Back to Bali – and more friends and festivities …

We fly back to Bali from Singapore because we loved it so much a month ago and decided it was worth looping back for Christmas and New Year and seeing more of the friends we enjoyed our time with on the last trip! We have a relaxed 3 weeks in the most glorious villa we’ve rented near Ubud. 

The beautiful villa and beautiful Balinese friends - Angel explains to Erika the offerings shes going to place  around our home, Lara helps Kadek clean the pond and Kadek helps Ben figure out how to design and build a kite:)

The beautiful villa and beautiful Balinese friends who look after it, and us.  Here is Angel explaining to Erika the offerings she’s placing around our home, Lara helps Kadek clean the pond with Angel’s little boy and Kadek helps Ben figure out how to design and build a kite:)

Tucked away down a small ‘gang’ or alley in the midst of rice paddies, in the village of Penestanan, with three wonderful staff looking after us – Angel, our housekeeper, Kadek our gardener and Wayan our security guy who is around the premises all night every night.

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Friends and Festivities in Malaysia and Singapore

We arrive in Penang, north west Malaysia from Sumatra, Indonesia…

It’s the middle of December. Our main reason for coming to Penang is the chance for a quick stop to meet with five or six other travelling families who we’ve met ‘on line’, shared experiences and tips and enjoyed each other’s blogs. And thanks to another super cheap Air Asia flight!
Families on the Move meet up in Penang. It's fantastic to meet up and get to know other crazy families like us who are living the dream and so nice for the kids to make friends with other kids doing the same crazy stuff!

Families on the Move meet up in Penang. It’s fantastic to meet up and get to know other crazy families like us who are living the dream and so nice for the kids to make friends with other kids doing the same as them!

We are invited to stop a night or two with one family and have so much fun together we end up staying ten. Lara gets to be a bossy big sister to the twins Max and Sebastian, who amazingly, let her get away with it!

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A week in the Falklands Part 1

or….Flat Stanley does Stanley:)

On our family gap year travels, one of the most exciting places we’ve been to is the Falklands.

Pictures of Falklands

Images of the Falklands – a running-backwards-race at the racetrack fun day which we joined in but didn’t win, king penguins at, Volunteer Point, Port Stanley houses decorated with Union Jacks and Falklands flags, landmine warnings at Surf Bay and fishing at the lake beneath Mount Tumbledown

It’s partly because it’s just so British! More British than being at home. Of course everyone speaks English, which was a real treat after speaking Spanish or Portuguese for our whole trip so far, it was exciting too because we got to stay in a lovely traditional B&B called Kay’s and she was amazing! It was really interesting to find out what a small island in the middle of the south Atlantic was like where there were only a few people but where they’d had a war in 1982 when Argentina invaded and tried to take the islands over. And it was also exciting because its close to Antarctica and we got to see king penguins and rockhopper penguins and that was really unbelievable!

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The End of The World for Kids

Visiting the end of the world was great fun and luckily not the end of the world for us!

We were in Ushuaia, in the far south of Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, not so far from Antarctica and where there is a lovely national park to explore and three excellent museums to visit. Museums aren’t always fun, but I really liked the ones we went to in Ushuaia.

 Museo del Fin del Mundo

Museo del Fin del Mundo

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My five year old first family gap year!

[Lara was four and a half when we started travelling – she’s spent a year on the road. When we get back to the UK next summer, she’ll be six and a half and will have been travelling for almost a third of her life. Will she remember home? How will she adjust back to a settled life? She’s an adaptable and resilient young lady who takes pretty much everything in her stride with the exception of trying too many new foods without a lot of bribery and corruption!

Lara's travels

Lara’s travels

We decided it was high time for an interview with Lara so we could see what she thinks and share her views on our family gap year(s) ………]

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Naked at the end of the world!

In Ushauia – we found out all about the Yamana people and the Selknam people. They lived at the bottom of the world in Tierra del Fuego in South America. The Selknam lived inland and hunted guanaco. The Yamana lived along the coast.

The Yanama with their canoes - where they kept a fire burning all the time and didn't wear clothes!

The Yamana with their canoe – where they kept a fire burning all the time and didn’t wear clothes! At the Maritime Museum, Ushuaia. This canoe was made trying to copy the traditional methods before they are forgotten and lost!

The Yamana lived further south than any other people in the world and although it was cold they didn’t wear clothes but always had a fire burning even in their canoes and put animal grease on their skin to help stay warm. More

Ben 10 in Buenos Aires

I had my 10th birthday in Buenos Aires. My family thought it was very funny to call me Ben 10 and give me Ben 10 gifts. My little sister Lara gave me a Ben 10 toothbrush!

Luckily I persuaded them to buy me a finger skateboard and not the cuddly Ben 10!

Luckily I persuaded them to buy me a finger skateboard and not the cuddly Ben 10 at this toy shop in Buenos Aires!

Before my birthday, I wrote a To Do list that looked like this:- More

Flat Stanley at Iguazu Falls

I loved Iguazu Falls. It was one of my favourite places in South America. I thought it was going to be like the waterfall in the film UP because in that film the old man has a dream of going to some waterfalls in South America but Iguazu is much bigger.

Me, Ben, Lara and Flat Stanley

Me, Ben, Lara and Flat Stanley

I took Flat Stanley to see Iguazu. More

Iguazu Wonders and Wildlife

We were at Iguazu for a few days. We stayed in Argentina and just across the river Iguazu were Brazil and Paraguay. It was wet and jungly rainforest which we hadn’t seen for a while after being in the Andes. Each day we were in a different country. We crossed the borders about 10 times in a week!  Here are some of my highlights and favourite pictures and wildlife!

Brazil

You can visit the Falls in Brazil and Argentina. We started in Brazil.  This was pretty much my first view of the falls. It looked amazing but even more amazing when we got on the boat a few days later. We could see the boats down in the river going under the falls!

Me at Iguasu!

Me at Iguazu!

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Flat Stanley Lost in the Desert

10/2/13. We’ve been in San Pedro for a few days! We’re stranded!! It’s a small town with everything built of mud and straw bricks, some buildings are painted white and its very dusty!

San Pedro is not meant for rain!

We were going to go and see some geysers high up in the mountains near the Bolivia border, float and swim in hot pools and salty lagoons, then take a bus into northern Argentina but then, on the first afternoon, it started to rain. There was lightening and the loudest thunder we ever heard! We were in our apartment at the hostel and water started to pour under the door!

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