Tag Archives: nature

Chhori’s visit to the Zoo in Nepal

The last time we went to zoo was when we went to Nepal with my then 6 months nephew. This time we wanted to take the little girls, Chhori and our niece, there.

The zoo is located a few kilometres away from the city centre, Kathmandu. It is the only zoo in Nepal but there has been about talk about opening another zoo somewhere else as well.

We went there with AS’s mum, his two brothers, sister in law and niece. We really wanted the girls to have a good time. As it was Saturday afternoon, as expected the zoo was busy with many families coming for an afternoon out. It was a warm sunny day which was great.

The zoo is arranged according to taxonomy, with mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes all occupying different parts of the zoo. There are also playground rides, picnic lawns and boat rides on the lake.

The zoo houses some 780 species including the critically endangered white-rumped vulture and Chinese alligator and six endangered species: Asian elephant, royal Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, wild buffalo, gharial and yellow headed turtle.

Along with these animals, there was a hippo that was lazily sunbathing, a hyena, a giant deer, peacocks, white-napped crane, two big rhinos, monkeys, water buffalo, chimpanzees, leopards, bear, tigers, lions as well as golden pheasants, silver pheasants, chukar, kalij, parrots, owls. They also had a small reptile collection which featured a common cobra, an Indian rock python, snakes and a turtle.

As we walked from one enclosure to another, I could see the girls’ excitement. They would make noises of the animals that we saw or count the birds.

Chhori loves to look at real animals as she can hear them make noises and she gets really excited. I am so glad that she got time to spend with our families in Nepal and the girls did bond well despite fighting from time to time.

After the whole tour of the zoo, we were all tired so decided to go to a nearby restaurant for our favorite momo and Nepali food.

I have mentioned before that Chhori loves momo and she was over the moon in Nepal getting to eat so many times. In one occasion, she surprised us all by eating 8 momos in one sitting.  I guess she is showing us her Nepali side.  🙂

I hope everyone is having a great week. Take care till next time.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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North Coast holiday : Port Stephens

On second last day of our holiday, we drove to Nelson Bay from Coffs harbour. Unfortunately, the drive took a while as there was a traffic jam so reached Port Stephens only after 6pm.

Port Stephens lies within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park and is situated about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-east of Sydney. It’s known for its nature and abundance of aquatic marine life and land activities on its uncrowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks.

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Our accommodation at the heart of port Stephens being Nelson Bay offers gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping as well as being the Dolphin Capital which is well known as one of the best places in the world to see dolphins “in the wild”.

As everything was nearby, we decided to go for a walk after dinner. We ended up eating in an Asian joint and then went for a walk around the bay. There were so many people even at that time of the evening and there were kids everywhere.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel and rested well for our adventure next day. The first thing we did next morning after breakfast was to go for a hike in Tomaree head National Park.

Tomaree Head in Shoal Bay Port Stephens is a small mountain headland that guards the south entrance to Port Stephens Nelson Bay.

At the start of the trail at the east end of Shoal Bay Road there is a picture of the trial. The place is great to walk and there were lots of people going there for their morning walk.

It was once again a beautiful day so we were ready to start our adventures. The trial was well maintained and it was curvy so the walking is not too steep. We kept walking for few minutes until we reached the picnic area.

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Much of the lower sections of the trail were stair-free ramps so it was easy. But instead of taking the well paved path, we decided to take a rough natural trail. We kept on walking until we reached to the end of the hill and there were nowhere to go. So we have to come back the same way for another 10 minutes until we found the trial that led upstairs. The top half or so of the walk is metal walkways and stair cases making the hike easier.

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By the time we reached the first look out all of us were tired but were rewarded with a great view of Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach and Box Beach.

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We rested on the top for a while and everyone was busy on our mobile phone. I love this photo as it is what modern day socialising looks like 🙂

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After a while we descended and went back to the car to our next stop, sand dunes. Only in Australia, have I seen a landscape which has 32 kilometre long beach and mobile sand dunes which climb up to 40 metres high next to it. Located only 10 minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay, it is the largest sand dune system in Australia.

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Originally we planned to either do some camel ride or horse ride there but we changed our plan and went on our own to the sand dunes. We parked the car and started walking towards the sand.

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After few minutes’ walk it felt like we were in a different part of the world surrounded by all that sand.

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We couldn’t see anyone but the four of us but there were lots of footsteps of people on the sand. It was just amazing to be there and felt great.

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We took some really nice shots. after a while we all felt very hot so decided to return to the car. As the car was in the sun for a while as well, we had to open the windows for a while before we could get inside and drive.

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Everyone was hungry by then so we decided to stop over for the lunch.

As we were far from Nelson Bay we decided to look for food in Anna Bay. Mostly there were just fish and chips places but luckily we went to Anna Bay Traven. It looked like a pub where there were lots of men drinking but inside they had a big backyard for people to sit down and eat. We ordered prawn and chilli pasta; prawn pizza and fried calamari and all of them were very tasty. All the ingredients felt so fresh that we were glad we stumbled on that place.

After lunch we went to the beach and swam for a while.

Here again the beaches were just beautiful with sallow ends so you can go quite far into the sea and still the water comes up only to your waist. And as the wave came; it was great to chase it.

After a while, it was time for us to return to Sydney.

Back in the car and we drove back to Sydney. We all had a great holiday and I am glad AS enjoyed the visit as well. The Port Stephens region, with its breathtaking natural beauty, was the perfect ending to our memorable holiday experience.

Take care everyone, till the next post

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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*Forster *Coffs Harbour *Snowy Mountains: Australia

North Coast holiday: Forster

Last week on Thursday we had Anzac Day holiday so we took the Friday off and made our own long weekend and packed our bags to go to the North Coast of Sydney with two of our friends.

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On Thursday we stayed at Forster, from there we went to Coffs Harbour and then on to Port Stephens for Saturday. It was a fun weekend and it was perfect weatherwise too. I came back 5 shades darker but I am not complaining.

It was really amazing how much I packed for the holiday as I didn’t know how the weather was going to be. I had both summer and winter clothes in my suitcase. On top of that we had swimsuits, hats, sun screen, towels, etc.

Forster

The drive up to Forster was pretty uneventful.

Forster is a large coastal town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Great Lakes Council LGA, about 308 km north-north-east of Sydney. It was our first time in Forster so we were very excited. The night we got there, we didn’t do much. Just went to a restaurant had our dinner.

Our hotel was close to the city but still by 8pm there was no one walking on the street.

The next morning, it was a sunny day so after breakfast we went for a drive. First stop was Forster city centre to hire bicycles so we could go around the town. It was a great idea as we had heaps of fun going to all the fabulous beaches around Forster starting with Main Beach.

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While we were crossing the bridge that links Forster to another town call Tuncurry, at the middle of way, the water was so crystal clear that we could see fish from the top of the bridge. We stopped there for a while to take a few photos.

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From there we rode on the beaches until it was time for us to return the bicycles. Then we decided to go to the One Mile beach. That is one of the famous beaches in the North Coast of Sydney.

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Luckily we got lost on the way there and discovered new places from where we could see the Nine Mile Beach as well as crystal clear blue water. We walked to many different look outs and captured really great photos.

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It was so surreal that I was seeing this amazing view so close to Sydney which I had seen only in tropical places.

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And finally we landed on one end of the One Mile Beach which had a very high sand slope from where the beach looked amazing. We had so much fun taking crazy photos with the whole beach as the background. We had our fun in the sun and decided to go to lunch.

 We all were very hungry so the burgers and wraps we ordered at Hogs Breath Café tasted so good.

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After lunch we continued to explore the area and ended on Tuncurry Rockpool which is at the end of Rockpool Rd adjacent the southern breakwater in Forster. The area looked really busy as it has showers, toilets, a kiosk, picnic facilities and ocean baths at its eastern edge. We kept on walking the path and saw lots of people fishing. We spend some time sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view.

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From there we decided to go to the Nine Mile Beach and swim before it started getting cold. This is one of the most awesome beaches I have been to. The water was warm and it was shallow at the end so we had a ball chasing waves. We also saw some dolphin frolicking in the wave some distance away. As we were in the water enjoying ourselves, the tide was getting higher and it was getting colder so we decided to call it a day and went back to the car.

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It was a great day in Forster and we were really happy with everything.

We ended our night with pizza and jacket potatoes for dinner.

Next stop is Coffs Harbour, till then take care

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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*Sculpture by the sea *Easter Long weekend trip *Snowy Mountains: Australia

Easter Long weekend trip

This Easter we decided to go on a trip to the South coast of NSW. We had beautiful days with nice blue sky and warm sun.

We went there with my brother’s family and one of my friend’s families. Altogether, it was 6 adults and 2 kids.

Ulladulla

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We started our trip in Sydney and our first stop was Ulladulla. Ulladulla is around 180 km south of Sydney. The trip started smoothly as we were on the road before 9am. The morning was overcast but it cleared up for a pleasant day. It took us over 3 hours to reach Ulladulla boat harbour as we stopped on the way at McDonalds and also there was big traffic jam for over 2 km when we were near Ulladulla city centre.

Ulladulla boat harbour

As we parked the car and saw the view at Ulladulla boat harbour, I was really happy as the drive was worth the view I was in front of.

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There were not many people there but the view was just amazing with blue water, green trees and lots of boats and the sun shining down. It was just a blessing to enjoy such an incredible view in the perfect weather.

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We had our home cooked lunch there and relaxed there for a while. The food tasted better as all of us were hungry. The kids were having great time; one of them was running around chasing birds and the other one super happy to be out and about.

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We walked around the beach area, took photos and simply relaxed and enjoyed the day. From there we went to our next stop, Warden Head Lighthouse

Warden Head Lighthouse

Warden Head Lighthouse was built in Ulladulla in 1873 and re-erected at the present site in 1889. Made of iron and designed by a contemporary colonial architect the original optical apparatus is intact and still in operation. Fishing off the nearby rocks is excellent and there are good views of the harbour and surrounds. light house (7)

As I have seen lots of bigger light houses, I found it a bit small but the view from there was great as well. We just sat down and listen to the waves hitting the rocks. There were a few other cars but not that many people so it was a peaceful place to enjoy the nature.

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It is also the best lookout for Whale spotting but unfortunately we didn’t see any that day. There are many tracks in the area, some with proper lookouts but it was a bit scary as there were no railings, just the cliff edge. There are also a lot of birdlife in this area. light house (6) light house (1)

From there we decided to go to our hotel. The hotel was in front of Batesman bay and from our room we could see the bridge, water and boats. All of us rested for a while and went for an evening drive to Batesman Bay.

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Batesman bay

We drove past the Clyde River Bridge which is a 55-year-old lifting span bridge. As it was a public holiday, parking was free. Then we walked down the road to the town by the river. We sat on one of the benches and enjoyed the sunset. It was a beautiful evening.

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As it was getting dark and everyone was hungry we went to domino for some pizzas and dessert. It was very unhealthy but amazingly tasty 🙂

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The next morning we work up early and watch the sunrise by the pool.

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The resort has a lovely pool area and me and AS were just watching the sun and taking a few pics. Then we went to have some breakfast. It was a bit chilly morning but AS decided to go for a swim.

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I didn’t join him but just went to dip my feet. The water was warm but not warm enough for me to jump in. I just relaxed by the pool while AS was doing his laps.

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By that time everyone else was ready and they went for breakfast. We took our little nephew and went to the entertainment room in the resort. It was really nice to see the little one enjoying so much on the pool table as well in the rides they had.

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Then we decided to walk around the area. There is a great Lookout from where we could see mountain ranges and thickly timbered slopes. Looking to the east and we saw the river pass under the bridge into the town of Batemans Bay, and then continue until it meets the Pacific Ocean.

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NSW South has always fascinated me and every time I visit it, I fall more in love with the area. May be when we retire, that is one place we can go and live 🙂

Mogo Village

Just ten minutes up the road from Batemans Bay is the little village of Mogo. That is where we decided to go on the last day in Batesman Bay.

Originally a booming 1850s gold rush settlement, Mogo’s heyday didn’t last too long, and it became a quiet little hamlet. In the 1980s a number of artists and craftspeople arrived, and it has since evolved into a hub of galleries, shops and cafes, largely catering to tourists. Some of the original cottages have survived, and other shops and houses have been built in sympathetic designs.

First stop was old Mogo town. We need to pay $18 for the entry and you can look at the old town with a guided tour, pan for gold and enjoy the train, explore the mine tunnel , check out the digger’s camp , see the antique machinery display,  enjoy a picnic by the lake, watch working craftspeople and much more.

Old Mogo Town is an amazing re-creation of Mogo as it was believed to be in the heady Gold Rush days.

The guided tour was an hour away so we went inside to where you can dress up as people from 1800s and take photos. Look at some of our photos. We had a great time and the lady who took our photo was very nice allowing us to take photos from our own camera as well.

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Then we went back to the meeting point where the guided tour had stared.

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The guide first explained how to pan for gold and then took us to an old shaft of the mines. The tunnel was well lit and he made the history sound very interesting.

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As we walked around Old Mogo Town, we noticed some interesting signs and cottages. At the Inn, there were beds with a sign of what… and what not …..you were allowed to do.

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This was one interesting one will Hair cut Or Teeth Pulled done by the same Surgeon, who just happened to be the Undertaker (I’d never go to him to get my hair done!). Then there was a Toilet, “Dunny”, “Loo”, “Thunderbox” which had only a can inside………imagine carrying a lantern to the backyard where there are plenty of spiders out at night time.

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It was a really nice place and Old Mogo Town had on-site bush retreat style accommodation as well.

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Initially we wanted to go to Mogo zoo as well but as it was past lunchtime and everyone was hungry, we drove back to Batesman bay and had our lunch there. From there we decide to go to Hyams Beach on the way back to Sydney.

Image source Destination NSW

I have been there before and Hyams beach is beautiful with white sand and the water crystal clear and a lovely blue. But unfortunately that day, the road to the beach was closed due to bushfire in the area. So we went back to the main road and headed to Kiama instead to take a break and relax before going home.

Kiama

Kiama is situated 121km South of Sydney and has a population of about 12,000. It was the site of two strong volcanic flows, called the Gerringong Volcanic, which came out of Saddleback Mountain, now a collapsed volcanic vent.

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When we arrived at Kiama it was still daylight so we decided to explore a little further and visit some of the local attractions, one of which was the “Kiama Blowhole” where the ocean pushes with great force through a fault in the rock and is considered one of Australia’s best known natural phenomen.

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Whilst we were there we did see a few impressive blasts but one need lots of patience as a good blast comes only every 5 minutes or so. When it does come, it looks beautiful and everyone watching it will go “Awwww”.kiama (4)

After resting there for a whole we came home and it was after 8pm. We were tired so we just rest for a while and went to bed concluding our Easter break.

Hope all of you had a great Easter break too.

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*Sculpture by the sea *Helensburgh Hindu temple *Snowy Mountains: Australia

Zoo visit in Nepal

I hadn’t been to the zoo in Kathmandu for more than a decade but this time we were lucky that we had time enough to visit the zoo. The zoo is located a few kilometres away from the city centre, Kathmandu. It is the only zoo in Nepal, a country with a population of 30 million, and hence fulfils an important role.

We hadn’t planned to there. We were out for lunch with my parents, my brother, SIL and little nephew. As we were close to the zoo, my dad suggested that we should go and visit it so that my little nephew could have some fun and all of us agreed to it.

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I remember around 3 years ago, me and AS wanted to go to the zoo. We were outside the gate and we saw so many people that it put us off from going inside. But I am glad we went this time.

As we walked inside, I realised nothing much had changed in the last decade, which is very sad.

The animal enclosures are arranged around the perimeter of a large boating lake which takes up a large proportion of the zoo’s area.

As we started of tour, we saw an elephant riding area. My dad wanted my nephew to have his first elephant ride so we went and asked the guys there for more information. They said there are a few groups already booked for the tour so asked us to buy the ticket and come back in an hour.

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The elephant ride cost us RS 100 each for around 15 minutes ride. So after buying the tickets we continued our tour.

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The zoo is arranged according to taxonomy, with mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes all occupying different parts of the zoo. There are also playground rides, picnic lawns and boat rides on the lake. As we started walking around the zoo, I realised that there were lots of families with small kids enjoying their picnic as well as many lovebirds in corner benches enjoying their time together away from prying eyes.

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The zoo houses some 780 species including the critically endangers white-rumped vulture and Chinese alligator and six endangered species: Asian elephant, royal bengal tiger, one horned rhino, wild buffalo, gharial and yellow headed turtle.

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Along with these animals, there were hippos that was lazily sunbathing, a hyena, a giant deer, peacocks, white-napped crane, two big rhinos, monkeys, water buffalo, chimpanzees, leopards, beer, tigers, lions as well as golden pheasant, silver pheasant, chukar, kalij, parrots, owls. They also have small reptile collection featured a common cobra, an Indian rock python, snakes and a turtle.

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By the time we had a look around; it was almost our turn to ride the elephant so we went back to the riding area. We waited for 10 minutes and it was our turn.

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The guy told us it is OK for all of us to ride at the same time (poor elephant) so me, AS, my dad, my brother, SIL and my nephew got on the top of this elephant. I was glad that my nephew enjoyed the ride.

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Initially, the elephant was not listening to its handler and I was a bit scared as he was not moving according to the pre-planned route but after a while he relented and followed the route. While talking to the handler, he told us that the elephant is round 70 years old and does 8-10 trips every day. I felt sorry for the poor animal as he is so old and has to do this every day.

We were taken half way around the lake and then back to the same spot where we got on it. For some reason my nephew started to cry, poor baby. We were all glad when we get off as we were worried if something might have happened to him. But he was fine, just restless as he had to sit in one place too long. By this time it was getting cold and windy so we decided to go home.

I had a really nice time with my family and was happy to see my nephew have his first elephant ride.

Even though the zoo in Nepal is small but it is well maintained I am sure it is a great place for kids to visit to learn more about different animals. Construction was going on everywhere so it looks like it is in the process of a face lift with new paths and enclosures so I think in a few years it will be quite lovely.

Makka Ku

We are still celebrating our wedding after more than 1 and half years. I am still a new bride wherever I go :). While I was living at my new home a few weeks ago, my mum following tradition and sent a Makka Ku (pronounced ‘mock-ka ku’).

Makka ku is a newar tradition in which during the first winter after the wedding, the bride’s family sends some items which are necessary for winter to the groom’s home. Makka means olden style charcoal heater but these days instead of makka, electric heater is sent to keep the newlywed couple warm during the winter, along with a full set of warm clothes for the bride as well as fruits, rotis, blanket, electric heater etc.

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As we were in Sydney during our first winter, this winter was perfect time for my parents to follow the rituals for the Makka Ku.

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My aunt, my cousin along with my brother came to my new home with sweets and roti like anarsa, fini, laakhamari, ladoo, saun papdi, fruits: like oranges, mandarin, bananas, sugarcane, apples, masala: like cashew, almond and chocolates along with snow peas, yogurt, peanuts, sari, pashmina shawl, shoes, bag, electric heater and a blanket.

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It was a great day for me as I was so happy to celebrate our wedding again as this was one of the best decisions of my life and I am very happy to see both the family very happy with our union.

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It was a good time for both families to meet and chat. My family came and sat down with my MIL, AS and BIL and had a good conversation. They also checked out our wedding album which my MIL had made for the house.

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I had baked blueberry muffin that morning for tea so we started with tea and muffins and it was followed by Nepali feast for my aunt, cousin and brother. My MIL cooked the feast and I was the helper all morning in the kitchen preparing for the day.

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After lunch my family left and Makku Ku was concluded. As I told you before, in Nepalese wedding the bride is always the winner and it was true for this function as well as I got a full set of new outfit :).

For details and photos on our wedding functions please click the following links.

Welcoming Spring with Cherry blossom festival

Last weekend we went to a Cherry blossom festival to welcome spring.

I always wanted to attend the Cherry blossom festival in Japan and imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out that one of the councils (Auburn) in Sydney has organised a Cherry blossom festival in their botanical garden.

Japanese Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, bloom once a year for about two weeks, providing a beautiful spectacle. Cherry blossom viewing parties (Hanamis) are very significant events in Japan and having a picnic lunch under a blossoming cherry tree is a popular Japanese tradition.

It was nice and sunny afternoon and we got there after driving for more than 40 minutes. There was a guy at a roundabout who instructed us toward a mostly empty parking lot. We parked our car and walked toward the entrance of the garden. We had to pay $4 to enter. As soon as we entered, I could see so many people already there, next to the Japanese garden where there were rows of cherry blossom trees. The path looked really beautiful but we had to wait for a while to take our photos as there were so many people already.

Once we took our photos there we entered the Japanese garden via the moon gate.   We waked around the Japanese garden and got to see more cherry blossom trees. It has a big beautiful lake in the middle with ducks and swans playing in the water. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t gone to such a beautiful place before.  Also at one corner, there were two Japanese musicians playing beautiful music. Inside the garden there was also the Tea House Garden, the five traditional mountains, the main waterfall, the central island, the bridges, the Ryoan-ji style Garden, the pines and the Azaleas.

From there we went and visit Scented Garden and sunken Rose garden. As it was too early in Spring, there were no roses but still there were other flowers that made the garden look really lovely.

After a while we got hungry. I regretted that we hadn’t packed a picnic as I saw so many people were enjoying their lunch in the garden. There was a cart selling coffee and cakes and another one was a Japanese cart at the entrance to the gardens selling Takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion. We waited in a long line for more than 40 minutes and bought mixed large pack. They weren’t the best and we regretted again that we didn’t bring anything from home. Normally I love them but that day we couldn’t finish 16 balls between the two of us.

After lunch we continued our trip toward Australian Native and Rainforest Garden. The rainforest area of the Garden sits between the billabong and the adjacent Duck River. There is a thick canopy of foliage over the area with a large amount of vegetation which produces a moist, deep leaf littered, mouldy floor.

From there we made our way to Fauna Reserve and Aviary. We saw Swamp Wallabies, Red Necked Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Rufous Bettong and the Common Wombat as well as beautiful peacocks.

The best part of the trip was, it was a perfect sunny day to walk in the garden and enjoy natural beauty and the worst part of the trip was the garden had only one toilet for women so there was a really long queue. To make it worse, the toilet had no lock and there was no toilet paper or soap either. Please Auburn council, you could make everyone’s trip there nicer with proper toilets.