Even though Christmas is over now, I thought I’d show you a few pictures from my trip to New York. I bid for the flight in December specifically to see the beautiful Christmas lights, and although I only got rostered a 24 hour layover, I made sure to make the most of it!
The flight over takes around 14 hours, and we touched down after this beautiful sunrise, early in the morning.
As usual, there was plenty of traffic in New York, but since our hotel is right by Times Square, nobody minds the long drive from JFK airport.
Once we got to our rooms, I freshened up and got ready for the cold!
If you’ve ever thought about visiting Portugal, don’t hesitate any longer – go and book your flight right now! My parents kindly invited us on holiday to cycle along the Portuguese coast with them for a week, and it was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen.
Joe and I touched down in Lisbon after an 8 hour flight from Dubai, and soon met up with Mum and Dad, who’d flown in from the UK, and my brother Matt and his girlfriend Miriam, who’d come from Munich. From Lisbon airport it was around a 40 minute drive to our first stop, Sesimbra.
Day 1: Sesimbra – Setúbal
We started our days early, as we had around 35 – 40kms on average to cover each day.
Back from our amazing couple of days in Sandakan, it was time to explore Kota Kinabalu some more.
Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of the state of Sabah, Malaysia. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is located to the east.
We decided to do a day trip to one of the five islands which make up the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik.
Our hotel had a tour desk however the only tours on offer didn’t appeal to us, so we made our way down to the jetty where there are plenty of stands selling tickets to the islands. Not having any preference or idea of which island we wanted to visit, we picked out a stand at random and the boat ticket was a reasonable price, so we booked it!
We had a little bit of time to wander along the jetty checking out some of the stalls, and to grab a fresh pineapple juice, before heading off to our boat.
Day 2 of our trip to Borneo had us up at the crack of dawn, ready for the next adventure. This time it was back to Kota Kinabalu airport, ready for a 30-minute flight across the island to Sandakan, the former capital of British North Borneo.
Kirsty was lucky enough to be sitting on the left hand side of the aircraft, which is the best place to get a great view of Mount Kota Kinabalu.
Air Asia, who we flew with, doesn’t let you choose your seats and since the flight was full, we couldn’t sit together, so I’ve borrowed her pictures of the mountain!
After my adventures in Australia it was time to jet off to the next destination. I flew out to Hong Kong to meet Kirsty, where we had a bit of time to catch up before our 3-hour flight to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.
Having let Kirsty do most of the planning (she’s on maternity leave so was more than happy to gather all of the info and make plans!) I was excited to be visiting a new country, which I knew surprisingly little about. We arrived late at night and after a quick taxi ride to our hotel settled in, ready for an early start the next morning.
Our plan for the day was the North Borneo Railway, a steam train ride which runs twice a week and takes you from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, through the lush landscapes of Sabah.