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This place is a little slice of heaven. It’s exactly why I came over here – a little note to remind me: Watsons Bay.
It is said that great experiences are made by those around you- but they’re also made up of the 27 degree heat, pure blue skies and the view that relaxes your shoulders.
We started off with brunch at the Tea Garden Café. Everything on this side of town is expensive, but delicious. I had Eggs Benedict for $15; it’ll keep you full for a good 5 hours. At this café you’ll have the view of a far away Sydney, the bridge arching in the background and yachts bobbing around the harbour. You could also come here for mid-day Devonshire scones and tea for $7. Lovely.
There are two coves, both quiet small so be prepared for miniature beach side action. The first is Camp Cove where the sea is still – no surfing here guys - you can enjoy lulling in the water leisurely or do a few laps up and down the sea-bed. Possibly one of the most beautiful escapes I’ve been to and it has a feeling of luxury, just minutes from Sydney’s city.
Lady Beach (NUDE DUDES!)
The second is where the elder generation flaunt their stuff at Lady Beach. Oddly, more men bathe at Lady Beach and its the women rolled out on Camp Cove. Maybe they have more…balls? Chortle chortle. On this calm beach for those seeking a full tan or a sense of adventure try this cove. I might dare myself to do this one day: alone and very very early in the morning!
You can walk to the lighthouse, this round trip only takes about 15 minutes. I wouldn’t say it’s the best walk ever but the the rugged, coastal path is always enjoyable.
Getting There & Back
Enjoy a ferry ride from Circular Quay’s 4th terminal, setting you back just $11 (return ticket). Along this 20 minute ride you’ll see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Opera House at different angles. On route the ferry also stops at Garden Island, Rose Bay, Double Bay and finally, the beautiful Watsons Bay. The journey home is a fraction of the time going directly back to CQ.
Drift back to the city as the sun-sets behind the bridge and your eyes feel heavy with sleep.
Also read on…
Nimbin: a place where if you haven’t yet visited you would have heard of by reputation.
In my head Nimbin was going to be a remote, dusty village with few amenities, dirt tracks like those in the desert, crowds of hippies with shaky eyes and police officers just on the outskirts ready to search you for that stash you just bought.
In reality, Nimbin is a place like no other. The street is a mile long with 1 bar that’s attached to the only hostel around, a pizza place, a museum, an information centre and lots of boutique shops selling hippy drug stuff. The road is tarmac and the streets are empty, apart from the few people skulking on benches in their own sort of reality.
People aren’t intimidating but they are certainly the most bohemian wanderers I’ve ever come across. There doesn’t seem to be much to do here, unless you’re big on smoking, in which case you’re not really there ever.
We had a drink in the only bar and ate pizza in the only pizza place.
Then we got the hell out of Texas.
Stay time: An afternoon trip
Amusement rating: 10/10 gobsmacked!
Men in suits wear sunshades. Very sexy, they often have a swagger, too.
I’ve found many a mini lizard in the bathroom, weird and wonderful!
Everyone wears flip-flops, even the suits
You’re always no less than 40 minutes from a clear blue ocean and sandy beach
Sushi for Sydney-siders is what a pork pie is to the Brits: something for the every day man, filling, financially viable and delicious
If you are looking for a second visa in Australia you could find yourself either working on a farm or fruit picking and from this you will be exposed to insects at a higher rate than ever before, one of these buggers will be the tick.
To aid you in your first few weeks of meeting these creatures may I personally warn you that these pests appear to be on the rise, for reasons to do with the weather shifting from high heat to wet conditions.
If you find one of these attached to you don’t run to your nearest counterpart and get them to rip it out with tweezers, as I did, this only encourages them to hold on tighter and release their venom. Instead, add Vaseline or Tea Tree Oil and the suckers gradually come out and fall off all alone.
Welcome to the countryside!
If you do freak out and rip the bugger off then a small, hard, pink lump will form, which you must add Tea Tree Oil to every day for 1-2 months, or at least until it disappears. The venom shouldn’t hurt you if it’s a black head. If it’s white then seek assistance medically immediately, these are the parasites that have been killing off cattle. They are small but very, very deadly.
They like warmth and moisture so be sure to double check your underarms, the nape of your neck/hair line and breast bone.
Why no one warned me of these or advised what to do if and when I found the tick is beyond me. Although another helper on the farm who has been almost everywhere with me since arriving didn’t have any hassle for the last 2 months on the farm, it seems to be mostly a case of bad luck.
So there you are, be prepared and be safe.
We were invited up to the local bar to see a band called Floorboards, an event keenly scribbled into the community’s calendar months, possibly years, in advance.
After much anticipation we walked into the local bar where it became evident by the locals confident swagger and shaking hips that they had been there since mid-day, not just to secure seats for the show hours ahead of time, but to merrily pass the hours before such entertainment reached the little town of Krambach: home to cows and eccentrics.
We witnessed the fist two brave women (the two most shit faced) to strut their stuff on the dance-floor by the hour of 8(pm); it was just a few minutes before half the pub joined in and it seemed anyone who lived in Krambach over the age of 50 was ready for the stage, which the Floorboards appreciated, as we 20-somethings stood on the side safely resuming our dignity – or so we thought – sipping our gross 2 dollar wine and feeling very sophisticated in comparison.
If there is one thing to take from this bunch it is that they know how to enjoy themselves, as their big night continued on we decided to run away and were in bed by 10(pm); unsure if what we had seen was completely hilarious or rather a sad snippet of what happiness is to a small town.
We eventually transferred from a vertical snowy drop to a flat earthy top
It began at 7 in the morning with a transfer to climb the volcano that currently sat in the corner of Pucon, Chile, puffing white clouds into the air and covered in snow.
For this expedition I would be required to wear a 30 litre backpack – neck warmer – gloves - snow boots – waterproof jacket – trousers – ankle holders - mini-bum sledge (which I fondly referred to as the potty).
This was my first experience of really trekking and pushing myself to accomplish something far from home and what I thought was beyond my physical ability.
After a mere 30 minutes I became very hot in the layering of fleece, leggins and cargo-pants. So myself and another dear trooper decided to cut the first hour and take the ski-lift (family members will be pleased to know this was all OK, no accidents this time!). We then spent the next 4 hours zigzagging with Alberto, our guide, up to Villarrica as she breathed heavily. It’s surprising how quickly time can pass up there.
…This was my first experience of really trekking and pushing myself to accomplish something far from home…
Breaks were frequent and we eventually transferred from a vertical snowy drop to a flat earthy top. We had reached the crater - a spectacular and numbing experience. The chemical smoke could be tasted at the back of the throat, but it was very minor.
Dave and I conquering Villarrica!
We then sledged down, taking half the time – just 2 hours – which was utterly brilliant! My shoulders ached from the backpack; face sun burnt and my knees were completely buggered. I went to sleep with constant throbs of pain in my legs. Maybe doing an intense hike as a newbie isn’t the best idea…but now I’ve climbed a volcano. Good feeling.
While in New York the Sex & the City Tour was top of our list and you should ensure it’s on yours, too! Please don’t let this ridiculously fun trip pass you by when you’re in the city, think dildos and cupcakes – it’s a sure recipe for smiles.
Screen Tours offer this trip at $46 (£29) and from past experience they’re reliable to be on time and guide you through each stop of New York with the excitement and profanity this tour requires.
Highlights include: A cocktail at Steve and Aidan’s bar “Scout”
and a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery aka. Heaven.
We actually ended up booking an evening meal at Buddakan, the restaurant where Big and Carrie have their rehearsal dinner. They serve Asian cuisine on 9th Avenue and it’s a real treat, meaning rather expensive, with an atmosphere for dimly lit romance and seriously delicious dishes. Just by the bar they have square tables and long bench-like seating which makes for a sociable evening.
*If you’re tempted make a reservation while you’re on tour
or pick up a business card from the bar and call later.
Magnolia Bakery, NYC
“Scout’s Bar”, O’Neil’s Hoboken Bar
One of Paddington’s best memories was visiting Central Park, New York, where he met a very jolly book-worm. To this day they’re good friends and remain dear pen-pals.
Central Park Low Down
Enjoy the following activities or visit Central Park’s Official Site for further information.
- A gentle walk
- Ride your bike
- Cross-country skiing (seasonal)
- A healthy swim
- A game of tennis or baseball (good to just sit back and watch, too)
- Rock climbing
- Picnic with friends
GO WEST OF SANTIAGO TO A VERTICAL DROP FULL OF COLOUR AND GRIT.