Archive for April, 2007

Hello again, just a quick post before we leave brisbane and head north for a wee place called Noosa Heads and Fraser Island. We’re going to Steve Irwin’s zoo on the way up so should get some cool photees of Craig hugging a Koala!

- where are all the people in brisbane? (the streets are dead and it’s the weekend)
- I still don’t have a tan (feckin rain)
- the sun has finally returned today – hurrah!!

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Well that kind of sums it up, went to port mcquarrie which was really nice place, not too touristy, and another beautiful beach. Went up the coast to Byron Bay, really nice place, if we could buy a cafe / bar and settle down wi the surf board in the back of the jeep then this is the place. A bit touristy but if you’re running a bar / cafe thats no bad thing.

We went on a wee excursion there – snorkeling trip off the coast a wee bit off a tiny wee outcrop of rock. Before we get in the water the guy goes “right, you’ll be in for about 50 mins or so” WTF! I’m there thinking the only exercise I have had in the past few years is walking to the shop to buy fags, how the fook am I going to last 50 minutes in the water? As it turned out the wet suits kept you up, and as soon as we got in a HUGE turtle starts chompin on some rocks beneath us, it all went pretty quickly.

We had a good walk around Byron Bay and would def recommend it, really chilled place. STILL BLOODY RAINING THO!!!

In Brisbane now, still feckin raining, we were talking to a guy in a bar tonight that works for the water board here, he was threatening to keep us here as we seem to be dragging the clouds with us, all the ozzies are out in the rain going;

“aint it great mate?”
“Aye. Feckin marvelous.”

Surfers paradise is shit. End of. I have never seen so many hotels in such a small place.

Brisbane we have decided is a bit on the bland side, its hard to get a feel for a place in such a short bit of time, and we have met some really nice, genuine folk, but it doesnt seem to have the same kind of buzz we felt in Melbourne, so we are heading off tomorrow up the gold coast and up to Noosa. Anyho, there are germans standing over me at the free pc in the hotel so auf wedersane (sp?) So we shall post soon.

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and woman…..

The worst bloody drought Australia has had in years, everywhere you look there is a water shortage scale here saying to take shorter showers etc. – like a ‘def con 5′ kinda thing. We turn up and PISH! – the skies open, its like a bad movie where they’ve used a crap rain machine, you’re watching going “there’s no way that rain is real”. Well it is. We are trying not to let it taint our impression of Sydney bit its a toughie.

Sydney is a wierd one, the harbour is amazing, the ferries coming in and out, the bridge and of course the opera house. We stayed in the city for a night and then Manly for another night. Manly is cool, nice beach and you can catch the jetcat or ferry to the city in the morning to work (very nice wee commute – 15 mins). Suzanne got some vouchers for a meal in Guillaume at Bennelong. A very swanky resteraunt in the opera house. Absalutely amazing food (although everything that suzanne got I wanted) your view is the harbour bridge, and at the time we had sheet lightning in the sky as well so there was a wee bit of atmosphere! A great place to go.

After a couple of days we cant wait to get back out in the van again and find a wee beach somewhere to chill, one of the problems we didnt really forsee with the campervan is where to put it in a city when you are in a hotel as it is 2.8m high, and all secure car parks are never over 2m, so it can be a bit of a worry.

Anywho, next stop port macquarry.

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Ok my first blog post and after some consideration of how not to sound too much like a fanny I’ve decided that I’ll be the one posting summaries and observations. So first off a wee update on Melbourne – very cool city and in my opinion understated, it’s a bit like a mini london, very cosmopolitan, loads to do and seems like it would be a pretty cool place to live. We stayed in a place called St Kilda down by the coast which was brilliant, quite bohemian and only 10mins outside of the city. When we took our first walk out of the hostel I realised what the lonely planet guide meant by describing St Kilda as “rough round the edges” as we noticed the prostitutes standing on the corner of the street. A quick walk down from the hostel (beside the beach) were a few streets with loads of pubs and restaurants and a great atmosphere.

We spent the next few days looking for a campervan, varying from checking them out on-line to visting the “world of caravans” in a place called bayswater about an hour outside of the city. As we wandered by all of the luxury (and very expensive) caravans towards the back of the lot, we came across our price range – “2 pieces of shit” (the dealers words not mine) and very quickly decided they weren’t for us! Eventually we found a reasonable hire deal and booked it for 5 weeks. It’s a Toyota Hi-ace and it’s been named “Hercules” (the first song that came on the i-pod), fitted out with all mod cons, gas stove, microwave, fridge, sink, table/bed etc… We’ve taken a few pics of it so will post them when we get a chance. Also meet up with some mates in a beer garden one night, Ross & Lesley and Adelina & Jason. Ross & Lesley had us round for dinner the night before we set off on our tour and we experienced our first “Kanga banga” which is pretty damn tasty but at the same time was trying not to think about the fact that I was eating Kangaroo.

We left the next morning bidding a fond farewell to Ross & Lesley and headed for Mt Dandenong to see the William Ricketts Sanctuary – words can’t descibe this place so I’ll leave you to view the pictures – utterly amazing. From there the plan was to spend a few days travelling to Sydney and staying in campsites on the way so in summary we visited….Lakes entrance, Eden, Merimbula and Kiama, all beautiful places. And we’re now in Sydney, arrived yesterday……..but that’s another blog.

Ok so the summary thang hasn’t really happened on this post but I’ll leave you with a few of my thoughts/observations so far…..

1) I haven’t seen one scary spider (yet)
2) I haven’t seen any sharks
3) I haven’t seen any crocodiles
4) I love camping
5) I was told lies – not all australians wear shorts and flip flops, in fact most of then wear the same gear as we all wear at home!
6) Who are these people who find the “cheap” deals, I really don’t find it that cheap
7) Craig is very good at changing punctures on toyota hi-aces (yes I did take photees)
8) I haven’t got a tan yet

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Well, we are now in melbourne, finally in Oz but thats for another post.

Spent 12 days in NZ, spent a day and night in Christchurch that I slept through, pretty quiet place and bloody small, suzanne walked round it in an afternoon (pics on the flickr link).

Made our way up to Nelson at the top of the south island to see Andy, Jan and wee archie. Had a great time there chilling, eating, drinking and catching up. Nelson is a crackin place and bridgys (I cant call him andy) view from their house is amazing (see pics on flickr) looking over the nelson area to the mountains in the west, all the way up to the Nelson bay area.

Bridgy n Jan took us to Tasmin bay national park, got a wee water taxi up to a great wee spot for lunch and walked back over to another beach to get the taxi back, beautiful place. The boat driver on the way up there stopped by a wee island to show us a seal creche, it was a tiny pool filled with baby seals, a new twist on shark soup. Saw a small pod of dolphins as well but the buggers dont pose for photos! What happened to flipper coming up to the boat and telling you what the special was at the local restaurant? Got pics of a couple of fins before they held their breath for a bit.

Got a nice wee 48 hr stomach bug that hit at 3 in the morning, ever the considerate houseguest I was there retchin in silence trying not to wake up wee archie in the next room. He got the bug a couple of days later – needless to say he didnt have the same consideration as I (well he’s only 18 mnths I suppose!) I was saying to suzanne “at least I didnt get it the day we had to fly out, imagine that hit when the plane was taking off?”. So suzanne gets it just in time to fly to Melbourne, makes you think though – what do you do if it hits when you are taking off? – jump out your seat and start to run up to the front of the plane, you’d get as far as row 5 before passenger 57 stands up and pops you with a ‘less than lethal’ weapon, releasing one of your own.

Will post more about Melbourne and our campervan (suggestions for names appreciated) soon.

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As the title says, on our flickr page, view them here:

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In New Zealand now, sitting in andrew and Janice’s hoose up on the hill (post and pics to follow) finally caught up on some sleep and seem to be in a bit of a routine now.

Malasia was feckin great! There is very few places we have been in and thought “I want to live here” but Kuala Lumpur is definately one of them. Met up with rodney and michelle (and wee wallace) in Malacca (Melaka), we got a taxi courtesy of mr wong the driver from singapore which took over 3 hours and cost about £60, try getting that deal in edinburgh! stayed a night in malacca with rod n michelle, got some quality local food an then off to KL the next day.

Checked into the shangri-la hotel, 5 star for 50 bar, canny beat it, excellent hotel. The main thing about malaysia that made it so cool is the people, everyone is out to make sure you have a good time, even the immigration geezers are waiving you away in the car as you pass through, none of this “mascarra is a possible bomb threat madam” (that was to suzanne by the way)

The four of us (rod, michelle, me n suz) went out on the town in KL, big open air bars with african bands, bit mental but added to the buzz. We went to a new bar where japanese guys were continuosly pouring whiskey into our glasses, not taking no for an answer, I had a vodka n coke and no matter how many times I tried to explain to them they still smiled and offered more 12 yr old malt….who was I to go against international relations?

After many many drinks and some ’special cocktail’ that almost set us and the bar on fire we went back to the shangri-la and the patient baby sitter (about 4 am) to sit and blether pish till michelles eyes started to roll into her head.

Had a wander round the next day trying to get the hangover burned out by the humidity, rodger took us to a nice local resteraunt to get some hangover buster food, well almost, when we walked into a mall and then straight into deli-france I realised that the only dim sum was rodger adding up the bill (sorry rodney but you asked for it!)

Next day rodger drove us back to malacca in a 6 hour traffic jam from KL all the way up to malacca with poor wee wallace puking up every hour to remind us just how long we had been in the car for! He is a wee star tho.

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