Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Feet? What're those?

Man, it sucks to be walking again. It's been a month with a car... and now my legs get sore after walking for 10 minutes. Okay, okay, I'll quit moaning. haha

Well, me and Dani made it the last part of our trip without any problems. Total mileage: 3763kms. All in all a good road trip. The problem was we didn't have enough time to do everything along the way, two weeks really isn't enough to do the east coast properly. But I'm moaning again already :)

So, after we left Brisbane we ended up only making it to the zoo; the brewery was kind of in the wrong direction. Maybe that was for the best though. The Australia Zoo was great though... and yep, it's the Crocodile Hunter one. We missed the crocodile feedings though, unfortunately. All the other stuff was cool though... snakes, kangaroos, koalas, elephants, dingoes... we got to see the crocs too but they were just sitting around. Here's me doing what I do best...

After that we were kinda doing the same thing up to Townsville that we did on our way up to Brisbane... staying in caravan parks and checking out some of the sights close to the highway. :) I even got in a little bit of cliff-jumping along the way. Saw a snake too... dunno what kind it was though. Got a little irritated at me, especially when I was going for the close-ups... haha

Geez, it's hard to remember what we did the last week! Seems like all we did was eat, drive, sleep and slap at bugs. Heh, it got really buggy in a couple of the caravan parks... there's sand flies over here too! Those bites didn't get as bad as they were in Broome... mostly just small dots, not like the dime-sized red spots I had covering my legs before.

Well, after a nice Christmas in Townsville me and Dani finished off the drive to Cairns. A few good stops along the way; a waterfall with no water (the drive was a blast though), a nice caravan park with a big pool, a couple more (busy) swimming holes and a little tour up around Cairns before heading into town. This is one of the roads south of Cairns...

Most of the trip after Brisbane was through sugarcane country like this, with lots of bananas and mangos up further north. Pretty nice scenery anyways.

So! I've finally got my flight to New Zealand booked; I fly out of Cairns to Christchurch on the 3rd, and am meeting my friend Marc in Queenstown somewhere around the 6th. Dani flies out on the 31st... I figured a couple days to recover after New Years would be the smart idea for me :) My friend Anette (the Danish girl I was hanging out with in Tasmania) is in town, and staying at an all-girls hostel. Maybe she can sneak me in... :)

Well, Happy New Years everyone! I should be on MSN a bit this week so look for me online in the evenings. Later!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas post!

Merry Christmas everyone! Now that it's actually that time it is kinda weird to be in such a warm climate for the holidays, but the lack of Christmas carols everywhere makes up for everything else :) Not that I don't like them, it's just that I can only stand so many elevator-music versions of Jingle Bells. heh.

Well, good to see I'm not missed back home... the alcohol bill is probably a lot less this year too :)

Weird family, huh? hahahaha.

Well, I'm seriously dripping with sweat here, so I'm gonna go hang out in my air-conditioned room and drink some Christmas beers with Dani. Hope everyone has happy holidays!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Now off to Cairns...

Whew! Been pretty busy (for me) the last week, I'm not used to being a tourist! Dani's whipped me into shape though and I managed to fill up my memory card in a week. No stupid little tourist thing is too crappy for me to take a picture of! haha.

Well, we've made it up to Brisbane after 5 days of driving. We've been taking it at a pretty slow pace, and managed to see most of the stuff between Sydney and here I think. Seemed to me it was pretty similar to south of Sydney... not too much tourist buildup (before Byron Bay at least!) and a lot of countryside. I really liked it anyways.

Anyways, to start at the beginning of the week... the bus ride up from Melbourne to Sydney was horrible. Too reminiscent of the long plane ride over... uncomfortable seats and some girl sitting beside you annoying you :) Just kidding Dani. haha. I'm pretty sure it was the other way around... I must've mentioned that "We're definitely getting a car in Sydney" at least a few times on the way up.

Sydney was exactly how I remembered it, but we ended up only staying two nights so I found it easier to bear this time. heh. Saw all the tourist spots again, this time as a real tourist... ended up being a pretty good day around town. Probably because I knew we were leaving the next day no matter what. :) Renting the car was pretty funny... we showed up at 1:00 to pick up the car, and ended up waiting for almost two hours until we got the car. The rental guy was one of the more incompetent people I've dealt with here in Australia... but it was probably a good thing. Our first car we were going to get ended up getting a little crunched by a guy pulling in to return his campervan... that's gotta suck. So instead of the Toyota, we got a Nissan. :)

The next couple days we just took it easy driving up the coast, taking the tourist routes and staying in caravan parks. The third day we stayed in Port Macquarie, where I met up with Ann, the German girl I hung out in Perth and Broome with, and rented the campervan with going up the west coast. Sure was great to meet up with someone I know over here! Ann's over here doing the opposite of me and Dani; she started out in Cairns and is down in Sydney now. I told her I'm going to head down to Sydney for New Years and sleep on her floor in her flat, and I think she believed me. Heh.

The last couple days we finished up the drive to Brisbane, stopped in another caravan park just south of Byron Bay, and drove to a hostel here in town. Byron Bay was cool, there was a good market there and a very nice beach... and we also drove through Surfers Paradise. That place was pretty... garish? Don't know if that's the right word or not, but it was filled with hotels and skyscrapers, seemed very out of place compared to the rest of the coast. Not the kind of place I'd like to stay anyways. This spot was more like it for me... this was a minute's drive from the caravan park we stayed in south of Byron Bay.

Brisbane is pretty nice, for a city. I like Perth better for sure, but this place seems alright. Too hot for my liking, but I'm sure I have it easier than Dani... I was used to hotter than this when I was on the boat, and she just left Canada two weeks ago. heh.

Today I met up with Akbar, another buddy of mine from McMaster, and also a mechanical engineer. Heh, this trip up the coast has been one big reunion for me :) He's been over here in Brisbane since August. We hung out in the city center for a while today, did some shopping, checked out the botanical gardens and the river, then went to an internet cafe and played Battlefield 2. Heh, some things never change.

Tomorrow me and Dani leave to head up to Cairns... and we're planning to stop off at a zoo and a brewery first thing. An excellent start :)


Monday, December 12, 2005

Melbourne... again

Well, here I am in Melbourne... for the third time. It's much better this time around, since I know a lot more people and can talk Canadian to someone again. Even if she's not a hockey fan. :) For those of you who don't know her, Dani's a good friend of mine from university... we lived in residence together first year and a student house second year.

Anyways... the rest of the road trip was pretty good... driving between Esperance and Adelaide was pretty boring most of the time... not a lot to see and a whole lot of driving. After getting on some penicillin I was feeling much better, so that made the trip a whole lot more fun. It took us two and a half days to do that part of the drive... we ended up staying in a couple caravan parks along the way. The first night was the most fun driving, we were trying to make it to the border between Western Australia and South Australia, but it was pretty dark... and there were flocks (packs... gaggles...?) of kangaroos all over. I was driving that leg, and had to do a couple emergency maneuvers to avoid some of them. heh.

Oooh, I'll post some pictures now. My pictures are so much better than any explanation of the trip. In order... a beach outside of Esperance, Lasse and a kangaroo and a nice sunset behind a wind farm.

After staying in Adelaide a couple days we did pretty much the reverse of the last trip I did from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road. Pretty cool this time though, one of the 12 Apostles (the big tourist spot on the road) collapsed about a month after I was there last. Check out before and after. Kinda rained a lot on that part of the drive, but sunny enough to see everything.

Yep... so Melbourne again! We all stayed at one hostel for a couple days when we first got here.. the most ridiculously expensive place I've stayed in my whole time in Austraia... $28 a night. Most places are around $20... I was paying $11 a night in Perth. So, we've moved to another place that's a little dirtier but much cheaper... my fifth hostel in Melbourne actually.

So tonight me and Dani are leaving town finally... I think she's getting a little irratated at me being so lazy all the time. I keep telling her it's not laziness, it's experience! haha. But we're finally moving on to Sydney... taking the bus up overnight tonight. Our (rough) plan is to rent a car in Sydney and travel up to Cairns, then fly over to New Zealand sometime around New Years. At least I think that's the plan :) I'm not much for long-term planning of details. heh. Should be a great time though. Dani's got some ideas of what to do (including Beef 'n Reef... I think it was a tour of a cattle station then snorkelling on a reef... strange), plus she has a platinum Visa card... so I think I'm in good hands :)

Well, gonna burn some more picture CD's for Lasse and Haruna then I'm off to pack. And by pack, I mean nap. :)


Thursday, December 01, 2005

We've got snacks and supplies

Hmm. Well. Darwin kind of sucked, so I decided to change my plans a little. My first two days in Darwin were filled with drinking and sleeping... but only one day after that, I got so bored I went by the employment agency to see if they had any work for a week or so. Yeah, that's boredom. So, my friend Lasse from Broome told me he was leaving Perth last Sunday to head across to Melbourne (where I need to be to meet Dani, woohoo!), and still had a free seat in his car... so I said what the hell, and flew down to Perth last Thursday. :)

So, a couple drunken days later staying at the 'ol backpackers, we left and started heading south from Perth. This was kind of the same route I did last road trip out of Perth, but we're going to have a lot more driving. A lot.

The first night we made it to Margaret River, and stayed at a hostel there for a couple days. Not a bad little town... not too much to do, especially when its raining, but very pretty still. This is the wine country around here, I'll bet you'd have heard of a few wineries here Mom. heh. Lasse tried to do some surfing, but he chickened out because it was too cold (and the waves were massive, and he had to paddle through some rocks... but we'll assume it was the cold. haha).

After relaxing there for a while, we continued on south to Albany. Halfway through the day we made it as far as I'd been, where Lasse and Haruna (a Japanese girl travelling with us) wanted to do that tree climb I did last time I was here. That was cool to do again... and my name along with Stephan and Ann's is still in marker up at the top :)

Another night in Albany, a bit of touring in the morning, and a 500km drive and we're here in Esperence, the last big town before crossing the Nullarbor. We decided to take one more day off, because it's gonna be a long couple days of driving. Here's some of the coast south of Albany...

Ugh. I expected a lot more fun on this trip, but it hasn't been that great so far... the day after we left Perth, I started coming down with something, and my throat has been really sore for the last 4 days now, and I've got no energy. Kinda makes sitting in the car for hours at a time a real chore. I've got an appointment at the clinic in town in half an hour or so... so hopefully it's nothing bad and I can get some good drugs while I'm at it. :) Sure hope so anyways... I hardly got any sleep last night because of the pain and fever. Sigh...

Well, hope everyone's enjoying the snow. Don't worry, I can still enjoy the sunshine :)