Most Beautiful Man In the World

Trip Start Jun 25, 2003
Trip End Sep 2004

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Flag of Australia  ,
Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Hi Everybody,

Last you heard we were frolicking with all sorts of endemic Australian wildlife and having a great time on the Victorian coast. Since then we've done quite a bit of moving around Australia.

First, we spent an absolutely wonderful week in Sydney with two of the most wonderful and welcoming (to two tired travelers) people - Matthew and Jayne, Jordan's friends from a previous trip. Originally, we had planned to only stay in Sydney for five days, but extended to make sure we could attend the many fun activities Matthew and Jayne had planned for our enjoyment. Aside from a Sydney harbour boat ride on a friend's converted ferry boat and a real Aussie backyard BBQ complete with homebrew, Matthew scored a few tickets to the taping of a popular Aussie tv show called "The Glass House." Think "Who's Line Is It Anyway" meets "The Daily Show". Before the taping began, one of the hosts came out to the lobby to tv interview the audience for their opinion on who is the most beautiful person in the world. Jordan, when faced with this question, bright lights and a tv camera in his face, answered, "Matthew, of course...he's right over there." Matthew without missing a beat, said, "I'm honored, but believe it is actually David Hasselhoff" which led to an on-camera discussion of David Hasselhoff running shirtless down the beach in slow motion and Matthew looking a bit too excited. Anyway, this little exchange must have been liked immensely by the show editors because the segment was featured on national television the next week. Since that time, I have been helping both Jordan and Matthew deflect the many autograph seekers while convincing them that they should hire me as agent.

While Jordan and Matthew were not trying to use up all of their 15 minutes of fame, Jordan and I spent loads of time walking and sightseeing all over Sydney, an absolutely gorgeous city supposedly similar to Vancouver with good weather. Highlights included walking around Manly Harbor, visiting Royal Botantical gardens, making a day trip to the Blue Mountains and of course, hanging out with friends.

After Sydney, Jordan and I made our way on a four hour flight into the Outback, central Australia - not the steakhouse. We arrived in Alice Springs, a small backwater town surrounded by oceans of red desert, and then boarded a bus for a 3 days of bush camping in and around Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon and the Olgas. We spent each day hiking through the beautiful arid landscape, getting to know the other travelers on the bus and being entertained by our Aussie tour guide, Tommo. The desert and rocks are all bright red, covered by bush scrub, occassionally punctated by large rock outcroppings, such as Ayers Rock. Highlights included sleeping in swags(heavy canvas bags that enclosed our sleeping bags) under the clearest starry sky we've seen yet, watching Jordan eat a live witchetty grub (Aboriginal staple food for children) that Tommo dug out from under a mulga bush root. Jordan says the bug tasted like custard and believes he is now ready for Survivor. And hanging out with Tommo and group around the campfire playing games such as coin olympics and singing songs from our respective countries. The Canadian girl was forced to sing "Summer of '69" or be faced with belting out a Celine Dion tune. Overall, we had a great time and were sad to leave the desert and our new group of friends.

Next we were off to do some diving in Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef. To get the most out of our time on the reef we stayed on a live-aboard dive boat for 3 days. During that time we made 10 dives seeing rays, white-tipped reef sharks (much smaller and less bitey-looking than bull sharks seen in Fiji), turtles and lots of other amazing sea life. We may or may not have found Nemo. While on the boat, we also experienced the unexpected beauty of an upgrade to a $540 night suite. Once again, I believe people take pity on me for having to travel with Jordan and therefore provide me with the luxury that I should be accustomed to.

Now, we are in Airlie beach after a 10 hour overnight bus ride (no upgrades there) and are waiting to get on a sailboat that will sail us around the Whitsunday islands for 3 days. After this last Australian hurrah we'll be off to Bangkok to start planning our four or so months in South East Asia.

Hope everyone is doing well, sending our best from Down Under, where Kylie Minogue music competes with AC/DC for top of the charts.
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