I arrived in Noosa around noon and checked into a very nice backpackers right on the beach. Noosa is a very cute town and the beach is very nice.
I went swimming and tanning and then back to my room. My roommates were two English chicks which were actually nice for a change and a 29 year old German girl. We talked a bit and went to the bar for drinks and then the German girl and I went to the movies and had Chinese.
Noosa is very expensive and I am worried about the money, I will probably have to get another job.
The next day I went surfing with the Noosa Surf School. I didn't like the lesson, but it was a good group, I met two Swiss chicks and an Italian guy. After surfing we all stayed at the beach. In the evening I went for dinner with a Norwegian guy, the German, another Swiss and one from Denmark. I talk to Tor (Norway) and he said he is going up North too, so we decided that we are gonna go together.
my Norwegian travelling buddy Tor and I
We went to the Koala Bar where I met Francesco from surfing and it was a lot of fun and good live music!
Francesco, me and Jeanine
On Thursday at nine o'clock Tor and I left to go to Agnes Water/Town of 1770. It was a good roadtrip even though the radio didn't work, but we had a good talk. We stopped in Childers for lunch and got to Agnes Water at 3 o'clock.
Tor on our lunchbreak in Childers
Agnes Water/Town of 1770
Agnes Water is a very small town and there is only one hostel, it is just starting to become popular so there's not many backpackers here. Here you can only do 3 things: 1. RELAXING 2. SURFING 3. DIVING.
Agnes Water Surf Shop
The Banana Backpackers is one of the nicest hostel's I have ever been to, it's cozy and personal.
the Banana Backpacker in Agnes Water
We went for a swim and cooked dinner together. Here you meet alot of people cause almost everyone here is travelling on their own. And half of the people in the hostel are Canadian which I think is great.
me and Mel from Canada
The next day we had surflessons for 16.50! Cheapest surflesson ever! The beach here is very nice and perfect waves for beginners! The two surfcoaches were great! They actually explained to us, how a wave builds up, how to catch one and they explained to us every part of the board!
It was a 3 hour surflesson and it was a lot of fun! Then Tor and I went for lunch and hopped in the car to go to Town of 1770! The town is called 1770 because that's where Captain Cook explored Australia and that's where he set ashore. There's only one cafe there, but it's right on the Ocean and it's beautiful.
the Red Rooster enjoying the sun
And night we talked to the Canadians and then one of the Surfcoaches showed up and invited us to a part at his house! So half of the hostel went to his house! It was fun, we sat on the veranda, had a few drinks and talked about surfing and stuff. Then Whitey went surfing in the middle of the night.
sitting on the veranda at Whitey's
On Saturday I hired a board for 5 Dollars and went surfing by myself. There was the whole town in the water and everyone seems to be good at surfing here! So a couple of guys showed me what to do and helped me, they were nice and I had a great time! Even the kids here are great surfers.
gosh where are the waves?!
Oh no, I am gonna kill the kid!
you can always try, right?
At night there was a party at the Rock Cafe, the only place in town and a whole bunch of us went there. It was funny to see the People of Agnes Water dancing, it was like they had never been to a party before.
I like it alot here, everyone is nice, you meet new people everyday and a few stay here longer, it's very relaxing and the best place to go surfing. I might stay longer cause they have some work available, it depends when I can start though.
Sunday was just a day off the beach because I got sunburned, so I went on the free trip for one hour around Agnes Water and Town of 1770 that was good.
beach at 1770
I met a girl from Hong Kong and we decided to cook together in the evening! Culture exchange! So we went for lunch with a whole bunch of other people and then rented the Notebook and maybe 15 people watched it and they all cried, it was a sad movie!
Richard and I at lunch
So we cooked dinner May and I and it was delicious, everyone that tried it liked it! There's a Swiss girl from Fribourg here and she is very cool, she is travelling with 2 German chicks and one Canadian. We talked forever and I went to bed.
Andy, Miriam and James...crazy!
I got the job here and I started today, Monday February 20 and it was sooo easy, I had to sweep, mop the lobby and that was it. I get free accommodation for that, free internet, free washing, I get to go on the Kayaking Trip for free and also the Scooter. And surfboard hire for one day is only ten bucks. So I am gonna stay a few more days and go surfing everyday. I just really like it here, I don't even wanna leave.
After cleaning I went surfing which was fun as always, but the ocean was a bit rough and that didn't make it easier. But I am gonna try to go surfing everyday while I am here.
In the evening I cooked dinner for 2 Canadians, 2 Germans, 2 Swiss, 1 Chinese and one English guy. Spaghetti bolognaise, it took me forever, but they seemed to like it.
We talked till late and James was playing the guitar, Miriam the Swiss girl was singing and it was just a very relaxed atmosphere.
I slept in the hammock because in every bed of our room there were bedbugs and that was just gross, so we all slept in the hammocks. I didn't get much sleep though.
at breakfast, still tired
The day after that I cleaned again and then we went for lunch all together about 15 people, it was good. After that I went surfing, which was great and I actually caught some waves.
since we don't have to work, we might as well all go for lunch together
On Wednesday I wanted to go surfing, but they had a surfing competiton at the beach so we weren't allowed in. So I went on my free Kayaking tour at 4 o'clock. My camera is broken so I couldn't take pictures the last few days which really pisses me off! We saw alot of wallabies and Kangaroos and then we went into the the water in the town of 1770. It was great fun kayaking in the ocean, we stopped at a secluded beach and had some wine and chocolate and then we went wave kayaking out in the ocean, it's like surfing, but in the kayak. I flipped my kayak a few times and hurt my foot on a rock, but it was worth the pain. After that we saw dolphins 1 meter away from the shore, that was the best thing ever and on the way back to the land they we're swimming beside the kayak's! CUTE! But since my camera is broken I don't have any pictures to prove it.
After kayaking 20 people of our hostel got invited to a boat party, some guy here has got a yacht and he invited all the good people!
the boat we partied on, Lady Elliot
Miriam, Sarah, David, Ralph, Ivan and Lindsay
Switzerland, Canada, Germany, England, England, America
I got really drunk, which I shouldn't have because when I got back to the hostel, I couldn't find my bag with my wallet, both carkeys, credit cards, cellphone and 200 Dollars cash! I was really mad at myself, but I didn't think that anyone stole it cause it's not that kinda place and not that kind of people! It was a fun night though just without a happy ending.
no, don't remember this one
me before losing all my belongings
Today (Thursday) the guy from the boat brought my bag back with everything in it and I was sooo happy.
Then I went to the beach with David a German guy, I wanted to go surfing but Whitey wasn't there so I couldn't get a board.
At 3.30 I went on my free scooter tour. And I got to drive one of the Choppa's! They look like Harleys and they are so much fun! The whole trip was awesome except when there was a blacksnake on the road which I didn't see at first and I ran over it, I liftet my legs up cause I didn't hit it's head and I thought it would bite me! We stopped and checked and the snake was dead and I wasn't bitten by it! If I were I wouldn't be writing this right now! Puh!
The coolest thing was that the guy that owned the business offered me a job as a tourguide! Drive the scooters everyday for 3 hours and get money for it! Hahaha isn't that like one of the coolest and easiest jobs in the whole world??!! But I had to turn the offer down because tomorrow I am leaving Agnes Water and James (Canada) and Andi (England) are coming with me which will be great fun because they are such cool guys. They are dive masters and are looking for work in Airlie Beach. I will miss everyone here cause it was just the best place ever and it was more like a summercamp than anything else!
the BBQ on our last evening
the whole Agnes crew digging into their food
happy b-day Dan
Thanks everyone for the good conversations and the shitload of fun! Eva and James, see you in Ireland, you guys rock! Miriam, we will go partying in Switzerland! James and Andy to a geat Roadtrip! Melanie, Jenny und Nina see you in Airlie Beach! Tor maybe you will be my next travelling buddy again. And everyone else have lots of fun!
Friday Morning we left at 8.30 a.m. and drove off to Rockhampton where we had Mc Donalds which I haven't had in months! Anyway we switched drivers every 2-3 hours and we just had a great roadtrip! We wanted to stop in McKay first, but there was nothing there so we kept on driving to Airlie Beach!
The 9 hours drive to Airlie Beach went by quick and we had alot of fun driving.
in my lovely car the red rooster
When we arrived in Airlie Beach we got some alcohol and went partying! There's tonns of backpackers in Airlie and at the Magnum Bar they had a wet t-shirt competition which I found gross and slutty, but tastes are different:-) Oh and the coolest thing is we met alot of people from Agnes Water, Tor, Jenni, Nina, Mel, Sarah, Katherine...how small is Australia?!
The last couple of days we haven't been doing much, I went to the marina everyday to ask for jobs on boats, but I don't think it's looking good!
On Saturday evening we went out for pizza and met two crazy but lovely American girls, Vivian and Kim. They are going to uni in Townsville and were here for the weekend. We told them about the jelly wrestling competition and that the winner gets $500! It didn't take long to convince them! They were actually pretty good and Kim made it to the semi-finals! Even though they were bruised and hurt they still talked to us!
Kim kicking the s*** out of that chick
the girls and us after the jelly wrestling competition
The next night there was a pole dancing competition at the Mass Club and we all went there! It wasn't actually that bad, if you compare it to the wet t-shirt competition! It was a very fun night out! And we had a photo session! There were about 200 pictures taken that night:
pole dancing competition
Kim, me and Vivian
me and my boys Andy and James
gotta love the pole
me and Kim
To bad you guys had to leave today, but I will definitely come to Townsville and stay and party with you! Check out Viv's homepage for more pictures: http://www.xanga.com/xinkykoo
when will it be nice again?!
Tuesday was really cool cause Eva, Yineth and Anna came from Agnes Water and they checked into the same room as James, Andy and I! So we were reunited! At night I cooked a pasta dinner for Mel, Eva, Yineth, Jamie, Anna and Jenny.
da girls and I
After that we actually wanted to go partying but we ended up on the porch and met some guys from Israel and talked about all the sad and happy things in each of the countries and James played guitar.
on the porch at Magnums
I couldn't find a job on a boat so I just booked my trip for Thursday on Tongarra. I think Tongarra is one of the best boats, it's actually a catamaran. They guy at Peterpan's gave me 80.- discount on the trip because he felt bad for me..hahaha!
Wednesday we all slept in, had subway, slept some more, packed my stuff, had pizza and then I met a really cool Canadian from Montreal. The canucks are everywhere!
On March 2 I went to Abel Point Marina at 3.30 and met my group of 23 people and the Skipper Noel and Deckhand Ben from my sailing boat Tongarra. It was a good mix (4 French Canadians, some English, one Swiss chick, German's and some Swedish and Irish people) and i liked everyone from the beginning which is unusual;-)
the whole group
Sweden, Switzerland, Canada
We sailed to the spot where we spent the night and had a very nice dinner: BBQ fish in a butter/herb sauce and mash potatoes, it was delicous. Oh and we also saw dolphins, they we're swimming beside the boat, 4 of them.
We had a few drinks and danced and then they put up a tent and we all slept on the deck.
I couldn't sleep because the Sea was rough and it was windy and then we had to get up at six and went to Whitehaven Beach, the nicest beach in the world.
We went swimming, but we had to wear stinger suits because it's stinger season and they are could cause death. After Whitehaven we had a very nice lunch and then went snorkelling! It was nice, but I have seen better in Thailand and in Egypt. There wasn't anything I haven't seen before.
the Tongarra infront of an island
After that we went to another snorkelling place and then we stayed close to a beautiful little island and watched the sunset!
We had spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and Ben the deckhand offered me a job on the boat! Bad timeing cause a week ago I would've been the happiest person, but I am leaving on March 5 because I have to be in Cairns to sell my car in a week, so I have a tight schedule. Anyway we had alot of fun cause Ben is such a dickhead. I was very very tired though. That night I had a good night of sleep and we had to get up at 8 o'clock, that was alright. At nine we we're already snorkelling!
little island where we went snorkelling
Oh and I saw this very big fish and took a pic of it and then I swam away and it was following me, then I swam faster and it was still there! It was stalking me! I didn't know there were acutally fish that stalk you! I had to get out of the water that's how freaky it was!
Freddy the stalking fish, creepy isn't it?!
Then Ben started to throw cake around and splashed water at us! So the whole boat went crazy. We waved and yelled at all the other boats!
Ben being crazy as always
Tongarra sure got the best crew and is the best party boat! I had a good time!
the peace flag and the skull
On Sunday March 5, James, Andy and I left Airlie Beach after 9 days and drove to Townsville. There we caught the ferry to Magnetic Island and checked into a sweet hostel called the base. It's right on the beach and the dorms are little huts.
the little huts at the base backpackers
We also met Chen and Itai from Israel and good old Anna and Eva again! We had a fun night cause each of us got a free jug of cocktail and then the Israelis, Eva and I danced like morons.
Magnetic Island is called Magnetic because it interferred with Captain Cooks compass in 1770. It is also supposed to be the sunniest spot on the Queensland Coast with 360 sunny days! That is hilarious because it's been raining the last couple of days and there isn't really anything to do in this hostel.
The first day we slept in, hung around the pool, I started reading a book and that was it. I went to bed at 8.30 because I wasn't feeling well.
Andy chilling by the pool
The next day we wanted to hire a topless car to go around the island and then at 10 o'clock the guy called and cancelled because of the weather! GREAT! So we did an island tour for 2 hours which wasn't bad, but couldn't top the topless car. We fed wild rock wallabies, fish and even saw a Koala.
there were about 20 of them
On Magnetic Island and you see Townsville
At 11.15 we caught the ferry back to Townsville where Andy, James and I split up. They are staying at a hostel and then going straight to Cairns tomorrow to look for dive work. I met up with Oliver (Walter's son) and we went for lunch. I washed all my clothes, which was luxury cause washing costs alot when you're backpacking.
Then I went to the movies which I haven't done in a month. I watched hostel which I probably shouldn't have because now I am even more scared to be a backpacker. Wolf Creek and Hostel make you wanna win the lottery and stay at 5***** hotels and probably hire your own bodyguard.
and this would be: Townsville
I cooked dinner for Oliver and his roomate that was the least I could do for letting me stay at their place for a couple of nights.
On Thursday I went downtown and wandered around abit, I forgot my camera so I thought, let's go to the movies again. I watched Pink Panther, which was hilarious, I haven't laughed that much in a while. Oliver went to work after uni so me and Travis had supper together and watched a weird movie.
Today I slept till 1.30! It's crazy! And then I went to the strand, that's a 4km drive or walk along the beach and I went swimming in the rock pool.
I left Townsville at 10 a.m. to drive to Mission Beach which wasn't a fun drive at all because my radio didn't work and it was raining the whole time. When I got there I was a bit shocked, the town itself is very tiny, Mission Beach itself is 14km long. I checked into the creepiest hostel ever and even though there were other people in the hostel they gave me a 8 share dorm and I was in there by myself.
Anyway I checked the place out and there was nothing to do at all and no people around, so I watched a movie, had dinner and went to bed. I was really scared because there was the biggest storm ever and I was by myself in that big dorm and that after I've seen hostel! I maybe slept 2 hours, got up and left Mission Beach as soon as possible to drive to Cairns.I suddenly had to stop because there were big birds on the road, they are called cassowaries. I got out of the car to take pictures and then they ran away. Lucky me cause someone told me later that they are very agressive toward humans and they could harm you or even kill you.
I got to Cairns and I was afraid it would be difficult to drive there cause it's another city but it wasn't at all, it took me a while though to find a backpackers that had free carpark.
When I walked down the Esplanade I bumped into Valerie and Alex the two French Canadians that were on my sailing trip. It turned out that they wanted to sell their van aswell and we went together to put up flyers for our cars. It is very hard to sell a car in Cairns this time of year. There's too many cars around and no buyers!
I also met up with Andy, James and Anna and we all went to dinner together with the French Canadians. Then we danced a bit went to the Irish Pub and I went back to my new home.
stop Valerie I am tired
The next day I went to the lagoon with Anna, had supper with Jodie (the English stripper from Arilie Beach:-) and went to the movies with Andy, James, Anna, Valerie and Alex.
We decided since I still have my car we could go on a last roadtrip to Port Douglas and cape Tribulation.
Port Douglas, Daintree, Cape Tribulation
On Tuesday we (Anna, James, Andy, me and the Red Rooster) drove to Port Douglas where we had lunch and checked out the little town and the marina.
at the carwash baby
Before that we stopped in Kuranda and walked to the Barron Waterfalls which were fantastic, even though it was raining like always.
the Barron Waterfalls
The Captain Cook Higway to Port Douglas is very nice cause it's along the ocean and the scenery is great.
nice scenery on the way to cape Tribulation
We then kept on going cause we wanted to get to Cape Tribulation to stay the night there. We had to take the ferry over the river and there were crocodile warnings everywhere, we really wanted to see one but didn't.
one of the crocodile warnings
Suddenly about 20 km before Cape Tribulation we got to a road which was flodded and we didn't know if we should drive through it or not because the water was half a meter high.
the flooded road where the Red Rooster broke down
We watched the Jeeps and Trucks and they almost got washed off the road so we had to turn around and stay in Daintree over night. The hostel was called Crocodillus and they were little huts in the rainforest, it was kinda cute but then again a bit creepy.
We met some French people and had supper with them and after happy hour we went back to the hut, listened to music and then fell a sleep.
On Wednesday Morning we left early because of the tide, we wanted to cross the creek without getting stuck or even washed off! We got to the creek and I said to Andy who was driving, go and don't stop. We got to the middle of it and the Red Rooster died. James and Anna got out of the car as quick as possible and started pushing the water almost getting into the car, that's how high it still was. We made it, but when we wanted to start the car it wouldn't start. James said the engine has to dry out, we just wait awhile. It just wouldn't start even when we put it in 2nd gear and pushed it. I got really worried because I put a lot of money into that car and I wanna get some out of it when I sell it. This local guy stopped and helped us and then the Red Rooster drove away to Cape Tribulation.
Even the 4-wheel-drives were pretty deep in the water
We stayed at PK's Junglevillage and when for a walk in the rainforest and to the Cape and then it started raining which was just great like always.
me waiting for the rain to stop
I cooked supper for the roadtrip crew and there was a full moon party at the hostel (even though it wasn't full moon yet) but I just couldn't be bothered to go there.
On Thursday we left early in the morning and I drove the whole way back because it's my last trip with my little Red Rooster. I put it in the carmarket today and I really hope I can sell it in the week that I have left in Cairns because on March 23 I have my flight to Alice Springs and my tour to Adelaide on March 26.
I put my car for sale for $ 1500 at first and put up flyers everywhere put nobody was interested and then on Friday I went down to $ 1200 and when I went up to the carmarket (it's on a roof) I wanted to start the car put I had left my lights on so my battery was dead! Hahaha all the guys were laughing put they helped me jumpstart and charge it. I have new friends now, it's the carmarket friends, they are all guys about 8 of them and they are all trying to get rid of their vehicle. And since we are all up there all day we hang out and talk about stupid things. Anyway I had to take the Red Rooster for a drive to charge the battery and went to a cardealer to ask what he would give me for the car! He said 100 bucks! That is an insult!
So I decided that Saturday is gonna be the day that I am selling my little darling! I went up there at 9 a.m. changed the price to $ 1000 and then this guy called me and was really interested and then he came to check it out and saw that it has NSW number plates and suddenly said well I'll give you 200 bucks for it! I told him to piss off! After lunch a man and his daughter (also Australians=trouble) checked my baby out and I said well do you wanna testdrive it and he said yes. He drove it around the carpark and then he said I'll give you 800 bucks for it! And I just said yes! I know now that I should have fought to get 1000 or at least 900 Dollars, but I am just glad I sold it and now I can actually enjoy my time here and not worry anymore! I was really sad to say goodbye to the lil'Red Roosta, I told the guy to take care of my baby! hahaha! And then I went to the lagoon for a celebration swim.
the lagoon in Cairns
Anyway on Thursday Anna left Cairns, On Friday James, he went back to Byron Bay to go diving and I was kinda sad to say bye cause we have been travelling together or been together since Agnes Water and that is almost 5 weeks. On Sunday morning Andy is leaving so we are gonna go out tonight.
Today Sunday March 19 I was supposed to go out to the Great Barrier Reef. I got up at 7 o'clock was there at 8 and then they told us they can't go out because there's a cyclone coming! Great! You watch out cyclone because you've ruined my day!
Monday March 20, I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning because of a noise. I knew Cyclone Larry was coming, but that would be between 7 and 8 a.m., but the wind was already that strong that trees fell down, so I got up went outside and watched it for a bit until it got too strong and I went back inside. We all listened to the radio and they said the cyclone was now a category 5 which is like Hurricane Katrina. But it would hit Innisfail (100 km south of Cairns).
Between 7 and 8 a.m. it was the worst and then one of the windows in the hostel fell down and we had a nice little breeze in the kitchen. Even after 8, the winds were very strong because the cyclone was heading inland. We were trapped in the hostel until eleven and once I saw the situation was better I grabbed my camera and went outside for a walk. There wasn't too much damage, but not many trees and street signs survived.
Now they are saying there is a Cyclone called Wati from Fiji coming and they are not sure if it's gonna hit Australia or not. I hope not because I have to catch my flight on thursday to Alice Springs.
3 more down
that bike won't be of much use anymore
Australia's Cyclone Larry Much Stronger Than Katrina
March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Cyclone Larry, the strongest storm to hit Australia in 30 years, smashed into the Queensland coast today with about 40 percent more force than Hurricane Katrina at landfall.
on the street in Cairns
The highest recorded winds for Cyclone Larry, a category 5 storm, were about 180 miles per hour (290 kilometers per hour), compared with 125 mile per hour winds for the Category 3 Katrina when it struck land, said James Vasilj, a spokesman with the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
``If a Category 5 hurricane like Larry hit any populated area of the United States, the damage would be absolutely catastrophic,'' said Frank Lepore, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
``You're talking major wall failure on high-rise buildings. A Category 5 hurricane could lift a 2000-pound car and deposit it on a 4-foot-high wall,'' Lepore said in an interview. ``A 150-160 pound person wouldn't stand a chance.''
More than half the buildings in Innisfail, Queensland, a town of 8,000 people, were damaged by Larry, and about 30 people suffered minor injuries, according to Queensland's Department of Emergency Services.
mainstreet in Innifail
``It looks like an atomic bomb hit the place,'' Innisfail Mayor Neil Clarke said on Australian television, the Associated Press reported. ``This is more than a local disaster, this is a national disaster.''
the school in Innisfail
Hurricane Katrina caused the evacuation of 1.5 million people, according to the Hurricane Insurance Information Center. More than 1,300 people died and more than $87 billion so far has been earmarked for the rebuilding and recovery efforts.
Category 5 storms must have winds of at least 155 miles per hour. The storms are known as typhoons in the Pacific Ocean, tropical cyclones in the Southwest Indian Ocean and hurricanes in the Atlantic.
The Great Barrier Reef
Today Wednesday March 22 I got up again at 7 o'clock for my trip to the Great Barrier Reef. When I looked out the window I couldn't belive my eyes! It was raining! Why are you doing this to me, first I can't go because of the cyclone and now it's raining! I went to the pier anyway and the crew said they were going, it gonna be rough, but if I wanted to go I could! I thought to myself, well you might aswell go because you never know when and if you gonna come back here.
He was right, the trip to the reef was more like white water rafting and even though I never get seasick, I got really seasick! When we got there I jumped straight into the water because I really wanted to see sharks! The water was very cloudy because of the cyclone and I only had a view of maybe 2 meters but then I saw a shark, I was very excited and wanted to take a picture, but he swam away so I tried to catch up with him cause I really wanted that pic, but he was just way to fast! Anyway it was nice I saw huge fish, very colorful ones, a manta ray and another shark which got away as well.
So I ended up with no shark pictures but still I've seen alot, what I haven't seen are turtles which is to bad, but it was worth going and way better than the whitsunday snorkelling.
I had my flight from Cairns to Alice Springs on March 23 at 11.55 a.m. It was only 2 hours and when we were over the Outback the view was amazing.
the view from the airplane
I met this guy who is actually Swiss, but lives in Germany and we both checked into the Melanka. We went and checked out the Alice town centre which is a joke! This place is shit, there's nothing to do and there's only aboriginals who just hang around and drink. I thought to myself what am I gonna do the 3 days I am here before my tour starts.
We went for dinner at the Melanka bar and then I looked around and saw Suki. Suki went to language school with Jenni and I've last seen her in Brisbane and didn't even know she was still in Australia. She was very surprised as well when she saw me.
surprise, it's Suki
We went to Bojangles and danced, it was a fun night.
The next day the German guy left and I met some Israeli girl who lives in Canada and we went for supper with Suki and her friend.
Suki left to go to Darwin and I am going on my tour tomorrow Sunday 26. I can't wait because I am just bored in this town. There's more to do in Lyss (my town)!
Outback Tour - Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Olgas
On Sunday March 26 I got picked up by my tourguide PJ and his Mulga Bus. I met my group for the next 3 days, out of the 21 people there were 7 Germans, 7 English and 7 other nationalities.
We left Alice Springs and drove via West McDonell Ranges through the Outback.
PJ stopped twice because he's seen a few lizards that he wanted to show us and we even got to see a thorny devil which are rare.
a thorny devil, weird eh?!
After 5 hours we got to the famous Kings Canyon (aborignal name-watarrka). Our first walk was 6 km and the first bit was very steep and I thought I would die because it was 12 o'clock and 37 degrees and I couldn't breathe. When we were on top of the Canyon it was wonderful! Best view ever and in the middle of the Canyon we got to Garden Eden where we went swimming in waterhole which was pitchblack.
After the 3 hour walk we left Kings Canyon and drove another 2 hours to Curtain Springs where everyone (except for me) got alcohol at the gasstation and we were off to a cattlestation which is a 1000 square meters big.
me on the huge cattlestation
There were no toilets nothing we just camped in the sand and got swags to sleep in (swags are like big sleeping bags with a matress in it).
PJ cooked kangaroo which of course I didn't eat. After supper we sat around the fire told some stories and went to sleep.
the whole group around the campfire
It was very cold at night and everytime a gust came I had sand in my mouth. So disappeared in my sleeping bag hoping I had enough oxygen to survive the night:-)
On Monday we had to get up at 5.30 and left camp at 6.15. We drove into the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Nationalpark where we went to a lookout where we could see the Olgas (aborignal name-Kata Tjuta)36 a series of 36 rock domes. The Olgas are the sacred site for the aboriginal men and Uluru is the sacred site for the women.
The Olgas - Kata Tjuta
We went for a 7.4 km walk which was very nice and not as exhausting as the Kings Canyon walk.
I made it, and I did not die!
I did the walk with the 4 German girls and we took our time and didin't talk much because everytime you open your mouth you swallow at least ten flies. I have never seen as many flies as in the outback! After the walk we drove to the Ayers Rock Resort where we went swimming in the pool and finally had a shower.
At 5 o'clock we packed the food and drove to some sunset lookout where we had supper and watched the sunset at Uluru. There were at least 1000 people there, but once the sun was gone they were gone aswell.
the last coach is leaving
We slept at the Ayers Rock Resort, outside in the camping area and at 4 a.m. I got woken up by a dingo who was yowling outside of the bus because someone had left food lying around. And then at 4.30 we had to get up and went to the same spot as the night before to watch the sunrise. We were the only people there and it was a very nice sunrise.
yeah I know I am a tourist
the different moods of Uluru
bad photographer, why is the table on it?!
After that we had breakfast and went to Uluru. I actually wanted to climb it even though the Aborigines don't want that because it sacred. But it was closed because of the wind, so I had an excuse not to climb. It is very dangerous anyway, 36 people have died there. I can't believe Jenni and Klaus climbed it, thumbs up because it is very steep and very hard to do it.
Jen and Klaus climbed The Rock
So at 7 o'clock in the morning we started the 9.4 km base walk around the red sandstone monolith. It was very cold, windy, millions of flies and a very long walk. Uluru is very impressive though, I mean even on the postcards it looks great, but when your right there infront of it, it's just fantastic.
We left Uluru and drove to Curtain Springs where we had lunch and then went for a camel ride at a camel farm. It was just in the yard which I found funny because I've been camel riding in Tunisia which was a bit different.
on the camels
We got back to Alice Springs on Tuesday at 5 p.m., we all stayed at Annies Place backpackers and had dinner together and went partying at Bojangles the saloon bar. I wanted to go back to the hostel because I had to get up really early the next morning, but on the way back I forgot where the hostel was and got lost. I walked around for about 45 minutes until I found it.
Alice Springs to Adelaide boomerang tour
At 6.30 I got picked up for the next 2 day tour to Adelaide. It was a similar bus like we had on the Outback Tour, so room for 21 people, but the driver told me we are only gonna be 5 people on this tour. I was so happy because that means everyone gets 2 rows for themselves.
We picked up the other 4 people from their hostels and when we introduced ourselves it turned out that 3 of the four were Swiss Germans and the other one English. I felt really bad for her!
The driver was not a very nice guy which sucked and on the way to Coober Pedy our first stop he stopped and we've seen something unbelievable. 4 eagles eating a dead kangaroo on the road. He got out of the bus and carried the dead animal off the road. Lots of roadkill on the 600 km drive. He stopped again and we saw that there was a dead eagle on the road. He got out and threw the eagle in the back of the trailer. I said to him, why on earth are you taking that with you. He said he can sell it on the blackmarket and get $ 6000 for it. He was crazy that guy.
Anyway at around 2 o'clock we got to Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is the opal captial of the world. In Coober Pedy the popluation is 3500 and there's 42 different nationalities and about 80 per cent of the population of Coober Pedy now live underground.
this is a so called dogout (underground accomodation)
The reason for this is that the temperature can rise to 50°C in summer and it has been known to rise to 60°C. The name Coober Pedy comes from the Arabana Aboriginal language and when the words ``kupa piti´´ are loosely translated means ``white man in a hole´´. 80% of all the opals in the world come from Coober Pedy.
Coober Pedy, the Opal Capital of the World
We had lunch at a restaurant because we were only 5 people on the tour, usually you only get sandwiches. We checked into a underground hostel and we got a bunkhouse and everyone got their own room. After that we had a 1 hour tour through the museum and mines.
me in the mine
And as I was standing in the entrance I looked at this other tourgroup and I looked at this guy and I think to myself, hmm he looks familar and as he gets closer I see that it is Rafael Bigler from my town. We grew up together and I didn't even know he was in Australia and then I meet him somewhere in the outback. It was very strange, but a good surprise and we caught up with all the news.
Our group went for dinner at the pizza place in town and then went to the only underground bar in the world. Rafael was there to, so were all the other tourists though.
the 4 Swiss and one English (in red)
On Thursday we had to get up at 5.30, ate breakfast and left Coober Pedy. It was a ten hour drive to Adelaide, we only stopped for fuel and then for lunch in Port Augusta. Port Augusta is where the Outback meets the Ocean. We ot to Adelaide at 3.30 p.m. and everyone split up.
I got picked up at the bus terminal by Gerry. Gerry is a cousin of a friends friend, do you get it? Anyway he offered me to stay at his place and show me around Adelaide which I really appreciate.
He is 41 years old and he is very cool. I think he is a 20 year old trapped in a 41 year old body! He's got his own business though and a big house with 6 rooms and a swimming pool, a pickup truck which I love and the cutest Husky in the hole world named Blaze. He lives half way to the city and half way to the beach and when we got to the house all I could say was wow! What a nice house and my room is great. It's like a 5-star hotel and it's even got satellite tv.
we shared everything
I showered and he took me to a fancy pub on the beach and I met his Australian friends and two other backpackers he knows.
on the highway
always loved trucks, always will...
On Saturday Gerry showed me all the beaches around Adelaide, we went to Harbour Town (Shopping Outlet), to Glenelg (popular tourist beach) and to the McLaren Vale wineries. We also went 4-wheel-driving on the beach and visited some of his friends.
Gerry and his Truck
On Sunday there was a food and wine festival in North Adelaide and since South Australia is the Festival State that is no big deal here. We even took Blaze and he had loads of fun walking around. Everyone wanted to pet him because you don't see huskies that often here and he is very handsome.
On Monday April 3 I started work at Gerry's workshop, he does cardetailing. So I got there and met the 5 guys that work for him and they showed me what to do and I had a good day of work. Tomorrow I will go back and earn some more pocketmoney.
Gerry having fun and me working in the background
On Friday Gerry and I are going to the Pete Murray Concert at the Uni in Adelaide. I am looking forward to that because I think he's great!
On Tuesday I was working again and it was better because the first day is always a bit hard, meeting new people, learning everything! The boys were very nice and we had alot of fun.
We then went to the movies and I tell you one of the best movies I have seen in a long long time...inside man.
On Wednesday I went to the City for the first time and I was shopping like crazy, then I lost my bankcard which sucked and I went to Glenelg by tram and wanted to pay in a shop and the card was gone. So I had to run around and cancel my account.
Today it was that bad of a weather that I just stayed home with my pal Blaze. We watched Oprah, America's next Topmodel (hilarious, they call anorexic girls fat) and me and Blaze wrestled a bit. I think I won, but Blaze is a pretty tough boy!
my good pal Blaze and I
We went to Gerry's cousin's house for dinner and it was a typical Australian supper...roast and vegies. After that we went to a posh place called the Oyster bar where Gerry had to talk some business cause he is thinking about investing.
On Wednesday, I went back to the city and bought myself a new Billabong snowboarding jacket, which is awesome and again I got about 60 bucks dicount.
Then in the evening we went to the Pete Murray concert and before him Donovan Frankenreiter from the States played and he was really good too, but Pete Murray just rocked! For me Pete Murray is Australia, I listened to him in Brisbane, in Agnes Water and on our roadtrips, it's just very surfy and chilled out music.
Pete Murray singing his heart out
The next day I got up, packed my stuff and Gerry took me to the airport. He left and I checked in and went through security and then the guy and the chick both looked at me nodded and she came up to me and said, M'am you have to come with us. I thought hmm that is weird, it didn't even beep. Anyways, she told me that I was selected for a explosives test and that I had to take my belt of. She had this little machine and she went over my belt and put the strip into another machine! They checked my bag, my wallet, my belt, my suitcase everything! I didn't even know that there was a such thing. I asked her if she is doing training and that's why I got selected and she glared at me and said no!!! I just thought do I really look like a terorist? And since when are terorists dressed in Billabong and pink?! Anyway, they didn't find a bomb or any explosives and I just thought it was hilarious!
When I got to Sydney, Pam and John came to pick me up and we went to Cobbitty where they live. I watched about 4 episodes of lost, we had supper and then Andrew (their son) and I went to the pub for drinks. On the way home we saw these cop cars and when we got closer we saw that the road was closed. We got out of the car cause we didn't know why cause there were no other cars. The cops were standing on the side of the street and pointing at something with their flashlights. I thought that is weird and when we got to the point where they were standing I realized that it was a dead person, I had goosebumps all over, I just wanted to get out of there. We had to drive around it and went home.
The next day I heard that a 17-year old boy was killed in his car and Sally (the Rogers daughter) even knew him. So it was a weird and sad day.
I went to Campelltown with Sally, shopping of course but didn't buy anything, watched some more lost and then the Rogers told me I could use the Mitsubishi which they wanna sell. So I have a car to drive around which is really cool.
Today Tuesday I went to the city which took forever cause the train just stops everywhere. I went to every surfshop there was and to the Austrian Airline office to talk business;-) and then I got on the ferry to go to Manly where there's more surfshops. It was very nice weather for a change and I enjoyed the sun in the beautiful Manly.
me on the beach in Manly
On Wednesday I drove to Campbelltown with my new old car...went to the mall and to a movie.
On Thursday night I went downtown Sydney to meet up with David ( I met him in Melbourne last year).
me and David
We went for dinner on Oxford street, that's where all the gay people hang out. And then went to Darling Harbour to some posh club called the loft. We met about 8 of his football friends, so I was the only chick. It was cool cause they are all around their 30ies and all gentlemen. We had alot of fun and went to Kings Cross after that. At 5 o'clock we got a cab to Bondi and I crashed at Jeremy's place. I had slept about an hour and we got a cab to Davids place and from there I got on the train.
I was pretty hungover and got into my car and wasn't really concentrating on driving and suddenly this cop jumped on the road and told me to pull over! I thought SHIT! Then he told me to get out of the car and said that I was driving 80 in a 60 zone and that's a 250 Dollar fine! I thought no way I was scared though that he would test my breath and that would mean my licence is gone. Anyway he called the station to check on my record if I had committed any crimes in Australia yet. And then he started talking to me about traveling and stuff so I was really nice and smiled and then he said, well I am gonna leave it with a warning, don't speed anymore though! Holy shit was I glad cause I am totally broke!
That day, John, Pam and Sally left to visit Katie (daughter who's pregnant) and it was just me and Stuart in the house and of course the 3 dogs and 3 cats.
On Saturday I went back to the city, bought a hoodie, had a delicious lunch in chinatown, visited the famous Paddington market and then went back to Bondi Beach to meet up with Jeremy.
skatepark on Bondi Beach
There's this huge mall at Bondi Junction, there's about 1000 stores in it...crazy.
probably the most famous beach in Australia: Bondi
When I got back I had a message from John saying that Stuart had a Cricket accident and had lost his memory. That was shocking, so I was by myself in this big house over night. I was a bit scared I must admit, but the dogs made me feel safer.
Today is Sunday April 16, I am catching my flight to KL at 4.55 this afternoon. I am looking forward to that although it is a bit sad to leave Australia after ten months! I had a fabulous time here. I think this experience changed me alot and I learned alot as well.
Now I would like to thank everyone for the support. Thanks to my family for always being there for me, thanks to my friends for all the e-mails, thanks to Erika at the Gold Coast for her hospitality, also Goeff and Collein in Burleigh Heads, Gerry in Adelaide for letting me stay at your place for a week, a big thank you to the Rogers family in Sydney where I stayed for 3 weeks all together. But a huge thank you to Teresa and Walter Hirsig! You are the most generous people I have ever known, you didn't even know me and let me stay for a night and another night and it ended up being 5 months! You gave me a home, a family, a job, food, always something to laugh about and probably a new attitude;-) and you didn't even want anything in return! You guys are the best! When I win the lottery I will definitely get back to you! Take care and don't forget about Miss Pink!
EVERY ENDING IS A BEGINNING...