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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waking up in Strange Places

This morning I woke up in a weed plantation.

Life's been a biiiiiit of blur the last few weeks... one day I was a school nurse in Melbourne (I administered 4 bandaids, one ice-pack and took one temperature) - the next minute I was headed for Sydney in Davidoff (below) with Jersey (who I met in Cambodia 2 years ago) and Frenchie....

Myle'ne (Frenchie), Ben (Jersey), Davidoff and I

9ish days of fishing for our meals, living on beaches and meeting many an elderly small town aussie (they're a different breed I tell you) later I got a last minute phone call and was hitching the remaining 174km to Sydney for an MGMT concert... it was worth it.... I woke up on Jacqui's (who I met in Berlin 3 years ago) kitchen-couch....

MGMT - and no they don't only have that one song...
 I really planned to find a job in Sydney - honest - but there were far too many unavoidable distractions and I got talked into a couple days break from the job-hunt break. Oh the beach... the beach... the beach....

Licking the Sydney Operah House
 Before I knew it I had joined another van gang and I was headed for the Blue Mountains Folk Festival. There were beards and Banjos everywhere! While the incessant rain poured down I offered my kitchen hand services at the world's best "noddles noodles noodles" bar - I think I may have found my true calling as a onion chopper!

The van gang: Tom and Jerry, Davidoff and Alf
Chopstix noodle bar
 It was only going to be a weekend trip but the north had an avoidable lure and before I knew it I was in Newcastle sleeping in Briony's (Whom I met in Amanzimtoti last year) palace.

Briony and her nifty toilet paper supply
 A night in the park, a night on the beach, a couple of storms later and I was still going North - amazed that my $15 tent resembled any sort of waterproofness at all!!




I became an official member of the Alf (world's best van) crew and joined Ash and Brad (Two English lads who like to play with scissors) on their quest to somewhereness. And then one morning, a week or few later,  I woke up in a Domino's Pizza carpark surrounded by far too many old people and I knew it was time for a change....

Brad and Ash
I hitched to the main road and asked the first car that stopped where I should head next. This is how I landed in South West Rocks where I walked the 8km to the edge of town and found a kangarooy weed field near the gaol. After a very eerie night, I was just glad to wake up alive!

Another four hitches later I find myself in Coffs Harbour with no idea where to go next or what to do when I get there (the job neccessity is still a necessity); but tonight I sleep in a real bed - and that's a strange concept - it's been a while!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Americans - They don't always kill you!

Americans. They scare me a little. But that’s normal… right?? So, when my phone rang and the elderly American couple asked “Are you still looking for a ride to Melbourne then?” I was pretty unprepared. I panicked, hyperventilated and said I’d call back.

I was looking for a ride. Or at least I think I was [I generally am confused at all times about what exactly I’m doing.] But I didn’t know where I wanted to go to from the lovely Adelaide or when or how… normally the biggest challenges in a gypsy’s day are working out what to have for lunch. I was ill prepared.

I returned the call. I accepted. It was set to be a five-day trip to Melbourne in a rental car. By the description it sounded like five days of fine dining and luxury hotels. It sounded terrifying.


I packed my bag and bid farewell to the Homette (soon to be a great hostel in all of Adelaide – ask for Shane) and O-bahned (the must do transport experience in Adelaide) into the city thinking that I really should have taken the time to call mum and write a will before heading off on this daunting new adventure.


I walked and walked and walked a little more and took a deep breath. There they were – Nils and Hannah and our Hundai Getz.

My elderly Americans... The friendly sort...
Little Getzy - our noble steed...
But as it turns out they were German. I should have seen it coming; the whole world seems to be turning German these days. Also instead of the 60-somethings I’d anticipated they turned out to be 30ishers. Fortunately I was not alone - they’d conned Dutch Max into coming too. The 4 of us squished into the teeny two-doored car with our massive backpacks – it made us closest companions immediately!

Nils (left) and Hannah (Right) - my friendly not-americans and cheese and more cheese and olives 
Nils and Max in the Grampians
We drove. We drove. And drove a little further. Almost half an hour down the road we reached the Maclarenvale wineries and the wine tasting began.

Maclarenvale wineries
More of Maclarenvale
I can’t possibly imagine a better road trip to Melbourne – Great food, great wine, great company, great experiences… the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, white kangaroos, dead kangaroos, a billion beautiful beaches and lots of lamas. How do you beat lamas?

White kangaroo at Border Town, Victoria
One of the many lamas in Port Fairy

The German way of dealing with mosquitoes.
Griffiths Island

The start of the Great ocean road



12(ish) apostles

 The moral of the story here – and you should take this to heart – don’t be afraid of Americans. Even if they’re not Americans. 











Monday, March 14, 2011

100 Days on the road. 100 People worth the knowing!

196,503 trees...  9869 toilets... 8765 roadkills....  5060 km... 174 kangaroos... 118 beautiful beaches... 47 jogs... 36 cycles... and finally day the 100th arrived (Friday, 11 March)! That’s 100 days of pure overwhelmingnessness and at least 100 people that made it that splendid!

Below are the people are just some of the people that awesomeness is composed of: