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Reflections – Australia

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

As many people warned me, 3 months is just not enough time to do all of Australia, though I did try my best to see the things I wanted to most. My friend Lora had 4 1/2 months, did everything she wanted to except Tasmania, spent almost 3 weeks in Darwin, so that seems like a good amount of time to do “everything.” My 2 1/2 weeks at the sheep station would otherwise have been used on the East Coast probably, but I wouldn’t trade in that experience for a few more beach days. I’ll have plenty of those coming up. Doing the drive from Perth to Darwin, I would say you need at least a month to not go insane. Any less than that, and you will be exhausted, trying to go from place to place with no rest in between. Add more if you intend to visit the Kimberley. [read on]


Monday, May 22nd, 2006

My last week in Australia was a fairly busy, and expensive one. After spending a large amount of time lounging around Darwin, I realized that I needed to go to Ayer’s Rock, or Uluru as it is known to the Aboriginal people, since it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Australia. I had considered not going there, but Lora convinced me that it was worth it, so I booked myself on a 3 day camping trip, and arranged my transportation to Alice Springs, the closest town. In my lazy stupor, I insanely decided to take the overnight train, The Ghan, from Darwin to Alice Springs. It was only 24 hours, and was the same price as flying, so I thought I might see some interesting things along the way.  I left Lora Monday morning, as she was staying in Darwin for the duration, and boarded the train south. As I continue to learn, but apparently not remember, in Australia, the road anywhere is almost never interesting scenery-wise. The one place we did stop, Katherine, I had already been. Our 4 hour stop in Katherine was uneventful, as they were still pulling salties out of Katherine Gorge and weren’t allowing the canoe trips, and I didn’t want to take an expensive cruise. So I strolled through the town again, and browsed the art galleries and shops, just trying to kill time. We were back on the train again at 7pm, and after dinner a movie was put on and we settled down for the night. Unlike the Indian Pacific however, the seats were fairly comfortable, and the train was almost empty, allowing me 4 seats to myself to sleep on. It was an uneventful trip, as we arrived in Alice on time with no problems. My hostel had a pick up at the station, and I was quickly whisked away, checked in, confirmed my tour for the next day (which was run by the hostel), showered and off I went into town. My one main goal in Alice would be to find some Aboriginal art, and I was on a mission. [read on]

The Top End

Sunday, May 14th, 2006
(It is May 14th today, Happy Mother's Day!) We have been in Darwin and the surrounding area for 12 days now. Lora and I arrived here "on schedule" on May 3rd, tired but happy that we made the whole trip on ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Final Countdown

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

(After a two week self-imposed computer hiatus, I have added more pictures to my smugmug homepage.)

Our initial arrival in Broome proved to be anticlimatic. Lora and I settled into what turned out to be a really good hostel, The Kimberley Club, which ... [Continue reading this entry]

All According to Plan II

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
Lora and I arrived safely in Broome yesterday, after a harrowing day of driving that took us over 900km in one day. We began our journey up the West Coast of Australia from Perth to Darwin 8 days ago in our ... [Continue reading this entry]

All according to plan

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Perth, which is the capital city of the state of Western Australia, has the distinction of being the most isolated capital city in the world. It is closer to cities in Indonesia than it is to other cities in Australia. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Westward Ho

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
The truck driver pulled up to the house early in the morning, before sunrise at 6am. I was already awake and showered, since I couldn't sleep with such anticipation. Annette told me that he wanted to get a really early ... [Continue reading this entry]

Quick update

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
I have added new photos to my smugmug homepage in the Australia gallery. The link is under my links on the right hand side of the page. They are up to yesterday's date, my first 6 weeks in Australia. I'm off ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Daily Grind

Friday, March 31st, 2006
Sheep shearing finally started yesterday, and after such anticipation and build-up, it was slightly anticlimatic. Because the start date kept getting pushed back, we actually had quite a lot of free time on the station, apart from getting everything ready ... [Continue reading this entry]

One eighty

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
It was starting to get dark as the sun set behind the few scattered trees and the main house. They were ahead of me in the truck, driving slowly to a large tree around the side of the house. I ... [Continue reading this entry]