Wow, its been a long time since I last wrote. Can't
believe its been only a month since I left .
Feels like an entire lifetime has passed and my six
month adventure was but a figment of my imagination.
I last left you in . I realize that I
failed to write an epilogue of my travels, so here is
a synopsis of my last few weeks down under. It wont
be as alive or vibrant as my other tales, since this
one is tinged with sadness at the relaying of my
stories from memory only. Giovanna and I decided to
take a bus to Cairns since it was roughly the same
price as a flight and we wanted to see more of the
outback. This was a mistake. It was 2700 kilometers
to Cairns, along a bumpy, bumpy, dirt road that passed
scrub, dirt and termite mounds. This was the only
scenery for three days. In addition, the AC failed on
the first day, which just happened to be my birthday,
so we had to contend with 40+/100 F temperatures
inside the cabin of the bus whilst being tossed around
inside. It was a horrendous journey only highlighted
with a stay at a working cattle station where I got to
play with more baby kangaroos.
Our stay in Cairns was lovely. We took our first dive
ever on the . The experience of the
dive itself was incredible ; I am definitely going to
go and get certified; but I was disappointed by the
reef which seems to really be suffering and dying; at
least the spot where we were taken. Cyclones, tourism
and rising ocean temperatures have all taken a huge
toll on the color, vibrancy and health of the reef.
Whilst there, I also took a trip to Cape Tribulation,
only to discover what an incredible marketing tool
calling an otherwise ordinary strip of beach �Cape
Tribulation is. That's all it really was, but we did
some hiking in Mosman Gorge National Park on the way
back which was very beautiful. We frolicked in some
more waterfalls, hiked the rain forest, and generally
recovered from our bus experience, only to head south
a few days later on yet another bus, this time to
From we took a 3 day sailing trip around
the Whitsunday islands on a 55ft yacht. The boat we
had booked was in repair, so we received a great
upgrade to a fancier vessel; the only drawback was
that we had to share it with four of quite possibly
the dullest English people my homeland had ever
produced and sent to on vacation. Their
conversation skills sent me to bed about 9.30pm both
nights. The ship itself was beautiful, and I wish I
could say the same about the weather but it howled and
poured for the entire trip. On a plus side, I got to
steer the boat through some rough sea, and we
snorkeled for two days on sections of the reef that
were far healthier than the one in Cairns. Overall it
was a great trip tinged with too much water and
sea-sickness. The highlight was visiting Whitehaven
Beach; one of the top three voted beaches in the
world. I am forever spoilt by its silicone white
We then headed south to Hervey bay on another bus. It
poured in Hervey Bay, so we contented ourselves with a
visit to Shark Museum ( I am still obsessed with
them.) The museum was somewhat disturbing; the guy
who owned it claims that the Australian Government is
operating a huge cover-up over how many people get
attacked each year by killer sharks and how
protecting these so-claimed over-fished man-eating
species, the government was simply waiting for a
disaster to happen in a decade or so when it wouldn't
be safe to step a toe in the sea anymore because
numbers would be through the roof. Wasn't sure how to
take it all, except that if it were true, it would be
an ENORMOUS blow to Australian Tourism; making it
somewhat more believable. So, just when I thought
Jaws was just fiction.
The next two days we visited Fraser Island, the
largest in the world. It was very
beautiful with clear lakes, stunning beaches, and lush
rainforest. The second afternoon we sat up on some
cliffs and literally watched sharks, manta rays,
turtles and dolphins swimming in the ocean below; the
water was that clear. Beautiful spot.
By this point, however, I was eager to get back to
Sydney. I was excited to visit the Sheraton and catch
up with old friends. We ended up flying from
back to Sydney as we had both just had about enough of
buses. In fact, never would be too soon. We had a
lovely last week together, staying at my old house,
visiting with friends and partying. I felt sick all
week, however, at the thought of leaving and returning
to the US. Change when you least want it, is very
difficult. Saying goodbye was painful, especially to
Giovanna; there were many tears shed that week. It
has been just so incredible to spend so much time with
her, she is still the bestest friend that anyone could
ever hope for! It will be so weird to go from seeing
her every single day, sharing every meal, to not
seeing her at all. God, I will miss you, Giovanna.
Thanks for the memories..
So, May 8th, I packed my bags for the last time (at
least in ) and got on a plane to San
Francisco and then on to . I cried at the
airport and then again when I got on the aircraft to
discover I would be wedged between two men who
collectively weighed more than a baby elephant for the
next 16 hours!
I will never forget my time here; All of you GO to
! I hope my tales have inspired you all to
Sorry this is so soon after the last installment, save
it and read it later if you are sick of Aussie
updates! But I didn't quite get to writing about of yesterday before I had to catch my
greyhound....I am currently in
enjoying (not!) the first signs of winter. It is
pissing down with rain! The Red center, as the desert
country surrounding in the Northern
Territory if fondly often referred to, was a very
close second to West Australia as my favorite place on
this odyssey. And I certainly wasn't expecting that;
in fact, I was rather dubious about ; I
assumed this was the only attraction of note in the
region and that it had been hyped too much to be that
affecting. I could not have been more wrong....As
you'll discover if you read on.....!
By far, the most important and amazing thing about my
trip was a young, cute, adorable male called Rex. He
weighed about 5 pounds and stood 15 inches high. A
baby kangaroo. Several weeks earlier, our guide, Ben,
had witnessed his mother being killed on the highway.
On discovering the tiny, hairless joey in her pouch,
he was about to kill him when several of his
passengers came screaming off the bus, begging him to
give him a chance at life. The vet gave Rex a 1 in 50
chance of surviving. Nine weeks later, Rex was doing
quite well when he came into my life. I immediately
adopted him and diligently learned all of the tasks
associated with his care. How lucky was I to get
this experience on a paid tour of the outback? I
still can't believe it was real. Rexy, as I called
him, needed feeding formula every hour, simulation of
his mother's behavior to encourage him to
urinate(involving brushing his balls with a branch
back and forth till he peed), patient coaxing to jump
and exercise his muscles, and about twenty hours of
sleep inside a man-made pouch of cotton towels and a
pillow case. I grew very attached to this little fur
ball, and by the end of the trip, I was singing little
lullabies to him as I rocked him to sleep in my
sweatshirt, let him curl up with me in my sleeping
bag, and carried him on hikes in my backpack, next to
my water bladder to keep him cool in the heat. Rex
was the highlight of this trip for everybody. We
especially enjoyed how he would forward somersault to
get into his pouch; this is his programmed manner of
getting into mom. However, Rex would often mistake
all manner of objects as mommy's pouch, and as such
would entertain us trying to forward roll into our
pockets, laps, sleeping bags, and knees, most of the
time failing to secure a hold and stumbling over
before trying again, seemingly undeterred by his lack
of success. God, he was adorable. I am so spoilt, I
am not sure if a kitten or puppy will ever be enough
for me after the love and devotion this kangaroo
showed me. No words.
And I have to share a song with you. I had heard this
song on tours before, but by this trip, I was
determined to commit it to memory. It is
laugh-out-loud funny, and supposedly (I am not saying
ANYTHING about authenticity!) quite an accurate
generalised depiction of the aussie male (I am not
trying to offend any of my Aussie mates, so apologies
The song is called "BLOKE" and is sung to the same
tune as Meredith Brooks' song "BITCH".
I hate the new age guys,
I'm a chauvinist, I live on beer and pies
Yesterday I lied
But my mates gave me, an alibi "Cheers, guys!"
I really was out drinking, I said I was at work...
Sometimes, you look at me like I was an angel
But I haven't brushed me teeth
CHORUS: I'm a bloke, I 'm an ocker,
And I really love ya knockers
I'm a laborer by day
I piss up all me pay
Watching footie on TV
Just feed me more VB
Just pour my beer, and get my smokes and go away!
Or take me as I am
That might mean you'll have to fetch another can....
CHORUS: I'm a bloke, I"m a yobbo
And me best mates' name is Robbo
Its Phil gets me cigarettes
I dress in Flannelet
Shearers' singlet that is blue
Throw in a few tattoos
You know you wouldn't want me any other way!
Lovely picture, isn't it?
SO, where I left off last I was partying hard in Alice
Springs the night before leaving at 5am on a five day
safari of the center. It had been a while since I had
let some alcohol flow, and the night was quite a
memorable one; including a rather unfortunate personal
attempt by my aged and decrepit self to out-maneuver
nubile 18 year olds at a limbo competition. The
following morning I was greeted by a thumping
headache, air that felt like thick soup to fight
through, and a spine that felt like it had been
re-arranged by fairies in the night. Not to worry I
thought; Tex had assured us that the first day of the
five day safari was spent driving; meaning lots of
blissful bus sleep.
Tex is a fat liar.
I climbed into out monster 4x4 TRUUUCCK, nearly
dislocating my one good shoulder trying to get my
short arse into the passenger seat. I like sitting in
the front with the tour guide. As many backpackers in
will note, the tour guides are often the
only Aussies you get a chance to know on a personal
level; there are no shortage of POMS (british),
German, Dutch, and er...more POMS staying in youth
hostels, but you hardly ever meet Australians in
. That's why I make the effort. This may
not have been a good idea this morning, as this guide
was rather chatty and seemingly hell-bent on imparting
his entire life story before our first pit-stop,
despite my pained grumblings and doubtless dribble
from the left corner of my mouth, as my body fought to
stay awake. Tired. Not even the beginning of it.
The thought that I also had arranged tours every day
until April 23 was not a pleasant additional thought.
As you all know, early mornings and my personality are
not an amicable fit.
Our first stop was a camel sanctuary. Our guide, Ben,
cheerily announced that we could all go for a camel
ride here. It was barely 6.30am. I laughed in his
face, hobbled, then fell out of the front cab, and
staggered towards the smell of hot coffee coming from
the roadhouse. God help anyone that spoke to me; and
heaven grace me with patience if anyone asked me where
I was from and then remarked "oh, its so cold there!",
when I state Alaska as my place of residence.
The "Rock" or , as the Aboriginal people refer to
Ayers, is over 350 Kms from . Few people
realise this and our guide explained a time when he
drove a limousine for a living, and a Texan asked to
be taken to the "rock" from Alice Springs Airport, and
being told to "step on it" because his onward
connection left in an hour and a half. This country
is very spread out, and we had a lot of ground to
My first glimpse of most definitely drew a gasp
from my lungs, despite my blurry state, which actually
probably added to the dreamy way it appeared as if out
of nowhere. It was beautiful. Not in any way like I
expected. I gathered all my remaining energy reserves
and embarked upon the 10.6 k hike around its base in
the blazing sun of mid-afternoon. I was amazed at the
sheer scale of this monolith, and how different it
appears at all varied angles. I was curious about the
climb to the top; but I knew I was not going to
disrespect the aboriginal elders' requests for
tourists to remain firmly on the ground. This is
still a very sacred place for them, and so many
tourists have died from heat exhaustion in the
attempt, it has brought the local tribes much grief
and turmoil. I wish all who came could be sensitive
Feeling somewhat more lucid after the walk, we
proceeded to a viewing area for sunset. We broke out
the champagne, cheese and crackers and sat back for
the "show" of changing colors. I am trying to not
sound pretentious, and I am sure my emotional state
was partly due to my only having an hour of sleep, but
I was truly and sincerely moved at the spectacle. I
shed a few tears; there is something very spiritual
about this place, there is no doubt in my mind.
Back at the campsite, I was irrational and blurry;
demanding my swag and, falling into it like a drunk in
the street, I fell fast asleep; considerations about
snakes, spiders, heat and dust all second to my
craving for shut eye.
The following day we were awoken at 4.30am so that we
could drive over to and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
for sunrise. Bleary eyed, I went through my now
almost robotic routine of unpacking and packing my
backpack (I want to burn it at this stage in my
travels), rolling my swag, stepping into clothes and
climbing into the truck with a toothbrush in my mouth.
Sunrise was glorious. Until the flies came. And
We spent the morning hiking through Kata Tjuta,
another sacred aboriginal site for "men's business".
It was massive in scale and just as impressive, if not
more so than the rock. I was beginning to realize
that worrying about smelling funny, or keeping my
clothes clean was a futile pursuit. This red dust was
intrusive, it got into anything and made it pink. All
my socks and t-shirts now have pinkish tinges. But
that's also one of the biggest things I've learned on
this trip; not to be connected to my possessions for
how fast I have lost and/or ruined them. It was so
hot that I soon shed my shirt in any case and hiked in
my bra. I know it sounds shocking, but you really
lose all sense of whats proper in this type of harsh
environment. Appearances are secondary to a desperate
attempt for comfort.
We drove over some horrendously flooded out and bumpy
terrain to our next camp at Kings' Canyon National
Park. We all realized why we were in this monster
4WD. We would hit rivets in the road at fairly
moderate speeds and all go flying off our seats
(including rexy in his pouch), like cowboys at a
rodeo, complete with whoops of joy for more, more!
(well, at least from my mouth!).
Camping under the stars was really magical. As was
drinking and toasting beers around the campfire
sitting on our swags. I was really enjoying myself.
The next morning, before our hike, we went on search
for some aboriginal bush tucker (outback food);
primarily the witchety grub - a caterpillar like
larvae that, apparently, whilst disgusting in
appearance, serves as an excellent source of protein.
They live in the roots of certain shrubs which we
spent nearly an hour digging out before Ben could
excitedly offer one of them out to a brave and willing
victim,.... I mean, volunteer, of course, to eat. It
was white, wriggling, raw, and looked very much like
my worst nightmare. I hate crawlies of any kind.
Especially caterpillars. But I had to do it!
Giovanna and I both ate one, raw, by biting off the
body right under its head. It jerked as I bit it, and
suppressing a reflex to vomit I didn't so much chew as
swallow the gooey substance became in my mouth. For
those of you in disbelief, I still am, and have to
look at the photos my fellow travellers took of me
jamming it into my gob to believe I actually did it.
Kings Canyon was phenomenal and offered the additional
plus of a refreshing cool swim at a waterhole at its
base. For those of you who have seen "Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert", this is the place Guy Ritchies'
character has always dreamed of hiking dressed in full
drag, heels and a tiara. To which Terence Stamps'
character so memorably replies: "Great. That's just
what this country needs: Another cock, in a frock, on
The following day we travelled to Palm Valley National
Park where ancient palm species trees and Cicada trees
grow in abundance along the oasis of the river flowing
there. More vistas of red outback, glorious rock
pools, cascading waterfalls and places to yell and
sing my heart out without worrying about anyone
hearing me. I loved it here. I was getting quite
adept at the bush camping thing too; proudly brave of
the insects except on one evening when we had a shower
block at the campsite. Ross, a traveller from the ,
kindly offered to walk me to the showers which were a
few hundred meters from our site. With flashlights in
hand, we set off through the scrub. No matter what we
did, however, we kept only finding the toilet block
and kept imagining such terribly creepy things lurking
in the pitch black darkness that we gave up, giggling
to keep up our spirits as we hobbled, ashamed, back to
We took many opportunities on this safari to discuss
aboriginal culture with our guide. Over the past few
months, I have listened to a wide spectrum of
"opinion" on the issues facing Australia's population
of indigenous peoples, and I feel that after hearing
arguments from a variety of perspectives, I am
beginning to get a grasp on this political and highly
sensitive topic. Perhaps my own opinions will have
taken shape by the time I am ready to leave the
country, and I will share them with you then. We did
take the opportunity of having lunch in an Aboriginal
community on this tour; and it was an experience which
very much reminded me of the time I spent in a South
African Township in , combined with
experiences of being in grocery stores in
before the fall of communism. Lots of bleak concrete
and a lack of variety of brands to purchase. The
people, on the whole, acted shy and hesitant towards
me. But it was a valuable insight.
Our final day took us to several lakes in the West
Macdonnell Ranges National Park. It was a welcome
change to spend some time in water out of the dry and
unrelenting heat. I was exhausted, and could only
think about collapsing when I got back to Alice. And
it was so hard saying goodbye to Rex. I cried. I can
honestly say that Kangaroo gave me more joy and love
than every guy I've dated in a year. I will miss him.
Which I did; until about 10.30pm when Giovanna came
back to the room and told me I should get up, get
dressed and come to the bar to celebrate my birthday!
I hadn't had any dinner, so I was doubly excited to
find she had even gone to the trouble of getting me a
cake with candles on it which I blew out at midnight.
She truly is a gem, and the most wonderful friend and
travel companion anyone could ever ask for! Ross and
Matt were there as well as our whole tour group to
help me celebrate. The highlight of the evening was
the lovely Caribbean band who obliged my musical
passions by letting me sing a few songs with them. It
was a thrill to do so, especially on that day.
Turning 28 in . Could be worse. Eh?
I am sorry for the length of this letter! Thanks for
persisting to this point, take care and until next
Which shall feature my 3 day escapade of hell through
the outback from Alice to Cairns, the Great Barrier
Reef, sailing in the Whitsundays and 4-wheeling in
Fraser Island(where I am headed tomorrow!)
Love to you all.
So, I will try and make this letter somewhat shorter
than the last monolith. I'll see how far I get...
I believe that I last left you in once again. I
flew back to visit a friend after finding out that the
Kimberley Region was flooded after the cyclone, and I
had nine days free before our next tour left Darwin.
I spent a few days on which is a
beautiful retreat for Perth's well-to-do. They have
the smallest kangaroos called Quokkas, this is the
only place in Oz that they have survived being eaten
by other "feral" animals like cats and dogs. They
were very cute. After two days of cycling around the
island not seeing another soul, I was ready to fly to
Darwin and see people again.
Giovanna had flown to Sydney for a week so it was back
to travelling on my own for this period. After being
together every day since January, it felt a little
strange at first, but then I was amazed at how many
people I met when on my own. So off I set for the
airport and flew 3 1/2 hours to the northern most city
Darwin is a strange place. The heat was unlike
anything I've ever experienced. It was as humid as a
bee's nest and around 32 centigrade every day. The
real bite was that the temp didn't fall in the
evening, so it was still 32 when you were having a
beer at 10pm. This whole atmosphere made me feel
quite lethargic and the mere task of getting changed
to go to the hostel pool felt like hard work.
I lazed away a few days there, and was very happy to
see Giovanna's face again when she arrived.
Darwinians are not the most well-mannered people. One
day I was by the pool, when i noticed 4 guys just
staring at me incessantly. When I asked if they had
ever seen a girl sunbathe before they answered, "oh,
we were just checking out your scars, you f***ing
yank!". This was not my only nerve-racking incident
with the locals.
Our next trip took us to and Kakadu
National Parks. Kakadu is UNESCO world heritage
listed and is generally recognised as the location
where Crocodile Dundee was filmed. We spent three
days swimming in cool rock pools with cascading
waterfalls, hiking through mangrove swamps, checking
out indigenous rock art, learning aboriginal hunting
techniques, and generally trying to murder as many
mosquitoes when the sun went down as possible. Oh,
and trying to sleep in a pool of your own sweat was
also a tool I picked up on this trip....so hot, and
sleeping in canvas tents under the stars.
The highlight of this trip was going on a cruise on a
saltwater crocodile infested river. The guide honked
huge chunks of meat over the side of the boat and we
sat and watched the live version of Disney's "jungle
cruise" as the came and jumped out of the water
up to six feet to chomp on chicken carcasses. Quite
incredible. One croc came very close to crawling up
the side of the boat, we all screamed and checked for
missing limbs after. People still get eaten by
in the Northern Territory, our guide had many gruesome
stories of cocky fishermen who thought they could
safely wade across the river.....
By this point in my trip, I am really starting to love
Aussie humor. And the stories the people who really
live out in the bush love to tell. Stories like:
"crikey, mate, you should have been out on the piss
with us last night - there was a lugger came in with a
1 1/2 meter saltie and just had him there thrashing
around on the floor while we's were tossing 4x ! "Fair
Dinkum?" "yeah, bloody oath, mate!"
Roughly translated: a guy brought a croc into a local
bar after catching it out fishing....(he had photos to
It amazes me the things that are everyday normality
After Kakadu we returned to Darwin for one night, and
then it was the gruesome prospect of three days on the
Stuart Highway.....1500 kilometers of red dust, red
dust, and er...red dust, all the way to .
Luckily for us, our driver, Tex, was hilarious and
often had me checking that my spleen was still intact
by the end of the day. Tex had been tour guiding for
a few years after an accident on a cattle station in
the Northern Territory left him unable to ride horses
anymore. He certainly gave us a lot of insight as to
what life is like for thousands of (mostly men)
Aussies who choose this way of life; living and
working in remote and harsh "cattle stations"
(ranches, as we know them) that are often double the
size of . They work 14-16 hours a day, in
blazing heat, go days or weeks without showering, and
only make about $250 a month. It is a life full of
testosterone, bravado, and beer, and these men
generally exude all three in excess.
We stopped in a tiny town called Daly Waters for
lunch, population 15. However, there was a beer
festival for all the cattle stations within 500 miles
or so, and the place was swarming with cowboys, or
"ringers"/"Stockmen" as they are known here. Going to
the bar to get myself a beer was quite an experience.
The place reeked of cattle, leather, and sweat, and
I'm not sure I've ever felt more like a "prize cow to
be roped in" as I did then. I was leered at from
every corner; there were no women around! When I went
to pay, some of the cowboys were getting their tickets
for the festival; a guy in front of me opened his to
find 3 free condoms inside, which he openly expressed
approval at finding. It left me wondering if they were
also rounding up women from a 500 mile radius and
bringing them in by the truckload for the event.....?
After three long days of driving, we arrived in Alice
Springs. We had slept under the stars in swags, seen
golden orb spiders the size of your palm, gone on a
tour of an old gold mine, had our photos taken in the
middle of the highway, peed in the red dust when there
were no toilets and marvelled at the bright green tree
frogs that lived inside when there were, met weird and
wonderful characters in a "town" that claimed most
extra-terrestrial sightings in the southern
hemisphere, had photos posing by the weird "devils
marbles" rocks formations, swam in water tanks at
cattle stations that put us up for the night, and
driven many many kilometers. We all partied pretty
hard that night in Alice, we deserved much beer. We
danced the night away, and dreaded our 5am departure
for the following day!
I'll leave it here for now.....the trip to
deserves its own letter. Thank you to those of you
who have read up till now.....I do love sharing my
experiences with you all!
Please write, I do try and respond to each and every
individual email I get! And I'll be back in the
states in under two weeks!
Catching a bus to Hervey bay in 30 mins, take care for
Yes, I guess it is time for yet another installment of
"Anita heads out west in search of the perfect sunset,
more flies landing on her eyeballs than one can safely
count, and, er, the ultimate cyclone experience".
So much has happened since my last email, which I
didn't get to write, and oh! its all so confusing:
I'll just start from where the last "story" left off -
we are in just back from Wave Rock.
Well, disaster was about to strike. I called our tour
company (who we were headed to Broome with) the night
before our departure to re-confirm our pick-up only to
find that they had no record of our booking! There
was much profanity that evening.
After spending all morning in "negotiations" (anyone
who has had business negotiations with me when I am a
paying customer will know that this is a tumultuous
tug-of-war struggle in convincing arguments) with the
person who our tour company thought (to which I am
incredulous) had either worked hard enough or had the
brains enough to manage the reservations department, I
finally secured a 100% refund of our tour up to
and a free alternative tour that shortened our
journey there by one day. Not bad, I guess. I was
most upset that we would not be travelling to Monkey
Mia to see more dolphins, but at least I had seen them
SO, after one more day in , we set off to Broome
(in , we were to re-join our originally booked
Turns out, as fate would have it, that 3 day tour was
by far the best experience of my travels to date. The
group was fantastic (4 japanese girls who loved
hearing me sing, a funny and cute aussie tour guide, a
Dutch man called Christiaan with razor sharp sarcasm -
what more could I ask for?) and the scenery just
spectacular. The first morning, we left at 6am, so it
took at least until 1pm for my grouchiness to depart.
We spent the morning sand boarding (well, the group
did, I thought "screw that in this heat, I'm going to
swim naked in the ocean!" - which I did.) and then
drove on to the Pinnacles national Park. This is a
wonderfully phallic national park. With phallic sand
sculptures in a beautiful gold color as far as the eye
can see. Enough said about that. It provided me ample
opportunity to act out and say inappropriate lewd and
offensive things to everyone to get shock factor. Ah,
good times, good times.....
We drove on to camp but we stopped first at a real
West Australian Roadhouse (you know, the kind you see
in the movies about Oz, sweaty greasy men who look up
from their beers to check you out and then decide if
you are worth shooting with the rifle they have
stashed under the counter or not)to visit "George".
No, George was not some roadhouse human oddity, he was
the pet joey kangaroo that the family had rescued from
its dead mothers pouch after they hit here with their
car. (altogether now, Ahhhhh...and "what bastards"!)
George stole my heart. Quick as lightning. He came
right over, let me cuddle him and even gave me a peck
on the lips. He also found my beer very interesting so
I tried distracting him with apple which he ate right
out of my hands. Now if only I could find a man like
After a good ol "Barbie" we collapsed. Early morning
Went to National Park in the morning and went
abseiling with Giovanna down a 250 foot gorge. Now,
I've only abseiled once before, at a Butlins camp in
with Giovanna when we were 8! So, this was
quite something to be doing it together again....
The park was stunning - very much like or
but with a unique feel to it ; probably because they
were gorges not canyons; there is an extremely
scientific and logical explanation for the differences
that I can't remember - sorry! Abseiling was fun - i
liked to push off the rock wiggle my legs mid air and
pose for my photo with my tongue hanging out. Well,
its me and I make no apologies.
It was hot. My God it was hot. We were like Sausages
on a spit slowly roasting as we turned in the sun. SO
we found a lovely swimming hole (no , you
promise???) and jumped in. Ah, refreshing. This was
to be a repeating highlight of WA - lots of abominable
heat relieved several times daily with a dive into
crystal clear water under a giant rock escarpment and
tropical waterfall. This was where it was at.
After a natural waterfall massage (I had to rescue my
bikini top at one point about 200 meters downstream -
whoops - eye candy for anyone paying attention!!)I
felt a lot better. Until I was dry in about 30 seconds
coming out of the water and the thousands of flies
landed on my every exposed orifice and began
ritualistic mating dances.
Loved . But better was yet to come . Thats
not correct grammar, but hey, this is email.
The following day we drove to Coral Bay and Ningaloo
Marine National Park. This is the west coasts' answer
to the , and it was spectacular.
Christiaan (who was fast becoming like a brother to
Giovanna and me) and I opted for a day eco-tour
swimming with Giant Manta Rays, sea turtles, Reef
sharks and other reef snorkel spots. Wow.
Incredible. I have some amazing underwater shots of
me swimming with these incredibly graceful creatures
who glide along like giant Frisbee's. I also have
pictures of my ass red raw like a fresh lobster from
the sunburn I suffered that day. Ouch.
We drove on to and had a kinda wild night
saying goodbye to our group. They all asked me to
sing for them, which of course I did, then the
Japanese girls sang, I cried, we all got piss drunk,
danced and did....um,....other crazy things you do (A
pash - look it up in Australian dictionaries!). What
a great night. And our new group and tour guide
looked about as exciting as a wet flannel shoved down
your pants. Not happy about that.
Yes, our tour guide was dull and STUPID (oh, I am
sorry for being mean, but SO STUPID). And the others
were just not worth the breath, so Christiaan,
Giovanna and I pretty much segregated ourselves all
the rest of the way up to Broome.
We drove and drove and drove the LONG ASS way to
Karijini National Park, and spent our first night in
"swags" (these waterproof, supposedly bug-proof,
sleeping pad things) under the stars. It was
beautiful, if a little smelly. Quite the
quintessential "wow, I am in the middle of nowhere,
smelly, eating red dust, could get eaten alive by some
highly venomous snake and/or bugs simultaneously
whilst swatting flies from my face, but I AM croc
dundee, and by god this is fun!, right???" kind of
The next day (sorry this is taking so long) we did a
famous hike known at "the Miracle Mile". It involves
spider walking through gorges, treading trepidatiously
along tiny ledges with "brains would smash into a
million pieces" falls underfoot, jumping into pools,
swimming a few kilometers, climbing, and generally
other really cool but dangerous stuff. The scenery is
quite simply, (and I know I do keep saying this) the
most spectacular of any place I think I have visited
on earth. If you have to maim, cheat or kill to get
to Karijini - you should (well, you know what I mean).
We descended narrow gorges which had walls of layered
rock towering hundreds of meters above us and swam
through narrow channels clambering over rocks blocking
our path. It was quite a challenge and felt so good
We swam in more pools with names like Fortescue falls,
and fern pool - all glorious "tarzan meets the blue
lagoon" feelings to them. Just magnificent.
Evenings were interesting out in the bush. Giovanna
and I really had to "get over" our fear of bugs,
because you basically share your food with them.
There were crickets, moths, mozzies, flies, locusts,
and other flying things with no names landing on our
heads, necks, arms, and, plates! Christiaan got so
sick of our shrieks that he ate a moth in front of us
just to shut us up. Which of course it didn't.
However, this was not as bad as the next place. We
drove to Eighty Mile Beach which is exactly what it
sounds like. Probably the most pristine, white, wide
and deserted beach I have ever stepped on. We spent
hours after sunset looking for baby turtles who were
hatching that night. All we ever found were the
tracks of baby turtles and the tracks of the tens of
crabs that would eat them before they made it to the
water. I know, sad.
That campsite took "insect fear" to new heights. Just
taking a shower was amusing because if you were in the
bathroom for longer than 3 minutes with the light on,
what seemed like the locust Egyptian plague descended
upon you in the shower. They were just falling off
the ceiling on to you, it was a scene that made Psycho
look like a General Audience movie. I have to say, my
resolve against these critters is somewhat stronger.
The following day we arrived in Broome, finally! It
was quite a quaint little town with a huge Asian
influence to the food and architecture. We all went
to Cable beach for the sunset, which was a little
disappointing because these huge black clouds looked
like they were rolling in. And they did. For four
Yes, my memory of Broome will always be the cyclone.
At first it was quite exciting, you know, "hey folks
we've gone to Yellow alert, so the whole city is
shutting down, looks like you gotta buy your beer
right here!", to "hey folks, its gone red alert, so
we're getting the body bags out of the basement".
Literally, it got a little scary. We lost power on the
second day, as rain pummeled the hostel and wind raged
through our semi-open "common area" where you got more
wet than the inside of the bottle of beer you were
consuming despite it only being 7 o clock in the
morning, because you couldn't sleep, and you were so
bored that alcohol was the only way to dull the pain.
The cyclone hovered 80 k offshore and then veered
south, so we never felt the full brunt of its power.
But everything was flooded, nothing was open, couldn't
go anywhere, flights were filling up....it was a
nightmare. On top of this, Giovanna had picked up a
nasty rash on our outback trip and she was not going
on the next trip through the with me. I
discovered that there were only 2 other people booked
on it in any case, so I cancelled and cut my losses.
Originally we were going to fly to Darwin together,
but the flights got sold out, so I decided to come
back to , and Giovanna flew to for a week.
Yes, Broome is kind of a hazy memory of drinking,
dancing, loud music, exciting weather, not-so exciting
wet clothes, being stuck in our dorm room, playing
chess and debating with Christiaan, and the heavens
dumping all they could give. On our last afternoon
there, we did manage to go out for food (we had
survived on what little we had bought at the market
our first night there, and what the hostel thankfully
handed out to hungry people) and visited the crocodile
farm. Got to hold a baby crocodile which was cute.
By this Saturday, i was done with Broome. Had to get
out. Severe Cabin Fever. So I flew to . Thats
where I am now....
I will leave my last few days' of adventure to the
next email - this has been long enough.
Hope you've stuck with me till now - I can honestly
say that West Australia has by far been the best part
of my trip so far. It is stunning, full of really
laid back, friendly, people and it has an other-world
vibe to it. Can't really explain it, but despite the
heat, the flies, the distances, and the Wet Season, I
loved every moment here.
Well, till next time. Hasta La Vista. No worries. No
dramas. She'll be alright, mate.
Well...what can I say? It has been QUITE THE TRIP SO
FAR here in West Australia. Absolutely stunning,
brilliant, fabulous, and unpredictable!
So much has happened, that I am forced to write two
emails, one for the South West of the state, and the
second for my trip up the coast of to Broome, where
I currently sit in the path of deadly and destructive
cyclone - Cyclone Fay, just off the coast of Broome
and heading our way! I am stuck in our youth hostel,
getting drunk even though its still morning....what a
way to spend a few days!
Anyway, here is the update from when Giovanna and I
arrived in . The next letter will follow, but
this should make it easier for you all to read!
Well, is such a beautiful and cosmopolitan city.
We went to in the morning for some
cappuccinos and just melted the morning away in the
blazing heat. We took a cruise back to the city
center, and found that they offered free wine tasting
on board - needles to say, we were both completely
sozzled by the time we got into the city of swans....
Later that afternoon, we hired a car for our south
west adventure and headed south. Our first stop was
the beach at the wondrous Indian Ocean. I was most
impressed with the clarity of the water and the
whiteness of the sand. I would say that the west
coast gives the east a run for its money in terms of
The next morning, in , we hurried on down to
the Dolphin Discovery Center, a non-profit center that
boasts a bottle nose dolphin "interaction" zone where
the dolphins swim to on a daily basis right up to
shore to interact with the humans. Tears welled in my
eyes, as "Jet" swam in front of me inches from my
hands. These creatures are truly magnificent and
Moving on that afternoon we found several paradisaical
beaches to lounge upon - Meelup and Bunker bay were
highlights! Just crystal blue water: a bounty advert
about to happen and not another soul in sight!
That evening was absolutely mesmerising. We went to a
bay that was supposed to have giant stingrays. Just
about to leave after failing to spot one, I noticed a
grey shape gliding by us close to shore. I ran,
screaming with excitement, and saw the ray : a large
grey "monster" with eyes the size of eggs and about
1.5 meters long. Some local fishermen there were kind
enough to give us some fresh fish to feed the ray with
- it was quite a tug-of-war extravaganza with the ray
tugging on one end and you holding on for dear life on
the other. Such a strange sensation! We were also
able to stroke the strange things, obviously avoiding
its painful "stinger".
Just at that moment, I looked up at the blushing
sunset sky only to spot two dolphins about 15 feet
from shore swimming in. I started to scream with
excitement (again) which was immediately followed by
more shrieks from Giovanna and a mad striptease and
running into the water. This time, without any prior
planning, I was swimming within 1-2 feet of these
creatures who were feasting on a pod of salmon.
Mind-blowing night. Truly.
That night we stayed in the top hostel in in
. Just so cute and the management so friendly-
pretty much how you can some up all West Australians,
wonderfully sarcastic in their wicked humor and
bending over themselves to be helpful. The characters
we met on our car journey alone were worth the trip!
The following day we visited Cape Leeuwin, the south
western most point in . Then it was on to
the legendary forests of tall Karri and Tingle Trees.
Our first stop, just before , was the giant
Bicentennial Tree. Now this was no ordinary tree, it
had a ladder carved into it so that you could climb
its' precarious 70 meter height to the top of the
forest canopy. I have no idea what possessed me to
attempt this ludicrous feat, with absolutely no-one
around, no net to catch you if you fall, and just a
sheer drop awaiting you under each rung, but up we
both went. Fucking exhilarating. Excuse the
language, but we wished there had been a crowd of
people around to cheer us on when we got to the top!
Instead, we sufficed on munching our lunches, feeling
like Ewoks in . The climb down was
even more terrifying, and we were most glad to reach
After such a morning, we treated ourselves to a
relaxing swim in Hooker Reservoir before driving to
Walpole for our third night.
The next day we also walked up into a tree-top canopy,
but this time it was via the famous Valley of the
Giants tree-top walk; essentially a bridge platform
built 40 meters off of the ground. It was very
exciting, just not quite as scary as before!
We continued driving through stunning forest and
coastline on to , and since we still had hours
of light, we decided to press on the extra 300 K to
Wave Rock, in Hyden.
People say that Wave Rock is disappointing: 350 k from
and a 10 minute wonder. But I gasped when I
first glimpsed it. A sheer 15 meter high rock that
has formed the shape of a wave through erosive forces.
The view from the top was gorgeous too, my first real
view of the "outback" - red dust as far as the eye
could see in all directions....
The drive back was long, but we arrived in that
night ready for our tour up the west coast in the
That's where I will leave it for now, its definitely
time to have another beer, and check out this
cyclone's latest heading!
I will write again tomorrow with more adventures. I
hope this email finds you all well.
Yes, I am finally back in the world of sun, heat,
heat, no rain, lovely sun, more heat, and yes!..shorts
with NO gloves, hats, shivering at night and rivers of
water in the tent (last letter....)
Oh I love it here, yes I do, I love it!
Not that our last week in didn't have some
distinctive, somewhat wet, yes, memories....
As soon as we arrived back in the North Island, it
seemed the gods were just not with us at all, and it
poured from the heavens the way it only does in
Biblical tales. In fact, on arrival in the Bay of
Islands (supposedly famous for white beaches lapped
with crystal clear blue waters) we slammed right into
a cyclone, complete with horizontal rain. Trudging
through mud and puddles with 3 packs on our backs to
the youth hostel we all but fell over laughing our
heads off - it was that or cry! After a month on the
road, I needed serious re-humanizing. For those of
you not familiar with re-humanization, it basically
involves the warming of the body with numerous hot
showers, the wearing of comfy slippers and loungey
clothes, hours spent in reckless comfort watching
feel-good soppy movies, and reading, writing journals
and eating yummy comfort food full of chocolate,
caramel and copious amounts of tea....Yes,
re-humanization is as important as sex. (oops...did I
say that out loud?)
Actually, we ditched the bus and spent our last few
days enjoying the above mentioned process. The sun
peeped out on the last day; but I already had plans
for my day....Yes! it was the oscars,
style. Those of you who know me well enough will
realize that this event is as close as I get to being
religious these days. I broke into a posh motel, put
on my biggest smile, and asked to "borrow" their
lounge to watch SKY. It was great, complete with all
necessary products for the continuing re-humanization
effort, with added alcohol just for fun. Every thing
was great until won for Best Actor, and I
got so excited that management had to shush me because
I was disturbing some of the guests....whoops!
Back at the hostel it was discovered to my joy (sheer
in nature complete with streaming tears) that there
was a karaoke contest to be held that night! Well, my
peeps, did I enter? I THINK SO. I sang about eight
songs! It was fantastic, even the DJ took a liking to
me and asked me to sing with him. And I won...which
is always nice, right? Free drinks all around that
night.... I met a fabulous gay man called Tim that
night from Hobart. I just loved him instantly and we
stayed up half the night singing through the entire
score of Phantom of the Opera in the hostel car park.
Too much fun.
ANYWAY, we took a bus back to , hopped on a
bus, hopped on a plane, hopped in my friend Phil's car
and before we knew it, we were in !
Now, I know there is a huge rivalry between
and Sydney - so i was most curious to discover what
the fuel behind the fire might be.As it turned out,
I'm sorry, there really is no competition - Sydney is
so WHERE ITS AT! However, in M's defense, it really
is a completely different city with a totally
different vibe, and I loved it all the same. G and I
were spoiled rotten by Phil (whom I met at my hostel
in Rome in September) who even gave up his own room
for us. More re-humanizing ensued for the next four
Giovanna and I putzed around the city for a few days
stopping every few hours for the obligatory espresso
beverage and cake....We met up with a few people we
had met in NZ and had a wonderful time. Highlights of
my time in Melbourne include a wonderful day out with
Phil in the - a national park of towering
mountain ash trees, beautiful. The afternoon was
highlighted with a totally scrummy stop at the English
tea room "Miss Marple's" where I suffered self-induced
sugar coma (my ass has also been suffering from the
side-effects of previous bouts of this condition).
Yesterday was the start of the Mooma Water Festival in
. It was FABULOUS and TOTALLY AWESOME DUDE!
I went to a sand sculpting competition, watched a
water skiing competition and listened to an open air
concert that focused on world music. There was a
group from who only used strings and a
clarinet, and they were completely hilarious!
Fireworks at such a close range I felt sure my clothes
would catch fire ended the splendid evening....
Giovanna and I left this morning at a ridiculous hour
of the O Hundred variety. We are taking a 3 day tour
to Adelaide along the ; another update
will follow in a few days, no doubt.
Loving it here, missing home though, and all of you!
Time has really started to speed up, I cannot believe
that I will be back in this time next
I last wrote to you all from . So much has
happened, it will be hard to put it in a nutshell, so
I'll just describe the bare highlights.... There has
been little sleep, much activity, much partying and
merriment... Oh so tired am I!
After having so much luck with the weather so far, we
did spend much of last week sheltering from some
pretty violent storms that brought rain, more rain,
rain, and Oh....? Did I mention we had some rain? I
have begun believing that a tent is no longer properly
functioning unless there is a river of swift current
flowing directly beneath, next to, or through it. If
contents of said tent also become drenched then one is
officially camping. Needless to say, this did serve
to dampen our spirits a little, but we have braved
through it, and now head to a North Island where major
highways have now re-opened after some of the worst
floods in 25 years! I sure know how to time my trips!
After I last wrote, we drove into Fjordland on the
south west coast of . We took a four hour
boat cruise on Milford Sound, which was so mind
boggling beautiful that flies had laid eggs in my
mouth since I had my jaw dropped to the floor for the
entire voyage.... On our return from the sound, a
group of eight of us were dropped off to start a 3
day back country hike through the Routeburn Track.
Again, we had a stunning time despite the rain on the
second day. My only issue on this trip was dealing
with the rage of my fellow hikers who stupidly forgot
to pack any lunch provisions and therefore vied to
harbor as much guilt on me as possible for thinking
only of myself and packing the night before....(my
salami and cheese was most precious....!)
Heading north from Fjordland we arrived in ,
which I have decided is the Boulder equivalent in New
Zealand. I loved it. Lots of open air cafes around a
stunning lake with "The Remarkables" (mountains used
many times in the LOR movies) in the background. My
only travel bugs here were the unfortunate occurrences
of having my mobile stolen (please email me your phone
numbers if you are in !!!) and taking an
ill-fated jeep safari tour with a
driver who was better suited to a career selling
funeral packages....He received the not-so-often-seen
dark side of my pissed off nature, and I got a full
refund. What a jerk. He even had the audacity to
point out that he hadn't seen any of the movies
because he had "better things to do than spend 3 hours
in a movie theater!" I can think of more appropriate
things to say to six eager (and yes, somewhat
pathetic, I grant you) young LOR fanatics who had just
foregone the opportunity to hand glide to spend $100
seeing film locations in the flesh.
Anyway, moving north again, we took a trip to Fox
Glacier (Jon, I thought of you.) situated among
coastal rain forest. Several of us took a guided
crampon hike on the ice and I got to crawl inside an
ice cave complete with flowing river.....great
We stayed a few nights in Punakaki in the Paparoa
National Park. I went Black water rafting which is
basically an inner tube ride in complete pitch black
other than the mesmerising star-like luminescence of
glow worms in the sky. Excellent!
Today we left Abel Tasman National Park where I went
Sea Kayaking for the day, only to be turned around due
to gale winds....oh well, no rest for the weary....
Heading to Picton tonight, and ferry tomorrow back to
the North Island and then 2 more days to .
I will stay in touch!
I am in internet minutes. Theand have a few
trip is still mind-boggling. I am sure I will calm
down in a few days and not feel the pressing need to
bombard you all with such frequent letters!
Our travels took us to the South island where we spent
our first night in Picton (looked very similar to
!). We journeyed on to the coast to
and had the opportunity to rise at dawn and swim with
wild dolphins in the ocean! It was mesmerizing.
We woke at 5am and put on freezing cold wetsuits. I
was sea-sick on the speed boat but it was soon all
worthwhile. These dusky dolphins enjoy their human
interaction and found us to be something of a
curiosity. After several sweeps, swimming in circles
around all of us in snorkel gear, a few responded to
my high-pitched singing in the water, and swam right up
to me. Looking beneath me, I saw dolphins brush right
by my skin, a calf and its mother twisting and
tumbling below me. One dolphin stared me right in the
eye as we swam together in a large circle for what
must have been eight repetitions. I couldn't believe
that they could be so close and so real....
Back on the ship we had an hour or so watching them
"perform" including their magnificent acrobatics
(apparently, dolphins are one of the few other animals
in the world who have sex for fun; the guide said that
dolphins nearly always leap and spin right after
finishing the sexual act which is participated in
frequently and with multiple partners!)
On from , we travelled south to a wilderness
camp below Mt. Cook - one of the most spectacular
mountains I have ever seen. I have been cycling a lot
on this tour 20 or 30k a day, and its really been a
great way to see the countryside off of the bus!
Yesterday we took a hike in Mt Cook National Park to
; again, scenery and weather could not have
been more satisfying.
And I am finally feeling a little better...Thank
goodness! Went to the doctor in where I
was prescribed steroids for inflamed bronchial
passages. They seem to be working...Got the rib put
back in too - but my back is so messed up its just a
matter of time before it falls out again. I've bought
a Theraband to do my physical therapy as prevention!
The physical pain has been quite a downer, but I am
trying hard to enjoy myself nonetheless, and with such
a great country and group to enjoy; its been easier
than it might have been.
Last night, Giovanna and I went on a tour of a Penguin
Colony in on the coast. We sat on a beach as
the sun went down and watched over 80 of the little
darlings waddling out of the ocean. They were so
cute, you just wanted to nuzzle one of them. That was
Today we are in ; a beautiful seaside town that
looks and feels very scottish.(the bus overheated on
the way here; it was very exciting, flames and
everything on the side of the road!)... I still have a
date with coffee and cake, the photo shop, and a hat
shop, so I better go for now!
Going on a 3 day "tramp" in Fjordland next, so the
next update will be from !
My dear friends.
I was going to wait a while before another letter,
but too much has happened in the past few days that the
letter would just be too long if I waited any
I am currently in waiting for my ferry
over to the south island. This country is absolutely
incredible. So far, I have seen such a variety of
scenery that it has encapsulated some of the most
beautiful places I have seen across the globe, but
concentrated in just a small island. The land is so
many shades of green that you no longer have to fill
in the potential spectrum with your imagination.
Yesterday was a highlight so far....As you all know,
I am a fan. Well, yesterday I
climbed Mount Doon!!!!!(in Mordor, I think this is how it is
spelled.) Mount Nguaruhoe, at 2287 meters, is a
perfectly symmetrical crater, and as volcanoes go,
is relatively young at 2500 years old. It looks
exactly as it does in the movie. We were hiking the most
popular day hike in , the Tongariro
Crossing, which at 17kms is quite a challenge in and
of itself. I am currently still sick, I probably
have bronchitis because I am hacking away at night. I
have also dislodged two ribs in my back (again!!) from
coughing; did this deter me from making the
ADDITIONAL 3 1/2 hour return trip to the top of the volcano, a
35 degree climb of 750 meter vertical ascent???? Well, I
do need my head examining, because it didn't. I
still can't believe I made it; I can honestly say it was
the most challenging hike I have ever completed in a
The views were completely stunning; I have never
hiked in a volcanic region like this before. There was
steam coming out of the rock, the lakes were emerald
from the ground minerals, and the streams flowed HOT
water (yes, HOT water - How WEIRD is that????)
Looking into the crater of Mount Doon was such a
highlight. And yes, I threw the ring in, sat and
waited for the eagles, but when they didn't come I
slid down the mountain in about 20 minutes by
practically "skiing" in boots through volcanic ash
What a day...I was so exhausted I was literally
cursing and screaming out loud about an hour before
reaching the bus; I didn't think i could physically
keep going.....somehow the feet kept moving.
Everyone clapped when I finally got on board; no,
they weren't congratulating my accomplishment, they were
ecstatic that I had finally got my sorry ass back on
board after they had waited over an hour for me to
I am paying the price today. I can barely move.
The rest of the tour has been wonderful too. We
visited some incredible limestone arches at a beach
called cathedral cove, gone surfing, soaked in some
thermal hot pools, attended a Maori concert and
feast(my god these people can SING) - saw the famous
"HAKA" performed, and drank lots of beer and sang lots of
songs(well, I sang lots of songs)(well, except for
the mad spontaneous "like a virgin" moment yesterday
where all danced on the bus). There is a wonderful 60 yr
old man on the trip called Larry from . It
just so happens that Larry adores musical theatre;
so I have been his favorite person on this trip,
constantly relenting to his never ending requests
for songs from the shows. Of course I am loving the
attention, but I think the others are secretly already
planning my murder....
In , we visited Wai-o-Tapu thermal land,
which reminded me of a condensed version of yellowstone
national park. It was great; lots of bubbling mud
and rotten egg smelling geysers. We have been fortunate
with weather after if poured for 24 hours after our
arrival (putting up tents in a downpour was much
Off we now head to the south island. Tomorrow we
shall be in , and I shall be going
whale/dolphin watching.... Will write soon.
Love to you all.
It has been an incredible last few weeks here in sunny
Sydney. I have found romance, rekindled a wonderful
childhood friendship, partied like a rockstar, and
finished my job at The Sheraton!!
I am now heading off with Giovanna for 3 months of
travel, adventure, and the great unknown.... All that
hard work is about to pay off!
Giovanna arrived on Sunday the 25th. She did not
suffer much in the way of jetlag, probably because she
was just so excited to be here! Interestingly, the
same day, I was at work and bumped into a work
colleague who had stood me up for a date the previous
Thursday. I have liked him for the past two months,
and just assumed that he was not interested because he
had not called. Well, as it turns out, he had one
digit incorrectly entered into his phone address book.
So, all this time, there were sad assumptions being
made on both our parts. Anyway, whilst I was
disappointed to find this out with only 1 week left in
Sydney (typical for me, right?) I couldn't pass up on
the opportunity to make the most of the time we had
left. I have enjoyed an amazing week with him, I am
so glad that we had this time together. It has been a
romantic high, and proven very difficult to juggle my
time with my new friend! I have gotten so exhausted
that I now find myself stricken with yet another cold,
with one day to go before I take to the
skies.....boo Hoo for me!
Not to say I didn't find time to take Giovanna to some
cool places. We have been to the beach (many times!),
done some coastal hikes, enjoyed a picnic and free
opera in the botanical gardens, numerous free meals at
The Sheraton, Open Air Cinema, Theatre to see in Dance of Death, the zoo, a gay drag show
rendition of the Sound of Music, had massages & high
tea, gone on a tour of the , not to
mention a lot of coffee shops, bars (drinking? Never!)
and breakfast establishments.
I think my highlights were the opera in the domain -
we saw Bizet's Les Pecheurs Des Perles and it was
absolutely incredible, and free! We had wine and
cheese on a blanket, with over 25000 people in
I am saddened to be leaving . A city that
proved so tumultuous for me when I first arrived has
slowly become a place I've found good friendships and
a comforting sense of home. I actually remember my
work with fondness (now that its over) and all of the
wonderful people I worked with....
Giovanna and I are in the Travel Agency right now,
about to book all of our trips beyond . We
have a full schedule ahead of us, including
Australia's West coast, learning to dive, canoeing in
Bushland, treks in the red center, sailing in
Queensland....the list goes on. Of course I will stay
in touch and be sending more photos shortly too!
Much love and wishes