Tag Archives: Organic

365 Places: Manik Organik

Day 57: Manik Organik, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Today I write about a favourite haunt close to Paneeda View, Manik Organik.

Manik Organik is a great spot, offering delicious whole foods from the cafe, natural skin care, alternative health therapies, arts, dance and cooking classes and our favourite form of tropical torture – yoga.

There were three types of yoga classes on offer while we were here – Bali style, Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow. We did the Bali and Hatha classes and enjoyed both, for different reasons. The Bali style was quite different to other classes we have done in the past and the first class was very challenging. The second class was a bit easier, finding that our bodies were willing to stretch a bit more. Mangku was also a wonderful teacher and we promised him next year that we will be better. He is also a traditional Balinese Hindu priest and healer – here is some information from The Power of Now Oasis Yoga website.

Jero Mangku comes from a long line of traditional balinese hindu priests, his life is truly an offering. He began teaching yoga over 5 years ago, and is certified by the School of Sacred Arts here in Bali. He always brings strong elements of Joy, Peace, and Harmony as well as Effort and Discipline into his yoga classes. Drawing from a deep knowledge of spirituality, body work and a life of practice, his classes are very popular with locals, expats, and tourists alike.

Here is Mangku in some pretty amazing poses.

Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com
Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com
Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com
Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com
Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com/
Image Credit: http://manikorganikbali.com/

What we found was really nice way to spend a morning was to go to yoga class and then tuck in some yummy breakfast from the cafe. Here is a picture of the fruit and muesli plate – delicious!

© Tracey Benson 2014
© Tracey Benson 2014

Given we are already planning our trip for next year, it looks like some more yoga will be in store – the challenge will be making sure we keep going once we get back to the cold of Canberra.

Advertisements

365 Places: Parap Markets

Day 50: Parap Markets, Northern Territory, Australia

Today and for the next few posts, I will be writing about a place I love dearly, Darwin. Our family moved to Darwin in 1977, as my Dad worked in the building industry and was employed to work in the rebuilding efforts after Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin on Christmas day 1974. Many of my school friends lived through this catastrophic event, which literally wiped Darwin out. I will write in detail about Cyclone Tracy later.

For today though, my focus will be the fabulous Parap Markets, which has been a Saturday morning tradition for many years. The markets started in 1982, with some humble offering of some Asian foods (fantastic Laksa), juices and some fresh fruit and vegetables from some of the market gardens. Of course the market was extremely popular with locals at the time, because good quality fresh food was hard to come by. Anyone who lived here in those days will speak of the horrible, old fruit and veg from the larger supermarkets, shipped from down south which cost a bomb. In contrast, the fruit and veg from the markets is locally grown, fresh and mostly organic.

Over the years, and with the expansion of tourism in the dry season, the markets has grown enormously, now with many jewellery and craft stalls, boutique sauces and condiments and lots more great spicy food to enjoy from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

After grabbing delicious (and huge) icy fruit drinks we wandered around and checked out all the stalls. Along the way we met Photographer Louise Denton, who creates some beautiful images of the Top End. I couldn’t resist buying her book – mainly as I couldn’t choose a photograph for the wall at home.

Louise Denton @ Parap Markets, © Tracey Benson 2014
Louise Denton @ Parap Markets, © Tracey Benson 2014

It was great to spend some time wandering around the markets with some friends, enjoying the offerings and doing some people watching. It was also quite nostalgic for me as well, as going to the Parap Market was one of my favourite things to do on the weekend when I lived in Darwin. The Asian food, tropical fruit and seeing people wandering around with big sun hats remind me of how much I treasure Darwin and how it seems so different from any other Australian city, more like South-East Asia because of the climate and relaxed lifestyle.

365 Places: Hand Made Canberra Market

Day 47: Handmade Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Today I am cheating a bit as I am talking about an event, not a place – but don’t hang me on a technicality.

The Canberra Handmade Market is held four times a year at the Canberra Convention Centre and brings together some of Australia’s most innovative designers and craftspeople. It started in 2008, the brainchild of Julie and Rachel who saw a need for such an event. Since then it has become a massive affair, and the girls now have a shop in Civic – which I wrote about in an earlier post – No, Canberra doesn’t suck!.

Just as a quick aside: Emma Pearse recently reported in the New York Times that Canberra was in fact a cool place to be – and that is not just literally! If you are interested, check out Emma’s article 36 hours in Canberra, Australia for more information.

Back to the market. This time around there were around 150 stalls with a broad range of products including skin care, lighting, jewellery, clothing, and craft. For me there were a few standouts. We loved the fragrant soaps from bodybar and had a lovely time chatting to Steve and Viv, who incidentally come from the Coff’s region. The soaps use lovely natural ingredients like goat’s milk, coconut oil and essential oils. One of the soaps smelt so good I wanted to eat it, which is sort of funny considering I was often threatened to have my mouth washed out with soap, when I was a naughty kid and caught swearing. Anyway, what I really love about this product is the care taken in all stages of the product lifecycle to be sustainable and care for the environment. Their website says:

We take the greatest care in sourcing the finest fresh and natural ingredients and make them with a strong ethical commitment to our environment. We do all the regular stuff, recycling our waste etc, however we also put a lot of work into other aspects of our production cycle. Our bars are made locally from local goats milk, our bags are made by us out of newspapers that we buy and read, and we minimise package and waste wherever possible.

Above is a pic of Steve and Viv and their lovely products. Needless to say, we walked away with some goodies from their stall 🙂

The other stall that had some stand-out work for me was a jewellery stall – John Hablitschek Gems. Most of the pieces on this stall were one-off works of art, featuring very rare gemstones, like Australian Turquoise. Check out some of these beautiful pieces below.

Canberra Handmade Market © Tracey Benson 2014
Canberra Handmade Market © Tracey Benson 2014

We had a lovely morning checking out the market and look forward to the next time it is on – October 4 and 5. Here are some random images from our travels around the many stalls.

365 Places: Maleny

Day 41: Maleny, Queensland, Australia

Today I will talk about a place that is somewhere I visit irregularly, when we travel to Queensland to catch up with family. Maleny, is a great place to visit if you are spending some time on the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane as it is not far from either.

Image Credit: http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/qld/sunshine-coast/maleny/19761
Image Credit: http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/qld/sunshine-coast/maleny/19761

Melany is tucked up in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, on the Blackall Range. Because it is well above sea level and a little bit away from the coast, the weather on the hinterland is milder than that of the coast, which can get very hot and humid, especially in summer.

The Maleny Queensland website says:

The unique rural community of Maleny is perched high above the Sunshine Coast beaches on the Blackall Range between Brisbane and Noosa and also overlooks South-East Queensland’s amazing Glasshouse Mountains.

It is an area of spectacular views and stands of lush rain forest. Maleny was initially a timber region with virtually all of the Cedar, Beech & Hoop Pine being felled to provide furniture and construction timber for SE Queensland and the UK. Once clearing had been achieved it quickly became a dairy farming area and supported the surrounding areas for many years with all their milk-based products.

The entire region, including the nearby townships of Montville and Mapleton are teeming with artists and craftspeople, as well as people working with holistic medicine and natural therapies, making the area attractive to tourists, especially eco-tourists.

Image Credit: http://www.ruralworld.com.au/properties/conondale01/
Image Credit: http://www.ruralworld.com.au/properties/conondale01/

There is also a rich Indigenous history connected to Maleny. The Hinterland Tourism website says:

Originally populated by the Nalbo and Dallambara peoples of the Gubbi gubbi nation, the area was known for its Bunya feasts which happened every third year when the giant Bunya trees of the area were in fruit. According to legend, Aboriginal peoples from far and wide would gather in the area to feast for several weeks on the nuts before journeying down to Brisbane where they would meet for a big Corroborree.

Maleny is also not far from the Glasshouse Mountains, a place I have already written about for 365 Places.

The Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny, Sunshine Coast. Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/greataussieroadtrips/875783/the-great-sunshine-way
The Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny, Sunshine Coast. Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/greataussieroadtrips/875783/the-great-sunshine-way

The last time we visited it was the day of our son’s 21st birthday. As his birthday is on Christmas Eve, we had the official party a couple of weeks earlier, so everyone could come before heading off during the Christmas break. For us it was a perfect way to spend a lovely family day, enjoying a leisurely lunch in one of the many cafes and then strolling around town checking out all the brilliant little shops full of craft, art and vintage wares.

365 Places: Bellingen

Day 29: Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia

Today, we wandered over to Bellingen, a lovely village about 20 minutes south of Coff’s Harbour.

It is known for being a beautiful location as well as having a vibrant arts community. The Visit NSW website says:

Referred to as the creative hub of the Coffs Harbour region, Bellingen is also home to the Bellingen Jazz and Blues Festival (held every year around August). Within the Bellingen community are a number of writers, artists and musicians: imbuing the area with a dynamic creative energy.

One of Bellingen’s claims to fame is that it was one of the locations for the book and film of Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda.

Image credit: The Guardian
“I dare not hope, and yet I must that through this deed I gain your trust.” Image credit: The Guardian

It is a lovely place to talk around, just to soak up the creative atmosphere. The main street of town is lined with quaintly restored old shop fronts that have been converted into quirky designer stores, organic cafes and fresh food markets.

We had lunch at a great local cafe/bar – 5 Church Street. The food was excellent and we also had a delicious juice – apple, ginger and mint. 5 Church Street uses local, organic and biodynamic ingredients where possible in their food and you can really tell – my veggie burger was just divine, as were the chunky fries! The burger had lots of caramelised onion, freshly grated beetroot, greens and carrot, with a big chunk of grilled halloumi – you really can’t beat a veggie burger made with organic ingredients.

Here is a quirky map from the 5 Church Street menu, showing some of the local suppliers:

Coff's Region Map - Image Credit: 5 Church Street
Coff’s Region Map – Image Credit: 5 Church Street

The other place that is worth visiting is the old Butter Factory on the outskirts of town. Here you will find a number of galleries promoting local artists, a gorgeous homewares shop, a leather-craft shop, massage therapy and a cafe.

For more, you can also check out Martin Drury’s Photo Essay on Bellingen.

Check out our new section of the site: Destinations

Good morning lovelies!

To make it easier to find articles and photos of some of our favourite locations, we have created a new section of the site: Destinations. Under the tab, located on the main menu, you can find information grouped under the place-name.

We hope this new feature will be useful and help you navigate our site.

Tracey and Marty in Istanbul
Tracey and Marty in Istanbul

 

200 followers – thank you!!

Thank you to everyone who visits our site and likes and follows our posts. We really appreciate your support – it inspires us to continue to write and publish our travel stories.

Don’t forget – we welcome guest contributions (like the prolific Garry Benson), so if you have a great story please check out the submission guidelines and  contact us.

Thanks again – you are awesome!

This is us at our fave cafe in Istanbul , more later 🙂

Tracey and Marty in Istanbul
Tracey and Marty in Istanbul

Help us make 200 followers: it’s still the w’end in some parts of the globe:

Yesterday we hit 500 likes on our travel site www.geokult-travel.com .

We are really excited to share that we almost have 200 followers. We would love to make this milestone this weekend,  so if you haven’t already checked out the site, drop by and say hi. We would really appreciate it 🙂

We write articles and present photo essays on all sorts of topics related to travel, culture, food, adventure and sustainability.

You can also contribute articles to Geokult Travel.

If you drop in and love what you see, please tell your friends ❤

No, Canberra Doesn’t Suck!

One of the great places to find products that have been handmade by local artists, designers and craftspeople is through Handmade Canberra. They have a shopfront located at City Walk, 20 Allara Street in Civic, which features the work of over 170 local designers. They also run regular markets at the Canberra Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Avenue 4 times a year. The next market is scheduled for June 7 & 8, 10am to 4pm.

Canberra Doesn't Suck
Canberra Doesn’t Suck

I love this lollypop as it says a lot about Canberra’s reputation. There is a stereotyped idea that it is a place of dull monuments and boring public servants, which is simply not true. To the contrary, if people take the time to look around they will find it is a rich, creative and diverse community. Ironically, I also held this belief that public servants were dull, until I joined the APS and worked alongside other people who had identities as artists, musicians, healers, scientists and aid volunteers.

So, no, Canberra doesn’t suck, though it is true that in Winter, the wind can blow.

Canberra Trash and Treasure Market

Trash and Treasure Jamison
Trash and Treasure Jamison

Last weekend, we went to the Trash and Treasure Market at Jamison. It was my first time going to the market, as I am usually not awake early enough. Luckily it was the first day we turned the clock back, after the end of Summer time, so the sun woke me at around 6am.

Trash and Treasure is a Canberra institution and if you want a bargain you have to get there early. We arrived about 8:15am and the car park was packed. The market has all manner of goods – lots of plants, organic fruit and vegetables, second-hand clothes and bric a brad. I was really chuffed to score some organic apples for $2.50 a kilogram – much better than the $18.99 a kilo I paid the other week at Griffith.

Trash and Treasure Jamison
Trash and Treasure Jamison

After checking out the markets, we headed to one of our favourite spots for breakfast, Ricardo’s Cafe. What surprised us is that most of the tables were reserved and it was packed – at 9am! Usually it is busy, but ordinarily we never have problem finding a table, today it was a bit of a challenge.Here is a picture of one of their ‘to die for’ Portuguese Tarts.

Portuguese Tart from Ricardo's
Portuguese Tart from Ricardo’s

The Trash and Treasure Market is operated by the Rotary Club of Belconnen and is held each Sunday from 6am to 1pm at the Jamison Centre car park in Macquarie, except when Christmas Day coincides.