Google PlusFacebookTwitter

A Guide to Preparing a Basic Travel First Aid Kit

By on Sep 4, 2011 in Travel Advice | 1 comment

A First Aid Kit is one of the most important items to pack when heading off on your travels, especially if you’re like us and your destinations often involve remote locations in developing countries where local health services may not be first rate. What you pack into your First Aid Kit will depend on the destination, length of trip and type of intended activities. Below is a quick checklist to be used as a guide to packing a Basic Travel First Aid Kit that should suffice for the initial treatment of minor injuries and ailments travellers may encounter on the road. If you would prefer a printable checklist, please click here to download a PDF version. Basic First Aid Kit Checklist  Medical Supplies Tweezers Scissors Safety pins Disposable gloves Bandaids / Plasters Gauze pads Cotton buds 10ml syringe 23 gauge needle Adhesive wound pads Crepe bandage Triangular bandage Steri-strips Alcohol swabs Zip lock bags Medical Tape Sanitising Hand Gel   Medications / Creams etc Canasten (for fungal infections such as Thrush or Athletes Foot) Betadine Ointment  / Savlon / Dettol (Disinfectants) Normal Saline (for washing wounds and eye’s) Imodium (for relief of Diarrhea) Laxatives (for relief of Constipation) Iodine tablets (for disinfecting water) Paracetamol (for relief of mild Pain and Fever) Antacid Lozenge’s (for relief of Indigestion) Sunscreen Insect Repellent Oral Rehydration Solution (for rehydration after bouts of Diarrhea or Dehydration)  Also consider Hydrocortisone cream (for Skin Itch) Antihistamines (for Allergies) Epi pen (for known severe Allergies) Anti-inflammatory (for relief of Inflammation) Digital thermometer (to monitor Body Temperature) Multivitamins (for prevention of Illness) Motion Sickness Tablets (for relief of Motion Sickness) Altitude Sickness Medications (for relief of Altitude Sickness) Antibiotics (for relief of Bacterial Infections) Antiemetic (for relief of Nausea and Vomiting) Sewing Needle (for removal of Splinters)   Disclaimer: Niki is a Registered Nurse in current practice in Australia. The advice provided is given as general guidance only. It is recommended to consult your Doctor prior to your departure regarding your personal...

In Search of Monk Bread at New Norcia Monastery

By on Aug 25, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

Bread! One of man’s simple dietary staples. However, sadly not for me as recently I’ve been forced to admit to myself that I am in fact, allergic to bread. So when Peter suggested that we should try the legendary monk bread baked at the Spanish influenced monastery of New Norcia, I thought it might be worth ignoring my allergy to drive the two hours north from Perth to satisfy my insatiable bread cravings. Not that the Monks claim their bread has any miracle cures, but I was desperate  and bread deprived enough to convince myself that maybe monk bread was different… crazy things women do for a slice of bread hey? Steeped in history, New Norcia is the only remaining monastery town in Australia. The site was originally developed in 1846 by Spanish Benedictine monks to introduce their catholic religion to the locals, including many of the Aboriginal community. The site is a collection of about sixty five well preserved buildings exhibiting beautiful Spanish architecture that had been built by the monks and craftsmen over the past 160 years. The buildings include countless chapels, segregated schools, a hotel, flour mill, apiary, art gallery as well as the impressive monastery itself. My search for monk bread would begin with a step back in time as the only way to visit the monastery is by a walking tour (run daily at 11am and 1.30pm) which guides visitors through the various buildings remaining on the site, many of which have been fully restored to their former glory. Wandering through the brick archways and past the mural painted walls instantly took me back to visiting the monastery of Montserrat in Spain. The gardens serenaded by church bells chiming are dotted with large olive trees and rustic vineyards which are used to produce port and wine. I still hadn’t come across the Bakery though, of which our tour guide informed us still uses stone ovens that are over one hundred years old. This elusive miracle bread just kept getting better and better! We had had the opportunity to see intricately crafted chapels and priceless paintings all before concluding at the museum and gift shop two hours later. The tour of town provided a glimpse of life devoted to god and houses one of the biggest collections of religious art in the Southern Hemisphere, with some pieces sent to the monks as gifts from the Vatican. But at the end of the tour I looked at Peter feeling cheated with one eyebrow raised looked pleadingly at him. Where was the bread? He responded “oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the bakery doesn’t open to public!” The look I then gave him silenced him as he looked into the eyes of a crazed woman deprived of bread and full of false hopes. So giving into defeat, I decided we should visit the last building remaining, the gift store. And then after casting my eyes over one too many monk figurines, Australiana souvenirs and religious paraphernalia, I saw it. It was a miracle! There it was, a stack of golden baked loaves surrounded by an aura that must have been sent from the man himself.  They were what I had come to all this way to find, crusty loaves of goodness! I snatched up a big loaf of fresh white bread infused with rosemary, semi dried tomato and olives. Purchasing the bread, Peter and I finished off our perfect day with a picnic sharing a cheeky splash of vintage port, gourmet chutney and of course my monk bread under the lingering shade of an ancient gum tree before heading home to Perth. New Norcia is a relaxing and idyllic town to stop in on. Whether it’s a planned visit from Perth, or you’re just passing by on the Great Northern Highway, it’s well worth the effort to stop and experience the tranquil pace of life and to learn about some of Western Australia’s remarkable history. By the way if you’re in Perth and want to get your hands on some monk bread, check out their local store in Mount Hawthorn. Oh, and as yummy as that special monk bread is, I was still allergic to it – oh well back to...

The Nullarbor Plain, Australia {Photo Junket}

By on Jul 11, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

The Nullarbor Plain appears at first to be an open wasteland, a shrine to a dead sea that once flooded this part of the world. A place of isolation where thoughts of solitude intimately dances with the notions of going walk-about. For this week’s photo junket I thought I’d take you on a road-trip across the Nullarbor, and for me, a trip down memory lane. We encountered the fascinating treeless landscape of The Nullarbor Plain on a road trip from Melbourne to Perth. This adventure would see us relocate over 3500kms from one side of our vast country to the other all whilst driving a twenty year old Ford Fiesta. Needless to say our adventure across the Australian Outback was an action packed and unforgettable experience. The drive takes you along the Eyre Highway (A1) which stretches from Port Augusta to Norseman via some of the most remote towns in Australia before passing by the desolate Great Australian Bight. This almost endless stretch of straight road  can seem lonely at times and it is truly one of the most magnificent landscapes in the world!      ...

A Guide to Comfortable Air Travel

By on Jul 2, 2011 in Travel Advice | 0 comments

There is a certain knack to travelling comfortably when flying. Air travel (especially in cattle class) can be a long, uncomfortable, claustrophobic, dehydrating and sometimes a socially awkward ordeal, however follow these simple  travel mantras and your flight may actually be an enjoyable part of your trip.   What to wear? Between over-heated airport terminals and ice cold air-conditioners on board your aircraft, it’s often difficult to plan what to wear as it needs to survive changes in temperature, the dreaded metal detectors and avoid that crumpled look whilst sleeping on the plane. I always find that layering is the way to go for dressing for air travel. Include something light for the warmer terminals and a warmer layer to keep you warm and comfortable on the plane. Avoid wearing metal e.g. clasps  as it can set off the metal detectors on check in. Also avoid wearing belts or lace up boots as you may be asked to remove them before approaching the detectors (just ask Peter who was almost had his pants around his ankles after being asked to remove his belt and shoes at Gatwick airport in London!). I swear by either wearing or packing a Pashmina scarf or a jumper into my hand luggage to use as an extra layer, a blanket or rolled up as a pillow. Also slip on shoes are handy to slide on and off during the flight – especially when your feet begin to swell! Being prepared Think ahead and pack entertainment into your hand luggage. Pack music (e.g. an iPod and a god pair of headphones), a magazine, a good book and/or a pen and note book. Choosing your seat in advance can help to ensure you end up getting your aisle/window seat at the back or front of the plane. Have your documentation on hand in your travel wallet, complete with boarding pass, passport and ID to ensure a fast and easy check in. Be early when checking in to avoid missing your flight (why does Peter spring to mind again?) and keep an eye on the time when wandering around the airport waiting to board your flight. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as being personally called over the loud speaker to hurry to the departure gate and having to board an already seated aircraft.   What to pack in your carry on luggage Sunglasses – to hide dark circles as well as  puffy and blood shot eyes from lack of sleep. Water – Buy the biggest bottle you can find in the departure gate (after you’ve been through security) to take on board and remember to drink lots. The cabin of an aircraft is very dehydrating! Warm Jumper or Pashmina/large scarf. Mints or sweets to chew during take-off and landing. The chewing and swallowing action helps to unblock your ears. Otherwise yawning can help too. My flying ritual in London always had to include a tin of Harrods mints. Lip balm and a small moisturiser for dry lips and skin. Your entertainment (book, mp3 player, etc) Final tips Limit alcohol consumption on board and pre-flight as it will only dehydrate you further. Please practice patience on landing and wait until the announcement before standing up and collecting your luggage from the over head compartment, otherwise it’s just rude and dangerous! Now this may be the Nurse in me talking but don’t forget about DVT prevention (preventing blood clots forming your leg or lungs while you are immobile). Exercise your legs and ankles at least every hour and take some deep breaths. It’s too easy to forget and sit stationary for 14 hours. Get up and walk to the toilet every couple of hours. Or do a bit of flying yoga (I do this on long haul flights to Peter’s embarrassment). I wait until most the plane is asleep or resting, then I head to the back of the plane or somewhere a bit out of the way (like near the exits) and do a bit of yoga and stretching. I swear by...

The Island of Santorini {Photo Junket}

By on May 3, 2011 in Greece | 0 comments

  Everyone’s seen photographs of the Greek Island of Santorini and wondered whether a place this beautiful really exists? Well, I’m here to tell you it does and it’s just as gorgeous in the flesh, if not more than it’s portrayed in those photographs. There are photo opportunities everywhere you look on the Island of Santorini. From the crystal blue waters surrounding the island, to the towns perched on top of the sheer cliffs, to the amazing sunsets that can be captured looking out from the town of Oia – your camera will be running hot! Personally I really enjoyed capturing the beautiful architecture of this Greek Island. The traditional Cycladic style of the houses and buildings on Santorini are so unique to the island. Their use of block colour, rendered concrete and simple shapes is highly recognisable. Many of the houses boasted pretty courtyards overlooking the breathtaking views, complete with pot plants, an intimate table and chairs for two as well as a few lazy cats sleeping the day away. I hope you enjoy viewing the photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them!    ...