Bennett Family Diary

India

The journey was very long but we managed to get there. The journey included one car journey, one train, two underground trains and two aeroplanes. The first aeroplane went from London Heathrow to Mumbai India which took 8 hours and 23 minutes then another aeroplane from Mumbai to Goa which took 45 minutes. To pass the time on the aeroplane we watched films and played video games and the cabin crew brought us food and drink. Once we finally arrived in Goa Airport the taxi driver was waiting outside with a board with my mums name on in big letters. We jumped in the taxi and travelled to South Goa to our first destination The Dwarka Eco Beach Resort. Goa is amazing, we have been spending lots of time at the beach. I have really enjoyed catching the big waves on a boogie board and kyaking in the fresh water lagoon. Tomorrow we are leaving at 7.30am to go on a boat ride to see dolphins and I cant wait ! Below is a view from my balcony.

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During our stay in Goa we saw lots of animals and insects including monkies, dolphins, elphants, jelly fish, cows (even strolling along the beach), dogs, cats and even a praying mantis on the end of my bed !

We went on a tour to a spice plantation and learnt about all the spices that are grown in India and their medicinal purposes and then we got to wash an elephant and ride on its back whilst it sprayed us with water it was really fun. 

We stayed in Goa for 18 days and we were sad to go but we are ready to see more of India. We caught a bus with beds on and travelled overnight to Mumbai which took 15 hours but we slept for most of it. Tommorow we are going on a sight seeing tour of Mumbai.

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Today we went on a guided tour of Mumbai. A driver picked us up from our apartment at 8am and we travelled to south mumbai the first place we stopped was the Dhobi Ghat which is the worlds largest open air laundry. It has 700 washing pens built of concrete and stones where dhobis with their families wash the dirty clothes dipping the clothes in soapy water and then thrashing them on stones. Our guide told us that there are about 7000 men work here. Even the hospitals use this facilities. 

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We also visited the Gateway of India, Flora Fountain, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (a train station) , Ghandi's house,the richest man in India's house and lots more if you do not know any of these then you can look them up on the internet. One of the most interesting things the guide told us was about the Indian lunchbox. This is where the wives at home make a hot dinner that is put on a train and delivered to Mumbai station where men in white hats called Dabbawalas collect the luchboxes and deliver them to all the men who work in banks and other important jobs. Each Dabbawala collects 40 lunchboxes that have marks on telling them where they need to go. All the husbands have their lunches by 1pm. They carry the lunches by carts or by putting them on the handles of their bikes. I asked why do they not carry their lunch to work in the morning and the lady told me that in India men are highly respected and it is the wifes job to look after their husbands the best they can also most importantly that this creates jobs for lots of people.

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We had our lunch at a restaurant called 'Leopold Cafe' a restaurant from a book my mum is reading called 'Shantaram'.

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We travelled from Mumbai on a night bus to Udaipur that took 16 hours !!!!!!! Once we arrived we jumped on a tuk tuk (rickshaw) to our hostel that my mum had booked. Udaipur reminded me of Italy as there was lots of tiny roads and all on water.

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After Udaipur we went on a train to Jaipur that took 7 hours. We stayed with a really nice man called Alif and he taught us how to fly a simple Indian kite. Whilst we were in Jaipur they were celebrating Makar Sankranti. This is a festival to celebrate the end of the long winter months and the start of the spring. Everyone flew kites on the roofs of their houses, we ate lots of sweet treats and they ended the night with fireworks and lanterns.

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After a lovely stay in Jaipur we travelled on another train to Agra where we visited one of the seven wonders of the world the Taj Mahal. It was trluly breath taking and I will never forget it. 

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Tilly had her photo taken like Princess Diana who visited the Taj Mahal in 1992.

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We travelled to Delhi by taxi and stayed in a nice house just outside of Delhi. Delhi is crazy its so loud everyone beeps their horn and there is traffic everywhere ! The air pollution is really bad. India makes me appreciate how clean England is. We visitited The National Zooalogical Park in Delhi, whilst we was there a monkey that was roaming free tried to take my ice cream so i had to throw it on the ground so he could have it so that he would leave me alone.

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These are our colourful shoes from when we went bowling !

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Our time in India was coming to an end so we moved to a hotel close to the airport. After 6 weeks in India we were already to leave. I loved India and hated it at the same time and I dont think you will understand that unless you visit it. This is the sweet section of the lovely hotel we stayed at on our last night.

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mmmmmmm doughnuts 

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From Delhi airport we went on aeroplane from Delhi to Phuket Thailand but we stopped in Kuala Lumpa on the way. The flight took 9 hours and 10 minutes. Once we arrived in Thailand the first thing that I noticed was the weather. It had got quite cold in Delhi so it was nice to be back in the sunshine. We stayed 2 nights in Phuket and visited a magic eye museum. It was great fun making up poses for the different murals. We also went to a night market and I tried my first Phad Thai. The night market was really busy and had lots of different food and drink. 

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From phuket we travelled by minibus to Khao Lak, It took an 1 hour and 40 minutes.

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Whilst staying in Khao Lak we went on a boat trip and snorkelled around the Similan Islands. The water was very clear and the sand was smooth and white. I saw lots of fish including  Unicorn fish, parrot fish and rainbow fish.

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We stayed in Khoa Lak for 7 days and then travelled by mini bus to Karon Beach it took 2 hours to get there. 

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We stayed in Karon Beach for 10 days and whilst we were there we went to the beach, had a go at surfing on a surf simulator, swam in the pool and went on lots of long walks to explore the surrounding area. We even had our feet cleaned by little fish !

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Our next stop was Hong Kong and I was very excitied to go. It was my mums birthday and Chinese New year ! We went on an aeroplane from Phuket airport to Hong Kong and it took 3 hours and 40 minutes. When we arrived straight away we got to watch a Chinese Lion show. Everywhere was decorated because of it being Chinese New Year. The year of the dog. 

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That night we watched the New Year Parade. Everyone was really happy and there was lots of colourful lights and loud music. The next day we went on the cable cars to Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. We saw a Buddah called Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, it is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993. The Buddah is 34 meters high !!

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After 3 very busy days in Hong Kong we went to the airport and flew from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Australia. It took 8 hours and 45 minutes. We are all getting really good at flying now.  We arrived at Brisbane airport and picked up our hire car we then travelled north to the Sunshine coast. I loved the sunshine coast there is so much to do. There is so much wild life in Australia. Whilst walking on the beach we saw a Portugese man of war jellyfish washed up (It's not as bad as it sounds) 

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We visited Australia Zoo the home of the crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin. We had a fantastic day we got to see so many animals. We even got to feed red kangaroos and hold a koala !

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For my school work I had to write a paragraph about someone I thought was a hero. I chose Steve Irwin, below is a paragraph I wrote.

My hero steve Irwin

I also had surf lessons, jumped off a rock into a waterfall, explored a rainforest, tackled a wipeout course and climbed Mount Coolum.

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Below is a Haiku I wrote about surfing.

Rocco's Haiku

Our next stop was The Gold Coast. We stayed about 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise. The Commonwealth Games is being held here in April. The Gold Coast is theme park heaven. We visited Sea world, Wet n Wild and WB Movie World. Check out our You Tube Channel to see all the fun. We stayed at The Gold Coast for 7 days then travelled further south to Brisbane we stayed in Brisbane for 2 nights and explored the city. We also went on the wheel of Brisbane and learnt about the local area. We then travelled further south to Byron Bay. In Byron Bay we visited the famous Byron Bay lighthouse, Crystal Castle where we got to see Tibetan Prayer Wheels, a tree of gratitude and the biggest crystals in the world.  

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Cape Byron Light is an active lighthouse located at Cape Byron, New South Wales, Australia. It is Australia's most powerful lighthouse, with a light intensity of 2,200,000. Cape Byron, the easternmost point of the mainland of Australia, is about 3 kilometres northeast of the town of Byron Bay.

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According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma).

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A gratitude tree is about expressing your gratitude towards someone or some things you are really thankful to in your life.

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A pair of the world’s tallest geodes are displayed at the Crystal Castle in the Shambhala Gardens. Standing at a breathtaking 5.5 metres, the Crystal Guardians are an exquisite smoky quartz geode with delicate sprinklings of amethyst and calcite crystal flowers and stand as sentinels watching over the property. The impressive geodes have travelled from a remote location in Uruguay and required skilful engineering to withstand the elements and be stable in their new home. After a week in Byron Bay we travelled further south to Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour was a quiet coastal village. During our stay we walked along the beach near our house which was 10k long. We visited The Big Banana and played put put, went on the racer slide and went toboganning.  

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This is the racer slide it was fun zooming down but not so much fun climbing back up.

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After a 7 day stay we travelled further south to South West Rocks. We are staying here for Easter and my parents have given us 4 days off school work, hooray ! We are staying at a place called Big 4 and its like an Australian Center parcs. As soon as we arrived we saw wild kangaroos. It is amazing to see them up close. 

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Here are some interesting facts about kangaroos.

Kangaroos are marsupial animals that are found in Australia as well as New Guinea.

There are four different kangaroo species, the red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and antilopine kangaroo.

Kangaroos can hop around quickly on two legs or walk around slowly on all four.

Kangaroos can’t walk backwards.

Kangaroos have very powerful legs and can be dangerous at times.

Kangaroos can jump very high, sometimes three times their own height.

Kangaroos can swim.

Most kangaroos eat grass.

Baby kangaroos are known as ‘joeys’.

A group of kangaroos is called a ‘mob’, ‘troop’ or ‘court’.

The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial in the world.

Kangaroos usually live to around six years old in the wild.

 

Yes there are Kookaburra's everywhere. Every time I see one I think of the song that Miss Matthews prepared in our leaving assembly, and they really do sound like they're laughing.

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We went to the local beach and tried paddle boarding. The water was a bit rough so it was really hard to stand but we got to ride some great waves. 

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We weaved some Easter baskets and made some Easter masks. We also did an Easter egg hunt I was a bit worried all the eggs might have melted because it's so hot here. Not something we have to worry about in England.

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I had a fun long weekend, go karting, put put, bouncy pillow, swimming, water slides and of course eating lots of chocolate ! After here we went in the car to Crescent Head we stayed in a house in the hinterland. We had a family of magpies that visited us everyday. The magpies seem bigger here and are very noisy.

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We visited an Aboriginal Art gallery and then went home and created some of our own artwork. We drew a pattern and then used a cotton bud to do lots of dots.

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Aboriginal culture dates back as far as between 60,000 to 80,000 years.  This is when Aborigine’s first settled in Australia.  The first evidence of Aboriginal ethos or philosophy is evident in the still visible rock art which dates back more than 20,000 years. There is no written language for Australian Aboriginal People so in order to convey their important cultural stories through the generations it is portrayed by symbols/icons through their artwork. Our next stop was Smiths Lake. I really liked it here and it felt a bit different to some of the other places we have visited. Below is a photo of Smiths Lake it was just down the road from our house.

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Right by our house lived loads of Flying Foxes. Flying foxes are bats or, more accurately, mega-bats (big bats). They are commonly known as fruit bats, but their diet is predominately nectar, pollen, and fruit — in that order. They don't use sonar like smaller, insect-eating bats; only their eyes and ears like us. They see as well as a cat at night and are just about as smart.

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We visited a really beautiful spot called Seal Rocks. It had a lovely beach with clearest bluest water. We strolled along the beach and climbed the steepest steps to the lighthouse. Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse stands on a dramatic headland east of Seal Rocks village. Completed in 1875, it is the first lighthouse designed by colonial architect James Barnet and one of only two towers in Australia with an external stairway. It was originally built to guide ships along the rocky coastline, after a number of incidents, including the shipwrecking of the SS Catterthun and the Rainbow. Despite the coast being illuminated by the lighthouse, 20 wrecks have occurred since the lighthouse was built.

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During our stay at Smiths Lake my Dad taught us how to fish. I thought I would find it quite boring but I actually really enjoyed it. We caught lots of fish but made sure we put them all straight back. 

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The lake was so clean and inviting we swam in there for ages.

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After the lovely water at Smith's lake we stayed in Port Stephene. One night there was a massive hail storm and there was thunder and lightning too, it was cool but loud.

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Nearby there was a little town called Nelson Bay, which had lots of fun little things to go on we went on these trampolines.

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we also went sand bourding which was amazing but it was so hard to climb back up to the top.

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It was my dads birthday on the 15th of april.

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While at Port Stephens we went out on seethrough kayaks on the lake near our house.

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After a week in Port stephens we travelled to Sydney were it was willo's birthday on the 22nd of april.

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Sydney was incredible it had so many places to go and see, we watched something in the sydney opera house and walked across the sydney harbour bridge. we went to Toronga zoo too it was amazing.