touch, try to believe me lol) and pretty rose petals on top to boot!!! BOMB.

Their desserts seem much more appetizing than their mains (mainly of salads, soups and sandwiches, light stuff)

Mum and I really caught up on spending precious quality time with each other. She’s been so busy traveling in recent months, I haven’t seen her that much at all but our time in Perth made up for the lost time.

In Singapore we never just sit down for a nice, quiet brunch and enjoy each others company. Even if we have the time, sometimes we just don’t do it. I think it’s Asian culture to sit down, order your food within 3 minutes, eat within 30 and GTFO. Kinda necessary when you live in a fast-paced city. I hear Australians take like 3 hours for their fancier dinners! It must be the copious amount of wine. Note to self – drink more wine. People who do generally seem more relaxed.

Sam and mum looking confused posing together for a photo. LOL. They don’t do this very often. I think they dunno if they should put an arm around each other, do the peace sign or just stand there like awkward penguins, which they did.

Thank you to the follower who recommend this place!!! A perfect way to idle away a pretty Summer afternoon. :) And a great spot for touristy photos! If you have a secret (or not-so-secret lol) special place that you know of to escape the world and crowds because of it’s unique ambience or location, do share with me! I’m getting tired of my usual chain restaurants.


Rose Heritage Cafe40 Masonmill Road Carmel WA 6076, Australia
Tel: (08) 9293 5112

Food quality: 3/5
Service / Ambience: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Most suitable for: Tourists, people looking to enjoy a nice quiet cuppa tea

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Back to Singapore, Back to Reality


Life in Perth…

Is slow. Sunny. Carefree. Time spent with my loved ones.

Just the way I like it.

Now that I’m back in Singapore, I feel like I’m suffering from a serious case of PAS. …….Post-Australia-Syndrome. I feel really out of place here in Singapore. I don’t feel like I belong, or that this is where I want to be. Not because it’s no good, it’s heaps good, for plenty of other people, just not for me. Having traveled to countries that aren’t quite clean, or safe enough, I can appreciate what Singapore has to offer. Every place has it’s good and bad points, but there’s not enough here for me to make me want to stay.

I need openness in my life. I don’t want to live in a concrete jungle. I need space to run & frolic around, I need fresh air to breathe, I need parks to stroll at with my mum & Sam, beaches to marvel at, I need to live in a country that doesn’t suffocate me. I need to be able to step out of the house without dying in the heat, every single day. Somehow Perth seems to fit the bill perfectly. If you haven’t been to the good parts of Australia, maybe you won’t understand. But if you have experienced the different life they have there, perhaps you will. I wasn’t made for built up bustling cities, or for night life and flashing lights. I can’t stand the fast life. I hate traffic on roads that never move.

I don’t mind that in Aus, the shops close at 5. I’d give up shopping at Orchard Road, late night movies and KTV-ing. The more times I visit the place, the more convinced I am and the more I adore it. Well not just any part of Australia, I love Perth in particular. It’s different from the big cities like Melbourne & Sydney. It is much more serene. Western Australia is STUNNING, and has so much potential, I can’t believe some people actually call it “boring.” But to each their own.

I’m regretting getting the jitters and backing out when I had the chance to study in Perth for uni. But then again if I didn’t go ahead with Shiberty’s Sweets, I’m sure I would’ve regretted that too. Thank god time is on my side at the moment. If another opportunity presents itself, I’m pretty sure I’ll jump straight at it. This trip, it feels like I was gone from SG for months. It felt like I left all my worries, troubles, and responsibilities behind and I was just on earth to have fun. Traveling is awesome like that – the only thing you need to worry about is how much fun you’re having today, and how you’re going to top that tomorrow. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and so did my trip. Am in the process of mourning the best trip ever…

Here’s some pictures while I’m at it.

At the Freo markets! That’s my mum’s Volvo sports car. It’s pick up speed and agility is crayyy.

I love how fresh produce is always so readily available here!

What did I say previously about their produce being oversized? I wonder how this even tastes! Very woody I’d assume.

I actually found myself going “waaaaa so nicely decorated these cupcakes!!!” then I paused for a second, remembered that I do the exact same thing for my work, but more advanced, then walked away. LOL

It’s different when it’s not you who did the design though, it’s always intriguing to see what other people come up with. And if you want to know, they didn’t taste very good.

Ready made sauces & dips are the bomb!!!

They’ve got a lot of this in Aus. I don’t mean like soy sauce or chilli sauce. I mean specially blended gourmet mixes like capsicum and feta (YUM) or basil and onions. The combination possibilities are endless!

Perth’s weather was perfect for alfresco dining.

To-die-for desserts!!!!!! ;_;

A lot of Perth restaurants offer an impressive range of home made sweet treats. Food in Perth is so good, but so expensive. Usually we pay at least $4 AUD for a bottle of water or for a soft drink.

I ♥ street musicians. They’re always so underrated and talented. And I always make it a point to give them a tip. It’s not very nice of cheapskate people to sit through an entire performance of a street performer and leave without tipping them a cent afterward…

When in Australia, eat as the Australians do!

Eggs benedict with smoked salmon. I tried making eggs benedict for the first time a few days after this and it was so easy!!!! I don’t get why breakfast food is so overpriced everywhere. Even in SG, places like Wild Honey serve you breakfast food for like 25 dollars. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

What’s so difficult about frying mushrooms and sausages or toasting bread? *face palm*

Milkshake is the new OJ.

Sam didn’t realize which organization he was donating to, only after he took a look at the sticker on his jumper and it was…

The Sea Sheperd!!! Wtf.

We used to watch their shows and root for them about a year ago. We reckon they were docked at Freo’s harbour while we were there, hence sending some volunteers out to gather donations around the area! Once upon a time, Sam and I had briefly (and very loosely, based on fantasy) discussed whether we’d like to volunteer a few months of our time to go save some whales. But of course I’d be completely useless on a boat out at sea. We both get terribly sea sick. And we also ended up making cakes instead. :P

It’s so unlike my mum to be seen out and about in the sunlight without shade (she’s nuts about staying fair, pretty much every Asian lady for you) but she knew I loved strolls in the parks so she sportingly came along with me!!! ♥

It was such a beautiful day to be out.

My boyfriend doing a really gu niang pose. Me: “WTF is that pose?!”

“….Fine! I’ll be like this then.” (but he’s really much more like the first picture irl)

“Mum, just because you’re SORT OF hiding 1/4 of your body behind a tree doesn’t mean the camera won’t capture you!!! You’re in my picture!”

She then giggled and hid completely behind the tree.

I don’t think I’ve ever made Sam smile the way ice cream makes him smile.

LOL these few pictures alwayssssssss make me laugh

Went back to the apartment for an afternoon nap… ♥

If only everyday could be this simple.

xoxo,
Jess
Previous Posts23456