Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wallabies, Winding Roads and Wine

Apologies for the lack of posting as of late, but I've just been soooo busy with holidaying I've not had a chance to relax and take a breath! OK, sorry that isn't nice b/c I know most of you are probably reading this whilst sitting at your cubicles or office desks, wishing you were somewhere else - maybe somewhere where you could walk outside in shorts and a t-shirt, somewhere where vineyards line the road home, somewhere where your biggest decision of the day is whether to have a shower before breakfast or after.

Mwwwahhhhhahahahaha - I am LOVING the Life of an Unemployed Traveller..aside from, of course, the dwindling bank account, which I wouldn't be so concerned about except that the Australian government has royally screwed up my tax return and so I wait impatiently every day for a cheque that I should have rec'd in mid-February.

Ah - but for the record, in the first 42 days of my travels I spent an average of $23.08 PER DAY. This includes everything except my airfare (two flights at $130 total). All food, accomodation, other transit, sights, toiletries, etc. I am v. proud of myself as this is below the budget I set for myself.

OK, enough of that - here are the highlights from the last couple of weeks:


Sara and I left our Helping job in Launceston on Friday morning (Feb 23) to meet up with AMo & Craig, who'd come from Sydney for the weekend - friends of mine but all of a sudden I was outnumbered 3:1 by British people. Egads! We picked up our car hire and headed East, towards the coast. Our destination for the night was a small town called Bicheno, one of the many places on the east coast where you can see 'little blue penguins' or 'fairy penguins' come ashore. We had booked a penguin tour and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the penguins as the walked around us and into their burrows.

Saturday morning we headed to the nearby Natureworld so we could see some Tasmanian Devils. I didn't think it would be v. enjoyable, but it turned out to be a huge highlight because there were wallabies (small kangaroos) and kangaroos walking around freely. They would approach us looking for food - so we bought some and fed them by hand - awwww!!! We also got to touch a really cute wombat named Elsie and a Tasmanian Devil and saw emus, ostriches, koalas and snakes.

We headed south to Freycinet Park where we endured a 4 hour hike (11 kms) so we could see Wineglass Bay, which was lovely despite the grayish skies. After that we were all pretty knackered and happy to sit in the car and drive 3 hours to Hobart. It was Saturday night so we headed out for a bite to eat and the Brits for a few gallons of beer, while I sipped my Diet Pepsi (darn New Year's Resolutions!). - sidenote for the record - still not eating junk food or drinking alcohol but seem to be the same bloody weight anyways!!

Sunday we took it easy because some of us (read the hungover ones) really couldn't handle much more than sitting in a car. We drove back to Launceston via the Great Lake route - due to drought it wasn't so Great anymore and seemed to have divided itself into a few Less Great Lakes.We said our goodbyes to Amo & Craig then headed to our hostel on the mountainside (brilliant!!).

Monday we drove to Cradle Mountain (v. famous mountain in Tasmania) and hiked around Dove Lake (6 kms). By the end of that we were pretty tired of hiking and headed back to Launceston to get a good night's rest before our flight the next morning back to the mainland.


The Great Ocean Road is one of the world's greatest driving experience due to the amazing scenery sculpted into the coastline of VICTORIA by seas from the Antarctic. I have to admit, it was pretty breathtaking, although the highlight (12 Apostles) wasn't quite as enjoyable through the fog & mist we encountered.

We were to spend 3 days and 3 nights travelling 1,100 kms along the Great Ocean Road and to Adelaide. We decided we needed another person along for the drive, so I had put up a notice and an English guy the same age as Sara & I ended up coming along - he was good company and Sara enjoyed having another beer-drinking buddy. My favorite part of the trip was from the first day when Sara was driving along a winding road and slowed to a stop because there was a koala just plodding along on the road. EXtremely unusual - they are always way high up in the trees. Anyways I got out and was only about four feet away from it. Did I mention it had a BABY koala on its back???? By this time a few other cars had slowed down to a stop - we were afraid it was going to get hit. It stopped walking and just sat down smiling (Sara insists it was frightened to death but I like to think it was happy for the attention).

We spent a night in Apollo Bay, then saw the big sights on Day 2, spent the 2nd night in Mount Gambier (which rests at the base of a volcano - dormant) and the third night just south of Adelaide in Victor Harbour.


On Friday morning we arrived in Adelaide and said goodbye to our buddy James. We then got picked up by our Helpxing hosts and taken to their home in McLaren Vale, where we are now staying. The area is beautiful - vineyards, olive farms and almond trees everywhere. The family is really really into making good food and we are working it off every day by cycling to the library(for Internet) and doing 4 hours of dragging brush and tree branches from here to there. I am sore all over.

By the way - I will be back in Halifax on June 4th. If anyone has a job for me, it would be much appreciated! Or a place to Charlottetown.

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