Saturday, March 14, 2009

Australia

Been in Oz for about a month now and really enjoying it. Here are some thoughts

* Kinnari and I decided to rent a car and drive around Oz. The original plan was to go from Sydney to Airlie Beach and down to Adelaide, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and back to Sydney. This trip in time would be equivalent of driving from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida. Distance wise, it would be New York to LA. Australia roads have lower speed limits, even for major highways and when you leave those major highways you are lucky if the road is paved. That plan changed as we drove, it ended up being from Sydney to Cairns, down to Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Blue Mountains and back to Sydney and we had to add two days to make it all work. When we had to drive, we averaged 12 hours a day. Crazy, but a good trip.

* Frasier Island is a really cool place, a bit expensive. The only really cool attraction is Lake McKenzie. Picture water as clean as your bathtub (even cleaner for some of you...) surrounded by white sand beaches and tropical rain forest. The lake is fresh water, it's got a mineral bath feeling and when you come out, you feel so clean. The water is crystal blue, one of those must see before you die places.

* Whitsunday Islands is as beautiful as I remembered it. Crystal blue water surrounded by Islands, full of fish and life. Whitehaven beach is just magical, white sand, blue water, fish swimming in the shallows and aggressive sea gulls.

* In Melbourne we discovered the "Melbourne Right Turn". So you thinking what? Remember in Oz they drive on the left side, so a right turn in Oz crosses on coming traffic and a left turn doesn't. This Melbourne Right Turn makes a New Jersey jug handle look like child's play. So to make a Melbourne right turn, you get on the LEFT side of the road, drive INTO the intersection, STOP halfway in the intersection and than WAIT for the other light to turn green, ie wait for your light to turn red and the crossing light to turn green and then you turn right. Essentially you make a right turn from the left side of the road when your light is red.

* Kinnari bought a hair dryer and she blew it on the first night. Her dryer was for 150V-200V, Australia is 240V. I come into the room and she goes 'Do you smell smoke?' and I reply yes and she tells me her hair dryer burned. Now, I've never appreciated a hair dryer before, just extra weight, wasted money etc. But with long hair, I can sorta see why you would want one. Waiting for your hair to dry is a bit annoying. This brings me to my next point. My hair is long enough to put it in pony tail. So I had to buy hair ties. I walked into Target and they had many hair ties. Purple, Pink, Yellow, Orange, etc... After much consternation, I decided on Black...

* You know you've been traveling a long time when:
  1. Your cloths are becoming thread bare and are disintegrating.
  2. Your boots fall apart.
  3. You've gotten used to living out of your backpack.
  4. Home is where you make it and 'home' is just a concept in a far far awayland.
  5. When other travelers ask you for advice on where to go.

Well, that's it for now folks!

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