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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

Cyclone JakeandGenny

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 26 March 2007 | Views [1097] | Comments [2]

Touchdown OZ!! 

We still haven't figured out why they call Australia OZ, but here's what we think:  Australia became Aussie became OZ...that's the best pedigree we can come up with; anything we learn from here, we'll keep you posted.

Since the end of one leg and the beginning of the next, we've had quite an adventure.  It all started when two greedy backpackers missed their flight because of a $500 cheque.  But, fret not, we made the next flight, and four airplane meals plus dessert (yes, they gave us seconds), four mini bottles of wine, and one in-flight movie later, and we found ourselves arguing with Australian customs!

Now, mind you, they had no problem letting us on the plane with Gen's mase and pocketknife in her carry-on.  And they had no problems with the two six inch blades we declared we were bringing into the country.  They didn't even glance at the dirty tent and other sundry camping items, which had caused an uproar previously.  Not even a flinch registered at customs as we tried to bring in food from NZ.  But, lo, did we ever get an earful for trying to bring in a photo album that was made of dried AND TREATED native NZ foliage.  We were given four options:  disposal by destruction, ship it home (the post office was closed, of course), have it treated which could take up to six weeks, or have them store it.  So, it goes without saying that somewhere in the Australia International Airport customs office, as you read this, a customs agent is flipping through our brand new photo album awaiting it's retrieval. 

But we got through customs.  And we got to our hostel.  And we got to see Sydney.  And oooooh what a city to see!  If you never see another city, go see Philadelphia.  But if you get to see more cities after Philly, go see Sydney.  The architecture, the parks, the weather, the people, the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, the water...all of it comes together in a concert for the eyes!  What an amazing city.  So full of things to do and see, you could spend your whole life getting to know Sydney and that would be the most rewarding relationship you've ever had.  We were sorry to have only a few days to spend exploring, but we are looking forward to a few days at the end of our Aussie adventure to search every nook and cranny and even have another go at Bondi Beach...as well as have a nibble with Christy!

Our days numbered in Sydney, we moved on to Melbourne via Greyhound Australia.  Twelve hours on a bus through the middle of the night and the middle of nowhere, and we arrive at Melbourne at 8 in the morning.  By the by, the expression "middle of nowhere" I think was invented by the Aussies.  But I digress...

Circumstances would have it, of course, that the night before we arrived in Melbourne we decided to do a bit of spring cleaning and throw away some things that were weighing us down.  Among the various discarded items were our ponchos that had been doing nothing more than collecting dust and taking up space.  But of course the morning we arrive in Melbourne, their longest drought in history had come to a wet end.  But our spirits were high as, after a long trek through the city, we found the Elizabeth Hostel and the best room rates in town.  And, as luck would have it, we were right across the street from the Queen Victoria market (I'll get into that on an entirely different post...it deserves it).  Melbourne has treated us well with great food, great scenery, and even a free African concert last night!  As we will not be returning, we tried to juice it for all it's worth, and truly got our money's worth; we're sorry to say goodbye, but we're excited to arrive in Cairns.

With so many options in Cairns (pronounced "Cans") we're a bit overwhelmed, but I'm sure it won't be difficult to figure out which company to go snorkeling with...or which island to camp on...or which charter to go crabbing and fishing whith...etc, etc, etc...

Life is good.

Tags: On the Road

Comments

1

"Aus-tra-lia" as 3 pronounces, so "Aussie" for short and smooth speaking. "OZ" is for cool, perhaps EZier writing for lazy butts. (My OZ lecture told me) :P And jesus, those custody are kinda mad.

And that Cairns, "Cans" with abit "R" sound. What a journeys you been through ;)

p.s Have unlimited funs and life is mad. xD

  Gordon Mar 26, 2007 2:38 PM

2

Thursday 29th March

Hello Jake and Genny

Have noted you left Sydney, but on the assumption you may be returning via it, I've sent you Rosemary Baynes details by email. If you could let me know if you are going back to Sydney and about what time, I will let her know. She is really well worth seeing and lives in beautiful house and a fabuous area on the ocean.

All well with us. Katherine is preparing for her exams that start 15th May and end 13th June.

She and Richard send their love.

All for now

Love

Loie (PS Rosemarie know me as Colette)

  Loie aka Colette Mar 29, 2007 10:51 PM

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