With one quick glance at this photo you might think I’m sitting on a snow clad mountain back in the Bavarian Alps.
But when I add more detail you can see that what you thought was snow is actually ice cream. Yes, those are giant scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped off with a huge red cherry.
And the mountain I’m perched on top of is not of the hard rocky kind. It’s a mountain of pancakes, drenched in warm caramel sauce!
It’s only when you have all the details that you can fully appreciate this amazing spectacle. Imagine going into a pancake parlour, placing your order and having a stack like this arrive on your plate!
Would you be able to eat it all?
Last week I went on a cruise with my personal assistant Mrs ET. While she was gallivanting around the ship, I spent my time watching the world go by and making new friends.
Meet Mr Penguin and Mr Elephant.
We had plenty in common: a love for travel and a keen sense of adventure. But at the same time there were some interesting differences. Mr Penguin is a snappy dresser like myself, but he wore the bare minimum. Mr Elephant didn’t enjoy the ocean views and always sat with his back to the window. (I think he had a delicate constitution.)
Mr Penguin and Mr Elephant had their own personal assistant, James. He was responsible for making sure they always looked their very best.
He certainly did a wonderful job.
Mr ET has a new favourite saying: When an Aussie says “Just down the road” they could mean anything from a block to a kilometre to a three day drive.
He’s not wrong. When he decided to go down the road, we ended up driving more than 14 ooo km right around Australia!
After cruising on the highway through western Queensland for four days, we arrived at Mount Isa, a mining town 900 kilometres from the east coast of Australia. This signpost was a timely reminder of how far we’d travelled and how much further we could go.
Another 190 kilometres west, just up the road, is the outback town of Camooweal. It’s in the middle of nowhere and a long way from anywhere.
After this, we had another eight weeks to go before we were home again.
So if an Aussie asks if you want to go out for a drive, be careful. You might be gone for a very long time!
There’s no doubt about it – Hawaiians are snappy dressers.
Some Hawaiians don’t even need to be dressed to impress,
while others accessorize to perfection.
Even my best buddy Manny got into the spirit with his beautiful shell lei.
I was filled with admiration for the relaxed Hawaiian style and I really wanted to fit in, so I went shirt shopping.
I couldn’t choose, so I bought them both.
Which shirt do you like best?
Did you know that Hawaii is the shrimp capital of the world?
I didn’t, until I went there. I met so many different shrimp, each with their own laid back outlook on island life.
There was Surfer Shrimp, who took me on a wild ride over on the North Shore.
Hula Shrimp gave me free dancing lessons.
I even visited the biggest shrimp in the world, at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.
Chef Shrimp gave me a personal tour of his van at Waimanalo Beach,
and it was here I met the best shrimp of all – Coconut shrimp!
Delicious and nutritious!
I’ve been whale watching with my old buddy Manny. We sailed on the Ocean Spirit, a sleek catamaran, out into the Auau Channel off the island of Maui.
Manny and I were given the job of Official Whale Spotters.
until far away in the distance we spotted a telltale water spout.
Whale up ahead!
The boat isn’t allowed to go closer than 100 metres, but this whale was very friendly and he came up to us. Isn’t he a beauty!
Instead of watching whales on the way back to the boat harbour at Lahaina, Manny and I watched the captain.
We learned how to steer the boat and read the instruments. It’s very complicated.
When we got the boat safely back to shore, we received the Captain’s seal of approval – Whale Watchers Extraordinaire.
We made a new friend who wanted to come home with us.
But he wouldn’t fit into our bag!
After visiting Walkabout Creek Hotel, I was inspired to take up a new career as a crocodile hunter. Mick Dundee makes it look so easy in the movie.
First I had to find some crocodiles.
Even though there were plenty of warning signs, I didn’t spot a single croc until I got to Windjana Gorge in the Kimberleys; and then I got more than I bargained for!
There were crocs everywhere.
That scaly skin, those prehistoric tails and those teeth…I just couldn’t bring myself to go too close.
I’m certain this one was sizing me up as a potential meal and I wasn’t sure I would be able to run fast enough if he decided it was dinner time. I didn’t stay long enough to find out!
I felt like a failure until I met this friendly fellow in Broome a few days later.
He just wanted to show off his amazing smile and he assured me he wasn’t hungry.
Maybe he didn’t want to pick fur out of his teeth!
Have you seen the movie “Crocodile Dundee”? It’s one of my all time favourites.
That man is so cool, calm and collected – a lot like me actually.
I wanted to walk in the footsteps of Mick Dundee, so I called into the Walkabout Creek Hotel at McKinlay in outback Queensland.
Just like Mick, I sat at the bar with a long cold beer.
I was a bit worried when Kelly the barmaid pulled out a knife, until I realised it wasn’t just any old knife.
It was Mick’s famous knife.
I wouldn’t like to be on the wrong side of Mick. That knife could do some serious damage.
I waited for some time on the shady veranda but Mick didn’t come by.
He must have been too busy chasing crocs.
You know how much I love doing work experience. It’s great fun to walk in someone else’s shoes for a day.
When I went flying with Sam from Kingfisher Tours at Kununurra, I thought my secret ambition to be a pilot was about to be fulfilled.
We were going to fly this six seater Cessna 210. It was such a small plane – how hard could it be?
I had visions of sitting up front and maybe even taking over the controls under Sam’s watchful eye. We may have been in a tiny plane but it turned out size was to be my downfall.
I was too small to sit in the front seat next to Sam. This big guy sat there.
I was even too small to sit in the middle.
My seat was right up the back
which turned out to be not such a bad thing. The view was fantastic.
So instead of piloting, I sat back and let Sam do his job. We flew over Kununurra and the mighty Ord River,
along the vast expanse of Lake Argyle
and over the ancient beehive stone formations of the Bungle Bungles at Purnululu National Park.
Perhaps instead of being a pilot I should take up aerial photography.
Looking out the window was an easy skill to master.
See more of our flight over the Kimberleys over at The Eternal Traveller
Have you ever seen something that is larger than life and been a little disappointed? Do you remember when I went to the Big Banana hoping to find the biggest banana split on record, only to have my dreams dashed?
It was a sad day.
Thankfully my belief in bananas has been restored – by none other than Choco Narnars, the friendliest banana in the world.
Mr Narnars, or Choco to his friends, lives in Port Douglas in far north Queensland. He has a stall at the markets every Sunday at Anzac Park where he sells scrumptious, chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. One of his bananas is the perfect treat in the tropical climate of the north.
His curvy yellow treats are not only delicious, they are also very good for you. They are organic and with their crunchy choc topping you get your daily serve of fruit and dairy all in one.
What more could you ask for?
A banana dance…that’s what!