Travelling in Australia

Here are some tips for visiting Australia.

Most flights arrive in Sydney. This post is about Sydney and Canberra



People who come to Australia and miss out on visiting the capital city Canberra miss out on seeing a unique cultural place with beautiful nature and many museums with free entry.

  • New Parliament House
  • National Portrait Gallery (see the painting of Deborah Mailman below)
  • National Art Gallery
  • Walk between Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and Kings Avenue Bridge around Lake Burley Griffin (more pictures below)


In Canberra people visit

  • Botanical Gardens
  • Telstra Tower
  • Australian War Memorial

Canberra is beautiful as the seasons change. In Autumn- March, April, May the trees are  beautiful reds, yellows and oranges. In the Winter the city has a temperature range of -3’C to 15’C so it is rather cold an unpleasant between June and August. The Springtime is from September to November with blossoms on the trees. In Summer Canberra is very green because every street is lined with trees and all of them are green in the summer. Mount Ainslie is a great place to see the view of Canberra.

View from Mt AinslieIMG_6648IMG_2956IMG_4190



In Sydney people go to

  • Sydney harbour bridge
  • Opera house
  • Circular Quay
  • Manly beach is accessible by taking a ferry across Sydney harbour from Circular Quay
  • Sydney botanical gardens- have beautiful views of the harbour
  • “The Rocks” suburb is quite an arty area
  • Barangaroo park- is near the Sydney harbour and central in the city
  • I love doing walking tours. I have taken tours with
  • There are lovely buildings such as Queen Victoria Building


From Sydney people often take a short trip to The Blue Mountains which are accessible by train. They are a relaxed place where people can take day walks. Often they stay in Katoomba or Leura.

blue mtns.jpeg




Living in Ecuador

I have been living in Ecuador for a few months. I will share some of the things that I have noticed while living here and working as a teacher.

  • Ecuadorian chocolate is the best chocolate in the world. My favourite brand is Hoja Verde.
  • Many jobs have a minibus that brings their employees to work
  • There is a cafeteria at school. Lunch costs USD $2.50 for soup, a main meal, juice and a little dessert. All the teachers tend to eat together.
  • Ecuadorians eat soup with their meals.
  • Teachers wear a uniform to work.
  • The students call me “Teacher” and use my first name. I am used to being called “Miss” and my surname.
  • Ecuadorians celebrate International Women’s Day by giving roses to the women.
  • One day students brought a yellow liquid into the staffroom and said “Hello Teacher, today is ‘pee day’ and this is for you.” I was looking at them strangely for a while refusing the yellow liquid. Finally someone said you know the mathematical symbol. It was the 14th of March π day. The yellow liquid was pineapple juice. They also gave me pineapple pizza.
  • It takes a long time to purchase products in shops because they ask all of your details when they provide a receipt. The economy generally works with cash rather than electronic money. Using a debit card in a shop takes a long time.
  • People go to the funeral services of people that they have never met but are special to someone they know such as their coworker or friend. They also go to memorial services of people like coworkers.
  • Normal cars cost USD $30,000 to $50,000 and you can buy a house/apartment for $80,000. Meanwhile in Australia cars can be cheaper. A car could cost the same amount as a house in Ecuador. A house in Australia costs 20 times as much as a car.  Apartments/houses cost an average of somewhere between USD$60,000 and USD $150,000. A house in Ecuador can easily be bought for less than the price of the initial deposit for an Australian house. Rent in Australia is four times as expensive.
  • Supermarkets in Ecuador cost the same as Australian supermarkets. Shopping malls also cost the same.
  • The basic monthly salary in Ecuador is USD $400. So when I imagine the prices that are so similar to my country where we are paid more I see injustice because someone here must be able to afford the products sold in shopping malls.
  • All apartments/houses have a guest toilet next to their living room as well as another bathroom. Australia often has houses with only one bathroom.
  • I live at an altitude of 2800m so I get a headache if I’m walking all day and walking up stairs makes me puff. I also feel faint after jogging.
  • We don’t drink water from the tap we buy a “botellon” of water from a shop which sells drinking water. I used to worry about going to countries where tap water can cause issues but the big water bottles are great.
  • Flushing toilet paper down the toilets causes them to block so people have to put toilet paper in a bin near the toilet.
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Cocinado en microondas

  • 1 cebolla, troceada en cuadritos
  • 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 4 lonjas de tocino cortado (opcional)
  • 1 taza de arroz de risotto/arborio
  • 2 & 1/2 tazas de caldo de gallina
  • 1 zanahoria troceada en cuadritos
  • 1/2 zucchini troceada
  • 3 champiñones cortados
  • 1/2 taza de maíz dulce
  • 1/4 taza de piñones (o nueces troceadas)
  • 1/2 taza de queso maduro rallado
  1. Pon la cebolla y aceite en un recipiente para microondas de 2 litros o más.
  2. Cocina en el microondas por 2 minutos en alta potencia.
  3. (Con tocino) Añade el tocino y cocine 3 minutos más.
  4. Agregar el risotto y agitar hasta que todo esté cubierto en aceite.
  5. Añada la zanahoria, los champiñones, el maíz dulce y el caldo de gallina.
  6. Cubra el recipiente y cocinar 20 minutos. No lo agite
  7. Cuando esté listo todo el líquido debe estar absorbido.
  8. Para servir, añada los piñones/nueces y el queso
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Black sticky rice pudding

  • 500g black sticky rice
  • 1 panadus leaf tied in a knot
  • 1 cup crushed dark palm sugar
  • 1 large mango
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream

Serves 4

  1. Rinse rice under cold water
  2. Heat the rice with 1 litre water and the panadus leaf until boiling then simmer gently for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed
  3. Remove from heat and cover.
  4. Set aside for about 30 minutes
  5. Dissolve the palm sugar in 1.5 cups of water stirring over low heat
  6. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat
  7. With a low heat, start heating the rice again
  8. Stir in the coconut milk and most of the sugar syrup
  9. Stir until heated through
  10. To serve, divide the rice into bowls
  11. Place mango slices on the top
  12. Drizzle with coconut cream and sugar syrup
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Lemon Cheesecake

  • 250g pack Arnotts Nice Biscuits finely crushed
  • 125g butter

Biscuit base: Mix together the crushed biscuits and butter
Press the biscuit base into two lined pie dishes

  • Lemon jelly crystals
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 125g packet creamcheese
  • 375mL tin evaporated milk (chilled in the freezer for 2+ hours)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  1. Filling: Melt jelly crystals in the boiling water, add lemon juice (keep warm)
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
  3. Add the warm jelly mix
  4. Beat the near frozen evaporated milk
  5. Fold evaporated milk into the cream cheese mix
  6. Pour over the biscuit bases
  7. Chill in the fridge for many hours/a day
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Chocolate Weetbix Slice


  • 1 cup crushed weetbix (or cornflakes)
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 150g melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C
  2. Put the weetbix, self raising flour, brown sugar and coconut in a mixing bowl
  3. Add the melted butter and stir until combined
  4. Press the mix into a greased rectangular lamington tray
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes
  6. Leave to coolICING
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 1/2 cups icing sugar
    – Mix the above icing ingredients with a small amount of boiling water
    – When the slice is cool, ice it and cut it into squares
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Spaghetti Bolognaise


  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 300g minced beef
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1/3 of a broccoli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef stock powder
  • 1/2 packet of dried spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  • Parsley (optional)
  1. Dice onion
  2. Brown the onion in a frypan
  3. To make the bolognese sauce, add the mince to the frypan with the onion and brown it.
  4. Boil water for the spaghetti
  5. Dice the mushroom, broccoli and carrot
  6. Add the diced mushroom, broccoli and carrot to the frypan
  7. Add the tin of tomatoes, the tomato paste, garlic, mixed herbs and beef stock powder.
  8. Leave the bolognese sauce to simmer as the pasta cooks
  9. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, it should take about 15 minutes to cook.
  10. To serve, drain the spaghetti, serve one a plate with the bolognese sauce on the spaghetti and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley.