Vang Vieng


I quickly located my hostel, Real Vang Vieng Backpackers Hostel 2 (lol, what a ridiculous name), and checked in.  As soon as I had dropped off my bag I heard the unmistakeable Scottish accent of Alex drunkenly shouting nearby in the bathrooms.  I quickly found him and Conor and we all headed out to the nearby Milan pizza place that has a rather interesting menu.  We proceeded to get fairly wasted there and at the Rasta bar across the road, and then ended up another place called Viva Bar that does free drinks from 10-11pm.  I can’t remember but I think we were there until quite late.

In the morning I managed to awake in time for free breakfast and then signed up to go tubing with some other people from the slowboat.  I bought a waterproof phone wallet to keep my phone and money dry in, then relaxed at the hostel until time for tubing.  They took us up the river to the starting point in a tuk-tuk and then we proceeded to float down to the first bar, which rather stupidly is only about 10 meters away.  After having some free very watered down shots of cheap whiskey some of us played volleyball for a bit .
The weather was crap and there didn’t seem to be much of a vibe but we had a few drinks anyway and watched some people play beer pong with the staff.  Then we all jumped back in our tubes and floated off again.  Along the edge of the riverbank is the remnants of old bars and various slides and ziplines that were taken down in 2012 after a string of deaths on the river.  It gives the whole place a kind of sad, abandoned feel and as much as I tried to have fun to be honest the whole tubing experience was fairly rubbish.
The volleyball at the first bar and basketball that we played at the next bar were about the only fun things.  You could tell everyone else felt the same, as they just sat around drinking boredly and waiting to get back in the tubes so we could finish.  I fell asleep in the tube for a bit after the second bar and when I awoke the sun was setting and it was cold.  We hadn’t reached the end yet but the river was flowing slowly and it was late so we all climbed out and got a tuk-tuk back.

After that we spent the rest of the day chilling in hammocks on the riverside which was really nice and relaxing.  I swam, had a few beers and wrote quite a lot of my blog. In the evening we got chatting to some crazy Australian guys and ended up going out with them to the pizza place, again!  They told us a hilarious story about these Koreans they met in Sakura bar, where they were the previous night. The Koreans taught them some rude slur that translates to ‘Your mothers c*nt’ or something like that, so they got up and starting shouting it until they had the whole bar chanting it along to the music, much to the shock of the Koreans.
So after some food and drinks we moved on to Sakura, where you can pay £5 and drink all night.  I remember very little after arriving, but I somehow woke up in bed with a Sakura vest on and covered in crisps.


Apparently I had applied for it while drunk?  Anyway I stupidly accepted because I thought it might be a fun experience and if nothing else save me some money.  It was from 7pm-3am and included free food and board, and $10 a day pay (a fair amount of money in Laos).  At first it sounded like a good idea but in the end I kinda regretted it because I just ended spending too much time in Vang Vieng.  It was a good experience though and I ended up getting an insight into how business works in Laos, which is to say it doesn’t work since they ended up not paying me.  I still got free food and board though.
Since I only had to work at 7pm that day and had nothing else to do I hired a bicycle and cycled to the Blue Lagoon, a popular tourist attraction in Vang Vieng.  There are actually three “Blue Lagoons” but the 2nd and 3rd one are far away so I just went to the first one. It was really nice being on a bike again and the road to the blue lagoon is beautiful – completely rural dirt road through local villages and incredible scenery.  Once there I paid the 10,000 kip entrance, locked up my bike and went in.
Essentially it’s just a riverside area with some wooden shade areas, a restaurant and a river with a rope swing and tree with a platform to jump off.  Unfortunately there was nowhere to leave my phone and wallet and I was on my own, but I asked some people who were sitting on the riverside if I could leave my stuff with them while I had a quick swim.  Then I got a beer and some fried rice, sat in the sun and spoke to some Swedish girls for a bit.  After they left I got speaking to a group of Americans on a package tour but they seemed boring so I went to bum a smoke off an old looking guy nearby.
Turns out he was South African, from George – a town near Cape Town.  I ended up having a very long conversation with him about his life which was incredible – he had lived in Tanzania and run a few businesses there and a hotel, and was now living in Cambodia and doing some ‘business’ there.  He was in his 60’s, been married twice, had two kids and was now just living and travelling in South East Asia on a motorbike.  I think I saw a bit of my future in him, minus the kids and wives.

As the sun set I had to head back for work, so I said goodbye and cycled back to town.

I had a quick shower and food and then started my first shift.  It was obviously very simple and I liked how basic they ran things.  Just a cardboard box for the money, and a book that they wrote the bookings, names and room numbers in.  It was pretty boring work but it afforded me good time to write and compile the second part of my blog.
Nothing particularly interesting happened the first night, but it turned out he had kind of lied about the hours. Although he said I only had to work until 3am, he actually wanted me to sleep in the reception of the hostel until 6:30am when the morning person came in.  I agreed when he first told me because it seemed pointless arguing, but as soon as 3am came I realised this was a mistake.  It was impossible to sleep on the hard bench in reception and all these drunk young Americans kept coming and going and waking me up.
Eventually the morning person showed up so I went to bed and tried to get a few hours sleep, but being that I was in a 8 bed hostel this didn’t work so well either.

Meeting The Irish

Needless to say the next day I was feeling rough and not very happy with life, so I went on a walk away from town looking for something chilled and relaxing to do.  Right at the far end of a small road that ran along the river I found a hostel called Easy Go and by some serendipitous luck bumped into a group of awesome Irish guys (well, one was actually English but we’ll call them the Irish guys from here on for simplicity).  They had been biking through Vietnam and had come into Laos for a visa run.
I ended up spending the afternoon with them and some of their friends down at Smile Bar, just chilling in hammocks and drinking until I had to head back to work at 7pm.
When I got to work I told Tom, the hostel owner, that I couldn’t work until 6:30am again and I that we had agreed 3am so if he wants me to work I have to go sleep at 3am.  He told me that’s fine, I must just lock everything up and turn the lights off, but leave the door open so people can come and go.
That evening was also fairly uneventful, except for some guy who was tripping on shrooms and his friends kept asking to change the temperature in the room, and a Brazilian girl who was crying because she lost her phone.  I let her use my laptop to check her Facebook and she left it logged in so I added myself as a friend, and then wrote a rude post about people crying over lost phones.  I locked up and went home at 3am and luckily got to sleep quite quickly as I was exhausted.

In the morning I met the Irish guys again and we had some breakfast and chatted about their motorbike trip.  They told me about their plans to go back into Vietnam and bike down to Ho Chi Min City, and since I showed interest they invited me to join.  I had only ridden a motorbike briefly for about an hour when I was 19, but I figured it couldn’t be that hard so I agreed to join them.
I went with two of them to book rock climbing the next day and then we had a few drinks at Gary’s Irish pub and played ‘killer’ pool.
Holly and Ali from the Pai crew messaged to say they had just arrived in town, so I went to meet them and we had some drinks and watched the sunset at Smile Bar before I had to go work again.
The job was getting boring and I didn’t really need the money so I told Tom I could only do one more night after this.  I was also feeling quite sick and think staying up late in the cold reception area wasn’t helping.  By 2am that night everything was very quiet so I locked up and went to sleep so I could be up early for rock climbing.  After I went to sleep I heard some people playing pool, which you’re not supposed to after midnight, but I couldn’t be bothered to go tell them to stop.
The next morning the other women working there scolded me for not putting the lights off.  I told her I did but I guess the assholes playing pool must have put them back on and left them on. Bloody kids.

Blue Lagoon

I hurried over to the climbing place and waited but the Irish guys never showed, so I told the guy running it to hang on to my deposit as I might come back at lunch to do a half day.  I walked over to where Ali and Holly were staying and chatted with them a bit.  By mid day I still hadn’t heard anything so I decided to go with Ali and Holly to the Blue Lagoon.
They got a scooter and I decided it would be a good idea to hire a motorbike and learn how to ride. Fortunately there was a really old clapped out bike for rent literally right next to their bungalow, and it was only £4 for the day.  It took a bit of getting used to the gears and kick starting it, but after about half an hour I had it figured out.  Along the way it stalled a few times but we made it eventually.
After having a swim to cool down, we chilled in a funky little wooden hut-like shade thing and had some food and beer. Then we did some jumps and flips off the rickety wooden tree platform thing that was about 5 metres high and went to explore a nearby cave.  There are loads of caves in the area and they go really deep into the mountains, but they aren’t spoilt with lights and safety barriers like other popular tourists caves I had been to.  They are just empty, natural caves so you have to have your own light and if you get lost inside you’re on your own.  We didn’t have lights though other than our phones, so we just explored the entrance bit and the first cavern which is lit by natural sunlight through a hole in the roof. It had a cool Buddha shrine in the middle of the first cavern but other than that was fairly boring.
Then we drove back and I quickly dropped off the bike before heading to work.  On the way I bumped into the Irish lads and they explained they had not been able to find the climbing place in the morning so had just ended up going in the afternoon.  It was a pity as I’d liked to have joined them but I wasn’t too bothered about climbing so decided I’ll get my deposit back the next day.  That night at work there was a new English guy working with me who was going to take my position when I leave. We chatted a bit but I was still feeling sick so I mostly just wrote and sat on the internet.

Easy Go Hostel

The next day I packed up and left Real Backpackers.  I asked the owner for my money for 16730361_10158351878480220_9033012241937063942_nthe four days I had worked but he said I only get paid if I work the whole month, which was bullshit obviously but what can you do.  It’s not like I had a contract, and I was a foreigner.
So I left Real Backpackers, got my climbing deposit back luckily and went to check into Easy Go Hostel.  I met up with Ali, Holly and another girl Benny who works for Viva Bar.  We all went to get some food, a joint at Jaidee’s Bar and then went and chilled the rest of the day in the floating tubes at Island Bar.
Towards evening Benny had to go to work and me and Ali wanted to go to the Jungle Party.  Holly wasn’t keen though so she headed back to chill at her bungalow and me and Ali went to the Rasta Bar first to get energy for the Jungle Party and then got the free tuk-tuk from the pizza place to the Jungle Party.
The Jungle Party was pretty awesome, I was quite wasted already when we arrived and was chatting to loads of people. They did a fire limbo which I attempted but failed quite badly at.  I’ve really got quite unfit on this trip.  Towards 1 or 2am a girl asked if I wanted to get a balloon, but then expected me to pay when we got them. I was like, no you offered, you gotta pay.  We had a bit of banter but she ended up buying them, but ofcourse I bought her another one later.  We danced and flirted for the next hour or so and shared a few drinks and cigarettes. At some point I lost Ali and he headed home on his own.
I had a feeling this girl was quite young so I asked her and she said she was only 21, which was a bit of a bummer cos that’s even below my threshold.  We shared a kiss anyway and she paid for my tuk-tuk home because I was out of money.  Then we kissed a bit more before she had to go into her hostel, and I can’t remember if we made plans to meet again or not but it’s probably for the best that I forgot.

New Crew

I had also met a cool crew of two American guys, a Canadian and a German girl the night before who were sharing my dorm.  The next morning we all made plans to go tubing together.  I had already done it twice but hey, they seemed like a fun group to go with. A kiwi guy from our dorm checked out that morning and left us a bottle of whiskey and a bag of rice, so me and Kendall, the one American, drank the bottle of whiskey for breakfast.  Ali and Holly joined us and the seven of us all went to rent tubes and get a tuk-tuk to the river.  I was so wasted before we even got to the first bar I barely remember anything.  I do vaguely remember playing the most ridiculous game of beer pong where we were literally just throwing ping-pong balls at each other and randomly drinking.  At one point I gave Kendall a ball and said ‘You either mexi-can or mexi-can’t” – meaning for him to try get a ball in, and because earlier I had given him my yellow cap and when he put it on he looked just like a Mexican.  It was funny. You had to be there.
Anyway I assume at some point we floated to the next bar which is where shit really got messy.  I was proper wasted and was shouting at Ali who was dancing to take his pants off, and then broke my thumb trying to pull them down.  Then I bought some food and went to drown my sorrows on my own at a little picnic table in the river.  After eating I fell asleep in my tube floating in the river but got stuck on some rocks.  Eventually the others came down and pushed me off so I just floated down the river sleeping.
I must have woken at some point as it was getting cold.  Some girls were floating nearby and I told them we should get out as it gets really cold down the river.  We all got out and arranged to get a tuk-tuk together.  I was obviously trying to pick one or both of them up but I’m sure I was too drunk to even talk, but I walked them back to their hostel anyway and made plans to meet later.
That never happened as I fell asleep as soon as I got back to the hostel.  I also realised I had left my flip-flops and shirt at the bar on the river, so after my nap I went out barefoot to Viva bar with some people, but I can’t even remember who.  All I remember is waking up at 3am asleep on the sofa in the hostel, with very dirty feet and a slight hangover.

The next day we all decided to go get breakfast and then hire scooters to go to Blue Lagoon 3, which was apparently the better Blue Lagoon and quite far away.  I bought some £2 flip-flops and then we hired some scooters for £6 and headed off across the rickety wooden bridge and towards the lagoons.  For some reason we ended up going around the long way and took about an hour driving through tiny villages and awesome scenery.  Me, Ali and Holly were going a bit slower so we lost the others, and then realised we had passed it so turned and went back.
Eventually we found it thanks to Holly looking for directions on her phone.  Unfortunately the lagoon is actually just a man made pool with some zip-lines and a rope swing, and is built right up next to a mountain that blocks out the sun in the afternoon.  I don’t really know why people say it’s better.  Anyway, I got a beer and then we wandered along a path into the jungle and found Kendall and Verena near a cave mouth.  It had a very small entrance and Holly is claustrophobic so her and Ali stayed behind while me, Kendall and Verena ventured in with only our phones for lights.
The cave went really deep and soon got pitch black, with tiny holes you need to sneak through to get to the next caverns.  They had built some very dodgy looking wooden ladders to get up and down and we precariously navigated these in the pitch black.  I put on a brave face in front of Kendall and Verena but I won’t lie, I was shitting myself the entire time.  For a start we weren’t really keeping track of where we going so could have easily gotten lost, plus there was no phone reception ofcourse and Verena’s battery was dying on her phone.  Luckily we managed to find the way out after getting slightly lost for a bit, and I’ve never been so happy to see sunlight and breathe fresh air.
We went swimming for a bit after that as we were covered in sweat and dirt from the humidity in the cave, and did the rope swing and zipline a few times before heading home.  On the drive back we saw quite a bad scooter accident but it didn’t look like anyone was seriously hurt, even though the scooter was in bits.  That evening I went to Sakura bar again with Verena and Shenaz and then to Viva again, but we didn’t stay late.  I could tell I was done with Vang Vieng.  I’ve had a lot of fun here because of the people I’ve hung out with, but essentially Vang Vieng is a shit hole and I wouldn’t bother going if I were you.


The next morning I woke up with a strong resolve to get back on the road.  Kendall wanted to stay another night and I think he was a bit disappointed because I had said I would too so we could hitch hike together with Gus to Don Det, but I just couldn’t do another day in Vang Vieng. I was thinking of hitching but I was hot and tired and the bus to Vientiane was only £5 so decided to take that.  Verena, and Gus also decided to leave so we all got the four hour bus together. In Vientiane Gus left to get a sleeper bus to Don Det and Verena met up with some other people and got a hostel with them, so I headed off to find the Irish guys who were staying at a hostel nearby, with a German girl Sammy who had joined them.

I found them and checked in and then we all went to get food together at a really good Indian place nearby, and then went to play ‘killer’ pool at a hostel nearby.  By midnight the others were drunk and headed home but me and Craig wanted to party so we went to this club nearby that the hostel told us about.
It turned out be a huge super club with massive sound system, lights and thousands of people.  We bumped into two Irish girls who I had met in Vang Vieng and flirted with them all night, but just as it was time to leave they both jumped on a scooter with some pro-footballer to go with him to an ‘after-party’.  I’m pretty sure the ‘after-party’ was his hotel room.  Anyway it was 4am and we were wasted so I got a tuk-tuk back and Craig wandered off to find god-knows-what.

16865078_10158374667280220_2343736100689780706_nThe next day I got a lift with them on their bikes to the bus station so we could all get a sleeper bus to Da Nang in Vietnam.  They had decided to rather try get their bikes on a bus because they had come on the road in to Vientiane and said it’s terrible.  We haggled for a bit and eventually got them to take all 3 bikes for $200 and about $30 each per person.
We had a few hours to hang about until the bus so we went for a very weird lunch in a strange place with huge soups, I took a picture on a tiny pink bike, and then got down to the job of dismantling the bikes to put on the bus.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to help so I sat on the curb in the bus station and wrote my blog and drank beer.  Then me, Craig and Dave walked about half a mile to find an ATM as we all had no money to buy snacks for the trip, and luckily we managed to hitch hike back.  16681619_10158374667265220_6655118628413821313_n
Eventually it was time to go so we got some supplies and found some spots at the back of the bus where there was 5 beds next to each other to make one huge bed.  We settled in and started drinking and listening to music and generally causing chaos.
I wanted to sleep so I took a Zanax and passed out pretty quickly, not knowing that we were gonna stop in 3 hours for dinner.  Apparently I got out and ate dinner with everyone but I have zero memory of doing so, and they said I fell asleep with my eyes open. Next thing I remember is waking up at 3am and moving to another bed as I was passed out next to Dave and Sammy.

16997890_10155841426367564_8839966731476434505_nSleeper Bus

At about 6am we were all woken up to get off the bus and go through customs, but most of the others had only just fallen asleep and were a mixture of very tired and feeling the effects of sleeping pills, so as you can imagine going through customs was rather interesting.
Protocol required that we all disembark the bus a few hundred metres from the Vietnam border and then walk through this elaborate gateway to where the visa formalities are dealt with.  This hundred metre or so walk took us about an hour, and involved numerous stops and a few extra-strength South East Asian red bulls.  I had already organised my Visa in Luang Prabang, so I was sorted and had my stamp in about 10 minutes.
The others unfortunately had a number of issues involving the bikes and incorrect Visa approval letters, one of which only approved a visa if flying into Hanoi airport.  Couple this with extreme tiredness, a general inability to write or talk and an extreme language barrier, and you can imagine a rather hilarious experience that took about 3 hours to complete.
Fortunately in the end the right amount of money and bullshit insured we all got through, and to their credit the poor bus drivers and other passengers actually waited for us.  Luckily there was a shop in the border gate selling beer so I had something to do while I waited.  And then we all boarded the bus again and drove into Vietnam…. which is when shit gets real…. stay tuned!

Krakow, Poland

The first weekend of December I visited Poland for the first time with my friend Anna, who’s friend had kindly allowed us to use her apartment in Krakow for the weekend.  It was freezing cold but somehow that suited this beautiful, ancient city.

15356497_10157948403440220_6188196418494837377_nIt was snowing on the first night as we trudged around looking for somewhere nice to eat.  We picked up a bottle of whiskey and sipped it on the way to keep warm, and eventually found a lovely traditional little place that did the best fried potato pancakes with mushroom sauce and meat skewers, and this super-tasty smoked cheese.  The wine was awful though, for some reason, so we had some vodka to drown out the taste.

Then we went to a  club called Prozak that was playing really good trap and hip-hop.  We danced there all night and enjoyed the considerably cheap drinks.  Even though it was Thursday night there was a great vibe and it went on until 4am, presumably because Krakow is largely a student town and let’s be realistic – who actually goes to class on a Friday?  The music and atmosphere were so good we didn’t even get tired, despite dancing almost non-stop the entire time we were there.  Unfortunatey when leaving we found our bottle of whiskey which we had left with the bouncers had been knocked over and smashed, but we’d had such a good time we didn’t mind.

The next day we spent a while trying to find somewhere for breakfast, because I was fixated on getting eggs and bacon, as usual.  However that took so long that we ended up just having lunch instead.  We found another lovely traditional restaurant and shared a half duck and soup with goose dumplings and goats cheese salad, all of which were great.  There seems to be really good food in Poland, something I didn’t know before.  Also excellent beer and vodka, of course.

15317885_10157948401900220_290906182463744715_nAfter lunch we explored the city a bit and discovered a traditional Italian restaurant called Corleon’s, with some interesting statues of mobsters outside.  We didn’t go inside but took some photos with them.  Then we took a long walk around the walls of the city, burning off our huge lunch on the way home.


We bought another bottle of whiskey on the way home as we were planning to have a little nap and then a few drinks before going out that night. However the nap never happened and a few drinks became more drinks until the bottle was finished, and we were both very drunk and dancing around the living room.  This continued for a few hours until it got dark and we decided we’d need to venture out and find food to sober us up.

We stumbled about for awhile, exploring an Irish bar and the red light district before finding a nice looking pizza place.  I was severly drunk by this point but I remember the pizza being quite good.  Then we went to a strip club because Anna had never been and we thought it would be a laugh, but it was a tiny rubbish one so we only stayed for one drink and declined their kind offers of a ‘lesbian experience’ private dance?!?

We needed to find a club and although Prozak the night before was amazing, we were keen to try something different.   Unfortunately the elusive Jewish quarter, where apparently the best clubs are, was proving difficult to find in our inebriated state and so we ended up in some awful student cheesefest and made a hasty exit after one drink.  By this point it was too cold to wander any longer, so we went with what we knew would be good and returned to Prozak.


This turned out to be a good decision, as the music was just as good as the night before.  We danced a bit too long and hard to some crazy drum & bass in the second room until I got a blister on my foot and hurt my neck.  15337516_10157948405445220_3399092186787872654_nWe also found another basement room playing some really good Berlin techno, but unfortunately they closed that floor early.  We didn’t stay quite as long this time as we arrived late, but it was enough to sate our clubbing needs and we stumbled home eventually at about 3am.

The following day after some coffee and croissants we explored the Christmas markets and got some exquisite polish kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut for lunch.  Then we had a coffee indoors to warm up, visited one last traditional local pub for a final drink, and headed off to the airport.  All in all an awesome little weekend getaway!

Outlook Festival

This was one helluva party!  My friends Mike and Lizzie organised a beach house for us in the festival camp grounds, which was a bit more expensive than camping but so worth it.  Proper beds, a full kitchen, fridge (cold beer!) and shower with hot water.  Plus an awesome balcony which we spent a lot of time on watching and laughing at all the drunk people coming past.

Stupidly I was partying the night before in London at Notting Hill Carnival, so I slept through my alarm and missed my flight, forcing me to buy another one at the last minute for £150.  That was an expensive lesson.  It also meant I was too late to catch my connecting coach from Venice in Italy to Pula in Croatia where the festival was.  I had to do a mad rush of getting a bus from the airport to the local train station, which then took me as far as the Slovenian border, and from there I had to catch another coach to Pula.  Luckily it all worked out and I finally made it!


The first night the main festival hadn’t started yet, but there was a small independent dancefloor setup just outside the festival grounds next to a little bar, so me, Mike and Lizzy and another one of crew from Joburg, Cimone, spent most of the night there dancing and lying on the beach until the sun came up. We met this very energetic Colombian who kept us going all night, and for most of the festival really. The next day the final member of our crew, Louella, arrived, and the party started in earnest.  We spent most of the morning chilling by the beach until the real music started and then we went to explore the many dancefloors – about 14 in total!  I can’t remember much of that night, but I remember there was an awesome dancefloor called the Moat which had the heaviest bass I’ve ever heard.

The next day was the Gentlemen’s Dub Club boat party.  It was in the afternoon and I was pretty drunk by that point so I spent most of the time trying to pick up this British/Indian girl who I thought was the cutest thing I’d ever seen, but she was having none of it.  I think she was about 22, haha.  Probably thought I was some old dude working at the festival or something.  Actually the average age of the entire festival seemed to be about 22!  Being mostly bass music I guess it appeals to a younger crowd.  Anyway the boat party was still awesome, mostly because I was wearing a purple 14141589_10157484413490220_3957474989795907306_nunicorn horn the entire time.  I’m not sure who that guy in the picture with me is??

We headed back to the beach house after the boat party and just massively chilled out on our porch until much later that night, then headed back to the main festival area to dance until sunrise.  At some point we found ourselves sitting on the pier listening to power ballads on my phone and staring out over the ocean.  I’m not sure anybody else liked the power ballads, but I was having the time of my life.


The next day we had another boat party, All Trap Music.  I’d never really been into Trap music so I wasn’t sure about it, but it turned out to be the best party of the festvial!  We had spent the morning getting sufficiently wasted on the beach, so by the time 4pm came and we had to go to the boat, Mike was too hungover and decided to skip it and sleep instead.  Sorry for him, he missed out!  Me, Lizzy and Cimone headed to the boat, stumbled onboard and pretty much just danced for the entire trip, while watching some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.  14202640_10157503994180220_7331280893801906973_nAll Trap Music is a label started by Jikay, who I hadn’t heard before, but he was great.  He also had Massappeals and the legendary Lex Luger with him, so it was pretty much solid good music for four hours.  Needless to say, I left that boat a Trap music convert.


I crashed out pretty hard after the boat party and some lovely person bought me a hamburger and fed it to me, I think it was Lizzy or Mike.  That saved me or I would have had an awful hangover later on.  That night followed a similar theme as before, moving from dancefloor to dancefloor, chasing the good tunes.  I’m sure there were many individual moments of hilarity and notable occurances,but for some reason I struggle to remember things after dark. I think I’m more of a day party person.  I do remember watching Noisia around midnight and then heading to bed because I was exhausted.

Nosia on the mainstage


We were all feeling a bit rough around the edges today after three days solid partying, so we took it easy and had a nice lunch in a proper restaurant overlooking the ocean.  Then we just lazed on the beach and took turns attempting a floating, inflatable obstacle course they had setup in the sea.  You were supposed to pay to use it though, so this guy would occasional come across on a little kayak and kick us off.  He had his work cut out for him!


Then we headed off to another boat party, and to meet a friend of one of Louella’s friends, Andy, who just happened to be in the town of Pula for the weekend and decided to come to the festival – even though he didn’t know anybody else there!  14142024_10157484416185220_4897092010914817661_nWe found him and tried to enjoy the boat party but everyone was feeling a bit worse for wear so we just sat around on the lower deck drinking and chatting.  I danced a bit though and quite enjoyed watching the lights from the shore reflecting off the water, as it was a night time party.  It was pretty heavy rap and hip-hop music though so maybe not the best for a bunch of hungover people.  Afterwards at about 11pm we returned to the main festival and attempted to party, but everybody kept fading off like little delicate leaves in autumn, until only me and Andy were left. We found Mandy and she got us in a really good mood so we decided to party with her.   We held the fort and kept jamming right through until about 7am the next day when they turned off the music.  Then we walked around the bay and watched the sunrise while some crazy people went swimming naked in the freezing water.


By this point everybody was done with partying, so we just chilled all day by the awesome Beach Party dancefloor.  I was also severly broke by this point so I was happy to just chill.  Mike decided it was a good idea to finish all the whiskey by himself and try hula-hoop security guards with an inflatable tube, which very almost got us kicked out and/or arrested.  After six days of dealing with drunken foreigners I can understand the Croatian security guards 14222200_10157484419555220_5001435072213608981_nlack of humor.

We did attempt to go to party a bit that night but spent the majority of the time trying to keep Mike on his feet.  Fortunately I made friends with two Slovenian girls so when Mike and Lizzie headed back to the house I carried on partying with them.  They had just come for the weekend and were also a bit older than the average crowd, so were happy to meet someone more their age.  When it started raining around 2am I was hoping they would want to retire back to their campsite, but they just kept going!  Eventually I gave up at about 4am and headed back to the house because I had to be up at 8am to catch my coach back to Venice.  I did add them on facebook though and they invited me to come visit them in Slovenia, which I plan to do as I’ve never been there before.

Once again I slept through my alarm and very almost missed my coach!  This would have been a serious problem, as I literally had no money left for another coach and/or flight!  Luckily I made it just in time and enjoyed a long, very hungover three hour journey back to the airport…. good times 🙂

Outlook is an incredible festival, in one of the most beautiful locations you can imagine, but I think it’s become somewhat over-commercialised recently and is populated almost entirely by very young, drunk, British students.  While it was still a huge amount of fun and I would definitly go again, I think it would be massively improved by an older and more diverse crowd.  I believe there are other festivals in this same location, so I might check those out in future to see the difference.


Snowbombing Festival

Snowbombing is a yearly ski, snowboard and music festival in Mayrhofen, Austria. I’ve been three times and everytime has been incredible. They always have a vast array of live acts and DJ’s, mostly British acts and often focussed around drum & bass and house music.


The festival is sold as a package tour so your ‘entrance’ ticket is included with the accommodation you book, and then you can add on extras like ski hire, ski pass etc as you please. It’s a very good system and works well to keep the overall cost low – with the cheapest package you can do your entire holiday, with transport and accomodation, for as little as £500.

The first time I went I booked individually so I stayed in a hostel-type place which was 207255_10150540135415220_8214786_nquite nice. Two other friends of mine also decided to come so we almost had our own room, just with one other solo guest. My London housemates also decided to come and booked into a house with a full kitchen and everything, so we visited them a few times.

The natural scenery of the area is really beautiful, and because it’s held towards the end of the season in April it can sometimes be have lovely warm, sunny days. Often you will see people ski or boarding in just t-shirts and shorts, or even swimwear.


As well as down in the town, they also organize a few music stages up on the pistes too, with DJ’s providing the music for ski competitions and various funny events like trying to ski over a pool of water. They have prizes of cash and free drinks for competitors, and anyone can compete. I got €20 for best newbie as I tried to do a trick and failed spectacularly!


We would spend our days chilling on the mountain, drinking, dancing and occasionally doing a few runs or attempting the snowpark. At night everybody would drunkenly clamber into the lifts to heaed back down to the village, where we head off to one of the many venues after dropping off our snow gear back in the hostel.


On Wednesdays they also do a big ‘street party’ in the centre of town with a stage and DJ’s such as Fat Boy Slim, Chase & Status or Gorgon City. The biggest act will usually play on the last day in the forest stage, and twice when I went it was The Prodigy, supported once by Beardyman.



Ozora Festival

I went to Ozora Festival in 2010 with a huge group of friends from South Africa and London. It’s a week long psy-trance festival in a beautiful valley near Budapest.

I flew into Budapest and took the train to the festival with my friend Leigh.  Upon arrival we found our friends and setup our campsite.  On the first night I got a bit too wasted, lost the group and the campsite and wandered around alone until morning before I found it again.

The remainder of the party was a bit more controlled, with us all enjoying the dance floor, chill area, sunflower maze and various other activities.

After five days at the festival we returned to Budapest and spent a day and night there exploring the Danube river and impressive architecture.

Croatia: Split, Hvar and Plitvice


In July 2010 six friends and I decided to go to Croatia for two weeks – exploring Hvar, Split, Plitvice and ending up at a music festival called ‘Stop Making Sense’.


Some of us flew into Split together on Easyjet and met some of the others there. The first night we just had dinner, explored the small town and hung out by the ocean side – drinking and messing around in some old forts and railroad tracks.



In the morning we had to get up fairly early and get a ferry to the island of Hvar where we were camping for the night. The ferry took about 2 hours, during which time we relaxed on the deck tanning and drinking beer. We arrived and took a taxi to the far end of the island where we found our campsite.

One couple had booked a pre-made tent with beds, electrical point and even a fridge. The rest of set up some tents that we had brought with, although I didn’t even have a tent so I just slept in the foyer area of the others pre-made tent.


That evening we got a taxi to the main Hvar town and had the most amazing seafood, and when I came back from the toilet everyone played a trick on me saying we had ordered shots of some crazy strong Croatian alcohol which I was scared to drink, but it turned out it was just a shot of water!

The following day we went swimming in the nearby bay and explored the island around the campsite. It was strangely very quiet around where we were, with not many people around, which was odd for high season.

Bol and Brac

The town of Bol on the nearby island of Brac was our next destination and found our apartment that we had rented for the night. Then the few of us that had licenses hired some scooters and drove around the island for a bit, before coming back and taking some of the others out on the back of the scooters.


We chilled on Zlatni Rat beach for a bit before getting another ferry back to the mainland, where we spent the night before hiring a car in the morning and starting the drive up to Plitvice National park.


It was a bit further than I thought and took us most of the morning and past lunch, so, unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to see the park which is huge! We rushed through and took as many photos as we could of the beautiful turquoise waterfalls. It really does look like something out of the garden of Eden!


Around 6 pm we had to leave and did the short one hour drive to Petrcane where the festival was, and then dropped the hire car off at Zadar airport. We all had booked into the hotel that also served as the site for the festival, except one other couple that had their own small apartment nearby.

I don’t remember exact details of the festival but we had some amazing sunset boat parties with DJ’s like Robodello, and at one point I went swimming at midnight which was freezing but fun.