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Trip Start Nov 30, 2005
63Trip End May 13, 2006
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To pick up where I left off...
Thursday I spent the day on a tour down the Great Ocean Road. It was really awesome. Definitely a similar caliber to Big Sur although I don't know if I'd go as far as to say its better. But it was amazing. Great views, and with the tour we got commentary and stories and information which I really enjoyed. I also scored with the seat! I sat in the front right next to the bus driver so the huge front window was right in front of me! We stopped at beaches, at overlooks, and the major attractions for pictures. We also stopped at a place and we saw lots of koalas! And it wasn't a park or a sanctuary or anything- just in the wild, which is pretty rare with koalas. That was cool
It was a long day- 12 hours..I got back to Melbourne and one of my old friends Katie Bell came and met me! It was great- she was my co-counselor when I went to Isle Royale in the summer of 2000! So it had been awhile but it was great to see her. We went out for a few drinks and then I crashed at her house. We met up for lunch again the next day. So yeah on Friday I walked around Melbourne a little bit. It is absolutely PSYCHO there right now because of the Commonwealth Games-- I had never heard of it-- but it's almost the equivalant of the Olympics for all those people who believe in the Queen. Then I went out and met up with my friend Zoe who was kind enough to drive me out to the airport. I was pretty sad to say goodbye-- its sort of the end of friends for awhile!
It is hard- I have had the most amazing time here in Australia connecting with all these old friends of mine. I can't even really describe it. Just that I've learned that it doesn't matter how many years pass. If you've been connected-- its not that hard to reestablish that. The Australians have been really good to me
After an amazing few months of being with old friends, I'm about to begin a bit of a stint on my own. It surely will take a little bit of getting used to. There are advantages to travelling on your own...and there are lots of opportunities for new friends. But I will really miss travelling around the world with old friends.
So I arrived late night Friday to Sydney and I was pretty beat after plane delays and airport closings. I had a hostel booked and its pretty nice. I am in a room with just one other girl which is pretty cool. But its a little dirty- there was a dead cockroach lying belly up on the floor when I woke up this morning. Saturday I got up early and caught one of the hop on/hop off open topped bus tours. It was really good because I got to see a lot of the city and get my bearings. I went to the Opera House then I walked up through some beautiful botanic gardens. Then I went to the Government House where some Australian who represents the Monarchy lives or works sometimes. There was a free tour and they described all the crazy formalities and I don't know...I think its sort of bullshit. But, some people are into it. I just can't believe there are still people living in palaces. Real palaces.
Then I hopped back on the bus and went to Darling Harbor where there was an Indonesian festival where I picked up some cheap lunch. It was really beautiful and I walked through town just looking around. After completing the bus loop I went back to the hostel.
My roommate from Contiki lives in Sydney, and we met up last night and had a big night out
Today I slept too late and then caught the subway to Bondi Beach. Its a really cool area, and I sort of wish I was staying there because I'm in Kings Cross and its pretty seedy but for some reason most of the hostels are here. But Bondi was beautiful and the beach was packed to the brim. I had a swim and a nice lie down on the beach for a few hours. Seemed like a must on my last day down under. Tonight will be a quiet one as I fly on to New Zealand tomorrow morning!
I have 7 weeks to go! What I'm doing during that time is still slightly up in the air so I won't really go into that because I change my mind all the time. For now I'm playing it by ear. Which I've learned to do well. Its crazy when you have a lifestyle like mine at the moment, you have to spend a good deal of time just figuring out what you're doing that day, or the next. Planning is a daily part of my life. I guess thats what happens when you are changing places and doing different things every day.
So I say goodbye to Australia, where Kangaroos outnumber people 3 to 1- Where the beaches are golden, and the skies are (often) blue- Where grapevines grow like weeds- where the accents are thick- where the people's hearts are made of gold! Send me on my way!