Singapore to Berry, NSW, Australia!!!
Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
74Trip End Jun 27, 2008
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Our flight was livened up however with a group of young people who were winging their way to auditions for 'So You Think You Can Dance'; a reality TV show in Australia. When we landed in Sydney, 13 hours after we had started, Pat was wearing his red hoodie and looked quite dancer-esque. So much so someone asked him if he was a dancer.....fill in your own comments here.
On to the train to Berry another 2 hours ...god need some sleep... and walk with the heaviest rucksacks in the world to the pub at the end of the road to meet Paul and Megan. PINT OF BEER...glug glug AHHHHHHHHH....much better. Paul and Megan are long time friends of ours that having been living in Australia for the last couple of years (although Megan is an Aussie national so she has been here a bit longer than that). Pat first met Paul in Israel in 1995 and has kept in touch ever since.
We were instantly made to feel welcome in their beautiful home. Berry is about an hour and half south of Sydney and we were very fortunate to be able to spend time down here. Most 'backpackers' either head up to Sydney or up the Gold Coast in the north. The south of New South Wales is absolutely stunning and not too touristy. Paul and Megan's house is in a little hamlet outside of Berry and is surrounded by stunning scenery. The Seven Mile beach national park is just down the road and here you will find, surprisingly enough, a stretch of stunning beach seven miles long.
They made us feel instantly welcome and cut out a lot of the 'finding your feet' process you normally go through on arrival in a country. They gave us a key to the house, an Australian mobile and put Pat on the insurance for the car. Amazing.... we settled in and before long we were out the door again on what they called a stroll...we would call it a hike where ropes and grapples would not look out of place! So dressed inappropriately and wearing flip flops we hiked through the bush.
It was all worth it as we gazed at the spectacular breathtaking (although the walk / hike did most of the breath taking) view in front of us. The place is called the Drawing Room rocks, this was because some of the rocks are shaped like seats and it was a very brave person who sat in the one on the edge, for at the other side was a sheer drop that if you fell you would not be doing much of anything else. Apart from hitting the floor in a crumpled mess!!!
After making ourselves more acquainted with the area Nic found herself a job and Pat found himself a bike to entertain himself with while Nic worked hard to earn a crust.......only for Pat to squander it on beer (joking). It was to help him and Paul unwind. Although we could never be described as obese the months traveling through Asia, with its cheap food and beer meant that our waist bands were a little snug to say the least. So don the swimming trunks (not speedos') and bikini, cycling shorts, running shoes etc... and off to the beach, cycling, walking and running....we suddenly became fitness freaks. Sal and Mark (another couple who we became friends with) had two dogs, one a husky style called Shagwell and a pedigree sheepdog called Doogle. They were all great fun and gave us our doggy fix. (Sorry Deefa) After our first week we decided we needed to get ourselves some wheels of our own......
(Angels calling, bright light shining, slight mist.....and from the haze it appears.....) Our wheels are in the form of a sorry looking campervan. We adopt him and give him a loving home a full tummy of fuel and some new clothes...well a new paint job and seat covers.....and Jethro was born. It took some time to decide what he was going to be but I think you'll agree from the pictures he looks fine and dandy as a jelly been covered smile evoking love machine. He brings happiness and light to the little Australian faces we pass along the way and quite possibly has helped in upping the sales of jelly beans as children have called out for them when he passes.
Off for our maiden voyage to Jervis Bay which is one of the many National Parks in Australia. Jethro happily trundled along the winding roads that led us to our destination. We swam, then went for something to eat (as Jethro did not have any gas to cook with yet) then back to the campsite to settle in for the night. It was at this point that we became very aware of the wild life we would be pitching up next to. Our first sighting of a Kangaroo! He was a big fella and just sat there munching grass as we tried to blend in to the undergrowth like David Attenborough to take close up pictures...but i think that Jethro was a little too loud for us to achieve our intended plan. Never the less we still managed to get a close enough shot of him. In the shower block there were two very large, very ugly spiders that looked like they could have ripped your arm off and beaten you about with the soggy end. Uuuugggh...fastest shower that Nic has ever had and a visit to the toilet would NOT be made in the middle of the night either!!!!
Having said that, Jethro was very comfortable, cool and a good nights sleep was had by all.