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Big Trip Blog Bigtripblog is a multimedia travel experience capturing the adventures of Kevin and Valerie during their one year trip around the world.

The Big Trip Picks Up Ambassador Status

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 12 June 2007 | Views [1102] | Comments [4]

If this is your first time reading any of our blogs, allow us a brief introduction. I'm Kevin, and my girlfriend Valerie and I have been traveling around the world for about nine months now. We started with a brief trip to London to see some friends, then went on to Amsterdam for a few days before spending the majority of our time in Turkey, Egypt, Nepal, India, then on to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma) before arriving in Australia. We've been keeping a travelogue, as well as posting photos, some audio clips, and BTBtv at our website, bigtripblog.

So now instead of doing all that work for the fun of it, we've become mercenaries, or more diplomatically, World Nomads Ambassadors. Now we blog for the keys to the crazy World Nomads Ambassador Van, which suits us just fine. Since embarking on our trip, we've used just about every means of transportation known to man: cars, buses, trains and planes in every condition imaginable, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, elephants, donkey carts, etc. The Ambassador Van beats them all, hands down, and will be our home on wheels for the next six weeks as we head across the country, from wintry Sydney to tropical Darwin, with a stop in the middle to take in Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Our tour of duty got off to a slightly rough start, as we picked up the van on a day of heavy wind and rain in Sydney. The nearby Blue Mountains were sure to be too rainy to enjoy, so we figured we'd escape the stormy, cold city and head north, perhaps taking in some wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. Over two hours later, we had barely traveled 100 kilometers in heavy traffic and increasingly violent storms. We got word that the lower Hunter Valley was flooding, and an elderly couple had been swept off the road in their 4WD vehicle.

Our next potential destination was Newcastle, just up the coast. Heavy winds, high seas and driving rain led to flash flooding in the city center, a coal ship being rammed onto the beach in town, as well as a portion of the Old Pacific Highway being washed out, sweeping away a family of five in their car. None of this was surprising, as the high winds continually pushed the van around on the road, and the rain fell in buckets. Once it got dark and we were nowhere near our desired destination(s), things started to look a little dicey. Where could we park and not get washed away? Were the caravan parks even open? What on earth had we gotten ourselves into?

Luckily we avoided any mishaps, but it was an intense introduction to handling the Ambassador Van. We had to spend our first night on the road in a Best Western in Gosford. Fortunately it was situated on high ground with firm foundations and was in no immediate danger of floating away. The receptionist told us they were getting lots of people from the nearby caravan parks that were all closing due to rising waters. The strong winds and rain continued through the night, as did the worsening weather reports. Eventually both the Hunter Valley and the Central Coast (where we were and where we wanted to go) were declared to be disaster areas!

The weather has cleared up since that first eventful evening, and the countryside is beautiful (if a bit soggy, and still flooded in low areas). Stay tuned as we embark on our epic road trip, and get ready for a multimedia extravaganza - we plan on using all of the toys at our disposal.

Tags: ambassador van, on the road



Gosh, the Van would certainly catch the wind!
Hope you have better driving weather from now on!

  stowaway Jun 12, 2007 1:27 PM


G'day guys... welcome into the driving (and co-driving, I guess) seat(s)!

Looking forward to following the trip - hoist the sails!


  wanderyears Jun 12, 2007 8:14 PM


Sounds like fun guys! I hope there's much better weather for you ahead.

  Marsha Jun 14, 2007 11:24 AM


Thanks everyone! Weather has improved for the most part. Guess you can't expect the winter to stop being cold, but we've had some beautiful days. And the van isn't blowing around on the road so much, which is nice.

  BigTripBlog Jun 20, 2007 2:59 PM

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