2004 Journey Australia Erik's Travels

The East Coast Trip

I am in Hervey Bay now. Pete dropped me off here today and then went back up to the town of Bundaberg where we stayed last night. He is going to pick fruit for a few days to make some money so he can buy his ticket for the music festival we are going to next week.

Our drive up from Melbourne has been a great time. We pretty much drove straight up to Byron Bay just stopping in Canberra (Australia’s Capitol) for the night and to check out the War Memorial and National Museum before driving to Newcastle (just north of Sydney) for the next night and then making it up to Byron Bay on the third day of our trip on Monday (March 22nd). We stayed in Byron Bay until Friday at the Art Factory Hostel which is a pretty cool place with it’s own bar and theater and semi-outdoor dorms.

Then we drove up to Surfer’s Paradise for the weekend. But that was just like one 20 kilometer long strip mall with no life to it. So we just hang out at our campground most the time and in the car for the few hours it was raining!. But my tent proved it was rainproof so it was ok. We were bored so we drove back south to the town of Nimbin and stayed there a night and then Pete found a lead during his job hunt which took us to Bundaberg so he could find work fruit picking. This hostel we stayed at was pretty much for workers and they had several farms that use their people for working and have it set up so they give people a ride out to the farms in the morning and bring them back at night. But you have to pay for a week at a time at the hostel before they will find you a job. So Pete is up there for a week while I am checking out some of the Fraiser Coast.

So the plan is to get to Brisbane on Tuesday night (April 6th) and then leave Thursday (April 8th) for Byron Bay and the music festival and then get down to Sydney on the 13th and fly out on Tuesday the 14th to South America.

2004 Journey Australia Erik's Travels

Santiago Bound!

Well, I took the plunge and bought my airline ticket to Santiago. Actually considering how many miles it is going to take just to get there I got a really good deal I guess.

I ended up using my Sydney to Los Angeles ticket that I already had (the one I had to get in order to get into the country, but I ended up not really needing at all!) and just changing the date (A$33). To compliment that I bought a one way ticket on Copa Airlines from Los Angeles to Santiago via Panama (A$495). So my finally itinerary is this:

Depart Sydney, Australia on April 14th at 1:25pm.

Arrive Los Angeles, U.S.A. on April 14th at 9:45pm.

Depart Los Angeles, U.S.A. on April 15th at 1:10am.

Arrive Panama City, Panama on April 15th at 9:30am.

Depart Panama City, Panama on April 15th at 7:30pm.

Arrive Santiago, Chile on April 16th at 2:45am.

Thomas arrives into Santiago on April 16th at 7:45am.

2004 Journey Australia Erik's Travels

Back to the big smoke.

I left Alice Springs at 2pm on a Thursday and went straight through to Melbourne, arriving at 10:30pm on Friday night. The train ride was ok, but I didn’t sleep more then two hours so I was a bit weary. The train was running late so around 8pm I sent a text message to Pete using a borrowed cell phone on the train. I told him it was late and to pick me up around 10pm. Well, I got into Melbourne about 10:30pm finally and there was no Pete to be found. So I called him up on his mobile but I got the voice mail of some other dude instead. I had written down the wrong number! So I called Pete at home and he wasn’t there. I decided to take the train to Box Hill (where he lives) so after getting on the wrong train first I was on my way to Box Hill just after 11pm. I called right before I hopped on the train and left a message saying I would be walking to the house. So I got to Box Hill and started walking and got to Pete & Kip’s house about 12:15 in the morning and Kip let me in.

So it all worked out ok, but I was worried that no one was going to be there and I would have to hop the fence and sleep in the back yard. Because when I talked to Pete earlier in the week he said we would go to a pub after he picked me up so I was thinking he would be sitting at a pub waiting for me to call him on his cell and no one would be home. But actually he had to work at 6am on Saturday so he had gone home to sleep.

I uploaded lots of photos today. I have about 70 more that are from my disposable cameras I bought in Darwin and Alice Springs because my digital camera died on me in Darwin! But I bought a new, sleek and small Sony Cybershot so I am fully digital again!

Pete is working this week so we are going to head out for the East Coast on Saturday morning (March 20th).

2004 Journey Australia Erik's Travels

A town called Alice…

I have been in Alice Springs for a week now. It is a pretty nice, though small, town right in the middle of Australia. The highlight of my visit here (and pretty much all the other tourist here) actually did not happen in Alice Springs itself, but about 400K away. It was my visit to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), King’s Canyon & The Olgas. Anders I and went on a three day tour and set off last Friday (March 5th) morning bright and early. The first day we drove to King’s Canyon and did a hike up to a swimming pool named the Pool of Eden. There were a lot of stairs, lots. After we got back to the camp we ate dinner and slept out under the star in swags (which are like big sleeping bags you put your own sleeping bag in).

The next day we drove to Uluru and I went on a walk around the base of it which is 9.2K. It was really fantastic to see. It is amazing how far away it looks just like a big smooth round rock but up close there are lots of caves and different parts to it. After the walk we went back to the campground which was about 15K away and watched the sunset. Then dinner and swags again.

Sunday morning we got up really, really early, 4:20am if I remember right. We set out to walk through the Valley of the Winds in The Olgas. The Olgas are another set of smaller (but still big) rocks that are spread out in a small area. There are 38 rocks in all. Then we headed back to Alice Springs. On the way back we stopped at a roadhouse (gas station and store) and got to see the world famous “Singing Dingo.” A guy had trained his pet dingo to stand a piano and yelp when the piano was played. Then it was back to Alice getting in at 7pm.

Monday we went and saw the old Telegraph Station (which was the reason why the town was started). Anders left yesterday to head off to New Zealand and I have just been hanging out and relaxing until my 35 hour train ride starts tomorrow afternoon.

After I get back to Melbourne on Friday the plan is to head up the East coast with Pete for about a month and then it’s off to Santiago, Chile where I meet up with Thomas in the middle of April.