The road trip continued on through Melbourne, where we stayed a couple of days with a backpacker friend, Alison. The luxury of hot showers and laundry was amazing, and we got a brief look around the main city in our short time there.
After dropping Ian off to go WWOOFing and picking up Beppie, another friend from the pink house hostel, we drove down the great ocean road taking in the coastal scenery and fine beaches. Then we moved inland through and Grampians and onto Adelaide. A quick trip south took us too Kangeroo island, an island full of indigenous Ozzie wildlife, including fur seals and koalas, and then today we headed north again and did a bicycle tour of the barrosa valley winerys, which involved lots of free vine and some drunken cycling – amazing fun.
Some cool highlights included heading out into the water in Wilson’s prom (sothernly point of Oz) and seeing a 4-foot shadow. Thinking better safe than sorry, I immediatley fled the water, saying “no idea, but think I saw a tiger shark” to the others as I zoomed past. Then turned around to see the harmless sealion imitate a couple of body boarders and surf a wave right into shore about 2 foot away from me – terror turned to complete joy in seconds.
Also cool was camping out next to some ozzie teenagers and talking what we think of ozzies vrs the real oz, walking along some sweet trails in the mountains and seeing lots of kangeroos on out outdoor travels. Good photos of all these to follow when I’m back in the big city (this Monday onwards…) Then back to the old job hunting !
So it was, on the 8th Jan, that four brave souls – Graham, Ian, Simon and I – headed off on a cross-country tour of South Oz.
So far we have cruised down the coast through Wollengong, Kimla, headed inland to see Minnamurra rainforest and then onto Batemans bay. From here we headed inland to Canberra and now find ourselves in Cooma, on the edge of the Snowy Mountains.
Our first days have been really good and adventurous. Highlights include almost being hit by a large frieht train as we drove through an industrial park, buying a large stuffed tiger as a mascot (Reggie) and exploring and sleeping in outdoors national parks and forests.
And of course, nothing beats waking up minutes from the ocean, going for a swim and making use of the free showers afterwards !
Low points include the staggering number of flys all trying to fly in bits they are not welcome in, and large number of mozzie bites. Scratchy buggers.
Finally – in “making my parents happy” news – I got a hat. Finally. It’s very Indiana Jones and makes me look dead cool. Honest.
ROAD TRIP ! I have decided a change will lift my post-new year blues, and have booked a camper van for 28 days to do a loop from Sydney -> Melbourne -> Adelaide -> Sydney with three other people. Really looking forward to it 🙂
Today is also the day I am taking my Java Certified Web Developer exam – another feather in my CV hat basically. Quite nervous about it, mainly as I havn’t taken any tests for over 3 years now…
… and the boy is a genius ! With a score of 52 out of 59, I am now a Sun certified Web component developer for J2EE. Which is nice – so nice that I decided to shave my head as preparation for a month on the road.
The rest of the xmas period was consumed with beach trips and a labourers BBQ party I have little or no recollection of ! This all led up to the highlight of my travels – new years eve overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Situated on blues point, we went down with smuggled alcohol and lots of picnic food. Then began a superb 12 hour summer festival-esque party with around 70-80 backpackers, some tunes and a guitar. The photos speak better than I could the wonerful atmosphere and immense drunkeness reached on that fine night, and it is certainly one to remember.
My plans now are to uproot myself for a few weeks, travel around South Australia for a little while, and then head back to Sydney late Jan / early Feb for jobs. The only possible flaw with this plan would be missing the big day out festival – we’ll see.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone, and I hope to see many of you again in 2004.