Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Long way home

Written 6th March 2023
Soundtrack: Alt-j -Matilda

The date has arrived: March 6th. It's crazy how much your life can change in a day, to go from baking in the hot Melbourne sun, to arriving in white skyed London... 4°. Going home is so much more than just getting on a plane and seeing family again, it's the smell of England that once went unnoticed, the blue road signs, the familiar accents, the quaint pubs ( we do pubs best), the cups of tea and toast with lurpack, and adjusting to life without your trusty backpack. I'm excited about the simplest of things, like cardigan shopping, cuddling up with my cat, hugging mum, and being greeted by the neighbours. As you may tell I'm feeling quite nostalgic at the moment, with 14 hours thinking time before my next flight, to dwell on the amazing 5 months I just had, and how I may never be back to this country. But leaving somewhere is always difficult, and makes you think about your life and how, really, you can take it and live it anywhere in the world you wish. 

Highlights of Australia

Fraser Island, our 4 wheel drive family, card games at the campsite, white sands and blue waters. 
Magnums night club, Airlie beach
Whitsundays snorkelling, discovering a new world under sea level
Skydiving mission beach
End of the world party fun with Damien, Kelly and Pappinbarra locals
Christmas Eve BBQ and Christmas Day, sooo much cheeeeese!
Sydney- New Year's Eve all day in the park
Body boarding at Byron Bay
Australia Day, and stumbling into an Elvis gig
Melbourne city exploring; buskers, markets, street art and salsa
Climbing Kings Canyon, and Uluru
Sunset and sunrise in the Outback, with beer and champagne and new friends
Exploring the underground world of Cooper Pedi
Les Miserables at the moonlight cinema, Melbourne Botanical Gardens. 

Now I'm ready to go home, I just wish Clare, Laura, Hannah and Ray were coming with me!

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang 

Goodbye Australia. You did me proud

Friday, 15 March 2013

Off Outback

Febuary 9th- 15th
Soundtrack: Awake My Soul- Mumford & Sons

Miles of empty land,  vast red grounds  sprouting brittle yellow bush, and towering orange rocks claim most of Australia's central land, a space bigger than Europe. I said goodbye to  Edward and Clare, and it was time to discover it for myself, by myself!

I was picked up from Alice Springs at 6.45 where I met tour Guide Julian and the first of my tour group Kim from Germany. Followed by Manon (Dutch), Alex (English), Facu ( Argentinian), Keimo (French), Liz ( French) and Jean from Canada. A lovely little collection of people and new friends to share the trip with! 

At times I felt like I was discovering a new planet; a day trip to Mars, ( only.. with a lot more life!) Camels roamed around freely, wild horses dashed off at the sight of our vehicle, there were eagles, kangaroos, wallabies, spiders and brown snakes; the most poisonousness in Australia. And despite all these dangers we still came across 2 female hitch-hikers alone on a 10 hour stretch of road. It blows my mind how 'care-free' they were, when realistically  the danger of them dehydrating was very real. Plus, any old crazy person could have picked them up! Luckily, we passed at the right time. That night we drove all drove to a camp-site near to Kings Canyon, shared Spaghetti Bolognaise and a crate of beers.
4 of the 5 nights, we slept in swags; a canvas sleeping bag on the ground, without cover or shelter from any of the creepy crawlies. The first night Facu climbed into his swag, and out crawled a hand sized centipede, 'aaah so many legsss!!'  

The 4a.m starts were quite a struggle, and by day 4 I was ready to sleep for a week, but instead we just had pizza and got very drunk! On day 3 I woke in the middle of the night to find 4 dingoes circling our camping area, and somehow managed to tell my self to ignore it and go back to sleep. I seem to be a bit braver than I imagined!

Kings canyon, Uluru and Cooper Pedi were a highlight. Cooper Pedi is an Opal mining village, where a large portion of the residents live underground, to avoid heat and sand storms, it was like Hobbiton, but without the greenery!

Heat robs you of energy, and flies attack from all angles, so why do we actually pay to go there? This is why-