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Gina, Joe and Justin's Backpacking Experience


AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 9 December 2008 | Views [297]

AUSTRALIA!!!!! We've finally made it!!!  And huge surprise its rainy and cold...I thought this place was supposed to be a desert?  I think bad weather is purposely following Gina around, because it certainly cant be me or Joe's fault...and that only leaves Gina! 

I am some what heartbroken to report that we had our first official “issue” with custom's.  Just like NZ, this place is a little protective of their environment and subsequently one of the rules is that you cannot bring food from other countries with you through customs, or so i learned.  Now before I explain the whole story i have to bring to light the issue of mayonnaise, i assure you it's important.  The people of the southern hemisphere have a few things they haven't quite mastered yet, one is ketchup and the other is mayonnaise.  For some reason, which logic completely evades, the Heinz and Hellman's companies have not brought what i consider staple American products into the NZ market yet.  Because of this many “impostor” companies have attempted to create similar products and have failed beyond miserably.  Needless to say we went thought about 6 jars of mayonnaise until we found one that was mildly tolerable.  Having found what we considered to be an edible substitute, I made the executive decision to get an extra bottle to bring to Australia to ward off another extensive mayonnaise search in a new country.  Unfortunately, the custom's official who searched our bags upon arrival in Australia did not think that my mayonnaise plight was reason enough to warrant me smuggling it into the country (note: i didnt know it was contraband until after we arrived) and therefore confiscated my poor mayonnaise.  To make matters worse, i later found out that Joe also smuggled food into the country, except he didnt get caught...and huge surprise...it was cookies.  Apparently he was worried that they wouldn't be available.  There are so many jokes i could pick here, but i think I'll leave the exact joke selection up to the reader.

So moving along we finally made it to our hostel in the middle of Melborne and who did we see 2 minutes after we walked in the door...none other than the CANADIANS!!!  How random is that, a different country in a city of 2 million people and we run into our canadian buddies 30 minutes after we arrive!  I guess it is a small world!

The next day we decided to roam around Melborne and see what we could find.  One notable stop was the old Melborne Gaol, which is basically a jail/prison.  This was kindof neat as we learned about Ned Kelly and other famous inmates as well as all about hanging, good stuff.  The apex of the visit would most notably be when joe decided to shut the door to one the the solitary confinement cells while i was inside.  Neither of us was aware that the stupid door locks behind you and has NOT been modified from its original version i.e. i was locked in.  After 20 minutes of waiting, and thinking about my revenge, Joe moseyed over and unlocked the door...He will pay.

We also visited the Victoria Market which was pretty cool.  It was, more or less, a one stop shop for everything on earth.  This outside market took up almost 3 city blocks and literally had EVERYTHING.  They had one area about the size of a normal store dedicated to just meat: beef, chicken, kangaroo, crocodile, ostrich eggs, literally everything you could possibly ever want.  There were also veggie/fruit and souvenir areas that were equally massive.

Then we went to the aquarium.  Not too much to report here, it was pretty cool and was like every other aquarium in the world.  They did have a shark tank with Great Whites in it.  That was pretty interesting!

So then we got our campervan!!!! Words are tough to find that describe the level of awesome  of this thing.  Defiantly take a look at the pictures and then think........50 days.   Its gonna be a long 50 days!  For those who are wondering, joe and gina sleep on the bottom (sofa/kitchen table/master bedroom) and i sleep in the “loft” (plastic and plywood dome of death).  A farting ban has been put into effect.  We also have a sweet tape deck which we will need to score some awesome tapes for, i can only imagine what we'll find.  And we have a stove, fridge, and sink so that's not too shabby!  I'm SURE i will have lots of funny campervan stories for my future installments.

Ok, so this issue is getting a little long winded so i'll take a break for now.  Just to give everyone a heads up, things are looking to be A LOT slower pace for Australia so im thinking that i'm not gonna write as much and for every town/stop.  I think it will be better if i do it in sections.  So be prepared to bigger entries, but fewer of them.  Internet is a huge pain when you dont stay in a hostel every night, so there might be a bit of a posting lag....sorry :(

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