fluffy towes
Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a copywriter, journalist, travel writer, communications consultant and the founder of travel blog Fluffy Towel. She specialises in many industries including tourism, hospitality, aged care, health, real estate, property, business, charities and not-for-profits. Carmen is also the editor of Menu Magazine, catering to the Western Australian hospitality industry and hungry foodies.

world

where in the
world is carmen?

Perth, Australia

latest post

Star-studded nights at the Pinnacles

filed27 Jul 2020 from

Cast your mind back to a simpler time when seaside holidays were all about family and friends. Where a splash in the surf, board games and fish ‘n chips at sunset were the makings of cherished memories.

There aren’t many places left in the world where you can enjoy unadulterated holidays among natural wonders and expansive beaches in relative peace. That is until you drive a couple of hours north of Perth along Indian Ocean Drive to the Turquoise Coast. At which point, you’ll wonder why you mightn’t have considered Cervantes as a getaway before, a town which might even test the geography of the most dedicated of Perth-ites.

The Pinnacles Desert is one of the state’s most mysterious natural phenomena’s and intrigues about fifteen kilometres south of Cervantes. While visiting at any time is a special experience, the true magic happens at sunrise or sunset. The star-studded night is a spectacle to behold as the pinnacles morph into shadowy peaks and valleys, especially as kangaroos, emus and lizards bask in the afterglow.

Pinnacles Edge Resort Manager Jennie Nuttall works alongside her husband Sandy who recommends, “Sunset is the best time to visit. Enjoy 180-degree views of the sky as the sun slips away and the moon rises behind you.”

 

To truly enjoy the Pinnacles in all their glory at sunrise or sunset, staying for at least one night is essential. That’s what the brochures will tell you, but then you’d be missing the point of the Turquoise Coast. Besides, there’s always the danger of hitting a kangaroo when driving at dusk in the outback.

“Many first-timers come for the night and sleep so soundly. There’s no pollution, and they realise it’s such a beautiful town that they then come back and stay longer,” says Sandy and adds, “There’s not too much regulation and you can drive your car along the beach. And the locals love letting their dogs off the leash to run beside their cars.”

Jennie and Sandy didn’t think twice about leaving Mandurah, which had been home for 12-years when Jennie was initially offered a job managing the local caravan park. Jennie then became the Tourism Manager at the Lobster Shack before taking a casual role at the resort, which eventually led to her landing the management role.

With a variety of self-contained suites, studio hotel rooms, the onsite Europa Anchor restaurant and pool, the Pinnacles Edge Resort has every amenity required for families, groups and couples on short or long-term getaways. Located in the heart of town, the complex also houses Cervantes Pinnacles Motel and is in staggering distance of shops, cafes, including the iconic Lobster Shack, country club and golf course and of course, that glorious coastline.

Still a fishing town, one of the top tourist attractions in Cervantes is the Lobster Shack. A tour of the factory provides a unique insight into WA’s lobster industry as do the fishing charters (where you can actually catch fish), sea lion tours and lobster pot pulling. The fresh menu featuring lobster, prawns and abalone feeds a staggering 700 people a day.

Some of Jennie’s favourite things include, “The beautiful beaches, pristine water, kicking back on a boat and spending time with the close-knit community. Living here is just lovely.” She also recommends exploring the lookouts and basins, wildflowers from June to September, Sandy Cape 13km north of Jurien Bay, admiring the snow-white sand dunes and the forest of grass trees, officially named Xanthorrhoea (formerly known as blackboys) in Wangarren Nature Reserve when approaching Cervantes.  The ancient thrombolites at Lake Thetis and the extensive cave system in Stockyard Gully National Park have on more than one occasion further delayed the return to reality.

Despite the many natural wonders of the region, it’s the turquoise and sandy white hues that stay with you. Jenny adds, “Sometimes you can go to the beach and can have the entire thing to yourself.”

In complete juxtaposition to its exotic surrounds, the luxurious Pinnacles Edge Resort makes the rugged landscape just that little more hospitable and accessible to any traveller.

Cervantes might well be the ultimate Western Australian beach getaway.

 

Side bar/separate page

Situated in Nambung National Park, the Pinnacles Desert contains thousands of limestone mounds in varying heights, shapes and widths. As the sand shifts, eerie shadows appear in stark contrast to the variation in soils and luminous sky. It’s yet to be confirmed when the pinnacles emerged from the desert floor, but a trip to the architecturally designed Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre sheds some light with estimates as long ago as 500,000 years.

If you’d like to read more about Western Australia, please click here http://fluffytowel.com/shop/ for a copy of Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West

Why You Should Visit Lovely Lombok

filed02 Feb 2020 from

A lean man in speedos staggers towards me, heaving. Sweat clings to his olive skin as he puffs, “Whatever you do…don’t go to the second waterfall…it’s not worth it…it’s dangerous…I almost didn’t make it.” The man is accompanied by a dwarf, presumably his tour guide who rolls his eyes and marches ahead leaving the shattered man to his misery.

Although we had done our research, I was getting the impression that perhaps the trail to the waterfalls wasn’t as easy …

8 discoveries on Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail

filed15 Nov 2019 from

 

Newdegate on the Public Silo Trail

Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail is a 1000km self-drive journey linking six towns in the Wheatbelt all the way through to Albany in the Great Southern region.

While the silos themselves are worth the drive to admire the artworks created by world-class local and international artists, the journey reveals an abundance of culture, tasty cuisine and luxurious accommodation. The road might be long and dusty, but the welcome is always warm and intriguing.

1. Public Silo Trail

The juxtaposition …

Smiles from the Teardrop Isle: Family Travel in Sri Lanka

filed15 Aug 2019 from

Like a jewel dropped into the ocean, Sri Lanka sparkles bright. Tamer than its Indian neighbour, the spicy isle is heaving with culture, wildlife, gems, adventure, welcoming locals, and exotic beauty every which way.

The figurative doors have flung open and tourists are invited in as one might welcome a long lost friend, or in this case a young friend.

Accommodating restaurant owners cater well to your cherub’s exacting food requirements. Often compared to Indian food, Sri Lankan curries use

Petite Paris

filed10 Jul 2019 from

THERE are few places as lively, vibrant and stimulating as Paris. I’m not entirely referring to the city either as my daughter is named after the City of Light. It seems fitting that the two should meet. But if you shudder at the thought of dragging young children around vast museums, consider these tips on how to toddle around the French capital.

1. Cafe culture: Sip hot chocolate together as you watch people and dogs. Discuss, write, draw and photograph …

Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West wins a GOLD IPPY at the Independent Publishers Book Awards

filed16 Apr 2019 from

I’m thrilled to announce that Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West has won a Gold IPPY award in the Australia/New Zealand Non-fiction category at the Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Although this isn’t my first IPPY rodeo after having won a Gold IPPY for Artists of the Margaret River Region and a Bronze IPPY for Permanent Impressions: a salute to contemporary heroines (also in the Australia/New Zealand Non-fiction category), winning always feels good.

As a writer, I don’t often get a lot of …

Luxury at the Viceroy Bali

filed13 Jan 2019 from

Heaven forbid you only had one night in Ubud, but if you did, then the Viceroy Bali is THE place. No need to negotiate the traffic, simply send for a helicopter to collect you from the airport and deliver you directly to your private villa suspended over the Valley of Kings.

Bali’s architectural grandeur goes without saying but it’s the small things which set the Viceroy apart. My bale perched over a heated infinity pool includes power points and by …

Loads of giveaways at the East Fremantle’s George Street Festival

filed24 Nov 2018 from

 

East Fremantle’s George Street Festival has slipped into the last weekend of Spring this year on the 25th November 2018. Food, drink, competitions, live music, buskers, interactive displays, kids and teen activities, and a local art exhibition continues to draw crowds in the thousands.

Entry is FREE and there’s loads of chances to win prizes:

COMPETITONS

  • Coffee Cup Count ($150 value) – guess how many coffees Ari & Esmay have served since opening 1 year ago… like & guess

Spirited Living at Trinity Gardens, Ubud

filed13 Sep 2018 from

Calling all you devoted Eat Pray Love fans, Spirited Living will set you on a path of self-discovery, or at least a bohemian stay in their rustic Trinity Gardens complex comprising of joglos (a traditional Javanese dwellings), The Den which is ideal for a couple or small family or The Mansion perfect for a lengthy gathering of like-minded souls.

Access is gained by a beautiful 15-minute walk along the Sari Organic path depicting rural life with a smattering of organic …

Culture with Como Uma Ubud

filed13 Aug 2018 from

No matter where you are in Ubud you’re never far away from an artisan whether they be painters, carpenters, weavers, musicians or those crafting batik patterns. Even the wafting incense in the open dining room at Uma by Como seems to sway in time to the smoky jazz playing in the background.

But beyond the handcrafted villas and lush grounds, are entire villages dedicated to creating exquisite art. Batuan Village is famed for its painting style of the same name …

Conscious travel with Kano Sari, Ubud

filed13 Jul 2018 from

Symphonies of cicadas and spine-tingling chanting echoing across the ravine come as part of the package at Kano Sari, along with the meditative snipping of grass by hand; the staff preferring tradition over convenience.

There’s no mistaking where you are as owner Karen Lewis helps support Kutuh Kelod village, where Kano Sari is located, by contributing to the community, embracing Bali’s seemingly endless ceremonies (she even has outfits for her guests to use), placing offerings around the property and hiring …

Six romantically remote WA destinations to woo your honey

filed13 Feb 2018 from

There’s nothing quite like being whisked away to luxury digs where the signature dish is your lover and dessert is, um, well I’m sure you can conjure up some scenarios. Crown Towers, Como The Treasury and Margaret River’s Cape Lodge are obvious choices, but why not go for gold and head to a remote pocket of our huge state where no-one will mind your cries of glory.

Esperance Chalet Village, Esperance

Esperance’s isolation already appeals to those craving an uninhibited …

Have child, will travel

filed27 Jul 2017 from

 

 

As soon as my daughter was born, I knew her arrival would alter the shape of my life for all eternity. Determined to continue travelling amid the routine, tantrums, sickness and fatigue, I figured the sooner I introduced her to the joys of travel the easier it would become. But no amount of planning can prepare you for the inevitable stance a young feisty lady can take. Little Miss Manhattan, indeed!

While there is plenty of information available …

All loved up in Koh Samui

filed27 Feb 2017 from

The night promises all the drama of a tropical storm as palm trees bow to the tumultuous weather gods holding court. Koh Samui’s serene skies make way for the approaching monsoon season as the rain pounds sideways into Manathai Koh Samui’s restaurant Waterline. Everyone takes cover as the wait-staff prepare the restaurant for the impending deluge. There was a time not that long ago when fine dining wasn’t a feature and Koh Samui, was famed for its fishing communities and …

Gently Bentley

filed30 Mar 2016 from

driving

Pulling out of the Bentley showroom in Claremont onto Stirling Highway, I’m very much aware many houses cost less than the Bentley Continental GTC V8 S we’re test driving. However, given the craftsmanship on this elegant beast, it almost seems gauche to mention to money.

Our automatic seat belt presenter embraces us as we head up into the Perth Hills for a night of indulgence. It doesn’t take long to relax into the ventilated massaging leather seats with contrast cross …

How to survive a health retreat

filed02 Nov 2013 from

Whether it’s an ashram in rural India or a 5-star facility in some far flung destination, you’ve done the research and selected the ideal health retreat. Or so you thought as you’re poked and prodded, basted in oil and prescribed foul tasting medicinal potions. Here are 10 reasons to stick it out.yoga

 

  1. Feeling good. No matter what happens, or how tired or confronted or hungry or sick you feel, it passes. You will feel better and be healthier than

Truffle Time

filed29 Jul 2013 from

On the 28th July in 2003 the first ever (well, the first documented one) truffle was found in Western Australia’s Manjimup. Ten years on, the Wine and Truffle Co. is so successful they now export to the US, Germany and France.

I went on a truffle hunt last week and I can still smell that earthy aroma. And as you can see below hunting for truffles is a very simple process…once you’ve selected the right plot of land, inoculated the …

More mooning, aka Nakation

filed07 Jun 2013 from

Photo 7 breast

If you read my post on 10 ways to moon your honey post and it left you wanting more (or is that less?) then these adrenaline pumping activities in the buff may satiate. Or if you’ve got any other suggestions, don’t be shy?

 

Water nymphs:

Public nudity in Asia is generally frowned upon, which makes skinny dipping so thrilling. However, law abiding naked bods should head to Australia to let it all hang out. And while you’re down there, …

10 ways to moon your honey

filed24 May 2013 from

Moon your honey 194

 

Up for a risqué holiday? Then you may want to check out one of these 10 retreats where the romance is high and the clothing in optional.

Afterall, what’s more enticing than your lover frolicking without a care in the world? Well, whisking your beloved off to an exotic location donning little more than a smile would probably trump it. Here are some ways to moon your honey, but you don’t necessarily need to wait until the honeymoon to …

I think I’m stripping Japanese, I really think so

filed09 Mar 2012 from

Sadly, March marks the anniversary of the great Japan earthquake and tsunami and although the devastation and heartache is insurmountable, tourists are returning to Japan. Who can blame anyone wanting to explore the land of sumo wrestling and geishas, where everything is familiar and foreign all at the same time. A culture obsessed with rules and protocol and yet consumed by perplexing, and quite frankly kinky, pasttimes.


Photo 8 bride back

 

Luuuurve Hotels

Cheesy Love Hotels rented by the hour in Japan were …

The launch of Fluffy Towel Travels

filed28 Sep 2011 from

NOW AVAILABLE AT DYMOCKS KARRINYUP & SUBIACO, BODHI TREE & PLANET BOOKS FOR $20

ALSO AT KALM WELLNESS CENTRE WITH TRAVEL TOWELS FOR $40

I will also have a stall at the Festival of Christmas markets at the Perth Cultural Centre on 9th December. Well done to  Events and Beyond for utilising Perth’s public spaces with cultural events  http://eventsandbeyond.com.au/

My travel memoir, Fluffy Towel Travels was launched on 21st October at Quinlan’s Cafe Fremantle in a flurry of wine, …

The Not-so Amazing Race

filed23 Mar 2011 from

 

WELCOME to The Not So Amazing Race. The first part of the Joneses’ challenge is to gain access to an apartment for their stay in Paris. The Jones family comprises of husband and wife, Jason and Simone, and three-year-old Jessica.*

None of the Jones family will speak French on this leg of the race. The final challenge is teamwork. Will Jason and Simone make it to the end as a married couple? Their prize is a month’s use of …

Contiki Tip 34: How to use a map

filed13 Nov 2010 from

So there we all were, waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting for our ferry to take us to Venice. A very exciting prospect indeed as I was dying to see one of the most romantic cities of all time. However, there was nothing very romantic about our situation. We were at the very dodgy port of Patra, aka the Rats of Patras, waiting to board our ferry for a two night cruise to Venice.

We were about halfway through our 34-day …

Paris at the Hilton

filed08 Nov 2010 from

 

The harpist serenades us as lady-boys shoo away flies with white cloths, or are they merely surrendering to the scorching heat?  Celebrating our daughter’s sixth birthday, we’re having lunch at No Problem Restaurant in a wooden structure suspended on stilts over a mangrove on Mactan Island, one of the 7,000 islands in the Philippines.

We’re sampling the traditional dish of Sutukil, a term derived from three words Sugba (SU), Tuwa (TU), Kilaw (KIL) meaning to broil, …

The art of aphrodisiacs

filed03 Nov 2010 from

Aphrodite’s Feast

A bottle of red, a torn baguette, a slab of cheese, crumbled sheets, and laughter. The act of seduction is complete. The scene is simple and the ingredients are bare. Step it up a notch with baked fish and herbs, threads of saffron, a squirt of wine and the juice of a lemon. Handmade linguine slurped in unison or a lobster torn apart and then devoured. Simpler still, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over a voluptuous avocado. Pick …

What Race?

filed01 Nov 2010 from

 

I had lasted 11 hours in my silly shoes, but there was no way I could wear them for the twenty-minute hike back to the car. As my sandals dangled from my hands, the cool tarmac had taken a velvety texture beneath my bleeding feet.

The brisk air itched my sunburnt shoulders and ached every muscle as my hangover kicked in. However, I was healthier than many of the other punters we passed along the way. Some were in vomiting …

Holy Cow! Five Reasons to Not Bustle Past Cowaramup

filed28 Oct 2010 from

If you’re moo-ving around the Margaret River region three hours south of Perth, you may notice some life-size cow sculptures left-over from the CowParade Margaret River, an international event held in over 50 cities. The competition saw local artists hussling up the bovine creatures in all kinds of attire and positions. It seems only appropriate to start your cow hunt in the charming dairy town of Cowaramup, situated on the Bussell Highway and just 10 minutes north of Margaret River.…

Death of a Suitcase

filed28 Oct 2009 from

CJKK20080713 282a

The unthinkable has happened. Like a down-trodden wife, my beloved suitcase, has reluctantly been disgarded for a newer, shinier model.

Clad in navy blue, she was the ideal size for a quick getaway or an extended trip, and very popular among family and friends. I didn’t mind, as I saw this as an opportunity for my suitcase to getaway, even when I didn’t have the chance to myself. Although well-travelled, she didn’t look too shabby considering her lifestyle.

My old …

Reversing the Rite of Passage

filed13 Oct 2009 from

My mother used to have a sticker on her car that read, “Live long enough to be a burden to your children.” By the age of 31, she had six daughters giving herself plenty of time to fulfil this quest. Twenty three years later my parents departed from the Perth International Airport for the very first time. It was obvious they were virgin jet-setters because they didn’t turn and wave as they sailed down the hall to immigration. Everyone knows …

This Parisian Life

filed20 Sep 2009 from

THIS PARISIAN LIFE – PART I

French Beauty

 “One is not born a woman; rather one becomes a woman.”  – Simone De Beauvoir

The French model wears a petticoat crafted from balloons. The model behind her flaps wings styled like a bird of paradise. Men sit rigid in their seats during this Parisian couture fashion parade, admiring these heavenly beauties.

Cameras flash, flattering some of the models and insulting others, who sneer at the audience. We are engulfed in wall-to-wall …