Tropical Island Stopover

[30-dec-2003 till 3-jan-2004]

Well, we finally made it to our luxury island. Although the flight to Singapore was only 5 hours- lack of sleep made it pretty painful. After a 4 hour wait at the ferry terminal in Singapore we boarded a ferry to Bintan Island. It was very rough and Narelle needed the blue plastic bag! We shall say no more. Our hotel was very large and we were initially disappointed as our room was pretty basic and not really clean. Still we had a king size bed, cable TV and bar fridge – all we needed really.

Our visit on the island consisted of – sleeping, watching mindless and endless cable TV, eating Indonesian cuisine and daily evening cocktails. oh we also really pushed ourselves to laze on banana lounges by the pool! Very tricky. The beach was too rough for swimming – little did we know it was monsoon season! They had these poor chaps whose job was to rake the beach. They were down on the sand every morning raking up all the garbage that was washed ashore each night. Thongs (the flip flop variety!), bottles toothbrushes, pvc piping – you name it! The day spa and golf courses proved to be too expensive so we opted for a beach massage. This involved lying on a thin mat in a cobana type structure on the beach. (see pics!) They worked us both so hard that we felt sore for a day or two afterwards!

On New Years Eve we attended the “Gala Dinner” – the whole hotel lobby was transformed with tables over 400 people had booked for the night. Dinner was buffet and went on for 6 or so hours. Each table had tiaras, crowns, top hats, leis, confetti to throw and came complete with great band, fire eater and belly dancers! We sat with Perth people that we had met. Special thanks to Zorin and Ma… (apologies for not getting your name right), Michael and Tanya and Murray and Tatiana. Also to the two Gorgeous Isabellas! We had a great time!

Good bye Melbourne

Our last day in Melbourne, we said goodbye to Dave’s brothers and sister. Had coffee with Dave’s mum and dad and then checked out of the Apartment. Dave had organised to meet up with Tony Barker at 11am, we didn’t get there till 1:30pm, sorry Tony (there was a mix-up of times).

After a great lunch with Tony and a relaxing chat in the new “conservatory” at Tony’s’ place we headed to the airport. Thanks again to Tony who drove us out, you have gone way beyond the call of “uncle” duty ;-) . The flight was late again, can you believe this, not sure why, we were not told, it was only about 20 minutes or so, which was made up on the flight, but we could have been 20 minutes early rather than on time…hope this is not a sign of things to come, although we would much rather be late than not arrive at all…the flight was pretty good, had an amazing sunset which we tried to catch with the camera.

Landed in Perth safely, now only two days to go….

Dave + Narelle

Boxing Day Test and Lords

On Boxing Day we saw a film about New Zealand, a war, a ring and some hobbits :-) It was the 9:30am session which was a little hard especially after all the eating and drinking from the day before. After the film, which we would recommend, we had a day with Dave’s Mums side of the family, where we caught up with people from Darwin, aunts, uncles, long lost cousins with there little ones (which would make them second cousins) and Dave’s Nanna.

It was a great night, with lots of rocky-road being eaten, a fantastic meal put on by Margaret and all in all good company. Thanks to all that came and we hope you are enjoying this site.

Dave & Narelle

Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas Day, and all is good, every body was up at 7am to start what ended up being a very busy day. We all sat down to breakfast, thanks to Narelle’s organisation. This was followed by Present opening (Dave was Santa) where we gave out the presents we bought in Melbourne. We ended up with 5Kg of extra stuff that we had to cart home! Not sure where all weight came from, but it sure adds up quickly. Mental note: 21Kg in a backpack is too much.

After present opening (8:30am) we decided that we could not make 9am Mass as this will be pushing too fine and we would be running around too much. At 9:55am it was decided that we would go anyway (feeling guilty I suspect ;-) So we pile into Alison’s (Dave’s Sisters) car (which she bought off us for an absolute bargain, if we do say so ;-) . We get to Mass at 9:15am (it started at 9) and the priest is already into his homily! oops. Before we knew it, mass was over and our next step of the Christmas day starts.

Off to Flinders Pub, first however we have to get to Min’s new place. For those of you who have not met Min, she is Dave’s Grandmother (on his Dads side). There is a great story about Min, which we will post on this web site sometime soon. Anyway, picked her up with Tony Barker (thanks Tony for the lift down). The drive from Melbourne is about 1h or so.

We arrived at Flinders Pub at 11:55, 5 minutes to spare, we had to be there at 12 sharp, but in actual fact it was not until after 1pm that we were served any food. We were joined by Tony, Judy, Harrison, Bill, Min, Marg, Geoff, Chris, Alison, Paul, Dave (friend of Min’s) and we enjoyed great food and the company. We had a group photo (which is in the Melbourne photos).

After Flinders it was back to Melbourne for drinks and nibbles at Jenny and Andrews place (Dave’s Aunt and Uncle). This was a low key affair with high key wine and food. The wines that were served were absolutely amazing and I would like to thank Andrew and Jenny for hosting the Christmas afternoon, it was great to catch-up with the others that could not make it to Flinders.

Thanks to all the people that we caught up with and thanks for your patience, we know that we were late in some cases. Thanks for all the gifts that we received, we did not expect anything, so thanks, although you all added an additional 5Kg to our backpack ;-) .

Another Christmas gone, and I am sure the next one will be just around the corner.

Dave & Narelle

The Apartment

We have left Brighton and thanks again to Anna and John for putting up with us, or is that putting us up? We had a great time in Brighton, but now it is time to move on to the “Apartment”. Narelle booked this place and all we know is that it is on the 20th storey, is new and in the docklands area. Now the docklands area is very new and very few people know how to get there (Des you know what I mean :-) Actually thanks for the lift Des it was very much appreciated, and you are not the only one that does not know how to get there, most of the Melbourne cabbies have no idea, actually they have no idea about most of Melbourne, but don’t get me started on that one.

Ok, got to our apartment and we were blown away, huge place with a massive balcony, could not have asked for anything better. The view was amazing, had all the mod-cons (including Foxtel). The only complaint that we would have is the beds are only doubles, which means Dave’s feet hang off the end! Narelle was fine however.

Mum & Dad got in about 6pm and we had dinner down at one of the restaurants on the ground floor. There are about half a dozen restaurants there and they all seem to be pretty good, we ate that the Italian place, where Narelle practiced her Italian with the waiters. And the Malaysian place, both had great food at very good prices.

That night we did decided to buy only one present, we put our names into a hat and drew each other out, and then hit the shops the next day.

Ok I think we have bored you enough with this update.
Dave & Narelle.

Arrive in Melbourne

We arrived in Melbourne 1 hour late! Good old Qantas had staffing problems again and could not clean the plane. And to top it off they cancelled the movie “Mambo Italiano” no more than one hour into the movie due to “complaints by passengers”, we were really enjoying the movie. We arrived in Melbourne at 1:40am and headed to Narelle’s Aunts and Uncles place in Brighton, Melbourne Victoria. The home of many famous people, including Shane Warne, Malcom Blight, Rod Butters (Saints President) and good ol’ Crazy John. We are here for another two days and then heading to our three bedroom, 2oth floor apartment to spend Christmas with the Barker family. Further Updates coming soon. Dave + Narelle

Unemployed

It has finally arrived, we are now officially unemployed! David has resigned today and said farewell to three and a half years of work with ISS. The trip has almost started, two more days before we leave and we still have a bit to do, organise health insurance, pack our bags for Melbourne, and buy thermals for the Europe leg of the world tour.

We would like to thank all of the people that we have worked with over the last few years at ISS and Mercy Hospital. We would also like to thank all of our friends for the support and well wishes that we have received over the last few weeks.

Not too long to go now…

Dave + Narelle

Farewell Party

The official Barker Bon-voyage went off with a blast. We had about 40 people at the back of our place and fun was had by all. Thanks to all those that came and for those that could not make it, well you just missed out :-) .

We had ordered 20 pizzas for the guests, and we were told numerous times that we will be eating pizza for the next week, but by nights end there was not one piece left.

Photos will be posted once I get them off the camera.

Dave + Narelle