10) On Tour

Victoria – the place to be

Even if I have already been there in June with Brit and Paul, I decided to bring my parents to the stunning Great Ocean Road and the Grampians Nationalpark. We did not do exactly the same things as I did before so the second visit was well worth it for me, too.

lighthouse
Port Fairy Lighthouse

koala2
Koala in nature – did it pose for me? ;-)

We had a great day on the Victoria coast and in Port Fairy where we stayed for a night. We stayed in the Grampians for two nights afterwards. Would not be a problem to stay here for a week or more – lots of walking trecks to do. And - I finally found it: the perfect backpacker hostel! Go Grampians YHA – best hostel I've ever stayed in!

We will go „back to civilization“ tomorrow – Adelaide will be our next stop. And on Sunday we will catch the Indian Pacific to Perth. Don't say it! „Ups, I did it again!“ ... or so... ;-)

The Nation's Capital

As most of you know, my parents are here with me since a week now. After one week in Sydney we left for Canberra – Australia's capital city. And look what they did to me as soon as they got the chance in Berrima (that's halfway between Sydney and Canberra):

pranger
They left me like that for hours – wuaaaaah! ;-)

Canberra is very streched out – amazingly wide streets and no chance to get around without a car if you don't want to walk for ages. But we have a rental car for two weeks now – no problem. We visited some of the major sights, for example the „Telstra Tower“. To pay 4,50 Dollar each to get on the viewing platform high above the city was definiteley worth it. Great 360 angle views.

canberra

We will leave Canberra again on Monday (one-and-a-half days is enough!) and head down to the coast for three days before we get to Melbourne. And yes, I know, it will be the third time that I'm there...

Let's go to Broome!

Finally that letter from Germany arrived this morning. So we will leave within the next two hours for Broome. About 2000 kilometers to go. We plan to take a week to ten days of time and slowly make our way trough Katherine, Kununurra, Bungle Bungle, Fitzroy Crossing. And then - finally - we will reach the Westcoast. Sea, beaches... wonderful! :-)

Wanna go! :-(

Well, our plan to leave Darwin towards Broome today did not work out. The reason for this is not (as I was thinking) that the website I was doing for VBS in Melbourne is not ready yet. No, that website was launched yesterday, only one day after the planned date. :-)

But I am still waiting for a letter from Germany. My Mom sent it to me ages ago, poste restante to Alice Springs. I left Alice before the letter arrived and paid 11 Dollars to have it redirected to Darwin. But il today it is not here yet. So we can't leave. We give it another two days, if it is not here until Friday we will leave anyway. I will pay another 11 Dollars then to have it redirected to Perth. :-(

Darwin sucks - a bit ...

On Thursday we went on a daytrip to Litchfield NP. The pity with Darwin is that the sea is just five minutes walking time from the city - but you cannot go for a swim because of the saltwater crocodiles. :-( So we went to Litchfield for a relaxed day of swimming at different waterfalls and a picnic in a park with Jörn und Heike. Wonderful. Refreshing after the heat and noise and the crowds in Darwin.

litchfield1

On the way back, Brit and I got lost for the first time. The signs there are a bit strange, so we chose the wrong direction, of course (Murphy...). Both directions lead to Darwin in the end, but one of them is only suitable for 4WD cars. "We did not come that way, did we?" Haha. You realize that after 25 kilometers when the sealed road ends... What a laugh. :-)

litchfield3

Well, I would love to show you a few more pictures of that day, but on Friday something else, even more annoying than being a little lost, happend: Some idiots broke into Freddy (on a big supermarket carpark!) and stole everything valuable that was in there. Which means, Brit's camera (with the pictures on), her passport, her ticket etc. - all gone. So is Dyana's camera. My luck was that I was still living in the hostel and not in Freddy again– otherwise everything would have been gone. Laptop, camera, etc. Nightmare. But no-one got hurt, they still have their money, mobiles and credit cards because they had them with them in the Shopping Center.

From Alice to Darwin

Our tour from Alice to Darwin was mainly one thing: Sitting in the bus, driving up north, 1500 kilometers in three days. But we stopped at interesting points to have a little bit of sightseeing. Not that there is much in between Alice and Darwin... ;-) First interesting stop after Alice was at the „Devils Marbles“ (400 kilometers north of Alice) for Lunch and a short walk trough the marbles.

devilsmarbles

Later on that first day we stopped at the „Mary Ann Dam“. To say it with tourguide Brad's words: „A lake with no water. We go there because it says so on our tour plan...“ That guy was really funny. He did not say much but if he did we couldn't stop laughing about his wry comments. Example? We arrived at our camp for the first night. Brad's words: „This is the communication center of the town. The telephone box.“ And so on. He was kind of lovely in his way...

maryanndam

After a long long drive on day two we had a few glorious minutes of spare time to relax in the hot thermal springs of Mataranka. Sounds odd to go into 34 degrees warm water when the temperature of the air is nearly the same – but it was quite refreshing.

mataranka

The third day was a bit more relaxed with less driving. We had the whole morning for free to do what we want at „Katherine Gorge“. Tanja and I decided just to swim and relax instead of spending money on kayaking or a cruise or a helicopter flight.

katherinegorge

After a short visit at Edith Falls (a little paradise – looks like in that movie „Blue Lagoon“) we headed directly into Darwin with a short stop in Adelaide River.



Adelaide River is famous because of „Charlie, the Buffalo“. This Buffalo starred in „Crocodile Dundee“, some of you may remember the scene with the buffalo in the middle of the road... He is dead by now, of course, but they stuffed him. So you can visit Charlie at the Pub in Adelaide River. Aussies are crazy, did I mention that before ...? ;-)

milo

Tanja tried „Milo“ for the first time on that trip. For my german friends: „Milo“ is pretty much the same as „Ovomaltine“ and therefore very yummy. Juliette, Tanja and Claudia have a new job: Advertisement for „Milo“ :-)

Welcome to the heat

Yesterday we arrived in Darwin after our three-days-tour. I'll load some pictures up tomorrow. Bloody hell, is that hot over here in the north of Australia! I know, I know, I'm never ever satisfied. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too... ;-) But it is absolutely brillant to wear shorts, t-shirts and flipflops the whole day instead of jeans and fleece-jumerps like I had to the last four or maybe five months.

Here in Darwin is "silly time" at the moment. Highseason. Dry season. Which means everyone, absolutely everyone, is here. Busy. Busy. Busy. Let's see what comes up next for me. Look forward to meet Brit and Dyana (and Freddy) again who already arrived in Darwin a few days ago. :-)

Up to Darwin

Much quicker than planned I will leave Alice and go up to Darwin now. As the train (The Ghan) was booked up for the next three weeks(!), Tanja and I decided to book a oneway-3days-tour up to Darwin. It costs nearly the same as the Greyhound coach (bus) would cost - but we will see all the attractions on the way up. Much better, I would say... We will have to get up at five tomorrow morning, but then we will have lots of fun with this adeventure tour, hopefully. :-) So, next time you will here from me will be in five days from Darwin.

The Red Center

Now we have been there, we still ARE there – the so called „Red Center“ of Australia. And as all other tourists, we could not miss the following: Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock).

uluruschild

Many many people there, but it's very impressive to see Uluru „live“ and to walk around it. It is allowed to climb Uluru, but the aboriginal people (Anangu) of the region don't want that the tourists do it. There are many signs „Please respect the wishes of the Anangu, don't climb Uluru“. For Brit and me it was no question: We don't climb. Why should we do so, if we know it is a sacred place for these people and they don't want us to? So we did the 10 kilometer long basewalk on Tuesday morning after watching „Uluru-in-sunrise“ (getting up at 6:15!!!). Joined by two boys we met at the sunset-viewing-area the night before: Markus and Kanji. It's funny, how often you meet the same people in that big country. But everyone has the same sights on their to-do-list, so it is easy to meet again if you travel in the same direction... ;-)

uluruwalk

30 kilometers from Uluru is Kata Tjuta (means: „many heads“). It is not as well known as Uluru, but very beautiful and also a sacred place for the aboriginal people. We had a short walk there in the afternoon after the Uluru basewalk and watched it in the the sunset. Nice, sooo nice. Beautiful.

katatjuta

To conclude our Red-Center-Tour we visited Kings Canyon, about 300 kilometers from Uluru, halfways to Alice Springs. We had a lovely walk/climb there. I just loved it, even if it was a bit exhausting. But the rock formations and the wonderful views from the top make sure the climb is worth it!

kingscanyon

The last night before we got to Alice we stayed at a rest area on the highway in the middle of nowhere. It's just amazing, how much a camping site at the Ayers Rock Resort costs. More than the hostel here in Alice! So we decided to camp „in the wild“ for one night. For free. And joined by many others. ;-) In Alice, we stay in a hostel again. Sleeping in Freddy is really ok, but not for every night, especially as Brit needed to go to the toilet every night at around 1:30! Waah! I have to get up then as well.

redsand

Red sand... Alle red. So red. :-)

Arrived in Alice

Just a short notice - we safely arrived in Alice Springs today. Freddy was doing good - over 4000 kilometers yet and not a single problem. Tomorrow, I will take some photos of the Red Center up here for you. Promised! At least, they have cheap and quick internet here in Alice... and mobile phone reception. So: Call me! :-) We will stay here for three weeks and try to find some work to gain some money...

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